Management Team

Amy Desjardins

As Executive Director, Amy Desjardins provides direction and leadership for her team at WDI on workforce development grant programs, services, and workforce supports. Before joining WDI, Amy served as Assistant to the President for Internal Operations at the New York State AFL-CIO. She coordinated with Area Labor Federations and Central Labor Councils across the State to strengthen their effectiveness while implementing labor's programmatic goals. From her years working for the NY State labor movement, she has seen firsthand how labor standards can raise workers' pay, benefits, and safety on the job.

She will continue to guide WDI's work as a trusted partner with labor and collaborate with those in the business community who support high road family-sustaining jobs. Her expertise in addressing emerging workforce challenges and proposing innovative solutions will help bring people out of poverty, back into the workforce, and into the middle class.

Amy joined WDI's Board of Directors and Executive Committee in 2011, where she acted as a liaison for labor to provide strategic coordination of workforce trends and opportunities across the State. As an upstate transplant from Staten Island, she currently resides in the Capital District with her husband and son. An avid hockey mom, Amy enjoys spending time with her family when not fighting to help strengthen New York's workforce.

Read a message from the Executive Director here.

 

Allison Bashkoff

Allison Bashkoff joined WDI as Chief Financial Officer in 2011. She began her career at Honeywell Information Systems in Boston working in the manufacturing sector. After moving back to the Capital Region, where she was born and raised, Allison held a variety of leadership and CFO positions in both financial services and healthcare before arriving at WDI. Allison’s diverse work experience in various industries for both large and small organizations, coupled with her strategic thinking, have made her an integral part of WDI’s leadership team as the organization has grown. She holds a BA in Economics and Finance from Boston College and an MBA from the University at Albany.

Dan Cullen

As WDI’s Director of Field Services, Dan Cullen manages and coordinates the activities of WDI’s ten Regional Directors, and therefore has a broad statewide view of our work. Prior to his current role, Dan held the position of Regional Director for the Capital Region. In this capacity Dan supported programs in a variety of industries and facilitated workforce solutions including employee training, skill development for unemployed individuals, and improving employment accessibility for immigrants, refugees, and individuals with disabilities. 

Prior to joining WDI, Dan spent several years in the staffing sector, recruiting for businesses in manufacturing, warehousing, and financial services. He then went on to the NYS Department of Labor where he was involved in the design and operation of programs aimed to help long-term unemployed individuals return to the workforce.

In 2017, Dan was named "40 Under 40" by the Albany Business Review. He is on the Board of Directors for the Capital District Women's Employment & Resource Center, and is active on the Advisory Boards of the Upstate Alliance for a Creative Economy (ACE) and the Occupational and Environmental Health Center. Dan is a graduate of Syracuse University with a degree in Political Science and History.

Lois Johnson

Lois Johnson is the Director of Workforce Strategies where she works on scalable solutions to 21st century workforce challenges. Prior to WDI, Lois served as the Chief Strategy Officer for Innovate+Educate working on building skills-based economies in New Mexico as well as nationally. She also served as Director of Workforce for the State of New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions where she led a statewide reorganization of the public workforce system, including consolidation of 41 workforce centers, development of a new demand-driven service model, and system-wide staff re-training. Lois was the founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Employment and Resource Center (WERC) in New York’s Capital Region, noted for successful workforce training programs for low-income women.