Connie Frances Avila
In the News
Hattie’s Mardi Gras raises over $100K for Regional Food Bank
NEWS10 - Hattie’s Mardi Gras made a grand return after a four-year hiatus, raising over $100K for the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY.
February 3, 2023
Albany Black Chamber of Commerce opens doors at former University Club
TIMES UNION - Business for Good donated the historic building in downtown Albany to the newly created chamber after purchasing it for $950,000 last year.
February 2, 2023
Albany Black Chamber of Commerce & Social Club unveils its new home
WNYT - The Albany Black Chamber of Commerce & Social Club unveiled to the public its new home. The newly renovated space is meant to help Black entrepreneurs.
February 1, 2023
See inside the new Albany Black Chamber of Commerce
ALBANY BUSINESS REVIEW - The Albany Black Chamber of Commerce and Social Club is now open in downtown Albany.
February 1, 2023
SEEN: Hattie’s Mardi Gras 2023 to benefit the Regional Food Bank
TIMES UNION - Were you Seen at Hattie’s Mardi Gras to benefit the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York on Jan. 28, 2023, at the Canfield Casino in Saratoga Springs, N.Y?
January 30, 2023
Hattie’s Mardi Gras fundraiser to make long-awaited return
SARATOGIAN - After a four-year absence, the popular Hattie’s Mardi Gras fundraiser is returning later this month.
January 20, 2023
Bread Basket Cake Shop celebrates grand opening
SARATOGIAN - Longtime local business Bread Basket Bakery now has a space completely dedicated to cake with the opening of Bread Basket Cake Shop.
January 15, 2023
Saratoga Springs cake shop celebrates grand opening
NEWS10 - The Bread Basket Cake Shop celebrated its grand opening on January 12 with Business For Good, an organization that invests in people to build better businesses and stronger communities.
January 13, 2023
New bakery opens in Saratoga Springs
WNYT - A new cake shop opened its doors Thursday in Saratoga County. The Bread Basket Cake Shop is the second location for the Bread Basket Bakery.
January 12, 2023
Bread Basket Bakery Unveils Dedicated Cake Shop
SARATOGA LIVING - The official ribbon-cutting for the reimagined store takes place on January 12.
January 11, 2023
Historic Albany selling some booths from Lombardo’s
TIMES UNION - As historic Albany restaurant is renovated to make way for a location of Hattie's, nonprofit's parts warehouse receives one- and two-sided booths to sell.
January 11, 2023
Non-profit helps give Albany business fresh start after COVID
WNYT - A capital investment from Business for Good will allow Nani’s Iced Tea to be available in stores in 2023 and beyond.
December 16, 2022
Funding helps Nani’s Iced Tea expand in Albany
TIMES UNION - An investment from the Business for Good organization is helping entrepreneur Maria Gallo expand the reach of her specially brewed Nani’s Iced Tea.
December 13, 2022
Hattie’s Mardi Gras returns after four years
NEWS10 - Hattie’s Restaurant in Saratoga Springs will be hosting its Mardi Gras celebration for the first time in four years. The 2023 beneficiary of this event is the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.
November 25, 2022
BFG’s Lisa Mitzen in conversation with Look TV
LOOK TV - Co-founder of Business for Good sat down with Look TV about giving back to move forward.
November 14, 2022
Reclaiming a Black family’s history as American history
TIMES UNION - Jahkeen Hoke, a local business executive, researches family history, and discovers a great-great-great-great grandfather who fought for the Union Army's African-American regiment immortalized in the Denzel Washington film "Glory"
October 26, 2022
Local restaurant owner gifted with brand new van
WNYT - The owner and head chef of Allie B’s Cozy Kitchen in Albany just received a brand new van, from the non-profit organization, Business for Good.
October 20, 2022
Albany restaurant owner surprised with new catering van
NEWS10 - Owner and head chef of Allie B’s Cozy Kitchen Kizzy Williams was surprised with a new branded catering and delivery van, from Business for Good.
October 19, 2022
Comprehensive initiative announced to address homelessness in Saratoga Springs
THE SARATOGIAN- Saratoga Springs Mayor Ron Kim, joined by City Council members and County Officials, William Dake of Stewart’s Stores, and Ed and Lisa Mitzen of Fingerpaint Marketing and Business for Good, announced a comprehensive initiative to address the city’s homelessness.
October 18, 2022
Saratoga to open new year-round, 24-hour shelter for unhoused people
Times Union- “It will be a place for homeless individuals to go, get warm and be safe and dry,” Lisa Mitzen said on Monday. “It will help them get off the street, go and do their laundry, use the restroom and hopefully build a nice rapport with the staff who will offer the services they need.”
October 17, 2022
Albany native named new CEO of Albany Black Chamber of Commerce
Times Union- The Albany Black Chamber of Commerce is a new creation of Business for Good, a Capital Region nonprofit that works on equality and economic development issues and owns the University Club property in downtown Albany.
October 10, 2022
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan releases design for new Lincoln Park pool
WAMC- The project received a major boost when Business for Good Co-founder Ed Mitzen donated $1 million to kick-off a $10 million Capital Campaign Committee fundraising effort for the project. Mitzen was named chair of the committee.
September 30, 2022
Winning design unveiled for new Lincoln Park Pool
TIMES UNION- Business for Good kicked off the fundraising campaign with a $1 million donation.
September 28, 2022
Second Voorheesville building razed for new restaurant
TIMES UNION- A total of three structures are being demolished to make way for a new restaurant and a cafe from Business for Good
September 14, 2022
Business for Good is Lead Sponsor for Black Theatre United’s Annual Gala
PLAYBILL- Throughout the evening, which is supported by Business for Good, BTU will also honor trailblazing leaders in Black theatre who are inspiring the next generation of Black theatre professionals.
September 7, 2022
Black Theatre United Inaugural Gala Supported by Business for Good
BROADWAY WORLD - Black Theatre United's inaugural gala, "A Night to Remember," will take place on Monday, October 3 at The Rooftop at Pier 17. Supported by Business for Good, the evening will begin with a concert featuring performances by America's most sought-after Black Broadway and theater talent.
September 7, 2022
Capital Region Chamber launches initiative to support growth of BIPOC-owned businesses
ALBANY BUSINESS REVIEW - The new chamber initiative is sponsored by Business For Good, the KeyBank Foundation and CDPHP. The initiative is offering free business growth services to Black-, Indigenous- and people of color-owned enterprises as well as support for the implementation of diversity, equity and inclusion practices.
August 18, 2022
Inside the plans for the new Hattie’s in Albany
ALBANY BUSINESS REVIEW - Work on the future home of Hattie's Restaurant in Albany could start as soon as September. The foundation backing the restaurant — Business For Good — is just waiting for historic tax credit approval, said founder Ed Mitzen. The renovation of the former Lombardo's on Madison Avenue near Pearl Street will take about 12 months and likely cost more than $2 million.
August 17, 2022
Tulsa judge allows 1921 race massacre lawsuit to move forward
CNN - In May, Ed Mitzen, the co-founder of the New York-based nonprofit Business for Good, presented a $1 million donation to Fletcher, Randle and Van Ellis as a way to start reckoning with the wrongs they've had to endure.
August 4, 2022
Restaurant seats aplenty coming to Voorheesville
TIMES UNION - In Voorheesville, BFG will replace the razed Stewart's at 42 S. Main with a 5,000-square-foot restaurant, to be called Blackbirds Tavern; a dentist's office across the street at 43 S. Main will be razed to make way for Blackbirds Bike Cafe; and a four-unit apartment building at 40 S. Main, behind the future tavern, will be removed to make way for a parking lot.
August 2, 2022
Discovering Saratoga: Hattie’s Track Shack
NEWS10 - Hattie’s Restaurant has made a name for itself for its award-winning cuisine, even named the best fried chicken in New York State by Food Network. “Hattie’s stood for community, everything she did was about supporting friends, family in the neighborhood so we just continue that tradition,” said Chef Mark Graham.
July 28, 2022
Hattie’s Fried Chicken Named Best in NY by The Food Network
WGNA - In a newly released rating of fried chicken from coast to coast, The Food Network dubbed Hattie’s Restaurant & Chicken Shack one of the best spots in the country, and the best in NY for golden, juicy, fried chicken!
July 22, 2022
Capital Region welcomes first female, minority-owned law firm
WNYT - The Capital Region has welcomed the first female, minority-owned law firm. On Wednesday, Kimberly Wallace and Raysheea Turner opened their doors to the community, with a vision for Wallace Turner Law.
July 21, 2022
Business for Good projects approved
VOORHEESVILLE — Fifteen months after it was first presented as a restaurant-only proposal, the Voorheesville Planning Commission recently approved Ed Mitzen’s scaled-up plan to remake a large part of the village’s downtown.
July 18, 2022
Opinion | Finally, some recompense to survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre
THE POST'S VIEW — Officials of a New York-based philanthropic organization were inspired to donate $1 million to the last known survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre after reading news accounts of the three centenarians and their decades-long struggle to get some measure of justice.
May 21, 2022
3 Tulsa Massacre Survivors Receive $1 Million Donation
THE NEW YORK TIMES — Hughes Van Ellis, 101, Viola Fletcher, 108, and Lessie Benningfield Randle, 107, will split the money equally among themselves, said the donators.
May 19, 2022
Three survivors of Tulsa Race Massacre receive $1 million donation
CNN — As the last living survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre continue their fight for reparations, a New York philanthropist gifted them $1 million hoping it begins to account for the wrongs they have faced.
May 19, 2022
Three survivors of Tulsa Race Massacre receive $1 million donation
WASHINGTON POST — The last known living survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre received a $1 million donation Wednesday from a philanthropic organization — a substantial sum for the three centenarians more than 100 years after White mobs destroyed their community.
May 18, 2022
Nonprofit donates $1 million to 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre survivors
FOX 25 — Over the last year, Americans have come to know the centenarian survivors of Tulsa's 1921 Race Massacre. That includes philanthropist Ed Mitzen in New York state.
May 17, 2022
Hattie’s Albany names chef, gives update on status
ALBANY BUSINESS REVIEW — Hattie's new location-in-progress in Albany is taking steps toward opening with the hiring of a notable chef.
May 5, 2022
Hattie’s names Mark Graham as chef of Albany location
TIMES UNION — Mark D. Graham, a veteran chef at many Capital Region restaurants over the past two decades, will be the head chef at the Hattie's Restaurant being developed to open in early 2023 in the historic former Lombardo's location on lower Madison Avenue.
May 5, 2022
Social benefit and financial return don’t have to be exclusive. These 20 impact investing projects are proof
FAST COMPANY — The impact investing category of Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards honors impact funds, social impact bonds, and other investments in changemaking organizations or initiatives that generate societal benefit along with financial return.
May 3, 2022
Donation to Albany rec center brings beauty and hope to kids
NEWS 10 — A local non-profit’s donation to a recreation center in Albany brought major upgrades and more opportunities for the community to find productive ways to spend their time.
April 27, 2022
Lisa Mitzen: Changing The Way Philanthropy is Done
HER LIFE MAGAZINE — Lisa Mitzen firmly believes if you have what you need, then you give to others.
April 26, 2022
Mohawk Hudson Humane Society Receives Historic Donation; Reveals New Name for the Organization
SARATOGA TODAY — On April 11, the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society received the single largest gift in its 135-year history, a moment that comes as the result of a donation from Business for Good and Lisa and Ed Mitzen.
April 14, 2022
Foundation donates $1 million to Mohawk Hudson Humane Society
TIMES UNION — A local philanthropy donated $1 million to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society on Monday, by far the largest contribution in the shelter's 135-year history.
April 11, 2022
Black chamber of commerce to open office in Albany’s University Club
TIMES UNION — The Upstate New York Black Chamber of Commerce is putting down roots in Albany as it moves into the University Club on Washington Avenue.
April 8, 2022
Former University Club building will be home of the new Albany Black Chamber
ALBANY BUSINESS REVIEW — The UpState New York Black Chamber of Commerce and Capital District Black Chamber of Commerce have joined together under a new name — Albany Black Chamber — and will be based in the historic building that was the longtime home of the University Club of Albany.
April 7, 2022
All in for Albany’s Robotics Team!
CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT OF ALBANY — We would like to take this opportunity to once again congratulate our Albany High School Robotics Team for its exceptional performance at the recent New York Tech Valley FIRST Regional Robotics Competition held at the MVP Arena.
March 30, 2022
University Club of Albany property sold to Business for Good Foundation
ALBANY BUSINESS REVIEW — The University Club of Albany, which served as a private social club for civic and business leaders for more than a century, has been sold.
March 29, 2022
Flooded with donations, Albany robotics team going to nationals
TIMES UNION — Basketball shooting robot 'Rein' to compete in national competition in Texas.
March 29, 2022
Additional Tickets Available for ‘MAID: A Conversation Series and Special Event’
SARATOGA TODAY — Wellspring and Business for Good™ recently announced that they are partnering to bring ‘MAID: A Conversation Series and Special Event’ to Universal Preservation Hall on Thursday, May 5. The first 200 tickets released were sold out in days.
March 24, 2022
Developers wanted to build a hotel, apartments and offices. The Mitzen family has other plans
ALBANY BUSINESS REVIEW — A vacant 16-acre property on Route 9 in Malta, where developers once sought to build a hotel, offices, retail and upscale apartments, could become home to the latest investment of Ed and Lisa Mitzen, the family behind the Business for Good Foundation of Saratoga Springs.
March 23, 2022
“Maid” Author, Public Speaker at UPH in May
SARATOGA TODAY — Stephanie Land, bestselling author of “Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother’s Will to Survive,” and inspiration for the 2021 Netflix miniseries, will be at Universal Preservation Hall at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 5.
March 17, 2022
Jahkeen Hoke Honored as 2021 Empire Whole Health Hero
TIMES UNION — What compels an individual to choose the welfare of people over personal profit, to return home when the world is available, to craft a vision of selflessly helping peers establish their own dreams?
March 11, 2022
Black History: Women attorneys build Capital Region law firm from scratch
SPECTRUM NEWS 1— Walking down the hall toward their law firm, attorneys Kimberly Wallace and Raysheea Turner are making a difference with each step.
February 23, 2022
Food Friday 2/18/22: Fried Chicken Summit
WAMC – Here it is, a show that has been years in the making. We bring together two of the greatest purveyors of fried chicken that you will find, north or south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
February 18, 2022
Non-profit gets $50k donation to help train people for tech jobs
WNYT.COM – The Business for Good Foundation, a local philanthropy organization, is at it again. The foundation is now helping CanCode Communities, a non-profit that helps local people who have an aptitude to work in software and technology but lack the resources for training.
February 15, 2022
Upstate New York Digital Literacy Program Nets Donation
GOVERNMENT TECHNOLOGY — The digital literacy program CanCode got a boost Wednesday in the form of a $50,000 check from the Business for Good foundation, helping with its stated mission of providing digital skills training in the Albany region.
January 31, 2022
Donation boosts CanCode
TIMES UNION — The digital literacy program CanCode got a boost Wednesday in the form of a $50,000 check from the Business for Good foundation.
January 30, 2022
4 Millennial Changemakers in CapNY Housing
CAP NY — If you’ve spent time in Albany, there’s a chance that you’ve noticed a bright red ‘X’ on multiple buildings. Albany has a lot of homes that are currently vacant, dilapidated, and not up to safety codes.
January 26, 2022
Three Albany businesses win Business For Good foundation grants
TIMES UNION — A restaurateur, a florist and a property maintenance owner. Three different jobs, three different backgrounds.
January 8, 2022
Local refugee support organization receives $75k grant to continue their mission
NEWS 10– A $75,000 check was awarded to the Refugee and Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus Inc. (RISSE).
December 30, 2021
Old Stewart’s Shop reduced to rubble, making way for new restaurant
ALTAMONT ENTERPRISE– On Monday, the long-closed Voorheesville Stewart’s Shop was torn down.
December 21, 2021
Paid to eat and do homework, teens flock to jobs at Hattie’s
TIMES UNION– Since the pandemic, staff shortages have been the bane of restaurateurs.
December 16, 2021
‘Miss Hattie’s Homework Hour’ for Teen Employees
SARATOGA TODAY– A new initiative at Hattie’s Restaurant allows teen staff to come straight to Hattie’s from school, punch in an hour before their shift, work on homework, and be fed.
December 9, 2021
Grondahl: Partners overcome hurdles facing lawyers of color
TIMES UNION– Kimberley Wallace, Raysheea Turner launch what's believed to be Capital Region's only law firm owned and operated by two Black women
December 8, 2021
St. Anne Institute Receives $100k Donation from Business for Good
SARATOGA TODAY– St. Anne Institute, an agency that has been providing therapeutic programs and services for young women, individuals, and families for over 100 years, has recently received a $100k donation from Business for Good.
December 2, 2021
For young workers, Hattie’s knows the assignment: ‘homework hour’
SPECTRUM NEWS 1– Twenty years after she and her husband Jasper bought the restaurant, Alexander says this is one way to give back to the young people who help make their business thrive.
November 22, 2021
Saratoga’s Business for Good Is Transforming Giving
SARATOGA LIVING– When local philanthropists Ed and Lisa Mitzen first unveiled their Business for Good (BFG) foundation this past summer, it caused quite a stir in the Saratoga Springs community.
November 17, 2021
Open Door Mission receives $500,000 donation
THE POST STAR– After a chance meeting between a staff member at Open Door Mission and a friend at a race in Saratoga Springs, wheels started turning.
November 17, 2021
$500K grant for Open Door Mission
FOOTHILLS BUSINESS DAILY – The Open Door Mission in Glens Falls got an unexpected $500,000 boost recently from the Saratoga-based Business for Good Foundation.
November 8, 2021
The Capital Region’s Best Fried Chicken Joints [RANKED]
Q105.7 103.5 – We've tallied up your votes to determine the best restaurants for fried chicken in the Capital Region.
November 7, 2021
Business for Good donates $250,000 to Capital District Latinos
TIMES UNION – Capital District Latinos got good news Wednesday toward its efforts to renovate and rehabilitate its headquarters and community center on Central Avenue.
November 4, 2021
Wellspring opens new community wing built with $500,000 Business for Good Foundation™ donation
SARATOGA REPORT – Wellspring opens new community wing built with $500,000 Business for Good Foundation™ donation; unveils mural that symbolizes growth, hope, change, and resilience
November 4, 2021
Voorheesville restaurant project due in mid-2023
TIMES UNION – The next restaurant announced for the village is not likely to open for another 14 to 18 months, residents were told Saturday during a party thrown by the Saratoga Spring-based Business for Good foundation, which is developing the project.
November 1, 2021
Hattie’s Restaurant offers ‘Miss Hattie’s Homework Hour’ to teen workers
NEWS 10– If you have ever worked a job while in school, you know how hard it can be to balance work and education.
October 30, 2021
Hattie’s new Albany location part of unique nonprofit effort
TIMES UNION – Business for Good sparked excitement in Albany with a sign in the window of the former Lombardo's Restaurant announcing Hattie's Chicken Shack, another iconic brand, is moving into the building, but it is only one of many moves the new philanthropic foundation has made in the last 10 months.
October 28, 2021
Foundation throwing Voorheesville party, seeking restaurant input
TIMES UNION – The Business for Good foundation is throwing a party for villagers on Saturday, Oct. 30, and is seeking input on what type of restaurant the community would like to see in a vacant former Stewart's store that the foundation bought earlier this year.
October 27, 2021
Why Are These Guys So Happy?
THE 12866 – In recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), AIM Services, Inc., one of the area’s largest providers of services and support for individuals with disabilities, will receive a $25K Grant $50K from the Business for Good Foundation to solidify plans for a “Career Center” to support its Employment Services program
October 21, 2021
Businesses beating the odds, expanding despite pandemic
CAPITAL REGION, NY (WRGB) — From furniture.. to food. Two unrelated businesses betting on themselves to successfully bring their product to new locations.
October 20, 2021
Hattie’s fried chicken coming to Albany’s South End
ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Hattie’s Restaurant, a popular fried chicken joint in Saratoga, is opening a location in Albany. The restaurant will open in the old Lombardo’s Restaurant space that’s been empty since 2018.
October 15, 2021
Hattie’s Restaurant to Open Fourth Location in Downtown Albany
CAPITAL REGION LIVING – Get ready for some breaking news from the Capital Region’s fried chicken scene: Hattie’s Restaurant, Saratoga’s longtime comfort food HQ, will be opening a new location in the former Lombardo’s Restaurant on Madison Avenue in Downtown Albany.
October 13, 2021
2021 Capital Region Gives Back: Lisa Mitzen, Member of the Board of Directors, Shelters of Saratoga
SARATOGA LIVING – In December 2013, Nancy Pitts, a 54-year-old woman without a home, froze to death on the loading dock of the Saratoga Springs Senior Center. It shook the city to its core.
September 9, 2021
Business for Good Foundation Donates Long-Term Use of 1 Franklin Square to Shelters of Saratoga
SARATOGA LIVING–The historic building, which is currently equipped to house at least four furnished apartments, will help expand SOS's affordable apartments program.
August 18, 2021
Business for Good: Local Entrepreneurs Present a Model for Philanthropy
SARATOGA TODAY — It is a place where local businesses thrive and share their prosperity with the community. It is where full-time employees receive free healthcare benefits and competitive salaries, and where entrepreneurs are provided tools to help them succeed and flourish.
July 15, 2021
Foundation buys Capital Region businesses to donate profits to charity
WNYT — An area foundation is buying up and running successful local businesses and giving away all the profits to charity.
July 13, 2021
Business for Good helping local restaurants
NEWS10 — Hattie’s in Saratoga has been a staple in the community for over 80 years. After surviving the pandemic, the restaurant is now partnering with a new foundation called Business for Good.
July 13, 2021
A New Bottom Line
ALBANY BUSINESS REVIEW – Ed Mitzen started three companies over the past 25 years, creating more than 800 jobs with a combined annual revenue exceeding $800 million.
July 8, 2021
Foundation poised to buy Hattie’s
TIMES UNION – Entrepreneurs Lisa and Ed Mitzen and their new foundation, Business For Good, are closing in on a deal to purchase Hattie’s Restaurant in Saratoga Springs and Hattie’s Chicken Shack in Wilton from Beth and Jasper Alexander.
July 8, 2021
Ed and Lisa Mitzen Form Business for Good, Acquire Hattie’s Restaurant
June 23, 2021