Welcome to the
Town of Colonie
Industrial Development Agency (IDA)
John Kearney
Chairman
Joe LaCivita
Executive Director
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2018 IDA Board of Directors

John Kearney, Chair
Benjamin Syden, Vice Chair
Carm Basile, Treasurer
Eric Phillips, Secretary
Alison Blessing
Peter Gannon
Gary Rinaldi

 

John Kearney, Chair

John Kearney has served as member of the Town of Colonie Industrial Development Agency since January 1, 2010.  He was appointed by the Town Board of the Town of Colonie and serves at the pleasure of the Town Board.

Among John’s current and former activities within the community are the following:

  • Current Secretary of the Board of Directors of the United Way of the Capital Region (Former Board Chair and Campaign Chair)
  • Current V.P. - Board of the Albany Boys and Girls Club
  • Current Vice Chair and former Chair of the Regional 210th Armor Association
  • Former member of the NYS Empire Zone Board (Albany County)
  • Former Secretary Albany County Democratic Committee and Chair of the Ethics Committee and member of Finance Candidate Review Committees
  • Retired - Secretary/Treasurer and Business Agent for regional Teamsters Union
  • (Former) Board member for the Regional Teamsters Pension and Health and Welfare Funds
  • Attended Cornell University (School of Industrial and Labor Relations) and American Institute of Banking
  • Active member of St. Pius X Catholic Church

 

Benjamin Syden, Vice Chair

Benjamin Syden has served as a member of the Town of Colonie Industrial Development Agency since January 1, 2011.  He was appointed by the Town Board of the Town of Colonie and serves at the pleasure of the Town Board.

Ben is Vice President at Laberge Group. He has an extensive background with New York State municipalities on economic development, program development, implementation, land use planning, corridor management, and grant writing and management. Ben has almost 25 years of experience with New York State municipalities and industries in the areas of strategic planning, economic and community development, financing, government efficiency, land use regulations, downtown revitalization, grant writing, and management. Ben has overseen the development of more than 140 community planning projects and has secured almost 2 million in funding for clients. Ben is a frequent facilitator, author and guest speaker on the topic of economic development, rural planning, and government efficiency and shared services, and brings a unique twist on the concept of a “government do-over day” for New York State’s municipalities.

Ben attained a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning in 1996, and a Bachelor of Political Science in 1993, both from the State University of New York at Albany.  He is a member of the Latham Lassie’s Board of Directors, is a Past Vice President of Programming of the Capital District Planning Association, past Director of Legislative Affairs for the Upstate New York Chapter of the American Planning Association, and is a member of the American Planning Association, New York Upstate State Chapter of the American Planning Association, the American Institute of Certified Planners, and is a former member of both the Albany County Planning Board and the New York State Economic Development Council.

 

Carm Basile, Treasurer

Carm Basile has served as a member of the Town of Colonie Industrial Development Agency since February 11, 2016.  He was appointed by the Town Board of the Town of Colonie and serves at the pleasure of the Town Board.

Carm is Chief Executive Officer for the Capital District Transportation Authority. CDTA, with an annual operating budget of million, serves customers throughout Albany, Schenectady, Troy and Saratoga counties.  Carm has worked at CDTA since 1981 and he was named CEO in 2009. During his CDTA career, he has a number of senior management positions. As CEO, Carm has companywide responsibility for transit development, daily operations, and presentation. Carm works with the CDTA Board of Directors to develop innovative strategies that deliver high quality services, programs and facilities to the people of the Capital Region. He has lead the transformation of the company into a community-based provider of mobility. Ridership last year was 17 million, a new record for CDTA and a 25 percent increase over the last five years.

Carm serves on a number of boards and civic organizations including Colonie Senior Services Center, Christian Brothers Academy, United Way of Northeastern New York, Equinox and the Colonie Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves as President of the New York Public Transit Association, a statewide trade group consisting of transit agencies, manufacturers and government agencies.

Carm graduated from Worcester State College in Massachusetts with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Urban Studies.

 

Eric Phillips, Secretary

Eric Phillips has served as a member of the Town of Colonie Industrial Development Agency since January 1, 2012.  He was appointed by the Town Board of the Town of Colonie and serves at the pleasure of the Town Board.

Eric has worked for the North Colonie School District the past 32 years as a teacher, coach and currently as the K-12 District Supervisor for Career and Technical Education.  During the summer he serves as the Principal for grades 5-8.  Eric graduated from Oswego State with a B.S. in Education.  His graduate studies are from the University at Albany and include an M.S. in Program Planning and an M.S. in Administration.  He is a former adjunct instructor for the College of Saint Rose.

In the community Eric has coached for Latham Circle Soccer, Adirondack Lacrosse and the Troy Albany Hockey Association.  He served past roles in multiple educational associations and currently works with the New York State Association for Career and Technical Education.

 

Alison Blessing

 Alison Blessing has served as a member of the Town of Colonie Industrial Development Agency since January 4, 2018.  She was appointed by the Town Board of the Town of Colonie and serves at the pleasure of the Town Board.

Alison is a certified public accountant with over 20 years of leadership experience in public and private accounting.  In March 2018, Alison was named as firm administrator at Teal, Becker & Chiaramonte CPAs, P.C. Alison graduated with a B.S. in Accounting from Siena College and an A.S. in Business Administration from SUNY Adirondack. Before joining TBC, Blessing was most recently the Chief Financial Officer of The New York State School Boards Association. Her experience prior to that in public accounting includes performing audits, compliance audits, reviews, compilations, and attestation engagements for municipal, for-profit and not-for-profit entities.  With the exception of a couple of years living in the Midwest, Alison has worked for several different companies and lived in the Town of Colonie since 2000.

Alison was a previous board member and treasurer of The Food Pantries of the Capital District (2012-2017) and was also an At-Large Member of the New York State Government Finance Officers Association Board of Governors from 2011 to 2015.

 

Peter Gannon

Peter Gannon has served as a member of the Town of Colonie Industrial Development Agency since March 9, 2017.  He was appointed by the Town Board of the Town of Colonie and serves at the pleasure of the Town Board.

Peter is President and CEO of the United Way of the Greater Capital Region.  Prior to that he spent nearly ten years as President of the Arsenal Business and Technology Partnership, where he was responsible for all strategic planning, marketing, fundraising and tenant management. Prior to joining the Partnership, he served as Director of Operations in the Town of Colonie and Director of Communications to Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari. Peter earned his undergraduate degree in public communications from the College of Saint Rose and his MBA from the Lally School of Management at RPI. He was a member of the inaugural class of the Leadership Tech Valley and, in 2011, was named one of the Business Review’s Forty Under 40. He is active in various community organizations including the Board of Associates at the College of St. Rose, the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society and Albany Pop Warner. Peter was recognized for his successful leadership role in the 2015 Friendship Walk for Best Buddies. In addition, he works as a member of the adjunct faculty at Schenectady County Community College.

 

Gary Rinaldi

Gary Rinaldi has served as a member of the Town of Colonie Industrial Development Agency since January 1, 2008.  He was appointed by the Town Board of the Town of Colonie and serves at the pleasure of the Town Board.

Gary currently directs Business Process Development and Systems Integration, Division of Health Plan Contracting and Oversight at the New York State Department of Health, Office of Health Insurance Programs. Prior to this he has held a number of key management positions in the Department as the Director of various Bureaus and programs including the Bureau of Managed Care Fiscal Oversight, the Bureau of Consumer Services, Fiscal Policy and Planning with the Bureau of Early Intervention and the New York State Vaccine For Children’s Program.  Gary also worked as a Planning Specialist in the Division of Health Care Planning overseeing service development and market based demand for hospital and health care facility development.  Gary holds an MBA from the Lally School of Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from St. Michael’s College in Vermont.

Gary was also a founder and past president of the West Latham Home Owners Association and a member of the Colonie Coalition of Neighborhood Associations. He also and served on various Town committees including the Comprehensive Land Use/Planning Studies (2010-2100 and 2017-2018) and Route 7 Corridor Traffic Study.