CDRPC Announces New Executive Director

The Board of Commissioners of the Capital District Regional Planning Commission (CDRPC) is pleased to announce their appointment of Mark A. Castiglione, AICP as Executive Director, effective December 1. Castiglione will succeed Rocco “Rocky” A. Ferraro, AICP, who is retiring at the end of December after more than 30 years of service to the organization and the Capital Region.

Mark Castiglione, AICP
Rocky Ferraro, AICP

“The Board of the Capital District Regional Planning Commission is pleased to have selected Mark Castiglione as our new Executive Director,” said the Honorable Lucille McKnight, Chairperson of the CDRPC Board of Commissioners. “Our organization will be in good hands with Mark, who will carry on our reputation of excellence and regional leadership. We are grateful to Rocky for his leadership and commitment to building Regional success over the years. Mark shares that deep sense of dedication to our Region, and we are confident that he will build on our long history of quality as we move into our 50th Anniversary year and beyond.”

Mark Castiglione is currently the Acting Executive Director of the Hudson River Valley Greenway and Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. In that role, Mark is credited for being a partnership builder, having worked with both the public sector and nonprofit organizations to advance regional planning, economic development and environmental protection. His collaborative approach, focus on leveraging assets and finding common ground have enabled both the Greenway and the National Heritage Area to be key assets for its community of partner organizations and municipalities in the Hudson Valley.

“I am honored to have been chosen to lead the Capital District Regional Planning Commission and to have the opportunity to build on Rocky Ferraro’s many years of outstanding leadership,” said Mark Castiglione. “I look forward to working with the CDRPC Board, talented staff and its many partners throughout the Capital Region. Working collaboratively, we will ensure that the Commission remains a valuable resource and trusted partner, not only for county and local government, but also for the variety of public and private sector organizations with which we work.”

“Following in the footsteps of Rocky Ferraro is no easy task, but we believe we have found the right person to succeed him,” said the Honorable Judy Breselor, AICP who is Chair of the Search Committee and the incoming Commission Chair effective January 1, 2017. “We conducted a national search and were fortunate to have quite a number of high caliber candidates for the position. Mark’s presentation, his understanding of the Commission and its work, and his view for the future impressed the Search Committee. He gets it! We look forward to working with him and wish Rocky well as he prepares for retirement.”

Castiglione has a winning combination of key skills, experience and integrity combined with a necessary local connection. His leadership and expertise have been recognized by his professional peers. He was elected to the Executive Committee of the American Planning Association (APA) – New York State Chapter in 2010, an organization that represents more than 500 professional urban planners, students and planning board officials throughout Upstate New York. He served as its Vice President from 2010 – 2014, and continues as an active participant on its Executive Committee as a Member at Large. Mark is a certified planner by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). He holds a BA in U.S. History and a Master Degree in Regional Planning from the University at Albany, State University of New York. Mark is a native of New York State, originally from the Kingston area. He and his wife Elizabeth reside in the City of Albany.

CDRPC’s programs and services have evolved over its 50-year history to meet the changing needs of the Region and to serve the greater good of the Capital District. Today, CDRPC provides analyses of data, trends, opportunities, and challenges relevant to the region’s economic development and planning communities, and performs and supports planning activities and conducts a wide variety of regional programs including Regional Analytics and Mapping, Economic Development, Sustainable Communities, Water Quality, and Human Services.

Since its founding, the Commission has had only four executive directors: Louis Lex, Jr., Sambursa Thyagarajan, Chungchin Chen, and Rocco Ferraro, who had first worked for the Commission as the Director of Planning Services and has served as its ED from 2003 to the present.

“CDRPC is known for providing objective evaluations and for acting on opportunities that can improve New York’s Capital Region,” said Ferraro. “My time at the Commission has been both meaningful and rewarding. I have been fortunate to meet and work with so many wonderful people along the way, and together we have made a difference. I am happy to pass the baton to Mark Castiglione who is an excellent choice to lead CDRPC into its next chapter. I offer him my heartiest congratulations, and wish him the best of luck in his new position. Under his leadership, I am sure that CDRPC will continue forward in its mission to work with other stakeholders and build upon opportunities to improve the quality of life of those who live, work and have fun in our amazing region.”

Although Rocky is retiring from the CDRPC, he will continue to be involved in planning activities in the region. Ferraro, who has been recognized by the State University of New York for his excellence in teaching, will continue in his position as an adjunct professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University at Albany where he has been on staff since 1997. He will also continue as Chairman of the Town of Clifton Park Planning Board and will participate in other local organizations.