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For Release — January 30, 2013

The Business Council elects three new board members and new vice chair

ALBANY—The Business Council of New York State's Board of Directors at its January board meeting elected three new members, Marissa Shorenstein, Christopher Booth and Eric Allyn . At the same meeting James Gerace was elected to serve as an officer of The Business Council.

"These three extraordinary individuals will be a great asset to The Business Council as we work to create good jobs and strong communities in New York," said Heather Briccetti, president & CEO of The Business Council of New York State.

"Jim Gerace has been a valuable member of our board, and we look forward to the insight and leadership he will bring as a vice chair of The Business Council," added Briccetti.

Marissa Shorenstein - President, New York State, AT&T, Inc.
In her role as president, Marissa oversees AT&T's external and public affairs including regulatory and legislative agendas, strategic communications, sponsorships and foundation activities for the state of New York.

Under Marissa's leadership, AT&T has expanded its focus on local communities across the state by supporting key organizations and initiatives that speak to the cultural vibrancy of each community. In New York City, that means broadening the reach of popular community events such as the Brooklyn Book Festival and DUMBO Arts Festival by creating festival apps. Across the state, that means joining with local law enforcement officials to educate students about the dangers of texting and driving through AT&T's award winning "It Can Wait" campaign...

Marissa serves on the Board of Directors of the Phoenix House Foundation, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Next Generation Board, the board of The Battery Conservancy and the Advisory Board of the Joan Shorenstein Center for Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. She is a trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission and represents AT&T at the Partnership for New York City and on the YMCA's Development Committee.

Eric Allyn - Co-Chairman, Board of Directors Welch Allyn Inc.
Eric Allyn has spent most of his career working at Welch Allyn, beginning with his first summer job in 1982. He has held various executive roles in International Business Development, International and US Marketing, US Specialty Sales, Japan and UK Country Management, and SBU Management, as well as numerous other positions within Welch Allyn's Skaneateles facilities.

Most recently, Eric was the Interim Managing Director of the Allyn Family Office. Eric has lived overseas for five years, including two years with Welch Allyn in the UK, and three years in France and Switzerland as both a student and a teacher.

Outside of Welch Allyn, Eric is the Chairman of the Board at Auburn Community Hospital, and serves on the Boards of GOJO (makers of Purell), Pharma Tech Inc, Diffinity Genomics, Hospital Trustees of NY State, and Family Enterprise USA. Eric also serves on both the Gifford Foundation and Allyn Foundation boards. Eric is a 1986 graduate of Dartmouth College and earned an MBA from The Darden School at the University of Virginia in 1990.

Christopher Booth - Chief Executive Officer, The Lifetime Healthcare Companies
Christopher Booth is Chief Executive Officer of The Lifetime Healthcare Companies which include Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS), Univera Healthcare, Lifetime Health Medical Group, Lifetime Care, EBS-RMSCO Benefit Solutions and MedAmerica. The Lifetime Healthcare Companies is a $6.2 billion enterprise headquartered in Rochester, NY.

Chris has been a senior executive with The Lifetime Healthcare Companies since 2004. Excellus BCBS and Univera Healthcare provide coverage to 1.9 million members. Excellus BCBS is the market share leader in the upstate New York communities it serves. He began his career in 1986 at Hinman Straub, P.C. in Albany, with a practice dedicated exclusively to health care services for insurers and HMO's. Serving the Rochester community, Chris is a Trustee at St. John Fisher College, WXXI Rochester's public television and radio stations, Young Entrepreneurs Academy and the Greater Rochester Enterprise. He is also a member of the State Public Health and Health Planning Council.

Chris earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and a Juris Doctor degree from Union University's Albany Law School.

Jim Gerace - Vice President New York Region, Verizon Communications, Inc.
Jim Gerace is vice president State Government Affairs for the New York region for Verizon. He is responsible for the company's corporate interests-including public policy, government and external affairs, regulatory matters, and philanthropy-in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

Gerace is an industry leader on wireless customer-friendly policies including the Verizon Wireless 30-day network test drive pledge that pays for calls if a customer isn't satisfied and switches to another carrier. Additionally, he champions initiatives concerning customer privacy, local number portability and safe driving.

Under his direction, Verizon Wireless distinguished itself as the first wireless company to recycle customers' no-longer-used phones and donate them to victims of domestic violence through the launch of its HopeLine community service program. The program also encourages and facilitates the environmentally safe recycling of old wireless phones.

Gerace is also a board member of Choose NJ, and of Catholic Charities of New York. An advocate for domestic violence prevention, Jim is president of the board of Jersey Battered Women's Service, Inc., a private, non-profit agency that provides valuable life-saving services to victims of domestic violence. Additionally, Gerace is on the board of Inroads of the New York/New Jersey Region, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and placing talented minority youth in business preparing them for corporate and community leadership.

Gerace received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the State University of New York at Buffalo.