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News from the New York State Governor

For Immediate Release: July 8, 2009
Contact: Marissa Shorenstein | | 518.474.8418 | 212.681.4640


Governor David A. Paterson today announced the appointments of Marty Mack to serve as Deputy Secretary for Appointments, Cathy Calhoun to serve as Deputy Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs and Thomas Congdon to serve as Deputy Secretary for Energy. The Governor accepted the resignation of current Deputy Secretary for Appointments Francine James, who will become Chief Deputy Director and Secretary to the Board of Commissioners for the New York State Insurance Fund on August 24, 2009. The Governor also accepted the resignation of Paul DeCotis, who resigned his position as Deputy Secretary for Energy on June 30, 2009. Effective July 1, Paul became Vice President of Power Markets at the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA).

Governor Paterson also announced the appointment of Marissa Shorenstein as Deputy Director of Communications and Press Secretary and Latia Curry as Director of Special Projects.

In addition, Governor Paterson announced the appointment of Robert E. Beloten as Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Board. Mr. Beloten replaces current chair Zachary Weiss, who announced his resignation last month.

The Governor also announced that Kermitt J. Brooks has been named Acting Superintendent of the New York State Insurance Department. He succeeds Eric R. Dinallo, who resigned as of July 3, 2009.

Finally, Governor Paterson announced that Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell resigned her position as Chair of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) on July 1. Daniel Simmons, who currently serves as a Member of the Council, will take over as interim Chair.

“Throughout her tenure as Appointments Secretary, Francine has worked tirelessly to identify highly qualified candidates for this Administration. She has successfully sought to involve stakeholders and, as importantly, she has worked to ensure that persons from all areas of the State are well-represented in my appointments. I am grateful to her for her service and wish her the best as she takes on a new role at the Insurance Fund,” said Governor Paterson. “As Deputy Secretary for Energy, Paul helped craft our administration’s ambitious goal of ’45 by 15’ and has been a true partner on the issues of clean and renewable energy. I thank him for all that he has done and look forward to working with him in his new capacity at LIPA.”

“Marty, Cathy, Tom and Marissa have each played integral roles in my Administration and I am grateful to all of them for their counsel and guidance. I look forward to continuing to work with them in their new roles,” added the Governor. “Latia brings a wealth of talent and experience to my Administration. She has run a successful business providing guidance to leading non-profit organizations, and I am pleased she will be putting that expertise to work for the people of New York.”

Marty Mack has served as Deputy Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs since February 2009 and previously served as Deputy Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs to Governors Paterson and Spitzer from January 2007 to June 2008, when he joined a private business development consulting firm. Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, Mr. Mack served for eight years as Deputy Attorney General to Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. From 1980 to 1998, Mr. Mack practiced law while serving as a public servant in a variety of capacities. He served as an Assistant District Attorney in Cortland County from 1980 to 1983, Cortland County Attorney from 1984 to 1987 and Mayor of the City of Cortland from 1988 to 1992. In addition, he was a partner in a private law practice for over 18 years. Mr. Mack presently serves as the Governor’s representative on the Cornell University Board of Trustees. He has also served on various public and private boards, including: New York Public Asset Fund/Blue Cross Blue Shield Investment Advisory Board, Chairman of the SUNY Cortland College Council, Member of the Democratic National Committee, Executive Chairman of the New York State Democratic Party and President of Catholic Charities Board of Directors. Mr. Mack holds a Bachelors of Science degree from Cornell University, a Master of Arts in Teaching from SUNY Cortland and a Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina. He is married to Lee Scott Mack, has two children and resides in Cortland.

As Deputy Secretary for Appointments, Mr. Mack’s salary will be $175,800. This appointment does not require Senate confirmation.

Cathy Calhoun has served as Senior Advisor for Intergovernmental Affairs since November 2008. In this capacity she is responsible for overseeing 11 regional offices throughout the State. Prior to this position, Ms. Calhoun was the Upstate Political and Field Director for the New York State Democratic Committee from May 2007 to November 2008. In this position, she was responsible for the strategic planning, messaging and daily operations of several field offices. Ms Calhoun began her government career in 2001 accepting a position as the Central New York Regional Director for U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. There, she spent six years representing the senator in 16 counties throughout Central New York. She resides in Rensselaer and has two daughters.

As Deputy Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs, Ms. Calhoun’s salary will be $158,000. This appointment does not require Senate confirmation.

Tom Congdon has served in the Executive Chamber since February 2007, first as Special Assistant for Energy and then as Assistant Secretary for Energy. From 2000-2007, he served as a policy analyst in the New York State Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Bureau. He received his Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University at Albany and his Master of Public Administration from Baruch College. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Tom was the policy director at the New York League of Conservation Voters.

As Deputy Secretary for Energy, Mr. Congdon’s salary will be $150,000. This appointment does not require Senate confirmation.

Francine James has served as Deputy Secretary for Appointments since January 1, 2007. During her tenure, Ms. James has played an integral role in assisting the Governor in making appointments to cabinet level, executive level and other State government positions, including appointments to over 600 boards and commissions. Before joining the Governor’s staff, Ms. James served as Assistant First Deputy Attorney General in the New York State Attorney General’s Office -- a 2,000 employee agency with 33 offices across New York State and a $220 million annual operating budget. There, Ms. James handled a variety of managerial, policy and legal issues and also oversaw the Legal Recruitment and Legal Training Bureaus of the office. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Ms. James worked for Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau. She held the position of an Assistant District Attorney for 11 years.

As Chief Deputy Director and Secretary to the Board of Commissioners for the New York State Insurance Fund, Ms. James’s salary will remain $175,897. This appointment does not require Senate confirmation.

Marissa Shorenstein has served as Deputy Director of Communications since June 2008. From 2004 to 2007, she served as Senior Manager for Strategic Planning and Corporate Communications for the New York Jets and spokesperson for the controversial stadium development project on Manhattan’s West Side. Prior to joining the Jets, Ms. Shorenstein was a Senior Associate at SS+K, a national strategic communications firm. She joined SS+K after serving as Press Secretary to Carl McCall’s campaign for Governor of New York. Ms. Shorenstein worked for the presidential bids of Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Wesley Clark. She has worked in television production at WNBC-TV and Court TV where she helped produce a six-part documentary series, The Greatest Trials of All Time. She served as New York Director of Communications for Cover the Uninsured Week, a campaign funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to create awareness about the millions of Americans who are without health insurance. Ms. Shorenstein received a Bachelor of Arts in Government with honors from Harvard University in just three years with no advanced standing. She received her Juris Doctor from Fordham Law School’s Evening Division.

As Deputy Director of Communications and Press Secretary, Ms. Shorenstein’s salary will be $154,000. This appointment does not require Senate confirmation.

Latia Curry has run her own marketing and consulting firm, called statemenT, since 2004. Ms. Curry’s firm specializes in strategic research, brand positioning, campaign strategy and execution, partnership development, cause marketing and account management for large corporations, leading non-profit organizations and advocacy groups. Prior to starting her own firm, Ms. Curry worked at PowerPact, a consumer marketing agency, and Shepardson Stern + Kaminsky, a leading integrated communications agency. She has also served as a marketing associate for the Coca-Cola Company. Ms. Curry graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in African and African-American Studies.

Ms. Curry will begin on July 20, 2009, and receive an annual salary of $120,000. This appointment does not require Senate confirmation.

Kermitt Brooks previously served as First Deputy Superintendent of the Department beginning in January 2007. As First Deputy, Brooks was the second in command of the Department, overseeing the functions handled by the Deputy Superintendents of the Department as well as the operations of the agency. In addition, he directly supervised the Life Insurance Bureau. Prior to that, Brooks served for almost eight years in the office of the New York State Attorney including five years as Deputy Attorney General for Operations. Before joining the Attorney General’s office, Brooks served as Counsel in the law department at Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in 1998, and as an Associate in the commercial litigation group at Nixon, Peabody LLP from 1989 to 1998. Brooks earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in international relations from the James Madison College at Michigan State University in 1986. He earned his law degree in 1989 from the University of Michigan School of Law, where he was a contributing editor to the Michigan Law Review.

As Acting Superintendent of the New York State Insurance Department, Mr. Brooks’s salary will be $165,125. This appointment does not require Senate confirmation.

Robert Beloten was named one of the Workers’ Compensation Board’s 12 commissioners in May, after having been a workers’ compensation judge from 1988 to 1996 and from 2000 until he became a commissioner. As a judge, he worked mostly in the system’s office in Jamaica, Queens. During the four years between his tenures as a compensation judge, Mr. Beloten worked for Keating & Klein, a law firm on Long Island that specializes in health care law. From 1985 to 1988, he was an assistant counsel for the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. He has lectured extensively on workers’ compensation and medical law.

Mr. Beloten will assume the chairmanship on July 15. As Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Board, his salary will be $120,800. Mr. Beloten’s received Senate confirmation at the time of his appointment to the Workers’ Compensation Board. This appointment does not require Senate confirmation.

Daniel Simmons was nominated by Governor Paterson to serve on the New York State Council on the Arts in May 2009, and was confirmed by the State Senate on June 2. Mr. Simmons is the co-founder and Chairman of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation (RPAF), an organization that provides arts access and education to disadvantaged youth. As part of his work with RPAF, he also founded Rush Arts Gallery and Corridor Gallery to showcase the work of emerging artists. Additionally, Mr. Simmons is a successful television producer, having worked as Executive Producer on the long-running HBO series Def Poetry Jam. Mr. Simmons serves on the boards of the Brooklyn Public Library and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

The position of Interim Chair of the New York State Council on the Arts is unpaid and does not require Senate confirmation.

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New York State | Executive Chamber | | 212.681.4640 | 518.474.8418


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