For Release — Monday, September 24, 2000
BUSINESS COUNCIL ELECTS FIVE NEW DIRECTORS
ALBANY, N.Y. - Five of New York's top business leaders have been elected to the board of directors of The Business Council of New York State. The elections took place Wednesday, Sept. 19, at The Business Council's Annual Meeting.
The new directors are:
- Howard Berman, chief executive officer of Excellus in Rochester, a $2 billion-plus not-for-profit parent of health insurers and health-care providers in central and western New York. After earning a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois and a master's in hospital administration from the University of Michigan, he held administrative positions with the American Hospital Association, the Hospital Research and Educational Trust, the national Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, and the New York City Department of Hospitals. He joined the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of the Rochester Area as president and chief executive officer in 1985.
- Henry McKinnell, chief executive officer of Pfizer Inc., the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical company. After earning master's and doctoral degrees in business at Stanford University, McKinnell joined Pfizer in 1971 in Tokyo. Over the years, he held positions of increasing responsibility for Pfizer subsidiaries, including service as president of Pfizer Asia, based in Hong Kong. He also served as Pfizer's president and chief operating officer, executive vice president, chief financial officer, and president of Pfizer's Medical Technology Group.
- Steven Reinemund, chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo, the world's fifth-largest food and beverage company. Reinemund, a 1970 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a 1978 MA graduate of the University of Virginia, served five years as an officer in the United States Marine Corps, achieving the rank of captain. He began his career at PepsiCo in 1984 at the corporation's former Pizza Hut division, where he served as CEO from 1986 until 1992. He then led Frito-Lay North America (1992-1996) before becoming chairman and CEO of Frito-Lay Company from 1996-1999. After serving as president and chief operating officer for PepsiCo, he became chairman and CEO in May 2001.
- John J. Rigas, founder Adelphia Communications, one of the nation's leading cable companies, as well as its chairman, president, and chief executive officer. He is also chairman of Adelphia Business Solutions and the majority owner of the Buffalo Sabres Hockey Club. Since earning a bachelor's degree in management engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he has owned and operated cable systems since 1952, beginning when there were only 60 small cable systems nationwide. In 1972, he and his brother, Gus, incorporated their cable holdings into Adelphia Communications, which became a publicly traded company in 1986.
- Vincent Volpe, president of Dresser-Rand, a leading provider of energy-conversion and compression technologies to the energy industry. After earning bachelor's degrees in mechanical engineering and German literature from Lehigh University, he joined the former Dresser-Clark division in 1981 as an application engineer. He then served in a variety of engineering, marketing, and operations positions around the world for Dresser-Rand. In 1997, he returned to Olean as president of the company's Turbo Products Division. He became chief operating officer for Dresser-Rand Co. in January 1999, and was appointed president in August 2000.
In addition, The Council elected a chairman, vice chairman, and vice chairman for finance. They are (respectively): William Allyn, chairman and CEO of Welch Allyn Ventures, LLC; Robert B. Catell, chairman and CEO of KeySpan Energy; and Alair Townsend, publisher of Crain's New York Business.
The Business Council is New York's largest broad-based business group, representing nearly 4,000 member companies large and small across the state. Based in Albany, it lobbies for a better business climate and offers cost-cutting services to its members.
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