Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the State Senate unanimously confirmed the nominations of John Koelmel, Onondaga County Executive Joanne Mahoney and Terrance Flynn as trustees of the New York Power Authority (NYPA). Governor Cuomo has recommended to the trustees that Mr. Koelmel be elected to serve as Chairman of NYPA.
"With the unanimous confirmation by the State Senate of John Koelmel, Joanne Mahoney, and Terrance Flynn to the Board of the New York Power Authority, we are welcoming decades of experience and leadership onto the Board," Governor Cuomo said. "In order to provide clean and affordable power to New Yorkers and businesses, the Board of NYPA has to be a strong and efficient body. John, Joanie, and Terrance are all committed to helping create jobs and grow New York's economy, and I know that they will be an asset to NYPA's continued hard work in fueling the state's economic growth. I thank Majority Leader Skelos and Senators Maziarz, DeFrancisco, Krueger and Parker for their comprehensive review."
Senator George Maziarz, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, said, "I have always said, that the best use of low cost hydropower is to create jobs, and through these nominations today Governor Cuomo has shown that he understands the important role that the New York Power Authority will play in the economic revitalization of New York State. John Koelmel, Joanne Mahoney and Terrance Flynn are all leaders in their chosen fields, and have proven through their life experience that they understand our energy sector and our economy. I welcome John, Joanne and Terry to the Board of the New York Power Authority and I look forward to working with them to address the energy and economic development challenges that lie ahead."
Senator Kevin Parker, Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee said, "Governor Cuomo has made excellent choices for Trustees of the Power Authority. Mr. John Koelmel has over a decade of service in the financial arena and I trust he will do an stellar job as a Trustee of the Power Authority. Mr. Terrance Flynn's legal expertise in Business, Finance, and Municipalities will be an important addition to the Board. I am especially impressed by Ms. Mahoney's work in the "Save the Rain' program to reduce pollution to Onondaga Lake and its tributaries. I'm confident that her AAA bond knowledge will be very beneficial to NYPA's Board."
"I'm looking forward to working closely with the Governor's newest appointees to the Power Authority Board of Trustees,"said John S. Dyson, NYPA Vice Chairman. "The Power Authority is fortunate to have individuals of such solid standing and credentials on its board as John Koelmel, Joanne Mahoney and Terrance Flynn. They're all highly regarded individuals in the wider community and will contribute to our great board andour strong management team led by Gil Quiniones."
"I'm greatly honored to have been appointed by Governor Cuomo as a trustee of the New York Power Authority and to have been confirmed by the State Senate," said Koelmel. "I'm looking forward to contributing to the Power Authority's important role in helping to carry out the Governor's energy, economic development and environmental policies. We have a great team at NYPA and I'm confident that under the Governor's forward-thinking leadership we're going to accomplish much for the people of New York State."
Mr. Koelmel has served as President & CEO of First Niagara Financial Group Inc., since 2006. He joined the company in January 2004 as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Koelmel spent the initial 26 years of his career at KPMG LLP, serving as Managing Partner of the Buffalo office and the firm's Upstate New York Business Unit. He has held leadership roles in numerous professional and community organizations in Buffalo and Western New York. Mr. Koelmel is currently chair of the Kaleida Health Board of Directors, the largest health care provider in Western New York through its five hospitals and numerous community health care centers. He is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Accounting from the College of the Holy Cross.
Mr. Koelmel will be replacing current NYPA Chairman Michael Townsend who joined the Board of Trustees in 2004 and has served as Chair since 2009.
"I'm happy to have the opportunity to serve on the New York Power Authority board and contribute to attaining Governor Cuomo's ambitious goals for bolstering the state's clean, economical power supplies and its electric power infrastructure," said Onondaga County Executive Mahoney. "I want to thank the Governor and the State Senate for their confidence in me, and I'm looking forward to contributing to the important work that the Power Authority undertakes for New York State businesses and residents."
In 2007, County Executive Mahoney was the first woman elected to serve as Onondaga County Executive. She was reelected in 2011 for a second term.
Since her election, County Executive Mahoney has worked towards a more environmentally-friendly county through her implementation of new initiatives and programs. Through County Executive Mahoney's "Save the Rain" program, a comprehensive storm-water management plan has been developed to reduce pollution to Onondaga Lake and its tributaries. As a result, in 2011, the EPA recognized Onondaga County as a green infrastructure partner.
In addition, County Executive Mahoney has made literacy one of her priorities through the creation of a literacy fund which helped to form the Imagination Library, an organization that provides free books to young children in Onondaga County. County Executive Mahoney has also guided the County in a partnership with Say Yes to Education, which will help increase high school graduation rates and make college a priority and an attainable goal for many city students.
Prior to her election as County Executive in 2007, County Executive Mahoney was elected Councilor-at-Large in the City of Syracuse and served a four year term starting in 1999. Before serving as Councilor-at-Large, she worked as a criminal prosecutor in the Onondaga County District Attorney's Office for five years.
County Executive Mahoney received her Law Degree at Syracuse University, where she also studied as an undergraduate, receiving her B.S. in the School of Management. She grew up in Onondaga County and graduated from Corcoran High School.
"I look forward to the opportunity afforded me by Governor Cuomo and the State Senate to be a member of the Power Authority's Board of Trustees," said Flynn. "NYPA is instrumental to the state's electric power system and economy, and I am honored to be soon working alongside the other trustees and the Power Authority's senior management. I hope to apply the experiences that I've gained over the years in the legal profession in contributing to NYPA's broad mission for New York State."
Mr. Flynn is currently a member of the firm Harris Beach and the co-leader of its fourteen-office Government Compliance and Investigation Team. As co-leader of these fourteen offices, Mr. Flynn advises Fortune 500 or large privately held companies, including Facebook and Continental Airlines, on such matters as corporate compliance, commercial litigation, product liability, or personal injury litigation. Mr. Flynn is also currently a director of the National Association of former United States Attorneys as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo and the Federal Bar Council Foundation.
Prior to joining Harris Beach, Mr. Flynn served as the United States Attorney from 2006 to 2009. Appointed by the President of the United States to the position, Mr. Flynn became the chief civil lawyer and criminal prosecutor for the United States and all of its agencies in the seventeen county region of the Western District of New York. Mr. Flynn was responsible for the overall civil affirmative enforcement, civil defense, and criminal prosecution of approximately 4,200 cases. During Mr. Flynn's tenure, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York recovered over $124 million through both affirmative civil and criminal enforcement of fraud against the government.
Prior to his confirmation as the United States Attorney, Mr. Flynn was a trial partner who litigated and tried cases throughout New York State, including the New York City metropolitan area. Mr. Flynn represented numerous Fortune 100 and 500 corporations, including General Motors, Toyota, Ford, Chrysler, Raytheon, Black & Decker, Hertz, and Westinghouse.
Mr. Flynn received degrees in accounting and law from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Buffalo Law School.
Established by Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1931, the New York Power Authority is America's largest state power organization, with 17 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. NYPA's customer base includes large and small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, community-owned electric systems and rural electric cooperatives and government entities, and the Authority provides low-cost power to help support nearly 380,000 jobs statewide while reducing public-sector costs. NYPA does not depend on any tax revenue or state credit, financing construction projects through bond sales to private investors. For more information, visit: www.nypa.gov.
Governor Cuomo also announced the confirmation by the State Senate of the following executive nominations:
Desmond M. Ryan- Long Island State Park, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Susan Gordon Ryan- Long Island State Park, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Carl Mattone- Battery Park City Authority
Milton Frischman- State Camp Safety Advisory Council
Jordan Dale- State Camp Safety Advisory Council
Dawn Ewing- State Camp Safety Advisory Council
Richard Grant- Republic Airport