The NY Grows Board is made up of economists, public officials, community leaders, and health professionals who have come together over this important issue.
Our press kit is available for download here:
Joel Giambra is the former two-term County Executive for Erie County, and served ten years as Buffalo City Comptroller. As Comptroller, he oversaw the financing of $624.557 million in municipal bonds, implemented performance auditing, oversaw the implementation of the MUNIS system and created the Joint School Construction Board. In 2006, Mr. Giambra was responsible for creating the largest urban wind mill farm in the United States - the Steel Winds project, constructed in Lackawanna. This wind energy facility provides 20 megawatts of electricity, enough to provide power to 6,000 homes.
Some of his policy initiatives include creating the region’s first-ever Cultural Tourism marketing campaign; the region’s first-ever multi-institutional health care planning effort; and the bi-national region’s first-ever working group of business leaders and government officials.
Dr. Gene Tinelli
Dr. Gene Tinelli is a board-certified clinical psychiatrist with additional qualifications in Addiction Psychiatry, particularly in connection to mentally ill substance abusers and trauma therapy. He was trained as a military psychiatrist, completing his psychiatric residency in the United States Navy in 1980. He ran alcohol rehabilitation units in Guam, Mariana Islands, and Newport, Rhode Island.
He left the Navy with the rank of Commander in 1984. Dr. Tinelli has been on the faculty of State University of New York Upstate Medical University since 1985 and teaches the addictions part of the curricula for medical students, residents, and allied health care personnel. He is currently semi-retired, working via telepsychiatry with U.S. Army dependents at Ft. Drum, and does pro bono acupuncture and teaching mindfulness meditation at Clear Path for Vets, a non-profit organization for veterans. Dr. Tinelli earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at SUNY-Syracuse (1973), and his M.D. from the SUNY Health Sciences Center in Syracuse (1976).
Nicolas Eyle has been active in drug policy issues for two decades. He advises elected officials, businesses, and other entities looking to understand the drug policy landscape.
Mr. Eyle created and directed ReconsiDer: Forum on Drug Policy, a non-profit organization that served to stimulate discussion of how drugs are treated in our society. He worked closely with law enforcement officials from around the world to found LEAP (Law Enforcement Action Partnership). He has contributed to many publications including the Encyclopedia of Drug Policy (Sage-Golsen) and has appeared frequently on television and radio to discuss drug policy issues.
He was an active member of the New York City Bar Association's Committee on Drugs and The Law for eight years and frequently speaks at colleges and universities across the country. Mr. Eyle has published papers examining international drug treaties and also on law enforcement's involvement in U.S. drug policy. In 2004, he organized the first municipal hearings in the country on the costs of police anti-drug activities.
A National Science Foundation Fellow from 1981 to 1984, Joyce Rivera has over 25 years working in program development and social services delivery. She is currently completing her PhD in Public Policy at the Graduate Center at CUNY.
As a consultant and grant writer, her expertise in HIV prevention and harm reduction has made her a local and national leader in the field of AIDS and drugs. Joyce is a Founder & Executive Director of St. Ann's Corner of Harm Reduction (SACHR). SACHR, a pioneer in harm reduction-based programs, has been central to the reduction of injection related AIDS both in New York City and throughout New York State. SACHR has been central to the reduction of injection related AIDS in NYC/NYS. She is a founding member of the National Harm Reduction Coalition (HRC), the North American Syringe Exchange Network (NASEN), and the Harm Reduction Care Network of New York (HRCNNY). Mrs. Rivera frequently presents and conducts training on drug policy, harm reduction, women, communities of color, and social justice. She has chaired the boards of HRCNNY and the Latino Commission on AIDS. Joyce holds a bachelor of science degree in health administration with a specialization in healthcare planning and a master’s in comparative political science.
Noah Potter, Esq.
Noah Potter is a New York City-based commercial litigator and has over twenty years of experience and relationships in the drug policy reform sector in New York City.
Mr. Potter studied the relationship between substance abuse prevention and substance abuse treatment in the evolution of federal drug control bureaucracy in the United States at Columbia University.
In 2005 Mr. Potter joined the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Drugs and the Law, a unique institution dating back to 1986. He served as chair from 2006-2009 and continues to participate in Committee activities. As chair he revitalized the Committee and brought it back to strength with a full complement of young members and original programming on issues such as New York City cannabis policy, the theory and practice of “regulated drug markets” versus criminalized markets, physician liability for opiate prescription practice, and conflicts between state and federal cannabis law.
In April 2016, he became of counsel to The Hoban Law Group, the first cannabis law boutique firm with a national footprint.
Prof. Edward Shepard
Professor Edward (Ted) Shepard joined the Le Moyne College faculty in 1990 and served as Chair of the Economics Department from 2000 to 2010. He teaches Microeconomics (Principles and Intermediate), Labor Economics, the Economics of Crime and Punishment, and the Economics Seminar.
Professor Shepard has authored or co-authored papers in several areas of economic research, namely 1) use of innovative methods in housing construction, 2) effects of workplace practices on labor productivity (e.g. profit sharing contracts, flexible work hours, use of overtime hours), and 3) economics of drug policy (examples are drug testing and productivity, drug enforcement and crime, and the economic costs of the D.A.R.E. program).
He has published papers in the Journal of Housing Economics, Industrial Relations, WorkingUSA, the International Journal of Manpower, Social Science Quarterly, and the Journal of Drug Issues. He was a co-author, with Professor Paul Blackley of a chapter on "Crime and Drugs" that appeared in the Handbook on the Economics of Crime.
Maximilian Eyle is a native of Syracuse, New York and currently manages all online media and promotions for NY Grows. In 2015, he graduated with honors from Hobart and William Smith Colleges where he completed a double major in American History and American Studies. His research focused on issues of identity, virtue, and citizenship during the American Revolution.
Mr. Eyle also studied at the University of Seville, in Spain and later worked as an English teacher on the island of Menorca. He speaks fluent Spanish and regularly contributes to the bilingual newspapers CNY Latino and Panorama Hispano News on the subject of drug policy.
In addition to his work in drug policy, Mr. Eyle has broadcasted on and produced content for nine different radio stations in the U.S. and Europe including multiple NPR member stations.