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Monday, January 12, 2015

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a second wave of appointments to his administration today, including the nomination of Howard Zemsky as president and CEO of Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and commissioner of economic development.

In all, 15 individuals will be joining the administration, adding to the 18 appointments announced yesterday, to help advance Cuomo's second-term agenda.

“New perspectives are crucial to furthering the progress our State has made over the past four years,” Cuomo said. “The talented men and women who are joining this team represent the best of their fields, and they bring with them the fresh ideas and drive we need to continue improving the lives of all New Yorkers. I am proud to have them in our administration, and I look forward to working with them as we build an even better New York.”

Six of the appointments require Senate confirmation, including Zemsky, who has co-chaired the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council during the past four years and has worked closely on the Governor’s Buffalo Billion initiative. His company, Larkin Development Group, is redeveloping the historic Larkin District in Buffalo. Zemsky has a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and an M.B.A from the University of Rochester.

State Sen. Robert Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, applauded Cuomo's nomination of Zemsky.

"As an elected official whose priority is economic development and job creation, I'm encouraged by Mr. Zemsky's nomination," Ortt said this evening. "I believe his leadership will have a positive impact on Western New York. As a Western New York native, Mr. Zemsky understands the unique challenges we have faced over the years. I look forward to working with him to promote growth and development in our communities beyond the City of Buffalo and into Niagara, Orleans, and Monroe Counties."

Other nominations include:

Kenneth Adams to serve as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. Adams previously served as President, CEO & Commissioner of Empire State Development since 2011 and was President & CEO of The Business Council of New York State, from 2006 to 2011. Prior to leading the Business Council, he was President of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and was the founding Executive Director of New York Cares.

Carol Robles-Román to serve on the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY). Robles-Romàn is the President and CEO of Legal Momentum -The Women's Legal and Defense and Education Fund, the oldest national nonprofit legal organization dedicated to advancing the rights of women and girls. She previously served as Deputy Mayor for Legal Affairs and Counsel to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. She has a B.A. from Fordham University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Joanie Mahoney to serve as Chair of the Board of the State Thruway Authority. Mahoney is the first woman to serve as Onondaga County Executive, to which she was elected in 2007. She previously worked for five years as a criminal prosecutor in the District Attorney’s Office before being elected Councilor-at-Large in the City of Syracuse, where she served a four-year term. Mahoney graduated from Syracuse University’s School of Management and has a J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law.

Thomas Hoover to serve as Chairman of the State Athletic Commission. Hoover is a former professional basketball player, having played for the New York Knicks and the St. Louis Hawks from 1963 to 1967. He then played with the Denver Rockets, Houston Mavericks, Minnesota Pipers and New York Nets. Since his basketball career, Hoover ran an unemployment program for teenagers and ran the Adopt-A-School program in New York City.

Hilda Rosario Escher to serve as member of the Board of the Urban Development Corporation. She currently serves as President and CEO of Ibero-American Action League, where she has held a number of positions since joining the organization in 1979. She previously served as District Director of Bershire Farms Services for Youth and was Director of Residential Services at Continuing Developmental Services, all of which are based in Rochester. Escher has a B.S. from the University of Puerto Rico and received her certification on Non Profit Leadership from Roberts Wesleyan College.

Nine of Cuomo's appointments do not require confirmation. They include:

John Maggiore as Director of Policy. Maggiore previously served as chief of staff to Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy and, in 2011, as Governor Cuomo's Director of Regional Affairs. Previously, he served as Policy Advisor to Attorney General Cuomo, Assistant to HUD Secretary Cuomo, Director of Communications to Buffalo State College President Muriel Howard and Chief of Staff to Assemblymember Sam Hoyt. In 2005, he ran the Erie County Stabilization Project for the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. Maggiore began his professional career as confidential assistant to Governor Mario Cuomo. He is a native of Buffalo, with a B.A. from Connecticut College, M.A. from Rutgers University and M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Katie Codey will serve as Deputy Director of Policy. Codey has been serving as Policy Advisor to the Governor since 2013. Previously, she was a Senior Policy Analyst for the New York City Council, where she managed the Speaker’s economic development, workforce development and transportation policy portfolio. Codey also served as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Jose L. Linares in New Jersey. Codey earned an M.P.A. from the University of Georgia, a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.

Leslea Snyder has been appointed Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs. Snyder previously served as a Senior Manager of Public Policy & Government Affairs at Actavis, Plc and a Senior Manager for Public Policy & Government Affairs at Forest Laboratories. In 2009, she was elected a Trustee and Deputy Mayor of her hometown, The Village of Port Jerfferson in Suffolk County. She was also Assistant Director of the New York State Senate Higher Education Committee under Senator Kenneth LaValle before joining the Regional Community Outreach organization of the New York State Senate’s Long Island Delegation.

Terence O’Leary has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Public Safety. O’Leary served as Director of the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement within the New York State Department of Health from 2011 through December, 2014. He served as a New York County Assistant District Attorney assigned to the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor from 2001 to 2011. He was named Senior Investigative Counsel in 2009. He has a B.A. from Loyola University Maryland and a J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law.

R. Nadine Fontaine has been appointed Assistant Counsel to the Governor with a focus on Human Services. Fontaine joins the administration from Epiq Systems, Inc., where she most recently served as a Director. She was previously an associate at Cooper, Liebowitz, Royster & Wright, followed by Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, LLP, and then Kaye Scholer, LLP. Fontaine earned a B.A. degree from Stony Brook University and a J.D. from Pace University School of Law.

Julia Pinover Kupiec has been appointed Assistant Counsel to the Governor with a focus on Housing. Pinover-Kupiec previously Disability Rights Advocates, where she most recently founded, developed the practice, and was in charge of all operations at Disability Rights Advocates New York. She joined the organization in 2005 as a summer associate, then became a David Boies Fellowship attorney, was then promoted to staff attorney and then to senior staff attorney. She received a B.A. from Dartmouth College, a J.D. from Georgetown University and an LL.M. from New York University.

Angela Sherrer has been appointed Assistant Counsel to the Governor with a focus on Public Safety. Sherrer recently served as an attorney in the Office of Intelligence at the U.S. Department of Justice, National Security Division since 2010. She also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Florida, Associate Council at the New York State Division of Human Rights, and an Assistant District Attorney for the New York County District Attorney’s Office. She received a B.A. from Wellesley College and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Anna Adams-Sarthou has been appointed Deputy Press Secretary. Adams-Sarthou previously served as Regional Director of External Affairs at AT&T in New York City and was Deputy Chief of Staff & Director of Communications for State Senator Michael Gianaris. She held a number of positions in Governor David Paterson’s press office, culminating in Acting Press Secretary for the final months of his administration. Adams-Sarthou has a B.S. from New York University.

Sandy Castor has been appointed Program Associate for Transportation. Castor joins the administration from the District Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C. where she served as Director of Government and Legislative Affairs. In her role as she successfully lobbied the District's Legislators and secured $1.12B in funding for the District’s major Capital improvement projects. Previously she served as a Special Assistant to former Mayor of Washington, D.C., Adrian M. Fenty. She is also the Founder of Castor Consulting, a a political and government relations firm. She attended Carnegie Mellon University and has a B.S. from Fordham University as well as Certificates in Financial Planning and Program Management for Transit Professionals from Rutgers University.

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