CAYP Member Spotlight

Each month, CAYP highlights one of their members, offering a peak into the great people who make up our organization. If you are interested in providing a profile for our “Member Spotlight,” please contact us today.

PHIL CARR

September 2019 Member Spotlight

Name: Phil Carr
Company: Saratoga National Bank & Trust Company
Position: Residential Mortgage Originator
City: Clifton Park
How long have you been a CAYP Member? 9 months

What is your favorite app or social media outlet? LinkedIn is always my go to. It is a great tool to connect with other business professionals, but also to stay up to date on industry trends, news, and networking tips

Provide a fun fact about yourself. When I was 17, I spent three weeks in Germany as part of a German-American Exchange Program though my high school. I stayed with a host family, went to school, and traveled to different cities with 20 other kids from home. It was truly a great experience and something I always talk about today

What three business tips can you share with others?

  1.   Be honest with everyone
  2.   Don’t over promise
  3.   Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and have a conversation with someone

What is your guilty pleasure (TV show, sweet treat, etc.)? Flea Market Flip. I love seeing cheap purchases turned into re-invented items, even though their prices are too steep for me, it’s a great show

Have you done business with another CAYP Member? Not yet, but I have only been part of CAYP for less than a year. I did however send a customer to our President, Derek Devenpeck, because I had a gentleman looking to purchase his first home and I needed someone I could trust and walk him through the home buying process

If you could spend the day with one celebrity, who would it be and why? Mike Trout, hands down, from the Los Angeles Angels. He is the most humble and professional person that I have seen on TV. He has fun doing what he does, and never looks to be in the spotlight, a true professional and someone I would want my kids to look up to.

What are you passionate about? My family, without family life is very difficult.

JESSICA LYDEN

 

August 2019 Member Spotlight

Name: Jessica Lyden
Company: Northwestern Mutual
Position: Investment Operations Associate
City: Latham
How long have you been a CAYP Member? 6 Months

What do you think makes a good mentor? I believe makes a good mentor is someone who will push you out of your comfort zone to help you grow and achieve what you’re truly capable of. Someone who will guide you through the process of recognizing what was holding you back yesterday, and what will push you to be better tomorrow. Setting goals, holding one accountable, celebrating the victories, and learning from the defeats.

Provide a fun fact about yourself. After college, my boyfriend and I took a 45 day road trip around the country visiting multiple national parks. A lot of sleeping in the car/camping, photos, and packets of Ramen Noodles. It was an adventure I’ll never forget and highly recommend to everyone. If you’re thinking of doing something similar and are looking for suggestions let me know!

What three business tips can you share with others? Do what you say you’re going to do, never stop learning, and know your worth!!

What is your guilty pleasure (TV show, sweet treat, etc.)? Bargain shopping! There are not too many things I love more than looking for an item that I want need and finding it for a great deal. While most people are scrolling Instagram, I’m most likely scrolling Facebook Marketplace.

What are you passionate about? My family and friends. Striving to be the best sister, daughter, granddaughter, girlfriend, friend and so on that I can be and not letting those relationships that mean the most to me fall to the side. The relationships we care about are the greatest “possessions” we own, in my opinion. Oh, and for my love of dogs – adopt, don’t shop!!!

ANDREW J. WILLIAMSON

 

July 2019 Member Spotlight

Name: Andrew J. Williamson
Company: Albany County
Position: Special Assistant to the County Executive
City: Albany, NY
How long have you been a CAYP Member? Four years

 

What do you think makes a good mentor? I think someone who shares your personal and professional interests makes for the best mentor because they can make a greater impact on one’s life. 

If you could spend the day with one celebrity, who would it be and why? Elvis Presley because he was the first modern day celebrity and paid the ultimate price for his fame and success. 

What is your dream vacation spot? Hawaii. 

What do you do in your spare time? I enjoy volunteering with a variety of organizations that/ believe in. 

Provide a fun fact about yourself. I have seen all of the American Film Institutes (AFI) 100 greatest films. 

What three business tips can you share with others? I only have one that I think everyone should live by: Under promise and over deliver. 

What is your guilty pleasure (TV show, sweet treat, etc.)? Old movies.

What are you passionate about? Making a difference.

MICAH SCHROM

June 2019 Member Spotlight

Name: Micah Schrom
Company: Optum & Collaborative Dynamics, LLC
Position: Director, Pharmacy Analytics at Optum; CEO & Strategist at Collaborative Dynamics, LLC
City: Latham, NY
How long have you been a CAYP Member? 3 years

What do you think makes a good mentor? Someone who has a passion to teach and aligns to the other persons goals.  I think the best mentors that I’ve had in my career have been those who are willing to take a chance on you and create opportunities to grow and succeed.

What is your favorite app or social media outlet? Probably Facebook, it’s how I stay connected to friends and family the most since everyone is so spread out and I don’t get to spend as much time with them as I like.  Also, it’s how to I know what’s going on in the community.

What do you do in your spare time? I like spending time with friends and going to events.  I’m also a huge Orangetheory Fitness fan, drinking the Kool Aid 6 days a week as well as doing cryotherapy.

Provide a fun fact about yourself.  I have been on 5 aircraft carriers and flown in 6 different types of helicopters.

What three business tips can you share with others?

  1. Do what you love, not for the money.  The money will come later.
  2. Be yourself.  The strongest skill you’ve got.
  3. Take a risk and be willing to fall forward – you always miss the shots you didn’t take.

What is your guilty pleasure (TV show, sweet treat, etc.)? Chicken wings and Mike & Ikes

MANDIE CONNELL

April 2019 Member Spotlight

Name: Mandie Connell
Company: NY Government Finance Officers’ Association
Position: Events and Marketing Coordinator
City: Albany
How long have you been a CAYP Member? 9 months

What is your favorite app or social media outlet? Facebook. It’s nice being able to see what my family and friends are up to, especially as everyone is moving away and starting new chapters of their lives. I also find a lot of fun and interesting events that are going on in the area that I would not have known about if Facebook wasn’t working it’s fancy (scary) algorithms to know what events I enjoy. 

What three business tips can you share with others?

  1. Everyone knows everyone. Don’t trash talk anyone, it will come back and bite you.
  2. Say yes to at least 3 events/meetings/get-togethers a year that you wouldn’t normally say yes to. You never know the people/connections you’ll meet at these events.
  3. Get yourself organized. Even if you’re not sure what you’re doing. If you can keep yourself organized, you’ll come off looking a lot better. 

JASON HOMAN

February 2019 Member Spotlight

Name: Jason Homan
Company: Discover Schenectady
Position: Sales Associate
City: Schenectady, NY
How long have you been a CAYP Member? 1 year

What do you think makes a good mentor? Someone with a great mix of experience, open-mindedness, and willingness to give up their time for someone else’s success. And they have to have at least a little bit of personality…being funny is a plus.

What is your favorite app or social media outlet? Believe it or not: Facebook. I like the combination of access to event info, news articles, opinion sharing, life updates from friends and colleagues, and the general ability to access info.

What do you do in your spare time? Cycling, catching up with friends on the phone, starting but not finishing books, and sampling a type of drink called, gin.

Provide a fun fact about yourself. The Ohio State Buckeyes are everything to me. Oh, sorry, you said fun: Michigan sucks!

What three business tips can you share with others?

  1. Take some time each week to get yourself organized and also do some goal setting/planning.
  2. Don’t be so afraid of making too many inauthentic connections that you neglect to make any authentic ones.
  3. Use your personality to your advantage.

What is your guilty pleasure (TV show, sweet treat, etc.)? Waffle cone with a scoop of Peanut Butter Pandemonium and a scoop of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough from Stewart’s, $3.23 (tax included).

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JAKE BEHUNIAK

January 2019 Member Spotlight

Name: Jake Behuniak
Company: Marshall & Sterling
Position: Commercial Sales Executive
City: Saratoga Springs, NY
How long have you been a CAYP Member? Over 1 year

What do you think makes a good mentor? Someone willing to show and teach you things. Telling you how to do something is one thing, but I think there is tremendous value in leading by example/showing the way.

Have you done business with another CAYP Member? Not directly, but I have made and received some referrals!

What is your favorite app or social media outlet? Snapchat or Instagram

What is your dream vacation spot? Somewhere tropical where I can scuba dive

Provide a fun fact about yourself. I’m a certified advanced open water scuba diver and I can solve a Rubik’s cube

What three business tips can you share with others?Network, be persistent, don’t give up until you’ve heard a “no”

What is your guilty pleasure (TV show, sweet treat, etc.)? Reese’s peanut butter cups

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Alex Tancredi

December 2018 Member Spotlight

Name: Alex Tancredi
Company: Overit
Position: Senior Business Development Associate
City: Albany, NY
How long have you been a CAYP Member? This is my first year with CAYP

What do you think makes a good mentor?
Someone who is truly willing to go above and beyond to look out for the well being of their mentee. From providing the brutally honest truth when stuck at a crossroads to simply giving friendly advice that motivates and inspires, a mentor needs to be someone that can assist in a variety of ways. They need to be able to take on multiple personalities in a mentees life — the parent, the friend and the boss — catering to each of the needs of someone looking for professional guidance.

Have you done business with another CAYP Member?
To my knowledge, not yet. Though I’m not sure of all the organizations that are represented within CAYP.

What is your favorite app or social media outlet?
ESPN is probably my most frequently used app as I’m not the biggest social media junky — don’t tell my marketing friends that! If I had to choose, I would say I find SnapChat to be the most intriguing of the social applications specifically because of what it’s showing people with Augmented Reality. It just scratches the surface, but far too many people have focused on VR and have forgotten about AR. Where VR puts you in another world for an immersive experience, AR builds on and enhances the world you already live in. With SnapChat, it’s represented with the different filters and what you can do to each others’ faces. But this is just the beginning for AR. Here are some ways it could be used moving forward:
https://www.inc.com/james-paine/10-real-use-cases-for-augmented-reality.html

If you could spend the day with one celebrity, who would it be and why?
Neil deGrasse Tyson — tell me more about the things I will never understand! I took the first three astronomy and atmospheric science courses offered in college because I wanted to pursue that as a career. As much as I loved it, I just wasn’t that good at physics. I did OK, but it took ALL of my time to be OK. Reality check – I’m not a rocket scientist.

What is your dream vacation spot?
Really hard to answer because there are so many places I still want to go — Moraine Lake in Alberta, CA; Anywhere in the Caribbean; Italy — but the highest on my list is probably New Zealand.

What do you do in your spare time?
Safe to say that my dog takes up most of my time now – which is totally fine! But in the Spring and Summer you can find me in the adirondacks hiking, swimming in the lake, or camping. Otherwise, I’m down in the city catching a Yankees game. Fall and Winter are for Oktoberfests, Breweries, new restaurants, and snowboarding!

Provide a fun fact about yourself.
I’ve gone rock climbing on the Flat Irons in Boulder and I’ve been skydiving only miles away from NYC, now it’s time for bungee jumping — hopefully in New Zealand.

What three business tips can you share with others?

  • Never be afraid to speak up, but do so respectfully and at the right time
  • Push your own limits. Don’t only do what’s asked or expected of you. Strive to impress and do better for your bosses. You’ll quickly begin to impress yourself.
  • Be there for your coworkers as a friend and a colleague. Prove your value and your worth beyond the day-to-day tasks. Show that people can look to you for help or for fun around the office. You spend a lot of your time with your coworkers – make sure you like spending time with them.

What is your guilty pleasure (TV show, sweet treat, etc.)?
Trying out new places to eat and new things to cook. I could probably save my money a little better when it comes to food, but I can’t help but try everything when it looks/smells good.

What are you passionate about?
On a fun note, I’m a die hard Yankees fan who gets way too caught up in the season. Needless to say, I’m not so happy about the Red Sox winning the World Series. On a more personal note, getting and staying involved with several charities, foundations and/or associations that help to fight for those that need it. For myself, one of those will always be the MS Society as my mom has had the disease my entire life. She is an active member of the NJ MS Society and I have every intention of following in her footsteps

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LEXI GODLEWSKI

October 2018 Member Spotlight

Name: Lexi Godlewski

Company: Lexi Godlewski, LLC

Position: Success Coach & Marketing Consultant

How long have you been a CAYP Member?  1 year

What do you think makes a good mentor? A role model who genuinely walks their talk and supports you through all the highs and lows on your path to success.

Have you done business with another CAYP Member? Yes! I love working with fellow CAYP members.

If you could spend the day with one celebrity, who would it be and why? Hands down, Tony Robbins. Tony is a huge inspiration of mine as he completely changed and continues to elevate the personal growth industry. The impact he’s had on millions of lives around the World is incredible and I credit much of my growth to him and his teachings.

 

What do you do in your spare time? I love to read, spend time with my family, travel, listen to music, and be outdoors.

Provide a fun fact about yourself.  A year or two ago I had a conversation with Jimmy Fallon and aspire to be a guest on The Tonight Show.

What three business tips can you share with others?

  1. Be intentional about who you take advice from.
  2. Find role models who have already accomplished what you’re looking to do and model the actions that got them there.
  3. Learn how to enjoy the process to success and have FUN.

What is your guilty pleasure (TV show, sweet treat, etc.)? This Is Us” & coffee ice cream.

What are you passionate about?  Transformation. I love helping others transform their lives as well as continually testing my potential and transforming my life as well. The things that humans are capable of achieving is truly inspiring.

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KENDRA ASTEMBORSKI

 

January 2018 Member Spotlight

Name: Kendra Astemborski

Positions & Companies: Technology Director & 5th – 8th Grade Computer Science Teacher at St. Pius X School & Adjunct Professor in the Computer Science Department at The College of Saint Rose

City: St. Pius X School – Loundonville, NY & The College of Saint Rose – Albany, NY

How long have you been a CAYP Member?
I have been a CAYP member since March 2017.

What are three business tips you can share with others?

  1. Always do your best!
  2. Keep learning and growing.
  3. Collaborate with others. The best ideas are created from collaboration.

What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about volunteering. In the past, I have traveled to Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Jamaica on service trips. I am currently an active member of The Junior League of Albany. I joined JLA to become part of an organization of determined women whose mission is to give back to the community.

Have you done business with another CAYP member?
I had the opportunity to collaborate with CAYP Member Ben Mininberg. I was building new curriculum at St. Pius X School to incorporate 3D design and printing into my 8th grade Technology classes. Ben helped St. Pius X School by donating a 3D printer. He led a presentation about 3D printing to our 8th grade students. Students then worked with me to build designs using 3D CAD design software on the computer. I am currently printing their projects!

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GREG ECKL

November 2017 Member Spotlight

Company: Wealth Advisory Group, LLC
Position: 
Financial Advisor
City: 
Latham, NY
How long have you been a CAYP Member? 
June 2016

What are three business tips you can share with others?

  1. When in front of prospects, speak with conviction and passion. Be genuine and honest … always.
  2. Learn to accept failure. Allow it to fuel your determination to succeed. Every ‘no’ means you’re closer to the next ‘yes.’
  3. Personal wealth is not enough to drive one’s career in business. Discover your passion and willingly work tirelessly to perfect it. Money cannot be the sole motivator. If it is, you’re in the wrong business.

What do you think makes a good mentor?
Honesty, attention to detail and focus. A good mentor understands and upholds the company culture and works to spread that culture to those they mentor.

Provide a fun fact about yourself.
Calling all Billy Joel fans! In the song, “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant”, there are 3 verses about “Brenda and Eddie.” Eddie is my uncle! He and Billy Joel were friends in high school on Long Island. Eddie had a long-term girlfriend (her real name was Glenda, but Billy decided to change her name for the song) and as the song goes, “Eddie could never afford to live that kind of life. There we were waving Brenda and Eddie goodbye.” Brenda and Eddie would break up and my Uncle Ed married my mom’s sister. I’ve heard some cool stories from my uncle Ed to say the least.

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MARISSA SALZONE

September 2017 Member Spotlight

Company: GreyCastle Security
Position: 
Director of Marketing
City: 
Troy, NY
How long have you been a CAYP Member? 
July 2016

Have you done business with another CAYP Member?
A few actually. Recently, I’ve been working with someone from RPI to create a panel of cybersecurity experts for students who want to be in that field.

What are three business tips you can share with others?

  1. Never feel threatened by a statistic that’s against you. If you’re qualified for a job, apply. If you see a job that is one position above your current, apply. Don’t ever let intimidation be an option.
  2. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Meaning, constantly push yourself to do things out of your comfort zone. You’ll be surprised as to what you can take on.
  3. When presenting a problem, always provide a solution.

If you could spend the day with one celebrity, who would it be and why?
Radio legend, Elvis Duran from Elvis Duran and the Morning Show. He’s been my idol for years, and for many reasons. You have this trust in him where he can be joking around one minute, and having a serious conversation the next. He’s a person who’s remorseful, never one-sided, and has a positive attitude in life.

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WES BURTON

August 2017 Member Spotlight

Company: The Food Pantries for the Capital District
Position: 
Assistant to the Executive Director
City: 
Albany, NY
How long have you been a CAYP Member? 
1 year

What are three business tips you can share with others?

  1. Never make assumptions
  2. Always communicate well
  3. Never let a business deal get in the way of your own integrity

What is your guilty pleasure (TV show, sweet treat, etc.)?
My guilty pleasure is the perfect martini.

Have you done business with another CAYP Member?
We at The Food Pantries are fortunate that members of CAYP are going to be volunteering at our annual gala, The Harvest Evening Celebration.

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DAN KINLAN

July 2017 Member Spotlight

Company: Martin, Harding and Mazzotti, LLP
Position: 
Attorney
City: 
Schenectady, NY
How long have you been a CAYP Member? 
2 years

What do you think makes a good mentor? 
Someone willing to tell you that you messed up but in a way that encourages you to ask more questions and become better at what you do.

What is your favorite app or social media outlet? 
I’m not a big social media guy, I only have Facebook. One app I can’t get enough of is Waze. It’s by far the best GPS/directions app out there. I highly recommend it.

What do you do in your spare time?
Recently I’ve gotten into cooking, but I also play rugby for a team in the Capital Region and when I volunteer, I always try helping United States Veterans.

What are three business tips you can share with others?

  1. Be early, be very early. Nothing shows you care more about something than getting to a location early. Consequently, nothing shows you couldn’t care less than being late.
  2. Be honest. People can handle the truth. If you’re not honest with a business associate or client in the bad times, how will they know to trust your judgment when it comes time to close the deal?
  3. Let it go. At some point, we will all mess up. Learn from it and move on. Dwelling on a past failure or event an accomplishment can be a detriment to future endeavors.
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KEVIN BOUCHER

June 2017 Member Spotlight

Company: WinnResidential
Position: 
Property Manager
City: 
Albany, NY
How long have you been a CAYP Member? About 3 years

Have you done business with another CAYP member?
Personally no, but I have made a lot of great friends and acquaintances at CAYP who can lead you to a good connection. I highly encourage everyone to walk over to a new person at the next event and start conversation, because you never know who you’ll come across. I always meet a few new folks at each event. You never know what it will lead to.

What three business tips can you share with others?

  1.  Stay calm and collected (a very important trait in property management, but very helpful in any stressful business situation!).
  2. Focus on one topic and finish it before starting on something else. It’ll help you feel more organized.
  3.  Keep a positive mindset and stay away from negativity or gossip. It’s a waste of energy and nothing gets accomplished.

What are you passionate about?
I love seeing old derelict urban properties and buildings become functional again and restored to their former glory. I try to help with that in any way I can.

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JENN DUGAN

April 2017 Member Spotlight

Company: The Makeup Curio
Position: 
Owner/ Makeup Artist
City: 
Schenectady, NY
How long have you been a CAYP Member? Officially, 4 months

What do you think makes a good mentor?
Unbiased perspective, respect and communication.

What three business tips can you share with others?

  1. Don’t give up
  2. Keep networking
  3. Don’t talk badly about anyone…it’s a small world we live in

What are you passionate about?
The Arts because it allows for self-expression in so many different avenues and mediums (including makeup).

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RACHELE GENHOFER

March 2017 Member Spotlight

Company: Little Dog Advertising
Position: Owner/Director of Strategy
City: Albany, NY
How long have you been a CAYP Member? 1 year!

What three business tips can you share with others?

  1. You can honestly do whatever you put your mind and determination to.
  2. Nothing worthwhile in life is easy; do the hard work.
  3. You will never work harder in your life than you will for yourself.

What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about a lot, but I can lump it into groups.

  1. Healthy lifestyle
  2. Food/cooking
  3. Traveling
  4. Family/friends
  5. And most importantly … doing good in my community.

If you could spend the day with one celebrity, who would it be and why?
Mindy Kaling! She’s super impressive (long gone are the days of a shared ‘railroad style’ apartment writing sketches, look how far she’s come!) and a super talented writer and businesswoman.

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EMILY DESSINGUE

February 2017 Member Spotlight

Company: Cresa
Position: Marketing / Business Development / Advisor
City: Albany, NY
How long have you been a CAYP Member? A few months

Have you done business with another CAYP Member? I have received a few leads from members, but what’s really exciting about CAYP is we are the future of these companies in the Capital Region. So, who knows, you could be making friends with a future CEO!

What is your favorite app or social media outlet? For business I love using Linkedin Sales Navigator. You can search any company, get a lot of information and always find the “right” person to talk to.

If you could spend the day with one celebrity, who would it be and why? Oh man, if I had to pick, I’d probably say Ellen DeGeneres because she’s such a positive person and she is so successful based off of being herself, which I think is so ideal. Also, she’s hilarious!

Provide a fun fact about yourself. I met Miles Teller during spring break, senior year of college. He sat at the table right next to mine and asked to borrow our salt, which he never gave back.

What are you passionate about? I’m passionate about motivating others. I love reading success stories about people who never gave up and persevered. I feel so empowered after reading them, and I’d love to one day share my story and give people that same ambitious feeling.