Senate Approves Members To Small Business Advisory Board, SUNY Board Of Trustees And Public Health Boards

The New York State Senate confirmed sixteen appointees to key boards today, including members to the Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority, the Administrative Review Board for Professional Medical Conduct, the Small Business Advisory Board,  the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York, the City University Construction Fund, the Long Island State Park, Recreation & Historic Preservation Commission, the Stewart Airport Commission, the Public Health Council, the State Council on the Arts, the State Insurance Fund, the Board of Visitors of the Broome Developmental Disabilities Services Office,  and the Board of Visitors of the Capital District Developmental Disabilities Services Office.


Donald J. Hooper (Ogdensburg)

Member, Ogdensburg Bridge And Port Authority

In 1986 Mr. Hooper founded Hooper and Van House, CPA, where he is currently partner. Mr. Hooper has been a Certified Public Accountant since 1982 and belongs to such associations as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. He currently serves on the St. Lawrence County Workforce Investment Board and the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority. Mr. Hooper received his B.S. from SUNY Buffalo and his M.B.A. from Rochester Institute of Technology. 


Linda Prescott Wilson (Laurelton)

Member, Administrative Review Board for Professional Medical Conduct

Currently retired, Ms. Wilson previously worked at the New York State Banking Department as the Human Resources Director, which lead her to her most recent position as the Management Training Director. Prior to her employment with the State Banking Department, Ms. Wilson worked in the Housing and Community Renewal Division and also at the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. Ms. Prescott Wilson received her B.A. from CUNY Lehman College.


Noel N. Hankin (New York)

Member, City University Construction Fund

Mr. Hankin is currently the Senior Vice President of Multicultural Relations at Moet Hennessy USA. Mr. Hankins responsibilities include providing leadership in the development of multicultural strategic plans and initiatives for core brands in African American and Hispanic consumer markets. Some of Mr. Hankin’s current activities include being the Founder and Vice Chair of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, Chairman of the New York Urban League. He is a lifelong member of the NAACP and the founder of a new NAACP Wisconsin Chapter. Mr. Hankin received his B.A. from Queens College and his Honorary Doctorate from Medgar Evers College.


David Bender (Middle Island)

Member, Long Island State Park, Recreation & Historic Preservation Commission

Mr. Bender has been a Science Teacher at Harborfields High School since 2006. Before his position at Harborfields, Mr. Bender worked at the Cornell Cooperative Extension for four years where he focused on research and outreach programs to better expand his knowledge in the field of education. Mr. Bender is a member of the New York State Teachers Union and received his B.S. at Frostburg State University and his Masters from Long Island University.


F. Edward DeVitt (Montgomery)

Member, Stewart Airport Commission

Mr. DeVitt is the founder and broker of DeVitt Real Estate and has extensive experience in land subdivisions. Mr. DeVitt was the Founder and President of numerous corporations including Super 8 Motels Northeast,  Super 8 Management East, Winding Hills Golf Course, The Barge Inn, Loosestrife Fields Associates LP, Paltz River Management Group LP, Springhouse Apartments Ltd, and Stratton Mill Paltz River Inc. He is currently a director of the Orange County Partnership and the Town of Montgomery Chamber of Commerce. Mr. DeVitt attended Orange County Community College where he majored in business and real estate. 


Jim Alesi (East Rochester)

Member, Small Business Advisory Board

Mr. Alesi, a New York State Senator, was re-elected to a seventh term in November of 2008. Senator Alesi represents the 55th Senate District, which contains part of Rochester and the surrounding communities. A former small business owner, Senator Alesi chaired the Senate Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business for eight years and in 2009 was appointed to serve as Ranking member of the Committee. He received both the “Champion of New York Business Award” by the New York State Business Council and the “Champion of Small Business Award” from the Support Services Alliance. Senator Alesi is a graduate of St. John Fisher College.


Joseph Warren Belluck (New York)

Member, SUNY Board of Trustees

Mr. Belluck is the founding and managing partner of Belluck & Fox, LLP, which was named as one of the most successful and highly-regarded asbestos litigation firms in the United States. Some of his awards and recognition includes selection to the Best Lawyers in the New York Area by Best Lawyers in America, as well as co-chair of both the National Asbestos Litigation Conference and Mealey’s National Asbestos Litigation Super Conference. He was previously appointed by Governor Paterson to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct. Mr. Belluck obtained his B.A. from SUNY Binghamton and his J.D. from SUNY Buffalo.


Jodumutt Bhat M.D. (Malba)

Member, Public Health Council

Dr. Bhat has been employed at Internal Medicine Nephrology Practice since 1982 and co-founded Mattoo & Bhat Medical Associates PC in 1991. Mattoo & Bhat Medical Associates is one of the largest nephrology practices in the New York metro area. Dr. Bhat has extensive exposure to hospital-based and ambulatory care quality assurances processors, as well as experience in credentialing issues in the hospital setting. He is a member of the Renal Physicians Association, National Renal Administrators Association and Kidney Care Council. Dr. Bhat received his B.S., M.B., and M.D. at the University of Mysore India.


Carol Enski (Brooklyn)

Member, State Council on the Arts

Since 1997, Ms. Enski has served as President of the  Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Her priority is increasing educational opportunities for urban youth in science, environment and cultural affairs; launching the Campaign for Kids (2003-present) to raise funds to double the museum’s size and impact. Ms. Enski currently serves as the Board Chair on the Heart of Brooklyn Cultural Partnership, Co-Chair on the Association of Children’s Museums National Council, Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Arts Council and the Steering Committee of the Cultural Institutions Group of New York City. Ms. Enski received her B.A. from Tufts University and her M.A. from Beacon College.


Rita Paniagua (Syracuse)

Member, State Council on the Arts

Ms. Paniagua is currently Executive Director of the Spanish Action League and has been involved with the organization since 2003. Prior to working with the Spanish Action League, she  was the owner of Backstage Productions in San Juan, Puerto Rico for several years. She has been recognized with numerous awards and honors for leadership in public advocacy and community service. Among her many honors, she has been recognized by the Alliance Network with the Bea Gonzalez Award, Labor Religion Coalition Community Service Award and ACIU Outstanding Community Involvement Award. Currently, Ms. Paniagua is serving on the Latino Upstate Summit Organizing Committee, Boys Scouts of America Syracuse Board, Near West Side Imitative Board, La Casita Cultural Center Board and the Imagine Syracuse Board. Ms. Paniagua attended Virginia Intermont College.


Theodore K. Cheng (New York)

Commissioner, State Insurance Fund

Mr. Cheng has served as the Senior Litigation Associate at Proskauer Pose LLP since 2007. In practice, Mr. Cheng almost exclusively works in federal courts in patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and general commercial litigation. Mr. Cheng is presently involved in the Commission on Increasing Diversity in the State Government Workforce and the New York District Attorney’s Office. Mr. Cheng received his A.B. at Harvard University and his J.D. at New York University School of Law.


H. Sidney Holmes (New York)

Commissioner, State Insurance Fund

Mr. Holmes has been a Senior Partner at Winson & Strawn since 2000. His representative clients include the New York City Industrial Development Agency, Merrill Lynch & Co. and the State Street Bank. Mr. Holmes is a founding board member and a current member of the National Association of Securities Professionals, former President of and a current member of the Business Roundtable for the National Association of Black County Officials, member of One Hundred Black Men and a board member of the New York Urban League.  He was recently appointed by Mayor Bloomberg to the Board of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, for which he is also a member of its Planning Committee. Mr. Holmes received his B.A. from Columbia University and his J.D. from Hofstra University. 


Kenneth R. Theobalds (New Rochelle)

Commissioner, State Insurance Fund

Currently, Mr. Theobalds is Vice President of Governmental Affairs for Entergy Nuclear, an organization he has been with for nearly a decade. Prior to his service with Entergy, he worked in the fields of occupational health, medical management, workers compensation insurance and energy, including Vice President for Development, Industrial Medicine Associates, Inc. He has also been very involved with both local and state government, serving as Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operation Officer of the New York State Insurance Fund from 1992-1995 and Program Associate and Assistant Secretary to Governor Mario M. Cuomo. Mr. Theobalds received his B.S. from Cornell University and took the Entergy Executive Program at the University of Maryland School of Business.


Margherita Anne Rossi (Binghamton)

Member, Board of Visitors of the Broome Developmental Disabilities Services Office

Ms. Rossi, a former Psychologist with Broome Developmental Services, is currently a professor with Broome Community College. Despite the career change into academia, she has remained an advocate for persons with disabilities. She has already served on the Board of Visitors for a term and has been reappointed for another. She has also served on or is currently serving on Boards such as Broome County United Way, Civic Engagement Council of Broome Community College and BCC College Council. Ms. Rossi has received her B.S. from the University of Scranton and M.S. from Farleigh Dickinson University.


Susan P. O’Connor (Delmar)

Member, Board of Visitors of the Capital District Developmental Disabilities Services Office

Since 1994, Ms. O’Connor has served as Assistant Public Relations Officer for the New York State Department of Transportation. There, she has received three Excellence in Engineering Awards and was also the recipient of the Commissioner’s Award of Excellence. Before joining NYSDOT, she was with KeyCorp as Advertising Officer, Marketing Manager at Amsterdam Companies and an Account Representative at Coradian Corporation. This position is a reappointment for Ms. O’Connor; she received her B.S. from Siena College.


Kathe R. Sheehan (Scotia)

Member, Board of Visitors of the Capital District Developmental Disabilities Services Office

For the past 36 years, Ms. Sheehan has been the Owner and President of The Costumer, Inc., in Schenectady. Before going into business, Ms. Sheehan served several school districts as a speech therapist, drama teacher and elementary school teacher. She has a long list of memberships with offices of disabled services, including Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities—Wildwood Programs, Committee on Special Education and Area 38 Coordinator for the New York State Special Olympics. She also served as a Board Member at the Northeast Parent and Child Society. Ms. Sheehan received her B.S. from SUNY Geneseo and M.A. from SUNY Albany.