ACCA BOARD MEMBERS
The Authority consists of nine members, three appointed by the Governor of New York State, one appointed by the Temporary President of the Senate, one member appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly. Two members are appointed by the Mayor of the City of Albany, with the advice and consent of the Common Council, and two members are appointed by the Albany County Executive, with the advice and consent of the County Legislature. All members of the board shall serve at the pleasure of their appointing authority.
Interim Board Chair
Appointed By: The Mayor in 2005
Michele Vennard spent the last 25 years as the President and CEO of Discover Albany (Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau); she joined the Bureau in January of 1992. As the president she oversaw and directed all bureau operations, which continue to focus on promoting Albany and the surrounding regions as a convention, group tour and leisure travel destination.
Previously, in July of 1987, Ms. Vennard was appointed Deputy Commissioner for Tourism Development, NYS Department of Economic Development, Division of Tourism. Her responsibilities included the management of all operational and marketing functions related to tourism statewide. She oversaw active domestic and international tourism development and marketing programs all designed to increase tourism activity statewide.
Before joining the Department of Economic Development, Ms. Vennard was associated with New York State Destinations, a tourism destination marketing firm. She was also the first Director of Tourism for the Albany Convention Bureau from 1981 to 1983 and previous to that held various marketing positions including R.H. Macy's in both New York City and Albany.
Ms. Vennard has served on the Board of Directors and Council of State Travel Directors of US Travel. She has also served as a member of UST Discover America Implementation Task Force; was a member of the U.S. Travel Data Center's industry review panel for the travel economic impact model and was a member of the Appalachian Regional Commission marketing planning committee.
Locally, she is a member and past Chairperson of Capitalize Albany Corporation and the Palace Performing Arts Center Board. She is an appointed member of the Albany Convention Center Authority, is Vice-Chair of Canal NY and an appointed member of the NYS Canal Recreationway Commission. She is also past chair of the Board of Trustees of The Sage Colleges in Albany and Troy and represented Colleges on the University Heights Assoc. Board of Directors. She was previously Chair of the NYS DMO Association. Other past Board service included the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce, Center for Economic Growth and Albany Symphony Orchestra.
Appointed by: The Governor in 2013
Mr. Skrebutenas was appointed to the Albany Convention Center Authority by the governor in 2013.
Michael Skrebutenas is Senior Vice President of CPC's Albany Office & Supportive Housing Program. In this capacity, he oversees the entire lending process from origination through underwriting, construction supervision and conversion to permanent financing.
Michael Skrebutenas joined CPC as Senior Vice President and Regional Director of CPC’s Albany office in May 2013. Mr. Skrebutenas had formerly been President of Housing Preservation and Executive Deputy Commissioner at the New York State Housing and Community Renewal (NYSHCR).
Mr. Skrebutenas has nearly 20 years of experience in housing and public service both nationally and dedicated to New York State. While at NYSHCR, he served as President, Housing Preservation and Executive Deputy Commissioner since 2009. Prior to his work at NYSHCR, he has served as Deputy Secretary, Economic Development and Housing for the New York State Executive Chamber and as a development project manager for various non-profit community development organizations. He also served in the Clinton White House.
Mr. Skrebutenas holds a BA in political science from Columbia University, a JD from the University of Connecticut School of Law, and an MS in Urban Planning from the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
Appointed By: The County Executive in 2012
Mr. Steven C. Lerner was appointed to the ACCA board by County Executive Dan McCoy in September 2012. He is a Vice President and Associate Broker with Vanguard -Fine, LLC where he has been since early 2008. He is responsible for the development of commercial brokerage activity, focusing on retail, office, and light industrial leasing and sales.
Steven has been a recognized and respected professional in the real estate and mortgage banking industries since he joined Roberts Real Estate in 1983. He quickly moved on to multi-family and commercial property sales and held several management positions until moving on to mortgage originations at National Savings Bank followed by Commercial Business Development at Cohoes Savings.
In 2001 Steven co-founded the First Rate Funding Corporation where, as Executive Vice President, he built a staff of over 20 people, two offices, (Albany and Saratoga) and a closed loan volume of over $150,000,000. In 2005 he joined the commercial real estate financing firm of Axiom Capital, Inc. where he originated over $40,000,000 in retail, multi-family, office, and light industrial financing.
Steven has served on several boards and committees with organizations such as the Center for Disability Services, the Albany Jewish Community Center, and Congregation Beth Emeth. He resides in Albany, New York with his wife Nancy. His two children, Jennifer and Matthew reside in New York City and in Hartford, CT.
Steven’s family was the notable proprietors of Lerner’s Delicatessen from the mid 60’s until the early 80’s, with locations in downtown Albany and Stuyvesant Plaza. He graduated from Bryant College in 1975 with a bachelors' degree in Business Administration and major concentration in Institutional Management.
Appointed by: The Speaker of the Assembly in 2013
John T. McDonald III (born April 5, 1962) was elected Member of Assembly for the 108th Assembly District on November 6, 2012. McDonald is a life-long resident of Cohoes, who is a husband, father, small businessman, pharmacist, and public servant deeply rooted in his community. His district includes parts of Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties. It includes Cohoes, his hometown where he previously served as Mayor for 13 years, sections of Albany, Troy and the communities of Green Island, North Greenbush, Rensselaer, Waterford and Watervliet.
McDonald is an alumnus of Keveny Memorial Academy and the Albany College of Pharmacy where he received a BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1985 and was later awarded a Doctorate of Humanity. As President of Marra’s Pharmacy, his family-owned business based in Cohoes, McDonald has practiced his profession and has adopted business practices and responsibilities that have led the business to become one of the largest independent pharmacy operations in the Capital Region.
During his tenure as Mayor of the city of Cohoes, McDonald focused on financial accountability, improved quality of life and expanding economic opportunity. He pursued an aggressive economic development agenda centered on downtown revitalization, adaptive reuse of historic buildings, Hudson and Mohawk Riverfront developments and gateway improvements. His accomplishments include residential development, bringing more than 2,000 new residential units to the City, a revitalized downtown and improvements to the Cohoes Falls, which have become a regional tourist attraction. McDonald’s platform for a more transparent and open process for conducting city business has proven to be a success, making the city more financially sustainable today than when he assumed the office of Mayor in 2000.
As Mayor, McDonald was an active member of the New York State Conference of Mayors having served as president of the statewide organization. He chaired the Capital District Transportation Committee, RiverSpark, the Cohoes Industrial Development Agency and the Cohoes Local Development Corporation. In addition, he has served on the boards of the New York State Heritage Areas Advisory Board, New York State Workforce Investment Board, State Comptroller’s Local Advisory Team, the NYS Local Government Records Management Council and the Board of Governors for the New York State Municipal Insurance Reciprocal as well as many other regional councils and commissions.
He enjoys running and golfing, however his most prominent activity is spending time with his wife Renee, and his children Emma Rose, Liam John and Sophia Mary.
Standing Committee Assignments 2013: Aging, Cities, Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities, Real Property Taxation and Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development.
Appointed by: The Governor in 2013
Megan Daly was appointed to the ACCA board by Governor Cuomo in September, 2013. Megan is the Director of Economic Development and Procurement for the Port of Albany and is responsible for providing oversight and leadership on the commission’s economic, strategic, and grant development practices. She is also responsible for the commission’s procurement guidelines and practices.
Previously, Ms. Daly served in the Cuomo administration as Deputy Director of Regional Economic Development Councils where she coordinated the awarding of $740 million distributed in the program’s second round of funding awards and tracked more than $740 million in projects that were awarded in the first round of funding. She was also responsible for the tracking and spending of nearly $5 billion in leveraged investments and project activity.
She has also served as Deputy Commissioner and Vice President of the City of Albany Department of Development and Planning and the Capitalize Albany Corporation where she oversaw citywide economic, business and real estate development services. Megan has also served as a Senior Economic Developer for Albany County for three years.
Ms. Daly received both her bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and Planning and her master’s in urban and regional planning at the University at Albany.
Appointed by: The Mayor in 2014
Sarah Reginelli is the President of Capitalize Albany Corporation. A catalyst for economic growth, Capitalize Albany Corporation facilitates transformational development projects, serving as the City of Albany’s economic development arm. A registered 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization implementing programs and resources to create, retain, and attract business in the City of Albany.
Previously, Sarah served as the organization's Manager of Communications and Strategic Initiatives prior to becoming the Director of Economic Development. Sarah also served as a Planner for the City of Albany, during which time she was presented with The Neighborhood Resource Center's Outstanding Public Official Award in 2012.
Reginelli holds a B.S. in Public Relations and a B.A. in Geography from Syracuse University, and a M.A, Geography from the University of Miami.
Appointed by: The County Exeutive in 2016
Mr. Penn was appointed to the ACCA board by Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy in 2016. He currently serves as Director of Operations for the County. In this position, he works collaboratively with the County Executive McCoy and professionals in various departments to ensure policies and procedures, resource allocation, personnel matters, and goals and budget considerations are all aligned with those of the County. In addition, Mr. Penn coordinates Countywide projects including the update to the Times Union Center and the expansion of the parking garage. Prior to assuming his current position, Mr. Penn served the County asSpecial Assistant in the Department of General Services. From there he moved into the role of Deputy and later became the Commissioner of the Department of General Services.
Mr. Penn’s commitment to public service also includes several positions in Albany with the New York State Assembly: Legislative Director for Chairman of the Committee on Education, Assemblyman Steven Sanders; Program Associate for the Legislative Oversight Committee in the Program Development Group; Legislative Analyst for the Education Committee - Program and Counsel and Senior Researcher for Communications and Information Service.
Additionally, Mr. Penn served with the law firm of Malkin and Ross in Albany.
Mr. Penn holds several degrees, most notably a Masters of Public Administration from Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY. He also holds two undergraduate degrees including a Bachelor of Arts, Political Science from the State University of New York at Geneseo, Geneseo, NY and an Associate of Arts, Liberal Arts from Hudson Valley Community College, Troy, NY.