2023 - 2024 Adult Achievers Cohort

Amari Duncan headshot

Amari Duncan

Amari Duncan is a Capital Region native who is passionate about building relationships and helping people. Amari currently works for the United Way of the Greater Capital Region as the Donor Experience Manager. In this role, she connects local organizations and companies through fundraising and event planning. Prior to her current role, she worked in the professional sports industry, where she learned the importance of maintaining relationships and being a committed resource to others. Her experiences have led to the creation of Building 248: an event venue in the heart of Albany and Duncan's first business venture.

As the eldest daughter of 7, Duncan has honed her ability to juggle multiple tasks and remain calm through any situation. Considered a natural leader with exceptional interpersonal and organizational skills, she translates her strong rapport with clients into personalized events, showcasing unique elements. Duncan brings a can-do attitude to everything she does to create a positive impact in the community.

Duncan is a graduate of Albany Academy for Girls and holds a bachelor's degree from Russell Sage College. In her free time, you can catch her at the local movie theater with her unlimited pass, reviewing the latest restaurants on 518 Foodies, or achieving her goal of visiting all 50 states.

Andrew Alvez headshot

Andrew Alvez

Andrew Alvez spent several years writing and coaching sports. He enjoys creating inclusive environments and equitable situations for students from many backgrounds. His goals include transforming the student experience and reinforcing what it means to foster a sense of belonging for all. Each day, he plays a role as a driving force of inclusive change as the Chief Diversity Officer for Student and Institutional Success and Director of Intercultural Affairs for Union College in Schenectady. 

Alvez holds a B.A. in Speech Communication and a M.A. in English and Communications from SUNY Potsdam. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Organizational Change and Leadership at University of Southern California as he aims to be institutional changes within higher education. 

Coming soon photo

Ashley Chapple

Ashley Chapple is Assistant Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics for the City of Albany School District, after serving several years as a Physical Education teacher. She assists with running, developing, managing all aspect of health, physical education and athletics for the Albany City School District. Chapple is responsible for recruiting, hiring, evaluating, and providing professional development to all staff members in the three departments.

In 2022, Chapple earned the certified athletic administrator designation from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association

Chapple holds a B.S. from SUNY Cortland and a M.S. from Springfield College. 



Ben Williams headshot

Ben Williams

Ben Williams has a long history of working with youth in the Capital District. He has worked and volunteered in youth programming at organizations including the YMCA, Parsons Child & Family Center, and Vanderheyden Hall. He also has experience with tutoring, teaching and mentoring.

In 2017, he was awarded the Adult Achiever Award at the Capital District YMCA Black & Latino Achievers Banquet. In the fall of the same year, Williams began as an administrator for Good Ground Family Church.

In mid 2019, he became the Executive Director of the Connect Center where he began plans to create a tech forward space for workforce development. In early 2021, Williams cut the ribbon on the ConnectCenter’s S.T.E.A.M. Lab and began programming in the middle of a pandemic.

Williams is a graduate of SUNY Albany’s Emerging Nonprofit Leadership Accelerator fellowship. Williams was awarded the 2022 Philanthropist of the Year award from the UnitedWay of the Greater Capital Region. Under his leadership, the Connect Center was awarded Community Partner of the Year in 2022 from the Siena College ACE Office.

Recently, the Connect Center was chosen by the Leadership Capital Region Class of 2023 to partner together for their class project! The Class of 2023 will complete a Community Outreach Renewal & Expansion Project, addressing food insecurity by improving and expanding the food storage and distribution areas at its location.

Brenda Baddam headshot

Brenda Baddam

Growing up in Miami as the granddaughter of Cuban refugees who worked 14-hour days to build their American dream, Brenda Baddam knew early on that she wanted to pursue law. In law school, she was selected to partake in the Sonia and Celina Sotomayor Judicial Scholarship Program and the Pro Bono Scholars program. She served as the President of the Latin American Law Students Association and the Editor in Chief of the Government Law Review.

After graduation from Albany Law School, Baddam began her career as a prosecutor for the Albany County District Attorney’s Office. After prosecuting cases ranging in subject areas from drug offenses to domestic violence, she transitioned to private practice where she focused on health care and commercial litigation. Baddam returned to public service in 2020 as an Assistant Attorney General with the New York State Attorney General’s Office. In the Litigation Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office, she focuses on constitutional violations alleged by incarcerated individuals against agents of New York State. Baddam was awarded with the New York’s City and State’s 2020 40 under 40 class and was named a community champion by the CDTA.

Baddam’s passion lies in advocating for the Latinx and minority communities in the Capital Region. She frequently presents continuing legal education seminars on topics such as language diversity, and movement lawyering. She serves as a Board Member of the Capital Region Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Northeastern New York YWCA, and Albany’s Government Law Center. Working with non-profit organizations such as Capital District Latinos, Baddam has pushed for local governments to effectuate change amidst the pandemic.

In June 2020, Baddam was responsible for spearheading an ordinance and resolution in the Albany City Council mandating the Albany Police Department and neighboring departments to provide translation services to those that are not proficient in the English language. Her work has led to meaningful change in the Hispanic community and she hopes to continue to disrupt the status quo.

Bria Barnes headshot

Bria Barnes Coleman

Bria Barnes Coleman joined the staff of Albany Law School as an experienced facilitator, workshop leader, and equity educator with years of experience in public and private K-12 environments across the tri-state and New England area. Barnes Coleman serves in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as the Assistant Director of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives under the guidance of the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Jermaine Cruz.

Barnes Coleman has worked collaboratively and constructively with a number of institutions in hopes of creating more inclusive communities on their campuses. She has revised school policy, created mission-driven procedures, and expanded student programming through an equity lens as the Assistant Head of School for Community, Equity, and Belonging at The White Mountain School in Bethlehem, NH, and Assistant Director of Diversity and Inclusion at The Pingry School in Basking Ridge, NJ.

Barnes Colemanholds a M.A. in Education, Culture, and Society from Rutgers University and a B.A. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from the William Patterson University of New Jersey. 

briola_nugent headshot

Briola Nugent

Briola Nugent is a New York-based multidisciplinary creative specializing in multimedia production, marketing, and media arts education. Her work blends several practices together including media arts, visual arts, fine arts, and performing arts. She has produced, taught, directed, shot, written, and designed over 80 art compositions in motion picture, illustration, photography, music audio technology, graphic design, literature, emotional intelligence advocacy, and code programming. Her work is based in the idea of making room for light to illuminate joy in all walks of life. Nugent builds stories out of fragmented pieces and showing the beauty, growth, and healing from within.

Nugent is a graduate of Hudson Valley Community College. She has worked for the City of Albany and for Youth FX in addition to her own consulting and artistic work. 

Carmelita Cruz headshot

Carmelita Cruz

Carmelita Cruz is the Executive Equity Officer, leading the newly created Office of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI), in the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS). Since starting this role in June 2022, she has lead the development and execution of the agency’s vision and strategic plan, centering internal equity and trauma informed organizational change. The JEDI Office leads work to reduce institutional racism through the creation and implementation of equitable practices and policies within internal agency operations. The JEDI Office supports external collaboration and continuous improvement with OASAS providers to develop and implement innovative JEDI strategies that provide measurable results.

Cruz has been with OASAS since 2016, previously serving as an attorney where she worked on various projects, including diversity, equity, and inclusion priorities for the agency as well as policy, regulatory, and legislative development. Prior to joining OASAS, Cruz served as the Director of Advocacy and Community Organizing for Housing Works Inc., focusing on the development and implementation of New York’s Plan to End the AIDS Epidemic as well as a wide variety of social justice issues.

Cruz is a graduate of The Sage Colleges and New York Law School and a proud wife and mother of two beautiful children, Declan age 3 and Magdalena age 1.5, as well as a teacup chihuahua, Peanut age 13.

Corey Harris headshot

Corey Harris

Corey Harris was born and raised in Albany, New York. He recognizes the plethora of potential to be realized in education and generational planning in holistic financial strategies. In his role as a Financial Representative with Northwestern Mutual, Harris analyzes individuals' and businesses' current plans, provides education on financial efficiency and implementation, and is a long term resource for short-term, mid-term, long-term, and retirement goals.

Harris holds a B.S. from Siena College. 

davina_mayo-durham headshot

Davina Mayo-Durham

Bio coming soon

Dayonna Bowles headshot

Fatima Dayonna Bowles

Fatima Dayonna Bowles is an Albany native. Bowles graduated from Russell Sage College with a B.S. in computer science and minor in visual arts. She has over 10 years’ experience as an IT professional for companies serving various industries and is involved with several local civic groups, art, and history nonprofits including the American Red Cross and WMHT. She currently serves as an Instructional Technologist for the EdTech Company. 

galen_gomes headshot

Dr. Galen Gomes

Galen Gomes Sr., Ed.D. is a former teacher, but always an educator. He has served as an administrator in primary and higher education including Director of Opportunity Programs for the New York State Department of Education-funded Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP).

Dr. Gomes recently served as the Director of Diversity & Inclusion and as an adjunct professor for the College of Saint Rose. Dr. Gomes currently serves as the Associate Commissioner for the Youth Development and Partnerships for Success Division within the New York State Office of Children & Family Services.

Dr. Gomes, or “Dr. G” as he is affectionately called, earned his doctorate in Executive Leadership from St John Fisher University in Rochester, NY. Dr. G holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction from Boston College, and a B.A. in English & African American Studies from The University at Albany, where he was a member of the Men’s America East Champion Track & Field Teams.

A servant leader, Dr. G works to bring out the best in others and enjoys supporting others, especially young people, in their life walk and development. When asked what he enjoys about leadership, Dr. G’s mantra is that he likes to grow people.

A proud Guyanese, Dr. Gomes loves learning more about the culture of others and is a promoter of inclusive excellence. Dr. G is an author, publishing his first work in January of 2019 and is production of his second piece.

A man of strong faith, Dr.Gomes proudly recognizes the blessings in his life. A son, brother, and uncle, Dr. Gomes is most proud of his role as a father to his four amazing children, Galen Eghosa, Audwin Osazee, Isabella Aisosa, and Sophia Orobosa, and as husband to his adored wife of thirteen years, Ehasuyi. 

Coming soon photo

Ehasuyi Gomes

Ehasuyi Gomes is a dedicated change agent with a desire to impact system-wide change. Ehasuyi earned her master's degree in biomedical science from Tufts School of Medicine and holds a master's degree in Public Health from Drexel University.

Gomes has worked in public health and health care for over 13 years in a variety of positions that have allowed her to directly impact policy development and change. Gomes is proud of her work towards addressing health disparities and advocating for equitable practices in health care, food systems, and education. Most recently, Gomes was appointed as the Chair for the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee for the Town of Niskayuna.

Gomes takes her experiences and passion for advocating for communities that are under-resourced and overlooked and applies the lens of equity and justice to making her community a better and a more inclusive place for everyone. She strives to be the best version of herself in every position she holds. Gomes is excited to be a Black and Latino Adult Achiever and hopes to devote time and effort to empowering the next generation while gaining knowledge and experience that will allow her to continue providing opportunities for future youth.

coming soon photo

Fábio Iwashita

Fábio Iwashita is a Research Scientist at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Iwashita is a proud Japanese-Brazilian citizen, holding a PhD in Geosciences from Universidade Estadual de Campinas. She previously served as Assistant Professor at University of the Andes and spent time in research positions at Università degli Studi di Firenze in Italy, Griffith University in Australia, and Desert Research Institute in Nevada. 

Jacqueline Kane headshot

Dr. Jacqueline Kane

 As a coach and mentor, Dr. Jackie Kane formally and informally uses her knowledge, wisdom, and experience to help people identify and achieve personal goals and move to higher stages of personal awareness and effectiveness. Dr. Kane is a seasoned higher education professional with expertise in working with institutions in all sectors including public, independent and proprietary institutions, and in degree programs from the associate degree to the academic doctorate.

Dr. Kane has a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor equivalent in math from Morgan State University and a master’s degree in counselor education from the State University of New York College at Oneonta. She has a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of New York at Albany and a Certificate in Higher Education Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

James Mitchell headshot

James Mitchell

Beginning his work in 2007, James Mitchell recognizes that he has been placed here in the Capital Region to serve. Mitchell has worked as a Career Services Representative with community-based organizations for 14 years. In these roles, he has assisted individuals with navigating gainful employment journeys and self-development. He has taught individuals to evaluate habits, budget, plan, and prepare to pursue goals, developing a strong connection with the community and its stakeholders. 

In 2012, Mitchell founded the organization, Young Futures Company LLC. Young Future's initial project included coat drives for parents, giving away over 300 coats, later pivoting to developing positive children's art programs to create new creative opportunities for families. Young Future's goals are focused on the child and their families, developing programs that encourage healthy communication in the parent-child dynamic, and educating the youth by teaching financial literacy.

James Mitchell and Young Futures seek to shift the paradigm of inner-city children, developing equitable opportunities and therapeutic environments for their families. Mitchell's teachings are centered on self-love and acceptance of decisions to find a source of growth. Mitchell and Young Futures have received support from corporations like Charles Touhey Foundation and Key Bank.

Jean-Remy Monnay headshot

Jean-Remy Monnay

Jean-Remy Monnay (Remy) is the founder and the Producing Artistic Director of the Black TheatreTroupe of Upstate NY (BTTUNY), founded in 2009, which mission is to promote performances and theatrical pieces by, and about, artists of color. In highlighting these works, they  hope to foster greater understanding, appreciation and participation in the performing arts within communities of color.

Monnay was born in Haiti and raised in Ville Bonheur also known as Saut-D’Eau. From a young age Monnay was very active in theatre, performing Shakespeare and reading poetry on stage in  French. In 1982, he moved to New York, where he found the English language barrier difficult as a stage performer. He joined a Haitian Theater Troupe and performed in French and Creole, traveling to Montreal and other French and Creole speaking communities.

In 1997, he moved to the Capital Region, taking a break from theatre. In 1999, he decided not to let language get in his way of becoming an English-speaking stage actor, enrolling in Schenectady Community College to study performing arts in English.

In late 1999, Monnay auditioned for the Hubbard Hall Theatre Company in Cambridge, NY, where he met Kevin McGuire, the resident Artistic Director. Kevin offered Monnay a part in his first major production at the theatre, “Saint Joan”.

From February of 2000 to the present time, Monnay has appeared in over 200 plays, films (including Grand Army–Episode 4 in Netflix), Follow Her, Time Crunch, commercials and a documentary for theHistory Channel. He has directed The Piano Lesson, TopDog/UnderDog, Hoodoo Love, Sweat, The Light,Flyin’ West, Yours For The Oppressed, Barbecue, Dead and Breathing, AIN’T Misbehavin’, A LessonBefore Dying, The Niceties, Mountaintop, Camp Logan, Fences, Eclipsed, Harriet Tubman Visits A Therapist, Medal Of Honor Rag, Slow Dance On The Killing Ground, Intimate Apparel, The Exonerated,American Dream,Wedding Band, Reunion in Bartersville, Meridian Mississippi, American Dream, and more.

Monnay is an Associate Artist for The Capital Rep Theatre in Albany, Associate Artist with The Troy Foundry Theatre in Troy, Visiting Director at UAlbany, Visiting Director at Union College, Visiting Director at Siena College. Monnay is a member of SAG/AFTRA and recently retired after 30 years of service with NYS in 2018.

Jermaine Cruz headshot

Jermaine Cruz

Jermaine Cruz serves as Assistant Dean for Diversity & Inclusion at the Albany Law School. He is a seasoned law school administrator with over 20 years of legal education experience including, legal clinic and targeted program administration, JD admissions, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, and strategy development. A diverse set of experiences in legal practice, policy development, and communications inform his comprehensive and holistic approach to ensuring an accessible, equitable, fair, and positive law school experience for all law students rooted in clear and effective administrative and academic policy and procedure. Dean Cruz has presented nationally on law school recruitment and retention strategy, as well as general and legal education-specific diversity, equity and inclusion issues.

In addition to Albany Law School, Dean Cruz has worked at The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law (his alma mater), Georgetown Law, and University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. He also worked in private practice at Hannon Law Group, LLP, in Washington, DC, where he focused primarily on complex commercial litigation and employment law.Dean Cruz had a successful career in communications prior to pursuing his law degree.

He is an alumnus of the National Journalism Center in Washington, DC and has worked with Black Entertainment Television and for the New York State Senate. He was also part of the communications team at Bread for theWorld, Inc., where he focused on international anti-hunger campaigns with a strong focus on Africa and Latin America. In addition to his law degree, Dean Cruz holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Ithaca College and a Master of Arts in African & African American Studies from the State University of New York at Albany.

Coming soon photo

Jessica Lee Nivens

Jessica Lee Nivens is a mom of five with a passion for mental wealth, recovery, and wellness. She has an extensive amount of experience in customer service, administration, mentorship, and coaching fields. Nivens is interested in assisting with projects that focus on community, underserved neighborhoods, and the vulnerable population. She loves challenges that empower through creative solutions. 

Nivens is the owner of Nanilee's, a coaching and mentorship support service. 

John Johnson headshot

John Johnson

John Johnson, originally from Brooklyn, NY, grew up in a family of 8 and was raised by a single-parent. Johnson is the CEO & Founder of John Johnson Speaks LLC.

Johnson is a dynamic communications specialist and coach with a passion for empowering individuals and organizations who feel unseen, unheard, and/or misunderstood to activate their purpose. With over 10 years of experience in the field, Johnson has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world develop effective communication strategies that drive success and positive impact in their personal and professional lives. Now on the public speaking circuit, Johnson’s vision is to share what he has learned with those who may need to hear his story in order to continue finding success in their own right or in support of others.

Johnson is also an artist at heart, with a natural love for creative expression. Having written several spoken word pieces. Johnson enjoys attending open mics and other live musical and cultural performances in his free time.

Coming soon photo

Khadijah Singleton

Kadijah Singleton, pronouns: she/her/hers, is a Class of 2012 Black and Latino Youth Achiever alumna. Singleton's passion for helping others began as an undergraduate student where she was committed to amplifying the voices of underrepresented student groups and advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices throughout the campus. She obtained her B.S. in Business Administration from Wagner College and her MBA in Organizational Leadership and Change Management from The College of Saint Rose.

Singleton spent the last 10 years as a freelance DEI consultant, serving businesses in the Capital Region and beyond, helping executive leadership teams develop a roadmap to success to promote a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace for their employees to thrive. She currently serves as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Liaison of the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). Singleton hopes to take her experiences to empower and enrich youth in their future endeavors. 

Khi-Lynn Louis headshot

Khi-Lynn Louis

Khi-Lynn Louis, LMSW, is the Lead TA Advisor of the NYS Elder Abuse Center where she provides oversight of the National Center’s expanding technical assistance and training services. For three years prior to this position, Louis coordinated and facilitated NYCEAC’s Manhattan, Queens, StatenIsland E-MDTs, provided consultations to NYC professionals on complex elder abuse cases, and conducted trainings for professionals and social work students on a range of elder abuse topics.

Louis gained extensive experience with high-risk elder abuse cases as a social worker for the Human Resource Administration for Adult Protective Services. Louis also worked at Urban Resource Institute as a supervisor in their domestic violence shelter, piloting the People and Animals Living Safely (PALS) initiative program, which recognized the importance of pets as a primary source of emotional support for domestic violence survivors.

Louis is a 2013 alumna of the Yeshiva University Wurzweiler School of Social Work.

Mia Landor headshot

Mia Landor

Mia Landor is an experienced mentor for children, having built meaningful connections and relationships with youth over the past several years. Her passion for helping children led her to pursue her education at Hudson Valley Community College before transferring to SUNY Empire State University, where she obtained an associate's degree in Human Services with a major in Early Childhood Development.

With a strong desire to continue her education, Landor aspires to pursue a bachelor's, master's, and Doctorate Degree in Human Services, with the goal of becoming a future administrator. In addition to her mentoring experience, Landor has actively served her community through volunteer work. For four years, she taught Sunday School at her church, honing her teaching skills and forming positive connections with children. She also served as a co-youth leader at Life Church, guiding and supporting young individuals in their spiritual journeys. These experiences have instilled valuable lessons in leadership, communication, and teamwork, while further fueling her passion for working with children and making a difference in their lives.

Landor believes her diverse background in mentoring and community service, combined with her educational achievements, position her as a strong candidate for a career in education. Mia Landor is dedicated to utilizing her skills and knowledge to create a positive impact in the lives of children and families. She remains eager to continue growing and learning as a professional in the field, with a firm commitment to making a lasting difference.

Michael-Aaron Poindexter headshot

Michael-Aaron Poindexter

Michael-Aaron Poindexter serves as the proud Pastor of the Macedonia Baptist Church of Albany, NY. He began the journey as Pastor of Macedonia in the middle of a global pandemic. Since his embarkment as Pastor, over 160 people have united with Macedonia, growing in finances, organization, efficiency and community outreach. By profession, he is a corporate executive at a local financial institution and prior to his current position, he joyfully worked with students and families in the City School District of Albany for seven years.

Understanding commitment to community, he serves on the Board of Directors for the American Heart Association, The United Way of the Greater Capital Region, and the Regional Foodbank of Northeastern New York.

He has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.) from the State University of New York-University at Albany (2009), a Master of Divinity degree (M.Div.) from The United Theological Seminary of Dayton, OH (2014), and a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) from his alma mater, UAlbany (2023).

Niamaya Canady headshot

Niamaya Canady

Niamaya Canady (she/her) is originally from Queens, NYC. Her previous experience includes serving as the Site Director for the Boys and Girls Club of the Capital Area, helping to manage two after school programs and develop SEL curriculum and Community Impact Manager at United Way of the Greater Capital Region, managing resource referrals, government grants, and special programming.

Currently, she serves as the Assistant Director of Community Service at The College of Saint Rose, cultivating a love of service for members of the campus community. Niamaya holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the State University of New York at Potsdam and is currently completing her Master of Science in Social Work at The College of Saint Rose.

nilija_foendoe headshot

Nilija Foendoe

Bio coming soon

nyra_alexander headshot

Nyra Alexander

Nyra Alexander is a native of Albany, NY. She currently serves as Director of the Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP) at the University at Albany.

Alexander is a proud alum of the GWU-Albany Black & Latino Achievers Program where she proudly served as President from 2012-2016. In 2020, Alexander graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Magna Cum Laude from Howard University. She aspires to attend law school and operate her own law firm specializing in civil rights, immigration, and juvenile law. Alexander believes that empowering, equipping, and inspiring youth will propel them to greatness.

Salah Harris headshot

Salah Harris

Capital Region native Salah Harris is the Founder and CEO of Career InTouch. He is an experienced operations associate with a demonstrated history of working within the government administration industry. Skilled in Program Facilitation, Business Development and Operations, Public Speaking, Advertising, Social Media, and Research.

sonya_gomes headshot

Sonya Gomes

Sonya Gomes, a highly experienced administrative specialist with over 15 years of professional expertise. Born in Guyana, South America, She is the second of seven children and the mother of one son, Syon Levi, who is the joy of her life.

Aside from professional career, Gomes is deeply committed to faith and serves as a licensed minister of the gospel. At Metropolitan NTM Baptist Church, She proudly holds the position of Associate Minister, where she contributes her skills and knowledge to support the spiritual well-being of the congregation. She also serves as the Servant Leader of theShepherd's Care Ministry, demonstrating her dedication to the community and commitment to making a positive impact on people's lives.

In her current role at the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), working for the State of New York, Gomes has consistently excelled as an administrative specialist. Over the years, she has garnered a wealth of experience and have proven her ability to handle complex tasks efficiently and effectively. Her dedication and hard work have been recognized through the receipt of three prestigious awards from DCJS, acknowledging outstanding contributions to the organization.

As an administrative professional, Gomes takes pride in attention to detail, exceptional organizational skills, and ability to adapt to any situation. She thrives in fast-paced environments and prioritizing tasks to meet deadlines and deliver exceptional results. Additionally, her strong interpersonal skills allow her to communicate effectively with colleagues, superiors, and clients alike, fostering productive and collaborative working relationships.

tibisay_hernandez headshot

Tibisay Hernandez

Bio coming soon

Walter Thorne headshot

Walter Thorne

Walter Thorne is the market president and publisher of the Albany Business Review. Thorne joined the Business Review in 2019 as advertising director and was promoted in July 2021. He brings over 30 years of sales and leadership experience to theAlbany Business Review where he leads a talented team that is responsible for implementing strategies that help customers grow their business, advance their career, and simplify their professional life.

Prior to joining ABR, Thorne held sales-focused positions with JDOG Junk Removal, Advance Media, and Albany Broadcasting Co. and was self-employed for 28 years working for Rex Air Inc., selling Rainbow Vacuum cleaners door to door. Thorne's passion is to give back to the community by coaching and mentoring professionals in today's unrest. He combines a unique perspective of empathy, accountability, awareness, and structural changes to guide organizations to new levels in an uncertain time. Thorne grew up in Wappingers Falls and studied music and business at Wagner College. He is a classically trained opera singer-trained in six languages-and an avid bowler. Thorne serves on the board of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, and the Capital Region Chamber. He frequently volunteers his time as a mentor through several nonprofit organizations including Capital Region P-TECH and the SEAT Center.

Tina Omorogbe headshot

Tina Omorogbe

With over 29 years of nursing experience, Dr. Tina Omorogbe is an experienced family nurse practitioner at Albany Med Health System. Born and raised in Nigeria, she migrated to the United States in the late 1980s to pursue a career in nursing. She obtained her bachelor's in nursing, followed by master’s degree in nursing with a specialty in family practice from Sage Colleges. Dr. Omorogbe completed her Doctorate degree in nursing practice from Chatham University focusing her capstone on improving the knowledge of hypertension and medication adherence in patients with high blood pressure.

Her clinical knowledge, expertise and love for people has moved her to extend her passion out of the hospital walls into underserved communities through her non-profit work. Founded by Dr. Omorogbe, Chasing Health Inc. teaches underserved communities of color about high blood pressure by providing free blood pressure screenings, health education, and coaching at barber shops, beauty salons, non-profit organizations, churches, and schools locally and abroad. Her goal is to promote health equity and reduce health care disparity. Dr. Omorogbe is married with three beautiful children and two wonderful grandsons.

T. Anthony Sanabria headshots

T. Anthony Sanabria

Bio coming soon

Siara Lynn Ramos headshot

Siara Lynn Ramos

Siara Lynn Ramos is the co-founder and CEO of A & S Life and Career Coaching LLC to assist women in reaching their highest career success. She is a career strategist for women who are actively seeking self-improvement coming from various business industries, and cultural backgrounds. ASLCC provides services in the Capital Region, developing an unique program for each individual based on their goals and needs.

Accumulated over 15+ years of workforce experience and expertise in various industry sectors such as corporate, higher education, and the nonprofit space, Ramos take great pride in serving the community. She is a board member and mentor for 518 ElevatED and co-lead chair of the Catalysts for Change Alumni Committee. Ramos was the recipient of the 2022 Catalysts for Change Leadership Program Certificate of Achievement given by the Community Foundation of the Greater Capital Region in 2023. Ramos is an active member of the New York Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Capital Region Professional Women of Color.

Sandra Allen headshot

Sandra Allen

Bio coming soon

Osbourne A. Mckay headshot

Osbourne A. Mckay

Deputy Commissioner Osbourne A. McKay is responsible for Correctional Industries, Compliance Standards, and Diversity for the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. DC McKay also oversees the department’s continuous improvement initiatives as the organization’s LEAN Champion. He has served in this capacity since August 2008, where he oversees the department’s incarcerated employment program (Corcraft), the Accreditation Program, Bureau of Internal Controls, and the Office of Diversity Management.

A native of Jamaica, West Indies, DC McKay, his parents, and six siblings immigrated to Albany, New York in 1974. DC McKay began his state service in 1987 as an intern with the Department of Transportation (DOT) in Albany. In 1990, DC McKay joined the Governor’s Budget Division and subsequently transitioned to the Workers Compensation Board. He also spent two years as an Executive in the private sector.

Deputy Commissioner McKay is a member of numerous civic organizations, a devoted member of the Macedonia Baptist Church, a life member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and a board member of the George Biddle Kelley Educational Foundation. DC McKay is the 2020 recipient of the RIT Department of Criminal Justice, Contributions to Justice Award and the 2020 RIT Distinguished Alumni Award.

Erica Whitman headshot

Erica Whitman

Erica Whitman is a graduate student at Rockefeller College at the University at Albany, studying  Public Administration. She received her undergraduate degree in Public Policy and Management with a concentration in Local Government from the University at Albany in the Spring of 2023. She was a volunteer with the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York and served as a Senate Session Assistant with the NYS Senate. 

asi-yahola_boutelle headshot

Asi-Yahola Boutelle

Asi-Yahola Boutelle is a community development strategist and organizer from Oakland, California. He holds Masters degrees in Biomedical Science, Bioethics, Business Administration, and is currently completing a masters in public health. He currently works with the Arbor Hill Development Corporation to provide access to affordable home ownership and apartment rentals.

ana_killings headshot

Ana Killings

Ana Killings is the CEO of Team Killings, the mother of Alecia (9) and Tristan (6) and wife to Dwayne Killings, Head Men’s Basketball Coach at University at Albany. In addition to her leadership at home, Kllings has been a pillar in the Capital Region community. Presently serving as a Board Member to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and serving as the Chair of the Montessori Magnet School Community Council; bettering the community and impacting people is true to Killings' heart.

Prior to settling in Albany, Killings built a successful career in education; with a discipline in special education, her poise and patience helped students excel academically. She has worked in the public education school systems of Boston, Philadelphia, Hartford, Milwaukee. Her diversity, energy, and expertise has been welcomed within every community she entered. In addition to her day-to-day duties, Killings helped build relationships, increase work efficiency within the school buildings, created a partnership with Reebok to increase healthy living during her time in Boston, ran extracurricular programs at each stop, and pushed for work/life balance within every culture she has entered by creating staff appreciation, incentive programs, and more.

Killings earned a Masters in Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting.

beverley_worrell headshot

Beverley Worrell

Bio coming soon

vernessa_mitchell headshot

Vernessa Mitchell

Bio coming soon

dannielle_hille headshot

Dannielle Hille

Bio coming soon

nicole_keith headshot

Nicole Keith

Bio coming soon

minika_n_udoko headshot

Minika N Udoko

Bio coming soon