Our Team

Executive Director: Barbara Samel, Esq. 

Barbara J. Samel earned her undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Albany in 1985, and law degree from Albany Law School in 1988.   Barbara served as Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Schenectady prior to acting as Counsel to the New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials from 1989 through 1998.  She also served as Legislative Counsel to the City of Albany Common Council from 1998-2018 and as Counsel to the Majority Leader of the Albany County Legislature.


In addition to writing over 75 handbooks and magazine articles for publication in municipal journals and American and New York State Bar Association newletters, she is a contributing author to Warren’s Weed New York Real Property, Steinman’s Bergerman & Roth, New York Real Property Forms, and Salkin, New York Zoning Law and Practice.  Barbara is also a former editor of Pass It On, the newsletter of the ABA Government & Public Sector Lawyers Division, and Perspective, the newsletter of the NYSBA Young Lawyers Section.


Barbara served on the NYSBA Committee on Mandatory CLE, the NYSBA Committee on Gender Equity, and the NYSBA Committee on Student Loan Assistance, the Executive Committee of the NYSBA Municipal Law Section and the NYSBA House of Delegates. She also served as the President of the NYSBA Young Lawyers Section and was a member of the Committee on Character and Fitness, Appellate Division, Third Department.


Barbara was a member of the NYS Commission on Rural Resources State Land Use Advisory Committee, which was responsible for the revision of the state’s zoning and planning laws and the Senate Advisory Committee for the Preparation of a Land Development Guide. She currently serves on the Legislative Committee of the NYSBA State and Local Government Law Section.

Board Members and Affiliation

Ed Jackson, NYPF President, Planning Board Chair, Town of Tusten

Mark Schachner, Esq., NYPF 1st Vice President, Miller, Mannix, Schachner, Hefner, LLC

David J. Plante, AICP CEP, NYPF 2nd Vice President, Energy + Environment Practice Leader, Bergmann

Ken Swanekamp, NYPF Treasurer, Planning Board Chair, Town of Tonawanda

Alison LaPointe, Esq., NYPF Immediate Past President, Assistant Village Attorney, Village of Port Jefferson

Nzingha Milanes, NYPF Region 1 & 2 BOD, Zoning Board of Appeals Member, Town of North Salem

Jon Kanter, AICP, NYPF Region 3 BOD, Planning Board Chair, Town of Fishkill

Tim Stalker, NYPF Region 4 BOD, Planning Board Chair, Chair Columbia County Planning Board, Town of Austerlitz

Andrea L. Smith, AICP, NYPF Region 5 BOD, Director of Planning and Development, City of Ogdensburg

Danny Lapin, AICP, NYPF Region 6 BOD, Planning Commissioner, City of Oneonta and Environmental Planner, Otsego County Conservation Association

Dan Sullivan, NYPF Region 7 BOD, Planning Board Chair, Town of Richfield

Daniel R. Long, RA NCARB, NYFP Region 8 BOD, Director of Planning, Yates County

Anita Kempa Muzzi, NYPF Region 9 BOD, Zoning Board of Appeals Alternate, Town of Lewiston

Katherine Ember, AICP, NYPF At-Large BOD, Founding Principal – Planning4Places, LLC

Donald Young, Esq., NYPF At-Large BOD, Rochester, NY

Doug Finch, Town Manager, NYPF At-Large BOD, Town of Canandaigua

Patricia Tatich, AICP, NYPF At-Large BOD, Associate Planner, Warren County Planning

Nina Peek, AICP, NYPF At-Large BOD, Director of the Hudson Valley Office, Vice-President, AKRF, Inc.

Elaine McClung, NYPF At-Large BOD, Planning Board Chair, Village of Goshen & Planning Board Chair, Orange County