Mechanical Technology, Incorporated


Board of Directors

David C. Michaels

Chairman of the Board

Mr. Michaels, was appointed to MTI’s Board of Directors on August 28, 2013. Mr. Michaels is the Chief Financial Officer of the American Institute for Economic Research, Inc., an internationally recognized economics research and education organization, and has served in this position since October 2008.

Before joining the Institute, Mr. Michaels served as Chief Financial Officer at Starfire Systems, Inc. and prior to that, he worked at Albany International Corp. as Vice President, Treasury and Tax and Chief Risk Officer. Mr. Michaels also worked at Veeco Instruments in various roles including Controller and Tax Manager. Mr. Michaels is a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Audit Committee of Iverson Genetic Diagnostics, Inc. Mr. Michaels served as a member of the Board of Governors and Vice President of the Country Club of Troy from 2007 through 2014. Mr. Michaels also served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Starfire Systems, Inc. from June 2009 through November 2010.

Mr. Michaels has a B.S. degree with dual majors in Accounting and Finance and a minor in Economics from the University at Albany. Mr. Michaels completed graduate-level coursework at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University. Mr. Michaels also completed the Leadership Institute Program at the Lally School of Management & Technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Edward R. Hirshfield


Mr. Hirshfield, has served as a director since October 21, 2016. In 2018, Mr. Hirshfield joined the restructuring group at B Riley FBR, Inc. where he is advising stressed and distressed companies and their constituencies.  From 2015 until 2018, Mr. Hirshfield served as a partner at Steppingstone Group, LLC, a special situations private equity fund located in New York. Mr. Hirshfield’s responsibilities in this role included business development activities, conducting extensive credit analysis on target companies, as well as portfolio management. Mr. Hirshfield began his career as a loan officer at CIT Group Inc. and then became a restructuring advisor at a boutique investment bank, CDG Group.

In 2003, Mr. Hirshfield moved over to the buy side and joined Longacre Fund Management, LLC, a $2.5 billion distressed debt fund. Mr. Hirshfield continued as a distressed investor at Del Mar Asset Management, LP, Ramius LLC and most recently CRG, LLC from 2012 through 2014. At CRG, LLC, Mr. Hirshfield was responsible for identifying and managing investments in distressed situations and conducting extensive research on potential investments.

Mr. Hirshfield has a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Union College and an M.B.A. from Fordham University Graduate School of Business.

Matthew E. Lipman


Mr. Lipman, was appointed to MTI’s Board of Directors on October 21, 2016. Mr. Lipman joined Brookstone Partners, a lower middle market private equity firm based in New York, in 2004. Mr. Lipman’s responsibilities include identifying and evaluating investment opportunities, performing transaction due diligence, managing the capital structure of portfolio companies, and working with management teams to implement operational and growth strategies. In addition, Mr. Lipman is responsible for executing add-on acquisitions and other portfolio company related strategic projects. Prior to 2004, Mr. Lipman was a member of the mergers and acquisitions group at UBS Financial Services Inc. responsible for formulating and executing on complex merger, acquisition and financing strategies for Fortune 500 companies in the industrial, consumer products and healthcare sectors.

Mr. Lipman currently serves on the Board of Directors of Instone and Denison Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Lipman has a B.S. in Business Administration from Babson College.

Thomas J. Marusak


Mr. Marusak, was appointed to MTI’s Board of Directors on December 16, 2004. Since 1986, Mr. Marusak has served as President of Comfortex Corporation, a manufacturer of custom window shades and components. Mr. Marusak was previously a member of the Advisory Board of Directors for Key Bank of New York from 1996 through 2004. Mr. Marusak served on the Board of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority from 2000 until 2006 and served as Chairman of the Board for the Capital Region’s Center for Economic Growth from 2006 through 2007.

In 2011, Mr. Marusak was elected to the Board of Directors of the Capital District Physician’s Health Plan, Inc., in Albany, in which he is also a member of the Finance, Compensation, Audit and Executive Committees of the Board. Mr. Marusak has a B.S. in Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and an M.S. in Engineering from Stanford University.

William P. Phelan


Mr. Phelan, was appointed to MTI’s Board of Directors on December 16, 2004. Mr. Phelan is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bright Hub, Inc., a software company founded in 2005, which focuses on the development of online software for commerce. In May 1999, Mr. Phelan founded OneMade, Inc., an electronic commerce marketplace technology systems and tools provider. Mr. Phelan served as Chief Executive Officer of OneMade, Inc. from May 1999 to May 2004, including for a year after it was sold to, and remained a subsidiary of, America Online. Mr. Phelan serves on the Board of Trustees and is a Finance Committee member and an Investment Committee Chair for Capital District Physician’s Health Plan, Inc. Mr. Phelan also serves on the Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Paradigm Mutual Fund Family. Mr. Phelan has also held numerous executive positions at Fleet Equity Partners, Cowen & Company, First Albany Corporation, and UHY Advisors Inc., formerly Urbach Kahn & Werlin, PC. Mr. Phelan has a B.A. in Accounting and Finance from Siena College, an M.S. in Taxation from City College of New York, and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Michael Toporek


Mr. Toporek, was appointed to MTI’s Board of Directors on October 21, 2016. Mr. Toporek serves as the Managing General Partner of Brookstone Partners, a lower middle market private equity firm based in New York. Prior to co-founding Brookstone Partners in 2003, Mr. Toporek was both an active principal investor and an investment banker. Mr. Toporek has successfully invested in growth equity as well as more traditional buyouts. Notable investments include eToys, The Theory Center, Advanced Mining Systems and Blacor Steel.

As an investment banker, Mr. Toporek worked extensively with Fortune 100 companies to formulate and execute complex merger, acquisition and financing strategies in diversified sectors such as manufacturing, building products, medical and analytical instruments, environmental services, technology and transportation/logistics. Mr. Toporek began his career in Chemical Bank’s Investment Banking Group, later joined Dillon, Read and Co., which became UBS Warburg Securities Ltd. during his tenure, and SG Cowen and Company.

Mr. Toporek currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Harlem Academy. Mr. Toporek has a B.A. in Economics and an M.B.A from the University of Chicago.