This Week
  • HBT Architects took a risk and parted with some clients on its new path.

  • East High School teacher and blogger Kelly LaLonde speaks out about education.

  • GM injection: The automaker has invested $150 million here since 2011.

  • Placing a loved one in an elder care facility is not an easy decision for caregivers.

  • Robert W. Hurlbut heads a 1,400-employee business started by his grandparents.

  • The new edition of Explore Greater Rochester is here.

2013 Forty Under 40 honorees

Rochester Business Journal
November 15, 2013

Nathaniel Bank
Associate, business and finance department
Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP
Age: 31
Education: B.S., applied economics and management, Cornell University; J.D., SUNY Buffalo
Family: Girlfriend Mariel Musshafen
Residence: South Wedge neighborhood
Professional responsibilities: The practice of law with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and finance, securities law and not-for-profit organizations. Counseling and advising clients on business-related legal issues, and drafting and negotiating contracts related to the formation, operation and transfer of businesses.
Professional and community leadership: President, Rochester Young Professionals Inc.; advisory committee member, RocCity Coalition; diversity committee member, Monroe County Bar Association; grants committee member, NextGen Rochester.
Surprising fact: The most rewarding experiences of my life were living in the "black dorm" at Cornell and traveling alone throughout Mexico, which hammered home the understanding that life is more rewarding when you are willing to throw yourself into uncertain and uncomfortable situations.
Ten years from now: I see myself as an active contributor to a thriving community in downtown Rochester. I hope to be working closely with community leaders who have dedicated themselves to developing our city's rich culture and entrepreneurial spirit, particularly within the urban core.

Kristie Beach
Senior manager
EFP Rotenberg LLP
Age: 32
Education: B.S., accounting, SUNY College at Geneseo
Family: Husband Kevin; son, 2
Residence: Webster
Professional responsibilities: A senior manager in the attest department at EFP Rotenberg. Devotes time to government and school district clients. Service line leader and go-to person in the office for governmental audits.
Professional and community leadership: Vice chairwoman and finance committee chairwoman, Rochester Hearing & Speech Center; board member, finance committee member and audit committee vice chairwoman, Al Sigl Community of Agencies.
Surprising fact: I realized how rewarding community service could be at a young age when I was a camp counselor at Camp Good Days and Special Times for many summers as a teenager.
Ten years from now: I hope to have expanded my family with my husband, Kevin, as well as to have continued to focus on my career in public accounting. I also plan to stay actively involved in the community, giving back through opportunities to work with non-profit organizations.

Guy Beaudoin
Vice president/manager, Central and Western New York complex
Charles Schwab Corp.
Age: 39
Education: B.A., English and philosophy, Salem     State University in Salem, Mass.
Family: Wife Jordan; two daughters, 7 and 3; son, 4
Residence: Pittsford
Professional responsibilities: Creates a culture that attracts, develops and retains industry-leading financial professionals. Provides high-quality financial planning, money management and banking to individuals and institutions.
Professional and community leadership: Board member and development committee member, Boys and Girls Clubs of Rochester; board member, Monroe Community Hospital Foundation.
Surprising fact: I am a collector of post-World War II beat novels and award-winning critic of Jack Kerouac literature.
Ten years from now: My wife, Jordan, and I see ourselves highly involved in our three children's high school academics and activities. While acquiring a broader span of control at Schwab, I'd like to also impact the quality of life for inner city children by improving facilities and enrollment at the Boys and Girls Clubs.

Brian Brady
Vice president, financial reporting and planning
Pictometry International Corp.
Age: 34
Education: B.S., accounting, SUNY College at Geneseo
Family: Wife Kristina Marquez; two daughters, 2 and 1 1/2 months
Residence: Webster
Professional responsibilities: Review of technical accounting matters, accounting for international subsidiaries and financial reporting and forecasting. Leads a companywide customer relationship management implementation with the objective of enhancing and strengthening existing policies and procedures within the sales and order fulfillment functions.
Professional and community leadership: Board member, treasurer, executive committee member and finance committee chairman, the Center for Youth.
Surprising fact: I am an Eagle Scout. My final project was refurbishing a warming hut at Highland Forest Park outside of Syracuse. I have not gone camping since leaving Scouts!
Ten years from now: Balancing time between my beautiful family and a challenging and motivating job in finance, while continuing to contribute to the community.

Leonard Brock
Executive for special projects
The Children's Agenda
Age: 32
Education: B.S. in communication studies and master's in public administration, SUNY College at Brockport; Ed.D., St. John Fisher College
Family: Wife Keda; son, 12; daughter, 5
Residence: Rochester
Professional responsibilities: Responsible for developing the new K-12 education track for the agency. Serves as alliance director and offers leadership and staff support, given the Children's Agenda's new role as backbone organization to ROC the Future. Works with leading institutions to identify benchmarks and outcome indicators and seeks to scale best practices and evidenced program models.
Professional and community leadership: President, Community Empowerment Opportunities LLC; chairman, local campaign for black male achievement; member, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.; board of contributors member, Democrat and Chronicle; member, Rochester Planning Commission
Surprising fact: I was raised in one of the most challenged areas in Rochester and was considered a young person least likely to succeed due to environmental conditions and social norms. I never aspired to achieve much academically; however, I always envisioned success.
Ten years from now: I see myself as a major influencer impacting the lives of generations. I see myself as a leading author, major philanthropist and notable social entrepreneur in the area of community economic development.

Lomax Campbell
Assistant to the vice president
Division of Economic Development and Innovative Workforce Services, Monroe Community College
Age: 30
Education: A.S., business administration, Monroe Community College; B.S., graphic media marketing, and MBA, Rochester Institute of Technology
Family: Fiancee Ashley Anderson
Residence: Webster
Professional responsibilities: Provides leadership and support on high-profile research and development project teams for the division. Liaison for business and community initiatives. Manages career exploration and labor market information programs. Serves on collegewide committees supporting strategic planning, facilities modification and the completion agenda for black male students.
Professional and community leadership: Senior deacon, Eureka Lodge No. 36, Free and Accepted Masons, Prince Hall affiliated; vice president, Eta Rho Lambda Chapter, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.; charter member, Rotary Club of Monroe; board member, Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Rochester; board member, Rochester Institute of Technology Alumni Association; community partnership board member, Genesee Center for the Arts and Education.
Surprising fact: I received formal training in classical voice and electric guitar at Hochstein School of Music & Dance while in high school and while working my first job as a freelance capoeira instructor for the Rochester City School District, by means of a grant obtained by Action for a Better Community.
Ten years from now: I see myself serving in executive leadership capacities in a public or private organization and perhaps my fraternal networks.

Mona Chitre
Vice President, pharmacy management
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
Age: 38
Education: doctorate, College of Pharmacy, Rutgers University, New Jersey
Family: Husband Amit; three sons, 9, 6 and 3
Residence: Victor
Professional responsibilities: Responsible for effectively managing $1 billion in drug costs for the organization, including strategic planning, operational and clinical oversight. Through collaboration with various business units, helps ensure members have access to safe, effective and affordable medications.
Professional and community leadership: Board member, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester; editorial board member, CDMI Report on drug benefit management; adjunct faculty member, Wegmans School of Pharmacy, St. John Fisher College; health and wellness committee member, Victor Central School District; volunteer, Relay for Life of Victor.
Surprising fact: I met my husband on a plane flying to India. Just before takeoff, he left his seat to sit down beside me. He introduced himself, and the rest is history. We’ve been married for 13 years. That seat beside me was the only empty seat on the plane; it was fate.
Ten years from now: I’m not sure where I’ll be in 10 years, but I’d like to think I will have maximized every day. I will have cherished every precious moment with my kids, enjoyed the company of family and friends and continued to do fulfilling work that helps people in our community.

Gregory Coughlin
Partner
Harter Secrest & Emery LLP
Age: 39
Education: B.A., international business and economics, SUNY College at Brockport; J.D.,Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, New York City
Family: Wife Jill; two daughters, 10 and 3; son, 7
Residence: Penfield
Professional responsibilities: Focuses on merger and acquisition transactions and general corporate matters. Participates in the firm’s hiring process and is a member of its legal opinion committee.
Professional and community leadership: Board member, Society for the Protection and Care of Children.
Surprising fact: It is not noticeable yet, but I am experiencing some male-pattern baldness.
Ten years from now: I will be sending my children off to college, enjoying both my professional and personal life, and I hope to be spending not an inconsequential amount of my free time on Keuka Lake.

Jason DeLaurentiis
Partner
DeMott & Smith CPAs P.C.
Age: 33
Education: B.S., accounting, SUNY College at Geneseo
Family: Wife Sara, daughter, 1 month
Residence: Pittsford
Professional responsibilities: Manages firm, including client services for majority of firm’s individual and business clients, new client development, staff supervision and training, recruiting and hiring of staff and interns, annual accounting and taxation technical updates and coordination of independent peer review every three years.
Professional and community leadership: Treasurer and resource committee member, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children; member, School of Business Alumni Connections Council, SUNY College at Geneseo; volunteer guest speaker, SUNY Geneseo and SUNY College at Brockport.
Surprising fact: As a child, I had a cameo appearance in a low-budget baseball movie. Sadly, it wasn’t “The Sandlot” and probably has never been viewed by anyone. (We were never sure if the director really used film or not.)
Ten years from now: Professionally, managing DeMott & Smith under the same values and principles set forth by the founding partners. Striving to provide the highest level of service to our clients and continuing to be active in the Rochester community while building a family and enjoying parenthood and time with friends and family.

Carey Ann Denefrio
Confidential law clerk to Magistrate Judge Jonathan Feldman
U.S. District Court
Age: 38
Education: B.A., political science, Boston College; J.D., Albany Law School
Family: Husband Timothy Lyster; son, 3 months
Residence: Rochester
Professional responsibilities: Works on federal criminal and civil cases and assists judge with the cases before him. Conducts legal research, drafts and edits judicial opinions, drafts bench memoranda, assists with all aspects of trial and trial preparation, attends court proceedings and keeps the judge abreast of case developments.
Professional and community leadership: Board member, grants committee member and fund development committee member, Foundation of the Monroe County Bar; board member and fund development committee member, Catholic Charities Community Services; nominating committee member, Genesee Center for the Arts and Education.
Surprising fact: Before law school I traveled around the world for two years, and I have visited 30 countries.
Ten years from now: I hope to still be enjoying the practice of law and the legal community. I plan to continue to be actively engaged in community service. I hope to be respected by my peers for both my legal work and community contributions. I also look forward to spending quality time with my family and watching my newborn son grow.

Paul DeSarra
Practice director, business intelligence
Inergex Inc.
Age: 39
Education: B.S., information and decision systems, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh
Family: Wife Erin; son, 2; daughter, 11 months
Residence: Webster
Professional responsibilities: Responsible for strategic direction, overall customer project delivery and working closely with the team to find new opportunities in business analytics and reporting. Manages the practice area profit and loss and the Inergex internal reporting environment.
Professional and community leadership: Board member and audit and finance committee member, Heritage Christian Services Inc.
Surprising fact: I’m a huge fan of Disney World—the whole experience and the ability to creatively manage crowds using technology. I love walking through Disney and trying to figure out how everything works. Bucket list: I’m running the Walt Disney World Marathon in January 2014.
Ten years from now: Wow, my kids will be 11 and 12 and I will have been married for 13 years. I can’t imagine what that is going to be like, and I hear time really goes fast, so I plan to cherish it now and experience and enjoy life today.

Michael Doughty
Assistant superintendent for instruction
Monroe No. 1 BOCES
Age: 38
Education: B.S., elementary education, SUNY College at Geneseo; M.S. and Certificate of Advanced Study, education administration, SUNY College at Brockport; Ed.D., University of Rochester
Family: Wife Theresa; two daughters, 11 and 7
Residence: Hilton
Professional responsibilities: Responsible for special education programs, career and technical education programs, adult education, GED, literacy programs, regional professional development, technology services and the Regional Information Center. Responsible for 1,099 of the 1,380 Monroe No. 1 BOCES employees and budgets exceeding $103 million.
Professional and community leadership: Board president, Rochester School for the Deaf; board president, Spencerport-Greece Marlins Swim Club.
Surprising fact: I play the cello. One of my jobs as an undergrad at SUNY Geneseo was to drive the Zamboni. I am on the “Friday Morning Show” on WBER, 90.5 FM.
Ten years from now: We are in a time of unprecedented change in K-12 education. The opportunities to contribute are more dynamic than ever. I only hope that 10 years from now I am making a difference for the children of our region and state.

Vincent Esposito
Regional director, Finger Lakes office, executive director, Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council
Empire State Development Corp.
Age: 37
Education: Course work in computer science, SUNY College at Geneseo
Family: Wife Jennifer Johnson; daughter, 3
Residence: Irondequoit
Professional responsibilities: Oversees economic development for Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the nine-county region, which includes serving as executive director of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council.
Professional and community leadership: President, Irondequoit Kiwanis Club; former Monroe County legislator
Surprising fact: I am more Irish than Italian (by heritage, not appetite).
Ten years from now: I hope to still be raising my family here and serving the public to help make my hometown even better than it already is.

Corina Folts
Interior designer/project manager
Edge Architecture PLLC
Age: 32
Education: B.S., interior design, Art Institute of Pittsburgh
Family: Husband Marcus
Residence: Rochester
Professional responsibilities: Involved in the design of each project, provides project management, leads the firm’s interior design services and works closely with clients, consultants and the Edge team through all project phases.
Professional and community leadership: Professional member, American Society of Interior Designers; board member, DePaul Community Services; planning committee member, Purse for Change, Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley; former dance and promotional team director and volunteer coordinator for the Rochester Knighthawks, Americans and Rattlers.
Surprising fact: I previously owned a promotional modeling company (2008-12). Clients included Dundee Brewing Co., Seagram’s Escapes, Rochester RazorSharks and the Skycoasters.
Ten years from now: I expect to own my own interior design company or be on my way to becoming partner in an architectural and interior design firm. I look forward to my continued work with DePaul Community Services and the Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley.

Gerald Furciniti
Portfolio manager/senior equity analyst
QCI Asset Management Inc.
Age: 37
Education: B.S., biology, and MBA, Rochester Institute of Technology
Family: Wife Laura; two sons, 5 and 3; daughter, 5 months
Residence: Fairport
Professional responsibilities: Leads the equity research team and oversees analyst development. Voting member of the investment committee. Works with institutional and individual clients to ensure their portfolios are structured appropriately for their goals and risk tolerance.
Professional and community leadership: Director, Friendship Children’s Center; director and past president, CFA Society of Rochester; new member, Rochester Rotary Club.
Surprising fact: I won local and then regional qualifier tournaments to earn a spot in a national pool tournament held at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas several years ago. While I didn’t win, it was an amazing experience!
Ten years from now: Obviously no one knows what kind of curveballs life will throw, but I believe that keeping our values a priority will lead to a fruitful next decade. The three keys for me are family, career and community. Family is always first on my list.

Felicia Garcia-Hartstein
Director, university volunteer management coordination
Office of Advancement
University of Rochester
Age: 33
Education: B.A., business management, and MBA, Colorado State University
Family: Husband Matt Hartstein; son, 2 1/2; daughter, 4 months
Residence: Rochester
Professional responsibilities: A fundraiser working closely with alumni, friends of the university and community members. Responsible for coordinating the university’s top volunteer groups.
Professional and community leadership: Diversity and inclusion committee member, University of Rochester; board member, Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley; mentor, Women Helping Girls, American Association of University Women; founder, Latino Professional Alliance, University of Rochester.
Surprising fact: I have been on my own since the age of 19 due to unfortunate circumstances. I was a first-generation college student and grew up in an impoverished neighborhood. I persevered and put myself through college while working full time and supporting myself.
Ten years from now: Cherishing my wonderful life with my husband and watching our children grow up. I hope to continue my work for the University of Rochester in an elevated role. I look forward to helping enhance Rochester’s reputation as a great place to raise a family.

Jason Garlock
Partner, director of investments
Cobblestone Capital Advisors LLC
Age: 38
Education: B.S., civil engineering, Cornell University; M.S., water resources and environmental engineering, Rutgers University, New Jersey
Family: Wife Debra Lynn; two sons, 8 and 10; daughter, 4
Residence: Penfield
Professional responsibilities: Coordinating member of Cobblestone’s investment committee, which selects securities and sets asset allocation policy for clients. Supervises Cobblestone’s investment analyst and trading team. Manages over $200 million in assets and serves as co-lead manager of the Cobblestone Private Income Fund.
Professional and community leadership: Vice chairman, board member, finance committee member and investment committee chairman, Epilepsy-Pralid Inc.; president (2011-13) and board member, CFA Society of Rochester; team manager (2010-13) and assistant coach, Penfield Little League.
Surprising fact: I am handy enough that I was able to finish my own basement. The project took a lot longer than planned, but it turned out to be a very nice place to spend time with family and friends. It now also serves as a shrine to my obsession with Pittsburgh sports teams.
Ten years from now: We have the team in place to continue growing Cobblestone into the pre-eminent wealth manager in the region over the next 10 years, and I’m excited to be part of it. But most importantly, I want to accomplish that while also being a good husband, father and community member.

Kenneth Glazer
Director of development
Buckingham Properties LLC
Age: 39
Education: B.A., architecture, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.; master’s in architecture, University of Illinois at Chicago
Family: Wife Patricia; daughter, 8; son, 6
Residence: Pittsford
Professional responsibilities: Oversees all active developments at Buckingham and associated joint ventures. This involves working with public agencies, assembling project teams, assisting on finance packages and coordinating the construction process. Handles architectural services for tenants and for capital improvements on Buckingham properties.
Professional and community leadership: President and founder, Canstruction Rochester; communication director, AIA Rochester; board member, Upstate Chapter, Certified Commercial Investment Management Institute; member, downtown task force, Rochester Regional Community Design Center.
Surprising fact: Before I was 21, I was fortunate enough to live in three other countries—Spain, France and Australia. At the European stops I lived with families and went to school. The stop Down Under was during college and was when I learned to surf. I still have some very rusty language skills in Spanish and French.
Ten years from now: I hope to continue my leading role in transitioning Buckingham to the next generation. I also hope to take a larger role in the community and continue the rebirth of our great city. In all this, my family has and will always come first, and I hope to find the balance we all strive for.

Jason Hall
Growth and business development manager, digital medical solutions
Carestream Health Inc.
Age: 31
Education: B.A., economics, University of Michigan; MBA, Simon School of Business, University of Rochester
Family: Wife Lisa; daughter, 21 months
Residence: Pittsford
Professional responsibilities: Leads, organizes and executes growth opportunities, including acquisitions, partnerships and internal development programs, focused on increasing revenue and profitability for the Digital Medical Systems business unit and Carestream as a whole.
Professional and community leadership: Chairman, Western New York Leadership Board, American Lung Association; finance committee member, Mary Cariola Children’s Center; alumni council member, Simon School of Business.
Surprising fact: I have traveled to 41 of the 50 states and 12 different countries.
Ten years from now: I see myself with a healthy, happy (and hopefully slightly larger) family, a career that has prospered with increased leadership and strategic responsibilities in a vibrant and dynamic organization, and further involvement in the causes and aspects of our community that are most important to me and my family.

Christopher Harris
Manager
Rizzo, DiGiacco, Hern & Baniewicz CPAs PLLC
Age: 35
Education: B.S., accounting, SUNY College at Geneseo
Family: Wife Courtney; daughter, 6; son, 3
Residence: Farmington, Ontario County
Professional responsibilities: Manages the audits and informational tax-return preparation for a variety of not-for-profit organizations. Responsible for developing the tax-exempt division within the firm.
Professional and community leadership: Board treasurer, Bivona Child Advocacy Center; president, Rochester Regional Chapter, Healthcare Financial Management Association; past president, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Rochester/Monroe County; member, not-for-profit committee, New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Surprising fact: Most people know that I get up at 4:30 every day to start my day with a workout. However, my morning routine also includes writing, which I appreciate more than my morning exercise. It helps me focus on the things that matter—family, health and meaningful work.
Ten years from now: Running a successful tax-exempt division at Rizzo DiGiacco Hern & Baniewicz, where I help Rochester-area non-profits meet accounting and compliance requirements so they can focus on pursuing their important missions.

Timothy Hern
Partner
Rizzo, DiGiacco, Hern & Baniewicz CPAs PLLC
Age: 36
Education: B.S., accounting, Rochester Institute of Technology
Family: Wife, Sue; son, 1
Residence: Victor
Professional responsibilities: In charge of the audit division, oversees financial statement audits and reviews.  Prepares corporate and individual tax returns and tax planning to assist business owners in minimizing their taxes. Serves as business advisor and consultant to clients.
Professional and community leadership: Board treasurer, Melissa’s Living Legacy Teen Cancer Foundation/Teens Living With Cancer; member, finance committee, Genesee Country Village & Museum; past board treasurer, chairman, finance committee, member, executive and long-range planning committees, Mercy Residential Service; participant, Flower City Habitat for Humanity “Leaders Build”
Surprising fact: I’m addicted to watching “The Bachelor.” Also, I am in the RIT Athletics Hall of Fame for baseball. (I’m hoping that saves some man points after my first response!)
Ten years from now: Partner in a well-respected mid-size accounting firm known for providing excellent service to its clients. Figuring out the work-life balance thing and spending as much time possible with my family and having fun coaching my son’s baseball team and watching him grow up.

Dina Natale
Manager, talent acquisition
Unity Health System
Age: 36
Education: B.S., psychology; MBA, St. John Fisher College
Family: Husband Jason Parker
Residence: Webster
Professional responsibilities: Oversees staffing and recruiting processes that support client groups across Unity. Establishes strategic direction for the team and provides consultant support across the organization on innovative solutions and best practices to attract talent to Unity. Executes creative recruitment and sourcing processes.
Professional and community leadership: Member, board of trustees, Aquinas Institute of Rochester; past board member, St. John Fisher College Alumni Association; board member, Rochester Womens Network.
Surprising fact: I am a pretty shy person! Earlier in my career, I forced myself to go to networking events because I knew it would better my career path by creating a strong network in Rochester. My recruitment career came naturally after that. But I may still choose to be a wallflower at events, so be sure to come up to me to say hi!
Ten years from now: Professionally I see myself still working in the human resources field but in a more strategic role. I want to be a part of creating a new and innovative way to recruit and interview candidates. I want to create best practices in recruitment and possibly publish a book on how to hire the best in health care.

Marc Natale
Executive director
American Heart Association
Age: 38
Education: B.S., accounting, Niagara University, Niagara Falls; M.S., strategic leadership, Roberts Wesleyan College
Family: Wife Alicia; daughter, 7; son, 4
Residence: Churchville
Professional responsibilities: Leads an eight-county region with a focus on heavily investing in prevention education and awareness, establishing or advancing wellness committees within organizations, funding cutting-edge research, partnering with community and corporate organizations to achieve broader goals and continuous quality improvement within the region’s hospital systems to directly improve patient care.
Professional and community leadership: Treasurer, Mercy Community Services; board member and finance committee co-chairman,Wilson Commencement Park; member; Council of Agency Executives; member, HR committee, Rochester Hearing & Speech Center; grant reviewer, Greater Rochester Health Foundation.
Surprising fact: I say, “Eighty percent of life is eating, and the other 20 percent is thinking about it,” but most people are surprised that I make everything from scratch, like pasta, bread, sauces, desserts, wine, limoncello. In a fast-paced world, I appreciate the old-school ways of being.
Ten years from now: I plan to continue to enjoy new experiences with my family and can’t wait to see my children be fully engaged members of their community and on the cusp of entering high school and college. Professionally, I want to continue to have an impact as a collaborative and thoughtful leader.

Tom Parrish
Executive director, co-CEO
Geva Theatre Center Inc.
Age: 34
Education: B.A., theater arts and economics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland; MBA/MA, arts administration, Southern Methodist University, Dallas
Residence: Downtown Rochester
Professional responsibilities: Provides institutional leadership, including audience and donor development, financial management, administration and oversight of operations and facilities.
Professional and community leadership: Board member, Rochester Downtown Development Corp., member, Rochester Rotary; member, Washington Square Park Neighborhood Association; chairman, arts, culture and history subcommittees, tourism and arts work group, Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council.
Surprising fact: When not working, I enjoy gardening, going to the gym, watching television and movies, dining out, playing video games, reading and playing with my dog, Hunter.
Ten years from now: Continuing to lead the theater to even higher levels of achievement and community impact.

Kelly Pronti
Partner, real estate and land use group
Harter Secrest & Emery LLP
Age: 38
Education: B.A., political science, SUNY Buffalo; J.D., Albany Law School
Family: Husband James; daughters, 9 and 6
Residence: Victor
Professional responsibilities: Represents local and national sellers and purchasers in commercial real estate transactions and financial institutions and borrowers in commercial lending transactions. Represents landlords and tenants with commercial leasing transactions. Reviews and analyzes municipal zoning ordinances, building codes, state and local law relating to project entitlements and zoning matters. Leads the firm’s diversity committee.
Professional and community leadership: Trustee, secretary, governance committee member and executive committee member, National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House; member, Monroe County Bar Association.
Surprising fact: I am a first-generation American and speak fluent Greek. My parents, Fotini and Loukas Bechakas, immigrated to the U.S. over 45 years ago. They started with a hot dog stand in Buffalo and eventually opened several successful restaurants. I grew up in the restaurant business and worked almost every weekend during high school, college and even law school breaks.
Ten years from now: I see myself continuing as a senior partner at Harter Secrest & Emery. I will continue to mentor and coach junior associates and give back to the Rochester community. Finally, my oldest daughter will be heading off to college, and I will be preparing for parenting during the college years.

Matthew Ray
Vice president, commercial banking
M&T Bank Corp.
Age: 32
Education: B.S., business, SUNY Buffalo; MBA, Simon School of Business, University of Rochester
Family: Wife Kristin; two sons, 6 and 4; two daughters, 2 and 1
Residence: Victor
Professional responsibilities: Manages a portfolio of approximately 40 middle-market customer relationships with roughly $330 million in combined credit facilities. Manages the underwriting and legal documentation process while cross-selling ancillary bank services. Pursues and develops relationships with prospective customers. Develops a network of potential referral sources.
Professional and community leadership: Chairman and member of the executive, finance and business review committees, Foodlink Inc.; chairman and CEO, M&T Bank’s United Way fundraising campaign committee for Rochester; member, Young Leaders Council, United Way of Greater Rochester Inc.
Surprising fact: While working full time for Deloitte’s Rochester office, I completed the full-time MBA program at the University of Rochester’s Simon School. This was, of course, before having four kids by the age of 31 (which surprises many as well).
Ten years from now: In a more senior position, driving growth within the organization and developing future leadership. Supporting the mission of multiple community organizations through board leadership and cultivating (potentially new) donor/volunteer relationships. Active in my children’s school events and sports. Supporting my wife’s goals and aspirations.

Mauricio Riveros
Executive vice president
The Pike Co. Inc.
Age: 38
Education: Titulo de Abogado (undergraduate pre-law degree) and Magister en Derecho Economico (M.S.), economic law, Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar, La Paz, Bolivia; law degree (J.D.), Universidad Catolica Boliviana, Cochabamba, Bolivia.
Family: Wife Bess; three sons, 8, 6 and 4
Residence: Macedon, Wayne County
Professional responsibilities: Oversees operations, the risk management process and the professional development program for the Pike Co. and Lecesse Construction. This includes managing the project controls department, leading the scheduling and building information modeling processes.
Professional and community leadership: Deacon and leader of missions, Pittsford Community Church; board member, Allendale Columbia School.
Surprising fact: I studied law in Bolivia and was working for the government as a national director of strategic planning. I never saw myself in the construction industry. However, I found that my law degree and my work with the Bolivian government have helped me develop and implement very effective risk management tools in one of the largest construction companies in the Northeast.
Ten years from now: I see myself being part of the largest and best construction group in the Northeast with the implementation of the most advanced technological construction improvements. In terms of community involvement, I hope to encourage the private sector to contribute more effectively to people in need.

Kate Saracene
Counsel (attorney)
Nixon Peabody LLP
Age: 39
Education: B.S., industrial and labor relations, Cornell University; J.D., Yale Law School, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.
Family: Husband Steve Carling; son, 9; stepdaughter, 7; daughter, 6
Residence: Webster
Professional responsibilities: Heads the health and welfare team in the employee benefits group. Counsels employers, third-party administrators, insurance companies and multiemployer plans on compliance with legal mandates governing employee benefit plans, especially health care reform mandates.
Professional and community leadership: Graduate, Leadership Rochester; board member, Family Service Communities; committee chairperson, Parent Teacher Student Association, Klem North Elementary School.
Surprising fact: The jobs I no longer list on my resume include general farm labor, corn detassling, tying grape vines, lifeguarding, swim instruction and camp counselor. I learned how to drive a tractor before I learned how to drive a car.
Ten years from now: Still practicing law at Nixon Peabody, with one kid in college and two more about to go, keeping busy as a sports mom attending high school and college events, making my plans to buy a place downtown when the baby graduates from high school, still running, doing yoga to try to stay grounded while balancing it all.

Eric Schillinger
Business development relationship manager
Xceed Financial Credit Union
Age: 32
Education: B.A., geography, SUNY College at Geneseo
Family: Wife Melissa; son, 19 months
Residence: Corn Hill neighborhood of Rochester
Professional responsibilities: Establishes, builds and maintains relationships with select employer groups in Rochester and across the United States.
Professional and community leadership: Board member and chairman of annual golf event, Easter Seals New York, Western Region; co-chairman, logistics, Zoobilation committee, Seneca Park Zoo Society; steward, Fairport Flower City Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons; member chairman and co-treasurer, Six Degree Advocates; member, leadership committee, YMCA Gen Y.
Surprising fact: I am not a Rochester native and am originally from Queens and the Lake George area. I proudly refer to Rochester as my hometown since my time in Geneseo.
Ten years from now: I see myself in a more formal management position leading a sales/customer service team, continuing my efforts in the community and sharing the knowledge that I have been fortunate enough to acquire along the way.

Mark Simmons
Lieutenant, platoon commander
Rochester Police Department
Age: 33
Education: Associate degree, criminal justice, Monroe Community College; B.S., criminal justice, Keuka College
Family: Wife Jennifer; daughter, 14; three sons, 9, 1 and 4 months
Residence: North Greece
Professional responsibilities: Supervises six sergeants, six investigators and 50 officers. Responsible for the coordination and participation of the platoon’s public engagement, crime suppression and criminal investigation efforts. Guides and directs the staff toward successfully accomplishing and exceeding departmental goals and objectives.
Professional and community leadership: Board member and treasurer, Baden Street Settlement; finance chairman and youth leader, Upper Room Family Worship Center.
Surprising fact: I am very musically inclined. I played the alto saxophone throughout my elementary and high school years and am a self-taught pianist and drummer. In fact, I was the lead drummer for the praise and worship service at my church for years and still occasionally join in with the church band, although I have been told by my wife that my rustiness is quite evident.
Ten years from now: Completing my master’s degree in public administration and serving in the senior administrative command staff of the Rochester Police Department. I also see myself being more engaged in community volunteer work, fundraisers and causes I am passionate about.

Meredith Smith
Associate vice president, government and community relations
Rochester Institute of Technology
Age: 37
Education: B.A., political science, Colgate University, Hamilton, N.Y.; J.D., George Mason University, Arlington, Va.
Family: Husband Clair Alexander; daughter, 6; son, 2
Residence: Perinton
Professional responsibilities: Develops and implements strategies that will build and enhance RIT’s relationships with government officials and community partners. Plays a key role in the university’s legislative advocacy efforts at the federal and state levels. Collaborates with neighborhoods and communities as a town-gown representative of RIT.
Professional and community leadership: New member liaison, board of directors, Rochester Rotary Club; vice president and board member, Henrietta Chamber of Commerce; board member and communications committee co-chairwoman, Women’s Council of the Rochester Business Alliance Inc.; board member, Leadership Rochester.
Surprising fact: The only thing of any significance I’ve ever won in a raffle is a 1949 Allis Chalmers C tractor, which I still own and drive.
Ten years from now: Ten years ago I never dreamed that I would return to raise my family and do work that I absolutely love in the wonderful community where I grew up. I’m sure I will be focused on building relationships and strategically creating solutions. I’ll also be hiding in a bunker while my husband teaches our daughter how to drive.

Courtney Spitz
Principal
The Bonadio Group
Age: 37
Education: B.S., accounting, Furman University, Greenville, S.C.; M.S., accounting, University of Central Florida
Family: Husband Tim; two daughters, 10 and 7; son, 5
Residence: Pittsford
Professional responsibilities: Responsible for supervising audits, tax and consulting engagements. Supervises and mentors staff, participates in training and education events, client service and marketing activities, research on accounting and auditing matters, financial analysis and leadership activities in the division’s strategic plan and goals.
Professional and community leadership: Member, American Institute of Certified Public Accounts; member, Healthcare Financial Management Association; board member, treasurer and finance committee chairwoman, Rochester Childfirst Network; advisory board member and adviser on community service and recruitment, Xi Mu Chapter, Chi Omega Fraternity at the University of Rochester.
Surprising fact: I grew up in Orlando, Fla., yet I very much enjoy the lifestyle and climate in Upstate New York.
Ten years from now: I see myself continuing to enjoy my family and career.

David Tang
Associate
Underberg & Kessler LLP
Age: 36
Education: B.A., government, Cornell University; J.D., Syracuse University
Family: Wife Olena Prokopovych; twin sons, 3
Residence: Perinton
Professional responsibilities: Provides advice on legal matters to business, health care industry and municipal clients. This includes advising about court proceedings and preparing a variety of legal documents. Responsible for client marketing activities and meeting continuing legal education requirements. Mentors and trains junior attorneys and law clerks.
Professional and community leadership: Member and former diversity committee chairman, Monroe County Bar Association; board member and vice chairman, Center for Dispute Settlement; board member and secretary, Providence Housing Development Corp.; executive director, Foundation for International Education; former School 29 mentor, Lawyers for Learning, Monroe County Bar Association.
Surprising fact: I met my wife in a German literature class at Cornell. German is the language of love.
Ten years from now: Serving as trusted legal counsel to a large and growing group of businesses and organizations and as a leader on the board of one or more organizations that make a significant difference in the life of our community. Perhaps I’ll also be piloting a new project that addresses a community need.

Chad Teeters M.D.
Chief of cardiology, Highland Hospital, and assistant professor of clinical medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center
Age: 37
Education: B.S., biology, and B.A., chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; M.S., clinical investigation, University of Rochester; M.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Family: Wife Jennifer Campbell M.D.; two daughters 5 and 18 months
Residence: Pittsford
Professional responsibilities: Director of the Division of Cardiology at Highland Hospital. Responsible for oversight of all inpatient and outpatient clinical cardiology activities, including imaging at Highland Hospital and its associated practice at Strong West in Brockport.
Professional and community leadership: Director, Highland Heart Failure Center; board member, Mended Hearts of Rochester.
Surprising fact: I am the coach for the Pink-Purple Dogs soccer team (kindergarten age division) in the Pittsford Youth Soccer League.
Ten years from now: Still primarily in clinical practice in cardiology at Highland Hospital but extending top-quality cardiac services throughout the Upstate New York region in an ever-evolving health care landscape.

Matt Vahue
Recruiting director and financial adviser
Principal Financial Group
Age: 30
Education: B.A., communications/journalism, St. John Fisher College
Family: Wife Courtney Dixon Vahue
Residence: Canandaigua
Professional responsibilities: Responsible for the growth of the firm’s team of financial professionals in New York State, excluding New York City and Long Island. Serves as a financial adviser, working to develop investment and insurance solutions for individuals and small to midsize businesses.
Professional and community leadership: Board member, Canandaigua Rotary Club; board member, Canandaigua YMCA.
Surprising fact: Two weeks before the start of my senior year at St. John Fisher College, I moved to Buffalo to join the Buffalo Bills as the graduate assistant in media relations, working for Scott Berchtold. At the conclusion of the 2004-05 season, I spent 10 days in Jacksonville, Fla., working at Super Bowl XXXIX. Even with spending my senior year in Buffalo, I still graduated from Fisher in four years.
Ten years from now: In a senior leadership role with the Principal Financial Group’s Upstate New York Business Center, continuing to help the organization grow. I want to strive to make an impact companywide and industrywide in finding new ways to attract top talent to the financial services industry.

Jeff Valentine
Partner
Exium Partners
Age: 37
Education: B.S., material science and engineering, Cornell University
Family: Wife Jennifer; two daughters, 7 and 4
Residence: Fairport
Professional responsibilities: An entrepreneur and investor, looking for companies with inspiring teams, a history of growth and strong free cash flow. Invests time and capital to help these companies grow faster.
Professional and community leadership: Senior vice president of product, ShoreTel Inc.; co-founder, Pariemus; director, Rochester Angel Network; trustee, The Strong; trustee, Geva Theatre Center.
Surprising fact: I can hit a three-inch target at 300 yards with a modern sporting rifle.
Ten years from now: Wrestling a man-eating squid in the Bering Strait. Or playing golf with my daughters. Definitely one of the two.

Steven Vogt
Implementation project manager
MediSked LLC
Age: 35
Education: B.A., business management and communication, SUNY Buffalo
Family: Single
Residence: Penfield
Professional responsibilities: Manages a workload of implementation and post-go-live projects to ensure objectives are driven to successful completion, on time and within budget. Leads regular status meetings and prepares/maintains project status documentation, including project timelines, scopes of work and knowledge reference guides. Delivers product training while making recommendations on best practices, and performs skill assessments to gauge client application proficiency.
Professional and community leadership: Social co-chairman and former president, Rochester Young Professionals; Our Towns columnist and Around Town blogger, Democrat and Chronicle.
Surprising fact: A fact that most people would be surprised by is that hablo espanol. Growing up, I was exposed to Spanish often, and the language was easy to pick up in my high school years. I thought it would be a great edge for a future career.
Ten years from now: I hope to be married, possibly with a child, in a management role at my company leading the project management office. I hope to still continue giving back to the community in some way that can help to make a difference for Rochester!

Jennifer Wallace
Vice president
First Niagara Risk Management
Age: 35
Education: B.A., political science, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
Family: Husband Matthew; daughter, 5; son, 3
Residence: Perinton
Professional responsibilities: Insurance and risk management professional responsible for developing and managing client relationships and integrating services.
Professional and community leadership: Board member, Rochester Chapter, American Heart Association; graduate, former board member and volunteer, Leadership Rochester; advisory board member, SportsNet.
Surprising fact: After college I went to work at Disney, where my entire career goal was to get a bartending job because the bartenders made tips and worked nights. I never did become a bartender, but I met my husband on my first day there, and it’s all worked out just fine!
Ten years from now: Hopefully doing most of what I’m doing right now and just 10 years older! Enjoying my family and career, spending time on the water whenever possible.

Robert Werkmeister
President
Symbolic Inc.
Age: 39
Education: B.A., political science, and MBA, SUNY Buffalo
Family: Wife Candi; daughter, 9; son, 7
Residence: Victor
Professional responsibilities: President and a founding partner of Symbolic, a marketing communications company in Fairport. Works with clients to set goals and objectives, then coordinate the implementation of all their communication strategies.
Professional and community leadership: Board member and head coach, VolleyFX Volleyball Club.
Surprising fact: I am not sure it is “surprising,” but in this day and age it is more uncommon: I am the first (and to this point only) person in my extended family to attend college. Actually, I am the only male in my entire family who didn’t serve in either the armed forces or law enforcement.
Ten years from now: I hope to be doing exactly what I am doing now. Most people think of five- or 10-year plans as a constant need to grow or do or accumulate more. I have a great life and am able to do much with and for others. In 10 years, I hope to still be able to do that.

Kanika Wright
Equipment manufacturing manager
Carestream Health Inc.
Age: 35
Education: B.S., industrial and manufacturing engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology; M.S., strategic leadership, Roberts Wesleyan College
Family: Single
Residence: Rochester
Professional responsibilities: Oversees the Rochester manufacturing facility with four flow managers/transition managers and more than 100 indirect reports, managing six product lines across three major businesses. Responsible for successfully executing on quality, cost, delivery, Lean Six Sigma and compliance goals.
Professional and community leadership: Board member and membership co-chairwoman, Women’s Council, an affiliate of Rochester Business Alliance Inc.; board member, Rochester Twenty Pearls Foundation; member, leadership giving, United Way of Greater Rochester Inc.; past president, vice president, assistant treasurer, educational advancement foundation chapter captain, fundraising chairperson, hospitality chairperson and chairperson of various chapter events and community programming, Delta Nu Omega Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.; board member, Broadway Commons Home Owners Association.
Surprising fact: I can be very silly, quite creative and sporadically adventurous. I’ve been snorkeling with stingrays in the Bahamas.
Ten years from now: I see myself enjoying life even more than I am now, loving more than I do now, and better able to prioritize my time to focus on what really matters. I want to be in a position to always be able to help others and to make a difference, no matter my situation.

11/15/13 (c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


What You're Saying 

There are no comments yet. Be the first to add yours!

Post Your Own Comment

 
Username:
Password:

Not registered? Sign up now!
 

To Do   Text Size
Post CommentPost A Comment eMail Size1
View CommentsView All Comments PrintPrint Size2
ReprintsReprints Size3
  • E-mailed
  • Commented
  • Viewed
RBJ   Google