Board of Commissioners
All Board members are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the State Senate and receive no salary in connection with the performance of their duties. The Chairman and Vice Chairman are voted upon by the Board. The members of the Board must be NYSIF policyholders. One commissioner is appointed by the Governor upon recommendation by the New York State AFL-CIO and one upon recommendation of the Business Council of New York State. NYSIF day-to-day operations are managed by an Executive Director, appointed by the Board of Commissioners.
Mary Beth Woods joined NYSIF on March 23, 2021, following her appointment as NYSIF Acting Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer by the NYSIF Board of Commissioners. Ms. Woods came to NYSIF from the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB), where she served as Executive Director for the past five years. Before that, she served as Director of Financial Administration and the Director of Licensing at WCB.
At WCB, Ms. Woods was responsible for the daily administration of the 1,100-employee, $200-million executive branch agency, including managing annual revenues in excess of $1 billion. Ms. Woods was instrumental in the Board’s successful implementation of Governor Cuomo’s Paid Family Leave initiative in 2018.
Ms. Woods also led the Board’s reengineering effort, ensuring industry input and needs were addressed in the overall system redesign. This included gaining consensus from a variety of stakeholders, such as the Business Council of New York State, the New York State AFL-CIO, carriers, attorneys and other industry groups.
As Director of Financial Administration, Ms. Woods oversaw the Board’s administrative and financial functions, including the management of special funds, the annual agency budget and bond programs with capacity totaling more than $5 billion. Ms. Woods also supported the Board’s efforts to successfully meet the needs of business and workers in implementing the Business Relief Act of 2013.
Prior to joining the Board, Ms. Woods was a Budget Analyst with the NYS Division of the Budget from 1990 – 1998. Her duties led to analysis/oversight of agency budgets for the State Insurance Fund and the Workers’ Compensation Board, involving budgeting issues ranging from privatization to computer modernization.
Ms. Woods has a BS in Business Administration from Siena College and is a Certified Public Accountant. She also serves as a member of the Board of Governors for the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board.
NYSIF Executive Staff
Suzanne Aluise, Chief of Staff: Suzanne joined NYSIF in 2021 with more than 30 years of workers' compensation experience, most recently as the Director of Financial Administration at the NYS Workers' Compensation Board. At WCB, Suzanne was an integral member of the Executive Management team, assisting with developing and implementing the strategic vision. She assumed critical roles over the years ensuring legislative and Governor initiatives were carried out, including the Business Relief Act and the 2017 Workers’ Compensation Reforms. As Director of Financial Administration, she successfully managed over $10 billion of WCB accounts, including the $1 billion annual budget. In this capacity, she led the modernization of the WCB’s assessment process, streamlined the Special Disability and Reopened Case funds, and designed new insurance products. Suzanne is a graduate of Montclair State University with a BS in Business Administration (Accounting).
Tanisha Edwards, Esq., General Attorney: Tanisha joined NYSIF in 2019 after serving more than three years as Assistant Counsel to the Governor for Taxation & Financial Services in Governor Cuomo's Counsel's Office. In that role, Tanisha advised the Governor and his cabinet on legal affairs involving taxation, insurance and banking. These responsibilities included managing legal issues for the Department of Tax and Finance, the Department of Financial Services and NYSIF. Before joining the Governor’s Office, Tanisha spent 10 years at the New York City Council, serving as Chief Counsel to the Finance Division, as well as serving as Counsel to the Finance Committee. Prior to working at the City Council, Tanisha served as the Legislative Counsel at the Office of the New York City Comptroller. Tanisha earned a JD from Rutgers University School of Law and a BA from Syracuse University.
Joseph Mullen, Deputy Executive Director and Director of Policyholder Services: Joe joined NYSIF in 1997 as a senior budget analyst and has gone on to serve in many roles, including Director of Financial Administration and Director of Administration. In his current role, Joe is responsible for overseeing NYSIF’s statewide underwriting, premium audit and field services operations along with statewide PHS business office operations. Since his appointment to this position in 2018, Joe has guided several critical initiatives, including a streamlined online quote and application process, an underwriting reorganization to better meet the needs of our customers, and significant updates to our premium audit process. Joe holds an MBA from the College of St. Rose and a BS in Business Economics & Accounting from SUNY Oneonta.
Patricia Carroll, Director of Administration: Patti joined NYSIF after 17 years with the NYS Department of Labor where she served in accounting and budget roles, including the Director of Agency Budget Services. Patti has been with NYSIF for nearly 13 years, serving in several administrative titles, most recently as Director of Financial Administration. In her current role, Patti oversees Human Resources, Personnel, Procurement & Contracts, Labor Relations and Facilities. Most recently, Patti was part of the team responsible for the successful implementation of NYSIF headquarters’ renovation project. Patti is a graduate of Russell Sage College with a BS in Accounting and a minor in Economics.
William Gratrix, Chief Financial Officer: Bill has responsibility for the Accounting and Financial Reporting, Actuarial, Treasury, and Financial Planning and Analysis functions at NYSIF. After more than a decade as a Senior Manager in international public accounting firms, Bill made meaningful strategic and leadership contributions to major financial services companies in the property/casualty, life insurance, mortgage finance, banking and investment management industries. Bill holds an MBA in Accounting from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a BA in Speech Communications from the State University of New York. He has held the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designations in New York and Maryland.
Charlotte Griffin, Acting Chief Information Officer: Charlotte has been with NYSIF Information Technology Services since 1998. Charlotte most recently led the team that successfully launched the new NYSIF Claims Center - a web-based interface that consolidated all of the old claims applications and systems and dramatically improved the user experience. She also managed teams working on electronic billing, prescription benefit management, direct deposit for claimants and providers, and the addition of PFL to NYSIF’s DB claims and PHS systems.