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Board Of Directors

John R. Koelmel, Chair - Canal Corp.

John R. Koelmel, Chair - Canal Corp.
Chair, Canal Corp.
John R. Koelmel

John R. Koelmel has served as Chairman of the Authority since June 2012, when he was nominated as a Trustee by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

Mr. Koelmel is currently an advisor for and investor in several early-stage businesses based in Western New York. He previously served as President of HARBORCENTER, LLC, and as President and Chief Executive Officer of First Niagara Financial Group, Inc. including its principal subsidiary, First Niagara Bank N.A.

He began his professional career with KPMG LLP in 1974 and was managing partner of KPMG’s Buffalo office and Upstate New York Business Unit. Mr. Koelmel earned a B.A. degree in economics and accounting from The College of the Holy Cross in 1974. He has also assumed numerous and varied leadership roles in the Buffalo and Western New York community throughout his career.


Tracy B. McKibben, Vice Chair - Canal Corp.

Tracy B. McKibben, Canal Corp. Director
Vice Chair,
NYPA Board of Trustees
& Vice Chair,
Canal Board of Directors,
Canal Corp.
Tracy B. McKibben

Tracy B. McKibben is an international energy and clean technology expert with more than 15 years of diverse experience in the energy sector. She is the founder and president of MAC Energy Advisors LLC, a consulting company that assists clients on alternative energy, renewable energy, water and clean technology investments. Previously, she was managing director and head of Environmental Banking Strategy for Citigroup Global Markets, and served on the National Security Council at the White House as director of European Economic Affairs and European Union Relations, as well as in various senior advisory roles within the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Prior to her work in the public sector, Ms. McKibben practiced law at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP, representing and advising clients on commercial and complex litigation matters, as well as corporate and multinational energy clients on global strategic investments.

She is a member of the board of directors of Ecolab Inc. (ECL), ROI Acquisition Corp. II, (ROIQ) and Geosteller. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonpartisan organization exploring public policy and corporate interactions.

Ms. McKibben holds a B.A. from West Virginia State University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

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Anthony Picente, Jr., Director - Canal Corp.

Anthony Picente, Jr., Canal Corp. Director
Director, Canal Corp.
Anthony Picente, Jr.

Anthony J. Picente, Jr. is the 10th Oneida County Executive and the longest serving in the county’s history. He was appointed to the position in 2006, followed by his election to full four-year terms in 2007, 2011 and 2015. Mr. Picente was named Regional Director of Empire State Development (ESD) in 2001 and, two years later, was promoted to ESD vice president, a position he held until 2006. He is the current president of the New York State Association of Counties.

During his tenure as Oneida County Executive, Mr. Picente has improved the county’s financial outlook and credit rating. He has focused on advancing economic development in the county in such high-tech areas as nanotechnology, cyber security and unmanned aerial systems.

He also created The Vision 2020 Initiative, bringing together stakeholders from across Oneida County for promoting job opportunities, as well as education, training and housing alternatives.

Mr. Picente was instrumental in the state and county’s reaching of an historic settlement in 2013 with the Oneida Indian Nation.

Mr. Picente, who attended Utica public schools, holds an associate degree from Mohawk Valley Community College and a bachelor’s degree from Utica College.

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Michael Balboni, Director - Canal Corp.

Michael Balboni, Canal Corp. Director
Director, Canal Corp.
Michael Balboni

Michael Balboni is the founder and Managing Partner of Redland Strategies Inc., a consulting firm that aids companies and government agencies. Michael also serves on several homeland security think tanks, charitable boards dealing with public health and is a regular contributor as a terrorism expert on national and local television and print media.

Before starting Redland Strategies, Michael had been a leader in New York security, politics and government. He served as New York State Senator from 1998-2007. Following September 11, 2001, Balboni was appointed as the first Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. During his tenure, he wrote nearly all of the major laws relating to Homeland Security for New York State, many of which became models for national legislation.

In 2007, he left the Senate to become Deputy Secretary for Public Safety and Homeland Security Advisor for New York State and served in this position until January 2009. In this role, Mr. Balboni was the Senior Homeland Security and Law Enforcement official for the State of New York. Mr. Balboni oversaw the creation of many innovative programs, the first of their kind in the nation.

These include: "New York alert," a multimedia, cyber-based emergency notification system that currently has 1.5 million subscribers; "CI-SAR," which overlays suspicious activity tip information upon critical infrastructure to provide threat context and trend analysis capability; and "Empire Shield Reconfiguration“, which redeploys National Guard units so as to form a rapid response and a "surge" patrol capability for the region's airports, train terminals, tunnels, bridges, and nuclear power plants.

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Dennis Trainor, Director - Canal Corp.

Dennis Trainor, Canal Corp. Director
Director, Canal Corp.
Dennis Trainor

Dennis G. Trainor is Vice President of CWA District 1.

Dennis Trainor was unanimously elected Vice President of CWA District One in June, 2015. His election to the CWA’s top regional position capped a career dedicated to advancing the rights of working people. As regional Vice President, he leads 140,000 workers in telecommunications, public sector, media and broadcast, health care, airlines and manufacturing across New York, New Jersey and New England.

In April and May of 2016, Dennis led the successful 49-day strike of 40,000 Verizon workers up and down the East Coast, the largest strike in the country for the last five years. He also played a critical role in resolving the 17-week long IUE-CWA strike against Momentive Performance Materials in Waterford, NY in the winter of 2016-2017, including negotiating a back-to-work agreement that returned all the strikers to their jobs.

Prior to his election as Vice President, Dennis had served for ten years as Assistant to the Vice President of District One. In that role, Dennis had primary responsibility for collective bargaining throughout the region, which involved hundreds of collective bargaining agreements covering all members in District One. He served as the Verizon Regional Bargaining Chair for the 2008 and 2011 bargaining. He also chaired the AT&T East bargaining for the last five contracts and negotiated a new agreement with Frontier Communications when it purchased AT&T East.

Dennis was appointed the Downstate New York and Connecticut Area Director for CWA during bargaining with Verizon in 2003. As Area Director, Dennis supervised all of the CWA staff assigned to Local Unions in downstate New York and Connecticut and co-chaired the 2003 Verizon Regional Bargaining with the then Assistant to the Vice President Chris Shelton.

Dennis went to work for the New York Telephone Company in 1969 as a splicer’s helper. He started his union career during the seven-month long strike against New York Telephone in 1971 when he was elected shop steward in CWA Local 1101. He was elected chief steward in 1975 and represented the Bronx Construction Department in NY Tel. He held that position for eleven years until he took over the chief steward’s position in the Empire City Subway Company. He negotiated break out wages for many of the crafts in Empire City Subway during bargaining in 1991 and 1994.

Dennis lives with his wife Kathy in Holbrook, NY. He has three married sons, Dennis, Jr., Greg and Brian and three daughters-in-law – Dina, Jill and Kate and six grandchildren – Jesse, Henry, Julian, Scarlett, Graham and Lucy.

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Bethaida González - Director.

Bethaida
Director
Bethaida González

Bethaida "Bea" González, born in Cayey Puerto Rico, and a longtime resident of Syracuse, has more than 40 years of experience in higher education, as well as a distinguished record of public and community service.

In 2014 she was appointed Special Assistant to the chancellor at Syracuse University and then Vice President for Community Engagement in 2017, until her retirement in 2020.

González has been elected to public office three times. In 1991, she was the first Latina to be elected to the board of education in the city of Syracuse, and in 2001 she was the first Latina elected as president of the Common Council for the city of Syracuse.

In 2017, she was the recipient of the University Professional Continuing Education Association Julius M. Nolte Award for Extraordinary Leadership, given to an individual in recognition of unusual and extraordinary contributions to the cause of continuing education on the regional, national and/or international level.

In 2020, the Allyn Foundation, in partnership with Syracuse University, the COVID-19 Relief Fund, the Gifford Foundation, Reisman Foundation and the United Way, developed the Bea Gonzalez Summer Scholars program serving over 800 youth.

González earned a Master of Arts from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

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Executive Management

Justin E. Driscoll, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer

Justin E. Driscoll, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer
Interim President
and
Chief Executive Officer.
Justin E. Driscoll

Justin E. Driscoll is the Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of the nation's largest state-owned electric utility. He is responsible for developing and implementing the statewide utility's strategic vision and mission and for supervising its operations, legal and financial matters and relationships with external stakeholders.

Justin previously served as the chief legal officer of the Authority. He also supervised the activities of the Hydropower Licensing Group, the Regulatory/Energy Markets functions, Legislative and Community Affairs Group, Environmental Justice, the Corporate Secretary and the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer. He also served on the Enterprise Risk Management Committee and was management’s liaison to the Cyber and Physical Security Committee of the Board of Trustees.

Before joining NYPA, Justin was engaged in the private practice of law and represented clients that included Fortune 500 companies, governmental entities and energy companies, in complex commercial litigation and regulatory matters.

Justin serves on several Boards including The Alliance to Save Energy, New York City’s Urban Green Council, the Large Public Power Council, and the World Resources Institute’s Global Energy Advisory Board in Washington, D.C.

Justin is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C. with a bachelor’s degree from the School of Public Affairs. He received his law degree from the New York Law School and attended the New York University School of Law L.L.M. Program in trade regulation. He is a member of the New York City Bar Association, and the Energy Bar Association.


Brian U. Stratton, Director of Canal Corp.

Brian U. Stratton, Director of Canal Corp.
Director of Canal Corp.
Brian U. Stratton

Brian Stratton was appointed Director of the New York State Canal Corporation in April 2011. He was appointed at the recommendation of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, and serves as a member of the Governor's Cabinet. Prior to joining the Canal Corporation Mr. Stratton was elected Mayor of the City of Schenectady on November 7, 2003, and re-elected to a second term in 2007.

During his tenure, Mayor Stratton successfully identified and corrected the City's serious inherited financial problems, returning Schenectady's municipal credit rating from the lowest in New York State to investment grade, including a sustained A- rating by Standard & Poor's. During his seven years as mayor, he worked with local leaders to attract more than $300 million in new private investment in the City of Schenectady, creating and retaining more than 2,000 jobs.

As Mayor, Mr. Stratton also served from 2009-2011 as Co-Chair of the United States Conference of Mayors Water Council, leading mayors of more than 300 American cities in the discussion and national policy formation of issues impacting how cities provide safe and affordable water and wastewater services.

His numerous awards include the National Association of Government Accountants (AGA) Distinguished Local Government Leadership Award in 2009 and the AGA New York Chapter Outstanding Achievement Award in 2008.

Mr. Stratton received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from SUNY Oswego in 1980.


David R. Mellen, Regional Manager - Canal Corporation.

David R. Mellen , Deputy Director of Canals
Regional Manager
of Canal Corp.
David R. Mellen

David R. Mellen is the Regional Manager of the New York State Canal Corporation. He is responsible for management of the 524-mile New York State Canal System.

Mr. Mellen previously served as the Director of Construction Management for the Canal Corporation, where he was responsible for overseeing all programmed construction work. Prior to joining the Canal Corporation in 2016, Mr. Mellen served in progressively responsible engineering and management positions at the New York State Department of Transportation and New York State Thruway Authority over a career that began in 1989. Mr. Mellen is also a visiting instructor at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, where he teaches construction management.

Mr. Mellen earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Clarkson University and his Masters in Construction Engineering and Management from the State University of New York University at Buffalo. Mr. Mellen is a licensed Professional Engineer in New York.

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Board Members

John
John R. Koelmel
Tracy
Tracy B. McKibben
Anthony Picente
Anthony Picente, Jr.
Michael Balboni
Michael Balboni
Dennis Trainor
Dennis Trainor
Bethaida González
Bethaida González


Committees:

  • Audit Committee: Chair, Dennis G. Trainor; John R. Koelmel;Tracy B. McKibben ;Michael Balboni; Bethaida González
  • Governance Committee: Chair , Bethaida González; John R. Koelmel; Dennis Trainor; Tracy B. McKibben; Michael Balboni
  • Finance Committee: Chair, Tracy B. McKibben; John R. Koelmel; Michael Balboni; Dennis G. Trainor; Bethaida Gonzalez; Anthony Picente, Jr
  • Cyber & Physical Security Committee: Chair, Michael A.L. Balboni; John R. Koelmel; Bethaida González; Dennis G. Trainor; Anthony Picente, Jr