Board Members

SAPA 2020-21 Board of Directors

THOMAS LUKACS (Chair) – Tom is Director of Risk Management for the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) and serves as DFS’s Internal Control Officer where he oversees DFS’s internal control program.  He formerly monitored compliance with the State’s cyber security requirements and standards, and was the Emergency Management Planning Coordinator.  From 2000 through 2013, Tom led the NYS Division of the Budget’s statewide implementation of the Internal Control, Internal Audit and Federal Single Audit programs and initiated the NYS Internal Control Task Force. In 2007, Tom created the NYS Internal Control Act Executive Briefing Book.

SORELLE L. BRAUTH (Rockefeller Award Committee Chair)Sorelle recently retired as the Director of Administration for the New York State Department of Public Service (DPS). She began her career with NYS Government in the Rockefeller Public Management Intern Program and has had an extensive career for almost 35 years, primarily in budgeting, holding policy and management level positions with the New York State Division of the Budget as well as the State Education Department. She was also a former Director of Financial Administration for the Office of Attorney General as well as, DPS’ Director of Finance and Budget for seven years. Sorelle has degrees from both Boston University (Master’s in Educational Administration), and the State University of New York at Oneonta (Bachelor of Science).

ROBERT (BOB) CURTIN (SAPA Treasurer) Bob is a Certified Public Accountant and currently the Director of Financial Administration for the NYS Office of General Services where he is responsible for operation of the Procurement, Budget and Accounting Units as well as implementing agency wide changes brought on by the Statewide Financial Management System (SFS), the Business Services Center (BSC) and changes in agency policy. Prior to assuming this position, Bob was an internal auditor at OGS and was responsible for the operation for the Internal Audit Unit From 1997 to 2015. Previously he worked with the New York State Comptroller’s Office Bureau of Management Audit beginning his career in October of 1986.

CHRIS CURTIS – Chris is Deputy Commissioner and State Treasurer for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) where he manages joint custody of the state’s general checking account with the Office of the State Comptroller. Prior to his appointment as State Treasurer, Chris worked at the New York State Division of Budget for eight years managing state debt, and served on the team that helped the state contend with the national financial crisis that began to unfold in late 2007. Chris began his career at the United States Department of the Treasury in Washington, DC as a financial economist focused on federal loan guarantee programs. He earned a master’s degree in political economy from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Siena College.

CATHERINE DURAND (Vice-Chair & Membership Chair) Most recently, Catherine was a finance consultant to the City of Albany where she worked on a variety of budget, finance and organizational issues.  Catherine retired from the New York State Division of the Budget where she held the position of Deputy Director.  Prior to returning to the Division of the Budget, where she previously worked for over 20 years, Catherine was the Deputy Chief Information Officer at the NYS Office for Technology and a Deputy Commissioner at the State Department of Agriculture and Markets.  Catherine has a Bachelor of Science from Colby College and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kentucky.

WENDY L. FIORAVANTI (Communications) – Wendy is a SAPA Board appointee who will finish the term of a Board member who resigned.  She is currently working with the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports in the Financial Administration Bureau, where she manages both Aid to Localities and statewide Legislative Initiative Grants. Previously, she was employed in the New York State office of General Services Financial Administration Bureau procuring and managing an array of state operation contacts. Wendy has also worked extensively in the private sector as proprietor and business manager for three small businesses in central and western New York.

FAUSTO FRANCO – Fausto is a SAPA Board appointee who will finish the term of a Board member who resigned.  He is a Senior Information Security Officer at NYS ITS where he serves as the lead supporting NYS OMH and OASAS. He also assists the Business Information Security Officers that support the agencies that make up the Public Safety and the Workforce and Public Service Portfolios. Prior to working for ITS, Fausto was a software engineer/project manager for NYS OPWDD, working on systems that helped the agency support the individuals they serve. Fausto holds a Master’s in Computer Systems Engineering from RPI and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional and certified in Strategic Planning, Policy and Leadership. He has spoken at the NYS Cyber Security Conference and been a guest lecturer at SUNY Albany covering topics in cyber security.

THERESA HARLEY – Theresa presently holds the position of Assistant Director of Finance and Budget with the Department of Public Service, where she manages the Procure to Pay Unit, including accounts payable, purchasing, expenditure control and budget processes and procedures. Theresa previously worked as a program manager with the NYS Department of Health, where she provided fiscal analysis and management of contracts, budgets and work plans. She also served as the Health and Human Services Office of Women’s Health liaison and worked for the New York State Division of Budget.  In this included, fiscal oversight and management of agency budgets and monitoring spending of the Community Projects Fund discretionary initiatives. Theresa served as a University at Albany Alumni Association volunteer and Career Network Advisor.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Public Administration degrees from the University at Albany.

KAREN KIRSTEIN (SAPA Secretary) – Karen is currently a Senior Municipal Financial Analyst with the Local Government and School Accountability Unit at the NYS Office of the Comptroller. She gets to do what she loves – research and data analysis. Previously, she was a Principal Employment and Training Coordinator with Schenectady County in their One Stop Career Center with an emphasis on fiscal management, outcome improvement, and quality assurance. She has served within two fellowships, as a NYS Excelsior Service Fellow in the Nonprofit Coordination Unit of the NYS Executive Chamber and as a Women and Public Policy Fellow with the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society within the NYS Department of Labor in the Youth Unit of Workforce Solutions. Prior to her NYS service, Karen was a Program Administration HIPAA Compliance Specialist with Schenectady Works, City Mission. Additionally, she has served as a project manager for the ARC of New York, an Education Specialist for the Office of Assessment for the NYS Education Department, and a teacher for ten years with the Schenectady City School District.

EUGENE (GENE) MONACO (SAPA Excellence Awards Program Chair) – Gene is a Public Service Professor and for the past 25 years has served as Executive Director of the Professional Development Program (PDP) of Rockefeller College, one of the largest university-based continuing professional education programs in the nation. Monaco has over 30 years of experience in the design and delivery of instructional activities. Before coming to the UAlbany in 1986, Gene served as the Dean of Continuing Education and the Executive Director of the Public and Community Service Project at Hudson Valley Community College. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, the College of Saint Rose, and Schenectady County Community College.  He is the co-author of two books on government and technology.

STEPHEN L. SCHECHTER (SAPA Program Director) Stephen is a Professor of Political Science at Russell Sage College in Troy where he also directs the Council for Citizenship Education.  He teaches Public Policy, State Government, Community Politics and Civic Leadership.  Newly elected to the SAPA Board in 2016, Stephen recently completed a stint as Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of America Governance.

FRANKLIN HECHT (Immediate Past Chair) – Franklin retired as the Director of Financial Administration and Budgeting for the New York State Office of General Services where he oversaw all of this agency’s financial management, budgeting and accounting. He was a past member of the SAPA Board of Directors, and after a brief hiatus, he was again elected to the Board in 2016.

NON-BOARD POSTS:

JOAN SULLIVAN (Excellence Awards Program Chair) – Joan recently retired as  the Executive Director of the New York State Forum for Information Resource Management.  Prior to her current post, Joan had a long, distinguished career with the State of New York in executive level positions. 

PAUL SHATSOFF (Webmaster) – Paul is a former Chair and former Executive Director of SAPA.  He had decades of NYS service in management positions prior to retirement.  Paul most recently served as Director of Government Relations and Clean Energy Programs for a non-profit organization based in Albany.