Andrea LaGatta and Michele Kilburn Join SUNY Poly Leadership Team

Andrea LaGatta and Michele Kilburn Join SUNY Poly Leadership Team

Thursday, January 18, 2024 - 15:22
News Releases
Andrea LaGatta and Michele Kilburn

UTICA, NY – SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is pleased to announce the appointment of Michele Kilburn and Andrea LaGatta to the university’s leadership team. Kilburn recently joined SUNY Poly as Vice President/Chief Human Resources Officer, while LaGatta has been promoted to Vice President of Institutional Advancement. 

“We welcome Michele to SUNY Poly, and know that her and Andrea, who has been key to the success of many initiatives in the past five years, will be instrumental in the university’s path forward as the State and nation’s premier public polytechnic,” said SUNY Poly President Dr. Winston Soboyejo. “I also want to thank Rhonda Haines, who has served as the head of our human resources department for nearly a decade, and wish her the best as she transitions to her new role at the University of Albany.” 

Kilburn is a skilled leader in communication, labor law, training and development, compliance and investigations, boasting experience in several industries including IT, manufacturing, construction, not-for-profit, academia, union and non-union business sectors. She is also a contributing author of “Women, Work, and Family: How Companies Thrive with a 21st-Century Multicultural Workforce,” and has served as a board member for both Susan G. Komen of Northeastern NY and Habitat for Humanity. She has an MBA from Clarkson University and is pursuing her Master of Jurisprudence in Labor and Employment Law at Tulane University to further enhance her professional skills.  

At SUNY Poly, Kilburn will provide strategic direction and execution of human resources strategies and plans, focusing on aligning them with the institution’s operations and in support of SUNY Poly’s academic and research mission. This includes formulating, implementing, and establishing policies and practices, managing all personnel operations and administration, and serving as the institution’s Affirmative Action and Chief Ethics Officer. 

"I am very happy to be working alongside SUNY Poly leadership, faculty and staff,” said Kilburn. “My personal values and SUNY Poly’s are perfectly aligned, and I believe the leadership team is truly dedicated to weaving those values into the culture of our institution, with a strong commitment to the success of our students, faculty, staff, and the Mohawk Valley region as a whole. Supporting and growing our campus’ workforce so they can better serve the needs of our students and the overall campus community is critical, and I’m excited to lead our HR office in this important effort.”

LaGatta has almost four decades of experience leading fundraising efforts and advancing the missions of the organizations and institutions she’s served, and has been a tremendous asset to SUNY Poly since joining the university in 2018 as Assistant Vice President for Development. Furthermore, LaGatta has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Professional Studies from Empire State University, and has previously served on the boards of Leadership Mohawk Valley, GPO Federal Credit Union and Human Technologies.

As VP of Institutional Advancement, LaGatta will be responsible for creating, implementing and coordinating a comprehensive and effective philanthropic program focused on significantly increasing the SUNY Poly Foundation’s endowment, cultivating gifts and planned gifts, increasing the number of donors, and growing the Foundation’s engagement with key stakeholders of SUNY Poly, including alumni, employees, industry partners, community members, business leaders and board members. Furthermore, as a member of the College’s leadership team, LaGatta serves as the Executive Director of the SUNY Poly Foundation and provides oversight of Pre-Collegiate Outreach and University Conferencing and Events. 

“I appreciate the opportunity to lead the Institutional Advancement team as we contribute to the transformational impact on our students and campus,” said LaGatta. “This is an exciting time in SUNY Poly’s history, and I look forward to continuing to engage with students, alumni, faculty, staff and industry partners to further raise the profile and success of this exceptional institution.”