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Capital Region Economic Development Council Announces New Co-Chair

Albany Medical Center President James J. Barba to serve as new Council leader
(October 04, 2012)

Capital Region Economic Development Council Announces New Co-Chair

The Capital Region Economic Development Council (CREDC) today announced James J. Barba, President of Albany Medical Center and CREDC member, has been appointed as the new council co-chair for the Capital Region. Mr. Barba will lead the Regional Council in collaboration with Council Co-Chair and President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, filling the position being vacated by SEFCU President Michael Castellana.

“Mr. Barba has been integral to the successful development and implementation of the Capital Region Council’s strategic plan for economic growth, and we look forward to building on that record of success in his new role,” said Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy. “His long-time leadership at Albany Medical Center, a major economic engine in the region, provides the platform for this expanded role now as Regional Council Co-Chair. On behalf of Governor Cuomo and New York State, I thank Mr. Castellana for his hard work and dedication to the state’s new economic development efforts and welcome Mr. Barba in his new leadership role.”

Mr. Barba has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Albany Medical Center since 1995. In this role, he oversees a nearly $1 billion budget that includes the medical education, biomedical research and patient care activities of northeastern New York’s only Academic Health Sciences Center. The Center has an estimated $2 billion annual economic impact on the region, and employs more than 7,200 people.

Mr. Barba is currently directing the most ambitious expansion in the Center’s 173-year history, a $360 million, eight-year project that is transforming the neighborhood where the Center stands.

Well-recognized in the arena of health care and health care reform, he has served on numerous special commissions and councils by gubernatorial appointment and at the request of his peers. He also has served on the boards of numerous area organizations, including the Center for Economic Growth and the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce, which he chaired. He has received numerous accolades over the years, including “Executive of the Year” from the Business Review and the “Career Achievement Award” from Siena College. In addition, he was recently inducted into the Tech Valley Business Hall of Fame.

“It is a great honor and privilege to take on this new role as the Capital Region Economic Development Council Co-Chair alongside Dr. Jackson,” Mr. Barba said. “This is a very exciting time for the State of New York and I’m proud to continue the work of Michael Castellana and lead the Council in its vision to develop a new Economic Ecosystem that will create jobs and spur economic growth across our eight-county region.”

"I am delighted that Jim Barba has accepted the invitation to serve as Co-Chair. His strategic vision and his ability to build consensus have made him a highly effective and inspirational member of the Council. I look forward to partnering with Jim to lead the Council in its next phase of progress on behalf of the Capital Region," said Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President and CREDC Co-Chair Shirley Ann Jackson. "Michael Castellana served the Capital Region Economic Development Council with energy and enthusiasm. It was an honor to Co-Chair the Council with Michael, and his participation will be missed. I know my fellow council members join me in thanking him for his service, and wishing him well in his leadership of SEFCU and in his myriad of activities on behalf of the Capital Region."

Co-Chair and SEFCU President and CEO Michael Castellana was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to lead the Capital Region Economic Development Council with Dr. Jackson in July 2011. Over the course of the last year, Castellana worked tirelessly with Dr. Jackson to coordinate members of the Council in its vision to create a robust Economic Ecosystem for sustainable growth in the Capital Region and encourage unprecedented collaboration and dialogue across all sectors. As a result of this leadership, the Council developed a comprehensive, long-term strategic roadmap for economic prosperity.

“It was truly an honor to be appointed by the Governor and have the opportunity to co-chair, along with Shirley Jackson, a Council of extremely dedicated and accomplished professionals. I applaud the vision of the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor’s oversight as they orchestrated a true paradigm shift that both brings control to the local level and positions our great state to resume our place as the leader of commerce. I am proud of what the Council has accomplished to date and am passing the torch to a colleague and friend, Jim Barba, who is uniquely qualified and passionate in his desire to bring our region to its unequaled potential," said Michael J. Castellana.

The Capital Region was awarded $62.7 million in state support through the first round of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative and CFA process for 88 projects across the region. Ninety percent of these projects are on target for a timely completion; 75% of the projects have executed contracts with State funding agencies; and 80% have commenced as a result of funding.

The CREDC also submitted its one-year progress report to the State in September 2012, which provided detail on the Council’s achievements in implementing its five year strategic plan, a framework to advance the plan, revisions to some of their strategies, an implementation agenda and a tracking of the advancement of priority job-creating projects awarded in 2011. Additionally, the CREDC provided the state with its list of the 33 priority projects the Council has endorsed for the second round of the Regional Council competition.

To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit For information on how the New New York is working for business, please visit