Mark Duffy has been front and center at past CycleNation events, raising money to fight stroke and heart disease in the American Stroke Association’s signature event.
This year, Duffy, Community Engagement Leader at SEFCU, is chairing CycleNation, which will be back in person on Thursday, Sept. 30, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The Armory at Russell Sage College.
“From the first second we tried CycleNation in 2018, it was so much fun, and a perfect way to raise awareness about stroke and heart disease,” Duffy said. “We kept the spirit alive with a digital event in 2020, and it will be really great to have people back together – safely – to get riding and champion good health.”
Duffy brings SEFCU’s community support to his role as chair of CycleNation – as he does in his daily work for the credit union.
“We encourage our employees, members, and community partners to be heart-healthy because supporting the American Heart Association is near and dear to all of us,” he said. “We engage people all year long through many commitments and collaborations that inspire, motivate, and promote heathy habits. We start in a big way each February with Wear Red Day, and CycleNation is one of many other ways we encourage the community to join us and be healthy.”
Duffy and his CycleNation Executive Leadership Team have a financial goal of $85,000. The American Heart Association invests around $2 million in research in the Capital Region, and advocates for programs and policies to improve the health of all Capital Region residents.
Originally from Dutchess County, Duffy spent two years at Dutchess County Community College before receiving a B.A. from Marist College. He completed an MBA at The College of Saint Rose, and worked for two of the area’s leading communications firms and the New York state Assembly before becoming a senior marketing coordinator at SEFCU. He has been at SEFCU for 10 years, five of them as the Community Engagement Leader.
“It’s very exciting to be involved with so many life-changing campaigns and programs we offer in this community,” he said. “The Capital Region is a great place to be. You can go anywhere from here, and have a great life in the center of it all.”
For seven years, Duffy chaired “A Taste of Albany,” a culinary showcase and benefit for IPH, formerly known as the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless. He was on the committee for two years before that. He’s part of the Real Kids Wear Pink campaign committee and will join the board of directors of the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce in January.
Why should people come to CycleNation?
“Heart health is more important now than ever,” Duffy said. “The instructors from ABC Sports bring a lot of passion and fun, and CycleNation is a great way to connect with other people, hear some inspiring stories, and honor those we’ve lost to stroke or heart disease.”
Duffy lives in Albany with his partner, Donnie Tessitore, and they love to dog sit.
A CycleNation committee is working with Duffy and the American Stroke Association on the event. The committee includes:
Jack Bevilacqua, EMT, Infinity Med
Dr. Alan Boulos*, Albany Med
Joan Clifford, Russell Sage College
Kate Fruscione*, CAP COM FCU
Toni Howard, ABC Sports & Fitness
Susan Lafond, NYSUT
Robbie MacCue, EMT, REVA
Cassandra Moore, Glens Falls Hospital
Mickey Orta, NBT Bank
Dr. Mandeep Sidhu*, Albany Med
Asterisk denotes past chairs of CycleNation.
“We’re all looking forward to gathering – safely – in person again, and CycleNation is a fun and high-energy event,” said Jennifer Corcoran Conway, partner at Tully Rinckey and chair of the Capital Region Board of Directors of the American Heart Association. “With Mark’s energy and leadership, I know it will be a successful event that lets us continue our mission of being a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.”
CycleNation, a relay-style, stationary cycling event, is set for Thursday, Sept. 30, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The Armory at Russell Sage College. Mark Duffy, Community Engagement Leader at SEFCU, is chairing the event. Chet Davis of CBS 6 and Libby from The Fly 92.3 Morning Rush will co-emcee. Toni Howard and instructors from ABC Sports and Fitness will be the instructors. Funds raised will help fight heart disease and stroke. Albany Med is the Life is Why sponsor. Local sponsors include SEFCU, Glens Falls Hospital, NBT Bank, CAP COM FCU, Penumbra, CBS 6 and Fly 92.3. For information and to sign up, visit CycleNation.org/CapitalRegionNY or contact Jessica.Pettengill@heart.org.