Directors

 

Brad Rye

Chair: Brad Rye

Senior Vice President-Managing Director, Mower

Brad is a Senior Vice President-Managing Director at Mower, a full-service marketing communications agency. He joined the firm in 1997 and manages Mower’s Rochester office.

He is a graduate of Northwood University in Midland, Michigan and began his communications career in radio, serving as a news announcer, on-air talent, and copywriter while working for three stations in Michigan: WFYC, WSGW and WGER.

Mohammed Ahamed

Mohammed "Mo" Ahamed

CEO, Engaging Diversity and Consulting, LLC

Mohammed is CEO of EDI and leads the firm's diversity practice. He most recently served as Director of Diversity & Inclusion in the President's Office at Nazareth College where he spearheaded many initiatives including the founding of the first Civil Rights Journey to (Selma, Birmingham, Montgomery, Alabama and Memphis, Tennessee). He developed the President's Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Awards (P.E.D.I.A), Thinking Out Loud Collaboration, Sustained Dialogue Series program among others.

Mohammed earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Science in Human Resources Management from Nazareth College. He holds an Executive Leadership Certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School and several certifications including a certificate as a Restorative Justice facilitator.

Rachel Baker August

Rachel Baker August

Principal, Baker August Consulting

Through Baker August Consulting, Rachel supports nonprofit leadership staff and volunteers in a variety of ways that help organizations effectively achieve their goals and maximize their budgets. Rachel offers a range of supports, from one-on-one discussions with a senior staff person trying to work through a specific issue, to small team projects, to developing and implementing a full-scale fundraising campaign. Whatever the challenges, Rachel will employ her professional expertise, community knowledge and flexibility to move the nonprofit to a stronger position of financial health and community influence.

Megan Bell

Megan Bell

Director of Grants and Programs, Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation

Megan Bell is the Director of Grants and Programs for the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation.  Prior to joining the Farash team she was the Executive Director of the Wilson Foundation, a small family foundation dedicated to being a catalyst for change for families in the Rochester area.  While there she led the foundation through robust strategic planning, including a new giving structure, evaluation framework, board development and next generation inclusion and social impact investing.  Ms. Bell has worked with nonprofits in diverse areas, such as housing, education, poverty and mental healthcare. 

Lawrence N. Chessin M.D. FACP

Lawrence N. Chessin M.D. FACP

Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Rochester

Larry Chessin received his BA, Cum Laude, from the University of Rochester and his MD degree, with Honors, from New York University. Early in his career, he served as a Research Associate at the Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease at the National Institutes of Health.

Ralph Dandrea

Ralph Dandrea

CEO, ITX Corp.

Entrepreneur. Social scientist. Problem solver. Life-long learner.

Ralph Dandrea founded ITX Corp in 1997 to help clients solve complex technology problems. Now, more than 20 years later, he continues to apply a comprehensive world view to lead ITX, mentor its leaders, and build enduring relationships with clients. At the core of Ralph’s belief system is instilling an uplifting organizational culture, founded on the concept of workability, to empower the entire organization. His philosophies serve as the underpinnings for ITX’s mission, vision, and values.

Dennis M. DeLeo, Esq.

Dennis M. DeLeo, Esq.

President, Venture Jobs Foundation; Partner, Trillium Group, LLC

In 1997, Denny co-founded Trillium Group, LLC. Trillium is a Rochester-based venture capital and private equity firm. At Trillium, he is the fund executive of the Monroe Fund, LLC, an early stage venture capital fund now in its exit phase. The Monroe Fund targeted A Round investments in regional technology-oriented businesses in their startup and early growth phases.

Calvin Eaton

Calvin Eaton

Executive Director, 540WMain

Calvin Eaton is a community educator, digital content creator, and social entrepreneur, whose area of expertise includes antiracism, inclusion, equity, curriculum writting, and higher education.

Steven Gersz, Esq.

Steven Gersz, Esq.

Partner, Underberg & Kessler

From mergers and acquisitions to emerging technology companies, Steve has immersed himself in business and corporate law his entire legal career. Steve is a partner and immediate past chair of the firm's Corporate & Business Practice Group, and has extensive experience in the organization and development of business and professional entities.

Warren Hern

Warren Hern

Retired; Former CEO, Rochester Regional Health

Mr. Hern is President and CEO of EastBay Ventures where he provides early phase companies with start up capital and advisory services. Prior to creating EastBay Mr. Hern was Co-CEO of Rochester Regional Health and CEO of Unity Health System, a major provider of Healthcare and Senior Housing based in Rochester, NY with locations in Europe and Asia.

Mike Ingham

Mike Ingham

Coach, US Women’s Olympic Sailing Team; Trustee, Kiva Rochester

Mike is tremendously active in Rochester's civic life being both founder of the Rochester KIVA initiative and President of GRAAF (Greater Rochester Amateur Athletic Foundation), a nonprofit supporting local Rochester Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls. Mike is a graduate of Cornell Electrical Engineering, and a successful high tech entrepreneur.

Howard R. Jacobson

Howard R. Jacobson

Principal, Redrock 1886

Howie is a Principal in Red Rock 1886, providing ‘value-added thinking’ for small and emerging businesses. A 3rd generation Rochesterian and a graduate of Cornell University, Howie has spent a career in sales, marketing and distribution. He has received recognition in many national and regional publications.

Michael R. Parrinello, CPA CVA

Michael R. Parrinello, CPA CVA

Partner, Bonadio Group

Michael is a Principal in the Commercial Division of The Bonadio Group and a member of the Firm’s Private Equity Team. As a member of the Firm’s Private Equity team, he provides support and advisory services to the Firm’s clients in accessing capital and M&A activities, as well as accounting and consulting services to capital providers and their portfolio companies.

Heidi Romer

Heidi Romer

Healthcare Consultant, Advocate for Community Development

Heidi Romer is the Director of Community Advancement for Jericho Road Community Health Center located in Buffalo, New York. Heidi brings knowledge and experience in collective impact across a range of areas and has led numerous public and private sector collaborations focused on systemic change. These community wide efforts have addressed social determinants of health, community development and health equity.

Truman Tolefree

Truman Tolefree

Director of Acquisitions, Morgan Management

Truman Tolefree is Director of Acquisitions for Morgan Management LLC, a leading national developer, owner, and operator of institutional quality multifamily apartment communities, headquartered in Pittsford, NY. Truman has over 12 years of experience in real estate finance, acquisitions and development. His industry experience and expertise includes the development, acquisition and disposition of real estate assets and the procurement of project financing implemented through various mechanisms including, but not limited to, senior and subordinated debt, mezzanine financing, various federal and state tax credits and hybrid debt/equity instruments.

Jeffrey M. Valentine

Jeffrey M. Valentine

President, Valentinium, LLC

Jeff Valentine is a serial entrepreneur and advocate for Greater Rochester. He is President of Valentinium, an investment and management consulting firm specializing in early stage investments and private equity opportunities, and an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Excell Partners, a New York State-supported venture capital seed fund.

Christine Wagner

Christine Wagner

SSJ, PhD: Director, Rochester Area Health Foundation

Christine Wagner, SSJ, PhD. is the Executive Director of St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center in Rochester, NY.  Christine received her PhD from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School with a concentration in Conflict Resolution and Women’s Studies.  Prior to the beginning of the Neighborhood Center in 1993, she taught at all grade levels and worked for several years as a community organizer in Rochester on regional, national and international issues.  Christine currently sits on the Boards of the Greater Rochester Health Foundation, the Rochester RHIO, Excellus Rochester Area Advisory Board and several advisory Committees. She is a native Rochesterian, a Sister of St. Joseph and enjoys reading, cooking and gardening.

Antonia “Toni” Wynter

Toni Wynter

Entrepreneur and Community Advocate

Antonia Wynter is a native of Rochester and a P.R. Specialist. She is the driving force behind “Enhanced Business Outlook", a public relations and consulting firm located in the Flower City that she founded in 2013. She is a member of various grass roots and nonprofit organizations. Including, but not limited to, Roc The Peace, the 19th Ward Community Association, Roc Against Gun Violence, and she is also the moderator of M.Y.O.B (Mind Your Own Business) an online community newsletter and blog.