Danielle Abramson Swartz
Associate Director of Major Giving
WXXI Public Broadcasting
Education: A.A., liberal arts, Monroe Community College; B.A., sociology, Nazareth College
Family: Husband, Michael
Professional responsibilities: Fundraising, and producer on WXXI’s Norm & Company
Professional and community leadership: Board member, Associate for Fundraising Professionals Genesee Valley Chapter; committee member, Memorial Art Gallery MAG Social Committee; committee member, Nazareth College Young Alumni Leaders of Industry Committee.
Bringing about change in Rochester: I would work to enhance collaboration and communication between organizations and industries in Rochester. There is so much innovation in this region. If we can effectively harness our social entrepreneurial spirit to stimulate growth through collaboration, we will be able to efficiently meet the diverse needs of our vibrant community.
Surprising fact: I am an AmeriCorps VISTA (Rochester Youth Year) alumnae
Sr. Research Software Engineer, Blockchain Solutions
Education: B.A., Spanish and linguistics, University of Arizona; B.A., communication, University of Arizona; M.S., computer information systems, University of Arizona
Family: Husband, Julio; children Gabriela, 12, and Alexis, 9.
Professional responsibilities: I am currently working in IBM Watson Research focused on architecting, designing and developing Enterprise Blockchain Solutions for multi-vendor services. I spent the first 10-plus years of my career in IBM Systems group focused on enterprise storage, server and networking solutions.
Professional and community leadership: American Indian Science and Engineering Society, Sequoyah Fellow and Technical Excellence Award winner; IBM Native Council, board member; International Journal on Advances in Systems and Measurements, author; Advances in System Testing and Validation, conference committee member.
Bringing about change in Rochester: I am a passionate mentor for STEM K-12 outreach and want to increase opportunities for future generations.
Surprising fact: I am an IBM Master Inventor with more than 65 patents filed across a broad area of topics ranging from Blockchain to networking to fashion analytics
Director, Strategic Community Initiatives
Finger Lakes Performing Provider System
Education: B.A., Hamilton College; MBA, Simon School, University of Rochester
Family: Husband, Keenan; children, Lucas, 4, and Rowan, 2.
Professional responsibilities: I work at FLPPS, which is the organization accountable for administering the New York State Department of Health Waiver Program DSRIP, focused on reforming Medicaid across a five-year period, in partnership with the Department of Health. I lead the team that focuses on strategic planning and implementation of community initiatives and strategic partnerships, in support of the Social Determinants of Health at FLPPS. I work closely with the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, specifically on the Service Provider Workgroup as backbone staff and as an advisor to the Community Advisory Group.
Professional and community leadership: Board of directors, The Children’s Agenda; chair, Strategic Planning Committee; member, Governance Committee; member, Quality & Compliance Committee for Mary Cariola; co-facilitator of the Rochester Collective Impact Partnership.
Bringing about change in Rochester: I am incredibly enthusiastic, energized and thrilled to be part of a growing group of young professionals in Rochester that support innovative approaches to community health and well-being. The opportunity to work with the Rochester Collective Impact Partnership, and Systems Integration Work under Joe Morelle’s leadership is my most fulfilling work to date, which supplements the work that I am blessed to do every day. The field concentrating on the Social Determinants of Health is of vital importance to Rochester’s future.
Surprising fact: In my adolescence I was a dancer. It was a central part of my life from the age of 3 all the way through high school, where I attended the School of the Arts (RCSD). My fondest memories were performing in the annual dance concert, where I was a choreographer and dancer. My favorite form of dance, hands down, is tapping.
Monroe County Medical Society
Education: B.A., psychology, University of Rochester; M.S., marriage and family therapy, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry; MBA, Simon School of Business, University of Rochester
Family: Wife, Sarah; daughter Chelsea, 2.
Professional responsibilities: Manage operations, advocacy and public relations for two non-profit professional societies and two non-profit foundations.
Professional and community leadership: Greater Rochester Regional Health Information Organization, board member; Common Ground Health, board member; National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, board member; Psi Upsilon Alumni Association of Western New York, board secretary.
Bringing about change in Rochester: Improving the health and well-being of this community is incredibly important, and I will continue to spend my free time to accomplish this. I love simply connecting and facilitating collaboration with stakeholders in the community; together we achieve more.
Surprising fact: I have performed in a dance competition in New Delhi, India.
Assistant District Attorney
Monroe County District Attorney’s Office
Education: B.S., Cornell University; J.D., Albany Law School
Professional responsibilities: Responsible for handling all aspects of prosecuting felony criminal cases as a representative of the people in Monroe County. This includes gathering evidence, presenting to grand juries, responding to motions and conducting pre-trial hearings and trials. The goal is to seek justice and do what is right.
Professional and community leadership: Troop co-leader, Girl Scouts of Western New York; service unit manager, Girl Scouts of Western New York; programs co-chair, Greater Rochester Association of Women Attorneys; Alumni Advisory Board member, Northeast Black Law Students Association; ambassador, National Museum of African American History and Culture at Smithsonian
Bringing about change in Rochester: I will continue to mentor youths, speak at schools and work with community groups that focus on voter education. I plan to provide better resources and access for people of color interested in the field of law and support organizations that assist victims of violence.
Surprising fact: I enjoyed skydiving and recently did the Edgewalk at Toronto’s CN Tower.
President and Chief Evolutionary Officer
The XLR8 Team, Inc.
Education: B.S., applied economics and management, Cornell University; Masters in Applied Positive Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
Professional responsibilities: Both by coaching senior leaders individually and using tools to measure culture systemically, we create a comprehensive leadership program for leaders at all levels of the organization. Ultimately, we help infuse purpose and values into the organizational culture, creating a competitive advantage where employees flourish as does the entire organization.
Professional and community leadership: Co-chair, Conscious Capitalism Rochester Chapter; co-chair, RocCity Coalition; co-president, Rochester Young Professionals; board of directors Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce; board of directors, Junior Achievement
Bringing about change in Rochester: Helping business leaders evolve their companies toward Conscious Capitalism, where organizations with a purpose (beyond making profits) that balances the needs of all stakeholders (rather than prioritizing stockholders and short-term returns) end up not only being more successful but also having a positive impact on employees and the community.
Surprising fact: I’m addicted to adventure. I’ve completed multiple marathons, triathlons and an Ironman, tried surfing, kiteboarding and paragliding and recently got certified as a scuba diver. It is my goal each year to travel to a country I’ve never visited before.
Director of Organizational Development and Human Resources
Finger Lakes Performing Provider System
Education: B.S., Industrial and Labor Relations; MBA, Simon School of Business, University of Rochester
Family: Husband, McLean Bulmer; son, Jackson, 12.
Professional responsibilities: It’s my honor to work with an incredibly gifted team reforming Medicaid delivery in a 13-county area. My role is to ensure that the team is appropriately aligned and we’re maximizing the use of their talents to do this very difficult but very rewarding work.
Professional and community leadership: President, Rochester Area Fencing Foundation; treasurer, Irondequoit Public Library board of trustees; Strong Museum of Play’s Play Ball gala honorary co-chair, 2016; YWCA Person2Person Cohort 2016–2017.
Bringing about change in Rochester: I chose to return to Rochester in 2012 after a dozen years in Seattle, Washington because I believe that our city is on the precipice of something extraordinary. As an agent of change, I strive to connect individuals and groups not otherwise connecting to ensure change is lasting and meaningful.
Surprising fact: One of our values as a family is to consistently try new things; while that alone is not surprising, it’s led to my visiting all 50 of the United States, our son playing unusual sports (e.g. fencing), and my becoming a nationally certified waterski instructor. We’re always on an adventure.
Vice President, Commercial Banking
JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A.
Education: B.S., business administration, State University of New York College at Potsdam
Family: Wife, Kristen; children Achille, 2, and Isla, 8 months.
Professional responsibilities: I help middle market companies in Rochester by providing financing and treasury solutions. I’m responsible for a portfolio of relationships with both public and private companies in a diverse set of industries. I also work directly with business leaders and financial executives to help them navigate complex business situations.
Professional and community leadership: Member, board of directors, It’s About Caring for Kids (IACKids); member, Executive Committee, SUNY Potsdam Business Administration Advisory Council; chairman, JPMorgan Chase Team, Tour de Cure, American Diabetes Assocication; committee member, JPMorgan Volunteer Leadership Group.
Bringing about change in Rochester: I want to continue to use my position at JPMorgan Chase to drive positive change in the local economic landscape. Helping local companies grow and achieve their goals directly impacts the local job market and in turn the local economy. I also want to remain active in the community supporting organizations like IACKids, who assist so many families here in Rochester.
Surprising fact: Everyone thinks I’m Greek when they see my name, and most are surprised to learn that I’m Italian. My parents emigrated from Italy and the name has been in my family for generations. Achille is my father’s name (everyone calls him Kelly) and my son’s name (his nickname is Ace).
Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Diocese of Rochester
Education: Doctor of Education, educational leadership, University of Rochester; M.A., educational administration, University of Notre Dame; M.S., education, State University of New York College at Geneseo; B.A., political science, State University of New York College at Geneseo
Family: Wife, Amy; children Leah, 3, and Nora, 1.
Professional responsibilities: Serve as diocesan schools leader for 18 Catholic schools located in the Finger Lakes, Monroe County and the Southern Tier. As the chief administrator, I am responsible for 3,400 students, 350 faculty, staff and principals.
Professional and community leadership: Vice chair, New York State Council of Catholic School Superintendents; executive coach for leadership students at the University of Notre Dame; Parish Council member at St. John the Evangelist Church in Greece; Third Degree Knights of Columbus member.
Bringing about change in Rochester: I think invoking change starts with nurturing future generations and giving them the skill set necessary to succeed. Not only through my full-time position as superintendent of Catholic schools, but also as executive coach for the University of Notre Dame, I want to model the benefits of hard work.
Surprising fact: I am a New York State certified track and field official and previously coached high school track and field.
University of Rochester, Gwen M. Greene Career & Internship Center
Education: B.A., sociology, University of Michigan; M.A., organizational leadership, Medaille College
Professional responsibilities: Provide career advising services to students and alumni in designated departments, schools and industries/professions. Conduct one-on-one advising and program development and delivery in collaboration with faculty, staff, community organizations and employers, and students. Engage partners across campus to provide services as well as educate students.
Professional and community leadership: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., co-marketing chair; Rochester Black Young Professionals, marketing chair; Urban League of Rochester Black Scholars Planning Committee, alumni liaison; African American Leadership Development Program, Steering and Recruitment committees; Rochester Area Community Foundation Scholarship Selection Committee.
Bringing about change in Rochester: I would be an agent of change in Rochester by continuing my involvement with community organizations that provide resources, mentor, influence policy-making and highlight the great things we have going on. I would continue to advocate for others to get involved, and assist with developing our future leaders.
Surprising fact: I was one test away from enlisting in the U.S. Army Reserves.
Director of Operations, Outpatient Practices
United Memorial Medical Center
Education: B.S., nursing, University of Rochester School of Nursing; MS-PNP, University of Rochester School of Nursing; M.S., medical management, University of Rochester Simon School of Business.
Family: Children Brandon, 23, Ariana, 13, Natalie, 11, and Julia, 10.
Professional responsibilities: Oversees the business functions of all outpatient practices associated with United Memorial Medical Center, leading a team of practice leaders to drive excellence in operations, patient experience, quality care and budget management.
Professional and community leadership: Girl Scouts of Western New York, troop leader for two troops; Genesee/Orleans/Wyoming Opioid Task Force, workgroup leader; March of Dimes, board member.
Bringing about change in Rochester: Driving change requires one to be a strong advocate, role model the desired change, remain an active voice and share creative ideas to break down barriers. I work to drive change by focusing on today’s youth, volunteering and choosing to work in the operations field, impacting care across counties.
Surprising fact: I’ve done three Tough Mudders (and counting) and two Spartan races (working on the trifecta.) And I am a provider who loves technology and data.
Chief Operating Officer
Buckingham Properties LLC
Education: B.S., accounting, State University of College at Brockport
Family: Wife, Heather; children, Allyson, 7, Richard IV, 4.
Professional responsibilities: Oversight of the day-to-day operations of Buckingham Properties. In addition, I am responsible for evaluating new acquisitions and dispositions of existing assets.
Professional and community leadership: Board member, Mary Cariola Children’s Center; board chair, Buildings and Facilities, Mary Cariola Children’s Center; board member, NAIOP
Bringing about change in Rochester: Buckingham has been at the forefront of Rochester’s revitalization for many years. Our team understands that our work here is not finished and looks forward to continuing our efforts for many years to come.
Surprising fact: Prior to accounting, I was considering a career in culinary arts. To this day, I still use cooking as my creative outlet.
Chief Financial Officer
Flaum Management Company
Education: B.A., international relations, University of Pennsylvania; M.S., real estate, New York University; MBA, concentration in finance and entrepreneurship, Simon School of Business, University of Rochester
Family: Wife, Jamie; children, Harrison, 5, Jordana, 4.
Professional responsibilities: I am involved in the financial and fiscal management of the company, acquisition due diligence and execution, and managing financial relationships. I coordinate the business planning, administrative, accounting and management efforts as well.
Professional and community leadership: Foodlink, Inc., board member and finance committee; Jewish Community Center of Rochester vice president, Investment Committee chair, Finance Committee; New York State Troopers PBA, Signal 30 board member; University of Pennsylvania, Penn Fund Executive Board member; Penn Club of Rochester, Secondary School Committee chairperson
Bringing about change in Rochester: I am an agent of change by facilitating growth and development opportunities in Rochester through real estate. We have created and retained thousands of jobs through our tenants throughout the community. I also put forth time and effort in the support of many of the local philanthropies in the community.
Surprising fact: I played Division I lacrosse as goalie for University of Pennsylvania
Vice President, Agency Nonprofit Services
Education: B.S., communication/journalism, St. John Fisher College; A.S., liberal arts, Monroe Community College
Family: Husband, Chadd; children, Levi, 3, and Ellison, 1.
Professional responsibilities: Develop and execute strategic PR campaigns for a variety of clients and brands, including lead crisis communications counsel/strategy. Development Support Services Division co-lead, a service offering for non-profits to aide in increasing donations, donor acquisition and brand awareness. Manage agency’s Community Giving Program for all sponsorship requests. Managing Partner Advisory Team member.
Professional and community leadership: St. John Fisher College, Media and Communication Alumni Advisory Board member; Public Relations Society of America, Greater Rochester Chapter, co-chair, Diversity Committee; American Red Cross volunteer
Bringing about change in Rochester: Invest in our youth by offering mentorship and volunteer support to help the underprivileged and privileged youth in our community. I invest in the next generation daily, teaching my children the importance of hard work, the power of helping others and raising them to be open-minded, selfless, giving and inclusive.
Vice President, Senior Wealth Advisor
Tompkins Financial Advisors
Education: B.A., economics, University of Rochester; MBA, finance and corporate accounting, University of Rochester
Family: Husband, David; children Vivian, 4, and Asher, 2.
Professional responsibilities: My responsibilities include providing strategic advice to clients on their wealth management, financial planning and risk management needs. Much of my focus is on working with local, closely-held business owners, corporate executives and their families, and not-for-profit organizations. I also sit on the Tompkins Financial Advisors Investment Committee that exclusively steers investment strategy for over $1.8 billion worth of portfolios.
Professional and community leadership: Vice-co-chairman of Executive Committee, Compeer Rochester; finance committee and board member, Compeer Rochester; stewardship committee, Bivona Child Advocacy Center; alumni volunteer, University of Rochester Simon School of Business.
Bringing about change in Rochester: We are so blessed in Rochester to have so many amazing people and a wealth of resources and knowledge. What I love more than anything in the world is making a connection or an introduction between my friends from different spheres of our community and seeing what sorts of exciting things take place. Relationships are formed, jobs are found, businesses grow and good charitable causes flourish.
Surprising fact: In another life, I would have been a tool-belt wearing, nail gun carrying general contractor. I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.
Hamilton Stern Construction, LLC
Education: B.S., civil engineering technology, Rochester Institute of Technology
Family: Wife, Sheena; children, Payton, 9, Taylor, 9, and Avery, 5.
Professional responsibilities: Co-owner of Hamilton Stern Construction. Responsible for the day-to-day operations of a 35-person construction management firm specializing in commercial and residential construction work. Heavily involved in business development, personnel acquisition and management of various types of construction projects.
Professional and community leadership: Member of the board of directors for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Rochester Branch and member of the Fundraising and Development committees; member of the board of directors for Flower City Habitat for Humanity, director of the Construction Committee; head coach for CYP basketball for grades 3-4 and the instructional program grades K-2.
Bringing about change in Rochester: I think the development momentum for Downtown Rochester is amazing. The amount of residential units that have become available in the past five years is simply amazing. I would like to further that growth by getting retail and more businesses to follow.
Surprising fact: Throughout high school I was interested in joining the FBI although I always have had a passion for construction and building things.
Education: Bachelor of Professional Studies, architecture, State University at Buffalo; Master of Architecture, State University at Buffalo
Family: Wife, Samantha; children, Ella, 5, Abigail, 2.
Professional responsibilities: Management and design of K-12 education facilities from pre-design planning through to construction. Client management, community consensus building, master planning and strategic planning
Professional and community leadership: Nautilus Scholarship Fund Endowment, founder and president; Village of Fairport Office of Community and Economic Development, board of directors, director; Village of Fairport Planning Board, deputy chairman; Western New York Tech Academy, mentor.
Bringing about change in Rochester: Education planning is more than just designing schools, it is one of the greatest opportunities we have to reach and support the growth of all students, most importantly the non-traditional learner.
Surprising fact: I played men’s league rugby while in grad school and was selected to the Upstate New York All-Star team two years in a row.
University of Rochester Medical Center
Education: MSBA, Simon School of Business at University of Rochester; MPA, The Ohio State University; B.A., political science and economics, The Ohio State University.
Family: Wife, Lindsey; children Benjamin, 9, Matthew, 7, Erin, 4.
Professional responsibilities: Responsible for the overall operational and financial performance of UR Medicine’s Dermatology department including its $15 million budget spanning the missions of clinical patient care, teaching/education and research. Collaborate daily with key stakeholders from the Medical Faculty Group (clinic), Strong Memorial Hospital and the School of Medicine and Dentistry. Work very closely with the department’s chair on activities including strategic planning and visioning.
Professional and community leadership: Chairman, Conservation Board, Town of Irondequoit; president, Lakeside Neighborhood Association; assistant coach, Irondequoit Little League Baseball; co-chair, Development Committee, Starbridge board of directors; secretary, Gilda’s Club board of directors.
Bringing about change in Rochester: As a father of young children and as someone with a business background, I can ask new and objective questions and maybe bring new ideas to the table. My career at the University of Rochester as well as my service on boards in town have allowed me to be a change agent in our community.
Surprising fact: About five years ago I lost over 100 pounds through diet and exercise.
Finger Lakes Regional Director – Intergovernmental and Community Relations
Office of the New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli
Professional responsibilities: As the Finger Lakes Regional Director for New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, I assist people and organizations with fiscal and policy issues and help to address the challenges facing Rochester and the Finger Lakes. I ensure that taxpayer dollars are used effectively and efficiently to create the most benefit for our communities.
Professional and community leadership: Monroe County Democratic Committee, former executive director; Rush-Henrietta school board member (2004-2007); Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley, Board of Directors; New York State Majority Leader Joe Morelle, director of community relations; Kiwanis Club of Irondequoit, member
Bringing about change in Rochester: I am a true believer that public service is about helping others and making our community a better place for all to live. My government, political and volunteer work all centers around this fundamental ideal. I hope that through this work I can touch the lives of many people throughout Rochester and help to improve the community that I love.
Surprising fact: I am an ordained minister.
Director of Veteran Services
Education: Currently pursuing MPA, Villanova University; BBA, American Military University
Family: Wife, Emily; children Zachary, 16, Kaytlin, 15, Sarrah, 14, and Chase, 13.
Professional responsibilities: Assists Ontario County’s veterans and their families to identify and apply for benefits to which they are entitled from local, state and federal agencies as a result of their military service. Advocate for veterans in employment, housing and legal issues.
Professional and community leadership: American Legion, past post and county commander; Military Order of the Purple Heart, past state commander; Veterans of Foreign Wars, post service officer; American Veterans, post service officer; Town of Farmington, zoning board of appeals member
Bringing about change in Rochester: I would like to network with other people to find ways to empower people and encourage them to enjoy all that the Greater Rochester area has to offer.
Surprising fact: I have been to all 50 states and six of the seven continents. I have not been to Antarctica, and I am in no hurry to cross it off the list. I’m also a huge Sabres fan.
Vice President of Racial Equity Initiatives
YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County
Education: B.S., organizational management, Roberts Wesleyan College; M.S., strategic leadership, Roberts Wesleyan College
Family: Husband, Derrick; children Ericka, 19, and Halle, 8.
Professional responsibilities: Heading the efforts of the racial equity department, including the establishment of key partnerships with organizations collaborating around internal diversity and inclusion strategies. Ensuring the sustainability of this area of service through the generation of revenue and unrestricted funding streams. Marketing, recruiting and developing the curriculum for Person2Person, Unconscious Bias Workshop Series, Racial Equity Organizational Workshops and Student2Student. Leading the charge for the annual Stand Against Racism event.
Professional and community leadership: Heading local efforts around the Break the Sickle-Cell Cycle campaign; board of directors, Team E Foundation, Inc.; board of directors, Autism Council of Rochester; member of the Renaissance Academy Family and Faculty Association,
Bringing about change in Rochester: Considering the racial climate, there is still much work to be done. There continues to be a lack of understanding around the layers of racism and the subtleness that serves as pillars to the issues. Nothing feels better than creating a platform for key decision-makers to come together for an authentic engagement around systemic racism. Having the capacity and network to pull such groups together is surely the starting point for change.
Surprising fact: I am a bona fide night owl. Most of my best writings are produced between the hours of midnight and 2 a.m. The overnight crew at FedEx/Kinkos knows me by name.
Cameron Community Ministries
Education: Bachelor’s in child psychology, Keuka College; certificate in nonprofit management, St. John Fisher College
Family: Husband, Joseph; children, Annaleese Elizabeth, 4, and Landen Jude, 8 months.
Professional responsibilities: As executive director at Cameron my responsibilities include grant writing, budgeting, managing donations, marketing, public speaking, fundraising and building and maintaining relationships. At the end of the day at Cameron, it’s about lifting up our neighbors in order to make Rochester better. It doesn’t get more rewarding than that.
Professional and community leadership: WXXI Community Advisory Board member; Farley’s Friends board member; Council of Agency Executives Planning Committee member.
Bringing about change in Rochester: The statistics on Rochester’s children are daunting. As a community leader, I am a fierce advocate for quality programming that allows every child, regardless of socioeconomic status, an opportunity to have an equal “at bat” in life. Change happens by empowering and equipping our future generations to be successful.
Surprising fact: People would be surprised to know that I am an avid Buffalo Bills fan who knows more about football than the average person. Whether at the stadium or in my living room, I can be found every game day Sunday in my Bills garb, rooting them on.
Kathryn Murano Santos
Senior Director, Collections & Exhibitions
Rochester Museum & Science Center
Education: B.A., anthropology and religious studies, University of Pennsylvania; MPhil, social anthropology, University of Cambridge.
Family: Husband, Alberto
Professional responsibilities: I am responsible for all aspects of exhibition development at the RMSC and management of 1.2 million objects in our collections. I oversee two departments that create engaging and relevant visitor experiences, preserve and provide access to our community’s natural and cultural heritage, and inspire authentic discovery at all levels.
Professional and community leadership: President, Friends of Ganondagan board of trustees; vice president, Rochester Regional Library Council board of trustees; Take It Down Steering Committee, Rochester Institute of Technology Museum Studies Program Advisory Board; Lewis Henry Morgan Chapter, New York State Archaeological Association board of trustees.
Bringing about change in Rochester: Personally and professionally, I view leadership as the ability to effect positive social change. I am dedicated to addressing issues of social justice in our community using my skill set: listening to others’ perspectives, creating opportunities for ongoing dialogue and education, working to build consensus and organizing for collective action.
Surprising fact: As a child of the 1980s, I’ve loved breakdancing since I was about 5 years old. In graduate school, I was part of the Cambridge University Breakdance Crew, and I’m still known to “battle” someone in a dance club every now and then.
Democrat & Chronicle
Education: B.S., leadership, Northeastern University; MBA, Rochester Institute of Technology
Family: Wife, Catherine; children, Madeline, 6, Greyson, 3, Olivia, 2.
Residence: North Greece
Professional responsibilities: I am responsible for leading our transformation efforts to a digital first organization. In addition, leading all sales efforts.
Professional and community leadership: Al Sigl Community of Agencies, board of directors and sports committee; Catholic Family Center, board of directors; Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, board member and executive committee member; YMCA, board of directors; RIT, member of the advisory board for business dean.
Bringing about change in Rochester: I would rally and inspire leaders and up-and-comers to collaborate and work together and see the whole picture, not just small parts. This will make Rochester the best it can be.
Surprising fact: I lived in Springfield, Missouri
Education: J.D., University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law; MPP, University of Maryland School of Public Policy; B.A., Duke University
Family: Wife, Laura Smith; daughter, Grace, 5 months
Professional responsibilities: The main priority for the compliance leader is to oversee and coordinate the work of the company’s subject matter experts in an attempt to ensure that the organization is in full statutory compliance with all rules and regulations related to all applicable laws in our industry as well as internal policies.
Professional and community leadership: President, YP NeXus (Xerox employee group focused on diversity and inclusion objectives); Pillars of Hope volunteer, School No. 54; elder serving on church board/session, Downtown United Presbyterian Church; associate board member, American Cancer Society; planning committee chair, American Bar Association (ABA), Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER), 25th Fall Conference; co-chair, ABA, SEER, International Environmental and Resources Law.
Bringing about change in Rochester: I believe in creating the world I want to live in, a world that celebrates diversity and inclusion and provides opportunities to children no matter their background. I try to be an agent of change by participating in community events and engaging children in local schools.
Surprising fact: My twin brother’s name is John and our initials are both J.O.N.
Harter Secrest & Emery LLP
Education: B.S., Carnegie Mellon University; J.D., Vanderbilt University Law School
Family: Husband Sean; daughters Violet, 4, and Evelyn, 2
Professional responsibilities: I represent public and private companies, including international, national and local clients, in connection with mergers and acquisitions, private equity leveraged buyout transactions and venture capital financings.
Professional and community leadership: Board chair, South East Area Coalition; member, Monroe County Bar Association; member, GRAWA.
Bringing about change in Rochester: I’m engaging in grassroots efforts. The organization I chair, the South East Area Coalition, is geared up with a new executive director to attack fun, interesting projects that bring neighbors together and make our community more vibrant and collaborative.
Surprising fact: I’m vegan and want to build and live in an earthship someday. (An earthship is a passive solar house that is made of both natural and upcycled materials such as earth-packed tires.)
Medical Director, Palliative Care
Lifetime Care Home Health Care and Hospice
Education: B.A., biology, University of Rochester; M.D., University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; M.S., clinical investigation, University of Rochester
Family: Ramil Sapinoro
Professional responsibilities: I am proud to have created a physician home visit program at Lifetime Care. I visit and evaluate patients with chronic health conditions at their homes and coordinate their symptom management with their primary care physician, specialist physicians and our home care team.
Professional and community leadership: Member, East House board of directors; quality committee member, Trillium Health Care
Bringing about change in Rochester: I will continue to build and advocate for innovative programs that bring health care, especially palliative care, to our homebound community members. The management of chronic illness is complex and I enjoy empowering my patients to understand their illness and effectively treat their symptoms.
Surprising fact: The stress of my job hit me hard after I graduated from my training program. I became interested in yoga and started to practice yoga regularly as a way to manage my anxiety. I trained to become yoga teacher so that I could share mindfulness and yoga with others.
Education: West Virginia University; Simon School of Business, University of Rochester
Family: Wife, Allison; children Jack, 3, and Keller, 1.
Professional responsibilities: I work with the community to manage the people, processes and numbers to drive valuable post-acute care.
Professional and community leadership: Board of directors, The Friendly Home; finance committee, Lifespan.
Bringing about change in Rochester: I’m going to increase communication and collaboration between all areas of care to better improve experiences.
Surprising fact: I (safely) castrated a goat at my family’s lavender farm.
Vice President, Special Events
Education: M.S. strategic marketing, Roberts Wesleyan College; B.A., organizational communication, Keuka College
Professional responsibilities: I oversee the special events division and lead a dynamic team of event producers who plan corporate and nonprofit events. I’m also part of the Managing Partner Advisory Team, an advisory group that supports the strategic direction for the agency.
Professional and community leadership: Victor Chamber of Commerce, events committee; Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley, marketing committee.
Bringing about change in Rochester: Creating a healthy community starts with creating healthy individuals, and that’s where I want to enact change. Whether it’s exercising, eating healthier or supporting your body naturally, I want to empower people to that end. Then, I want to do the same with organizations and companies that share my passion.
Surprising fact: I’m an avid essential oil user and have my own Young Living business that allows me to share ways people can naturally support their body with oils and supplements, as well as educate them on how to reduce toxic chemicals from their everyday lives.
Associate, Trademarks Group
Nixon Peabody LLP
Education: J.D., University at Buffalo Law School; bachelor’s degree, criminal justice, SUNY Brockport; associate’s degree, criminal justice, Monroe Community College
Family: Dr. Lisa J. Cunningham
Residence: East Rochester
Professional responsibilities: As a trademark attorney, I help clients to protect their most valuable asset: their brand. As the president of the board for the Out Alliance, I have the opportunity to serve the incredible LGBTQ folks of Rochester and our allies by helping to govern one of Rochester’s great institutions.
Professional and community leadership: President of the board of directors, Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley, Inc.; national co-chair of the LGBTQA Resource Group, Nixon Peabody LLP
Bringing about change in Rochester: I would do this by encouraging people to realize their full potential for happiness, and to pay it forward. I think it is important for folks to know that it’s never too late to recreate themselves. And when they do, there is a responsibility to help lift other people up.
Surprising fact: I spent nearly a decade in retail management before attending college and law school, many years of which were spent managing movie and video game stores.
Chief of Staff
Rochester City School District
Education: J.D., University of New York at Buffalo Law School; B.S., chemistry, State University of New York College at Oneonta
Family: Husband, Jerod; children Aniyah, 10, Kiley, 7, David, 5, and Benton, 2.
Residence: West Irondequoit
Professional responsibilities: Serves as chief liaison to the board of education, develops strategies and recommendations to effectively address issues; provides leadership and support to the superintendent’s direct reports to ensure that the district’s strategic goals and objectives are met and that projects are carried out; analyzes, interprets and provides recommendations to the superintendent concerning district issues and other matters.
Professional and community leadership: Board of directors, Children Awaiting Parents; former president, Rochester Black Bar Association; member, Monroe County Bar Association; member, New York State Bar Association.
Bringing about change in Rochester: I love the people of city of Rochester. Having now lived in Rochester for over a decade, I was welcomed, mentored and guided by some incredible people. Being the chief of staff provides me the space and opportunity to help facilitate change in a precious commodity: that of a high-quality public education. The children and families of the city of Rochester deserve high-performing schools that serve the whole child and family. I am excited and honored to be part of a change and to give back to a people and a city that have given me so much.
Surprising fact: Most people would be surprised to know that I spoke very little English when I first arrived in the United States and, because of this, the school district I attended placed me in special education classes.
Deputy of Housing Administration
Education: B.A., political science, Hofstra University
Professional responsibilities: Assist Chief Housing Officer in overseeing all housing activities at PathStone Corporation across Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico; real estate development, property management, housing counseling, affiliate The Housing Council at PathStone, housing rehabilitation and energy services, resident services, affiliates Sojourner House at PathStone/Wilson Commencement Park, and Section 8.
Professional and community leadership: Mercy Community Services, Inc., board of directors; Homeless Services Network of Rochester, New York (HSN), symposium committee chair; the Supportive Housing Network of New York (SHNNY), member; Coordinated Access Task Force (Now: Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative); Project Homeless Connect Rochester, member.
Bringing about change in Rochester: Continuation of advocacy for anti-poverty, reduction in homelessness and having both state and federal stakeholders, in conjunction with funding vehicles, recognize housing for all as a top priority.
Surprising fact: My ultimate life goal would be to live in Montana and become an amateur paleontologist to satisfy my obsession with dinosaurs.
Marketing Communications Manager
Education: B.A., State University of New York at Oswego; Executive Leadership Certificate, Cornell University
Professional responsibilities: Determining marketing communication strategies, tactics and resources required to drive the business. Managing content and design development of our product and channeling marketing efforts for Paychex. Our team handles hundreds of requests a year to help all lines of business for our 3,000 sales professionals.
Professional and community leadership: Board member, Children Awaiting Parents
Bringing about change in Rochester: I am a resident and a fan. Supporting small business growth in the city of Rochester is important to me, whether it is through non-profit means, like our work with Children Awaiting Parents, or shopping at Mayer Paint and Hardware, supporting Rochester-based businesses creates futures for it residents.
Surprising fact: I play guitar. Not well, and never in front of people, but I find it relaxing to try and figure out a simple song.
Caroline Whelan Tolbert
Associate Director, Advancement Events
University of Rochester
Education: B.A., sociology, Santa Clara University; M.A., higher education administration, Boston College
Family: Husband, Isaiah
Professional responsibilities: I’m responsible for planning and executing all event details for our university leadership, board of trustees and high-impact donors, locally, nationally and internationally.
Professional and community leadership: Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women vice-chair, board of trustees, chair, Advancement Committee; Junior League of Rochester chair, Recruitment Committee; Boston College, co-chair, Rochester chapter.
Bringing about change in Rochester: My goal is always to mentor and inspire women leaders to make an impact on their communities.
Surprising fact: Having lived in three of the top ten biggest cities in the United States (Boston, San Jose and New York City), I’ve chosen to Rochester as my home.
Senior Executive Assistant, Assistant Corporate Secretary
HCR Home Care
Education: B.A., political science, Siena College
Family: Husband, Jason Schneeberger; step-children, Ian, 10, and Rylee, 4.
Residence: West Irondequoit
Professional responsibilities: I serve as HCR’s assistant corporate secretary and treasurer, and the leader of all corporate governance operations. I also chair the employee stock ownership program’s administrative committee, co-chair the communication committee and manage the administrative support team and the executive office.
Professional and community leadership: Dress for Success Rochester, board member, Executive Committee; HCR Cares, board secretary; Human Rights Campaign, committee member; Empire State Pride Agenda, committee member.
Bringing about change in Rochester: Sustainable change doesn’t occur from the top down, rather, the bottom up. Change will come from individuals who are economically empowered and given opportunities. I’ll continue to work with organizations like Dress for Success and HCR Cares, that help individuals develop a different vision of their self-worth and potential.
Surprising fact: I recently learned how to shoot a rifle while on vacation in Montana. I hit a 200-yard target on my first shot, having never shot a gun in my life. I surprised myself.
Littler Mendelson P.C.
Education: B.A., Queen’s University (Canada); J.D., Roger Williams University School of Law
Family: Husband, Anwar; children, Somayya, 15, Teha, 12, Ahsan, 1 month
Professional responsibilities: I provide practical solutions and strategic guidance for management-side clients who confront labor and employment concerns. My competencies cover a range of workplace topics, such as discrimination, harassment, retaliation, failure to accommodate, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and employee benefits plans at the state and federal levels and before administrative agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the New York State Division of Human Rights.
Professional and community leadership: Delegate and member, board of directors, Greater Rochester Association of Women Attorneys; member, board of directors, Women’s Bar Association of New York; member, board of directors, Roger Williams University School of Law
Bringing about change in Rochester: I hope to serve Rochester as an agent of change by promoting the values of diversity and inclusion, and serving as a voice for the concerns of underrepresented minorities in the community and in the legal profession in particular.
Surprising fact: Prior to deciding to attend law school, I considered getting my Ph.D. in anthropology focusing on modern Muslim Feminism. I even published an article in a peer-reviewed journal entitled “A Celebration of Mothering in the Quran.”
Director of Sustainability
Rochester Regional Health
Education: B.S., mechanical engineering, Marquette University; PSM, solar energy engineering, Arizona State University; Ph.D., sustainability, Rochester Institute of Technology
Family: Wife, Emily; children Caleb, 4, Elise, 1, and Ezra, newborn.
Professional responsibilities: Manage the development of a new Sustainability department within Rochester Regional Health, which includes the initiation of a wide range of environmentally friendly and community supportive projects.
Professional and community leadership: Board member, Market Driven Community Cooperative; director of sustainability, Rochester Regional Health; executive leadership team member, Rochester Regional Health; tutor, Caleb Ministries.
Bringing about change in Rochester: As a member of the Rochester healthcare community and part of a local church, I want to strengthen both our social and economic spheres. I plan to do this by continuing to create anti-poverty initiatives and local, sustainable projects, and by forming relationships with neighbors of all backgrounds around Rochester.
Surprising fact: In my spare time, I enjoy woodworking, particularly making furniture.
Mengel Metzger Barr and Co. LLP
Education: BBA, accounting, St. Bonaventure University; MBA, accounting, St. Bonaventure University
Family: Boyfriend, Robert VanBramer
Professional responsibilities: Audits and reviews of financial statements, direct client service and technical accounting research and implementation. Also involved in the on-campus recruiting efforts of the firm and the marketing of both the agribusiness and construction industries.
Professional and community leadership: National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House, board and finance committee member and former treasurer; New York State Society of CPAs, former Rochester chapter president and secretary, board member; NYSSCPA Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession, former board member.
Bringing about change in Rochester: One person at a time. I think of the story of the starfish. I certainly can’t make a difference to every life, but I can “make a difference to that one.”
Surprising fact: I’m a huge college basketball fan and when my beloved Bonnies made the tournament, I bought a one-way ticket to Nashville to watch them. It was one of the most spontaneous things I have done and I hope to have the opportunity to do it again.
Licensed Nursing Home Administrator
Unity Living Center (Rochester Regional Health)
Education: MPA, healthcare, SUNY Brockport; MSW, social work, University of Michigan; BSW, social work, Syracuse University
Family: Husband, Shawn; children, Isaiah, 15, Makayla, 5.
Professional responsibilities: Provide overall leadership to the day-to-day operations of the nursing facility. Ensure continuity and consistency in delivery and quality of services and adherence to all state and federal regulations. Accountable for quality improvement, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and corporate compliance, including implementation of policies and procedures which ensure safe, therapeutic and effective services.
Professional and community leadership: Rochester Regional Health volunteer committees including Waste Reduction & Sustainability Committee, Corporate Security Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee, Long Term Care IT Advisory Committee, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board, Unity Corporate Safety Council Meetings, Unity Corporate Employee Safety Sub-Committee, Community Affairs Committee, Community Health Collaborative Board, Cultural Competency Committee, Aging and Community Services Board; Rochester Educational Opportunity Center, Business Advisory Board member; The Father’s House member.
Bringing about change in Rochester: As a change agent in Rochester, I am an individual who is flexible, patient, intentional, confident and communicates effectively. My goal is to always put the needs of those I serve first. I look beyond the impossible and work towards what is possible.
Surprising fact: I generally am an open book, so I leave very little to surprise. However, a fact that would surprise most people is that my family is from Panama. I love that I have a culturally diverse background.
Rochester Fencing Club
Education: B.A., political science, Stanford University; MBA, University of Rochester Simon School of Business.
Family: Husband, Kevin Nowack; children Emma, 5, Anya, 3.
Professional responsibilities: At our humble beginnings eight years ago, I was responsible for growing the business, marketing, coaching and much more. Now my biggest role is to develop our staff, continue to grow our base of customers, and make sure everyone that comes through our doors has the opportunity to reach their potential.
Professional and community leadership: United States Olympic and Paralympic Alumni Association, vice president; Strong Museum of Play, Play Makers Leadership Council; Greater Rochester Amateur Athletic Foundation, vice president.
Bringing about change in Rochester: Knowing the life changing benefits of sports, I am extremely passionate about making fencing and other sports more accessible to the youth of Rochester. I am committed to working with other agencies within Rochester, including RACF and the Youth Sports Task Force to develop more opportunities for our community.
Surprising fact: I am uncoordinated in other sports. During my freshman year at Stanford, the fencing team was warming up with a game of basketball. I was passed the ball and while I was running it down to the net, everyone stopped to stare at me. I had no idea you had to dribble the ball.