SAM is New York’s newest officially recognized political party. We are looking to refresh a democracy that has been spoiled by the major parties by engaging New Yorkers around the problems we face and the solutions that will work.
For too long, democracy in New York has been limited to two parties that force candidates into partisan camps that divide our country and our state. SAM is working locally, starting in villages, towns and counties across all regions of New York to build an inclusive party that emphasizes results over rhetoric.
SAM’s is committed to putting aside tribal politics and finding consensus around measurable solutions to the problems that are most important to New Yorkers, without pitting one part of the state against another.
We don’t just talk about a more inclusive and deliberative democracy. We live it.
Michael has dedicated his adult life to his family, his legal practice and public service.
Most importantly, Michael is married to the love of his life, Eileen Volpe and they have three grown children together – Kelly, Mathew and Marissa.
The family has made its home in Pelham, New York since 1992.
Michael received an education in life by working as a stagehand at the Metropolitan Opera House and various other theatrical and entertainment venues during his college, graduate and law school years.
Today, Michael serves as the National Chair of Venable’s Labor & Employment law group.
In public life, Michael has worn many hats serving his community in various ways. Board memberships have included: the Pelham Civic Association, the Friends of Pelham Sports, the Pelham Little League, Pelham Youth Soccer, the New York Athletic Club, St. Anthony High School (Jersey City), and a variety of other positions in organizations.
As an elected official, Michael was elected twice as Councilman to the Town of Pelham board serving from 2000-2007. After a break from politics, Michael returned to serve the Village of Pelham. He was Deputy Mayor for 2 years and has been the Mayor for the last 3+ years. Michael has successfully run for office 5 times.
As a public official Michael is most proud of the following: setting Village budgets at or under the tax caps for 6 straight years, drafting and passing supplemental legislation (the BDFZ) to promote mixed-use commercial, residential development in the Village of Pelham and seeing the results with new development now on-going, helping to create a wonderful 9/11 Memorial Park for our neighbors lost, delivering on promises to address long neglected infrastructure issues (road paving, park re-development, capital planning, etc.), and reaching across party lines recruiting quality people to run for office regardless of party affiliation
A true New Yorker, Erik Carter was born on Long Island, grew up in upstate NY, lived in NYC in his 20s, and now resides in White Plains.
As a “financial wellness evangelist,” he writes and speaks about personal finance all over the country and regularly provides financial commentary on a host of media outlets including Time Magazine, Forbes, Bloomberg, Fox Business, CNBC, and CBS News.
His previous experience includes serving as a financial advisor to members of Congress and as a vice president in the private client services division of a major national investment firm in Manhattan.
He has a CFP® designation, a degree in economics with honors from NYU, and a law degree on a full academic scholarship from the University of San Diego.
Drisana Hughes has spent the past two years working for Serve American Movement (SAM) and is one of SAM’s earliest hires.
During her time at SAM she has traveled all over the United States to interact with voters, lead events, and gather information regarding the state of politics today.
She is currently working on SAM’s party-building efforts in New York and Connecticut. Drisana joined SAM because she believes that neither political party accurately represents or works for the American people. Prior to SAM she worked at Morgan Stanley in the Sales and Trading Division, where she focused on trends in the Hedge Fund industry.
She got her BA in Political Science, with a concentration in American Politics, from the University of Pennsylvania.
Edward A. Smith grew up on western Long Island and attended Georgetown University and Fordham University Law School.
He has practiced law for 34 years including at private law firms, as an in-house lawyer at a financial services company and for ten years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. While at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Ed also served at different times as Chief of the Environmental Protection Unit, Chief of the Tax Unit and Senior Litigation Counsel.
Ed and his wife of 32 years, Cathy Maher Smith, have lived in Pelham for 29 years and have raised two terrific, adult-aged children.
Michael S. Willner is the Chairman and CEO of Penthera Partners, a software development company that specializes in mobile video technology.
Prior to becoming CEO in 2012, Mr. Willner spent his career in the cable television industry. He co-founded Insight Communications in 1985, one of the 10 largest cable companies in the US. He served as the company’s CEO and Vice Chairman until the company was sold to Time Warner Cable in February, 2012.
While in the industry, Mr. Willner was a key leader in the cable’s government and public affairs activities. He was one of cable’s most active and effective spokespersons on Capitol Hill, testifying multiple times before Congress. He served two consecutive terms as chairman of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), the cable industry’s trade lobby, served on its executive committee. He also chaired its political action committee (CablePAC) from 2000 until 2012.
Michael currently serves as Chairman of The Cable Center. Mr. Willner was the recipient of the NCTA’s 2004 Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership, was a 2005 inductee into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame in 2008.