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Board of Trustees

Make-A-Wish® Northeast New York is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees. The Trustees are charged with establishing the strategic direction of the chapter, setting policies and procedures, raising funds and working with the CEO and his team to fulfill the mission of the Foundation.

Sarah A. McKinney

Board Chair

Sarah A. McKinney

Sarah A. McKinney serves as a partner development manager for Microsoft. Her responsibilities are focused on developing solutions for the education market that utilizes Microsoft technology. Ms. McKinney has been an active volunteer Wish Granter for 15-plus years: four years with Make-A-Wish Alaska & Washington and 11 with Make-A-Wish Northeast New York. She has also served on the chapter’s Gala Committee for many years. 

She succeeded Brian V. Hannafin as Board chair in August 2018.

Ms. McKinney earned her undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and holds an MBA from Stern School of Business at NYU. She is an active supporter of her children’s activities and teams.

Ms. McKinney is married with three daughters and lives in Albany County.

Lisa M. Clifford

Board Vice Chair

Lisa M. Clifford

Lisa M. Clifford is senior vice president and a family wealth strategist and wealth advisor with Key Private Bank, Capital Region. She is responsible for building investment management and trust relationships in the Capital Region as part of Key’s comprehensive wealth management services.

As a Family Wealth Strategist, Lisa works exclusively with individuals and families of significant wealth across generations. She leverages her experience and expertise to manage complex estate, tax, and integrated investment strategies. She also ensures that her clients receive access to the full array of our family office capabilities.

Ms. Clifford joined Key in 2009 and has been advising clients for over 25 years. Prior to joining Key, Ms. Clifford was senior vice president with Curran Investment Management, where she was responsible for the firm’s wealth management services. She began her career at First Albany Corporation, providing investment management services to high net worth individuals and institutional investors.

Ms. Clifford has been honored by the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Business Council as a Woman of Excellence in Sales and Marketing and is a member of the 2005 class of the Albany Business Review “40 Under 40” award winners.

She earned a B.S. in management with a concentration in finance from St. John Fisher College. Since 2008, Lisa has appeared monthly to share relevant and timely advice on a variety of financial topics on WNYT NewsChannel 13 “Money Monday” midday show.

Ms. Clifford holds the Certified Private Wealth Advisor certification administered by the Investments & Wealth Institute® and the Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor® certification through the Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors®. In addition to Make-A-Wish, she is vice president of Wildwood Foundation.

She is married with two sons and resides in Albany County.

Boll


Board Treasurer

Jennifer M. Boll, Esq.

Jennifer M. Boll is a member of the law firm  Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC.  She has extensive experience handling a broad array of corporate, tax and estate matters.

In addition to her legal practice, Ms. Boll is a lecturer for the MS in taxation program at the University at Albany, State University of New York, where she teaches courses on federal, state and interstate taxation. She is also an adjunct professor at Albany Law School, where she teaches courses on corporate tax, state and local tax and estate planning. Ms. Boll is a frequent lecturer on various tax topics for the New York State Bar Association and for various trade and other bar associations as well as the New York State Society of CPAs.

She has been awarded the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Northeastern New York Leadership award and is a past honoree of the Albany Business Review’s 40 Under 40.” She also serves on the Board of Junior Achievement of Northeastern New York.

Ms. Boll holds a JD, cum laude, from Harvard Law School and a BA, summa cum laude, from Siena College.

She is married and has three children and one grandchild. Ms. Boll lives in Columbia County.


DD

Board Secretary

David A. Druzynski

Dave Druzynski is vice president of people and culture at DealerSocket, a leading provider of software for the automotive industry. He is responsible for the development of company culture, employee engagement and change management. Prior to the acquisition by DealerSocket, Dave was the chief people officer at Auto/Mate Dealership Systems where he led all Human Resources functions. 

A member of the Make-A-Wish Northeast New York Board of Trustees since 2015, Mr. Druzynski is a graduate of SUNY Geneseo with a degree in Business Management/Information Systems, and holds both his SPHR and SHRM-SCP certifications.

He is married with two daughters and resides in Saratoga County.  


Berdar

Kristen D. Berdar, CPA, CMA

Kristen Berdar is a partner in the accounting firm of BST & Co., LLP, a “Top 100” accounting firm with offices the Capital Region, New York City and New Jersey. 

Ms. Berdar has more than 25 years of experience in public accounting. Her focus is in the Outsourcing department, where she specializes in the Virtual Business Solutions division. VBS provides companies and not-for-profits with out-sourced accounting and Modern CFO solutions. Virtual Business Solutions partners with clients to make their businesses more efficient by streamlining processes and identifying and implementing best practices utilizing cloud-based technology.

She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) with a background in tax, and has extensive experience in the wholesale distribution, manufacturing, construction and professional services industries. Ms. Berdar is an acknowledged industry leader who has been recognized by the Albany Business Review and The Saratogian.

Ms. Berdar holds a B.S. in Accounting from SUNY Oswego. In addition to her CPA certification, she is also a Certified Management Accountant (CMA).  She is a member of the 2004 class of the Albany Business Review “40 Under 40” award winners, which recognizes young business professionals for their leadership and community involvement. She is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New York State Society of CPAs, and the Institute of Management Accountants. 

Ms. Berdar served as a member of the chapter’s Board of Trustees from September 2005 until September 2009. She served as Treasurer in 2008-2009. After taking time off to raise her young sons, she was re-elected to the Board in August 2013.

She is married with two sons and lives in Saratoga County.

Sean Doolan

Sean M. Doolan, Esq.

Sean M. Doolan, Esq. is a shareholder and partner in the law firm of Hinman Straub P.C. in Albany. Mr. Doolan has more than 30 years of experience dedicated to government relations, general counsel and administrative law.

Mr. Doolan provides strategic, legal, regulatory and legislative representation for numerous clients on a wide range of issues at every level of state government, whether it be regulatory or administrative counsel or representation before the legislative and executive branches. He has primary responsibility for providing such representation for an array of clients with diverse interests such as health plans, health care providers, insurers, technology companies and other general corporate interests.

Over the last several years in particular, Mr. Doolan has been lead legislative and regulatory counsel on a host of the most complex and intricate health care, insurance and transactional initiatives, successfully navigating either passage or approval of these measures.

Mr. Doolan is a graduate of Siena College and Albany Law School. He is married and lives in Albany County.

Giordano

James Giordano

James Giordino is vice president and chief information officer at Latham Pool Products. He is an experienced technology executive with a strong background in operations, infrastructure, ERP, database and organizational strategy. Mr. Giordano is an accomplished leader with track record of improving companies through enterprise-wide technology initiatives.

At Latham Pools, Giordano has transformed development and infrastructure groups for the largest pool manufacturer in North America. Prior to that, he served as chief technology officer for General Electric Power & Water in Schenectady, leading the technology organization for GE’s largest industrial business.

The Columbia High School graduate has a long history in fundraising, and has raised money for various philanthropic organizations in addition to Make-A-Wish.

Mr. Giordano is a graduate of SUNY College of Technology, and earned his MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

He is married and resides in East Greenbush.

John Hinkle

John Hinkle

John Hinkle serves as executive vice President of CommerceHub, an esteemed provider of hosted integration, drop-ship fulfillment and product content management for multi-channel e-commerce merchants. The firm’s customers include many top brands, from Walmart and Best Buy to QVC, General Electric, Whirlpool and Dell.

Mr. Hinkle is responsible for the operations of the IT and production system departments. It is his job to ensure the eternal system can efficiently handle more than 40 million e-transactions annually.

A former board member of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Northeastern New York chapter, he has undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Mr. Hinkle is married with one child and lives in Albany County.

Andrew Guelcher

Andrew Guelcher

Andrew Guelcher, who joined the Board in 2020, is dealer principal of Mohawk Chevrolet in Clifton Park and general manager of Mohawk Honda.

Prior to his current position, Guelcher worked at Mohawk Honda for more than five years, first as operations manager and then as general manager.

Before moving to the Capital Region more than five years ago, Guelcher worked in auto industry leadership positions in Pennsylvania. The University of Pittsburgh-Bradford graduate was honored by the Central Penn Business Journal with its Forty under 40 recognition, which noted his commitment to business growth, professional excellence and community service.

In addition to Make-A-Wish Northeast New York, Guelcher is involved as a volunteer with Special Olympics New York, which bestowed him its 2019 Game Changer award.  He also volunteers as a youth basketball coach and works on various community service projects through Mohawk Auto Group’s community service initiatives.

Guelcher and his wife Jessica have three children and live in Saratoga County.

Kinowski

Kyle Kinowski

Kyle Kinowski serves as senior vice president and region head for Ayco’s Northeast Region Counseling Department. Mr. Kinowski is responsible for 50 financial advisors, providing financial advice to more than 2,800 high-net-worth clients. The Ayco Company is a Goldman Sachs Company.

Mr. Kinowski has been a generous wish sponsor for the past three years with Make-A-Wish Northeast New York.

He earned his undergraduate degree in biology from Binghamton University, and holds an MBA from Union College.

Mr. Kinowski is married with two children and lives in Saratoga County.

Steve Kuring

Steven Kuring

Steven Kuring is human resource manager with General Electric’s Power division in Schenectady, N.Y. After serving nine years as an Army officer,

Mr. Kuring joined GE in 1994. He has been an HR manager for multiple business units across GE, including Field Services, Sales and Global Supply Chain operations. He is currently the labor relations leader for GE Power. 

Mr. Kuring earned his Bachelor of Science degree in General Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He is the father of a Make-A-Wish child.

Mr. Kuring is married with two children and lives in Saratoga County.

Lasch

Michael Lasch

Michael Lasch is managing partner and co-founder of Pine Street Capital Partners, a private equity fund founded in 2004 and based in Albany.  Prior to this, Mr. Lasch was a director in FleetBoston Corporation’s corporate and investment banking group in Boston, Mass. 

Before starting his finance career, he served as a congressional aide in Washington, D.C.  Mr. Lasch earned his MBA from Emory University and his Bachelor’s degree from Holy Cross College.

He is a 2007 recipient of the New York Capital District Business Review’s “40 under 40” award. Mr. Lasch was named a member of the Board of Trustees of Make-A-Wish of Northeast New York in 2008. 

Mr. Lasch is married with three children and lives in Albany County.


Laura Mazzara

Laura Mazzara

Laura Mazzara is Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer for Pioneer Bank. She enthusiastically joined the Make-A-Wish Northeast New York Board of Trustees in 2019, committed to the mission of providing uplifting support to those facing the challenges of critical childhood illnesses. 

As the parent of a teenaged cancer survivor, Ms. Mazzara brings a real-life understanding and true empathy to her role. An outpouring of positivity and emotional support from friends, family, coworkers and community was instrumental in getting her family through the most difficult times of her daughter’s treatment. Today four years cancer-free, her daughter thrives as a student in Boston with a bright future.  

Ms. Mazzara is proud to represent Pioneer Bank, a longtime supporter of Make-A-Wish Northeast New York. With 25-plus years of experience in banking, internal controls, regulatory compliance and risk management, she is well positioned to participate in providing active oversight. Additionally, she embraces the opportunity to become a trained wish granter and participate directly in making a child’s wish come true.

A graduate of Siena College, Ms. Mazzara subsequently pursued career opportunities in Albany and Boston. Ultimately settling back in the Capital Region, she lives with her husband in Averill Park, where she enjoys spending time with friends and family. 

OLeary

David E. O’Leary

David O’Leary is a Senior Vice President and the Head of Insurance and Annuity at Rockefeller Capital Management, a role he has held since December of  2019.  In this capacity he manages the insurance, annuity, private placement, long term care businesses, as well as the property and casualty and commercial insurance partnerships.  

Prior to Rockefeller Capital Management, Mr. O’Leary was Vice President, Wealth Strategies Group, at Ayco, a Goldman Sachs Company, responsible for the annuity business, private placement insurance, and led a nationwide team of specialists responsible for various insurance businesses.  Prior to joining Ayco in 2009, he served as a Regional Vice President at the Equitable Life Ins. Co. responsible for distribution in the state of Maryland and as an Advanced Markets Attorney. 

He is a Cross and Crown, magna cum laude graduate from Boston College’s Honor’s Program, received his J.D. from Boston College Law School, and MBA from the Boston College Carroll School. He is married with three children and lives in Albany County.

Robert Roemer

Robert Roemer

Robert Roemer is is CAP COM Federal Credit Union’s senior vice president of Systems Delivery and was very actively involved with building the credit union's new headquarters. He currently oversees the Information Technology Software Engineering, Quality Assurance and Project Management teams as well as the Administration and Facilities department.

He graduated cum laude from Sage Junior College of Albany with a degree in Information Systems. He joined the credit union in 1997 as a software specialist in the IS Department. He moved up the ranks from software specialist to manager, then assistant vice president to vice president of the IS Department.

In addition to supporting Make-A-Wish as a Trustee, he has also attained wish granter status and is actively granting wishes along with his wife, Theresa. In prior roles, Mr. Roemer volunteered for Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County and the Albany Police Athletic League Board.

Mr. Roemer is married with three children and lives in Albany County.


Leah Slocum

Leah Slocum

Leah Slocum is the founding partner of the top-rated Keller Williams’ PEAK Realty Team and president of the Peak Giving Tree Foundation based in Latham.

She is a 10-plus-year real estate veteran representing mid- to high-level luxury home owners throughout the Capital Region.

Prior to real estate, Ms. Slocum was involved with the inception and growth of one of the most successful start-up companies in the Capital Region, CommerceHub.

As the third employee hired, she was responsible for several start-up aspects of the organization, including sales, marketing and finance. She worked directly with the CEO and high-level executives from Fortune 1,000 companies, including QVC, Target & Amazon.

In addition to Make-A-Wish, Ms. Slocum is a trustee with the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society, and remains involved in the American Heart Association, Saratoga Center for the Families Foundation, Double H Ranch, Ronald McDonald House and other groups.

Chris Walton

Chris Walton

Chris Walton is senior vice president of Total Facility Solutions, a company of the M+W Group based in Albany, N.Y. He also serves as president of the M+W U.S. Charitable Foundation. M+W Group designs and builds high-tech facilities and factories, such as the Global Foundries FAB plant in Malta, N.Y.

Since 2009, under Mr. Walton’s leadership, the M+W U.S. Charitable Foundation has contributed more than $800,000 to Make-A-Wish Northeast New York through its annual Tech Valley Charity Golf Tournament. He has been a strong proponent of Make-A-Wish and its relationship with the M+W Group family of companies, fostering active employee engagement in the Make-A-Wish mission locally. 

Mr. Walton resides in Saratoga County.

Weibrecht

Andrew Weibrecht

Lake Placid native Andrew Weibrecht is a three-time Olympic Alpine skier (2010, ’14, ’18), who won bronze and silver medals in the Super G in Winter Olympic Games in 2010 and 2014, respectively, before retiring after the 2018 Games.

Growing up, Weibrecht trained at Whiteface Mountain, and his success in the Olympics and on the World Cup circuit became an inspiration to those who live and train in the Olympic region around Whiteface.

In 2017, Weibrecht was inducted into the Lake Placid Hall of Fame.

Nicknamed “Warhorse” for the way he attacked the mountain, Mr. Weibrecht is married and has two daughters.

Weintraub

Lauren Weintraub, M.D.

Dr. Lauren Weintraub is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Albany Medical College and a Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist at the Melodies Center for Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders at Albany Medical Center.

She received her Bachelor of Arts in child development at Tufts University and her medical degree at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Weintraub completed her residency and internship at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, where she earned the Kurt Hirschhorn Award for Excellence in Pediatric Research.

Dr. Weintraub came to Albany Med from the Children's Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx, where she completed her fellowship in pediatric hematology and oncology. During her work at Montefiore, she was inducted into the Leo M. Davidoff Society for outstanding achievement in medical student education and received the Award for Excellence in Resident Education.

Under her direction, Albany Medical Center became an official member of The Chidren’s Tumor Foundation’s Neurofibromatosis Clinic Network. Dr. Weintraub also established the Upstate Pediatric Neurooncology Consortium.

She lives with her husband, Eric Silverman, M.D., an anesthesiologist at Albany Med, and their three children in Albany County.

Brian Akley
Brian Akley
Brian Akley
Make-A-Wish® Northeast New York
3 Washington Square
Albany, NY 12205
(518) 456-9474