Meetings & Events       

Monthly luncheon meetings are open to the public and include guest speakers of interest to the general business community. These meetings offer opportunities for networking and meeting other consultants. They are held on the 2nd Friday of each month at Wolferts Roost Country Club, and the cost is $25 for guests and $20 for members. Please register online (below) at least 48 hours before the event; late registrations add $5.

Members-only meetings are also held monthly, with the schedule announced below. These meetings feature a “Member Spotlight”, which provides a member with an opportunity to familiarize attendees with his or her business or a special project of particular interest. The remainder of the agenda features presentations and discussions focused on business development or skill-building. Occasionally we also discuss Alliance business and ways to improve our organization. Fees for these meetings are the same as for the luncheons.

Cancellations:  Reservations are considered firm unless cancelled 48 hours prior to the program. The Alliance has the right to charge the full amount to registrants who do not cancel.

Upcoming Events

    • 10 Jun 2016
    • 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
    • Wolferts Roost Country Club, 120 Van Rensselaer Blvd., Albany NY 12204

    “Growing the Creative Economy – the Troy Innovation Garage”


    Speaker: Tom Nardacci, CEO and Founder, Troy Innovation Garage

    Tom Nardacci will discuss the Troy Innovation Garage, an entrepreneurial ecosystem specifically aimed at incubating, accelerating, fostering and growing creative economy companies in Upstate New York. The goal of The Garage is to generate a sustainable creative environment that advances progress in the region.

    Tom will talk about what led to the project, its current stage of development, and his vision for its future. He will also discuss how consultants can become involved in supporting businesses that participate in the Garage. The Innovation Garage is a 14,000 square foot building that includes 75 coworking seats, 14 private suites, conference and meeting rooms, and a multimedia studio, along with a software and video game studio. The Garage is the only business incubator in New York State targeted specifically to creative businesses.

    Tom Nardacci is recognized as a leading figure in the field of public relations across New York State. Over the course of a decade, Nardacci has grown his strategic communications company, Gramercy Communications, from the confines of a spare bedroom to one of Upstate New York's most respected strategic communications consulting practices. He is turning his attention to enabling other entrepreneurs and start-ups to achieve success through a unique coworking and incubation project called the Troy Innovation Garage.

    Nardacci's own experiences as a small business owner drove him to pursue The Garage, and to travel all over the country to meet with leading minds in entrepreneurship and innovation to bring successful strategies back to the Capital Region. Beyond providing a collaborative, inspiring environment for individuals and small teams, The Garage will offer unique programming and services to its members that will help jump start their ideas and business aspirations. The Garage is the first of its kind thanks to its focus on supporting companies and individuals working in the creative economy.

    The Garage will be anchored by Gramercy Communications, where Nardacci serves as Founder and CEO. Gramercy Communications has grown to one of the most respected communications agencies in the Northeast, and its clients represent over $5 billion worth of economic activity in New York State alone. Specializing in the areas of public relations, marketing and public affairs, Gramercy and its team members have been recognized time and time again for their work ethic, entrepreneurial vigor, boldness, creativity and passion.

    Nardacci was named “PR Practitioner of the Year” by the Public Relations Society of America Capital Region chapter, a “40 Under 40” emerging business leader by The Business Review and among “People to Watch” by Capital Region Living magazine, and has exercised a commitment to philanthropy and volunteerism throughout the Capital Region.

    Susanna Opper will be featured in our Member Spotlight presentation this month.   

    Members pay $20; Late Member Registrants pay $25

    Non-Members pay $25
    Late Non-Member Registrants pay $30

    Online payment is required.

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    • 24 Jun 2016
    • 7:30 AM - 9:15 AM
    • Wolferts Roost Country Club, Albany NY

    "A triple header!  Community of Practice, Innovation Tools, Consulting Alliance enhancement!"

    (Members Only)

    Tim Maniccia                             

      Leslie Berliant


    Facilitators: Tim Maniccia, Policy Innovation & Leslie Berliant, WB Consultancy

    Tim Maniccia and Leslie Berliant will co-lead our breakfast addressing three valuable topics:

    1.      What is a Community of Practice and how do we strengthen that aspect of the Consulting Alliance?
    2.      Understanding the Innovation process and how to use it in your business.
    3.      How do we innovate the Consulting Alliance to provide an even better return on investment for our members?

    Tim will give a short presentation on Community of Practice as a model for a collegial organization and then lead a short discussion on how well the Consulting Alliance provides that benefit. Leslie will then take us through a four stage process of innovation (investigation, creation, evaluation, and activation) that you can use in your business and that we will practice by developing new ideas for the Consulting Alliance. This will be a hand’s on brainstorming, strategic planning and activation session.  The end result will be some intense learning and some new strategic ideas for the Consulting Alliance.  Attend this breakfast to learn and get your ideas on the table about the Consulting Alliance’s future!

    Tim Maniccia founded Policy Innovation in 2000 to help advocates use online tools in their issue campaigns.  Over the years, he has shifted his focus as the market for his services has shifted. Today, Policy Innovation is at the forefront of firms using the analytically-driven approach described as Moneyball by author Michael Lewis.

    Since founding WB Consultancy in 2000, Leslie Berliant has worked with organizations and mission driven companies to help them become more innovative, better communicate to their core audiences, spread their brand, and grow.  From strategic communications, public relations and partnership development to innovation and creative ideation to managing organizational transition and transformation, Leslie has worked with dozens of organizations of all sizes to help them communicate, manage change, develop new strategies and reach their goals.


    System Requirements for GoTo Webinar   

    To attend the meeting using a PC:

        Internet Explorer® 6.0 or newer, Mozilla FireFox® 3.0 or newer, (JavaScriptTM and JavaTM enabled)
        Windows® 7 or newer, Vista, XP, 2003 Server or 2000 
        Cable modem, DSL, or better Internet connection
        Minimum of Pentium® class 1GHz CPU with 512 MB or RAM (recommended) and 2 GB of RAM for Windows Vista
        For the audio portion, participants can dial in by phone.  Those wishing to connect to audio VoIP will need a fast Internet connection (384kbps or more recommended), a microphone and speakers (a USB headset is recommended).

    To attend the meeting using a Macintosh®:

        Safari® 3.0 or newer, Mozilla FireFox® 3.0 or newer, (JavaScriptTM and JavaTM enabled)
        Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger® or newer)
        PowerPC G4/G5 or Intel processor (512 MB of RAM or better recommended)
        Cable modem, DSL, or better Internet connection
        For the audio connection, participants can dial in by phone.  Those wishing to connect to audio VoIP will need a fast Internet connection (384kbps or more recommended), a microphone and speakers (a USB headset is recommended).

    You can also log on using your tablet or smartphone.

    Members pay $15; Late Member Registrants pay $20

    Online payment is required. Remote participation is free to Members only.




    • 15 Jul 2016
    • 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
    • Wolferts Roost Country Club, 120 Van Rensselaer Blvd., Albany NY 12204

    “Ebola, Zika, and the Dawn of Global Pandemics: What’s coming next and what we all need to know? When does global become local?”  (3rd Friday)


    Speaker: John Justino, the Director of the University at Albany Center for Global Health

    John Justino will discuss current global health issues and why we all need to be well informed about today’s global health challenges and threats. He will also address why we as a nation must invest significantly in collaborative international efforts to address them. Prior to his work with the School of Public Health, John had a successful international consulting practice. He will talk about what that was like and what it takes to become a successful international consultant.

    Throughout his career, John Justino has worked at the intersection of the private and public sectors. For more than 20 years, Mr. Justino has applied proven business, management and marketing practices to achieve positive social change and to improve the health of vulnerable populations around the globe.

    For over 15 years John has worked with Population Services International (PSI), one of the largest social marketing / behavior change communication organizations in the world with health promotion programs in nearly 60 countries ( For more than ten of these years, John served as a PSI Country Director and the Chief of Party for several national scale health interventions. Mr. Justino has obtained and managed large, multi-year grants and contracts from a broad array of international donor agencies and programs such as: The USAID Bureau for Global Health; The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI); The USAID Child Survival Health Grants Program; The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); UNICEF; UNFPA; The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW); The Department for International Development (DfID or UKAID); The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA); The Malawi Ministry of Health; The Proctor & Gamble Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program; and various private foundations.

    In this current role, John is able to apply his unique mix of business acumen, executive leadership, social marketing and health communication skills, and social entrepreneurship to ensure the long-term growth and sustainability of the Center for Global Health and its programs. John applies these same skills and his global health field experience to effectively support and advise students and faculty as they pursue meaningful opportunities to engage in and address today’s most pressing global health challenges.       

    Lynne Bunnell will be featured in our Member Spotlight presentation this month.   

    Members pay $20; Late Member Registrants pay $25

    Non-Members pay $25
    Late Non-Member Registrants pay $30

    Online payment is required.

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    • 12 Aug 2016
    • 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM
    • Yanni's Too

    "Members Only (Plus One) Summer Social"


    Date: Friday - August 12th
    Time: 11:30 am - 2:00 pm
    Place: Yanni's Too, 16 Marina Dr., Coeymans
    Directions link below


    Every August the Consulting Alliance has only one meeting, a members only event. The objective of this event is to allow members to get to know each other in a more casual way and build deeper relationships.

    Join us for our Summer Social at Yanni's Too.
    (Cash bar is available.)

    Hope to see you all there!

    Members pay $20; Late Registrants pay $25.  Casual dress code and reservations are required.  Online payment is required.

Past Events

20 May 2016 Building a Business Foundation in the Cloud (Members Only)
06 May 2016 The A, B, C’s of Angel Investing
29 Apr 2016 Wordsmithing Your Distinction (Members Only)
08 Apr 2016 Conducting Business: Maestro David Alan Miller talks about Leadership, Inspiration, Managing Really Smart People, and Keeping Arts Institutions Strong
18 Mar 2016 Breakfast with a Regional Leader - Michael J. Hickey of CEG (Members Only)
11 Mar 2016 Zen Entrepreneurship
26 Feb 2016 Using the Cloud and Safeguarding Your Data (Members Only)
22 Jan 2016 Turn up the Flow in Your Business - Lean Tools for Consultants (Members Only)
08 Jan 2016 Lessons on Creating a Successful Business Through a Winning Culture
10 Dec 2015 Holiday Gathering (Members Only - Plus 1*)
20 Nov 2015 "Innovation Prototyping – Building Innovation Into Your Business" (Members Only)
13 Nov 2015 “David vs. Goliath: Competing Against the Big Guys and Winning”
23 Oct 2015 You want how much for your business?? (Members Only)
09 Oct 2015 Stand Out: How to Attract the Connected Generation and Win the Battle for Attention Online
25 Sep 2015 Breakfast with Michael Fancher, VP Business Development, SUNY Polytechnic (Members Only)
18 Sep 2015 Conscious Communication for Improved Relationships (New Date)
13 Aug 2015 Members Only (Plus One) Summer Social
24 Jul 2015 The Art of Backwards Planning (Members Only)
17 Jul 2015 Opportunities for Service Providers in the Global Marketplace
26 Jun 2015 Breakfast with Mark Eagan, CEO of the Albany Colonie Chamber (Members Only)
12 Jun 2015 Economic Development in Albany with Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan
29 May 2015 Create a Hook with Your Book: A Consultant’s Guide to Publishing (Members Only)
08 May 2015 The Accidental Sales Executive
24 Apr 2015 Learn More About your Consulting Alliance Benefits (Members Only)
16 Apr 2015 Webinar: Using LinkedIn to Build Your Business
10 Apr 2015 Listening 3.0 - Enhancing This Super-skill for Increased Sales and Relationship Building
27 Mar 2015 Planning for What’s Down the Road (Members Only)
13 Mar 2015 Discover the Big Reward in Writing a Little Book for Your Business
10 Mar 2015 Webinar: Being Confident in a Sales Situation
13 Feb 2015 Get Your Piece of the Local Economic Development Pie
27 Jan 2015 Webinar: Time Kills Sales
23 Jan 2015 What to Charge?
09 Jan 2015 Your Memory: How to Easily Transform an Embarrassing Liability
10 Dec 2014 Holiday Gathering
21 Nov 2014 “Thanksgiving Think Tank"
14 Nov 2014 Succeeding by Failing
10 Oct 2014 From Bust to Blockbuster: Business Lessons from the Making of Gone With the Wind
12 Sep 2014 Inspiring Ourselves and Others
08 Aug 2014 Members Only (Plus One) Summer Social
25 Jul 2014 Seeing Your Business from Your Customer’s Perspective
18 Jul 2014 The Art of Saying Yes and Knowing When to Say No
13 Jun 2014 The View from the Business Review
23 May 2014 Get LinkedIn or Get Left Behind
09 May 2014 Difficult Customers – and How I’ve Handled Them
25 Apr 2014 Are You a Reluctant Salesperson?
11 Apr 2014 Writing for the Web
27 Mar 2014 Do You Need Professional Help? Outsourcing 7 Top Tasks
14 Mar 2014 Like. Share. Succeed: The ROI of Social Media and Community Good
28 Feb 2014 DIY or Outsource?
21 Feb 2014 Save the World by Speaking: Lessons from a Ninja Speaker Coach
24 Jan 2014 2014-Developing Y/Our Future
10 Jan 2014 The Power of Body Language
10 Dec 2013 Holiday Gathering
21 Nov 2013 Effective B2B Communication-A Conversation
08 Nov 2013 Brain Business: Use Your Brain for a Change
29 Oct 2013 CA ANNUAL R2R EVENT: Featuring an Interactive Symposium- Innovation Matters, A Creative Exploration
23 Oct 2013 Webinar / Conference Call - The Benefits of Basecamp for Project Management
11 Oct 2013 From Hard Rock to Exceptional Hospitality
24 Sep 2013 Professional and Business Development Breakfast
13 Sep 2013 How I Started My Career as a Serial Entrepreneur
09 Aug 2013 Members Only Summer Casual Networking Event
26 Jul 2013 What is your video message?
12 Jul 2013 How to Stop Killing Good Ideas
28 Jun 2013 Thought Leadership - 140 Characters at a Time
14 Jun 2013 Marketing Made Simple: Let Your Message Be Heard
30 May 2013 Professional and Business Development Luncheon & Insight from R2R Winners
10 May 2013 Scenic Views of Volunteerism: Enhance Your Business Through Compassion
26 Apr 2013 Professional and Business Development Breakfast
12 Apr 2013 Four Speakers and Their Must-Have Business Tools
22 Mar 2013 Partnering with the College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering
08 Mar 2013 Influence Without Arm Twisting
22 Feb 2013 Business Development Opportunities with The Consulting Alliance
15 Feb 2013 Overcoming Obstacles While Growing a Family Business
25 Jan 2013 Members Only - What's in store for 2013?
11 Jan 2013 Promoting You and Your Business!
14 Dec 2012 Holiday Gathering
28 Nov 2012 "Roadmap to Results Roundtable" Event
26 Oct 2012 Bringing it all together: Pooling resources to serve today's Tech Valley
12 Oct 2012 Albany Women Business Leaders Share Their Success Stories
28 Sep 2012 Staying on Message: How to Create Powerful Content
14 Sep 2012 Grow Your Business: Four Exciting Speakers Tell You How
10 Aug 2012 Members Only Summer Casual Networking Event
27 Jul 2012 LinkedIn for the Intermediate or Hardcore
13 Jul 2012 Lessons Learned from a Sales Leader
22 Jun 2012 Sharing How We Go About Generating Business
08 Jun 2012 Achieving Online Success Where The Competition Has Failed
17 May 2012 Tech Talk
11 May 2012 "Turning Life Into a Business"
27 Apr 2012 Networking vs. Relationship Building
13 Apr 2012 "Creating the Capacity for Innovation"
22 Mar 2012 Launching the CA Business Development Initiative
09 Mar 2012 "Our People Make Our Company Great"
24 Feb 2012 Business Ethics
10 Feb 2012 "Success Has a Method"
27 Jan 2012 From Consultant to Acquired and Back: Lessons Learned
13 Jan 2012 "Using the Skills You Have to Build the Business You Want"
18 Nov 2011 Designing the Consulting Alliance’s 20th Anniversary Celebration
11 Nov 2011 "The Leadership Performance: Developing Authentic Strength, Influence and Trust"
28 Oct 2011 Strategic Positioning at the Alliance
14 Oct 2011 "Creativity: The Key to Your Business Success”
23 Sep 2011 New Vision for the Future of the Consulting Alliance
09 Sep 2011 "Ethical Journalism in Challenging Times”
12 Aug 2011 Members Only August Social
22 Jul 2011 Consulting Alliance Comparative Benchmarking Report
08 Jul 2011 "Speed Networking for New Connections”
24 Jun 2011 Is This Still Where We Want to Be Going?
10 Jun 2011 "Hyper-Local Social Media: The Next Frontier”
27 May 2011 Making the Most of Your Web Presence
13 May 2011 "The Truth About Networking”
29 Apr 2011 Simplify SEO & Google Analytics to Get Found, Get Leads, and Get Sales
08 Apr 2011 “Getting Your Website to Complement Your Social Media Efforts”
25 Mar 2011 What Happens when Consulting Alliance Members Collaborate
11 Mar 2011 “More Than Mountains and Lakes: Business Dynamics in the North Country”
11 Feb 2011 "When Generations Collaborate for the Greater Good"
03 Feb 2011 "Why do they do that?"
28 Jan 2011 Creating Your Personal Brand
14 Jan 2011 "Winning Clients: One Businessman's Success Strategies"
19 Nov 2010 Annual Membership and Planning Meeting
12 Nov 2010 "Nursing in the 21st Century"
22 Oct 2010 Round Table Discussion
08 Oct 2010 "Producing the Berkshire Forum"
24 Sep 2010 Tech Talk
10 Sep 2010 "Lessons Learned from Teaching 10,000 Leaders Worldwide"
17 Aug 2010 What’s on Your Phone? Is Your Cell a Friend or Foe?
13 Aug 2010 Members Only August Social
28 Jul 2010 Launching Your Consulting Career: Choosing a Business Type
23 Jul 2010 Members Only Networking Event
28 May 2010 Semi-Annual Consulting Alliance Planning Breakfast
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