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
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.
Board Vice Chair
Lisa M. Clifford
Lisa M. Clifford is senior vice president and a 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. She also serves as a member of the region’s Family Wealth team serving high-net-worth clients to help them preserve and grow their wealth across generations.
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 her bachelor’s degree in management, with a concentration in finance, from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. She is actively involved in a number of local nonprofits: She is president of the Wildwood Foundation, having served as a member of the board for more than 10 years. She is one of the founding members of the Capital Region chapter of the 100 Women of St. Jude. She served as Capital Region Chair of Key4Women, and is a past board member of the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region and Ellis Hospital Foundation.
Ms. Clifford is married with two sons and resides in Albany County.
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.
David A. Druzynski
David Druzynski is the Chief People Officer at Auto/Mate Dealership Systems where he is responsible for all aspects of human resources, talent acquisition, and company culture. Auto/Mate Dealership Systems is a leading provider of dealership management system (DMS) software to more than 1,400 retail automotive dealerships nationwide.
Mr. Druzynski's passion for culture and engagement has helped Auto/Mate be named a "Best Places to Work" (2009-2017) and "Top Workplaces" (2010-2018) recipient. He has been a featured speaker at conferences across the country and has authored numerous articles for key automotive trade publications on topics including leadership, company culture, and labor law. Mr. Druzynski is a graduate from the SUNY Geneseo School of Business and holds both his SPHR and SHRM-SCP certifications.
He is married with two daughters and resides in Saratoga County.
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.
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.
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.
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.
pJohn 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.
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.
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.
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.
David E. O’Leary, Esq.
David E. O’Leary is vice president of The Ayco Co., L.P., a Goldman Sachs Company.
A member of the Make-A-Wish Northeast New York board since 2017, Mr. O’Leary has vast experience as a business development executive in both the creative marketing and sales management fields. He has a track record of crafting successful planning solutions.
A frequently requested speaker, Mr. O’Leary has a Bachelor’s degree in history and theology, an MBA and a law degree, all from Boston College. He is married with a child and lives in Albany County.
Robert Roemer is CAP COM Federal Credit Union’s vice president of Project Management/Innovations, a new department that was formed in 2012, and was very actively involved with building the Credit Unions new headquarters. Mr. Roemer currently oversees the Administration and Facilities department as well.
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 Make-A-Wish, he has given his time as a volunteer to 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 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 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.
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.
Lauren Weintraub, M.D.
Dr. Lauren Weintraub is an Assistant 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 son in Albany County.