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April 10, 2017

JA New Board Members Announcement

JA of Northestern New York welcomes the following new board members.

Seven Local Business Leaders Appointed to Junior Achievement of Northeastern New York Board of Directors

Latham, NY, April 12, 2017 – Junior Achievement of Northeastern New York announced the appointment of six new members to the Junior Achievement Board of Directors.  The six individuals bring diverse business backgrounds and a sincere desire to teach children the values of entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and preparing for a career.


“We could not be happier with our new board members, said Derek Martin, President of Junior Achievement of Northeastern New York.  “They all have made an immediate impact on our organization and our school programs.  We are looking forward to working with them as we educate and inspire our young people about fundamentals of work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.”


The seven new board members include: (photo top L to R) Matthew Tedeschi, Agency Partner of Jaeger Flynn Associates; Brendan Casey, President of Upside Collective; Peter Lauricella, ESQ., Partner at Wilson Esler.  (bottom L to R) Andre Claridge, Founder of PC Public Affairs; Sarah Halliday, Executive VP of Commercial Banking at NBT Bank; Derek Martin, President of Junior Achievement of Northeastern New York.  Matthias M. Keib, Owner of Advantage Tree Service, LLC; and Michael Gutierrez, Market Director of Bryant and Stratton – both were unavailable at the time the photo was taken.


Junior Achievement of Northeastern New York, Inc. (JA) is one of 118 licensed areas of Junior Achievement USA with the mission to give young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices.  


JA is the largest organization in the region dedicated to educating students about issues relating to work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy with experiential, hands-on programs.  In partnership with the business and education communities, and through the support of community volunteers, JA brings the real world to students, opening their minds to their potential. 

The seven new board members:

Andre Claridge is the founder of PC Public Affairs; a boutique strategic communications firm that specializes in public relations, issue advocacy, government affairs, and corporate development strategies. Andre is a former speechwriter for Governor George E. Pataki, graduated from the SUNY Plattsburgh with a BA in Political Science, and successfully completed the New England Senior Executives Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


 “Volunteering for Junior Achievement of Northeastern New York provides me the opportunity to teach young people in the Capital that they have the ability control their destiny with the liberating power of entrepreneurship and hard-work, said Claridge.  “As a poor kid who grew up in a fourteen by seventy-two-foot trailer in the middle of nowhere, there is nothing more rewarding than using my life experiences to help light the spark of entrepreneurship in the mind of a disadvantaged child.”

Brendan Casey is the President of Upside Collective, a marketing communications firm located in Downtown Albany. For the last 15 years Mr. Casey has managed campaigns for fortune 500 companies, government, non-profits and small businesses.  Aside from his work with Junior Achievement, Mr. Casey has been a Board member and volunteer with the Capital Region Miracle League. He resides in Wynantskill, NY with his wife and two boys. 

“I look forward to supporting Junior Achievement through my position on the Board of Directors, the Communications Committee, as well as in the classroom,” said Casey.

Matthew Tedeschi - Agency Partner - Jaeger Flynn Associates - I have been fortunate in my 20+ years in the insurance business to work with some of the best companies in the Capital District and surrounding region. It has given me the opportunity to give back to the youth of our community as I am currently the Berne Knox Westerlo Board of Education President or through volunteering to serve on the Board of the Bethlehem YMCA.  

“I am very excited at this opportunity to work with the follow members of the JA board and empower young people to their own economic success,” said Tedeshi.

Peter Lauricella an attorney and Partner with Wilson Elser, a national law firm with over 30 offices across the country. Within the past year, Peter was selected to lead the Albany office of Wilson Elser as its Managing Partner.  With over 20-years of experience, Peter assists his clients with their most challenging legal issues in the areas of commercial litigation and corporate law.  

“I truly enjoy spending as much of my free time as possible volunteering for various charitable and community organizations, particularly those that help our youth develop the skills they will need as adults, including the YMCA, the Boy Scouts of America and, now, Junior Achievement,” said Lauricella.

“Over the past 5 years I have been blessed enough to lend a hand to our local community, said Matthias M. Keib, Owner of Advantage Tree Service.  “I currently hold a position on the board with the Bethlehem YMCA and I look forward and relish at the opportunity to have my hands in the dirt with helping the local youth of the capital district.”

“I am looking forward to advancing the mission of Junior Achievement of Northeastern New York, said Michael Gutierrez, Market Director of Bryant Stratton.  “It is important for us to give back to our communities by helping students and to increase awareness in the business community that the JA needs local entrepreneurs and business leaders to get involved.”

JA pursues its mission through the delivery of sequential programming for youth from kindergarten to twelfth grad.  JA programs begin at the elementary school level with age-appropriate curricula that teaches children how they can impact the world around them as individuals, workers, and consumers.  JA programs continue through the middle and high school grades, introducing students to various economic, business and workforce situations.

Junior Achievement of Northeastern New York by the numbers:

(47) community leaders make up the Junior Achievement board

(7) professional Staff

(24,893) students participated during the 2015-2016 school year

(172) schools have Junior Achievement programs in the (13) counties

(1,176) classes taught during the 2015-2016

(500+) businesses, foundations, individuals and service clubs invest in Junior Achievement of Northeastern New York each year

($28.00) per student is the average cost to provide Junior Achievement education

(3,000+) individuals volunteer each year

Junior Achievement of Northeastern New York services schools in the following counties:

Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, Washington, Dutchess and Ulster.


Also Pictured:
Sarah Halliday, Executive Vice President
President of Commercial Banking
NBT Bank

Derek Martin, President
Junior Acheivement of Northeastern NY

Compared to all students, JA students are more likely to graduate from high school (93% to 70%) and are more likely to go to college (73% to 60%)