CMA operates out of five offices with a staff of 22, 13 of whom have been tested and licensed as Series 50 Municipal Advisors with both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”). Following are resumes of some of the firm’s key, professional staff members.
Richard R. Tortora, Esq.
President and Principal
Richard manages the firm’s Great Neck office and is responsible for providing financial advisory services to the firm’s largest and most sophisticated clients. Over the course of his 33-year career in public finance, he has been involved in financings totaling over $50 billion. He has worked with numerous counties in New York State including Albany, Erie, Monroe, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan and Westchester. As a former bond attorney, he has expertise in the New York State Local Finance Law, the General Municipal Law and other laws pertaining to municipalities and school districts. Prior to co-founding CMA, he managed the northeast practice of Evensen Dodge, Inc., an independent financial advisory firm, for 9 years and prior to that he managed The Bank of New York’s financial advisory practice for 5 years.
Richard routinely speaks at industry conferences on a variety of public finance topics. In the past, he has addressed members of the public finance community on topics including “Credit Ratings and their Relationship to the Cost of and Access to Capital”, “The Use of Owner Controlled Insurance Programs to Reduce Project Costs,” “Roles and Responsibilities of Players in a Financing,” “Identifying and Executing Refundings,” and “Debt Management.” He has taught “Bonds 101” at the State’s Fall Finance School for newly elected government officials and at the Municipal Bond Club of New York for many years.
Richard holds a law degree from St. John’s University School of Law and a B.A. degree from Fordham University in Political Science/Public Administration. He is a former Board member of the New York State GFOA. Richard is a member of the NY Association of School Business Officials (“ASBO”), NY Government Finance Association (“GFOA”), and the National Association of Municipal Advisors (“NAMA”). He has been licensed by the MSRB and SEC as a Registered Municipal Advisor.
Rick Ganci, M.A.
Executive Vice President and Principal
Rick is Executive Vice President and Principal of CMA. He oversees the firm’s Western New York and Southern Tier offices and serves as lead financial advisor to many of the firm’s largest and most sophisticated clients including the cities of Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, the counties of Monroe and Niagara, the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority, Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority and over 70 villages, towns and school districts. Over the course of his career at CMA, Rick has been involved in the issuance of over 1,500 bond, note and lease financings with a total par of over $12 billion. Prior to joining CMA, Rick was a banking officer in the treasury division of one of the nation’s largest commercial banks.
Rick completed his undergraduate work at Hobart College in Geneva, New York where he received a B.A. degree in economics and later received his master’s degree in economics from the University of Buffalo. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the New York State GFOA and a member of the GFOA Banking and Investment Management Committee and has presented to association members on “Best Practices in Debt Management” and Investment of Public Funds by Local Governments in New York State”. Rick has also recently presented on Capital Project Planning for School Districts at various seminars. Rick has been licensed by the MSRB and SEC as a Registered Municipal Advisor.
Senior Vice President
Beth manages the firm’s Hudson Valley office. She has over 30 years of public finance experience as a municipal advisor, investment banker and research analyst. Beth has served as municipal advisor to a wide variety of issuers including State agencies and authorities, county and county improvement authorities, water and sewer issuers, school districts, and municipalities. She has developed comprehensive rating agency presentations, negotiated aggressive pricing structures and assisted in budget analysis. Her experience enables her to assist clients in developing financing options that are tailored to meet their needs and goals.
Prior to joining CMA, Beth was a founding partner and Managing Director of Acacia Financial Group, Inc. (AFG), a municipal advisory firm located in New Jersey, and prior to founding AFG, she was a Vice President with Municipal Advisory Partners, Inc. for thirteen years. Ms. Ferguson was an investment banker with Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc., Chase Manhattan Capital Markets Corporation, Grigsby Brandford Powell, Inc. and Marine Midland Capital Markets Corp. prior to her career as a municipal advisor.
Beth graduated from the State University of New York at Albany with a Bachelor of Science Degree in business administration with a concentration in finance and management. She also obtained Provisional Certification from the State of New York to teach secondary business education in 1993. She was previously licensed by the MSRB as a Registered Representative. She has completed the New York State Government Finance Officers’ Association Foundations Level and Advanced Level programs. Beth is an active member of NYS ASBO, NYS ASBO Business Advisory Committee and NYS GFOA. She has lectured for the New York State Association of School Business Officials on the “Investment of Public Funds by Local Municipalities in New York State” and for the New York State Government Finance Officers’ Association regarding “The New Municipal Advisor Rule, Continuing Disclosure and the Municipal Continuing Disclosure Cooperative Initiative”.
Margaret Guarino, M.A.
Margaret manages CMA’s Strategic Consulting Services Group, which provides its clients with management support in several areas that are vital to their ongoing success. Grant related activities for CMA clients are supported by the Strategic Consulting Services Group. Margaret joined CMA in 2015 after a successful 40+ year career as a banker with Bank of America/Merrill Lynch. Her career in banking was preceded by positions as the head of a not-for-profit housing corporation and Senior Vice President at the Public Development Corporation of New York City under New York City Mayor Ed Koch.
Over the past two years, Margaret has worked closely with the cities of Long Beach and Glen Cove, the towns of Islip and Riverhead and the US Virgin Islands to prepare multi- year financial plans that address, among other things, operations, existing and future debt, efficiency and management practices as well as comprehensive credit rating presentations and deficit reduction plans that include revenue enhancement initiatives and expenditure reduction opportunities.
Margaret earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute of Technology. She has three adult sons and lives with her husband on Long Island.
Roy McMaster, M.A.
Roy oversees the CMA Southern Tier office in Elmira, NY. His career began in 1976 working with all types of New York municipalities including Towns, Villages and specializing in School Districts. In addition to the Municipal Advisor services related to planning, marketing and managing over $3 billion in municipal borrowings, Roy also provides complete budget services for Towns and Villages and completion and electronic filing of the AUD (Annual Update Document.) School District services include pre-vote tax analysis and public presentations related to referendum votes; capital project planning work sessions; 26 Merger Studies and aid projections; Cohort Survival Enrollment Projections; Debt Consent Order Applications to the Board of Regents and State Comptroller, and completion of the various State Aid forms specific to building project financing.
Roy earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (accounting and economics) from The Ohio State University, 1963, a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of New Hampshire, 1968, and a Certificate of Advanced Study (School Administration and Supervision) from SUNY Cortland, 1976. He holds a NYS School District Administrator and School Administrator certification, 1976, and a NYS Permanent Teacher certification, Nursery-Grade 8, 1968. He is a Series 50 Municipal Advisor.
Outside the work environment, his passion is flying (8,500 hours) sailplanes and other light aircraft as a Flight Instructor and Commercial Pilot, land, sea and glider. He holds several World, National, and many State Soaring Records.
Anthony heads up the firm’s quantitative group, which performs our most complex and detailed financial analysis and has earned the recognition of the New York State Comptroller’s office. He structures competitively sold refunding bonds and escrow accounts. He works with many of the firm’s larger, downstate clients preparing disclosure documentation and performing financial modeling including bond amortization schedules, tax impact analysis and cash flow analysis.
Anthony joined CMA in 2003 as a Summer Associate and became a full time Analyst in 2004 after graduating from SUNY Binghamton with a B.S. in Financial Economics. He is a member of NYS GFOA and ASBO, and is a Series 50 Municipal Advisor.
Janet acts as CMA’s expert in providing credit rating services to our clients. Her duties at CMA include preparing credit rating presentations, analyzing data, conducting comparative analysis of comparable credits and preparing clients for their rating presentations. She also heads up CMA’s Lease Financing practice.
Janet has over 20 years of public finance experience in the banking and bond insurance industry. She began her career in public finance as a banker at Fuji Bank and from there moved to municipal bond insurer MBIA. At MBIA, Janet held management and senior positions related to credit analysis, deal structuring and remediation of troubled credits. Following MBIA, Janet was engaged by Berkshire Hathaway to provide credit and industry expertise on a consulting basis. Her career has focused on credit analysis across a broad spectrum of credit types including, but not limited to, general obligation, school districts, healthcare and special revenue. She has extensive experience in the remediation of troubled credits and bond deals as well as the negotiation of covenants and terms related to bank and bond documents. In addition, her current role on a Budget and Finance Advisory Task Force for a local municipality provides unique insight to the challenges being faced by local governments today.
Janet holds a B.S. degree in Economics from Lehigh University, from which she graduated magna cum laude. She is a member of MAGNY, NFMA and the Northeast Chapter of Women in Public Finance. Janet has been licensed by the MSRB and SEC as a Registered Municipal Advisor.
James Nytko, M.P.A.
James has 10 years of municipal management experience, having worked in both the public and private sector. James works in the Hudson Valley office assisting in the preparation of municipal disclosure documents, including, but not limited to: Official Statement, Continuing Disclosure, Notices of Sales, Bid Sheet, DTC Letter of Representation and Debt Filing Statements. In addition, James performs financial modeling including bond amortization schedules, tax impact analysis and cash flow analysis. He has served as municipal advisor to wide variety of issuers including counties, cities and city improvement authorities, towns, villages, school districts, and fire districts.
James is a graduate of Marist College and holds both a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (concentration in finance) and a Master of Public Administration. James has been formally recognized for his commitment to professional excellence and competence by the GFOA with a Certificate of Professional Development in Public Finance. He remains an active enrollee in the Government Finance Institute (through the New York Government Finance Officers’ Association). James has been licensed by the MSRB and SEC as a Registered Municipal Advisor.
Alex Kerr, M.Ed.
Alex specializes in school district financings and serves as client manager on over 70 districts. He provides day-to-day transaction support, performs financial modeling including bond amortization schedules, tax impact analysis and cash flow analysis and assists in the preparation of Official Statements. He has worked with clients on a variety of projects including the planning and issuance of advance refunding bonds, cash flow financings and debt issuance through the NYS Dormitory Authority
Alex completed his undergraduate work at Eckerd College where he received a B.A. in history and attended Dowling College where he earned a Masters Degree in Special Education. He is a member of the New York State GFOA and ASBO. He has been tested and licensed as a Series 50 Municipal Advisor by the SEC and MSRB.