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Advisory Boards

Advisory Boards
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Consumer Protection Task Force

The Consumer Protection Task Force advises the Department on its work related to the wellbeing of households and small businesses in New York. The Task Force’s members provide expertise on a wide array of topics that relate to the Department’s commitment to protecting and empowering consumers, including public health, debt collection and foreclosure, community development, and insurance.

Task Force Membership

Chuck Bell
Consumer Reports
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Mr. Bell is the Programs Director for the advocacy division of Consumer Reports, where he represents CR's positions on consumer protection issues in New York and other Northeastern states. He works on a wide range of consumer policy issues, including financial services, healthcare, privacy, product safety and food safety. He holds a B.A. from Antioch University-Seattle.

Elisabeth Benjamin
Community Service Society
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Ms. Benjamin is the Vice President of Health Initiatives at the Community Service Society, where she supervises health policy, health advocacy, and consumer health assistance programs. Collectively, her programs help over 100,000 New Yorkers access health insurance and low-cost health care each year. Ms. Benjamin is a co-founder of the Health Care for All New York Campaign, a statewide coalition of over 170 organizations devoted to securing affordable, quality health care for New Yorkers. She received a Master of Science degree in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health and a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.

Carolyn Coffey
Mobilization for Justice
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Ms. Coffey is the Director of Litigation for Economic Justice at Mobilization for Justice, where she oversees the organization's economic justice work and supervises the Consumer Rights and Bankruptcy projects. She advocates for clients in various forums, conducts trainings on consumer law, and engages in legislative and policy advocacy. She is a graduate of CUNY School of Law.

Beth Finkel
New York State Office, AARP
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Ms. Finkel is the State Director for the New York State Office of the AARP, where she leads day-to-day operations advocating for New York’s 50-plus population. Prior to her appointment as State Director, she was the Senior Manager of Community Outreach for AARP New York. During Ms. Finkel’s tenure as State Director, AARP has achieved historic NYS reforms including passage of the Care Act, Assisted Living protections, Anti Predatory Lending, Paid Family Leave and Affordable Housing in NYC legislation and numerous bills on Kincare. Ms. Finkel served on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Hunger Taskforce, represents AARP New York on the Governor’s Office of Community Living Advisory Committee, as well as the Governor’s SMART Commission, and also serves on Senator Kristen Gillibrand’s Working Group for the Aging. A native New Yorker, Ms. Finkel holds a Master of Social Work in Community Organization from Yeshiva University and a Bachelor of Science from American University in Business Administration.

Jacob (Jay) Inwald
Legal Services NYC
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Mr. Inwald is Director of Foreclosure Prevention at Legal Services NYC, supervising the organization’s foreclosure prevention, anti-predatory lending, abusive mortgage servicing and fair lending practice, which encompasses a range of foreclosure prevention and affirmative litigation at Legal Services NYC’s offices across New York City. He is a statewide expert on foreclosure law and policy, regularly conducts trainings on civil procedure, foreclosure law and consumer protection throughout New York City, across New York State, and across the country, and he has played a leading role in developing and maintaining an online foreclosure practice resource used by non-profit foreclosure defense practitioners across New York State. He presently serves on the New York City Bar Association’s Foreclosure Task Force, is co-chair of the Mortgage Working Group of New Yorkers for Responsible Lending, and is a technical assistance subcontractor in New York City for the New York State Attorney General’s Home Owner Protection Program’s statewide network of non-profit foreclosure prevention advocates. He received a B.A. from Brandeis University and a J.D. from George Washington University School of Law.

Paul Kantwill
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
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Mr. Kantwill serves as Distinguished Professor in Residence, and Executive Director, Rule of Law Program, Loyola University Chicago School of Law. His work involves consumer protection law with an emphasis on protecting military servicemembers, veterans, and their families in the financial marketplace, National Security Law, and International Law and the Rule of Law. Most recently, he served as an Assistant Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, leading the Office of Servicemember Affairs. Colonel Kantwill had a distinguished 25-year military career as an Active Duty Officer in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He is the recipient of numerous military awards and decorations, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Star Medals, and the Department of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service. He also serves also as the Executive Director of the Center for Veteran Advocacy and Protection, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of servicemembers, veterans, and their families in the financial marketplace.

Neha M. Karambelkar
Western New York Law Center
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Ms. Karambelkar is a Staff Attorney at Western New York Law Center, Inc. where her primary focus is her work at Civil Legal Advice and Resource Office (CLARO) Buffalo, a consumer debt clinic that offers counsel, advice, education and representation to pro se litigants being sued as debtors in collection matters. She also practices foreclosure defense and bankruptcy. In addition to her consumer defense practice, Ms. Karambelkar is an active member of New Yorkers for Responsible Lending, a statewide coalition of more than 160 non-profit organizations that promotes access to fair and affordable financial services throughout New York State. She currently co-chairs the coalition's Insurance Working Group. She received her B.A. from the University of Rochester and her J.D. from New York Law School.

Kirsten E. Keefe
Empire Justice Center
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Ms. Keefe is a senior staff attorney with the Consumer Finance and Housing Unit at Empire Justice Center.  She works on policy issues regarding mortgage lending, foreclosure, accountability in higher education and consumer financial issues, and directs the Anchor Partner program for the NYS Office of the Attorney General’s Homeownership Protection Program, overseeing the statewide administration of grants to non-profit organizations providing direct assistance to homeowners. Ms. Keefe is an expert on anti-predatory lending and foreclosure actions. She received a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and a J.D. from Beasley School of Law at Temple University, where she has subsequently lectured on consumer law. She also served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand.

Peter Kochenburger
University of Connecticut Law School
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Professor Kochenburger is an expert in insurance and consumer law and, since 2004, has been a faculty member at the University of Connecticut Law School, where he is Executive Director of the Insurance LLM Program and Deputy Director of the Insurance Law Center. He is a funded Consumer Representative of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, where he advocates for consumer interests on property-casualty and life insurance regulatory issues. Professor Kochenburger formerly served as an assistant attorney general in the Consumer Protection Division of Iowa’s Department of Justice, where he enforced consumer credit laws and led litigation against several large financial services companies. He is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School.

Sarah Ludwig
New Economy Project
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Ms. Ludwig is co-director of New Economy Project, which she founded in 1995 as the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project. New Economy Project works with community groups to build a just economy for all, based on cooperation, racial, economic and gender justice, and ecological sustainability. The organization pursues lasting, transformational change by supporting cooperative, community-controlled development, and fights discriminatory economic practices that perpetuate segregation, inequality, and poverty. Ms. Ludwig received degrees in law and urban planning from NYU, and her undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College.

Frankie Miranda
Hispanic Federation
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Mr. Miranda is Executive Director of the Hispanic Federation, responsible for managing the organization’s operations, external relations, community service events, and the Hispanic Federation gala. Mr. Miranda also leads the Federation’s relief and reconstruction efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. He formerly held senior management positions in the communications field, including Director of Communications for the New York DMA TV stations WXTV Univision 41 and WFUT UniMas 68, and Deputy Press Secretary for Spanish Language Media for both the Hillary Clinton U.S. Senate campaign in 2000 and Fernando Ferrer’s NYC Mayoral campaign in 2001. He received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Puerto Rico and an M.A. in Performance Studies from New York University.

Cy Richardson
National Urban League
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Richardson is a Senior Vice President at the National Urban League, and a member of the League’s Executive Leadership Team. He previously served as Vice President for Housing and Community Development, promoting asset building and wealth creation for people of color in urban America. Prior to joining the National Urban League in 2002, Mr. Richardson worked in various positions in New York City municipal government, including as a researcher and policy analyst with the New York City Council, with the New York State Legislature on economic policy issues, and as a Land Use Planner for the Brooklyn Borough President. Mr. Richardson received his B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and holds graduate degrees in Urban Planning and Political Science from Pratt Institute and the City University of New York's Graduate Center.

Drug Accountability Board (DAB)

The Drug Accountability Board (DAB) is comprised of consumer representatives, medical professionals, health economists and other experts in the pharmacy benefit pricing field. The DAB is responsible for determining, among other things:

  • a drug’s impact on premium costs for commercial insurance in New York
  • a drug’s affordability and value to the public
  • whether increases in the price of the drug over time are significant and unjustified
  • whether the drug may be priced disproportionately to its therapeutic benefits

Drug Accountability Board Membership

Richard Weber, Chair
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In May, 2020, Richard Weber was appointed as General Counsel of New York State Department of Financial Services.

Prior to joining DFS, Mr. Weber was head of Financial Crime Prevention for the Americas at UBS, leading all areas of AML, BSA and Sanctions compliance for the division. Before that role, he was head of Anti-Financial Crime for the Americas at Deutsche Bank.

For more than twenty five years, Mr. Weber has served in various roles in Federal, State and City government. He was Chief of the Criminal Investigation Division at the Internal Revenue Service of the United States Department of the Treasury. At the IRS, Mr. Weber led a team of over 3500, managing complex investigations of financial crimes involving money laundering, tax, sanctions evasion, cyber, cryptocurrency, bribery/foreign corruption, fraud and terrorist financing. Mr. Weber supervised and conducted significant money laundering and sanction evasion investigations and prosecutions against financial institutions and spearheaded high profile investigations. He was responsible for the forfeiture of over $15 billion in criminal penalties.

Mr. Weber also has held senior roles at the New York County District Attorney’s Office, as Deputy Chief of the Investigation Division and Chief of Major Economic Crimes, Chief of Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering at the U.S. Department of Justice, and Deputy Chief of the Civil Division and Chief of Asset Forfeiture at U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York. Mr. Weber also served as a law clerk for the Honorable Cecelia H. Goetz, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of New York.

Mr. Weber is the recipient of a Presidential Rank Award, a two-time recipient of the Attorney General’s Award and the Henry L. Stimson Medal for outstanding public service.

Theresa Baxter
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Theresa Baxter is a Nurse Practitioner at SUNY Upstate University Hospital and for Helio Health Syracuse in the Center of Treatment Innovation. Prior to this role, Ms. Baxter was a Nurse Practitioner for Acute Pain Service at University Hospital in Syracuse. Ms. Baxter received her B.S. in Nursing from Keuka College, her M.S. in Nursing at SUNY Upstate Medical University and recently completed post-master’s studies in mental health at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Ms. Baxter was appointed at the recommendation of the Temporary President of the Senate.

Gabriela Dieguez
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Gabriela Dieguez is a principal and consulting actuary with the New York office of Milliman. She joined the firm in 2005. Gabriela has provided actuarial and consulting services to a wide range of clients, including commercial insurers, Medicare Advantage organizations, pharmaceutical companies, Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans, HMOs, and healthcare providers. She has extensive experience in pricing, valuation, analyzing benefit utilization, forecasting trends, and performing claims analytics for particular disease states. Gabriela has advised life science companies and other clients on actuarial topics related to health care reform, Medicare Advantage and Part D, risk sharing contracting, and payer economic issues.

Beth R. Finkel
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As State Director, Beth R. Finkel leads the day-to-day operations of AARP New York.

During her tenure as State Director, AARP’s efforts on behalf of its 2.5 million New York members and their families have led to historic NYS reforms including passage of the Secure Choice Savings Program, Care Act, Assisted Living protections, Anti Predatory Lending, Paid Family Leave and Affordable Housing and Right to Counsel in NYC legislation, numerous bills on Kincare and – since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic – groundbreaking state legislation to improve nursing home conditions, ban utility shutoffs, allow for universal absentee voting, and expand access to on-line food ordering and delivery through the SNAP program.

Prior to her appointment as State Director, Beth was the Director of Engagement for AARP New York. In her role, Beth specialized in programming and advocacy for older New Yorkers around hunger, caregiving, grandparents raising grandchildren, multicultural outreach, livable communities, financial security, ageism and long-term care.

Through her years at AARP New York, she led and developed the statewide Kincare Coalition and New York’s Older Adults Hunger Stakeholders Coalition. She convened the first Older Adults Hunger Summit to find solutions to barriers to food insecurity and co-created the NYS Medicare Savings Program Taskforce. Beth represented AARP New York on the Governor’s SMART (Saving More to Achieve Richer Tomorrows) Commission, which helped develop the Secure Choice Savings Program, and she serves on The NYS Food Policy Workgroup, The NYS Department of Financial Services Consumer Protection Taskforce and the NYC Age Friendly Commission.

A native New Yorker, Beth holds a Masters of Social Work from Yeshiva University in Community Organizing and a Bachelor of Science from American University in Business Administration. She and her husband live in Manhattan.

Anna Kaltenboeck
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Anna Kaltenboeck, MS is a senior health economist and the program director of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Her work focuses on the development and application of value-based pricing methods, as well as policies that foster rational and sustainable drug pricing.

Prior to joining MSKCC, Ms. Kaltenboeck spent 10 years consulting on health economics and outcomes research, as well as pricing and market access for pharmaceutical and diagnostic products. An alumna of both Analysis Group and IMS Consulting Group, the scope of her work spans the US, EU5, and emerging economies. She has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed scientific and policy journals. Ms. Kaltenboeck holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from Tufts University.

Andrew Kaplan
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Andrew Kaplan received his Doctor of Pharmacy from St. John’s University in 2011 and went on to complete his PGY1 Pharmacy residency at Stony Brook University Hospital in Long Island and his PGY2 Health System Pharmacy Administration residency at the VA in Madison, Wisconsin. After completing residency training, Dr. Kaplan became the Pharmacy Supervisor at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown. He then moved to New York City and became the Assistant Director of Clinical Services for Mount Sinai West, overseeing Critical Care, Infectious Disease, Emergency Medicine, Transitions of Care and Internal Medicine.

He is currently the Associate Director of Pharmacy, now additionally overseeing Pharmacy Operations in IV Admixture, Automation, and Inventory Management. Dr. Kaplan currently serves as the Vice President of Public Policy for the New York State Council of Health-system Pharmacists, overseeing legislative and regulatory affairs. He previously served as President of the Long Island Society of Health-system Pharmacists.

Silpa Mandava
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Dr. Mandava is licensed Physician in NY state and currently works as Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine at Roswell Park cancer Institute, Buffalo NY. She completed her Internal Medicine Residency training at University of Buffalo, 2014 and worked as Chief Medical Resident at Buffalo, VA Hospital.

John T. McDonald
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Honorable John T. McDonald is currently serving his fourth term in the New York State Assembly representing the 108th Assembly District, which consists of parts of Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties. He previously served as the Mayor of the City of Cohoes for 13 years, and is a practicing pharmacist and the President of Marra's Pharmacy. Assemblymember McDonald received a BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Albany College of Pharmacy and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities as well. Assemblymember McDonald was appointed at the recommendation of the Speaker of the Assembly.

Barbara Rogler
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Dr. Barbara Rogler is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University at Buffalo School (UB) of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She is a licensed Pharmacist, registered to practice in New York State. Her current primary responsibility is as the liaison between the New York State Department of Health (DOH), Office of Health Insurance Programs (OHIP), and the State University of New York (SUNY) Collaborative. Dr. Rogler has also worked in several different healthcare continuum positions spanning a wide variety of leadership roles. Her leadership roles have included clinical, educational, legislative, and managerial as a policymaker and advisor on both the state and national levels. Dr. Rogler holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Pharmacy, a Master of Science (MS) in Health Service Administration, and a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD).

Insurance Advisory Board

The State Insurance Advisory Board is charged with working with the Superintendent to further DFS goals as they relate to the insurance industry.

There are ten members of the advisory board, including seven representatives of domestic insurance companies, one insurance producer, and two consumer representatives. The board’s members serve without compensation and are appointed by the Superintendent to serve a three-year term until a successor is appointed.

Background

Insurance Law § 201 establishes the State Insurance Advisory Board (the “Board”) to work with the Superintendent of Financial Services (“Superintendent”) “in encouraging and promoting the growth of the insurance industry in the state, and further the goals of the department’s mission as it relates to the insurance industry.” Insurance Law § 201(a) requires that the Board have ten members, seven of which must represent domestic insurers that reflect a range of size and geographical location within New York State, if practicable. One of the ten members must be a representative of an insurance producer and two members must be representatives of consumers. Each Board member serves a three-year term or until a successor is appointed. Any vacancies will be filled for the unexpired term only.

Insurance Advisory Board Membership

The following individuals will serve on the State Insurance Advisory Board for three-year terms, beginning in January of 2021:

  • Chuck Bell, Programs Director, Consumer Reports
  • Thasunda Brown Duckett, President and Chief Executive Officer, TIAA
  • Jean Marie Cho, Managing Director, Head of Global Compliance Monitoring, Marsh LLC
  • Lucy Fato, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, AIG
  • Karen Ignagni, President and Chief Executive Officer, Emblem Health
  • Natalie Lamarque, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, New York Life Insurance Company
  • Andrew McMahon, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Guardian Life Insurance Company
  • Diane K. Spicer, Supervising Attorney, Community Health Advocates, Healthcare for All New York Campaign, Community Service Society
  • Bernard Turi, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Utica National Insurance Group
  • Michael Zarcone, Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Affairs, MetLife
Nomination and Appointment Procedures
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At any time, the Superintendent may notify domestic insurers, insurance producers, or consumer representatives, as appropriate, of the opportunity to nominate candidates to fill an upcoming or current vacancy on the Board.

The Superintendent may give notice by any means, including publication on the website of the Department of Financial Services, outreach to stakeholders, including but not limited to industry trade organizations and consumer groups, issuance of a press release, and other means of giving public notice.

The Superintendent will appoint Board members in the Superintendent’s sole discretion consistent with Insurance Law § 210(a).

A Board member whose three-year term has expired shall continue to serve until the Superintendent terminates the appointment of, or appoints a successor to, such Board member. The Superintendent may reappoint a Board member to another three-year term in the Superintendent’s sole discretion.

  1. Domestic Insurer Representatives

    Of the seven Board members representing domestic insurers, the Superintendent will seek to appoint Board members who represent various lines of insurance, including domestic life insurers, domestic accident and health insurers, and domestic property/casualty insurers.

    A Board member representing a domestic insurer must be an officer, director, or employee of the domestic insurer.

    When appointing Board members representing domestic insurers, the Superintendent will weigh all relevant factors, including, but not limited to, a potential Board member’s experience in the industry and the size, type, and geographical location of the domestic insurer represented.

  2. Insurance Producer Representative

    The Superintendent will appoint a Board member who either represents an insurance producer that is licensed in New York State as an insurance producer or is an individual who is licensed in New York State as an insurance producer.

  3. Consumer Representatives

    The Superintendent will appoint two consumer representatives to the Board in the Superintendent’s sole discretion consistent with Insurance Law § 201(a).

  4. Honorary Members of the Board

    The Superintendent may, in the Superintendent’s sole discretion, appoint honorary members to the Board.

If you have questions or require additional information regarding the Nomination and Appointments Procedure please email [email protected]

 

State Charter Advisory Board

The State Charter Advisory Board works with the Superintendent in retaining state chartered banking institutions, encouraging federally chartered institutions to convert to a state charter and promoting the state banking system.

There are nine members of the advisory board, consisting of one representative of credit unions, one representative of consumers, one representative of foreign banks, and representatives of banks reflecting a range of assets, size and geographical location.

The superintendent governs the method by which state chartered institutions may nominate persons to the board and the process for selecting such members, provided that the representative of consumers is selected by the Superintendent.

State Charter Advisory Board Membership

  • Cheryl Bowers, Rondout Savings Bank
  • Wendy Cai-Lee, Piermont Bank
  • Laura Capra, Metropolitan Commercial Bank
  • Mark DeFazio, Metropolitan Commercial Bank
  • Per Dyrvik, UBS
  • Mike Keegan, M & T Bank
  • Ariana Lindermayer, Mobilization for Justice, Inc.
  • Brian Obergfell, Emmet, Marvin & Martin, LLP
  • Leonard Stekol, Ridgewood Savings Bank
  • John M. Tolomer, The Westchester Bank
  • Lisa Whitaker, CFCU