40 Under 40 Rising Stars Albany 2016


Everyone knows who the three men in the room are. A top prosecutor has become well-known for targeting public corruption. And any number of elected officials, advisers, advocates and reporters have made names for themselves in the halls of the state Capitol.

In this issue, we shift the spotlight to a lesser-known group: Albany’s next generation of leaders. Our annual list of the state’s most promising young political talent is as impressive as ever, featuring top aides, key lobbyists, young entrepreneurs and more – all of them under the age of 40.

Who knows? One of them might be the next governor. Another could rise to lead the Senate or the Assembly. In the decades ahead, many of them are sure to become influential players in state politics and government.  

So without further ado, we present this year’s Albany 40 Under 40 Rising Stars.

-Jon Lentz, senior editor


Assemblyman Ron Castorina

Assemblywoman Jaime Williams

David Previte, parliamentarian and senior counsel, New York state Senate Republicans  

Dana Carotenuto Rico, chief of staff, New York state Senate Independent Democratic Conference

Maureen Wren, deputy press secretary, New York state Senate Republicans

Reid Sims, director of executive chamber operations, Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Loren Amor, political director, Democratic Senate Campaign Committee

Steven Toff, director of strategic campaigns, NYSNA

Thomas Meara, principal, Kivvit

Kristen McManus, legislative analyst/political strategist, AARP

Nicole Weingartner, state government relations coordinator, Davidoff Hutcher & Citron

Jahmila Joseph, assistant associate director, District Council 37

Joseph DeRosa, lobbyist, Bolton-St. Johns

Cassie Marie Prugh, assistant to the president, United Federation of Teachers 

Jessica Ladlee, communications specialist, CSEA

Morgan Hook, senior vice president, SKDKnickerbocker 

Heather Leibowitz, state director, Environment New York

Greg Biryla, executive director, Unshackle Upstate

Gabriel Cowles, program manager, Build Smart NY, NYPA 

Marie Zimmerman, partner, KPMG

José Paulino, executive director, Somos el Futuro

Jake Adler, New York director for policy, Orthodox Union

Kristina Wieneke, director of public policy, American Lung Association

Scott Hobson, New York state grassroots manager, American Cancer Society 

David Friedfel, director of state studies, Citizens Budget Commission 

Jasmine Gripper, legislative director, Alliance for Quality Education 

Candis Tolliver, deputy political director, 32BJ SEIU

Vivian Yee, reporter, The New York Times

Matthew Hamilton, reporter, Albany Times Union

Kevin Eitzman, digital director/assistant field coordinator, New York State AFL-CIO 

Sonia Lindell, manager of government affairs, Business Council of New York State

Lacey Keller, director of research and analytics, office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

Kyle Seeley, special assistant to the chief of staff and special projects manager, office of state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli 

Katie Codey, deputy director of state operations, Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

April Corrigan, attorney, Cordo and Co.

Adam Morey, government affairs specialist, Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York

Kristen Curran, attorney, Robert Ungar and Associates 

Jonathan McCardle, attorney, Featherstonhaugh, Wiley & Clyne

Joseph Popcun, policy adviser, public safety, Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Hillary Peckham, COO, co-owner and founder, Etain, LLC

NEXT STORY: Power 100 – Albany 2016