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    Eight Individuals, Including Two Warren County Business Leaders, Join New York's Capital Region Economic Development Council

    The Capital Region Economic Development Council announced the appointment of eight new members on Monday, June 2, 2014.

    They are:  Andrew Meader, Six Flags/The Great Escape corporate alliances director; Dr. Laura Schweitzer, Union Graduate College president; Thomas O’Connor, Mohawk Fine Papers chairman and CEO; Linda MacFarlane, Capital District Community Loan Fund executive director; Philip Morris, Proctor’s Theatre chief executive officer; David Brown, Capital District YMCA president and CEO; Debabrata Mukherjee, Finch Paper president and CEO; and Drew Matonak, Hudson Valley Community College president.

    Six Flags/Great Escape and Finch Paper are both major employers in Warren County and the surrounding area. 

    The new members will fill vacant seats on the Council and work under the leadership of co-chairs Jim Barba and Dr. Robert Jones.

    “The Capital Region Economic Development Council, under the leadership of co-chairs Dr. Robert Jones and Jim Barba, have continued to steadily work toward the region’s economic vision for growth and job creation,” said Lt. Gov. Robert J. Duffy, chair of the Regional Economic Development Councils. “These new appointees bring with them a wealth of knowledge and combined experience in economic development, business and education in the Capital Region, and will ensure the Council maintains its energy and direction as we move forward in this fourth round.”

    The members were officially announced at today’s CREDC meeting at Columbia-Greene Community College.

    — Meader has more than 15 years of business development experience. Previously he has served as president of the Honolulu Box Office and Theatre Manager for Hawaii Pacific University. He has an extensive background in marketing, event planning and public relations.

    — Schweitzer became president of Union Graduate College in January 2009. A native of Westchester, she earned a Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Duke University. After serving in a succession of administrative roles at the University of Louisville, Schweitzer became the first female Ph.D. believed to ever lead a U.S. medical school.

    — O'Connor has held the role of Chief Executive Officer of Mohawk Fine Papers Inc. since 2003 and also serves as Chairman of the Board. He has been the chairman of Mohawk Fine Papers Inc. since December 2004 and its director since 2001. He has also served as director of American Forest & Paper Association Inc. since February 2011. He graduated from Northeastern University in Boston and has participated in executive management programs at Harvard Business School, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Management.

    — MacFarlane, executive director of the Capital District Community Loan Fund, most recently served as President/CEO of Columbia-Greene Federal Credit Union. In addition to her professional experience, she serves on the boards of ClearView Center/Equinox, the Mental Health Housing Project and St. Anne Institute. She was honored with the Outstanding Professional Award from the Credit Union Association of New York in 2012 and completed the Disney Institute Business Program in 2007.

    — Morris, the CEO of Proctor’s Theater in Schenectady, at 22 became Arts Council Director of Jamestown. He launched his first capital campaign to save the local Reg Lenna Civic Center, a 1,200-seat theatre on the cusp of ruin. Today, patrons attending Proctor’s generate over $45 million each year for local businesses.

    — Brown oversees the day-to-day administration and operation of 11 YMCA branches, four satellite branches and 59 childcare sites. Prior to being named CEO, Brown was the chief operating officer and senior vice president. He was a founding member of the committee to establish the Capital District YMCA Black and Latino Achievers Program. He served as a member of the Shared Decision Making Committee at Albany School of Humanities and is associated with the National Black Child Development Institute and the Association of YMCA Professionals.

    — Mukherjee joined Finch Paper as President in 2013 after a 15-year career with paper manufacturer P.H. Glatfelter in York, PA. At P.H Glatfelter, he earned a series of promotions including specialty products manager in 2000; North American general sales manager, engineered products in 2002; director, engineered products in 2004; division vice president, engineered and converting products in 2006; and vice president and general manager, specialty papers in 2008. In his most recent role, he led a business unit with more than $900 million in worldwide sales and six North American locations.

    — Matonak has served as president of HVCC since 2005. His tenure is marked by progress in completing a $200 million Facilities Master Plan for the college and enrollment growth. Prior to his role at HVCC, Matonak served three years as president of Northwest Iowa Community College. He is also president of the New York Community College Association of Presidents (2013-2014), past chairman of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors and president of Troy 2020. In addition, he serves on the boards of the Albany-based Center for Economic Growth, Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar, and First Niagara Bank’s Regional Advisory Board. He also is a member of the Capital Region Workforce Investment Board, the Green Jobs-Green New York Advisory Committee and the Economic and Workforce Commission of the American Association of Community Colleges. Matonak also co-leads the Capital Region Economic Development Council’s Workforce & Education Workgroup.

    More information about the Capital Region Economic Development Council
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