organization leadership

 

Board of Directors

Sandra Buhrmaster

Kevin M. Curley

Daniel Dagostino

David P. Fusco

Dr. Michael L. Gelfand

Sharon Hoorwitz

Elaine Kennedy

Charles E. Kilbourne

Kathleen Kniskern

Paul K. Male

Larry MOssey

Deborah G. Mullaney

Mark Nagelsmith

Cindy Phillippe

Christy Potratz

Joseph Pryba

Sid Ramotar

Carol Schweizer

Cynthia Shultz

Coleen Stevens

Matthew Sypniewski

Matthew Tedeschi

Sarah Witbeck

Nic Zarrelli

 

Honorary Members

Charles J. Assini

Arthur A.  Bianchi*

Robert J. Coan

Roger Greenwood

Carl F. Liss

Kathleen Messitt

Joann Paulsen

Kenneth C. Petersen

J. Richard Phillippe*

Robert J. Sullivan

Eugene Zeltmann*

* Deceased

Auxiliary Officers

Barrie Handelman

Shelley DeAngelus

Co-Presidents

 

Linda Breault

Vice President

Debbi Kopp

Treasurer

Linda Reilly

Secretary

Tricia Emmer

Advisor

     

 

 

Board Officers

Anthony M. Durante

President

Thomas Isabella

Vice President

Brittnay McMahon

Vice President

Sarah Witbeck

Secretary

Peter Keigley

Treasurer

Auxiliary Board

Cynthia Ball

Sandra Buhrmaster

Mary Burch-Macherone

Gwynne DeLong

Rosemary Faulkner

Diana Gelfand

Sandy Kaplan

Elaine Kennedy

Janet Kristel

Marge Maas

Lorraine McConnelee

Beth Milton

Debby Mullaney

Alicia Osur

Cindy Phillippe

Sarah Schermerhorn

Carol Schweizer

Cynthia Shultz

Paula Strauss

Coleen Stevens

Patti Azar Van Valkenburgh

Meet our Board of Directors

 

Anthony Durante

President

Anthony Durante has served on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Schenectady since 2012, and is currently serving as Vice President.

Anthony Durante, CPA (Florida), received his Masters of Professional Accountancy Degree from The University of Miami, in Miami, Florida and his Bachelors of Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from that same institution.

Mr. Durante has 12 years experience in public accounting as a certified public accountant.  Mr. Durante is a licensed CPA in the State of Florida and has been since 1994. 

Since 2004, he was the Chief Financial Officer of Capital Living and Rehabilitation Centers. The company operated seven skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities across Upstate New York, through 2017.  He is an owner in the organization as well.

For over 10 years, Mr. Durante served on various committees within the statewide nursing home associations known as NYSHFA and NYPA.  These committees involved concentrations in reimbursement, legal actions and lobbying.

Other board positions:  Since 2013, he has served on the board of VNA Home Health (Albany), and is currently the board President. Since 2017, he has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Albany Medical Center.

Thomas Isabella

Co-Vice President

Tom joined the BGCS Board in 1983 and has served in many capacities. Tom grew up in the Mont Pleasant neighborhood in the City of Schenectady and married his High School sweetheart, Mary Ann Hogan. They were married for 33 years before Mary’s untimely passing in 2013. Tom and his late wife have two children, Kaitlin and Sean.

 

After graduating Mont Pleasant High School and earning a B.A. Degree from Louisiana State University, he worked for many New York State Agencies, retiring from the Public Service Commission in 2005. Tom currently works for Synthesis Architects, LLP in Business Development.

 

A lifelong City resident, Tom has contributed to the betterment of the Schenectady Community in numerous ways. He was elected to the Schenectady City Council in 1979 and served for 16 years, 12 as President, chairing the Health and Recreation Committee. He worked tirelessly to improve the Parks System and the Golf Course.

 

Tom enjoyed coaching baseball, basketball and softball for decades, culminating with coaching softball at Schenectady High School for 13 years.

Brittnay McMahon

Co-Vice President

Brittnay McMahon, a partner with Block, Longo, LaMarca & Brzezinski P.C., joined the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady in 2012. She currently serves as Board Liaison for Club Blue, and serves on the Advancement and Social Media Committees.

Brittnay is the 2020 Campership Campaign Chair for the 6th year and has led our most successful campaign to date, which raised more than $125,000 for kids to enjoy summer experiences at Camp Lovejoy. Brittnay is a proud member of The Heritage Club of the Boys & Girls of Schenectady.

Brittnay was named to the 2019 Upstate New York Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers, which acknowledges attorneys under 40 years old and in practice 10 years or less. In 2017, Brittnay was awarded Outstanding Young Professional Philanthropist by the Hudson-Mohawk chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

While in law school, Brittnay received a Pro Bono Distinction award for her work with the Albany Law School Pro Bono Society. She has continued her civic responsibilities while in practice. In September 2013, Brittnay won an important pro bono victory in Court representing a mother of four with a gravely ill child who was facing eviction.  She regularly volunteers her time at pro bono and domestic violence legal clinics.

In addition to her commitment to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady, Brittnay currently serves as President of the Adirondack Women’s Bar Association and is a member of several professional associations including the New York State Bar Association, the Albany County Bar Association and the Schenectady County Bar Association.

Brittnay graduated from the State University of New York at Albany in 2007 and received her Juris Doctor degree from Albany Law School in 2010.

Peter Keigley

Treasurer

Peter Keigley, a 16 year veteran of the banking industry, is a Business Banking Relationship Manager for KeyBank and holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Albany. Outside of residing briefly in South Florida, Peter is a lifelong resident of the capital region where he makes his home in Saratoga with his wife and two young children.

As a child, Peter took swimming lessons at the Rotterdam Clubhouse of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady. While coaching and assisting with the operations of a soccer program for children with special needs in South Florida, Peter fell in love with helping children. When Peter came back to the capital region, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Schenectady was a natural fit for his passion for helping kids. 

 

Peter is an active member of the community and passionately serves the Board of Directors on the Finance & Communications Committees. 

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Sarah Witbeck

Secretary

Sarah Witbeck joined the Board of Directors in 2020.

 

Born in Schenectady, N.Y., Sarah and her family experienced the opportunities that the Boys & Girls Club can bring to the community. Now retired, Sarah has recently returned to this area, residing in Niskayuna, and is anxious to play a role in supporting youth development in the community. Learning of the great work still being done by BGCS, she is honored to participate in its mission.

Sarah Witbeck is a graduate of Linton High School and the State University of New York at Binghamton, graduating with a B.A. degree in History/Art History. She began her career as an employee at the NYS Dept. of Tax and Finance, and ended her career as an information technology executive in both not for profit and government organizations. At the time of her retirement Sarah was the NYS Information Technology Services Deputy Chief Information Officer for Public Safety.

Sarah is a lover of the arts, gardens, kayaking and travel and appreciates all that the capital region has to offer.

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Dan Dagastino

A graduate of Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, Dan is an attorney in the Case Management Unit of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP, and supervises the firm’s Worker’s Compensation and Social Security Disability Departments. A member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and BNI (Latham Branch), Dan is also a board member of the Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group, a national organization dedicated to representing the interests of workers and their families who suffer the consequences of work related injuries. A sports enthusiast, Dan has also coached in the Tartan Youth Basketball Program since 2007.

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Michael L. Gelfand, M.D.

Dr. Michael Gelfand has been a member of the Board of Directors since 1997 and is currently a member of the Advancement Committee.

 

After retiring from the clinical practice of vascular surgery and some general surgery in March of 2005, Dr. Gelfand took a part-time position with the NYS DOH Office of Professional Medical Conduct.

 

Dr. Gelfand and his wife, Diana, travel extensively, including trips to China, Alaska, France, Italy, and the Caribbean. They celebrated their 50th Anniversary in 2015.

 

He currently resides in Niskayuna, NY part-time and Buckhead, GA part of the year where they can be close to their daughter and four grandchildren. He also visits his son and two grandchildren in Denver, CO frequently.

 

Dr. and Mrs. Gelfand are proud members of The Heritage Club and the Great Futures Council.

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Charles Kilbourne, III

Charles E. Kilbourne is Managing Director and Secretary of the Corporation of FSVC.  He is a member of FSVC’s management group and directly oversees FSVC’s fiscal policy programs, and the programs in Albania, Moldova and Somalia.  He is an officer of the Corporation and the liaison to the Board of Directors.

Before joining FSVC in 2002, Mr. Kilbourne served as Vice President of the Financial Services Forum.  He previously worked in several capacities on housing and urban policy for the State of New York.

Mr. Kilbourne is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY).  Mr. Kilbourne serves as an Independent Director, and as a Public Interest Director.

He received a Master’s Degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and a Bachelor’s Degree from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.
 

Kathleen Kniskern

Kathleen Kniskern, an enthusiastic volunteer devoted to her community, joined the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady in 2016.

After volunteering for the Campership Campaign for many years, Kathleen is excited to co-chair this year's Campership Campaign with her husband, Paul Male.

Owner and President of Kniskern Music, Inc. since 2003, her professional experience includes working as a middle school and alternative High School teacher and guidance counselor. Kathleen's business roots began as a youngster working in Hermie's Music Store, her father's business. 

Kathleen is on the Board of Directors for the Lake George Music Festival. She also volunteers as a piano teacher, religious education teacher, Eucharistic Minister and church lector.  Kathleen also participates and helps plan various events for her Condo Association in Florida.

Kathleen shared, "I have, through teaching and guidance work in Hamilton Hill's Washington Irving School, seen kids who, while so desperately wanting to succeed, just lack the necessary life skills. Subsequently, many fall back into their previous life cycle. BGCS opened my eyes to great and continued success with these same kids where so many efforts have failed."

Having grown up in Schenectady County, Kathleen is a graduate of Niskayuna High School and attended Russell Sage College earning her Bachelor of Science in Education. She then went on to SUNY at Albany to earn Master of Science degrees in Educational Psychology & Statistics, School Guidance Counselor and School District Administrator.

Kathleen's hobbies included producing a musical at Proctor's Theatre and playing in a Rock 'n' Roll band, 'Happy Daze'.  She currently enjoys traveling with her husband Paul, flute playing in St. Petersburg's "Awesome Original Second Time Arounder's Marching Band", daily lap swimming and spending summers with family and friends at her Sacandanga Lake Camp.

Paul Male

Graduating from Niskayuna High School, Paul Male grew up in Niskayuna, NY. After earning his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Union College and his Masters of Science in Civil Engineering from Purdue University, he became a Licensed Professional Engineer & Land Surveyor. Paul worked for CT Male Associates from 1976 to 1995. Paul then was a Saratoga Springs City Engineer through 2011.

 

Paul joined the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady in 1981 and is a Past President. Paul is excited to Co-chair, with his wife Kathleen Kniskern, the Campership Campaign this year. Paul is also Past President of the ASCE and the APWA. During his time with the Wilton Fire Department, where he was a firefighter and Secretary, he was also Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Wilton Emergency Medical Services as well as an Emergency Medical Technician and a CPR Instructor. Paul currently serves as the Stillwater Town Engineer.

 

Paul and Kathleen spend winters in St. Petersburg, FL.

Larry Mossey

With careers in radio, newspaper and advertising behind him, Larry is a now a freelance commercial copywriter and creative writer. A former principal at Fitz & Mossey Advertising and The Mossey Group, he also served as Marketing Director at Albany Times Union, and has been privileged to write TV campaigns for national brands including Stickley Furniture, Raymour & Flanagan, and UPS’s Joe Montana campaign. Larry is a former staff member and camp counselor for the Schenectady Boys Club, and a proud club member since age six.

Deborah Mullaney

Deborah Mullaney has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Boys and Girls Clubs for many years and has served on its Executive committee.  She also has been Chair of the Boys and Girls Clubs Auxiliary.

Mrs. Mullaney has provided leadership to numerous community organizations over the years including  Ellis Medicine, as Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of The Foundation Trustees; Board member and vice Chair of The Schenectady Foundation; past President of the Junior League of Schenectady; past President of Northeast Parent and Child Society; past President of the Schenectady Theatre for Children Guild Board; past Chair of Court Appointed Special Advocates and worked extensively as a member and past President of Niskayuna Schools PTOs.

She has been honored for her service with such awards as the New York State Senate 2015 Woman of Distinction, The Hospital Association of New York State 2015 Leadership and Advocacy Award, YWCA Woman of Achievement, the Junior League of Schenectady Volunteer of the Year, and is an inductee into the Niskayuna High School Hall of Fame.

Mrs. Mullaney and her husband, Michael, live in Niskayuna and have 4 children and 10 grandchildren.  Mrs. Mullaney earned a master's degree in history from the State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY, and her bachelor's degree in American history from Connecticut College in New London, CT.

Cindy Phillippe

Cindy Phillippe has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2011 and served as President for 3 years.  She has also been a member of the BGCS Auxiliary board since 1993.  She graduated from Niskayuna High School and Skidmore College, where she majored in economics and business.  After working in finance she chose to focus on raising 3 children and pursuing a volunteer career.

 

Cindy has volunteered for over 25 community agencies and organizations and has served as President, as chairman of fundraising or in other leadership positions for most of them.  She has been the recipient of several volunteer awards and was also elected to the Niskayuna High School Hall of Fame. In 2012, she was named a recipient of the Trailblazer’s Award by the Women’s Fund of the Capital Region.

 

Cindy commented, “I truly believe there is no more important organization positively impacting children in the Capital Region.  It is a privilege to serve our most vulnerable population through my association with BGCS.”

Carol Schweizer

Carol grew up in Galway, lived in Charlton for 51 years, and now resides in Galway again. She is a graduate of Green Mountain College and has been a small business owner for over 33 years. Carol and her husband, David have two daughters and four grandchildren.

 

Carol has presided over the Galway Preservation Society twice, was a volunteer with the Junior League of Schenectady, and was board member of Proctors Theatre Guild for many years.

 

Carol has been a part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady for 24 years. She began as an Auxiliary member and served on the Board of Directors for many years. She has chaired the Auxiliary twice and served on many committees of the Auxiliary and Board. She was part of the Search Committee to hire the current Executive Director of BGCS.

Coleen Stevens

Coleen Stevens joined the Board of Directors in 2018 and currently serves as Chair of the Advancement Committee.

 

Inspired by the life-changing work of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady, Coleen joined the Auxiliary Board in 2011. She has served as Co-President of the Auxiliary Board, on the Fall Fling Silent Auction Committee, as Youth Fund Drive Chairperson and as the Great Futures Club Board Ambassador.

 

Coleen Stevens is a principal at Dimension Fabricators, Inc., a reinforcing steel fabricator and engineering firm in Glenville, NY.  She and her husband, Scott, are also actively involved in advancement at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

 

Coleen is a professional cross country ski instructor, and former high school ski coach.  A graduate of the University of Buffalo, she enjoyed a long career as a physical therapist at Sunnyview Hospital, Visiting Nurse Service of Schenectady, and Director of the Physical Therapy Services at the Visiting Nurse Association of Albany. Mr. and Mrs.  Stevens have three sons and two grandchildren.

 

Coleen and Scott are proud members of the Lifetime Giving Society and Great Futures Council of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady.

Hon. Mathew J. Sypniewski

Hon. Matthew J. Sypniewski was born and raised in Schenectady and resides there with his wife Diane and daughter Eva. Judge Sypniewski is a graduate of Schenectady High School and was the first member of his family to go to college, graduating magna cum laude from both the University at Albany and Albany Law School, where he was an Executive Editor for the Albany Law Review. After serving a one year term as Court Attorney for the Appellate Division, Third Department, Judge Sypniewski joined the law firm of Clifford Chance Rogers & Wells in New York City. In 2004, he joined the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office, where he rose to the level of Major Crimes Bureau Chief, prosecuting hundreds of violent crimes.  In 2011, Judge Sypniewski was elected Schenectady City Court Judge and, in 2014, was elected Schenectady County Court Judge, where he now presides over felony criminal cases and the Schenectady County Drug Court Program.  

Nic Zarrelli

Nic Zarrelli joined the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Schenectady in 2016.  He is currently the Deputy Chief Financial Officer at the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York. Previously, he was the Dean of Academic Planning and Resources and the Director of Purchasing & Finance at Union College, Senior Associate of Systems and Process Assurance at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Finance Director at ICG Commerce (currently Accenture), and

e-Commerce Senior Analyst at GE Power.  Nic received his master’s degree in business administration from Union Graduate College (currently Clarkson University Capital Region Campus), and graduated from Union College where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Economics.