Gramercy has cultivated a talented team of strategists and communications innovators. Over the past twenty years, our team has worked on the most challenging and complex public affairs issues in every corner of New York State. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, statewide associations, regional business concerns, large-scale economic development projects, federal and state public policy initiatives, and issue advocacy projects.
Tom NardacciCEO & Founder
Tom founded Gramercy in 2005 after working in senior level communications positions in Washington, DC and New York City. He began his career in public service working in Washington as Press Secretary to Congressman Mike McNulty on Capitol Hill, and then served as Director of Communications for New York State Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari.
Over the years Tom has become a trusted advisor and confidante to business leaders, elected officials and a wide variety of organizations and groups. He has been the chief architect and strategist for many of the highest level public affairs campaigns over the past decade.
Prior to founding Gramercy, Tom served as chief spokesperson for the Alliance for Downtown New York, Lower Manhattan’s business improvement district. Tom’s efforts focused on post-9/11 recovery in the Financial District. He previously led public affairs for 1199SEIU’s 50,000-member retiree division, and has worked on or directed numerous federal, state and city campaigns, including as a field organizer in the Iowa Presidential Caucuses in 2004.
- M.A. in Strategic Communications – Columbia University
- B.A. in History – Syracuse University
Awards & Honors
- Albany Roundtable’s “New Patroon Award”
- Albany Business Review’s “40 Under 40”
- Arts Center for the Capital Region “Creative Spirit Award”
- Capital Region Public Relations Society of America “PR Practitioner of the Year” award
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Rensselaer County “Hall of Fame”
More About Tom
Tom turned what was an interest of buying and flipping real estate in urban areas and his passion for coaching creative startups into a totally new business enterprise consisting of owning, operating and consulting on coworking and incubator communities. He developed Troy Innovation Garage, a highly touted initiative that was named “Innovative Development of the Year” by the Capital Region BOMA. In 2018, he launched the State Capitol-oriented Bull Moose Club in Albany. He is a member of the Upstate Venture Connect’s UNY50 group that seeks to connect growing companies across New York and to other centers of influence.
Charles is a strategist with a deep understanding of the newsroom, and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He is a former reporter and editor with a consummate understanding of the intersections of business, media and public policy. He is a senior member of the Gramercy team, and has been at the center of some of the firm’s biggest recent wins.
Charles has been a driving force in the firm’s work in economic development statewide and has also worked to amplify messages for Gramercy’s issues advocacy efforts through his experience in traditional and digital advertising. As a reporter and editor, Charles covered major issues, elections and businesses up-close, and directed newsgathering operations across the Capital Region.
- B.A. in English – University at Buffalo
- First-place award from the New York Press Association 2009 for his coverage of the special election in New York’s 20th Congressional District
- Albany Business Review “40 Under 40”
More About Charles
Charles is a member of the Adirondack 46er club, whose members have summited the 46 major peaks of New York’s Adirondack mountains. A supporter of responsible conservation of natural and recreational resources, Charles enjoys the physical and mental challenges associated with hiking, backpacking, climbing and kayaking.
Andrew possesses a dynamic mix of public relations and public affairs experience, giving him the ability to lead a variety of clients from multiple disciplines and industries. As a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, he helps manage the Gramercy’s administration and operations.
In the political world, Andrew has served as a communications director in the State Senate and Assembly and has a wealth of high-level campaign experience where he provided counsel to candidates on communications planning, debate preparation, coalition building and constituent outreach. In the private sector, he has assisted clients and multinational corporations in energy, financial services, transportation, defense, economic development, health care and education.
Andrew is an expert at dealing with high-stakes, complex and confidential issues. He is skilled at crafting messages that speak to different stakeholders and has run comprehensive and successful statewide issue advocacy campaigns.
- B.A. in Political Science with minors in Economics and Classical Studies – Siena College
- Albany Business Review “40 Under 40”
More About Andrew
Andrew has an impressive collection of signature Jordan sneakers… but almost never wears them.
Sara-Becca SmithDirector of Client Service
Sara-Becca’s background in association management, her organizational skills, and her relationship building prowess is a benefit to every Gramercy client and helps to ensure that every partner of the firm receives exceptional performance. Through her experience managing multiple clients and events simultaneously, she has developed excellent project management and problem-solving skills that have proven valuable when acting in executive roles at statewide associations.
Sara-Becca has served as both a liaison and a steward for highly visible organizations with great success. Prior to her tenure in association management, Sara-Becca spent time in the nonprofit and social services sector working with individuals with developmental disabilities and the Albany business community. She has a Master’s in Business Administration with a Certificate in Management and Leadership from Union Graduate College.
- B.A. in Sociology – College of Wooster
- M.S. in Business Administration with a certificate in Management & Leadership – Union Graduate College
Awards & Honors
- 2016 Empire State Society of Association Executives (ESSAE) Rising Star Award Recipient
More About Sara-Becca
Sara-Becca’s spirit of adventure has led her to backpack around New Zealand for a year, climb to the crater of an active volcano in Guatemala, and learn to snowboard and surf as an adult. This adventurous spirit has served her well personally and professionally and helps her to see the possibility hidden everywhere.
Takara WilesCreative Director
With more than 10 years experience in marketing and communications in the non-profit and private sectors, Takara develops marketing strategies for clients who have content, advertising, social media and integrated communication needs. In addition to client work, Takara spearheads the creative marketing efforts for Gramercy, helping to manage the firm’s “studio” teams.
Takara’s specialties include brand development, email marketing, digital advertising and graphic design.
- B.A. in English with a minor in Public Relations – State University of New York at Geneseo
More About Takara
One of Takara’s passions outside of Gramercy is event planning and volunteerism which lead her to create and brand one of the Capital Region’s premiere fundraisers, Rock Your Style. This event combines philanthropy with fashion and fun and has raised more than $500K for Capital Region non-profits.
Ridge HarrisSenior Public Affairs Manager
Ridge is an experienced public affairs professional with a background in state and federal government. At Gramercy, Ridge develops and executes multifaceted campaigns on behalf of clients to raise profiles, build reputations, foster greater awareness of issues, and inform public opinion. He’s an experienced communications and event strategist with the ability to develop clear and concise messaging on the most complex issues.
Ridge taps into his political campaign experiences to develop strategies that will achieve success for his clients. Whether it’s generating grassroots support for an issue, coalition building, or navigating a crisis situation, Ridge has played a part in it all at Gramercy. He has shown he can use his skills to manage perception, coordinate messaging, solve problems, and get results.
- B.A. in American Studies – Siena College
More About Ridge
In addition to his commitment to clients, Ridge also enjoys community service. Currently, Ridge serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at his alma mater, Catholic Central High School in Troy. He spends many of his summer weekends in the Adirondacks at Pyramid Life Center, where he serves on the Board of Directors. In Albany, you can find him spending time with friends and family.
Deirdre HargraveCommunications Manager
Deirdre comes from an agency background with a mixed experience of public relations, marketing and community relations across a diverse client background. She has managed a range of award-winning campaigns inclusive of traditional and digital advertising, creative design, web development and public relations at the national, state and local level in the food and beverage, travel and tourism, art and culture, construction, transportation, retirement, restaurant and energy industries.
At Gramercy, Deirdre works with clients to achieve their goals by creating impactful messaging and producing campaigns with a truly integrated approach. Her skills and dedication are instrumental in achieving results for Gramercy’s clients.
- M.A. in Communication Management – Emerson College
- B.A. in Public Communications – Buffalo State College
- 2012 PRSA Koa Anvil Award
More About Deirdre
Deirdre’s love for new experiences has brought her to travel around the world and even live in Hawaii for a while. During her time there, she decided to explore a new way – below sea level. Diving through open shipwrecks and caves has opened her to exciting adventures like no other, and now she is a certified rescued diver. Through her travels – on land and sea –Deirdre has learned to approach each challenge with an open mind and see the opportunity in everything.
Andrew BeamSenior Account Manager
Andrew spent nearly a decade in newsrooms across the state as a beat reporter before joining Gramercy. A former member of the Legislative Correspondents Association, Andrew began his career at the Legislative Gazette, covering the administration of Governor David Paterson and the key issues of the day, including the debate over hydraulic fracturing and natural gas extraction. Andrew most recently reported for the Daily Gazette in Schenectady.
Andrew took a brief hiatus from journalism to join the growing craft beverage industry, where he worked in sales and distribution for Shmaltz Brewing Company.
Andrew’s knowledge of the media landscape and his in-depth work across upstate New York is an asset to Gramercy clients, especially those wishing to manage their press presence.
- B.A. in Magazine Journalism, SUNY Plattsburgh
Awards & Honors
- Recipient of the New York State Associated Press Association Award for contributing to a series on the 200th anniversary of the Watervliet Arsenal in 2013
More About Andrew
Outside of work, Andrew enjoys exploring the New York State craft beer industry. However, he does tend to travel outside of state lines to try a new brew every now and again.
Andrew at one point started a blog with his friends called ‘A Brief Intermission.’ He did interviews with some of his favorite musical artists, wrote album reviews and compiled best of lists where he ranked his favorite albums that came out each year.
Cailin McKennaAccount Manager
Cailin came to Gramercy from the press office of the New York State Senate Majority, where she worked on myriad public policy issues affecting the Empire State and helped Senators deliver their messages to the media and constituents. She has also worked in the non-profit sector including at global education and literacy non-profit Pencils of Promise, where she provided donor support, revitalized the school giving program, and stewarded the largest fundraising campaign in the organization’s history.
- B.A. in Political Science and Middle East Studies with a minor in French – Fordham University
More About Cailin
Cailin is passionate about travel and has visited over a dozen countries on four continents. Her time spent abroad immersing herself in new cultures has helped her become a more effective communicator and approach challenges from a new perspective.
A native of the City of Albany, Cailin is excited to be back exploring all that her hometown has to offer. She also represents her alma mater in the Capital Region as the co-president of Fordham’s Albany Alumni Association.
Kayla PaluchAccount Manager
Kayla served in various roles at communications agencies in Tennessee before opening her own consultancy, SKOPE Communications, where she worked with clients in industries ranging from community theater to construction. Prior to this, Kayla managed an award-winning grassroots campaign combatting social stigmas surrounding Mental Health and was invited to join LPH, the official Communication Studies honor society of the National Communication Association.
At Gramercy, Kayla utilizes her past experiences in public affairs, communications, grassroots campaigns, media relations, and digital marketing, focusing them on an integrated approach that achieves results for clients. She understands the importance of deciphering her client’s goals and stops at nothing to accomplish them.
- B.A. in Public Relations and Classical Music
- Belmont University
Awards & Honors
- Belmont University Award of Excellence for #itstartswithyou grassroots campaign
- Lambda pi eta (Honors communications society)
More About Kayla
Kayla has a passion for music, and is a classically trained opera singer. She enjoys the opportunity to learn new pieces and the mental challenges that accompany mastering them.
Lea RutherfordFinancial Coordinator
Lea provides Gramercy with a unique knowledge of relevant finance and accounting practices, having received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Master of Science degree in Forensic Accounting from the University of Albany. Prior to joining the firm, she worked for a construction and property management company where organizational skills and attention to detail were imperative. In addition to managing the finances for Gramercy, she assists in the development of contracts and serves as the billing and administrative liaison for clients throughout their engagement.
Charlie DiamondExecutive Counsel
Charlie Diamond joined Gramercy in 2015 as Executive Counsel upon his departure from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board where he was appointed by Governor David A. Paterson. Prior to joining the Board, Mr. Diamond was an elected member of the Watervliet City Council, serving on his hometown governing body for 15 years until the Racing and Wagering Board appointment.
Mr. Diamond served as Director of the Cable Telecommunications Association of New York where he was instrumental in implementing the Association’s Strategic Plan involving tax issues and other matters important to an industry that represents a growing segment of New York’s economy.
Mr. Diamond forged strong relationships with key community leaders and elected officials throughout New York while serving as District Chief of Staff for U.S. Representative Michael R. McNulty. During that 20-year span, he represented the interest of many public and private sector stakeholders before a variety of federal agencies, utilizing his extensive knowledge of the bureaucracy to make it serve the day-to-day interests of the citizens of the Congressional District.
- B.A. – Niagara University
More About Charlie
He has been and continues to be involved with a wide array of community and civic organizations, serving on Boards of Directors for a number of organizations. He has been recognized for his community service by charitable, fraternal and civic groups of representing people involved in education, law enforcement and business.
Gramercy has forged an alliance with The Franklin Partnership, one of the top government affairs firms in Washington, D.C. The affiliation allows both prominent firms to bring their expertise to new regions and industries, and to offer new services and opportunities to current and future client of both firms.
The Gramercy team’s new headquarters at the Bull Moose Club across the street from the New York State Capitol provides both firms with necessary access and tools needed to be successful in the Empire State.