Business Officers’ Leadership Academy

Mentor Biographies

Laura J. Barnum

Laura J. Barnum is the vice president for finance and management at Buffalo State College. She also previously served as associate vice president for resource planning at the University at Buffalo. Barnum lead the campus resource planning process in support of the university’s mission, vision, and strategic objectives. As a member of the senior leadership team in UB’s division of finance and administration, Barnum provided strategic advice on university and unit finances in relation to investment decisions across the university. She served as the principal liaison to campus divisions for long-term budget planning and forecasting activities; and helped guide financial best practices and reporting that allow the schools and support units to understand their respective resource status and the role they play in the larger university context.

Barnum earned her B.S. in exercise science with a sport management concentration from the University at Buffalo in 1993. She completed an M.S. in sport administration at Canisius College in 1996, and later earned an M.B.A. from UB in 2000.

Todd D. Foreman

Todd D. Foreman is the Vice President for Administration and Finance at the University of Albany. Foreman is responsible for all campus financial management and budgeting activities. He also oversees campus physical plant operations, capital construction, procurement, human resources, and environmental health and sustainability programs.

Foreman comes to UAlbany from SUNY Oneonta, where he was most recently Vice President for Finance and Administration, overseeing finance, business services, information technology, facilities, sustainability, auxiliary services, sponsored funds and foundation finance. Before joining SUNY Oneonta in 1993, he worked in telecommunications for both First Albany Corporation and General Electric.

Foreman holds a master’s degree in advanced technologies and a bachelor’s telecommunications, from SUNY Institute of Technology, and an associate’s degree in electrical engineering technology from Mohawk Valley Community College. In 2013, Foreman completed the Harvard Graduate School of Education Institute for Management and Leadership.


Michelle Halstead

Michele Halstead began her career at SUNY New Paltz in 1990 as assistant director for accounting services.  She was promoted to director of accounting services in 1999, to assistant vice president for Administration in 2002, then to vice president in 2013.

Michele oversees all aspects of state procurement, accounting and budget, payroll, internal control, facilities operations and design & construction, sustainability, information technology & telecommunications, environmental health & safety, emergency management, conference services, food service and the campus bookstore.

Michele holds a bachelor of arts in economics from UAlbany and a bachelor of science in accounting from SUNY New Paltz.

Josee M. Larochelle

Josee M. Larochelle is the Vice President for Administration and Finance at SUNY Plattsburgh, holds the position of Treasurer of College Auxiliary Services, and serves as the President’s Designee to the Research Foundation as Operations Manager. Additionally, she is currently an officer to the system wide SUBOA Executive Board. Prior to joining SUNY Plattsburgh in July of 2017, she served for 8 years at San Jose State University – the 4th largest campus in the California State University system with 33,000 students – as Director, Associate Vice President, and eventual Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration.

Larochelle received her BA in Economics from UCLA and her MBA with distinction from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She is a member of the National Association of Chief University Business Officers (NACUBO).


Wendy C. Gilman

Wendy C. Gilman earned an S.B. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.S. in Operations Research and Statistics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her early career included stints as a high school math teacher, contract analyst for a federal procurement agency, and work with small businesses and school districts. Ms. Gilman has worked in public higher education since 1994, starting as a budget analyst at SUNY System Administration and eventually becoming Assistant Vice Chancellor for Budget, Policy, and Analysis. She has served as the Vice President for Business and Finance and RF Operations Manager at SUNY Cobleskill since 2016; in March 2018, she also began serving as the Executive Director for the SUNY Cobleskill Foundation.