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  • Michael Gioja is guiding information technology advances at Paychex Inc.

  • Changes to New York's estate tax have reduced the cost of dying here.

  • Area exporters starting 2014 with a sense of momentum.

Forty Under 40 Class of 2008 updates

Rochester Business Journal
November 6, 2009

Alumni of Rochester Business Journal Forty Under 40 check in with updates on career and life. Here's a look at the Class of 2008.

Teresa Anderson
Vice president, financial programs
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
Position then: Same
Age: 39
Education: A.A., Berkshire Community College; B.A., University of Massachusetts
Family: Husband, Dave; two daughters, 10, 7; two sons, 9, 7
Residence: Manchester, Ontario County
Birthplace: Dover, Del.
What brought you to Rochester? Family

Michael Baron
Creative director
Partners + Napier Inc.
Position then: Same
Current business role: Manage and contribute to the creation of marketing communication materials for clients including Bausch & Lomb Inc., Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and Thule Inc. Lead a team of eight, working with account service to outline strategy and manage client relationships, contribute to new business efforts and coordinate internal training initiatives.
Age: 38
Education: B.A., St. John Fisher College
Family: Son, 5
Residence: Pittsford
Birthplace: Poughkeepsie
What brought you to Rochester? Family in the area and St. John Fisher College.
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: Leading a team of eight of the most talented and dedicated creatives I know, contributing to the incredible success of Partners + Napier and having my work recognized on "The One Show."
Surprising fact: My first job was as an art director, not a writer.

Karen Braun
Color scientist
Xerox Corp.
Position then: Same
Current business role: I am responsible for making it easy to get the right color out of our products the first time and every time. My research interests lie in the user's interaction with color, his perception, preference and manipulation of color.
Age: 40
Education: B.S., Canisius College; Ph.D., Rochester Institute of Technology
Family: Husband, Gus; daughter, 11; son, 8
Residence: Fairport
Birthplace: Buffalo
What brought you to Rochester? Graduate school at Rochester Institute of Technology.
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: This year, I helped get technology into a product and out into the marketplace for using natural language to affect color changes in images.

Todd Butler
President and CEO
Advertising Council of Rochester Inc.
Position then: Same
Current business role: Chief professional officer for a 59-year-old non-profit organization focused on marketing communications support for non-profits. Responsible for program development and execution of capacity-building initiatives designed to help non-profit organizations understand and leverage the power of marketing to reach their goals. Manage the Ad Council's roster of multimedia public service campaigns for a variety of community issues ranging from health and human service to arts to quality of life. Build and maintain relationships with hundreds of professional volunteers and dozens of corporate, media and advertising agency donors, resulting in more than $1.5 million in donated media and creative services each year. Direct all activities, including staff fundraising and communications efforts.
Age: 39
Education: B.S., Ithaca College
Family: Wife, Andrea; two daughters, 14, 7; son, 9
Residence: Greece
Birthplace: Rochester
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: Stewarding a nearly 60-year-old community resource into a new phase of service to local non-profits.
Surprising fact: I began college as an aerospace engineering major. It turns out I'm no rocket scientist.

Daniel Clifton
Senior director
marketing and communications
Fibertech Networks LLC
Position then: Director of marketing and communications, Fibertech Networks
Current business role: Responsible for the oversight and direction of Fibertech's marketing communications, which include all advertising, public relations, special events, marketing and Web site development. Designed and implemented referral sales program. Assist with new market analysis and development.
Age: 38
Education: B.A., University of North Carolina at Asheville
Family: Wife, Barbara-Ann; two sons, 10, 6
Residence: Macedon
Birthplace: Rochester
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: I'm most proud of the work I've done at Fibertech. Despite some of the most difficult economic times, we've been able to grow from a startup in 2001 to a company with more than $73 million in total annual revenue.
Surprising fact: I'm a long-time Oakland Raiders fan and will still admit to it in public.

Gregory Connors
Managing partner
Connors & Ferris LLP
Position then: Same
Current business role: Manage and coordinate the strategic planning in our Rochester and Buffalo offices. Facilitate and manage our marketing components for both offices. Participate in the negotiation and litigation of critical issues on a daily basis.
Age: 39
Education: B.S., Alfred University; J.D., Ohio Northern University
Family: Wife, Jeni; two sons, 7, 4
Residence: Pittsford
Birthplace: Hornell
What brought you to Rochester? I chased after my then-girlfriend, now my wife, after law school.
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: The creation of an office that delivers the best customer service as well as being a fun place to work.

Anthony Daniele
Owner and operator
Mario's Italian Steakhouse
and Bazil Restaurants
Monroe County legislator, District 10
Position then: Same
Current business role: Direct operations of 180 employees in three restaurants alongside my brother, Danny, and father, Mario. Represent the citizens of Pittsford and East Rochester in the Monroe County Legislature.
Age: 38
Education: B.S., Auburn University
Family: Wife, Erin; two daughters, 11, 3; son, 9
Residence: Pittsford
Birthplace: Detroit
What brought you to Rochester? My family moved here when I was 8.
Surprising fact: I am fascinated with aviation.

Malik Evans
Vice president
M&T Bank Corp.
Position then: Same
Current business role: Responsible for overseeing a strategic business unit (branch) for M&T Bank Corp.
Age: 29
Education: B.A., University of Rochester
Family: Wife, Shawanda
Residence: Rochester
Birthplace: Rochester

Diane Gardner
Director, domestic income tax reporting
Eastman Kodak Co.
Position then: Same
Current business role: I lead a team responsible for all U.S. and Canadian income tax reporting, including federal and state/provincial tax returns and information reporting of foreign operations. Project areas include accounting for income taxes, tax planning, mergers and acquisitions, as well as other income-tax-related projects.
Age: 39
Education: B.S., MBA, SUNY Buffalo
Family: Husband, Dennis Jamrose
Residence: Penfield
Birthplace: Rochester
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: My most meaningful career accomplishment has been building our team at Kodak. More than 90 percent of my team members joined the company within the last three to four years, as I did. We have been able to build an effective and well-regarded team in that short time, all while learning the complexities of the business and the organizational structure, developing and improving processes and adding value to the company. And we have fun!

Rebecca Gillette
Financial adviser
Edward Jones Investments
Current business role: Work directly with clients to understand their personal goals. Recommend investments that emphasize a well-balanced portfolio and a buy-and-hold strategy. Embrace the importance of building long-term, face-to-face relationships with clients, helping them to make sense of the investment options available.
Age: 38
Education: B.S., SUNY College at Brockport
Family: Husband, James; daughters, 20, 15 and 8
Residence: Brockport
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.

Therese Hannigan
Owner and chief operating officer
Dumbwaiter Design
Associate professor
College of Imaging Arts and Sciences
Rochester Institute of Technology
Position then: Same
Current business role: I own and operate Dumbwaiter Design, a new-media design firm with a focus on interactive and motion graphics design. We assist emerging and established companies in assessing the most cost-effective design delivery system and then provide customized solutions. Our new-media design services include: Web site design and development, interactive media, including flash applications like online games and virtual tours, motion graphics, 3-D modeling and compositing, integrated online campaign, video/broadcast, DVD and interactive CD development, mobile device interface development and flash presentation design. As a tenured faculty member at RIT, I teach elements of graphic design, typography, information design, dynamic typography and career skills for the new-media design and imaging department.
Age: 40
Education: BFA, M.S., Rochester Institute of Technology
Family: Single
Residence: West Henrietta
Birthplace: Lockport
What brought you to Rochester? College.
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: Getting Dumbwaiter Design established and recognized as a full-service, serious competitor in the new-media design industry.

Molly Henderson
Chief business and financial officer,
senior vice president
VirtualScopics Inc.
Current business role: 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 external communications, including press announcements.
Age: 38
Education: B.S., MBA, SUNY Buffalo
Family: Husband, Derek; son, 7, two daughters, 5, 3
Residence: Brighton
Surprising fact: If it were not for my young family, my preference would be to spend a month hiking in a remote area.

Chandy Kemp
Attorney
Phillips Lytle LLP
Current business role: 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.
Age: 40
Education: B.A., J.D., SUNY Buffalo
Family: Husband, Christopher; son, 6; two daughters, 3 and 3 months
Residence: LeRoy
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.

Jeffrey Knauss
Worldwide product training manager
Xerox Corp.
Position then: Same
Current business role: Responsible for the strategy, curriculum development, design and delivery of training programs to support the worldwide launch of production printing products such as the iGen4. Focus on the continuous improvement and implementation of best practices to enhance the learning experience for sales, technical support and customers.
Age: 39
Education: B.S., University of Dayton; MBA, Simon Graduate School of Business, University of Rochester
Family: Wife, Sarah Hartman Knauss
Residence: Fairport
Birthplace: Newark, Del.
What brought you to Rochester? I lived in Delaware for the first two months of my life; I have been in Rochester ever since.
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: Becoming a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and leading a project that had significant impact on the iGen product family.
Surprising fact: My great-great-great uncle was George Armstrong Custer, though I would like to think that I have less reckless ambition.

Greta Kolcon
Partner
Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP
Position then: Same
Age: 39
Education: A.B., University of Michigan; J.D., Stetson University
Family: Husband, Jeff; daughter, 14; son, 9
Residence: Pittsford
Birthplace: Ann Arbor, Mich.
What brought you to Rochester? We actually searched midsize cities across the United States, looking for a perfect place to live, and we chose Rochester. We had no friends or family here when we arrived, but we fell in love with Rochester. It has been home for 15 years, and we still love it.
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: Each time I have the opportunity to make a difference, advance the interests of justice and solve difficult conflicts facing people, I have a new "most meaningful career accomplishment."

David Kresock
Partner
Harter Secrest & Emery LLP
Position then: Same
Current business role: Leads the firm'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.
Age: 40
Education: B.A., SUNY Albany; J.D., Cornell University
Family: Wife, Nicole; two sons, 7 and 5
Residence: Elba, Genesee County
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.

Paul LeFrois Jr.
Independent business
and financial consultant
Paul LeFrois Consulting
Position then: Controller and director of finance at NaturalNano Inc.
Current business role: 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 for several small private and public companies: Kachingle Inc., Biomed Solutions LLC, Technology Innovations LLC, CellTraffix Inc., Biophan Technologies Inc.
Age: 38
Education: BBA, St. Bonaventure University
Family: Wife, Nicole; twin sons, 7
Residence: Gates
Birthplace: Rochester
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: Co-founding Complemar Partners Inc. in 2004 to purchase a company on the verge of bankruptcy, which saved more than 100 jobs in Rochester.
Surprising fact: There aren't too many surprises with me. What you see is what you get.

Nicole Marro
Counsel
Nixon Peabody LLP
Position then: Same
Current business role: Focus my practice on estate planning, including the preparation of wills, revocable and irrevocable trusts, charitable trusts, prenuptial agreements, powers of attorney for asset management, and health care proxies/living wills for health care management. Offer advice on related estate, gift and income tax issues. Represent individuals and corporate fiduciaries with respect to the administration of trusts, probate estates and guardianships. Speaker at continuing legal education programs for the state bar and the Monroe County bar and at community groups and client seminars.
Age: 40
Education: B.A., University of Notre Dame; J.D., SUNY Buffalo
Family: Husband, Michael; two daughters, 9, 6
Residence: Victor
Birthplace: Rochester
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: Receiving the Forty Under 40 nomination.
Surprising fact: I completed a 70.3 Ironman this past summer.

Michael Martone
Area vice president
Providium Consulting Group, a division of Gallagher Benefit Services Inc.
Position then: Same
Current business role: Provide strategic advice, service and employee benefit solutions to clients. 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.
Age: 38
Education: B.S., Roberts Wesleyan College; MPA, SUNY College at Brockport
Family: Wife, Kendra; two daughters, 11, 9; son, 6
Residence: Spencerport
Birthplace: Rochester
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: Being a part of the leadership of Providium Consulting Group and playing an instrumental role in helping the company more than triple in size and revenue.
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.

Stephen Miller
Judge
Rochester City Court
Position then: Same
Current business role: Hears cases of those arrested in the city of Rochester. Exercises preliminary jurisdiction over felonies and hears misdemeanors and violations to their completion.
Age: 40
Education: B.A., SUNY Buffalo; M.S., Nazareth College of Rochester; J.D., SUNY Buffalo
Family: Wife, Tracey; two daughters, 9 and 7
Residence: Rochester
Surprising fact: I am the first native Rochesterian of African-American descent elected to the judiciary in the 7th Judicial District.
Robert Morgan
Chief operating officer
Upstate Roofing & Painting Inc.
Position then: Same
Current business role: Responsible for overseeing all daily production activities. Negotiate agreements with a variety of vendors. Assist with the development and implementation of new sales and marketing strategies. Oversee and assist with annual compensation reviews for all field personnel. Manage vehicle fleet.
Age: 37
Education: Attended SUNY College at Alfred
Family: Wife, Kimberly; son, 15; daughter, 8
Residence: Gananda
Birthplace: Rochester
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: Being able to earn respect and trust from my current teammates and clients through personal interaction.
Surprising fact: I was an Army reservist (Corps of Engineers) from 1990 to 1998.

Mark Murphy
President and managing director
The Murphy Group
Position then: Regional vice president, Frontier Communications Corp.
Current business role: Business development and strategic planning for companies at various stages of development. Focused on telecommunications and cable TV industries.
Age: 40
Education: B.S, St. Bonaventure University; MBA, University of Notre Dame
Family: Wife, Margaret; son, 7; daughter, 6
Residence: Penfield
Birthplace: Binghamton
What brought you to Rochester? Employment with Rochester Tel/Frontier.

LaRon Nelson
Assistant professor
Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty
of Nursing, University of Toronto
Position then: Associate director of public health and chief of public health practice and evaluation, Monroe County Department of Public Health
Current business role: I conduct research on HIV/AIDS prevention among Americans and Canadians of African descent. I teach courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels that focus on access and equity in primary health care and the economic, social and political determinants of health.
Age: 32
Education: B.S., M.S., Ph.D., University of Rochester
Residence: Toronto
Birthplace: Savannah, Ga.
What brought you to Rochester? I came to Rochester to study nursing at the University of Rochester. After graduation from the undergraduate program, I decided to stay in order to start building a career in clinical practice and research.
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: I have been fortunate to have some very important accomplishments at this early stage of my career; however, I believe that my most meaningful career accomplishment is yet to come.
Surprising fact: I think people would be most surprised to know that I am an extremely shy person and that I prefer quiet, tranquil reflection over vigorous and exciting social activity.

Christine Palmiere
Manager, analytics and technology
global supply chain
CooperVision Inc.
Position then: Same
Current business role: I manage a team of people who are developing world-class supply chain strategies and solutions. We are implementing the systems, business process, analysis and metrics to achieve minimal inventory levels with high customer service levels.
Age: 40
Education: B.S., Purdue University; M.S., MBA, Rochester Institute of Technology
Family: Husband, Jamie; daughter, 6; son, 4
Residence: Victor
Birthplace: Bayshore, N.Y.
What brought you to Rochester? I grew up in Fort Wayne, Ind. During the summer before my senior year at Purdue, I had an internship at Kodak, doing master scheduling and capacity planning in the paper plant at Kodak Park. When I received my degree from Purdue, Kodak hired me full time. I have since built a career, family and home here in Rochester.
Surprising fact: While I am a two-year breast cancer survivor, most people think I spend a lot of time worrying about the return of my breast cancer. I can honestly say that I spend extremely minimal time thinking about that. I enjoy every minute of my life with my family and friends. When I do think about it, I think about how to raise more money to find a cure so that others don't need to go through what I did.

Michelle Pedzich
Director of compliance
HR Works Inc.
Position then: Same
Current business role: Responsibilities include overseeing HR Works' Employer Helpline, employee handbook and compliance audits, and public relations.
Age: 37
Education: B.A., SUNY College at Geneseo; M.S., Rochester Institute of Technology
Family: Husband, Keith; daughter, 7
Residence: Fairport
Birthplace: LaCrosse, Wis.
What brought you to Rochester? My husband is from Rochester.
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: Obtaining a senior management role at HR Works, where I get to work with extraordinarily talented co-workers.
Surprising fact: I have lived on three different continents: North America (many states), Asia (South Korea) and Europe (West Germany).


Jeremy Raco
Financial adviser
Centra Financial Group
Owner
Tonjer Enterprise ATM Co.
Position then: Same
Current business role: 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.
Age: 39
Education: Graduate, Brighton High School; Special Forces, counterterrorism, United States Marine Corps
Family: Wife, Lori; three daughters, 16, 10 and 7
Residence: Penfield
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.”

Andrew Raus
Principal planner, business segment leader community planning and design
Bergmann Associates Inc.
Position then: Principal planner, Bergmann Associates
Current business role: Leads a team of multi-disciplined design professionals in the preparation of waterfront, downtown, transportation and general municipal plans throughout New York. Responsible for team leadership and mentoring, business development, project management, sustainability in practice and overall quality assurance.
Age: 36
Education: B.S., West Chester University; MRP, SUNY Albany
Family: Wife, Carolyn; daughter, 5; son, 2 months
Residence: Fairport
Birthplace: Rochester
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: Developing a new business segment with my exceptional staff for Bergmann Associates, which is now recognized throughout New York and growing in Pennsylvania.
Surprising fact: I enjoy cooking for large groups and brewing fine beers, stemming from my past life as a sous chef at a brewery in the Philadelphia region.

David Robertson
Program manager
program management office
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
Position then: Same
Current business role: Guide teams and executive sponsors through the strategic project execution process to ensure effective and efficient product and service launches. Facilitate change management and risk planning, enforce enterprise policies and promote continuous improvement. Act as adviser, coach, mentor and quality auditor. Collect metrics data, evaluate and report to senior leadership.
Age: 40
Education: B.S., Rochester Institute of Technology; B.S., Keuka College
Family: Wife, Suzanne; two sons, 4, 1
Residence: Pittsford
Birthplace: Wellsboro, Pa.
What brought you to Rochester? In the early 1990s, I was recruited to the western New York region by a Rochester-based advertising/design agency.
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: As a personal motivator, I consider my career successes to date as preparation for the "most meaningful career accomplishment." In recent years, my volunteer activities in support of regional community causes have been increasingly rewarding experiences.
Surprising fact: I believe that many would be surprised by my interest in World War II. Since my father was a combat veteran of World War II, I heard first-hand 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.
Brian Sampson
Executive director
Unshackle Upstate
Position then: Upstate director of business outreach, Empire State Development Corp.
Current business role: Responsible for coordinating the coalition's public policy agenda and advocating for reform in state government. Also responsible for the overall growth of the coalition and engaging the partners and assisting them with policy initiatives.
Age: 40
Education: B.A., Michigan State University
Family: Wife, Kristin; two sons, 14, 9
Residence: Irondequoit
Birthplace: Springville, N.Y.
What brought you to Rochester? I am a Western New York lifer. We moved to Rochester from Arcade when I was 10. My mother got a new job.
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: Having started my working career at the Arc of Monroe and now becoming the board chairman. The organization gave me a great opportunity to learn about people with developmental disabilities. Now I get to provide the leadership to continue to provide world-class services and supports for the people we serve.
Surprising fact: I love to cook, and as a result I am hooked on the Food Network. You can often find me, during the periodic slow parts of the week, watching to get new recipes to try out on friends and family.

Timothy Saur
Senior vice president/
chief operating officer
Durst Phototechnik AG North America
Position then: Same
Current business role: Manage the operational, financial and service business unit functions of Durst North America. Act as co-CEO of the subsidiary with a colleague. Support other global operations throughout the world.
Age: 37
Education: B.S., SUNY College at Fredonia; MBA, University of Notre Dame; Ph.D. University of Southern Mississippi
Family: Wife, Tera; two sons, 9, 7;
daughter, 3
Residence: Victor
Birthplace: Canandaigua
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: Leading a company turnaround and then watching it thrive.
Surprising fact: Unfortunately, I am surprisingly short of surprising facts. 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.

Stephanie Schaeffer
Vice president, chief legal officer
Paychex Inc.
Position then: Same
Current business role: I am responsible for oversight of all legal matters at Paychex, including management of the legal department and all outside counsel. As a member of the officer team, I am also responsible for the strategic direction of the company and maximization of shareholder value.
Age: 39
Education: B.A., J.D., University of Notre Dame
Family: Husband, Paul; two sons, 9, 6
Residence: Fairport
Birthplace: Galesburg, Ill.
What brought you to Rochester? My husband is a Rochester native.
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: Development of relationships of trust and confidence with our board of directors and executive management team.

Randall Shepard
Principal
Bonadio & Co. LLP
Position then: Same
Current business role: Audit principal in the Bonadio Group's government, compliance and labor division. My focus areas are auditing and consulting for municipalities, public authorities and not-for-profit organizations. I help my clients comply with the myriad of complex reporting regulations but also provide real-world solutions to their day-to-day problems.
Age: 37
Education: B.S., SUNY College at Geneseo
Family: Wife, Tara; two daughters, 8, 6; son, 7
Residence: Fairport
Birthplace: Rochester
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: Achieving the position I now hold, with the vision of becoming a partner in the most dominant megaregional CPA firm in New York.
Surprising fact: I am actually very apprehensive about speaking in front people.

Thomas Tette
Partner
Allied Financial Partners Inc.
Position then: Partner, DST Trusted Advisors Inc.
Current business role: Managing partner; responsible for the day-to-day operations of a brand-new firm.
Age: 40
Education: B.S., SUNY College at Fredonia
Family: Wife, Maria; two sons, 11, 9; daughter, 7
Residence: Spencerport
Birthplace: Rochester
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: Able to assist and provide many valuable services to many small businesses on a day-to-day basis.

James Waters Jr.
Manager
Community Place of Greater Rochester
Position then: Manager, training and development, Action for a Better Community Inc.
Age: 40
Education: B.S., SUNY College at Brockport; M.S., SUNY Buffalo
Residence: Rochester
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.

Michael Wiedemer
Regional vice president
First American Equipment Finance
Position then: Same
Current business role: Regional vice president for the firm's business development activities in the Mid-Atlantic region, managing a team of six commercial account officers. Involved in the marketing, pricing and structuring of equipment leasing transactions. Responsible for an annual sales budget of $40 million in new business volume and the corresponding profit and loss.
Age: 31
Education: B.S., St. John Fisher College
Family: Single
Residence: Penfield
Birthplace: Rochester
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: Receiving the 2002 Chairman's Award at First American Equipment Finance-an award presented to an individual exhibiting excellence in character and leadership.
Surprising fact: I have 50 first cousins.

Jason Wood
President
WoodCPA Plus P.C.
Position then: Senior manager, Deloitte & Touche LLP
Current business role: Entrepreneurship-driven certified public accountant who provides accounting, consulting and training services to Fortune 1000 and middle-market companies. Oversees firm operations, business development, marketing and client relationships. Works with staff to ensure high-quality service is delivered to clients at a fair price.
Age: 33
Education: BBA, Southern Methodist University; MBA, University of Dallas
Family: Wife, Heather; two sons, 22, 8; daughter, 12
Residence: Pittsford
Birthplace: Arkansas
What brought you to Rochester? Eight years ago, we picked Rochester over six other East Coast cities because of its education, culture and work-life balance.
Most meaningful career-related accomplishment: Successfully starting a CPA consulting practice, which enabled me and my family to remain in Rochester and not be forced to move. I'm proud to be able to employ other individuals who also were laid off and now also have the ability to remain in Rochester.
Surprising fact: I do actually sleep and spend time with my family (after my 80-hour workweek)! I am involved with many activities professionally and personally, but I still make time for my loved ones.

11/06/09 15th Anniversary 2009 Forty Under 40 supplement; (c) 2009 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.


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