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Four from upstate region named to Beacon Institute
Board of Trustees

BEACON AND TROY, NY — Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries today announced that it has named four respected professionals from New York's upstate region to its Board of Trustees.

Heather Briccetti, Vice President of Government Affairs for
The Business Council of New York State
The Business Council is the largest business organization in New York State. Its membership includes thousands of member companies, as well as local chambers of commerce and professional and trade associations. Prior to joining The Business Council in 2007, Briccetti was a consultant and lobbyist for Powers and Company, where she advised clients on a range of state and federal government relations issues.

Briccetti previously served as an assistant counsel to the state Senate majority, working on a range of issues, including economic development, budget reform and consumer protection. She also worked for the Assembly majority for several years, serving as a legislative aide and Counsel to the committee on Racing and Wagering. She has also served as special counsel in the office of the state Attorney General, where her responsibilities included coordinating activities between the bureaus in the Attorney General's office and the state Legislature and the Governor's office.

Briccetti has worked in private practice as a founding partner of the Sweeney & Wollowitz and as chief public defender in Rensselaer County. Born in the Peace Corps in Tunisia, North Africa, she grew up in Syracuse, New York. She received her undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton and her law degree from Albany Law School. Briccetti lives in Troy, outside of Albany, with her three sons.

Anthony G. Collins, Ph.D., President of Clarkson University.  Dr. Collins is a regional and national advocate for higher education—industrial partnerships that couple research discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise for commercialization and economic development. With a focus on advancing sustainable energy solutions and environmental technology innovation, he serves as the president of the Seaway Private Equity Corporation that invests in new technology companies based in St. Lawrence County, New York, and on the board for (TSEC) The Solar Energy Consortium, which mobilizes related resources in New York State.

Dr. Collins is also the vice chair of New York’s Commission of Independent Colleges and Universities and the chair of the national Association of Independent Technological Universities’ public relations committee. He serves on the boards of the Central New York Metropolitan Development Authority, the Essential New York Initiative, the New York Indoor Environmental Quality Center, and Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environment and Energy Systems, and on the board of advisors of Sriya Innovations, Inc.

Growing up outside Melbourne, Australia, Dr. Collins earned an undergraduate civil engineering degree from Monash University, and then master’s and doctoral degrees from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. Prior to his doctoral studies, he worked for both Australian Consolidated Industries and Utah Development Company. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1982, Dr. Collins launched his career at Clarkson as an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, rising through the ranks to become the 16th president of Clarkson University in 2003. He has received awards for outstanding teaching, research and advising, lectured globally and is the author of more than 90 professional publications.

In addition to connecting with Clarkson alumni across the globe, Dr. Collins; his wife, Karen; and their four children are active in the Potsdam community and have provided volunteer service to numerous community groups and youth sports programs.

Lynette Stark, Executive Director of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® -- Northeastern NY Affiliate.  Stark was selected to lead the Northeast NY Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® in January of 2009, following her tenure as Executive Director of the New York Alliance for Donation, Inc. and the New York Center for Liver Transplantation, non-profit organizations devoted to organ, eye, tissue donation and transplantation. From 2003-2007, she held the posts of Executive Deputy and Deputy Commissioner for Natural Resources and Water Quality of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). During that time, she had oversight of many of the state's largest and environmentally important land acquisitions, water quality enhancements and improvements to habitat and natural resources. Prior to DEC, Stark served as Deputy Director of State Operations, where she functioned as a liaison between the Governor, DEC and other state agencies.

Stark, who resides in Voorheesville, NY, serves on the boards of The Adirondack Council and the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society at the State University of New York at Albany.  She holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Paul Webster, Statewide Director of Community Outreach for the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT). During his 17-year professional career, Webster has been the Legislative Director for the Chairman of the State Assembly's Corporations Committee; and served four years as Assistant Press Secretary of the Assembly. He is also the former Government Relations Director for the National Education Association of New York (NEA/NY).

A former public school board member, Webster has been an active advocate for public schools and higher education in New York State. He currently serves as Secretary of the Schenectady County Industrial Development Agency and as a board member of Junior Achievement of Northeastern New York, Citizen Action of New York and the advisory board of the NYS Healthy Schools Network. He is also a member of the NYS Labor-Religion Coalition and is a Special Olympics and United Way volunteer. Webster is a member of the Niskayuna Democratic Committee and Schenectady NAACP.

Webster holds a bachelor’s degree in television and radio from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York (CUNY) and is a candidate for a master’s degree in educational theory and practice at the University at Albany (SUNY). He is married to Taryn Webster, an auditor for the Office of State Comptroller and a Schenectady County Human Rights Commissioner. They live in Niskayuna, NY, with their two children.

About Beacon Institute:

Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, with offices in Beacon and Troy, New York, is a not-for-profit environmental research organization engaging scientists, engineers, educators and policy experts in collaborative work focusing on real-time monitoring of river ecosystems. It aims to make the Hudson Valley a global center for scientific and technological innovation that advances research, education and public policy regarding rivers and estuaries.