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Rochester Business Journal
November 7, 2008

Vice president, financial programs

Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield

Age: 38

Education: A.A., business administration, Berkshire Community College, Pittsfield, Mass.; B.A., accounting, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Family: Husband, David; daughters, 6 and 9; sons, 6 and 8

Residence: Manchester, Ontario County

Professional responsibilities: Leads multiple, diverse teams, including finance project managers that implement process improvements, vendor contracting that negotiates and executes contracts, an outsourcing evaluation team, and a business research team that supports and influences the strategic direction of the corporation.

Community leadership: Chairwoman, Alternatives for Battered Women Inc.; advisory board member, Finger Lakes Occupational Health Services; team captain, Start! Heart Walk, American Heart Association; head, holiday giving committee, which collects gifts for the 4th-grade class at Public School No. 22, Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield

Surprising fact: I am addicted to scrapbooking. I attend scrapbooking conventions and often get together with fellow scrapbookers on the weekends, spending hours creating keepsake albums. I love scrapbooking because it allows me to be creative and document family memories that I might not remember 20 years from now.

Ten years from now: I see myself continuing to volunteer in the community and in the extracurricular activities of my teenage children. On a professional basis, I hope to continue to advance my career and expand my knowledge within finance, including obtaining a master's degree.

Michael BARON

Creative director

Partners + Napier Inc.

Age: 37

Education: B.A., communications/journalism, St. John Fisher College

Family: Wife, Maura; son, 4

Residence: Pittsford

Professional responsibilities: Manages and contributes to the creation of marketing communication materials for clients including Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, Bausch & Lomb Inc. and SUNY Buffalo. Leads team of eight, works with account group to outline strategy and manage client relationships, contributes to new business efforts and coordinates internal training initiatives.

Community leadership: Adjunct professor, School of Communications & Journalism, St. John Fisher College; planning board member, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Upstate New York chapter; two-time team captain, MS150 Bike Ride; marketing consultant, Camp Good Days and Special Times Inc.; volunteer and participant, Golisano Children's Hospital Cycle For Hope; member, Rochester Advertising Federation

Surprising fact: My first job was as an art director, not a writer. I seriously considered joining the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I am a lot more laid back than people think-no really, I am.

Ten years from now: I see myself as the proud father of a teenage boy; happily married to my wife, Maura; as an executive creative director/partner; as someone who contributes to the growth of his community; and as a guy who still wakes up at five o'clock to ride his bicycle.


Color and imaging science researcher

Xerox Corp.

Age: 39

Education: B.S., physics, Canisius College; Ph.D., imaging science, Rochester Institute of Technology

Family: Husband, Gus; daughter, 10; son, 7

Residence: Fairport

Professional responsibilities: Researching methods to make color management in printing systems easier, more intuitive and more accessible. Developing a system to translate natural color language into quantitative color algorithms.

Community leadership: Chairwoman, 3rd Xerox Innovation Group Research and Technology Conference; technical program chairwoman, 16th Color Imaging Conference; member, Society of Imaging Science and Technology and the Inter-Society Color Council; Girl Scout leader for more than five years; second-grade PTA Science Action coordinator, Dudley School, Fairport; former Xerox science consultant, Rochester City Schools

Surprising fact about me: I am quite handy. My first physics professor encouraged me to take things apart and rebuild them. I've taken apart and fixed many appliances around the house. Discovering how things work is exactly why I became a scientist.

Ten years from now: It is hard to believe that my kids will be in college 10 years from now! I'll have the flexibility to pursue additional leadership opportunities in my career and in the community. My passion is encouraging the love of science and math in children, and I hope to continue to do so.


President and CEO

Advertising Council of Rochester Inc.

Age: 38

Education: B.S., television / radio communication, Ithaca College

Family: Wife, Andrea; daughters, 13 and 6; son, 8

Residence: Greece

Professional responsibilities: Leads the dedicated team of staff and hundreds of volunteers that every year helps hundreds of non-profit organizations with marketing, communications and strategic issues. Responsible for all operations and meets every day with non-profits across the community to help them to be heard.

Community leadership: Board member, Hochstein School of Music; executive committee member, Council of Agency Executives; marketing committee member, Otetiana Council Inc., Boy Scouts of America; den leader, Cub Scout Pack 282; assistant coach, Greece Little League; former audience committee member, Memorial Art Gallery; former strategic roundtable volunteer, Advertising Council of Rochester Inc.

Surprising fact: Only one? In 1988, I went off to college as an aerospace engineering major, with plans to be a Navy pilot. In high school, I had leads in musicals, including "Little Shop of Horrors," "Sugar" and "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown."

Ten years from now: I hope to be a better person than I am today. I hope to be part of making our community a better place. And I hope to be in the middle of another great adventure-in addition to having the pleasure of teaching my youngest daughter to drive. God help me.


Director, marketing and communications

Fibertech Networks LLC

Age: 37

Education: B.A., communications, University of North Carolina at Asheville

Family: Wife, Barbara-Ann; sons, 9 and 5

Residence: Macedon

Professional responsibilities: Responsible for the oversight and direction of Fibertech's marketing communications, which includes all advertising, public relations, special events, marketing and Web site development. Designed and implemented referral sales program. Assists with new market analysis and development.

Community leadership: Board chairman, fundraising committee member, tournament committee member, First Tee of Rochester, N.Y.; board member, volunteer director, tournament steering committee member, assistant coach, U9 boys, Fairport Soccer Club; board member, tournament committee member, Upstate New York Multiple Sclerosis Foundation; assistant basketball coach, third grade, St. John of Rochester

Surprising fact: I tend to be extremely competitive in everything I do. Whether it is a work project, our company's weekly basketball game or Monopoly-I have to win. Sometimes I let my 5-year-old beat me at Monopoly, but I admit it is not that easy for me to take the loss.

Ten years from now: To be the best husband, father, son, co-worker and boss that I can be. With mentors such as my father, mother and wife, as well as John Purcell and Mike Hurley, I have giant footsteps in which to follow. I hope I can have a fraction of the impact that they have had on my life. Then I'll know I've been a success in mine.


Managing partner

Connors & Ferris LLP

Age: 38

Education: Bachelor of arts and sciences, Alfred University; J.D., Ohio Northern University, Ada

Family: Wife, Jeni; sons, 6 and 3

Residence: Pittsford

Professional responsibilities: Facilitates and manages the strategic planning of the office. Coordinates and implements budget applications. Oversees and manages marketing components. Actively participates in every aspect of the daily functions of the management of client files, including the negotiation and litigation of critical issues.

Community leadership: Board member and committee member, Alfred University; board member, steering committee, Hunter's Hope Rochester Gala, Hunter's Hope; co-chairman, Kidney Walk, National Kidney Foundation of Upstate New York; ethics committee member and disability labor and employment committee member, Monroe County Bar Association; member, New York State Bar Association; executive committee member and Rochester regional representative, Injured Workers Bar Association

Surprising fact: Even though I grew up in Hornell, N.Y., I never lived anywhere near a farm, but when I moved north to the big city of Rochester, I now have a farm for a backyard. I almost skipped law school to play American professional football in Europe.

Ten years from now: Professionally I hope to continue to grow our firm's service to the community. Personally I am sure I will be amazed at how fast 10 years go by watching my two boys grow up. You will also be able to find me relaxing on the weekends with family and friends in the "man cave."


Co-owner and operator

Mario's Italian Steakhouse and Bazil Restaurant


Mario's Pasta Sauce LLC

Monroe County Legislator - Pittsford

Age: 37

Education: B.S., international business, Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.

Family: Wife, Erin; daughters, 10 and 2; son, 8

Residence: Pittsford

Professional responsibilities: Directs daily operations of Mario's Italian Steakhouse and facilitates growth opportunities with the retail pasta sauce business now in over 450 stores across the Northeast. Coaches staff on personal, career growth and overall customer and employee satisfaction.

Community leadership: Monroe County legislator for Pittsford and East Rochester; Rochester Rotarian; founding board member, Dining Alliance; member, St. Nicholas Society; career day coach, Boy Scouts of America; member, Historic Pittsford and Friends of Pittsford Library

Surprising fact: A long-term personal goal is to use my business, political and social experiences to teach young adults about "the real world" and the requirements to succeed today that are not necessarily taught in schools. I am passionate about aeronautical engineering and what lies ahead in air travel.

Ten years from now: Continuing to advocate politically for smaller government and lower taxes. As my children grow, I plan to be more involved in their education through volunteering. Professionally, continue to grow our business and enjoy the satisfactions that come with successful ventures and creation of more jobs.


Vice president

M&T Bank Corp.

Age: 28

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

Family: Fiancee, Shawanda Brown

Residence: Rochester

Professional responsibilities: Serves as a proactive team leader in the M&T branch system. Responsible for directing sales and business development, meeting operational objectives and ensuring the branch achieves its annual goals. Management duties include staff development and supervisory responsibility for staff.

Community leadership: President, Rochester Board of Education; board member, Rochester Area Community Foundation; board member, Catholic Family Center; member, University of Rochester Young Alumni Council; community impact cabinet member, United Way of Greater Rochester Inc.

Surprising fact: I have a wide range of music on my iPod. When people hear my various playlists, they are always surprised.

Ten years from now: I see myself continuing to advocate for a quality education for all and encouraging financial literacy and stability.


Vice president/consultant

First Niagara Benefits Consulting

Age: 37

Education: B.S., business management, Clarkson University, Potsdam

Family: Wife, Lisa; daughter, 11; son, 8

Residence: Greece

Professional responsibilities: Develops and maintains partnerships with First Niagara clients to ensure their employees have the most comprehensive and affordable health and welfare benefits available to them in the Western New York market.

Community leadership: Chairman, annual celebration, development advisory committee member, Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired - Goodwill Industries of Greater Rochester Inc.; compensation review board member, First Niagara Risk Management; coach, Rochester Youth Hockey; men's invitational committee member, Ridgemont Country Club; former member, First Niagara Circle of Excellence

Surprising fact: I was actually born and raised in Hamilton in Ontario, Canada. I took up residence in Rochester after attending Clarkson University on a full Division 1 hockey scholarship. My family and I love Rochester and, quite frankly, the weather is not much different from Canada.

Ten years from now: I plan to remain very involved in my children's lives as we assist them with college and career choices. My continued involvement in community and charitable events will hopefully serve as a positive example for my children. Professionally, I hope to bring new ideas and concepts to First Niagara clients as the medical and employee benefits market changes and grows.


Director, domestic income tax reporting

Eastman Kodak Co.

Age: 38

Education: B.S., accounting; MBA, SUNY Buffalo

Family: Husband, Dennis Jamrose

Residence: Penfield

Professional responsibilities: Leads a team responsible for all U.S. income tax reporting, including federal and state tax returns and U.S. information reporting of foreign operations. Project areas include accounting for income taxes, U.S. tax planning, merger and acquisition work as well as other income tax-related projects.

Community leadership: Board member, executive committee member, Red Tie Gala co-chairwoman, grants committee chairwoman, strategic planning and nominating committee member, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester, Inc.; president, Rochester chapter, Tax Executives Institute

Surprising fact: For some reason, people tend to think that those of us in the tax profession don't have much personality! I think people would be surprised by my sense of humor and my uncanny ability to retain an enormous amount of useless pop culture trivia.

Ten years from now: My husband and I are lucky to have each been blessed with health, access to education and a strong work ethic (thanks to our parents!). I hope that 10 years from now we are still learning, laughing and using the blessings we are given to help others in our community.


Financial adviser

Edward Jones Investments

Age: 37

Education: B.S., business management and finance, SUNY College at Brockport

Family: Husband, James; daughters, 19, 14 and 7

Residence: Brockport

Professional responsibilities: Works directly with clients to understand their personal goals. Recommends investments that emphasize a well-balanced portfolio and a buy-and-hold strategy. Embraces the importance of building long-term, face-to-face relationships with clients, helping them to understand and make sense of the investment options available today.

Community leadership: President, Brockport Kiwanis; finance committee and board member, Lakeside Hospital Foundation; member, Brockport Chamber of Commerce; liaison, Key Club; participant, Aktion Club

Surprising fact: Not much would surprise people about me. My mother always taught me to be open and honest, sometimes a bit too much. My greatest joy, other than my family, is my career. I love what I do and I very much enjoy serving people's needs.

Ten years from now: I see my children grown with my youngest getting ready to attend college. I see myself with Edward Jones and my office still in Brockport specializing in estate and retirement planning for my Brockport community members and surrounding areas. My husband and I will continue to enjoy the outdoors but now may have a bit more time to travel.


Associate professor

Rochester Institute of Technology

President and creative director

Dumbwaiter Design

President and founder

Izon Designs LLC

Age: 39

Education: BFA, graphic design, M.S., printing and publishing, Rochester Institute of Technology

Family: Single

Residence: West Henrietta

Professional responsibilities: As tenured faculty member in RIT's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, specializes in new media design and imaging. Founder of Dumbwaiter Design, a full-service new media design firm.

Community leadership: Board member, Rochester Advertising Federation; international advisory council, Adobe Partners by Design; academic support committee co-chairwoman, RIT Academic Senate; advisory board member, Simone Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at RIT; contributes professional services to Golisano Foundation, George Eastman House, New York Wine & Culinary Center and New York State Police

Surprising fact: I can play the Notre Dame Fight Song on a glockenspiel.

Ten years from now: My greatest passion is teaching. I would hope to find myself in the front of a classroom cultivating and nurturing the creative intellectual curiosity of our outstanding students. At Dumbwaiter, I expect to be collecting dividend checks and giving unsolicited advice to young entrepreneurs.


Chief business and financial officer, senior vice president

VirtualScopics Inc.

Age: 37

Education: B.S., accounting; MBA, SUNY Buffalo

Family: Husband, Derek; sons, 6 and 4; daughter, 2

Residence: Brighton

Professional responsibilities: Overall financial management, investor relations, Securities and Exchange Commission reporting, intellectual property, legal matters and overall business strategy and direction. Conducts frequent investor "road shows" and company presentations at industry conferences throughout the U.S., along with preparation and coordination of company's external communications, including press announcements.

Community leadership: Board member and finance committee member, 2009 board member, treasurer and chairwoman of finance committee, Continuing Developmental Services Inc.

Surprising fact: If it were not for my young family and Friendly's ice cream, my preference would be to spend a month hiking in a remote area.

Ten years from now: Traveling the world for the U.S. Olympic badminton team while sampling the fine wines of Chile.

Rashondra JACKSON


Hiscock & Barclay LLP

Age: 32

Education: B.A., political science, Le Moyne College, Syracuse; J.D., SUNY Buffalo

Family: Single

Residence: Webster

Professional responsibilities: Focuses practice in the areas of health care and human services and insurance coverage. Works with various regulatory aspects of health care law; handles complex legal insurance matters; counsels insurers, prepares coverage opinions, reservations of rights, draft disclaimer letters; and actively litigates insurance actions.

Community leadership: President, Rochester Black Bar Association; youth programs chairwoman, Rochester alumnae chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.; board member, South West Area Neighborhood Association; judicial election qualification commission member, 7th Judicial District; member, the Hon. Judith Kaye 7th Judicial District committee; motivational speaker, church youth and school career development programs

Surprising fact: I did not speak until I was 4 years old. My parents were very concerned and contacted my pediatrician to schedule an appointment. During the week of my scheduled appointment I spoke. My first words were: "May I have a glass of water, please." I am sure my parents can attest to the fact I have more than made up for my four years of silence.

Ten years from now: I see myself continuing to grow spiritually. I see myself married with children and continuing to have a positive impact in my community through service.

Chandy KEMP


Phillips Lytle LLP

Age: 39

Education: B.A., political science and interdisciplinary social sciences; J.D., SUNY Buffalo

Family: Husband, Christopher; son, 5; daughter, 2

Residence: LeRoy

Professional responsibilities: Advises lenders and developers in commercial real estate projects, including multifamily housing, shopping centers and hotels. Counsels municipalities and authorities in the issuance of bonds for capital projects. Acts as a mentor to new associates and summer clerks. Serves on Phillips Lytle's employee recognition committee.

Community leadership: Leader, Girl Scout Brownie Troop No. 2238, Batavia; board member and long-range planning committee member, Mercy Residential Services, a ministry of Sisters of Mercy; volunteer, Genesee County Adults with Developmental Disabilities; member, Batavia Business and Professional Women's Club

Surprising fact: The extent to which I can recollect everyday events (even things that happened decades ago) and retain bits of information. I surprised my classmates at our high school reunion with things I remembered about each of them and the stories I could recount. I'm a whiz at trivia games.

Ten years from now: Enjoying all life has to offer with my wonderful husband and our amazing children and continuing to make meaningful contributions to my profession and community. Hopefully, some items on my ever-growing "bucket list" will be accomplished (maybe riding in a blimp or visiting the Great Wall of China?).

Jeffrey KNAUSS

Worldwide product training manager

Xerox Corp.

Age: 38

Education: B.S., electrical engineering, University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio; MBA, finance and marketing, Simon Graduate School of Business, University of Rochester

Family: Wife, Sarah Hartman Knauss

Residence: Fairport

Professional responsibilities: Responsible for the strategy, curriculum development, design and delivery of training programs to support the worldwide launch of production printing products such as the iGen3. Focuses on continuous improvement and implementation of best practices to enhance the learning experience for sales, technical support and customers.

Community leadership: Board member, subcommittee member and vice chairman, Mary M. Gooley Hemophilia Center

Surprising fact: That my great-great-great-uncle is Gen. George Armstrong Custer ... though I would like to think that I have less reckless ambition.

Ten years from now: Over the next 10 years I look forward to finding new opportunities to make a difference in our community, especially working with children and my favorite hobby: golf. Professionally, I would like to be in a senior management position with a focus on operations utilizing my data analysis and process improvement skill set.



Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP

Age: 38

Education: B.A., English, theater and drama, University of Michigan; J.D., Stetson University, Fla.

Family: Husband, Jeff; daughter, 13; son, 8

Residence: Pittsford

Professional responsibilities: Engaged in an active legal practice serving a diverse client base with a focus on civil litigation in state and federal courts. Regularly litigates workplace claims, environmental issues, and general business disputes, and advocates for client rights.

Community leadership: Trustee, Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York; past vice president and council member, Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word; past president, Greater Rochester Association of Women Attorneys; board member, Women's Bar Association of the State of New York

Surprising fact: As a hobby, I am a published writer under an undisclosed pen name.

Ten years from now: Working to improve the practice of law and the delivery of legal services, mentoring young attorneys and continuing to serve the community through charitable activities.



Harter Secrest & Emery LLP

Age: 39

Education: B.A., English, SUNY Albany; J.D., Cornell University

Family: Wife, Nicole; two sons, 6 and 4

Residence: Elba, Genesee County

Professional responsibilities: Chairs Harter Secrest & Emery's labor and employment practice Group, which includes more than 15 attorneys in two regional offices. Advises employers in all areas of labor relations and employment law. Represents management before the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights, other federal and state agencies and federal and state courts.

Community leadership: Board member, services overview committee member, Hillside Children's Center Inc.; former board member, active fundraiser, American Lung Association- Finger Lakes Region Inc.; former board member, Regional Action Phone Inc.

Surprising fact: I think people would be most surprised to learn that I really enjoy acting and performing in plays and musical productions at my church.

Ten years from now: I will be incredibly proud of how my sons have grown into young men and amazed by how quickly time has passed. On a professional level, I hope to be working in a practice group that has doubled in size and represents the best employers both locally and across the United States.


Director of finance and controller

NaturalNano Inc.

Age: 37

Education: BBA, finance, St. Bonaventure University

Family: Wife, Nicole; twin sons, 6

Residence: Gates

Professional responsibilities: Responsible for all financial, accounting and human resources matters, including financial reporting, budgeting and forecasting, internal controls, managing cash flow and maintaining banking and investor relationships. Directs and organizes the financial closing, internal reporting and cash disbursements on time, accurately and in compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley requirements.

Community leadership: Board chairman and subcommittee member, YMCA of Greater Rochester - Westside branch; board member, YMCA of Greater Rochester - corporate; Eucharistic minister, committee member and volunteer, St. Theodore's Church; volunteer T-ball coach, Chili Youth Sports; Walk America volunteer and team captain, March of Dimes

Surprising fact: Most people are surprised to find out that since our children were born and my wife became a stay-at-home mom, she, who has a degree in mathematics and computer science, manages all of the banking and finances of our household.

Ten years from now: I hope to be continuing and expanding my involvement within the community along with my sons who will be joining me to give back to the community that has given us so much. With whatever free time remains, I hope to be teaching sailing in my early retirement.

Nicole MARRO


Nixon Peabody LLP

Age: 39

Education: B.A., American studies, University of Notre Dame; J.D., SUNY Buffalo

Family: Husband, Michael; two daughters, 8 and 5

Residence: Victor

Professional responsibilities: Focuses legal practice on estate planning, including the preparation of wills, trusts and prenuptial agreements. Provides advice on related estate, gift and income tax issues as well as charitable planning matters. Represents individual and corporate fiduciaries in the administration of trusts, estates and guardianships.

Community leadership: Board member, secretary and policy development committee chairwoman, Heritage Christian Services Foundation; graduate, Leadership Rochester Program; Seventh District representative to executive committee, trusts and estates section, New York State Bar Association; member, Moms In Motion Fitness Team; coach, Victor-Farmington United Youth Soccer Club; professional advisors liaison committee member, Rochester Area Community Foundation

Surprising fact: My husband, Mike, is also my high school sweetheart. We have been married 14 years and dated for eight years before that.

Ten years from now: Still counseling my valued clients with thoughtful, expert care by day and trying to keep up with two energetic, involved teenagers at night. I hope to have instilled in my daughters the same sense of personal responsibility, quiet leadership and compassion for others that my parents instilled in me. Finishing a half Ironman.


Area vice president

Providium Consulting Group, a division of Gallagher Benefit Services Inc.

Age: 37

Education: B.S., business administration, Roberts Wesleyan College; MPA, public administration, SUNY College at Brockport

Family: Wife, Kendra; two daughters, 10 and 8; son, 5

Residence: Spencerport

Professional responsibilities: Provides strategic advice, service and employee benefit solutions to the clients of Providium Consulting Group. Responsible for leading and developing the account service team and serving as a member of the senior management team, which oversees all aspects of the firm's operations.

Community leadership: Council of Leaders advisory board member, Roberts Wesleyan College; volunteer coach, Happy 5 Soccer, First Bible Baptist Church; broker advisory board member, Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield; broker advisory board member, Preferred Care; volunteer coach, men's soccer reserve team, Roberts Wesleyan College

Surprising fact: During my freshman year of college I was hit by a car while jogging the day before trying out for the Liberty University Soccer Team. By God's grace, I made the team and earned a starting position.

Ten years from now: I would see myself enjoying my family to the fullest and serving the Lord in the capacity in which he leads. I also hope to continue to gain professional experience and knowledge that will enable me to largely contribute to my place of business and in our community.

Hon. Stephen MILLER


State of New York

Age: 39

Education: B.A., history/psychology, SUNY Buffalo; M.S., education, Nazareth College of Rochester; J.D., SUNY Buffalo

Family: Wife, Tracey; two daughters, 8 and 6

Residence: Rochester

Professional responsibilities: Hears cases of those arrested in the city of Rochester. Exercises preliminary jurisdiction over felonies and hears misdemeanors and violations to their completion.

Community leadership: Executive pastor, Church of Love Faith Center Inc.; education committee member, Rochester Christian School; board member, human resources subcommittee member, YMCA of Greater Rochester

Surprising fact: I am the first native Rochesterian of African-American descent elected to the judiciary in the Seventh Judicial District.

Ten years from now: I see myself enjoying a second term in office.


Chief operating officer

Upstate Roofing & Painting Inc.

Age: 36

Education: Attended SUNY College at Alfred; pursued degree in architectural engineering technology

Family: Wife, Kimberly; son, 14; daughter, 7

Residence: Gananda

Professional responsibilities: Oversees all daily production activities. Performs project management duties for multiple contracts. Negotiates agreements with a variety of vendors. Assists with the development and implementation of new sales and marketing strategies. Oversees and assists with annual compensation reviews for all field personnel. Manages vehicle fleet.

Community leadership: Advisory board member, SUNY Alfred; board member, Monroe County Court Appointed Special Advocates; fundraiser and team organizer, home project, Flower City Habitat for Humanity Inc.; charity golf tournament committee member, Mary Parkes Center for Allergy & Pulmonary Care; house and social committee member, Blue Heron Hills Country Club; service committee member, Builders Exchange of Rochester

Surprising fact: I enjoy watching "chick flicks" with my wife Kim and "Pixar movies" with my kids. I'm even known to shed a few tears while watching both (but don't tell anyone)!

Ten years from now: I hope to have figured out how to balance my career and family life by helping lead the growth of Upstate while guiding my children down the path of success so they can fulfill their lifelong dreams. I also intend to expand my volunteering. Finally, I would like to have shaved at least 10 strokes off my golf game!


Regional vice president

Frontier Communications Corp.

Age: 39

Education: B.S., economics, St. Bonaventure University; MBA, University of Notre Dame

Family: Wife, Margaret; son, 6; daughter, 5

Residence: Penfield

Professional responsibilities: Leads Frontier's commercial sales and customer support team, which is responsible for the growth and retention of over 75,000 business customers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, New York, Tennessee and West Virginia. Develops and implements sales and marketing strategies. Oversees all hiring, training, retention and recognition of the team.

Community leadership: Board member, American Cancer Society; board member, Rochester Rehabilitation Center Inc.; board of advisors member, Sports Net; board member, eBusiness Association; board member, High Tech Business Council; past president, Rochester chapter, St. Bonaventure University Alumni Association; committee member, St. Bonaventure University Gaudete Medal Awards

Surprising fact: Many friends and colleagues are surprised to learn that I'm actually under 40 and still eligible to receive this award! Must be due to my love of 70s pop culture.

Ten years from now: Living in a vibrant Rochester community with our family, enjoying our kids' high school years, leading a growing business, breaking 80 on the golf course and attending NCAA championship games for both Notre Dame football and St. Bonaventure basketball.


Associate director of public health

Monroe County

Age: 31

Education: B.S., M.S., nursing, University of Rochester

Family: Single

Residence: Irondequoit

Professional responsibilities: Responsible for the general coordination, planning and evaluation of programs within the Monroe County Department of Public Health. Oversees the development and implementation of departmentwide program policies. Promotes innovation and provides clinical and technical assistance to health department personnel and community organizations. Coordinates and directs the health department's research activities.

Community leadership: Board member, People of Color in Crisis Inc., Brooklyn; medical vice chairwoman, Rochester affiliate, Black Leadership Commission on AIDS; past president, Finger Lakes Association of Nurses in AIDS Care; advisory board member, Irondequoit Youth Bureau; member, African-American Health Coalition; member, Latino Health Coalition; member, Lyell Avenue Area 230 Group; member, New York State Youth Development Task Force; member, expert panel for HIV testing, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Surprising fact: I am a very shy person. It actually takes quite a bit of effort for me to speak and present in public forums, although I tend to perform well in those areas. I am much more comfortable working behind the scenes to just get things done.

Ten years from now: I hope to be much more involved with my family and with the community and more engaged in patient care. I also see the administrative portion of my career expanding into the areas of science and research policy related to HIV/STD prevention and public health preparedness.

Christine PALMIERE

Manager of technology and analytics, global supply chain

CooperVision Inc.

Age: 39

Education: B.S., industrial management, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.; executive MBA, Rochester Institute of Technology

Family: Husband, Jamie; daughter, 5; son, 3

Residence: Victor

Professional responsibilities: Responsible for designing, developing and implementing an integrated supply chain planning system, the supporting best practice business processes and key performance indicators to achieve a world class supply chain in the medical devices industry.

Community leadership: Member, APICS; board member, Maplewood YMCA; founder, Christy's Crew, Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

Surprising fact: As a child, I was very reserved, relatively shy and definitely not into public speaking! When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, at age 38 with two young children at home, I became inspired to tell my story. A side of me that no one had seen, not even my family, emerged. I talked to the papers, to television, to anyone who would listen. If I can save one person's life by increasing awareness, then I have triumphed!

Ten years from now: Happily living and enjoying my life with my two beautiful children and my husband. After having had cancer, and beating it, I plan to enjoy every moment of every day. I also hope to be celebrating the eradication of breast cancer and supporting others who have to endure this disease.

Michelle PEDZICH

Director of compliance

HR Works Inc.

Age: 36

Education: B.A., psychology, SUNY College at Geneseo; M.S., human resource development, Rochester Institute of Technology

Family: Husband, Keith; daughter, 6

Residence: Fairport

Professional responsibilities: Directs the human resources helpline, employee handbook services and compliance audit areas for clients. Provides best practice guidance and resource development for the company's human resources consultants throughout the region. Participates in public relations initiatives.

Community leadership: Volunteer, Safe Journey; reader,

Reachout Radio, WXXI Public Broadcasting Council; community portfolio reviewer, School Without Walls; member, Leadership Rochester Class of 2008; member, National Human Resources Association and the Society for Human Resource Management

Surprising fact: On most days, I get up at 5 a.m. and run two to three miles.

Ten years from now: I hope to continue balancing life at work and home while actively participating in community service initiatives in Rochester. I plan to continue in a leadership role at HR Works, continuing to offer quality services to meet the changing needs of our clients.

Jeremy RACO

Financial adviser

Centra Financial Group


Tonjer Enterprise ATM Co.

Age: 39

Education: Graduate, Brighton High School; Special Forces, counterterrorism, United States Marine Corps

Family: Wife, Lori; three daughters, 15, 9 and 6

Residence: Penfield

Professional responsibilities: Responsible for helping individual clients build, retain, protect and distribute wealth for themselves and their families through a variety of investment and insurance solutions. Helps closely held businesses with their current benefit needs and succession plans. Operates an ATM business. Installs, loads and maintains ATM machines for local businesses.

Community leadership: Founding committee member and former chairman, Megan Markus Fund; member, sports committee, Al Sigl Center for Rehabilitation Agencies Inc.; member, Million Dollar Round Table; member, National Association of Financial Advisors

Surprising fact: I am an avid wine maker with my father, specializing in "Old Vine" Zinfandel, and a medal winner in the New York State fair for homemade wines. A family process, handed down through generations, we are proud of our Italian "vino."

Ten years from now: I expect to be traveling extensively with my wife, Lori. In addition, I hope to be a "Top of the Table" qualifier, which represents only the top 2 percent of financial advisers. I also would like to have been a chairperson and an honorary chairperson for the Al Sigl Center Sports Committee.

Andrew RAUS

Director of community planning and design

Bergmann Associates Inc.

Age: 35

Education: B.S., biology, West Chester University, West Chester, Penn.; master's in urban and regional planning, SUNY at Albany

Family: Wife, Carolyn; daughter, 4

Residence: Fairport

Professional responsibilities: Leads a team of multi-disciplined design professionals in the preparation of waterfront, downtown, transportation and general municipal plans throughout New York State. Responsible for team leadership and mentoring, business development, project management, sustainability in practice and overall quality assurance.

Community leadership: Board member, Mental Health Association of Rochester/Monroe County Inc.; board member, Western Erie Canal Alliance; board member, Genesee Finger Lakes Section, American Planning Association; planning board member, Village of Fairport

Surprising fact: My career requires significant involvement in public meeting facilitation and consensus building. I once avoided public speaking at all costs but now recognize it as one of my strengths. In the same vein, most people would probably classify me as an extrovert, but those who know me understand that I enjoy one-on-one interaction more than large-crowd events.

Ten years from now: I hope to be a supportive husband, father and son as well as an active member of my community. I look forward to learning from my colleagues and participating in the continued evolution of my profession. I hope I can be a mentor to individuals interested in pursuing the design professions as well as the value of volunteerism in career development.


Program manager, program management office

Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield

Age: 39

Family: Wife, Suzanne; son, 3

Residence: Pittsford

Education: B.S., photographic and digital communications, Rochester Institute of Technology; B.S., business management and marketing, Keuka College

Professional responsibilities: Guides teams and executive sponsors through the strategic project execution process to ensure effective and efficient product/service launches. Facilitates change management, risk planning, enforces enterprise policies and promotes continuous improvement. Acts as adviser, coach and quality auditor throughout a project. Collects metrics data, evaluates and reports to senior leadership on performance.

Community leadership: Board member, People Rebuilding and Living in Dignity Inc.; Heart Walk prize/awards committee chairman, American Heart Association; program leader, corporate Heart Walk team, Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield; brand and marketing committee member, Corn Hill Navigations; presenter, 2008 Health Care New Product Innovation Design & Development Conference; branding and marketing consultant to non-profits

Surprising fact: My interest in World War II. Since my father was a combat veteran from World War II, I heard firsthand the stories of courage, dedication and sacrifice. In 2007, I traveled to Normandy, France, to retrace the events of D-Day, June 6, 1944, and honor the fallen.

Ten years from now: Valuing what the Rochester region can offer a family, I have no plans to relocate. As for my professional path, I envision an executive leadership position with a creative, progressive organization guiding a talented team. I'm committed to increasing my community involvement and career growth ensuring I "leave things better than when I found them."


Upstate director of business outreach and acting regional

director for Western New York

Empire State Development Corp.

Age: 39

Education: B.A., psychology, Michigan State University

Family: Wife, Kristin; two sons, 13 and 8

Residence: West Irondequoit

Professional responsibilities: Works to ensure that Empire State Development is positioned as the premier source for economic development across New York State by aligning the agency with the needs of businesses. Responsible for creating a world-class business retention and expansion program, as well as helping to attract new businesses to the state.

Community leadership: Vice chairman, executive and finance/human resources committee member, Arc of Monroe County; president, Irondequoit Vikings Youth Football and Cheerleading Association; board member, Small Business Council of Rochester; volunteer, Compeer Inc.

Surprising fact: I do most of the cooking, sewing and ironing at my house. Cooking is a good wind-down from a long day and gives me time to catch up with the family. And I like my shirts ironed a certain way so I just do whatever needs ironing.

Ten years from now: I will continue to be the best possible role model and father for my children. Along with my wife, they continue to be my inspiration to make our community a better place to live, work and raise a family. I hope I can help improve the economic climate of New York and return it to the Empire State.

Timothy SAUR

Senior vice president of finance, operations, and service

Durst Image Technology USA LLC

Age: 36

Education: B.S., accounting, SUNY College at Fredonia; MBA, finance, University of Notre Dame; Ph.D., international business development, University of Southern Mississippi

Family: Wife, Tera; two sons, 8 and 6; daughter, 2

Residence: Victor

Professional responsibilities: Reports directly to the worldwide CEO in Europe. Manages the North American operational functions and directs the service business segment. Leads a number of global initiatives.

Community leadership: Board member, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; board member, strategic service research council, Aberdeen Group; advisory council member, Interlog; assistant coach youth soccer, Victor

Surprising fact: Most people are unaware of my deep interest in the history of the American economy. I read as much as possible on the topic. I am fascinated that so few colleges offer courses on the subject because I believe it is vitally important for future business leaders.

Ten years from now: I plan to continue to acquire both knowledge and skills that will lead to the success of both private and public entities within the community. In 10 years my children will be facing college and high school so I hope to continue to provide them with a passion for learning.



Bonadio & Co. LLP

Age: 36

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

Family: Wife, Tara; two daughters, 7 and 5; son, 6

Residence: Fairport

Professional responsibilities: As an audit principal provides value-added commentary and guidance to assist clients operate their organization. Acts as trusted adviser to clients. As a firm leader, responsible for training and guiding staff to succeed in all of their efforts.

Community leadership: Founding director, Webster Blue Fins Diving Inc.; board and finance committee member, Crisis Nursery of Greater Rochester Inc.; assistant treasurer, Dudley Elementary School PTA

Surprising fact: As a member of the three-time SUNY athletic conference champion SUNY Geneseo Blue Wave, I was also named an NCAA two-time All-American in 1m and 3m springboard diving after competing in nationals in Atlanta in 2003.

Ten years from now: Continuing to enjoy my family and being actively involved in all of my children's endeavors. Entering the partnership of the Bonadio Group-Upstate New York's largest CPA firm. Continuing to serve my clients and the community with the same passion I bring today.


Associate attorney

Nixon Peabody LLP

Age: 33

Education: B.S., biology, Nazareth College of Rochester; J.D., Albany Law School, Union University

Family: Wife, Elizabeth

Residence: Elba, Genesee County

Professional responsibilities: Law practice is focused on providing advice and representation to clients in all manner of business immigration proceedings, as well as in the areas of corporate immigration compliance and employer sanctions. Represents corporate and individual fiduciaries in contested trusts and estates matters in surrogates' courts throughout New York.

Community leadership: Board member and treasurer, Education Enterprise of New York Inc.; board chairman, EnCompass: Resources for Learning Inc.; board member, Jamaica Advantage Through Sports for Youth Inc.; planning board member and immediate past chairman, Village of Elba

Surprising fact: After much deliberation (and raised eyebrows from my wife), over the summer I got a license and bought a motorcycle-no, not a Harley. In nice weather you'll find me commuting back and forth to work on it. Wave if you see someone on a black Honda with a rather "loud" black and white jacket and matching helmet!

Ten years from now: A devoted husband and father and the leader of a talented group of professionals providing outstanding service to clients. A community volunteer who has made and continues to make a difference in improving our schools and helping kids and families who struggle with learning differences.

Thomas TETTE


DST Trusted Advisors Inc.

Age: 39

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

Family: Wife, Maria; two sons, 10 and 8; daughter, 6

Residence: Spencerport

Professional responsibilities: Maintains client relationships. Makes sure clients receive the service they deserve. Assists in problem solving with clients' business and financial matters. Assists with overseeing the day-to-day operations of the firm. Oversees the operation of DST Payroll Services Inc., a division of DST Trusted Advisors.

Community leadership: Treasurer, Gates Fire District; treasurer, Gates-Chili Chamber of Commerce Inc.; board member and finance committee member, Genesee Land Trust Inc.

Surprising fact: Being a "conservative" CPA. It would not be uncommon for me to be caught singing "Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi while playing "Rock Band" with my 10- and 8-year-old sons ... or cutting the rug with my 6-year-old daughter playing "Dance, Dance Revolution."

Ten years from now: I want to be known as a dedicated, loyal and strong husband, father and friend. I see myself as managing partner of our growing and successful firm. I will be surrounded with an incredible management team, and together we will have a profound impact not only on our clients, but our staff and the community.


President, North America and global operations

Harris Interactive Inc.

Age: 37

Education: B.S., accounting, St. John Fisher College; MBA, Columbia University

Family: Wife, Kerry; daughter, 6; son, 2

Residence: Webster

Professional responsibilities: Responsible for leadership, operating plan and profitability for North American business and global operations in Europe and Asia supporting $200 million in annual revenue for a publicly traded market research firm. Participates in management and strategic direction for the firm as a corporate officer and member of the executive committee.

Community leadership: Board member and development committee member, Junior Achievement of Rochester, New York Area Inc.; finance committee member, United Methodist Church; finance committee member, Rochester Yacht Club

Surprising fact: I am an avid boater and fisherman with an ambition to circumnavigate each of the Great Lakes. Last summer I made a 110-mile boat trip from our home on Iron-dequoit Bay to our cottage on the St. Lawrence River.

Ten years from now: With support from my family, friends and colleagues, I will continue to be a leader in business and the community while enjoying the most important roles in my life as husband and father.


Manager, training and development

Action for a Better Community Inc.

Age: 39

Education: B.S., criminal justice, SUNY College at Brockport; M.S., adult education, human resource development, SUNY Buffalo

Family: Wife, Bridgette; two sons, 18 and 7; daughter, 12

Residence: Rochester

Professional responsibilities: Responsible for the oversight of training and development activities associated with one-on-one, small- or large-group settings for the organization. Oversees agency leadership development program, career development tracks and other human resources functions in the department.

Community leadership: Deacon, Outreach Temple, Church of God in Christ United; member, Eta Rho Lambda chapter, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.; member, Prince Hall Free and Accepted Masons, Eureka Lodge No. 36; program and planning committee chairman, Rochester Primary Care Network; member, Center for Dispute Settlement Inc.; member, Leadership Rochester Class of 2009

Surprising fact: I am a "momma's boy" and cherish my mother's family values. In addition, I used to be very shy and reclusive and had a problem speaking in front of people. My parents, mentors and pastor instilled core values that have made me unafraid to speak in front of people today.

Ten years from now: I pray to see my children graduate from college, continue to serve God spiritually and influence others to follow in his path of righteousness. Lastly, I hope to serve in a greater capacity of leadership in a non-profit sector and travel with my soul mate (wife) to some Caribbean island.


Regional vice president

First American Equipment Finance

Age: 30

Education: B.S., business administration, St. John Fisher College

Family: Single

Residence: Penfield

Professional responsibilities: Regional vice president for business development activities in the mid-Atlantic region, managing a team of seven commercial account officers. Involved in the marketing, pricing and structuring of equipment leasing transactions. Responsible for an annual sales budget of $30 million in new business volume and the corresponding profit and loss.

Community leadership: Board president and former big brother, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Rochester; member and Future Leasing Leaders Institute graduate, Equipment Leasing and Finance Association; member, Monroe County Planning Board; town leader, Penfield Republican Committee

Surprising fact: I'm a little embarrassed to admit this fact, but the coincidence with the number 40 makes it tough to pass up! In September I attended my 40th Dave Matthews concert. Over the past decade I've traveled as far as Florida and California to see the band perform.

Ten years from now: I see myself continuing to learn from others and being very active in the community and commercial lending industry. I am deeply committed to the Greater Rochester area, and I hope that I can make a difference in its growth and overall success.

Jason WOOD

Senior manager, enterprise risk services

Deloitte & Touche LLP

Age: 32

Education: BBA, accounting, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas; MBA, information assurance, University of Dallas

Family: Wife, Heather; two sons, 21 and 7; daughter, 11

Residence: Pittsford

Professional responsibilities: Growing and managing Deloitte's Upstate New York enterprise risk services practice and working with local clients to help them solve their toughest risk challenges. Internally serves as the Upstate New York diversity and inclusion champion. Serves as an educator at St. John Fisher College and SUNY College at Geneseo.

Community leadership: Board chairman, Rochester chapter, Institute of Internal Auditors; board member and vice president, Syracuse chapter, Information Systems and Audit Control Association; board member and information technology chairman, Rochester chapter, New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants; soccer coach, Mustangs Soccer, den leader, Pack No. 291, Boy Scouts of America; advisory board member, accounting and management information systems, St. John Fisher College

Surprising fact: I was raised as a small-town Southern boy, with a humble upbringing, and was the first male in my family to go to college. I met my lovely wife while studying at Oxford University in the United Kingdom and was nicknamed Spiderman since I climbed the walls in between buildings.

Ten years from now: First, I will focus on being the best husband and father I can be. I hope to continue my contribution to the Rochester and upstate community in professional, civic, charitable and academic roles. I hope to continue the growth in my career and be a leader within my firm, and have the ability to grow the upstate practice.

11/07/2008 (C) Rochester Business Journal

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