SCEAC Members

At Large Members

Joseph Berman  serves as Council Chair. Joe is the Director of Social Responsibility for Price Chopper Supermarkets. He is a certified LEED Accredited Professional (AP) on Building and Construction (BD&C). Joe is the Project Administrator of record for all USGBC registered LEED projects undertaken by the Golub Corporation. In August 2009, Mr. Berman was selected by Gov. David Patterson to sit on the Executive Order 24 mandated New York State Climate Action Council (CAC) with a directive to prepare draft climate action legislation by September 30, 2010. The Climate Action Plan developed by the New York State Climate Action Council (CAC) assessed how all economic sectors can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to climate change between now and 2050. He currently serves on the Air, Energy and Climate Change Committee of SCEAC. Joe resides in the Town of Glenville.

John L. Greenthal serves as Treasurer. He is a Partner at law firm of Nixon Peabody, where he concentrates in brownfield and Superfund projects. Prior to joining that firm in 1987, John was director of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s Division of Environmental Enforcement. John was named the Albany Environmental Lawyer of the Year for 2011 by “Best Lawyers” and was recognized for exceptional standing in the legal community, in the “Chambers USA: Americas Leading Lawyers for Business 2010.” Mr. Greenthal received his Law Degree from Harvard Law School. John resides in the Town of Niskayuna.

Michael Tamasi serves as the SCEAC Secretary. Michael has served as a Board Member of ReTree Schenectady since 1992. ReTree Schenectady is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the planting, care, and conservation of current and future generations of Schenectady’s trees. Michael is also actively involved in the Friends of the Woodlawn Preserve. In addition, he has been a Board Member of the City of Schenectady’s Energy Advisory Board. Michael works for New York State, where he has been employed since 1992. He is a graduate of Linton High School and Siena College; and a lifelong resident of the City of Schenectady.

Mary Werner has served on the Council for six years, from July 2006- June 2012 including serving as chair from 2008 through 2012. Having never completely severed ties to SCEAC, Mrs. Werner continued to, and currently serves on the Executive Committee as Past Chair and as the chair of the Air, Energy and Climate Change Committee. Mrs. Wermer retired in 2003 after 24 years at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation where she was Director of the Pollution Prevention Unit. She is currently an affiliate with The Hudson Group, a consulting firm that specializes in economic and environmental analyses. She was also a two-term member of the ECOS Board, serving for two years as Vice President for Outreach. Ms. Werner resides in the City of Schenectady.

Dana Swalla, PhD, PE, is a Lecturer at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and is CEO of an engineering consulting firm. Dana previously worked at General Electric Global Research working on renewable energy technologies. Dana has served as the Chair of the City of Schenectady Energy Advisory Council and in that capacity oversaw the production of the City Greenhouse Gas Inventory. Dana resides in the City of Schenectady.

Val Washington practices law as an Environmental Attorney and consultant at the law firm of Allen & Desnoyers. Ms. Washington has served in a number of distinguished positions in both the public and not-for-profit sectors. Most recently she served as Deputy Commissioner of the NYSDEC for Solid and Hazardous Waste. Among other notable positions she has served as the Regional Attorney for NYSDEC Region 3, as Assistant Attorney General overseeing the Environmental Protection Bureau in upstate New York and as Executive Director of Environmental Advocates of New York. Val resides in the Town of Glenville.

Debbie Jackson is an Environmental Program Specialist 2 with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Materials Management, where she is primarily involved with coordinating and conducting recycling promotion, outreach and education statewide. Ms. Jackson serves on the Board of Directors of the New York State Association for Reduction Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3). She has received a number of awards for her work including the NYSDEC Employee of the Year and Peter Berle Award and NYSAR3's Recycler of the Year Award. Debbie resides in the Town of Niskayuna.

Richard Robinson currently serves on the Air Energy and Climate Change Committee and the Solid Waste and Recycling Committee of SCEAC. Mr. Robinson is the owner of a successful wood product manufacturing company for 25 years. He served in the US Navy then received his Master’s Degree in Environmental Planning from RPI that included an internship at NYSERDA. His past experience includes working for the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Albany County Environmental Management Council as an Environmental Analyst. Rick currently serves on the ECOS Board as the Chairperson of the Advocacy Committee. Rick lives in the City of Schenectady with his wife Colette.

Bill Chapman was elected and served three terms on the Niskayuna Town Council. During his tenure on the Council he worked on the Planning Committee and the 2004 Town Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Chapman was also a member of the Town's Mohawk Riverfront Revitalization Committee. Mr. Chapman has served since 2008 as a Board Member of the Schenectady Metroplex Economic Development Authority. Bill is a retired state employee who served 34 years as a Research Analyst in the Planning and Evaluation Unit of the NYS Dept. of Corrections and Community Supervision. Bill has a particular interest in parks,  trails, County preserves and safe pedestrian access to parks schools and commercial areas. Mr. Chapman and his wife reside in the Town of Niskayuna.  

Ruth Bonn serves as Co-Chair of the Open Space Committee. Ruth had a distinguished career as a teacher and is currently an active community leader having served with the Schenectady County League of Women Voters as President and also on the Board of Directors of ECOS: The Environmental Clearinghouse. She serves the New York League of Women Voters Board of Directors as their specialist in Land Use and Urban Sprawl. Ruth resides in the Town of Glenville.

Katherine Czajkowski is a member and currently serves as Chair of the Schenectady County Water Quality Coordinating Committee. She his employed by the Cornell Water Resources Institute at Cornell University to serve as the Mohawk Watershed Coordinator assigned to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to assist in coordination and implementation of the Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda. Prior to this position Kathy was employed by the Schenectady County Soil and Water Conservation District as the Regional Storm-water Control Specialist assigned by to the NYSDEC Regions 4 and 6. Ms. Czajkowski resides in the Town of Rotterdam. 

Harvey Alexander is a Biology Professor at The College of Saint Rose. In addition to teaching both graduated and undergraduate courses he has done work for the Corps of Engineers on a variety of projects and has published numerous works. Professor Alexander serves on the Board of the Pine Bush Commission. He resides in the City of Schenectady.

Town Commission Representatives

Glenville Environmental Conservation Commission - Dan Hill

Niskayuna Conservation Advisory Council - Currently Vacant

Princetown Environmental Advisory Council – David Geisinger - David Geisinger is a retired Environmental Engineer who worked with the Environmental Facilities Corporation. He has is active with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy and has recently protected his own land into perpetuity by giving the Conservancy an easement restricting development on his land. Mr Geisinger has been heading up efforts of the Environmental Council to develop a County Open Space Plan.

Rotterdam Environmental Council - Kathy Fisher represents the Town of Rotterdam Conservation Advisory Council on SCEAC, and currently serves on SCEAC’s Parks and Trails Committee. She has degrees in Environmental Science and Geographic Information Systems, and is currently a consultant with Fountains Spatial in Schenectady, a company providing computerized mapping services.


Procedural Committees:

Executive Committee - Joe Berman

Administration and Procedures - John Greenthal

Communications and Outreach - Mary Werner

Substantive and Issues Committees:

Air Energy and Climate Change (AECC) - Dana Swalla

Brownfields and Economic Development - Val Washington

Land Use/Open Space - Dave Geisinger and Ruth Bonn

Recycling Committee - Debbie Jackson

Water Resources Committee - Kathy Czajkowski

Ex-Officio Members
The following ex-officio members are also members of the Council by virtue of their positions with Schenectady County Government and are available to the Council to provide technical support and assistance.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Executive Acting Director - Sara Pechar

Schenectady County Legislature Committee on Environmental Conservation and Parks - Mike Petta

Director of Public Works - Joe Ryan

County Attorney - Chris Gardner

Commissioner of Economic Development and Planning - Ray Gillen

Soil and Water Conservation Programs Coordinator - Dave Mosher

Administrative Assistant

Jeff Edwards - Jeff Edwards is a Planner with the Schenectady County Department of Economic Development and Planning. He has a Master of Public Administration from Rockefeller College of Public Policy at the State University on New York at Albany. Jeff's specialty is Solid Waste and Recycling. He was a founding board member of the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3) and has recently retired from the Board. Mr. Edwards, in addition to staffing the Council, is the Schenectady County Solid Waste Planner, Recycling Coordinator, Household Hazardous Waste Program Manager and Energy and Climate Protection Planner.





Dept. of Economic Dev. & Planning
Schaffer Heights, Suite 303
107 Nott Terrace
Schenectady NY 12308
(518) 386-2225 (p)
(518) 382-5539 (f)

Ray Gillen