Meet Our Team of


Empower HR

Anthony LaPolla
President & CEO
Anthony's passion is people. With over 13 years experience in the Human Resources industry, he founded Empower Business Strategies with a goal of helping businesses with consulting, leadership development, and organizational strategy.

His mission is to build strong and long lasting relationships with his clients and to help startups with foundational support for their teams.

One of Anthony’s greatest passions in life is support and service to his community. He is currently a Volunteer Firefighter for the New Hartford Fire Department and a member of the Board of Directors at CNY Quest. He has held leadership positions at other community organizations including serving as a member of the Board of Directors at The ARC Oneida-Lewis Chapter and as Secretary for The Abraham House of Utica. Other boards Anthony has served on include the Board of Education for the Utica City School District, Director of Scholarships and Awards for the Genesee Valley Chapter, Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) in Rochester, NY, and The CollegeWorks Program.

He received a Bachelors in Science in Health Studies-Human Behavior from Utica University and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Medaille University. 
Christina Aiello, CPC, ELI-MP
Administrative Officer
After years of self-discovery coupled with an overwhelming desire for deep human connection, Christina realized her true calling was to assist others in achieving their highest level of excellence; personally and professionally.

Christina has a diverse background not only as a Small Business Entrepreneur, but also as an International Business major and Legal Studies fanatic. She has been a paralegal for almost 10 years working directly with small to midsize law firms to create client-focused experiences while pouring her heart into creating a memorable experience with every client and staff member she meets.

After training at iPEC (Institute for Professional Excellence Coaching), Christina decided to practice the energetic life coaching principles in the workplace. She is passionate about partnering with leaders, organizations, and teams to increase fulfillment and profitability in the workplace.
Karen George, IMBA, SHRM-SCP
HR Consultant
With over 11 years of dedicated experience in Human Resources both locally in the Mohawk Valley and nationally, Karen specializes in various key areas including total rewards programs, succession planning, employee development, and HRIS system implementation. Karen is passionate about being a resource to small businesses on NYS law and to national organizations.

As an advocate for community engagement, Karen has consistently demonstrated her leadership by actively participating in numerous local organizations. Notably, she served as a board member for the Mohawk Valley Society of Human Resources Management. Further exemplifying her commitment, Karen was a distinguished member of the Leadership Mohawk Valley.

Outside of her professional pursuits, Karen's engagement extends to sports and community involvement. She has brought her leadership skills to the realm of sports as a JV/Varsity volleyball coach and has recently taken on a role as a member of the Utica Volleyball Board of Officials. Moreover, her dedication to social causes is evident through her support of the Ride for Missing Children, where she both rides and advocates.

Karen earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Economics and Finance from SUNY Oneonta. Complementing this, she pursued her Masters of International Business Administration and Corporate Social Responsibility from Southern New Hampshire University.

Balancing her dynamic career and community involvement, Karen finds joy in various leisure activities. She is an enthusiastic golfer, always on the lookout for new culinary experiences, and values quality time spent with her family and friends.
Amina Mekic
HR Consultant
Amina is an HR professional who has over five years of experience in the field. In her previous role, she served as an HR Business Partner at the Masonic Care Community. Amina focuses on talent management, regulatory compliance, and employee engagement.

Amina holds a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Human Resources from Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia and is currently working on her MBA in Human Resources Management.

Amina is a big supporter of giving back to the local community and involving herself in one of several volunteer roles in the community. Her current volunteer roles include serving on the board of the Mohawk Valley Chapter, Society of Human Resources Management (MVSHRM) as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Board Director. Outside of Amina’s professional roles, she volunteers as an Assistant Cheer Coach for the Whitestown Pop Warner Cheerleading team.
Nikki Magnone
HR Consultant
Nikki is a Human Resources professional specializing in talent acquisition and management, employee relations, employee engagement and learning and development.

With three years of HR and Recruitment experience at a global communications agency, Nikki has a diverse set of skills ranging from full-cycle recruiting for multiple practices and specialties to being an HR Business Partner handling various needs for multiple US regions.

Nikki has her Bachelors in Education from SUNY Cortland and a Masters Degree in Marketing from Pace University, coming together to create to a passion for working with others to solve problems and assist in building positive, collaborative and efficient working spaces.

Empower Marketing

Alexa Aiello
Brand and Marketing Consultant
Alexa is a Marketing and Branding professional with over 8 years of experience in the field. Like you, Alexa has a passion for communicating the mission, vision, and values of your organization. Through creative expression and a person-centered approach, creating a brand identity that brings your mission to life, is at the forefront of her work.

With experience in the human services sector both locally and state-wide, Alexa comes to Empower with a wealth of knowledge specializing in graphic design, email marketing, and brand creation. In her past roles, she has led community fundraising events, spearheaded staff recognition events, and project-managed numerous internal and external company initiatives. Alexa currently holds a Bachelors Degree in Public Relations from Utica College.

Through her work in the developmental disabilities field and personal experience as a fitness instructor, Alexa's mission is to build foundational relationships and trust with her clients. Human connection is how we all sell a product, grow a customer base, and impact our communities. Alexa can guide your organization to do just that across all channels of communication as you build your brand identity.

Empower Grants

Bruce A. Brodsky
Grant Consultant
Bruce has dedicated his half century of professional engagement advancing the mission of people-focused helping organizations through effective communication of need, values, and outcomes. To a large degree this includes wide-ranging tasks involved with grant program development and implementation. Overall, Bruce’s career has spanned areas of nonprofit management, human service administration, leadership, and information technology for community-based service providers.

Included among Bruce’s extensive volunteerism in public-focused groups are roles as an organization founder, officer, and board member. He currently volunteers as an officer of a Federally Qualified Health Center, a regional scholarship fund, and a water utility public authority. Bruce has been on the board of directors of many community-based health, education, and human service agencies, and two publicly elected boards. He has also been a peer reviewer for nearly 100 grant application programs including over 25 as a grant reviewer panel leader.

Bruce has been a facilitator for organization strategic planning, is a public speaker on grant preparation, and for over a decade, a college instructor in grant writing. He earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Utica University and a master’s degree in education administration and supervision from Syracuse University.

Empower Financial

Dena Campola
Finance Manager
Dena is a seasoned professional with over 40 years of extensive experience in bookkeeping. Throughout her career, she has honed her skills in various industries including insurance, finance, and healthcare. Dena's expertise lies in maintaining accurate financial records, analyzing data, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. Her meticulous attention to detail and strong analytical abilities have earned her a reputation for delivering high-quality work consistently. Dena earned a two-year degree in Accounting and is passionate about continuous learning and growth.

Dena is a dedicated animal activist and volunteer at local animal rescues, with a passion for advocating on behalf of our furry friends.