NYSAC Commissioner Biographies

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David Berlin, Executive Director
Melvina Lathan, Chairperson

New York State Athletic Commission
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New York, NY 10038

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Special Notice

Chairwoman Melvina Lathan

Chairwoman Melvina Lathan was appointed Chairperson of the New York State Athletic Commission by Governor David A. Paterson on July 25, 2008.  Chairwoman Lathan is the first woman and African-American female to hold this title. She was confirmed by the New York Senate as a Commissioner of the Athletic Commission on May 30, 2007, making her the first African American female New York State Athletic Commissioner. She has a distinguished career as a professional boxing judge, judging more than 235 fight cards including 82 World Title matches in the United States, Great Britain, South Africa, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Sicily, Argentina, Amsterdam, Poland, Scotland and Hungary. She became the first African American female licensed as a Professional Boxing Judge in New York in 1991, after completing a two year judging apprenticeship. She is also licensed in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Tennessee, Missouri and the Pequot and Mohegan Tribal Nations.

Chairwoman Lathan has devised and conducted training seminars for boxing judges for the New York State Athletic Commission, the Washington D.C. Boxing Commission, the International Boxing Federation and the World Boxing Organization. She is the only female recipient of the “Rocky Marciano Officials Award” presented by the American Association for the Improvement of Boxing. She was also part of the team of consultants that contributed to the development of the Muhammad Ali Center, located in Louisville, Kentucky.

Chairwoman Lathan is also an accomplished artist, photographer and costume designer. She has created costumes for the New York theater and for MTV video productions. Her work has been displayed at the Smithsonian Institute, the Leica Gallery and the Goethe Institute among others.

Commissioner Edwin Torres

Commissioner Edwin Torres was nominated to sit on the New York State Athletic Commission by Governor David A. Paterson on June 4, 2008 and confirmed on August 8, 2008 by the New York State Senate.  He is a lifelong boxing enthusiast and was chosen for his legal acumen and his ability to apply his judicial skills in disputed matters that come before the Commission.

Commissioner Torres is also the author of three crime novels and two screenplays including Carlito’s Way. In 1959, after graduating from CUNY’s City College and receiving his Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School, Commissioner Torres became the first Puerto Rican prosecutor in the homicide division for Manhattan District Attorney Frank S. Hogan.

In 1977, Commissioner Torres was named a judge in the City’s Criminal Court; and in 1979, he was elected to the State Supreme Court. After being reelected in 1993, he was honored by City College with a Townsend Harris Medal.

Commissioner Torres’s most notable work includes the screenplay for Carlito’s Way, which was released in 1993 starring Al Pacino. He recently completed two screenplays entitled, Deadlock and Pleasant Avenue. This screenplay is also in the process of being produced into a movie.

Commissioner John Signorile

A lifelong boxing enthusiast and participant, John Signorile was nominated to sit on the New York State Athletic Commission by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on June 14, 2013 and confirmed on June 20, 2013 by the New York State Senate.

He started boxing in 1980 in the amateur ranks through his retirement in 1995. He boxed overseas in Europe and throughout the United States in world amateur events, including the Police Fire World Games and the New York City Golden Gloves. 

Signorile had a distinguished career as an amateur and professional boxing judge. He judged in local, state, national, international and world championships. In recognition for his work, he received the Ring-8 Boxing Judge of the Year Award in 2012.

Additionally, he has also worked in the sport as a cut man, inspector and timekeeper here in New York State.
He served with distinction in the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) and was decorated for bravery on many occasions. He also served as Captain of the FDNY Boxing team from 1993-1995.