Speakers Bureau

Business Council Speakers Bureau

Making Your Event a Success!

Planning a great meeting involves details too numerous to count... not the least of which is booking just the right speaker. Quality speakers are critical to your meeting's success.
The Business Council’s Speakers Bureau focuses on providing you with the best speaker for your event that we hope will exceed your expectations.
Our speakers are both entertaining and informative. They have a wealth of knowledge about government affairs and the people who influence policy in Albany, across the state and in Washington.
Whether you’re looking for a speech or lecture on today’s hard-hitting business topics or the latest Human Resource tips we have a speaker that will fit your needs.
Heather Briccetti

Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., President and CEO

Heather C. Briccetti, Esq. is the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of The Business Council of New York State, Inc., the primary, statewide association advocating for New York’s business community. Ms. Briccetti is a dynamic leader, trusted advisor and champion for economic growth, good jobs and strong communities across New York.

As a visionary for New York’s economy, she has created a leading voice for business on economic growth, corporate governance, tax policy, labor, manufacturing, campaign finance reform, value creation, and education, among other issues. 

Staff Bio

John T. Evers

John T. Evers, PhD

Specialties: Construction, Contract Procurement, Manufacturing, Technology/Telecommunications, Transportation, Travel & Tourism

Johnny Evers, Director of Government Affairs, is responsible for advocacy on construction, contract procurement, manufacturing, technology/telecommunications, transportation and travel & tourism issues.

Johnny’s work experience includes service in the New York State Assembly; as executive director of the Food Bank Association of New York State, the Director of Legislative Affairs for the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance; and most recently for Albany County as Commissioner of General Services, and the County Director of Operations.

Employed by The Business Council from 1999-2004, Evers’ previous issue areas included Energy, Transportation, Construction, and U.S. Borders & Trade.

Active in state and local community affairs, he has served as President of the Board of Education for the City of Albany, a member of the New York State Council on Food Policy, Acting Secretary of the Albany Public Library Board of Trustees, and Treasurer of the Albany Police Athletic League (PAL). His affiliations also include board membership on the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce’s Al Tech Loan Fund, Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Albany Downtown BID.

He currently serves as a member of the board of directors of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, Foundation Board of LaSalle School in Albany, the Empire Society of Association Executives (ESSAE) and the City of Albany Citizens' Police Review Commission.

A Bachelor of Arts graduate of Siena College (’91), he also holds a Master of Arts (’98) and Doctorate (’13) in Public Policy History from the State University of New York at Albany. His doctoral dissertation focused on Governor Al Smith and the Moreland Act. Evers has been published numerous times on topics including New York State governmental and political history. He has also served as the Albany County Historian and Historian of the New York State Assembly.

You can contact Johnny at [email protected].

Staff Bio

Lev Ginsburg

Lev Ginsburg, Esq.

Specialties: Health Care/Health Insurance, Financial Services and Legal Reform

Lev Ginsburg, Esq., Senior Director of Government Affairs, is responsible for The Business Council's advocacy on health care & health insurance, financial services and legal reform issues. He is a graduate of the University of Buffalo and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Prior to his legal education, Lev served as a staff member for U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, and as a staff attorney with T-Mobile Communications, handling real estate leasing and title issues. Lev then served for seven years as attorney and staff supervisor with the former Governor's Office of Regulatory Reform (GORR). At GORR, Lev handled stakeholder outreach and regulatory oversight over most State regulatory agencies, and his regulatory oversight work covered a broad range of issue areas with a focus on health and labor regulations.

You can contact Lev at [email protected].

Staff Bio

Frank Kerbein

Frank Kerbein

Specialties: Labor and Human Resources, Unemployment Insurance and Workers' Compensation

Frank Kerbein, Director of the Center for Human Resources, is responsible for advocacy on labor/HR, unemployment insurance and workers' compensation issues. Frank comes to The Business Council from the New York State Funeral Directors Association where he was Director of Member Relations. At the Funeral Directors Association, Frank provided human resource and OSHA consulting services to employers of all sizes. Additional experience includes roles as the Executive Director of Foundation Services, and Director of Education and Training. Prior work experience includes human resources staff and leadership positions in the financial services and health care arenas.

Frank is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He is also SPHR certified and has more than 30 years of experience in all areas of human resource management.

You can contact Frank at [email protected].

Staff Bio

Ken Pokalsky

Ken Pokalsky, Vice President

Specialties: Taxes, Economic Development and Chambers of Commerce

Ken is responsible for management of The Business Council's government affairs staff and the Council’s overall legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts; he is also directly responsible for the Council’s lobbying on economic development and taxation issues. He has served on numerous state advisory panels, and is currently a member of the state’s Business Taxpayer Advisory Committee. Ken has been with The Business Council since 1982. He is a graduate of the SUNY Albany Graduate School of Public Affairs (MPA '83) and SUNY at Brockport (BA in Political Science, '80).

Liaison with: Empire State Development Corporation and Department of Taxation and Finance.

You can contact Ken at [email protected].

Staff Bio

Darren Suarez

Darren Suarez

Specialties: Energy, Environment and Occupational Safety and Health (OSH)

Darren Suarez, Senior Director of Government Affairs, is responsible for advocacy on energyenvironmental, and occupational safety and health issues.

Prior to joining The Business Council, Darren worked at Hinman Straub LLC, where he lobbied for a number of Fortune 500 companies on energy and environmental issues. He also previously served as the program director for environmental and economic development for the New York State Senate, where he represented the Majority Leader at meetings and public events in addition to developing, amending, and negotiating economic development tax incentives.

Additionally, he was also a government affairs representative for the City University of New York and Cornell University, and worked for the New York State Department of Labor as a job services representative — working with employers to meet their workforce needs.

Darren holds a degree in Political Science from UMass — Dartmouth. He was the recipient of the 2006 Economic Development Service Award in recognition of work in attracting GlobalFoundries to construct a $3.2 billion 300 mm-wafer fab in New York State. In 2005, Darren was awarded the New York Nature Conservancy’s Salamander Award for working to protect New York’s biodiversity and was a joint recipient of the 2004 National Conference of State Legislatures Staff Chair Award for work as a primary author of New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program.

You can contact Darren at [email protected].

Staff Bio