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Forty Under 40 Class of 2014

Jeanette Batiste
Co-executive director and chief operating officer
Foodlink Inc.
Age: 34

Education: B.S., environmental science, B.A., political science, University of New Hampshire, Durham, N.H.; M.Sc., environment and development, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom

Family: Fiance, Zachary Harrison; two sons, 3 and 2

Residence: Brighton

Professional responsibilities: Co-leads Foodlink’s efforts to end hunger in the community. Manages Foodlink’s food bank and kitchen operations, which includes the distribution of over 18 million pounds of food a year to a network of 500 member agencies across 10 counties, and the production and distribution of 3,500 hot meals a day to at-risk children across the city of Rochester.

Professional and community leadership: Board member, the Community Place of Greater Rochester Inc.; leadership team member, Free to Fly; board member, Food Bank Association of New York State; member, Summer Meals/After-School Meals Planning Committee; member, Council of Agency Executives

Surprising fact: I spent seven years in Malawi, sub-Saharan Africa, first as a Peace Corps volunteer. I lived without electricity or running water and cooked on fire for two years. After my service I was offered a job that provided an opportunity to stay in Malawi. I worked with subsistence farmers on food security by facilitating access to farm inputs and microfinancing.

Ten years from now: I intend to be present in each moment, at work and at home. The journey is more important than the destination. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve my community through my work at Foodlink. I believe that food security and healthy food access is the cornerstone of a strong community.

Enid Cardinal

Senior sustainability advisor to the president
Rochester Institute of Technology

Age: 36

Education: B.A., biology and history, SUNY Binghamton; M.S., environmental policy, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

Family: Single

Residence: City of Rochester

Professional responsibilities: Facilitates a campus culture of sustainability with respect to operations, curriculum and research, developing metrics for the institute’s progress in sustainability. Directs RIT’s efforts to achieve its commitment to carbon neutrality by 2030.

Professional and community leadership: Adviser, Recover Rochester; member, board of trustees, Central and Western New York chapter of the Nature Conservancy Inc.; Finger Lakes regional representative, New York Coalition for Sustainability in Higher Education; member, steering committee, Rochester Sustainability Network; general member, Greater Rochester Active Transportation Working Group

Surprising fact: I am proficient with a chainsaw, worked in a galley on a boat in Alaska and speak fluent Spanish.

Ten years from now: I continue to be amazed at the opportunities available in our community. As I look to my future, I am intrigued with the possibility of running for public office. I want the chance to make a positive difference that will impact our community for many years to come.

Brian Carroll
Account executive
Superior Group
Age: 32

Education: B.S., business administration; SUNY College at Cortland

Family: Girlfriend, Liz Kimmel

Residence: Brighton

Professional responsibilities: Manages the Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton markets. Main business objectives include strategic growth of branches, new business development, hiring and development of internal staff as well as local branding and marketing efforts. Profit and loss responsibilities in excess of $20 million annually.

Professional and community leadership: President-elect, Digital Rochester; board member, Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster, co-chairman, Western NY STEM Initiative

Surprising fact: I won three cruises in the last five years, and I met my current girlfriend of more than four years on one of them.

Ten years from now: I see myself in an executive role with Superior Group, working in organizational strategy and development. I could also see myself starting my own company in a similar field.

Greg Carver
Mengel Metzger Barr & Co. LLP
Age: 38

Education: B.S., business management, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Family: Wife, Debby; son, 2

Residence: Pittsford

Professional responsibilities: Certified public accountant focusing on audits, reviews and compilations of nonpublic companies, non-profits, including charter schools, and audits of 401(k) plans.

Professional and community leadership: Treasurer, member, audit and finance committees, Hillside Children’s Foundation

Surprising fact: I was 31 when I started in public accounting. Before that I had various jobs at a paint store, golf course, bookstore and as a substitute teacher. Needless to say, I gave my parents headaches.

Ten years from now: Celebrating Virginia Tech as the FBS National Champion with my colleagues, friends and family.

Greg Constantino

Recruiting field director
Northwestern Mutual
Age: 37

Education: B.S., marketing, management and psychology, St. John Fisher College

Family: Wife, Stephanie; two sons, 6, 4

Residence: Farmington

Professional responsibilities: Aims to deliver first-class financial planning and an amazing experience to clients. Recruits staff, develops office culture.

Professional and community leadership: Board member, Special Olympics New York; founder, Canandaigua Polar Plunge; member, advisory board, Happiness House, Ontario ARC; board member, Courage Bowl, Camp Good Days and Special Times; board member, the Salvation Army; chairman, Kiwanis Club; founder, the Finger Lakes Networking Group; former member, alumni board, St. John Fisher College; past board member, Greater Canandaigua Family YMCA

Surprising fact: I once played professional baseball and was nearly an Olympian.

Ten years from now: My vision is to continue to lead by example. I love the Rochester and Finger Lakes area. I want to prove that you can “have it all” and build your dream in this area. I am passionate about creating opportunity for others through philanthropy and taking action.

Carla D’Angelo
Senior vice president, administration
Trillium Health
Age: 31

Education: B.S., health science, B.S., psychology, SUNY College at Brockport; MPH, SUNY Albany

Family: Husband, Nicholas

Residence: Victor

Professional responsibilities: Provides leadership and coordination in the development of organizational strategies and operational activities to foster innovation and expansion under the direction of the CEO. Reponsible for areas such as operations, strategic development, organizational development and marketing, human resources, facilities management and pharmacy.

Professional and community leadership: Board member, Perinatal Network of Monroe County; board member, Coordinated Care Services Inc.; program chairwoman, Healthcare Financial Management Association; mentor, Young Entrepreneurs Academy; former board member, Trillium Health

Surprising fact: I’m a huge football fanatic, and so much so that I’m in five fantasy football leagues. I joined my first fantasy league in 1999, and I play competitively with family and friends. There’s nothing better than the bragging rights that come along with beating your husband in a friendly match-up.

Ten years from now: I see myself as a local thought leader in the health care industry. I’d love to become a board chair for a non-profit and share my skills and interests with a growing organization. My husband, Nick, and I will be hunting for the perfect home in Hawaii in anticipation of retirement, where we’ll spend our days hiking and surfing.

Amanda Dreher
Junior League of Rochester
Age: 33

Education: B.A., political science, Boston College, Mass.; J.D., Albany Law School

Family: Husband, Michael

Residence: Brighton

Professional responsibilities: As chairwoman of the board, leads monthly membership meetings. Supervises the office manager and handles financial affairs. Guides the work of eight member committees that train our members, plan fundraisers and volunteer opportunities, and advocate for legislation benefiting women and children.

Professional and community leadership: Board member, Albany Law School National Alumni Association; chairwoman, Dinner Club, Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys; member, membership committee and Young Lawyers Section, Monroe County Bar Association; former senior Appellate Court attorney, New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department; former assistant district attorney, Monroe County District Attorney’s Office

Surprising fact: I have owned two to three rental properties in the city of Rochester since I was 26 years old. I currently have six units in two houses. I have a passion for old houses, and I want to provide a safe, comfortable home for families in the city.

Ten years from now: I see myself working as an attorney in the public sector and with a young family. I plan to work with non-profit organizations focusing on issues such as providing safe housing and opportunities for home ownership in Rochester and assisting young adults in preparing for a college education.

Jeremy Durham
Director of product, program and user experience
Paychex Inc.
Age: 40

Education: Coursework toward B.A., SUNY College at Brockport

Family: Wife, Kelly

Residence: Webster

Professional responsibilities: Leads a diverse cross-functional organization with responsibilities for all software and infrastructure projects. Works on digital product strategy for all enterprise products and senior management strategy and communications for both internal audiences and financial investment communities.

Professional and community leadership: Organizer, Fairport Music and Food Festival

Surprising fact: I went to college for elementary education.

Ten years from now: Raising two children with my wife and enjoying every opportunity I get to spend time with them. Professionally, I’d be in an executive role where I can leverage everything I’ve learned from my many great mentors at Paychex and our partners.

Jocelyn Evans
Vice president of enrollment management
Excellus BlueCross BlueSheild
Age: 39

Education: B.A., anthropology, University of Rochester

Family: Husband, Edward, three sons, 10, 7, 5

Residence: West Henrietta

Professional responsibilities: Oversees the entire process of enrolling new members and making benefit adjustments, which touches about 1.2 million members. Oversees a staff of 160 employees.

Professional and community leadership: Co-founder and board member, Monroe County Redskins Pop Warner Little Scholars Program

Surprising fact: I am deeply spiritual.

Ten years from now: I would like to be happy and healthy.

Asher Flaum
Flaum Management Co. Inc.
Age: 34

Education: B.S., hospitality management, Syracuse University

Family: Wife, Monica; two sons, 7, 4

Residence: Brighton

Professional responsibilities: Development, leasing, tenant relations and property management.

Professional and community leadership: Board member, Torvec Inc.; assistant treasurer, Jewish Community Federation of Greater Rochester; board member, Friends of CMAC; co-founder, Muxy Ski Off to Benefit Foodlink

Surprising fact: I was a member of the 2000 Syracuse University Men’s Lacrosse National Championship team. Our family dog is a nine-pound Yorkie named Buster.

Ten years from now: At Flaum Management, working with my family and incredibly talented co-workers. I will have learned more about real estate, which is a lifelong business, and I will be spending my free time with my wife and kids.

Ellen Gallagher
Senior director, internal audit
Rochester Regional Health System
Age: 39

Education: B.S., accounting and management information systems, Alfred University, Alfred, N.Y.

Family: Single

Residence: Fairport

Professional responsibilities: Leads the organization’s efforts to provide independent, objective assurance and consulting services designed to assist the system in accomplishing its objectives by improving the effectiveness of the internal controls that support financial, information and operational processes.

Professional and community leadership: Board member and finance committee member, Volunteers of America Upstate New York; board member and audit committee member, Freedom Firm USA

Surprising fact: I spent seven years volunteering as a Young Life leader in the West Irondequoit and Pittsford communities. I had opportunity to enter the world of teens to share with hundreds of high school students the truth of God’s love and the message that their lives have great worth, meaning and purpose.

Ten years from now: Ten years from now, I want to have made an impact in our community in an increasingly significant and positive way.

Paul Gebel
Engagement manager
Age: 33

Education: BFA, graphic design, MBA, Rochester Institute of Technology

Family: Wife, Abbey; four daughters, 6, 3, 2, 6 months

Residence: Fairport

Professional responsibilities: Builds strong client relationships. In software development, works through Agile methodologies and helps teams align the project approach to clients’ business objectives. Drives problem solving, identifies business opportunities, grows existing accounts and serves as thought leader for internal development.

Professional and community leadership: President, Rochester Regional Veterans Business Council Inc.; chair, coaching and leadership, alumni advisory board, Saunders College of Business, RIT; volunteer, Veterans Outreach Center Inc.; treasurer, Memorial Orthodox Presbyterian Church

Surprising fact: Even though I served on ships as a surface warfare officer in the Navy, I spent a year on the ground in Iraq as part of the 2006 surge. My background in electronic warfare allowed me to help protect our troops from radio-controlled improvised explosive devices, so I wore an Army uniform and was embedded with both the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions in Tikrit.

Ten years from now: The most important thing I will be doing in 10 years is spending time teaching my oldest daughter how to drive. At work, I will be a C-level officer or director of a small or midsize business. In the community, I will continue to be involved on boards and in organizations whose focus improves the lives of people in the Rochester area.

Valerie Goodberlet
Manager, transfer pricing
Carestream Health Inc.
Age: 31

Education: B.S., accounting, Alfred University, Alfred, N.Y.

Family: Husband, Brian

Residence: Fairport

Professional responsibilities: Manages the worldwide transfer pricing compliance process, which runs across multiple functions and regions. Conducts research, prepares documents and reports, completes analytical reviews, maintains internal controls documentation, coordinates with consultants and works on special projects.

Professional and community leadership: Board member, Mental Health Association of Rochester/Monroe County Inc.; co-chairwoman, Women in Finance Group, Carestream; founder and group moderator, Lean In Circle; mentor, Carestream Finance Experience Program

Surprising fact: I like adventure. My favorite experiences include skydiving and hiking Fox Glacier in New Zealand, Great Barrier Reef snorkeling, snowboarding in Tahoe, seeing orcas near the San Juan islands, attending the opera in Verona, the Venice Film Festival, hiking the Cinque Terre, boating in the British Virgin Islands and cycling through Acadia National Park.

Ten years from now: I see myself leaning in and supporting others in their efforts to do the same. I want to have a leadership position at Carestream, continue to do valuable non-profit work and raise a family with an active lifestyle that takes advantage of the great things Rochester has to offer.

Taren Greenidge
Littler Mendelson P.C.
Age: 29
Education: B.A., economics and political science, Spelman College, Atlanta, Ga.; J.D., Duke University

Family: Boyfriend, Jamal Redding

Residence: Penfield

Professional responsibilities: Represents employers in a variety of industries, including retail, claims recovery, manufacturing, and higher education in all aspects of labor and employment law including discrimination, harassment and wage and labor violations.

Professional and community leadership: Board member, Urban League of Rochester, N.Y. Inc.; president, Black Young Professionals of Rochester; past chairwoman, diversity committee, Greater Rochester Association of Women Attorneys; past chairwoman, Annual Awards Dinner, Rochester Black Bar Association

Surprising fact: People would be surprised to learn that I have a passion for photography. Helping people memorialize a happy moment is a unique and exciting opportunity. It requires creativity and a keen eye for detail that I find challenging and exciting.

Ten years from now: I hope to have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience that makes me an expert in the area of labor and employment law and to have made a meaningful impact on the Rochester community through my community work.

Sharitta Gross
Career services coordinator, Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education
Rochester Institute of Technology
Age: 38

Education: B.A., English, SUNY Albany; B.A., public administration, SUNY College at Brockport

Family: Fiance, Bashar Smith

Residence: Rochester

Professional responsibilities: Counsels students and alumni regarding cooperative education requirements and prospective employment. Develops and facilitates customized instruction on job search strategies, workplace success and complexities through workshops and webinar-based presentations. Collaborates with faculty and administrators to achieve institute and departmental goals. Designs and implements curriculum for developmental writing courses.

Professional and community leadership: Adjunct assistant professor, Monroe Community College; board member, Anthony L. Jordan Foundation; board member, YWCA of Rochester & Monroe County; member, development committee, Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester Inc., co-chairwoman, programming, Veterans Day Breakfast, RIT

Surprising fact: When I completed my undergraduate degree I seriously considered the Air Force’s Officer Candidate School. However, I wasn’t given the proper entry testing date, ended up dropping the idea and instead entered graduate school. Ironically, I now have the privilege of working with several military organizations in my role at RIT.

Ten years from now: Continuing to assist others in reaching their predestined level of greatness in the capacity of consultant, educator and author while enjoying life to the fullest. This would undoubtedly include more use of my passport, enjoying new experiences with my husband and building upon our beautiful family.

Jason Hammer
Vice president, Production services and strategic projects
Hammer Packaging Inc.
Age: 37

Education: BSBA, management, Villanova University, Villanova, Pa.

Family: Daughter, 8, son, 4

Residence: Farmington

Professional responsibilities: Responsible for customer service, procurement, estimating and requirements planning departments. Manages various projects that often include the use of technology to improve communication and efficiencies.

Professional and community leadership: Chairman, Junior Achievement of Central Upstate New York

Surprising fact: I am a quarter Jamaican.

Ten years from now: I will have continued to develop my career and will have taken the opportunity to expand my contributions to the community by working with not-for-profit organizations.

Aaron Hiller
Senior counsel
EarthLink Business LLC
Age: 39
Education: B.A., political science, J.D., SUNY Buffalo

Family: Wife, Staci; two daughters, 9, 6

Residence: Brighton

Professional responsibilities: Provides counsel on preparation and negotiation of telecommunications carrier sales, government telecommunications, vendor and procurement documents, requests-for-proposals, confidentiality and related contracts. Advises on legal policy, regulatory matters, dispute resolution, marketing materials and due diligence matters.

Professional and community leadership: Part-time fire investigator, deputy fire coordinator, hazardous materials and special operations units, Monroe County Fire Bureau; immediate past fire chief, board member, Brighton Fire Department Inc.; board member, member, finance and audit committee, vice president, Third Battalion Line Officers Association Inc.

Surprising fact: Since the beginning of the year, I have been learning to play bagpipes with the Gates Keystone Club Police Pipes and Drums.

Ten years from now: Continuing to be surrounded by a loving family and exceptional colleagues while making a difference in our community.

John LaBoda
Nixon Peabody LLP
Age: 35

Education: B.A., economics, University of Rochester; M.A., economics, J.D., SUNY Buffalo

Family: Wife, Aubrey; daughter, 2 months

Residence: Victor

Professional responsibilities: Represents private companies, public companies, funds and banks in loan transactions. Focuses on representing financial institutions in regulatory matters. Serves on Nixon Peabody’s recruiting committee.

Professional and community leadership: Vice chairman, Leadership Rochester, University of Rochester Alumni National Council; founder and past president, University of Rochester Young Alumni Council, past member, Rochester Education and Literacy Commission

Surprising fact: I was the drummer of a heavy metal band years ago in Albany, but now the best way for me to unwind after a long day is listening to late-night AM radio.

Ten years from now: Celebrating 18 years of marriage with my wife, Aubrey, the 10th birthday of our daughter, Reagan, and a very successful career where I can continue to help serve the needs of the community.

Lorisa LaRocca
Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP
Age: 36

Education: B.A., political science, J.D., SUNY Buffalo

Family: Husband, Michael; daughter, 7, twin daughters, 7 months

Residence: Greece

Professional responsibilities: Provides tailored advice and solutions to business clients facing difficult labor and employment issues to achieve the most effective and practical resolution. Helps clients understand and navigate the myriad state and federal employment laws, create and implement the best policies for their businesses and counsels them when they are faced with employee issues. Practice includes general business counseling, commercial and employee related litigation and employment policies.

Professional and community leadership: President, Women’s Council, an affiliate of Rochester Business Alliance Inc.; board member, RBA; board member, Rochester Children’s Theatre Inc.; member, former chairwoman, SUNY Buffalo School of Law Rochester Alumni Chapter; member, advisory committee, Catholic Youth Organization soccer coach, Holy Cross School

Surprising fact: I was once a finalist for the title of Mrs. New York America.

Ten years from now: I hope to be looking forward and knowing the best is still yet to come.

LaShunda Leslie-Smith
President and CEO
Young Women’s College Prep Inc.
Age: 35

Education: B.A., psychology, St. John Fisher College; MSW, Greater Rochester Collaborative Master of Social Work Program

Family: Husband, Moses Smith; son, 20, daughter, 13

Residence: City of Rochester

Professional responsibilities: Directs the vision and fundraising efforts to support the priority areas of the foundation: college readiness, career awareness, best in girls’ education, summer programming and health and wellness. Face to the donor community, creates and implements programs to serve YWCP students.

Professional and community leadership: Co-chairwoman, Young Women’s Leadership Network National Affiliate Council; board member, Rochester Women’s Network; member, Council of Agency Executives

Surprising fact: I share my story of being a mom at the age of 14 publicly; however, most people don’t know that from the age of 16, I was living on my own and in my own apartment. I met my husband that year, married him when I was 19, and we have been happily married for 16 years now.

Ten years from now: Young Women’s College Prep would have graduated six classes of students. I see myself continuing to further the mission of YWCP by assisting in the strengthening of the public girls’ school movement on a local, state and national level.

Timothy Lyster
Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP
Age: 34

Education: B.S., business and economics, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.; J.D., St. John’s University School of Law, Queens, N.Y.

Family: Wife, Carey Ann Denefrio; son, 1

Residence: Rochester

Professional responsibilities: Associate in the secured lending and financial recovery department. Represents banks, corporations, creditors and various individuals and business entities in areas of bankruptcy law, and commercial workouts, litigation, and foreclosures. Practices primarily in New York State courts and Federal Bankruptcy Court.

Professional and community leadership: Member, executive committee, board of trustees, Monroe County Bar Association; board president, Genesee Center for the Arts and Education; past chairperson, Young Lawyer’s Section of the Monroe County Bar Association; volunteer coordinator, Reentry Court, United States District Court, Western District of New York

Surprising fact: My wife and I hiked the Inca Trail for four days to see Machu Picchu in Peru.

Ten years from now: I hope to be making significant contributions to my firm and field of practice. I also hope to be enjoying the Rochester area with my wife and family, including working in service to our community.

Saul Maneiro
Program officer
Rochester Area Community Foundation
Age: 38

Education: B.A., political science, University of Rochester

Family: Single

Residence: Downtown Rochester

Professional responsibilities: Manages grant programs and activities including application review, making funding recommendations to the board, overseeing implementation of funded programs and monitoring program progress. Engages community philanthropists by providing analysis, research and logistical support to align with philanthropic interests. Acts as foundation liaison in initiatives and leadership activities in the community.

Professional and community leadership: Chairman, member, advisory board, past chairman, grants committee, NextGen Rochester; member, board of ethics, city of Rochester; board member, Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York Inc.; former Monroe County legislator; alum, Leadership Rochester Inc.

Surprising fact: People know that I’m a foodie and an avid amateur chef, but most don’t know that my dream is to own a restaurant one day.

Ten years from now: In the future I see myself making a greater impact on young people in the city of Rochester at a policy level. I’d also like to give more time and money to charitable causes that I’m passionate about.

Katherine McClung
Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC
Age: 36

Education: B.A., political science and economics, University of Rochester; J.D., New York University School of Law

Family: Husband, Jeremy Sher; twin son and daughter, 3

Residence: Pittsford

Professional responsibilities: Advises employers in a wide variety of labor and employment law matters, including wage and hour issues, employment discrimination and retaliation claims, and issues involving employee leaves of absence. Represents employers in administrative proceedings and individual and class actions in state and federal court.

Professional and community leadership: Board member, American Red Cross, Greater Rochester Chapter; Rochester delegate, Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York; board member, Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys; member, governing committee, Young Women’s College Prep Inc.; volunteer, Rochester Teen Court, the Center for Youth Services Inc.

Surprising fact: I was not born in the United States.

Ten years from now: I’ve had a very positive experience at Bond, Schoeneck & King and plan to continue practicing law here for the next 10 years. On a personal note, I also hope to qualify for and complete the Boston Marathon by 2024.

Monica McCullough
Senior vice president of housing
PathStone Corp.
Age: 35

Education: B.A., economics, University of Rochester; J.D., MPA, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University

Family: Husband, Thomas Kicior Jr.

Residence: City of Rochester

Professional responsibilities: Oversees PathStone’s housing division, which encompasses a team of 65 employees providing real estate development and housing counseling activities in New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Puerto Rico. The division has an annual operating budget in excess of $10 million and more than $200 million in capital projects under development.

Professional and community leadership: Board member, Villa of Hope; member, Altrusa International of Rochester Inc.

Surprising fact: I have been certified to handle radioactive material.

Ten years from now: Over the next 10 years I will have mastered personal and professional balance.

Kevin McGowan
Superintendent of schools
Brighton Central School District
Age: 39

Education: B.A., elementary education, M.S., education administration and supervision, Canisius College; Ed.D., educational leadership and policy, SUNY Buffalo

Family: Wife, Elizabeth; two sons, 12, 9; daughter, 2

Residence: Brighton

Professional responsibilities: Works on behalf of the Board of Education and in partnership with a variety of stakeholder groups to provide K-12 organizational leadership. Responsibilities include the facilitation of systems that maximize all available resources and talent to ensure the best possible experience for all children.

Professional and community leadership: Advisory board member and Basic Needs program advisory board member, Jewish Family Service of Rochester Inc.; member, Community Investment Cabinet, United Way of Greater Rochester Inc.; past president, Monroe County Council of School Superintendents; member, executive committee, New York State Council of School Superintendents; board member, Brighton Education Fund; past director, Rotary Club of Brighton; member, Kiwanis Club of Brighton

Surprising fact: I continue to enjoy a variety of sports and activities. I’m a recent participant and medalist at the USRowing Masters National Championships.

Ten years from now: I see myself continuing to look for ways we can best serve the children of the Brighton community. We should be and will be exploring innovative and creative approaches to meeting the needs of each learner and ensuring a rigorous experience for all of our students.

James Nonkes
Harris Beach PLLC
Age: 36

Education: B.A., environmental studies, B.A., philosophy, SUNY Binghamton; J.D., Duke University

Family: Single

Residence: Brighton

Professional responsibilities: Advises clients on litigation strategy. Reviews matters with a team in order to handle cases efficiently and cost-effectively.

Professional and community leadership: Treasurer and board member, the Norman Howard School; co-chairman, community involvement committee, Harris Beach

Surprising fact: I am the son of a Dutch immigrant.  My father immigrated to America, served in Vietnam, and then worked double shifts at Xerox to pay for his children’s college education.  For her part, my mother put herself through nursing school while raising three young children and working at a grocery store.

Ten years from now: I hope to be at Harris Beach working with local businesses in a thriving Rochester economy, giving back to the community and running and biking on knees that still let me.

Michael Parrinello
The Bonadio Group LLP

Age: 37

Education: B.A., English literature, University of Rochester; MBA, Simon Business School, University of Rochester

Family: Wife, Jennifer; son, 11; two daughters 8, 5

Residence: Pittsford

Professional responsibilities: Oversees traditional financial statement assurance engagements and provides a wide range of transaction advisory services for both public and private companies. Serves clients in the emerging technologies, manufacturing, distribution and construction industries. Offers accounting and consulting services to capital providers and their portfolio companies.

Professional and community leadership: Board member, The Legal Aid Society of Rochester; board member,Venture Jobs Foundation

Surprising fact: In a line of work dominated by accounting graduates, people are always surprised by the fact that my undergraduate degree was in English literature. People are equally surprised when I tell them that I was one class short of a religious studies minor, with a concentration in Eastern studies.

Ten years from now: I choose to live in the moment, but I do know that wherever I may be it will arise out of hard work, determination and the support of a wonderful family. Life takes us on a marvelous journey and I cherish its unexpectedness.

James Paulino
Goldberg Segalla LLP
Age: 33

Education: B.A., philosophy and political science, University of Rochester; M.A., political philosophy, University of York, York, England; J.D., University of Notre Dame

Family: Single

Residence: Irondequoit

Professional responsibilities: Handles a range of matters through all stages of litigation, from pre-suit dispute resolution through trial and appeal as an attorney in the business and commercial, education and labor and employment groups. Currently focuses on developing education law practice throughout New York State.

Professional and community leadership: Member, zoning board of appeals, Town of Irondequoit; board member, chairman, fund development committee, Rochester Teen Court; volunteer mediator and teen attorney mentor, the Center for Youth Services Inc.; member, committee on court structure and operations, chairman subcommittee on e-filing, New York State Bar Association; member, judiciary committee, Monroe County Bar Association

Surprising fact: I’m an introvert with serious stage fright, and it’s taken a lot of practice and dedication to become the “outgoing” person I am today. Two phrases have served me well: mind over matter and do it afraid.

Ten years from now: I hope to be a published author, successful business owner/partner, and elected public servant or teacher/professor within the next decade. Marriage might be nice, too, if I have the time.

Ryan Payment
Chief financial officer/Owner
Lakeland Equipment
Age: 39

Education: B.S., sociology, Northeastern University, Boston, Mass.; MBA, Simon Business School, University of Rochester

Family: Wife, Elizabeth; two sons, 3, 1

Residence: Honeoye Falls

Professional responsibilities: Responsible for the accounting/finance department at Lakeland Equipment—a John Deere dealer with six stores. Also involved in other aspects of running the business, including working with the parts, sales and service departments.

Professional and community leadership: Board member, Family First Federal Credit Union; former board member, Rochester Federal Credit Union; volunteer, Genesee Country Village & Museum

Surprising fact: I play the banjo—or played the banjo, that is, until I had kids!

Ten years from now: I see myself continuing to work towards making Lakeland Equipment a premier John Deere dealer and probably spending a lot of time refereeing the wrestling/boxing matches my two boys will likely be having with each other!

Michael Pinch
Chief information security officer
University of Rochester Medical Center
Age: 33

Education: B.S., computer science, Union College, Schenectady; MBA, M.S., computer security and information assurance, Rochester Institute of Technology

Family: Wife, Karina, daughter, 3, stepson, 20

Residence: Rochester

Professional responsibilities: Oversees the information security program at URMC, including security operations, risk and compliance and network security. Works with the team to balance convenience with security, while aiming to be a top-tier security organization.

Professional and community leadership:

Board member, St. Ann’s Community; adjunct faculty, RIT; founder, SnapEval; faculty, IANS Institute

Surprising fact: I am a fitness fanatic, vegan and training for a 2015 Ironman.

Ten years from now: I expect to have accomplished many more of my career goals with my supportive family by my side. I hopefully will have learned good lessons from those that have blazed trails before me and will have taught some lessons to others along the way. I hope that I have done some good for my community, left my mark and inspired others to do the same.

Doris Rankins
Senior tax manager
Insero & Co. CPAs P.C.
Age: 36

Education: B.S., accounting, Rochester Institute of Technology

Family: Husband, Shawn; son, 9, daughter, 3

Residence: Farmington

Professional responsibilities: Focuses on compliance requirements and tax strategies for many domestic and international clients, providing significant tax planning experience. Leads the accounting methods group, which includes international and tangible property regulations application.

Professional and community leadership: Board member, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; treasurer, Victor Cub Scouts Pack 60; kids church teacher, Farmington United Methodist Church; member, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Surprising fact: I am currently training in pursuit of my black belt in karate. My son and I are both green belts and enjoy every aspect of training together, from sparring to performing our katas.

Ten years from now: I see myself as a partner at Insero & Co., continuing to play an active role in staff development and representing the firm in the community, all while spending as much time as possible with my teenage children.

Brian Sauers
Davie Kaplan CPA P.C.
Age: 35

Education: B.S., accounting, SUNY College at Brockport

Family: Wife, Christina; two daughters, 7, 5

Residence: Greece

Professional responsibilities: Works with closely held businesses and their owners to grow their company and personal wealth. Services include financial statement audits, tax return preparation and consulting.  

Professional and community leadership: Board and committee member, Northwest YMCA of Greater Rochester; board and committee member, Rochester Hearing and Speech Center; member, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; member, New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants; Special Olympics New York Inc.

Surprising fact: I go swimming in Lake Ontario every February. I have volunteered for and participated in the Polar Plunge for 13 of the 14 plunges since inception. This event has raised over $1 million for Special Olympics New York Inc. My only rule is that your hair must get wet.

Ten years from now: A proud father of two teenage girls. A happy husband to my eternal love, my wife. A trusted adviser to many companies and individuals whereby my success is measured through theirs. A somewhat fit individual who can find time outside of family and work life to stay in shape.

Jaime Saunders
Alternatives for Battered Women Inc.
Age: 38
Education: B.A., business and sociology, Whittier College, Whittier, Calif., M.A., public administration, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University,

Family: Husband, John; son, 8, daughter, 6

Residence: Pittsford

Professional responsibilities: Leads $2.2 million non-profit with 52 employees. ABW is the domestic violence service provider for Monroe County and provides: 24-hour hotline with 5,500 calls a year; a 40-bed emergency shelter serving 450 families; onsite court advocacy for 2,000 individuals; counseling for more than 400 community members and a prevention education program reaching over 15,000 individuals.

Professional and community leadership: Member, executive committee, Rochester/Monroe County Domestic Violence Consortium; board member, Lewis Street YMCA Child Care Center; member, Women’s Leadership Council, United Way of Greater Rochester Inc.

Surprising fact: I spent much of my early childhood traveling to NHRA drag races up and down the eastern seaboard, supporting my father as a national champion funny car drag racer called the “Wombat.”

Ten years from now: I hope to be playing a key part in Rochester’s continued resurgence, celebrating the many gains we’ll make as a community over the next decade

Elizabeth Schirmer
Vice president, sales
Sweetwater Energy Inc.
CEO and co-founder
Untapped Shores International Inc.

Age: 30

Education: B.S., international business and marketing, Villanova University, Villanova, Pa.; MBA, Simon Business School, University of Rochester

Family: Fiance, Patrick Shores

Residence: Park Avenue Neighborhood

Professional responsibilities: Manages Sweetwater’s sales and services division to advance strategic bioenergy opportunities and maximize revenue. By night, Untapped Shores program development and capacity-building initiatives are the priority. Leverages the power of packing life-saving technologies inside luggage, so travelers are well equipped to “Give Back as They Go.”

Professional and community leadership: Board member, Greater Rochester Women’s Council; youth mentor, Compeer Rochester Inc.; member, captial leadership committee, Open Door Mission; member, Women in Cleantech and Sustainability Committee

Surprising fact: I’m a certified yoga instructor, but prefer milkshakes to wheatgrass shots all day long.

Ten years from now: I hope to be growing my family with my soon-to-be-husband, supporting entrepreneurs using the model pioneered by the principals at Cranberry Capital, and living life in accordance with this maxim: “If you do well, you do good; If you do good, you do well.”

Joseph Stefko
President and CEO
Center for Governmental Research Inc.
Age: 39

Education: B.A., political science; M.A., political science; Ph.D., political science/public

policy, SUNY Buffalo

Family: Wife, Julie; son, 10, daughter, 8

Residence: Penfield

Professional responsibilities: Oversees the strategic direction of the team’s industry-leading consulting and research work in government and education, economics and public finance, health and human services and non-profits and communities, as the 10th CEO in CGR’s 100-year history. Contributes to many of our government management and consolidation engagements.

Professional and community leadership: Officer, board of trustees, CGR; member, advisory committee, ACT Rochester, Rochester Area Community Foundation; member, business advocacy and community issues committee, Rochester Business Alliance Inc.; member, Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council; coach, Penfield Little League

Surprising fact: Back in my school days, I was a two-time all-county choral performer (though today I couldn’t sing even if my life depended on it).

Ten years from now: Contributing to a vibrant, thriving Rochester region through my professional and community activities, making a difference in the causes I’m most passionate about. Enjoying time with my family and friends, and watching with excitement (and some trepidation) as my kids set out on their own life paths.

Justin Stevens
Vice president, financial advisor
Sage Rutty & Co. Inc.
Age: 27

Education: B.S., business administration, Nazareth College

Family: Wife, Bethany

Residence: Neighborhood of the Arts

Professional responsibilities: Coordinates retirement transitions for privately held business owners and professionals with concentrated positions of stock using behavioral coaching and a proven six-step process.

Professional and community leadership: Member, board of trustees, Rochester Public Library; board member, Rochester Young Professionals; member, finance committee, Lifespan of Greater Rochester Inc.

Surprising fact: Despite being incredibly active and always on the move, one of my favorite things to do is sit still and read a good book.

Ten years from now: My vision is to be living in Rochester with my wife and family; still working at Sage Rutty and having taken on more leadership responsibilities.

Julia Tedesco
Co-executive director and chief development officer
Foodlink Inc.
Age: 31

Education: B.A., English literature, Fairfield University, Fairfield, Conn.; MPA, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University

Family: Husband, Colin Orr; son, five months

Residence: City of Rochester

Professional responsibilities: Works closely with co-executive director to provide daily direction and leadership toward the achievement of Foodlink’s vision of a healthy, hunger-free community. Leads all organizational strategic planning, fundraising, communications and advocacy. Manages innovative food access and nutrition education programming aimed at ending hunger, fostering public health and promoting economic development.

Professional and community leadership: Board member, PUC Achieve Charter School; board member, Charlotte Community Association; member, Rochester Healthy Weight Leadership Council; board secretary, Food Bank Association of New York State; alum, Leadership Rochester

Surprising fact: Prior to joining Foodlink, I was a book publicist in New York City—first for an imprint of HarperCollins that published celebrity and “tabloid news” books, and then for a publisher of craft (knitting and crocheting) books.

Ten years from now: Feeding people. If I’m lucky, I’ll still be working with Foodlink to rebuild our regional food system and ensure that everyone has access to nutritious food. And maybe someday (probably not in 10 years), I’ll finally open my own pie shop.  But whether it’s apples or apple pie, I’ll be feeding people.

Matthew Tipple
Vice president, commercial banking
JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A.
Age: 38

Education: B.A., economics, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vt.; MBA, Simon Business School, University of Rochester

Family: Wife, Julie; three sons, 5, 4, 1

Residence: Brighton

Professional responsibilities: Works to grow and retain commercial bank relationships within the Rochester Middle Market. Delivers value-added solutions to clients and prospects that help them reach their goals. This is accomplished by leveraging local credit authority and the global JPMorgan Chase platform.

Professional and community leadership:

Board member, the Strong; non-voting board member, the Simon School Venture Capital Fund; board member, Junior Achievement of Central Upstate New York Inc.

Surprising fact: I am a triplet.

Ten years from now: I plan on being an active participant in my children’s academic and extracurricular activities. Professionally, I see myself with increased business and management responsibility, but still focused on the growth of area companies and the revitalization of the regional economy.

Nicole VanGorder
Chief operating officer
Upstate Special Needs Planning
Age: 25

Education: B.A., political science, St. John Fisher College

Family: Fiance, James Traylor

Residence: City of Rochester

Professional responsibilities: Oversees day-to-day operations and acts as the primary relationship manager to national contacts. Duties include but are not limited to sourcing and coordination of national seminar speaking engagements for consultants on team. Manages business analytics, revenue growth, brand management and advocacy research for the benefit of individuals with developmental disabilities/mental health issues.

Professional and community leadership: Vice president and chairwoman, Fisher Young Professionals, alumni board of directors, St. John Fisher College; board member, Villa of Hope; member, walkabout committee, Al Sigl Community of Agencies; member, RocCity Coalition

Surprising fact: I competed in powerlifting when I was in high school. My best event scored was dead-lifting 215 pounds. The first year I competed I placed sixth in the state for the female division.

Ten years from now: Ten years from now, I will be 35. I plan to be happily married with three or four children. I will own and manage two commercial properties in downtown Rochester. James and I will have grown Upstate Special Needs Planning to be the largest special needs planning organization in New York State. I will have traveled to at least three of my dream destinations and still be active in several civic organizations.

Jeff Welcher
Employee benefits consultant
Bene-Care Agency LLC
Age: 33

Education: B.A., communications, University of Southern California; M.A., communication management, SUNY Buffalo

Family: Girlfriend, Shannon O’Leary

Residence: Irondequoit

Professional responsibilities: Works with local business leaders to establish and maintain their employee benefits packages while remaining compliant with challenging, ever-changing state and federal regulations. Specializes in self-funding arrangements that financially benefit both employers and employees.

Professional and community leadership: Treasurer and junior board member, Society for the Protection and Care of Children; membership liaison and member, the Al Sigl Council; media liaison and member, National Association of Health Underwriters; member, leadership steering committee, SUNY Buffalo Rochester Alumni Group; volunteer, RochesterCares Inc.

Surprising fact: I am a novice mountain climber, having reached the summit of two more-than-14,000-foot peaks in Colorado and climbed the tallest peak in Ireland, Carrantuohill, solo.

Ten years from now: I aim to be happy, healthy and in a management job role.

11/14/14 (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.


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