Senate Approves Members To Key Economic And Urban Development Positions, Authorities And Appeals Boards

The New York State Senate confirmed five appointees to key boards today, including members to the Economic Development Corporation, New York State Department of Economic Development, Urban Development Corporation, Battery Park City Authority, Industrial Board of Appeals, Port of Oswego Authority and New York Convention Center Operating Corporation.

Dennis M. Mullen (Pittsford)

President & CEO, Empire State Development Corporation; Commissioner, New York State Department of Economic Development; Director, Urban Development Corporation

Mr. Mullen currently serves as the Upstate President of the Empire State Development Corporation. Before entering his current role, he was President and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise, an economic development organization dedicated to the revitalization of Rochester’s regional economy. For more than 15 years he acted in multiple senior positions with Birds Eye Foods, Inc., a $1 billon packaged food company. Mr. Mullen has decades of experience in financial leadership, business development and operations management. He received his B.A. from St. Leo University in Florida.

Fernando Mateo (Irvington)

Member, Battery Park City Authority

A lifelong entrepreneur, Mr. Mateo was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in a poor Manhattan neighborhood before opening up his own floor covering business at the age of 17. Carpet Fashions Floor Covering grew to become a huge success, with  sales exceeding $6 million. Mr. Mateo has been an advocate for rehabilitating criminals as he developed the Mateo Institute of Training, an apprenticeship program at Rikers Island providing inmates with training in various construction trades. He also conceived “Toys for Guns”, a program in 1993 that provided gift certificates to toy stores for people who turned in guns to get them off the streets. This program developed into the much larger Goods for Guns, of which he is the Chairman. Mr. Mateo is also responsible for the creation of the trade organization New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers and the National Federation of Taxi Drivers. Mateo is currently President of Hispanics Across America.

Jeffrey R. Cassidy (Cohoes)

Member, Industrial Board of Appeals

Mr. Cassidy retired in 2008, however, he spent more than 30 years as a Labor Relations Specialist for New York State United Teachers. During this time, he negotiated over 250 collective bargaining agreements for public and private sector employees. He also served as both President (1996-2006) and Vice President (1979-1996) for the Professional Staff Association. He began his career as a Teacher at Westbury High School in Westbury, New York. Mr. Cassidy received his B.A. from Sty. Francis University and Professional Diploma and Mater’s Program in School Psychology from Queens College (CUNY).

Walter David Schermerhorn (Oswego)

Member, Port of Oswego Authority

For the past seven year, Mr. Schermerhorn has been the Program Director for Rural Business Cooperative Services, United States Department of Agriculture. Prior to his current position, he acted in various roles with Pathfinder Bank, including Executive Vice President/Chief Lending Officer and Vice President/Loan Department Administrator. He is a member of the Commercial Loan review Board for the City of Oswego Community Development Office and has also served on the Central New York Commercial Loan Committee of the New York Business Development Corporation. Mr. Schermerhorn received his B.A. from SUNY Oswego and M.B.A. from Dolan School of Business, Fairfield University.

Michael J. McGuire (New York)

Director, New York Convention Center Operation Corporation

For more than a decade, Mr. McGuire has acted as Executive Director of Mason Tenders’ District Council PAC, concentrating on construction, zoning and development issues in New York City. Before joining Mason Tenders’, he was the Communications Director for Various Companies where he developed a communications plan for a 9,000 member organization. He has also worked as Shop Steward for William Crawford Builders, Inc. and Construction Superintendent on multiple job sites. He is a Member of the Manhattan Community Board 6 and was a member of the Spitzer Transition Team: Overhaul of New York State Department of Labor. Mr. McGuire attended Lehman College, Parson’s School of Design and Cornell University, New York State School of Industrial & Labor Relations.