May 2019
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State Academy (SAPA) News
SAPA's 8th Annual Public Service Excellence Awards Ceremon y

The 2019 Public Service Excellence Awards ceremony was held on Monday, May 20th, 2019 at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy in Albany. The venue was appropriate, as Rockefeller College has long been a training ground for some of the Capital Region’s most qualified and diligent public servants and a champion of excellence in government and civil society. The event offered a chance to celebrate some of that excellence by allowing many public sector professionals to come together, network, and celebrate jobs well done across the agencies and organizations working to make New York great for New Yorkers. Several awardees walked away with accolades that evening, including: 
Immigration Reform Collaboration Team
  • Albany County Sheriff’s Office & Correctional Facility 
  • Albany Law School’s Immigration Law Clinic
  • New York Immigration Coalition
  • The Legal Project.
Individual Excellence Award Recipient
  • Eric Mostert, New York State Tax Department 
Individual Excellence Award Recipient
  • Charles H. Nesbitt, Jr., Orleans County 
Outstanding Achievement in Government Accountability Award
  • Thomas J. Wood, New York State Division of the Budget

Presented by the New York Capital Chapter Association of Government Accountants
Board Election Results
In early July, SAPA held elections for various Board vacancies. SAPA's updated by-laws enable Associate Fellow and New Professional categories of membership to serve on the Board. The Board also voted to expand the number of Board members beyond the minimum number of 9 to 11. 

The results are as follows: 

Re-elected Existing Board Members:
  • Tom Lukacs, Board Chair
  • Stephen Schechter, Program Chair

New Board Members:
  • Karen Kirstein, Secretary
  • Ashleigh-Ann Sutherland 
  • Jennifer Trodden

These Board members are serving 3 year terms as of July 1, 2019.

Continuing Current Terms:
  • Sorelle Brauth, Rockefeller Award Chair
  • Bob Curtin, Treasurer
  • Catherine Durand, Vice Chair and Membership Chair
  • Raquel Gonzalez, Marketing and Communications Chair
  • Eugene Monaco, Public Service Excellence Awards Chair
  • Andrew Morris

Special thanks to our outgoing Board Chair, Franklin Hecht. who will remain on the Board as the Immediate Past Chair.

Board Member biographies are available on SAPA's website here:
What Essentials Graduates Say About the New Program
This past year, SAPA launched the first cohort for its Essentials in Government Administration (Essentials) program. This Essentials program empowers a class of aspiring or recent managers in the public sector to network and learn from seasoned professionals in the field.

Participants gave the program high marks; and they enthusiastically endorsed continuing it in 2019 –
2020. When given the opportunity, Essentials graduates nominated
participants for the coming year’s program. Nearly a fourth of our graduates are serving on SAPA
committees, and two ran successfully for election to the SAPA board!

Here is what some members of the cohort had to say about what SAPA has done for them:

Hilary Papineau (Research Analyst, NYS Comptroller’s Office) said:
“SAPA's New Essentials program allowed me to build community among like-minded public officials from across State government, presenting a unique opportunity to grow relationships with the next generation of public service leaders while gaining insights and knowledge from seasoned professionals.”

Adelaide Hurlbert (Budget Examiner, NYS Division of the Budget) said:
“For me, the SAPA New Essentials program was a way to build off of the lessons I learned in graduate school and apply those to real, current situations we were all experiencing at work. I cannot stress how valuable it is to brainstorm, network, troubleshoot and learn from some of the most accomplished public administrators in New York State.”

The graduates plan to host monthly happy hours, which all members of SAPA are encouraged to attend. 
We will begin a second class in the fall and need mentors.Email to signup!
Seeking Feedback on SAPA Programming
As the Board prepares topics for the 2019-20 program year, we need your honest feedback will help improve the programs we offer to you. Please take this short 9 question survey to share your thoughts. The survey will close at 11:55 p.m. on Friday, August 16, 2019.
Additionally, if you have some great ideas for Candid Conversations, how the board communicates or perhaps a ‘lunch and learn" workshop that you feel would benefit our members, please submit your ideas to
Seeking Volunteers to Sustain Operations
SAPA is a member-based organization with a volunteer Board. Its success is attributed to the enthusiasm and dedication of its members. Below is a list of committees the Board established to support the organization. To join, please send an email of interest to: Together, we will build an even stronger SAPA!

Note: You do not have to be a member of the Board to volunteer for a committee. 

1) Membership: Manage recruitment, engagement, and dues collection of current membership. Maintain database and organize elections for positions on the Board of Directors. 

2) Marketing & Communications: Market SAPA via social media, website, and media outreach. Coordinate development of quarterly update newsletter for members. 

3) Program: Annual curriculum development and event organization for Candid Conversations series, Essentials sessions, and special events. 

4) Public Service Excellence Awards: Solicit and review nominations, as well as organize logistics for annual award ceremony in May.  

5) Rockefeller Award: Lead selection of recipient and coordinate logistics for award ceremony for every other year. May include coordination of SAPA's annual membership meeting. 
Save the Date!

Upcoming Board Meetings - All SAPA Members are invited

Held monthly from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. on the first Tuesday (except near holidays) in Room 114 (Discussion Room) in Husted Hall at the SUNY Albany downtown campus, on the Western Avenue side. Upcoming meetings:

  • August 6th 
  • September 10th 
  • October 1st 
  • November 5th 
  • December 3rd 

Rockefeller Awards and Annual Members Meeting - Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.
Rockefeller Institute of Government
411 State St, Albany, NY 12203

More news to come!
Useful Resources

Here are some of our favorite articles and reports on topics related to public administration, public policy, and governance (click the text to view the link) :

Have a article or report to share? Send the link or document to to have it featured in the next newsletter.
Follow SAPA on Facebook and LinkedIn

Now you can keep up with SAPA, engage with other members, and proudly showcase your affiliation
through your Facebook or LinkedIn account! Like our Facebook page or follow us on LinkedIn to get updates on events, member highlights, and useful articles between newsletters.