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Uche Alozie

Founder, Almat Group

Uche Alozie

Founder, Almat Group

Uche Alozie is co-founder and managing partner of Almat, a real estate development and investment firm with offices in New York City and Lagos Nigeria.  The firm has actively been in the business of property development and investments for the past 20 years. Almat principals have been engaged in the field of property development and real estate investing for the past twenty-eight years. Mr. Alozie oversees Almat’s acquisitions and investment activities.

Mr. Alozie is a graduate of Columbia Business School where he received a MBA with a concentration in Finance. Mr. Alozie holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Baruch College. Prior to founding Almat Group, Mr. Alozie held positions at Deloitte Consulting, Deloitte & Touche and American Insurance Group. 

Uche is the chairman of the board of directors for Bet farm Nigeria, a leading sports betting company and director of Sparkle Bank, a digital only bank. Uche is also a member of United States Polo Association.

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Donald Matheson

Founder, Almat Group

Donald Matheson

Founder, Almat Group

Mr. Matheson has 30 years of development, construction management, architecture and project management experiences. He has managed the development and construction of over $1.5 billion in projects from New York to Addis Ababa Ethiopia.

Over the past 20 years Mr. Matheson was founding principle and managing partner of Almat Group a development company focused on market rate condominium development and affordable housing development. In addition, Mr. Matheson was the lead construction manager for Boston Properties for four (4) years on projects including: 7 Times Square, 5 Times Square and the 90 Church Street Post Office building. He also was a Project Manager for Lend Lease (formerly Bolvis Lend Lease) where he managed the construction of several schools in the Bronx and managed the renovation of 5,000 affordable housing units for New York City Housing Authority at the Marcy and Gowanus Housing Projects. He has also served as Construction cost estimator for TDX Construction and as an architect for the Rockefeller Group owner of Rockefeller Center in New York City.

Mr. Matheson holds a Bachelor’s in Construction Management from Pratt Institute and a Masters of in Real Estate Development from Columbia University. He previously sat on Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture & Planning Preservation (GSAPP) Real Estate Program’s Task Force and currently serves on the Columbia University for Architecture School Alumni Board. Mr. Matheson is also a member of NYSAFAH< New York State Association for Affordable Housing and Board Chair of Africa Health Now, a charity based in Ghana serving reproductive health for women in Ghana, West Africa.

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Hercules Argyriou

Vice President, Mega Contracting Group

Hercules Argyriou

Vice President, Mega Contracting Group

With over 35 years of experience in General Contracting in NYC, Hercules Argyriou has been one of the partners of Mega Contracting Group since its founding in 1990. He holds a B.S in Civil Engineering, and M.S. in Civil Engineering and in Construction Management, all from Polytechnic Institute, in Brooklyn where he met his friends and partners Hercules Hanjis and George Poulon.

He has been part of hundreds of successfully completed General Construction projects, and has worked with most of the NYC and NYS Agencies. Hercules finds that developing and constructing more than 6,000 housing units in over 100 buildings for the less fortunate has been the most satisfying part of his career.

He is fortunate to be able to fulfill his childhood dream of building buildings, while working for genuinely good people that dedicate their careers to the nonprofit world all while being surrounded by the talented professionals at Mega that make he and the company shine with every project that is successfully completed.

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George Poulon

Vice President, Director of Operations, Mega Contracting

George Poulon

Vice President, Director of Operations, Mega Contracting

George Poulon has served as Vice President and Director of Operations for Mega Contracting Group LLC since 1990.  George manages all aspects of on-site construction operations from estimating and plan review to code compliance and job site inspections.  He works with and mentors his team of highly-trained and experienced project managers to make sure that projects run on-time, stay on-budget and are run safely. 

With decades of construction and managerial experience, a keen eye to detail and a true passion for technology and construction George manages his team so that the end result is successful in that it is delivered to the client as they had envisioned it.  

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Cinnamon Chambers-Lewis

Affordable Housing Champion

Cinnamon Chambers-Lewis

Affordable Housing Champion

Cinnamon Chambers-Lewis brings years of professional experience working in the financial industry most of which were devoted to developing programs around the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), corporate social responsibility initiatives, and consulting for nonprofit organizations and social enterprises. Ms. Chambers-Lewis has nearly two decades of experience in the community development industry, ten of which have specifically been associated with affordable housing programming, government antipoverty initiatives, and non-profit agencies. She has assisted with the development of VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) sites, as well as implemented numerous financial literacy and homebuyer education programs throughout New York City communities.

Ms. Chambers-Lewis’ personal best practice is to focus her efforts on banks requiring foundational expertise in developing programs toward CRA goals. Her advocacy for non-profits and government agencies has been instrumental in creating lasting community development partnerships.

Her most recent tenure with Metropolitan Commercial Bank, while brief, demonstrated fruitful success by establishing multiple lending and investment relationships with CDFI’s, non-profits, and creating a platform for the bank’s corporate social responsibility and community development service initiatives. She led implementation and execution of a sustainable and compliant CRA strategy, business, and communications plan resulting in a satisfactory upgrade to their prior CRA rating.

In prior years, at both Astoria Bank, now Sterling National, and Amalgamated Bank, Ms. Chambers-Lewis established CRA programs focusing on first time home buyers program in partnership with Federal Home Loan Bank of New York and SONYMA and partnered with business lines to design and implement products and programs targeting low-to-moderate income customers and communities. Additional responsibilities included, but not limited to, the coordination of regulatory filings, examinations, and ongoing communication with regulatory agencies concerning CRA matters as well as developed and implemented CRA program administration, including oversight for: CRA public files and notices; socio-economic data analytics; and CRA—related lending, investments, and service efforts to ensure exam readiness.

Remaining an active participant on board affiliations and committees with non-profits and CDFI’s, the Disability Opportunity Fund, New York Women’s Foundation and Neighborhood Housing Services, to name a few, she makes it a habit to develop referral sources and actively seeks and refers new business and community development program opportunities through this participation.

Ms. Lewis attended Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and prides herself in being a native New Yorker, though she currently resides in New Jersey. She is married with two children who are twenty-three and fourteen years old.

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Keith Mestrich

President and CEO, Amalgamated Bank

Keith Mestrich

President and CEO, Amalgamated Bank

Keith Mestrich serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Amalgamated Bank, which is America’s largest socially responsible financial institution holding over $6 billion in assets and nearly $45 billion in custody and investment assets under management. Keith brings three decades of executive leadership experience in the financial sector, along with expertise in the Bank’s core constituencies including labor, nonprofits, political organizations, and foundations. He leads a staff of nearly 400 dedicated employees who are working to build the Bank to be a powerful force for social good.

In addition to strong financial performance, Keith has also led Amalgamated Bank’s efforts to fulfill its mission in supporting a just and sustainable world. Under his guidance, Amalgamated was the first bank to raise its minimum wage to $20 per hour, a founding signatory to the United Nations Principals for Responsible Banking, the first bank in New York City to accept the innovative municipal ID as documentation to open a bank account, the principal leader among North American financial institutions in their efforts to adopt a carbon accounting methodology, and many other similar efforts.

Keith is also an accomplished author and speaker. He co-authored “Organized Money,” which explores the power of progressive finance and issues a clarion call to organize $10 trillion in progressive assets over the next decade. He is regularly featured as a commentator in the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, CNN, MSNBC, and American Banker. Keith serves on numerous nonprofit boards including the Roosevelt Institute, the Mayor’s Fund for New York City, the Democracy Alliance, DC-based Martha’s Table, and the New York Department of Financial Services State Charter Advisory Board to name a few. He is also a founding member of the Aspen Institute’s Finance Fellowship and an active participant in the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Keith graduated magna cum laude from Kalamazoo College with a degree in Political Science and Public Policy, where he was elected as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He currently lives in Washington, D.C.

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Velmanette Montgomery

New York State Senator, 25th District

Velmanette Montgomery

New York State Senator, 25th District

Senator Velmanette Montgomery is recognized for her effective leadership and steadfast commitment to her constituents of North and Central Brooklyn. Senator Montgomery’s career as a New York State Legislator includes tireless advocacy for youth, public education, criminal justice reform, environmental preservation and civil rights.

As the Chair of the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Children and Families, Senator Montgomery has been committed to helping young people achieve positive outcomes through reform of the State’s juvenile justice, foster care and adoptive care systems. Senator Montgomery is the recipient of numerous awards, most recently she received the Barbara M. Clark Kinship Champion Award in recognition of her longtime advocacy on the issue of kinship care.

Prior to elected office, Senator Montgomery worked as a teacher, adjunct professor, and day care director as well as the co-founder of the Day Care Forum of New York City. Senator Montgomery obtained a Master’s degree in Education from New York University and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law from St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn.

The Senator has brought the concerns of her constituents to Albany through many pieces of legislation which have been signed into law. Her Construction Notification law empowers homeowners by requiring New York City Department of Buildings (NYC DOB) to notify adjoining property owners when an application for approval of construction is submitted to NYC DOB. Her Deed Theft law provides homeowners in default and foreclosure with greater protections from predatory entities. Senator Montgomery has also introduced legislation to create equitable taxation for properties on Community Land Trusts, double the solar energy tax credit for homeowners and calculate Area Median Income (AMI) by zip code.