Member Profiles

Jennifer Amstutz (Fund I)

JenniferAJennifer Amstutz founded J.A. Strategies in June 2006.  Her 15 years experience working in government and nonprofit organizations includes positions with the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Human Resources, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Family Service America (now Alliance for Children and Families), and the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.   In New York and the Capital Region, she has spent more than 10 years in nonprofit management positions, overseeing fund development, budgets and programs, and supervising and training more than 30 staff:  first as Executive Director of the Albany Girls Club, and then as V.P. for Program Development at Girls Incorporated of the Greater Capital Region after helping to facilitate the merger of the two organizations, and most recently as Interim President/CEO of Girls Inc.

Martin Babinec (Fund I and II)

Martin Babinec is a noted Silicon Valley entrepreneur and native/current resident of Little Falls, New York. He recently founded Upstate Venture Connect (, a not-for-profit venture that is building connectivity across Upstate New York’s entrepreneurial assets with the goal of accelerating new economy startup creation in the region. UVC’s efforts have included the contribution of intellectual property and relationships which are intended to help support Eastern NY Angels and other seed capital funds in the region. In 1988 Babinec founded TriNet HR Corporation (, a provider of payroll, benefits and human resources outsourcing solutions that has grown to more than $200 million in annual revenue serving about 8,000 small businesses customers throughout the U.S. and Canada, including more than 70 venture capital firms and 2,000+ venture backed companies. Serving as TriNet’s CEO until June 2008 and Chairman through January 2010, Babinec’s activities concentrated on market positioning, growing sales, team leadership, strategic development and investor relations – including leading TriNet through five rounds of private equity financing and six acquisitions.

Dominick Bizzarro (Fund I)

Dominick Bizzarro is the CEO of the Healthcare Information Xchange of NY (HIXNY), a regional health information organization (RHIO) operating a health information exchange serving the Capital District and Northern NY. Dominick is a Board Member of the NY eHealth Collaborative, serving on the working group to develop the New York State Health Information Technology Operational Plan, the Policy and Operations Council, several workgroups, and is the past Co-Chair of the Sustainability workgroup.  Prior to becoming CEO of HIXNY in 2007, Dominick had twenty years of healthcare and information technology experience in a variety of leadership, entrepreneurial, and governance roles. He was an ownership partner at Health Solutions Limited, a healthcare benefits and technology company, and served as Senior Vice President of Business Development. While there he co-founded and served as President of Integrail, the clinical analytics division. This private company was sold to a publicly held company in 2002. He has held several leadership positions in technology and healthcare organizations including Vice President of Business & Product Development at PharMerica, and the Vice President of Sales & Marketing at nfrastructure Technologies.

Thomas Brownell (Fund I and II)

brownellA co-founder of GlobalSpec, which created SpecSearch, enabling engineers to search for products by specification and reducing product search time from weeks to minutes. This, along with innovative Internet based digital media, created targeted audiences for technical product advertisers. He was the COO in the early years orchestrating all financial aspects related to start-up operations, including accounts payable, receivable, and purchasing, ensuring stability during rapid growth. His duties also included designing work and cost efficient building and furniture layouts, negotiating with contractors and suppliers to implement, while maintaining all building operations.

As a board director he advised GlobalSpec’s CEO and Warburg Pincus, the principle investor, on strategic plans, product design, operations, human resources, mergers and acquisitions which ultimately led to the sale of GlobalSpec to IHS Inc. in July 2012 for $135M. An innovative entrepreneur recognized for envisioning new products and leveraging operational expertise to take them from concept through to market and profitability.Developed new product designs in wide ranging markets including consumer appliance, aerospace, medical and advanced automation systems while at General Electric. Recognized mentor for new entrepreneurs continuously promoting new business creation and growth.

Jeff Bryant (Fund II)
Bio coming soon

Daniel Cahill (Fund II)
Bio coming soon

Don Carman (Fund II)
Bio coming soon

Mel Chudzik (Fund I)

chudzikMel Chudzik teaches Strategic Management in the MBA Program at Union Graduate College that includes comprehensive business planning in the Program’s Capstone course. He also teaches a China Studies course that incorporates business research projects and a 12 day visit to companies and universities in Shanghai and Beijing. For the past 13 years he has taught MBA courses in the International MBA Program in the Antai School of Management at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.  Prior to his association with Union Graduate College, Mel Chudzik was with GE.  During his last 15 years at GE, he was responsible for business and market development in a high technology business both in Europe and Asia. He expanded GE Asia-Pacific organization to over 30 offices, distributors and including three joint venture companies in Shenzhen, Beijing and Shanghai. He ran the Shanghai JV for one and a half years. In a four year period he increased the Asia – Pacific sales over 400%.

Geoffrey Citron (Fund I and II)

Geoffrey Citron is a founder and the president of Nomia Inc., which operates, a growing email and collaboration Cloud Services provider for small to midsized organizations throughout the United States. Thoughtbus was established to provide customer organizations with exceptional hosted email and collaboration capabilities in a Microsoft environment, while also delivering industry-leading customer service. Geoffrey is also an investor and member of the board of directors of, an online boutique featuring organic and eco-friendly clothing, toys, and accessories for newborn to age 4.  Prior to founding Nomia Inc. in 2003, Geoffrey worked for 15 years in the information technology sector in a number of roles. Starting in 1988, he defined, implemented and supported a variety of factory automation systems at Pratt & Whitney, drawn to their slogan at the time of ‘Thrust You Can Trust’.

Tim Conley (Fund I and II)

Tim Conley is Founder and Managing Principal of Cresa Albany, a commercial real estate firm that exclusively represents tenants.  Tim began his entrepreneurial journey as a successful retail business owner. He transitioned to commercial real estate in 1990 and began his professional career with a national real estate firm where was awarded ‘Number One Producing Agent’ each year of his tenure. One year he earned the additional recognition of ‘Highest Producing Commercial Agent’ for North America.  Tim next ventured out to start his own firm, Conley Realty Associates, Ltd., a traditional commercial real estate brokerage company. At that time Conley Associates assisted building owners and managers in the lease or sale of their properties. Mr. Conley successfully refurbished and renovated multiple buildings, including ones with environmental or historic issues, and delivered exceptional rates of return. Mr. Conley’s expertise has also been deepened through his own investment success. .

Larry Davis (Fund I)

25885edWith over 30 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, Larry Davis is founder and owner of CommSoft, an operational support systems provider to telephone, cellular and cable companies in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. He is also founder and chairman of Tech Valley Communications, a 50,000 line CLEC in upstate New York. Mr. Davis has a bachelors of Science Degree from The State University of New York at Albany. He is a member of ITPA, NTCA, OPASTCO, ATA, NECA, NCTA, CTIA, RCA, COMPTEL, RICA and many state associations. His professional experience touches many facets of the telecommunications industry.

Michael Dura (Fund I)

Mr. Dura is currently the Managing Partner and co-founder of Prex Capital Partners, LLC, a private management firm established in 2004 that specializes in providing advisory services to hedge funds, broker dealers and private equity firms.  Prior to that, he spent more than 25 years in the financial services industry, most recently as an Executive Vice President of National Financial Services, a Fidelity Investments company, after leading the sale of Correspondent Services Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UBS PaineWebber, to National Financial in 2003.   Prior to becoming President of Correspondent Services Corporation, Mr. Dura served as Joint Group Managing Director and co-head of the global securities business of Schroder & Co. Inc., a publicly listed merchant bank based in London, with primary responsibility for all business lines in the Americas until the sale of the investment bank to Citigroup in May, 2000.  Mr. Dura holds a BA in political science and economics from Columbia University and resides with his wife and two children in Albany, NY.

David Dussault (Fund II)
Bio coming soon

Bill Fibiger (Fund II)
Bio coming soon

Richard Frederick (Fund I and II)

RichardFrederickRichard Frederick is an experienced C level executive and serial entrepreneur with over 35 years of experience. He spent the last fifteen years of his career building and growing early stage companies. He has served as a mentor and coach to over 100 companies in the past 5 years.  In 2001 he co-founded Autotask, one of the nation’s first pure play Software-as-a-Service companies. He played a major role in raising over $14mm for Autotask from Angel and Seed investors as well as A and B round Venture Funds. In 2008 he co-founded, an Internet based retail and social networking site providing Organic products and content to new moms and infants from birth to age 4. The founders bootstrapped the initial funding and now rely on revenue to fuel the growth.  In 2009 he founded The Best and The, a virtual business incubator designed to create and accelerate the growth of early stage companies. This activity was self funded and is pre-revenue.

David Gibson (Fund I and II)
Bio coming soon

James Guzewich (Fund II)
Bio coming soon

John Haller (Fund I)

John Haller founded SportsSignup in 2003 – a company offering tools to Youth Sports organizations.  He is currently President and is responsible for overall operations of the company and product development.  Based in Saratoga, SportsSignup employs 20 people and has 2500 sports organizations as customers, with nearly 1,000,000 people registering through the platform a year.  John was a co-founder of NearMe in 1999, a company delivering Location Based Services to wireless devices.  John acted as President and CTO.  The company was acquired by Hands-On Mobile of Seattle in 2001. John co-founded MapInfo in 1985 (now Pitney Bowes MapInfo).  MapInfo pioneered the ‘Desktop Mapping’ marketplace and had grown to become a global leader in business mapping and Geographic Information System tools. MapInfo went public in 1994 (MAPS), and grew to over $150M in annual revenues, 800 employees, and thousands of customers worldwide. John was regarded as the company’s resident technologist serving as vice president and CTO for 14 years. John was responsible for developing 8 generations of software products.

Doug M. Hamlin (Fund I and II)

Doug Hamlin spent over 27 years at Versatrans (now part of Tyler Technologies). Fifteen years in both technical and marketing roles prepared Doug for executive leadership of this 80-person software company dedicated to providing exceptional products and service to the K-12 education industry.

As President and CEO he traveled extensively throughout North America to understand the needs of clients and translate them into effective business solutions. Doug takes pride in developing corporate strategy and aligning the organization to execute that strategy. Doug has presented at numerous K-12 transportation and administration conferences on the value of leveraging technology to drive efficiency through the organization.  Doug has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Geography and a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning. He lives in upstate New York with his wife Pam.

Michael Hickey (Fund I)

hickeyMike came to Siena with over 25 years experience in technology businesses, with the last 15 as a software executive.  He is currently President  of The Hickey Group, an executive consulting firm that helps CEO’s maximize their growth potential through strategy, execution, teamwork and leadership.  He has served as an officer for two public companies.  He has bought and sold over 10 companies. In his previous role as President of Pitney Bowes Business Insight, Hickey managed a global software business to record revenue of $400 million with over 1900 employees. As President of Pitney Bowes Business Insight from 2007 until 2010, Mike merged two like sized former public software companies (MapInfo and Group1 Software) into one integrated global business that became one of the 70 largest software companies in the world.  His efforts led to 66% increase in operating profit.  He and the business received a leadership award from Vantana Research highlighting these accomplishments.

Richard G. Kotlow (Fund I)

kotlowDick is the retired CEO of UHY Advisors NY, Inc and is currently a Senior Consultant.  He is a licensed CPA in the States of New York and Massachusetts and is a retired Partner with UHY LLP.  Dick is a retired member of a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of UHY Advisors, Inc., a Top 20 professional services firm.  Prior to his retirement Dick lead the firm’s New York practice, this is comprised of offices in Albany, New York City and Westchester.

He served as a board member UHY International Ltd, a Top 25 global network of professional services firms. Currently Dick is Chairman of UKW Advisors China a full service Chinese business consulting com pany whose office is in Beijing.

Richard Lipman (Fund I)

Partner in UHY LLP and a Managing Director in UHY Advisors.  He is a CPA licensed in the states of New York and Massachusetts.  Rich specializes in providing services to health care entities such as hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living and other health care-related entities; Provides audits of health insurers and workers compensation insurers.  Serves as a member of UHY LLP’s Health Care Practice Group. He is Treasurer of the Board and Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee of Wildwood Programs, Treasurer of the Board of the Upstate NY/VT Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Treasurer of Shaker Ridge Country Club.  Rich is a graduate of the University of Albany.

Steve Lobel (Fund I and II)

Steve Lobel joined Anchor Agency, Inc. as Director of Sales and Marketing in January of 1997, and in 2006 he was promoted to Vice President.  He left his position, as assistant Vice President for Alumni Affairs at the University at Albany to assume this opportunity in one of Albany’s most respected insurance and financial planning firms. Mr. Lobel established a technology division at Anchor to provide risk management and insurance services for emerging technology companies. Over the last thirteen years he has gained expertise and built a significant clientele in this growing market. Mr. Lobel has also developed specialties in Alternative Energy and Environmental Site Liability, Employment Practices Liability and Directors and Officers Liability, as well as Structured Settlements and Professional Liability. In 2005 he completed the requirements for the professional designation CIC (Certified Insurance Counselor). Mr. Lobel’s Capital Region entrepreneurial activities span over three decades. He was the University’s Director of Marketing before assuming the Alumni position.

Guy Maddalone (Fund I and II)

guyGuy Maddalone is an entrepreneur with 25-years of payroll, human resource, and employment services experience. He originally founded his Clifton Park based company with the placement of home healthcare workers, nannies and other household staff. Shortly thereafter he identified a need for domestic worker payroll services and became the original “NannyTax” payroll tax provider, known as GTM Payroll Services. Pioneering the way, he quickly added national clients and became known as “The Industry Expert”, as cited in numerous Wall Street Journal and New York Times articles, as well as appearing on MSNBC and other morning shows. Wanting to share his unique knowledge with others he decided to write a human resource guidebook for household employers, entitled How to Hire a Nanny: A Household HR Handbook (Sphinx 2006, 2012 2nd edition) which quickly became the go-to reference for US domestic employers.  .

Charles Manning (Fund I)

Mr. Manning is a founder of VersaTrans Solutions and Creighton Manning Engineering, LLP (CME). Mr. Manning was President and CEO of VesaTrans from 1995-2000. He continued to serve on the VersaTrans Board of Directors until 2008 when the company was sold to Tyler Technologies. Mr. Manning was also the managing partner at CME from 1992 to 2002. Mr. Manning has over 40 years of experience working with public agencies and private clients. He has been a Project Manager responsible for directing the completion of six projects for the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency. Mr. Manning is also an active owner/advisor of Northeast Biogas, LLP, a start-up company developing alternative energy projects in the Northeast and he is on the Board of SOMS Technology. SOMS is commercializing the MicroGreen Oil Filter that extends the oil change interval for vehicles. Finally, he is an active member of the Tech Valley Angel Network, an angel investor group based in Albany, NY.

Barbara C.  Manning (Fund I)

Ms. Manning became a CPA in1983. She was the CFO of Creighton Manning Engineering from 1992 to 1995 and the CFO of VersaTrans Solutions from 1995 until 2002 when she retired. Prior to these positions, she was a staff accountant at Author Place and Company. She is an active member or the Tech Valley Angel network and is an investor in Cyclics Corporation. She has served on the Board of the Nature Conservancy Eastern New York Chapter and is involved in numerous volunteer activities. She has been an active investor with her husband Charles in a number of early stage companies in the Capital Region.

Carol Maxwell (Fund II)
Bio coming soon

Otis Maxwell (Fund I)

Otis Maxwell is a creative marketing consultant and copywriter. He relocated to Saratoga Springs in 2008 after spending most of his career in San Francisco, where he worked primarily with technology companies ranging from startups to market leaders like Apple, Sun and Intuit. He participates in ENYA with his wife Carol, a former corporate advertising director who recently changed careers to become a high school science teacher.

George McColgan (Fund II)
Bio coming soon

Kevin McCoy (Fund II)
Bio coming soon

John Miller (Fund I)

John Miller has been involved with six startups through the ultimate sale in his 28 years in business. He founded his first company Ultimate Prospecting Services “UPS” in 1988 at age 26. Starting with only an idea in the automotive business, he built and sold ‘UPS” in 7 years to a billion dollar company. Within six months of selling “UPS” John started IDEX Dental Sciences. Within just 12 months IDEX had distribution of his tooth whitening products in over 80 countries. He sold out to his partner in just over a year. John immediately bought part of KeyTrak, a company in Atlanta and in 30 months as VP of Sales, took the company from $4,000,000 in annual sales to over $20,000,000 in annual sales and in December of 1999 sold the for $30,000,000. And, again within 6 months of selling out of KeyTrak, John started his next business @utoRevenue. Within 5 years John grew @utoRevenue from an idea to a $12,000,000 sale to Dominion Enterprises in Norfolk VA. While running @utoRevenue, John also was involved with CoinData, LLC. as the lead/majority investor and Advisor.

Norm Nichols (Fund II)
Bio coming soon

Rob Nichols (Fund II)
Bio coming soon

Chester J. Opalka (Fund I and II)

Chet Opalka is a co-founder of Albany Molecular Research, Inc. (AMRI), a full service chemistry services provider focused on applications for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and life sciences industries. The company, founded in 1991, is based in Albany, NY. He retired from the daily operations of the company in September 2000. He retired from the board of directors in May 2002. Prior to founding AMRI, Chet worked for Sterling Drug Inc. in various capacities in the Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Development Departments. He began his career there in 1970. He has been named as inventor or co-inventor in nearly 30 patents, co-authored several scientific publications relating to his accomplishments in the field of pharmaceutical chemistry. One invention led to the marketed product, Inocor, a drug used to treat congestive heart failure. Chet received his BS in Chemistry from Niagara University.  Chet is an Angel investor and very active in the local business and philanthropic community. He serves on the Board of the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce (2006-2008), non-profit Boards of Trustees for the Sage Colleges, and The Freddie Institute for Philanthropy Education and Northeast Health.

Harvey Patashnick (Fund I and II)
Bio coming soon

Larry Pigliavento (Fund II)
Bio coming soon

Joseph P. Richardson (Fund I and II)

joerJoseph P. Richardson is an Operating Director a Delta Point Capital Management, LLC, a private equity fund established for change of control transactions.  He retired from Berkshire Bank on September 30, 2009 as the New York Regional Executive.  He had joined the bank in late November, 2005 after a brief time as Director of Economic Development for the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce.  Prior to retirement, Mr. Richardson served for forty-two years in corporate banking.  Mr. Richardson’s banking career began on July 1, 1963 with the State Bank of Albany, which is now the Bank of America, where he became a Senior Corporate Lending Officer and Senior Vice President responsible for the statewide Specialized Lending group.  In April, 1993 Mr. Richardson joined ALBANK as its Senior Vice President responsible for Commercial Banking, which was acquired by Charter One Bank in December, 1998 and further acquired by RBS Citizens Bank in September, 2004.  He retired from Citizens Bank on February 18, 2005.  During this time Mr. Richardson had responsibility for originating funding and managing a portfolio of low-income housing tax credits and new market tax credit projects for direct investment by a bank holding company subsidiary.  Mr. Richardson aggregated approximately $100,000,000 in total investments n the states of New York and Vermont.

Chris Rocchio (Fund II)
Bio coming soon

Emilie Saulnier (Fund I)
Bio coming soon

Tobi Saulnier (Fund II)
Bio coming soon

John Schneiter (Fund I)

John Schneiter is an experienced high technology entrepreneur. He is presently CEO of Free Form Fibers, a high technology company engaged in the development of high performance ceramic fibers for next generation composites applications. Prior to that John co-founded GlobalSpec, a “vertical search engine” for engineers, in 1996 and served as President for ten years, helping to grow the company from a four person startup to a 225 person leader in the engineering information market. Under his leadership GlobalSpec was twice granted the “Model of Excellence Award” by InfoCommerce and was named in the “25 Companies to Watch” list by Cahners. Prior to GlobalSpec he spent a dozen years at the GE Corporate Research and Development Center where he was acting manager of the Control Systems Program.  Dr. Schneiter is a director of Free Form Fibers and the miSci Science Center in Schenectady, New York..

Richard Sleasman (Fund I and II)

RichardSleasman1Mr. Richardson is an active member of many community organizations including the former chair of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce, The New York Business Development Corporation’s Capital District/Champlain Regional Loan and Advisory Committee.  In the past he has been a President of the Upstate New York/Vermont Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Empire Chapter of the Robert Morris Associates; Treasurer of the Antique and Art Glass Salt Shaker Collectors Society;  Race Director the Hudson-Mohawk Road Runners annual Delmar Dash and the founding Director and first President of the Capital Affordable Housing Partnership.  Richard has been with CBRE/Albany since 1984. Licensed as a broker in 1987, Richard is now responsible for brokerage services in the Albany, NY office. He became a Principal and Vice President of CBRE-Albany in 1999, Executive Vice President in 2007 and President/Managing Director as of January 2011.

 Tilly Schuyler (Fund II)
Bio coming soon

Bert Swersey (Fund I)
Bio coming soon

Dale Thuillez (Fund II)
Bio coming soon

Adam Versteegen (Fund II and II)

Adam Versteegen is co-founder and owner of Invarion, a software company servicing the road construction and maintenance industries. Since winning the inaugural Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) business plan competition as an undergrad in 2001, Adam has worked on growing Invarion into the worlds leading provider of dedicated traffic control plan software. Invarion’s first product was Planman, which after launching in 2002 quickly became the defacto standard for traffic control plan creation in Australia and New Zealand. In order to further Invarion’s international expansion, Adam relocated to the US in 2003. In 2004 Invarion launched RapidPlan, a successor to the well established Planman. RapidPlan is currently used by thousands of companies in 26 countries around the world. Adam has a bachelors degree in Computer Systems Engineering and in Business Administration, both from RMIT .

Joseph Visalli (Fund I and II)

JoeVJoe retired from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in 2007 as a Director of R&D. His overall responsibilities included responsible oversight for technology development and commercialization investments in the areas of renewable energy, transportation, power systems, environmental technology, environmental quality research, and for investments in utility scale projects under the New York Renewable Portfolio Standard. Prior to NYSERDA, Joe worked at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as a research scientist, the Tompkins County Health Department where he was Director of Environmental Health, and at General Electric where he worked in pre-production engineering. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer, serving in Chile.

Joe has a B.S and M.S in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University and a PhD in Environmental Engineering from Purdue University. He was a licensed Professional Engineer and a Diplomate in the American Academy of Environmental Engineers.  Joe is currently volunteering with several organizations including the Adirondack Research Consortium, the New York Biomass Energy Alliance, and the Schodack Planning and Development Association. He is also a Severino Fellow at the Lally School of Business at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Spencer Warnick (Fund I and II)

warnick webMr. Warnick co-founded Hoffman Warnick in 1999 and continues to be one of the managing partners of the firm. His practice encompasses a wide scope of intellectual property matters, including rights procurement, infringement negotiations, opinions and client portfolio counseling. Mr. Warnick has represented clients ranging from independent inventors to large corporate entities and has extensive experience in preparing patent infringement, validity and enforceability opinions. His technical experience includes electro-mechanical devices, software/business methods, energy, medical devices and mechanical engineering related matters.

Mr. Warnick has been involved in the intellectual property field since 1990, serving as a patent law clerk with the law firm of Oliff & Berridge in Alexandria, VA. He also worked at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Washington D.C. for six years, eventually attaining the title of U.S. Primary Patent Examiner.  Mr. Warnick is also an active supporter of economic development initiatives within the Capital District. He is a board member of the Technology Accelerator Fund of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce, and is involved with the Capital Region’s Center for Economic Growth.