Rosenthal Oversees Reshuffle of Top Management

RIOC Exit Ramp: Robertson, Andreatta follow Noone, Quinones, Flug Next

Updated 12 weeks ago David Stone
Former RIOC Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson (L) with Community Liaison Erica Spencer-EL and resident/actor Michael Rogers at NYPL groundbreaking.
Former RIOC Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson (L) with Community Liaison Erica Spencer-EL and resident/actor Michael Rogers at NYPL groundbreaking.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Word first leaked yesterday that RIOC's Director of Asset Management Tamara Andreatta was gone. Probing, we found that Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson also rolled down the exit ramp. More to come as VP Jacqueline Flug says, "Goodbye," next week.

"We will continue to consider 'reshufflings' in an effort to improve production and efficiency," RIOC President/CEO told The Daily in response to our inquiry.

"Reshuffle" was our word. It's something healthy businesses do as a way to let new blood flush out the organization's old and ineffective. It's rare for government, except when voters force it, but it can be one of the healthiest steps taken.

RIOC Exit Ramp: Robertson, Andreatta follow Noone, Quinones, Flug Next
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The exodus began last summer, when CFO Kim Quinones resigned unexpectedly to "pursue opportunities in the private sector," a catchphrase often used to cover less attractive reasons, but true in her case.

Quinones was replaced at the end of the year by John O'Reilly, a highly qualified business manager with considerable experience who appears an upgrade over Quinones.

Next came Steve Noone, AVP for Capital Planning and Projects, a significant catch from Cornell Tech who exited after less than a year to "pursue other career opportunities."

But probably the most surprising departure will be VP and Legal Counsel Jacqueline Flug, Rosenthal's highest ranking hire since taking the helm at RIOC. Flug leaves "to join the private sector," next week.

Among Flug's goals on landing at RIOC was to improve accountability and to influence Governor Andrew Cuomo's push for ethics reform throughout the state system. The jury's still out on that.

The unexpected departures of fairly recent staff additions, Alonza Robertson and Tamara Andreatta, along with Rosenthal's comments signal dissatisfaction with the state of RIOC affairs.

Robertson, a public relations specialist, was brought in during 2018 to improve communications and messaging, and he pulled it off in several aways. The recent and welcomed creation of HEY SUSAN, an occasional column offering direct access to RIOC's top executive, answers questions raised by residents, for example.

Tamara Andreatta (L) represented RIOC during the Tiger Dam Tour, reviewing flood prevention techniques.
Tamara Andreatta (L) represented RIOC during the Tiger Dam Tour, reviewing flood prevention techniques.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

But Robertson, who had little prior government experience, seemed at times to be back on his heels when encountering the passions of Roosevelt Island politics, which always push for reshuffles of our own.

"Alonza’s departure involved usual personnel issues and we’ve already posted for that position," Rosenthal said.

In contrast, Andreatta's leaving was motivated more by changes initiated last year by Rosenthal as RIOC geared up for years of ambitious infrastructure work.

"We are on target for a February posting of the RFP for the modifications to the water distribution system," Rosenthal told The Daily, responding to a question of who'd be taking over Andreatta's assignments. 

"Our owner’s representative is working on this RFP with our procurement department (supervised by O’Reilly) to move this forward. Her other responsibilities are being delegated to other departments until we hire a replacement."

Andreatta, like Noone, arrived at RIOC after helping get Cornell Tech off to a strong start on Roosevelt Island.

Taken together, these moves suggest a State agency more agile than most, willing to adjust to changing times and the need for better performance. Along with recruiting expert management for projects via last year's contracting an "owner's representative" from outside government, the high profile hiring of John O'Reilly has quietly begun to reinvent how RIOC does its work.

 

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