The Board of Directors of the Fund are appointed by the governor, one of whom shall be chosen upon nomination of the president of the senate; one of whom shall be chosen upon nomination of the speaker of the assembly; one of whom shall be chosen upon nomination of the chair of the workers' compensation board; one of whom shall be chosen on nomination of the superintendent of insurance; one of whom shall be chosen on nomination of the AFL-CIO; and four of whom shall be chosen without prior nomination, at least two of which shall be a livery registrant or owner, officer or director of a livery base or livery registrant.
The Board of Directors
Dr. Avik Kabessa (Chairman)
Dr. Avik Kabessa is the pre-eminent leader of the New York City livery industry. His tireless efforts to ensure that the livery industry has thrived through both good and bad economic times has lead Dr. Kabessa to become to voice of the most important sector of the private transportation network in the City of New York. He was confirmed by Governor David Paterson to serve on the Livery Fund Board and elected by the Board of Directors to be its Chairman. Dr. Kabessa has over 25 years of hands on experience in the for-hire transportation business. He was instrumental convincing the New York State Legislature of the need to solve the decades old dilemma of whether to provide livery drivers with workers compensation benefits and was a key figure in drafting the legislation that ultimately became Article 6-G of the Executive Law (the "Livery Fund Law"). In addition to serving as Chairman of the NYILDBF, Dr. Kabessa is also the CEO of Carmel Car and Limousine Service. Carmel has been one of the leading providers in ground transportation services in New York City for over 25 years.
Alan Plafker (Treasurer)
Alan Plafker was nominated to serve on the Livery Fund Board by the New York State President of the Senate. He is president and chief executive officer of Member Brokerage Service LLC, the Director of Business Services for Melrose Credit Union. and served on the board of directors for Melrose Credit Union for many years before forming Member Brokerage Service, which is a Melrose Credit Union Service Organization. He serves as Vice President on the Board of PIANY (Professional Insurance Agents Association of NY), serves on the Board of CIBGNY (Council of Insurance Brokers of Greater NY), and currently serves on the Producer Council for Kingstone Insurance Co. His agency insures thousands of policies for TLC Insurance as well as many policies for all types of insurance, for Commercial or Personal needs. he is a licensed Insurance Broker and Agent, in addition to completing the requirements to earn the designations Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) and Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA). He is a New York State certified insurance continuing education instructor and a certified driver safety course instructor. He started his insurance career in 1978 with the family business at Industrial Brokerage Corp. in Lynbrook,. He graduated from Adelphi University in 1980 with a degree in business administration.
Scott Harms, Esq. (Secretary)
Scott Harms was nominated to serve on the Livery Fund Board by the chairman of the New York State Workers' Compensation Board. Scott currently represents the Workers’ Compensation Board of the State of New York as an attorney in the Office of General Counsel, Litigation Division, dealing primarily with complex regulatory and litigation matters involving compliance with the Workers’ Compensation Law. He also acts as the attorney for the Workers’ Compensation Board on various matters involving the Livery Fund. He has extensive experience handling complex litigation matters including conducting trials, hearings and arguing appeals. Scott has previously worked for the New York State Department of Financial Services in the Health Bureau, had his own private law practice and worked for a large insurance defense firm. He holds a BBA in accounting from Siena College and received his JD from Albany Law School. He is admitted to practice law in the State of New York and is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York.
James Conigliaro, Sr. (Vice Chair)
His career began as a maintenance mechanic for United Parcel Service in 1977, but he quickly distinguished himself as a union leader. From shop steward to organizer to business agent, Conigliaro rose through the ranks of Local Lodge 447, District 15’s largest and most active lodge and one of the largest in the IAM. In 1993, he was elected Assistant Directing Business Representative for District 15, and in 2003, he assumed the leadership of this important labor organization. Conigliaro’s groundbreaking efforts on behalf of the largely immigrant “black car” driver workforce is just one example of his superb organizational and political skills. District 15 successfully organized NYC “black car” drivers and worked closely with other unions in a campaign to bring the benefits and protections of union contracts to other area livery drivers. As a result of these efforts, former New York Governor George Pataki appointed Conigliaro to the Governor’s Task Force on Independent Contractors. In addition, New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver appointed Conigliaro to serve on the Board of the New York Black Car Operators Injury Compensation Fund – a Fund created to provide workers compensation benefits to previously uncovered black car drivers. In addition to his responsibilities to the membership of District 15, Conigliaro is an Executive Board Member of the NYC Central Labor Council, Vice President of the New York State AFL-CIO, and President of the New York State Council of Machinists.
James Conigliaro, Sr. is the Directing Business Representative of District Lodge 15 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO. District 15.
Janet E. Glover was nominated to serve on the Livery Fund Board by the New York State Superintendent of the Insurance. She retired from the New York State Insurance Department where she was the Deputy Chief Examiner of the Market Division of the Property Bureau. The New York State Insurance Department is an agency that regulates the insurance industry. She supervised a staff of professionals whose primary responsibility is to approve the rates and policy forms filed by property and casualty insurers, including automobile, homeowners, and commercial policies and to ensure that claimants and policyholders are treated fairly by the Insurance Industry. She also represented the Superintendent of Insurance as Chair of the Livery Task Force, established by the NY Insurance Department with participation of the Livery Industry, the DMV, the Workers’ Compensation Board and others, that worked to resolve insurance issues that affected the Livery Industry.
Mr. Thomas has over 30 years of hands on experience in the field of Workers' Compensation. His experience includes the Claims, Compliance and Medical Bureau Department. Before Mr. Thomas retired, he was the Chief of Investigations for the New York State Workers' Compensation Board.
Steven J. Shanker, Esq.
Steven Shanker was appointed by the Board of Directors to serve as General Counsel for the Livery Fund. The primary objective of a General Counsel is to not only advise the Board of Directors, but to ensure that the company is operating within the bounds of the law at all times. Mr. Shanker began his career as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of New York. He has defended the City of New York in thousands of cases in all phases of litigation of workers' compensation claims filed by City employees. In his role as the senior partner in The Shanker Law Firm, P.C., Mr. Shanker has become the leading lawyer in the Taxi and Limousine industry in New York City. He has become the "trusted advisor" to the livery industry. No other law firm in New York City is as steeped in the legal and operational issues that affect the Livery industry. Mr. Shanker's practice in the car service industry spans from corporate formation, workers compensation defense, asset and purchase agreements, trademark protection, contracts, personal injury defense, risk management, government regulation and other commercial litigation. Mr. Shanker is admitted to practice law in the State of New York, State of New Jersey, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, United States Supreme Court, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey,
Questions for the Board
If you would like to ask a question or voice a concern, fill out the form below and one of our staff members will get back to you.