Meet the Board/Staff
Susan Pedo, Chair
Susan Pedo is a communications and public affairs consultant specializing in health, safety and economic development issues. She has worked for state and municipal governments, and is an adjunct instructor at the University at Albany’s School of Business. She is active on many boards and committees, including the New York Partnership for Teen Safe Driving and Senior Services of Albany, and has served as president of the Women’s Press Club of New York State and eba Dance Theater, and as legislation chair for the New York State PTA.
Susan received her masters degree in political science from the Flinders University of South Australia and completed a graduate program in women and public policy at Rockefeller College. She has a bachelor of arts in English literature from Marquette University. She was appointed May 21, 2007 and serves at the pleasure of the City of Albany Common Council.
Lee Eck, Vice-Chair
Lee Eck is a Business Representative for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, District Council 9, Local 201. Lee began his career with the IUPAT as a painter and drywall finisher. After completing his NYS certified apprenticeship, he began teaching at the Finishing Trades Institute of NY at Albany before accepting a position with the International as a Business Representative. Lee is committed to responsible economic development within the City of Albany and fighting for working class people everywhere. Lee has been active on other boards and committees, including serving as Treasurer of the Albany County Central Federation of Labor, as well as serving as part of Mayor Sheehan’s Transition Team.
Lee lives in the Delaware Avenue neighborhood with his wife and two children - both of whom attend Albany Public Schools. He graduated from Bethlehem High School and attended the University of Evansville. As a music performance major, Lee also had an opportunity to spend a semester abroad at the Harlaxton College located in Grantham, England. Lee was appointed to the board July 10, 2013 and serves at the pleasure of the City of Albany Common Council.
Darius Shahinfar, Treasurer
Darius Shahinfar is the Treasurer and CFO of the City of Albany. He was first elected in 2013, earning the most votes of the City-wide candidates. He has broad experience as an attorney in both the public and private sectors and in all three branches of local, state and federal government. Before being elected, he served as Deputy Albany County Attorney under County Executive Mike Breslin, Regional Representative for then-Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand, Appellate Court Attorney under Judge Anthony Cardona, Associate at the Albany firm of Bouck, Holloway, Kiernan & Casey and Senate Fellow on the Local Government Committee.
He earned his Juris Doctor at Albany Law School where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review and President of the Student Bar, and his Bachelor of Arts in American History at Bates College. Darius has also served, or currently serves, our community on the boards of: Albany Law School, St. Anne Institute, Families Together NYS, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, National Little League, and the Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) of Central Ave., Lark St. and Downtown Albany. A 20+ year resident of Albany and nearly lifelong Upstate New Yorker, Darius and his wife, attorney and former Albany County Legislator Noelle Kinsch are the proud parents of 2 New Scotland Ave. Elementary School children. He was appointed December 11, 2013 and serves at the pleasure of the City of Albany Common Council.
Anthony Gaddy, Secretary
As a Co-Founder and President/CEO of the UpState New York Black Chamber of Commerce, Anthony is committed to helping build a stronger overall business community in the Capital Region and Upstate New York. The UpState New York Black Chamber of Commerce is one of more than 145 U.S. Black Chambers in the U.S. and Canada.
Raised in Albany, Anthony is a graduate of The Albany Academies and attended the University of Chicago and the University of Southern California where he majored in Economics. He is active in the community, having served as Vice-President of the Schenectady County Public Libraries, the NAACP and the Empire State Black Arts & Cultural Festival and several other organizations. He currently serves as Vice-President of 4th Family, an Albany-based nonprofit that focuses on teaching STEM through sports. Anthony was appointed to the City of Albany Industrial Development Agency and the City of Albany Capital Resource Corporation in 2020 and serves at the pleasure of the City of Albany Common Council.
Robert Schofield is a partner in the Albany-based law firm of Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP where he practices in the areas labor and employment law, education law, and civil litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Schofield was the confidential law clerk to two Justices of the New York State Supreme Court, and served as an Appellate Court Attorney with the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department.
He holds Juris Doctor and Master of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree from Plattsburgh State University. He is a former President of the Albany County Bar Association and a current member of the Board of Directors of the Capital Region Chamber. He has served as Chairman and President of Capital District Habitat for Humanity and Co-chair of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Tech Valley Program He has been recognized as a Business Review “40 Under Forty,” as a Super Lawyer in the area of labor and employment law, and is listed in Best Lawyers in America in the area of Employment Law - Management. Mr. Schofield has lived in the City of Albany for twenty years and has a home in Pine Hills with his wife and two children. He was appointed August 29, 2014 and serves at the pleasure of the City of Albany Common Council.
L. Lloyd Stewart
L. Lloyd Stewart, the second of six children, is a third generation native of Albany, and a ninth generation native of New York State. After several years working in the New York State Assembly Ways & Means Committee, he founded and served as President/CEO of Stewart Associates, a lobbying and consulting firm. As Principal, Mr. Stewart became the first registered independent African American lobbyist in New York State history. He presently serves in that capacity, where he provides critical infrastructure and financial consulting services to small business and non-profit organizations.
Throughout his decades of professional experience — Mr. Stewart’s expertise in business and economic development, urban development and planning and work with local, regional and national banking institutions supported the administration of three multi-million dollar non-profit agencies under his leadership: The Urban League of Northeastern New York, Inc. (ULNENY), which serviced a seven-county area of Northeastern New York; The Midrand Development Corporation (MidDev) of the City of Midrand, South Africa; and, Catholic Charities of Rensselaer County (CCRC). He has been formally recognized by both the New York State Assembly and the City of Albany Common Council for his outstanding contributions to the community. Most recently as part of Mr. Stewart's many civic accomplishments, in Sept. 2020 Mr. Stewart was appointed to the City of Albany Industrial Development Agency (CAIDA) and the City of Albany Capital Resource Corporation (CACRC) and serves at the pleasure of the City of Albany Common Council.
Sarah Reginelli, Chief Executive Officer
As President of Capitalize Albany Corporation and CEO of the City of Albany Industrial Development Agency and Capital Resource Corporation, Sarah leads the City of Albany’s economic development efforts through transformational real estate development, targeted business and project assistance, and strategic planning. Prior to joining Capitalize Albany, Sarah specialized in neighborhood revitalization, plan implementation and community engagement as Principal Planner for the City of Albany.
She holds a master’s degree in urban geography from the University of Miami and bachelor’s degrees in both public relations and urban geography from Syracuse University. She lives in downtown Albany with her husband and toddler son. Sarah serves at the pleasure of the City of Albany IDA and CRC Board of Directors. This position is appointed annually.
Mark Opalka, Chief Financial Officer
Mark serves as Chief Financial Officer for the City of Albany Industrial Development Agency and Capital Resource Corporation. He also serves as Controller at Capitalize Albany Corporation. Mark is responsible for the budget management, forecasting, and financial reporting and compliance for the Corporation. Prior to joining the team at Capitalize Albany Mark worked at Curtis Lumber Company for 17 years. Serving as Accounting Manager, Mark managed a $150 million retail operation specializing in building materials with 21 locations throughout New York and Vermont. He holds a bachelor’s of business administration in accounting from Siena College. Mark serves at the pleasure of the City of Albany IDA and CRC Board of Directors. This position is appointed annually.
City of Albany Office of Corporation Counsel - Marisa Franchini
Hodgson Russ LLP, Special Counsel and Bond Counsel
Darius Shahinfar - Chair
L. Lloyd Stewart
Susan Pedo - Chair
L. Lloyd Stewart
Sarah Reginelli – Assistant Secretary
Mark Opalka – Assistant Treasurer