Gates Chili Hall of Fame
The Gates Chili Hall of Fame is designed to honor graduates of Gates Chili High School who have achieved distinction, outstanding accomplishment or significant contribution within their schools, families, careers, communities or personal lives. In addition to honoring selected graduates, a major goal of the Hall of Fame is to provide role models and incentives for current and future students.
To nominate someone for the Hall of Fame, download and submit the form at this link.
Congratulations 2021 and 2022 Inductees!
David Brugno ('85)
David Brugno is a graduate of Gates Chili High School Class of 1985. Currently, he is the area Vice President of Operations for the Eastern Region for Steris Instrument Management Services. He has worked in the field of surgical instrument sales and repair for 25 years, starting as a repair technician. David oversees relationships with hospitals on the East Coast to ensure that the surgical departments meet quality and safety needs for their patients. It also involves education and training for clients and their staff.
In 1994, David graduated from SUNY Brockport with a degree in Environmental Biology. He then became a medical investigator for the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s office. He also became part of a new department under FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) which would serve as a quick response team to provide emergency mortuary services at major disasters that have more fatalities than local response teams can manage. David helped with the crash of Flight 800 on Long Island in 1996 where 280 lives were lost. On September 11, 2001, he went to NYC to assist with recovery and identification of the victims of the World Trade Center collapse. David served 2 three week rotations and is recognized among the emergency responders at the 9-1-1 Museum in NYC. He was then employed by Kenyon International to assist in the recovery and identification of victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2004.
David also provides leadership by coaching to mentor young leaders . He managed $40 million in annual revenue and coached several managers to active circle of Excellent awards. He continues to be a member of Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) with special training and always ready to help a moment’s notice.
David’s advice for the students of Gates Chili is to “Embrace your high school years, it’s a time in your life you can’t repeat. Join a club or try out for a sport, part of the high school experience happens outside the classroom. The relationships you create in high school can last a lifetime.”
Gina Capellazzi (’02)
Gina is a 2002 graduate of Gates Chili High School. She presently works for Rochester Catholic Press Association where she has been serving as the News Media Coordinator for the past five years. She has helped develop the Catholic Courier and El Mensajero Catolico newspapers with more multimedia and social media. She also is the website administrator of Figure Skaters Online (FSO), a volunteer organization that designs and manages the official websites for the top US figure skaters.
Gina graduated magna cum laude with at Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Journalism from St. John Fisher College in 2006. She was also named “Who’s Who Among American College Students” and was the recipient of the Gary Cuminale Excellence in Media Award. Gina then worked for eight years at News 10NBC in Rochester, where she served as a news producer of the station’s award-winning newscasts. In 2014, she transitioned to the online news department and served as News 10NBC’s web producer. During this time, the station’s website received an honorable mention award for the best news website from NYS Associated Press. In 2015, when Gina took her expertise in web and social media to work for the Rochester Catholic Press, she livestreamed Sunday Masses with Bishop Salvatore Matano during the Coronavirus Pandemic. She also covered Rochester’s Opioid crisis and received the Editor and Publisher Magazine’s EPPY Award for the Best News or Event Feature on a Website. She also covered Elmira’s Notre Dame High School’s participation in 2018 March for Life in Washington DC. Gina continued to cover the National Youth Conference in Indianapolis in 2017 and received honors for the Best Multimedia Package Feature.
She also uses her media expertise in the sport of figure skating, where she is the online. She has conducted numerous interviews with skaters and traveled to cover various skating events, including the International Skating Union Grand Prix events. Gina is very involved with the Parish of the Holy Family in Gates, where she sings in the choir and is involved in the parish’s youth ministry and has served on the parish’s pastoral council.
Her advice to current and future GC students is to take advantage of the opportunities GC provides. She believes it is important to not take anything for granted and that things can be taken from us in an instant. Her advice is that even among the stress and anxiety that comes with being a high school student, take time to enjoy the opportunities GC provides.
Lori Hosmer (’88)
Lori is a 1988 graduate of Gates Chili High School. She presently is employed by INOVA Health Systems as a Medical Coder IV. Lori graduated from SUNY Buffalo in 1993 with a BA in German and a minor in Italian. She was an exchange student to Wuerzburg, Germany, during her junior year of high school and continued to volunteer with the International Sister City of Rochester’s Wuerzburg program, including gathering statements from former students and host families, hosting teens, and interviewing teens. She received the J. Scott Fleming Merit Award while at UB. In 2007, Lori received her AAS Degree in Health Information Management and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She was an intern at Wegmans and started the United Way Jeans Day sticker program.
Lori continues to be a true example of a Gates Chili Spartan. She continues to champion the GC community through coat drives and fundraising for the GC Service Club’s holiday drive. She has successfully provided holiday meals for numerous families in the GC school district. Lori has collected donations from alumni of GC for food and clothing for the needy. Lori also has individually headed the Class of 1988 reunions, and established committees to organize events for the class.
She was also diagnosed with Relapsing and Remitting Multiple Sclerosis and has participated in numerous Walk MS and Bike M events. Since 2014, Team Hosmer has raised over $40,000 via fundraisers, riding bikes or walking for MS. She continues to help people by gathering donations for military families, sewing, and distributing masks during COVID, and helping Kiwanis clubs deliver Thanksgiving dinners to those in need.
Lori’s advice to Gates Chili students is to not accept labels but that we all have value and deserve to be treated well. She learned that words can hurt but kindness costs nothing. She was in the GOAL program for advanced learners while a student at Gates Chili and learned to use her imagination to solve problems. She stresses that you need to show respect for differences that make people who they are and learn to surround yourself with the people who love and accept you for who you are. She also states, “…respect yourself and the situations you are in to learn to navigate successfully, whether you win or lose, a valuable lesson can be learned.”
Thomas Hudak (’79)
Tom was a 1979 graduate of Gates Chili High School. He received his AAS in Ornamental Horticulture from SUNY Alfred in 1980 and his BS in Biology from SUNY Geneseo in 1983. He is being honored posthumously as he recently passed away in July 2021 at the age of 61 and is survived by his wife, Amy Minster and daughter Dr. Whitney Hudak. Tom was a noted herpetologist, educator, and naturalist who showcased his extraordinary reptile collection to both children and adults. He believed that education and respect were paramount to understanding the natural world.
Since 2006, Tom was president of Evergreen Enterprises which sold natural plant biostimulants to farmers around the globe. He also previously operated a reptile import and export business. Tom was dedicated to providing high quality, hands-on wildlife education throughout New York State. He would engage participants on a sensory level and through direct experience with live animals. He appeared on numerous TV shows such as David Letterman with Jack Hannah and Good Morning America with the Dangerous Animals of Iraq segment. He was also on Fox and Friends discussing dangerous reptiles of the Middle East, Maury Povich and Inside Edition, all investigating dangerous animals and venomous reptiles. He was also featured in abc.com, Wall Street Journal and many foreign publications. Tom was part of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation dangerous reptile trainer, assisted in the execution of search warrants and house evidence for police investigation, offered annual training for police and wildlife technicians for dangerous reptile handing, and training Timber Rattlesnake recovery group. Tom was involved in Operation Shellshock, the large undercover operation for finding and handling dangerous animals. He also helped in training for fish and wildlife services, official keeper of venomous reptiles and trained the National Guard about reptiles and invertebrate threats throughout the world. Tom also wrote language regarding reptiles for legislation and exotic animal ownership.
He taught freshman biology at SUNY Geneseo, was a consult to Indonesian Dept of Forestry, consult to Institute of Ecology and Bio resources in Vietnam, spoke at the American Zoo Association, Center for Endangered Reptiles in Canada, and conducted demonstrations at Finger Lakes Community College. Family and friends remembered Mr. Hudak as a man of honesty and integrity who was passionate about reptiles and educating others about herpetology and the importance of nature.
Shannon O'Mara (’89)
Shannon is a 1989 graduate of Gates Chili High School. She is presently employed by Loomis Sayles as a Vice President and the Associate Director of Credit Research. She manages research staff across the Boston, London and Singapore offices and oversees the Credit Research Training Program. She is the founder of the Loomis Sayles Undergraduate Women’s Investment Network (UWIN) program with the mission to inspire, develop and recruit undergraduate women in the investment management industry through internships and mentorship opportunities. Since its inception in 2015, UWIN has worked with over 200 women across 18 Boston area colleges and universities who have connected with role models across the firm, learned about the investment process, and developed skills needed to succeed in the industry.
Shannon received her BA degree from the University of Rochester in 1993 with a concentration in economics and management certificates in finance, accounting, and actuarial studies. From 1993 to 1998, Shannon was a credit analyst at JP Morgan in New York City where she was responsible for lending decisions and management of a portfolio of exposure to electric utilities and natural gas companies. She then moved to Boston in 1998 when she joined Loomis Sayles as a Senior Credit Research Analyst where she had coverage responsibility for the utility, homebuilding, and building product industries. She became a Chartered Financial Analyst from the CFA Institute. In November 2019, Shannon was recognized as a Women to Watch honoree by InvestmentNews for her leadership, contributions, and impact in the industry. Shannon was a guest on The Story Behind Her Success podcast to share her story and life lessons.
Shannon feels that she found community among peers in sports and classes at Gates Chili. She gives the advice of navigating life in connection with and support of family and friends. Her advice to students is to “…find your voice and confidence, and although it may be scary to step outside of your comfort zone, pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone helps you grow and learn.”
Steve Tucciarello (’84)
Steve is a 1984 graduate of Gates Chili High School. He presently is a successful small business owner who operates Colony Dry Cleaners in the Town of Gates. From 1984-1988, he studied at Rochester Institute of Technology. From 1997-present, he was the owner of Dadni Cleaners, Colony Dry Cleaners and Batavia Tailors and Cleaners. From 2006-2015, he was the Majority Leader for Monroe County Legislator. He served as the chairman of the Transportation Planning and Economic Development and Environmental and Public Works Committees. He also served on Ways and Means, Recreation and Education, Intergovernmental Relations and Agenda Charter Committee. He was also a representative on the Monroe County Airport Authority and the 911 Operations Board. Presently, he is a Town of Gates Councilman since 2016. He has served on the Zoning Board of Appeals and Gates Conservation Advisor Boards.
Steve promotes and contributes to many charities, has served on the Board of Directors of the local Westside YMCA, serves on the Gates Chili Chamber of Commerce, is a member of the Gates AMITA (Italian Civics) club, and helps with Gates Lions Club. He serves as a mentor in our community. He is married to Lynette Tucciarello and has two children who are both alumni of GC.
Steve states, “What I really loved about GC is that it is a large school with plenty of activities and an abundance of students. It fostered our ability to spend time with peers and make friends. The students of GC are a cohesive group, everyone is welcome, and everyone could be themselves.”
Mark Morningstar (‘75)
Mark is a 1975 graduate of Gates Chili High School. He is currently the owner of First American Business Enterprise and First American Business Solutions Inc. in New Port Richey, Florida. Mark received training through Monroe Community College and Eastman Kodak through the Instrumentation Apprenticeship Program. There he learned about the installation of telecommunications and fire optics systems that linked the Elmgrove Kodak facilities.
Mark was also involved in the Gates Fire Department and the Gates Volunteer Ambulance since he was a teenager. He joined the Gates Fire Explorers POST 272 first learning about community details and functions. During his years as a firefighter, he became lieutenant, captain, and Battalion Chief, overseeing fifty firefighters and apparatus at Station Three on Coldwater and Buffalo Roads. He also became a Monroe County Fire Instructor and a driver/medic with the Ambulance. Mark holds Life Membership in both Gates Chili Fire Department and Gates Volunteer Ambulance Service, with an estimated number of volunteer hours of service to the Gates community at 20,000. He also had a number of telecommunications positions with Nortel Networks and Avaya Government Solutions prior to becoming owner of his own businesses.
While a student at Gates Chili, Mark was in triple sessions at GC and helped lead the Hike for Hope with the Gates ambulance. He was involved in sports, clubs, the talent show, and WEMOCO while at GC. He was also very involved in Holy Ghost Church as an altar boy, Leader of the Mass, and active in the Church Youth Group. Mark feels strongly about Gates Chili and how close the Class of 1975 continues to be. He married his high school sweetheart, Catherine Herbison, and has three children and two grandchildren.
His advice to students is to participate in activities the school has to offer, get involved with school and participate in community functions. He also believes what you achieve and take away from high school helps to mold you and move you forward in life. He stresses, “You want to leave school excited, but filled with great memories of Gates Chili.”
Lisa LaTrovato (‘94)
Lisa is a 1994 graduate of Gates Chili High School. Presently, she is Director of Development of Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, where she develops strategies for long range fundraising, annual giving, planned giving, and grant and foundation submissions. Lisa helped organize the development of Kevin Guest House, Girls Education Collaborative and 43 North as ways to help develop ambassadors and community leaders.
She graduated in 1997 with an Associates’ Degree in Business Administration. She continued her education with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from University of Buffalo in 1999. She then obtained her MBA in 2012 from Canisius College in Buffalo. Over her twenty year career, Lisa has been dedicated to innovation, collaboration and leadership in the roles she has served from government to not-for-profit industries. From 2004-2019, Lisa was Senior Development Associate for Children’s Hospital Foundation of Buffalo. She planned and developed events for the hospital, helped develop a $52 million capital campaign to rebuild the hospital, worked to obtain gifts, coordinated media and handled communication. Lisa also worked as a Congressional Aide from 2000-2004 for Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. She initiated the Northland Commerce Park Project which helped create 5000 jobs. She also represented the congresswoman at various events and prepared speeches and correspondence on her behalf.
Lisa is involved in a number of community service activities such as the Fifty Fabulous Women Giving Circle, which supports women and children with funding. She is a board member and soon-to-be gala co-chair for WNY Heroes Board that helps raise critical funds for our veterans, and serves on the boards of the Alumni Association at UB and Canisius College.
Lisa believes GCHS gave her the opportunity to discover who she was as a person and explore opportunities through clubs, sports, and everyday events. GC also gave her lifelong friends. She advises the students of GC to take advantage of all the opportunities GC offers and show people who you are!
Past Hall of Famers
Craig Densmore ('70)
Craig Densmore - Visiting Professor, Department of Packaging Science at RIT - Class of 1970
Previous experience includes Senior Director of Packaging Innovations for Supply Chain Optimizers and Birds Eye Foods, Global Packaging Machinery Standardization team Leader for Bausch & Lomb, General Manager of Manufacturing and Distribution for Just Toys, Inc and COO of H.H. Sullivan, Inc. Community Involvement/Memberships includes Finger Lakes Health Board of Directors and Life Member of the Gates Volunteer Ambulance. Honors and Awards included Ameristar Award for development of Birds Eye Foods Steamfresh Vegetable line, F.W. Conway Award from the Gates Volunteer Ambulance for distinguished service and Life Membership of the Gates Volunteer Ambulance Service.
Cosmo Giunta ('87)
Cosmo Giunta - Gates Town Supervisor - Class of 1987
Previous experience includes Town Clerk & Receiver of Taxes, Deputy Town Clerk, Legal Assistant-Foreclosure Department, Business Consultant, Risk Management Supervisor, Operations Manager and Business Project Manager at local businesses. Community Involvement/Memberships includes Monroe County Supervisor Association, Gates Youth Soccer League Board Member, Italian American Sports Club Member, Italian Civic League Member, 4 Point Rod & Gun Club Member, NYS Public Notary and NYS DEC Licensed Sales Agent.
Michael King ('93)
Michael King - Case Manager for Bilingual Vets in Springfield, MA - Class of 1993
Previous experience includes Interim director of Safety & Security and the United States Army. Honors and Awards included Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medals, Army Commendation Medals, Army Achieve Medals, Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation Army Superior Unit award Good Conduct Medals National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Combat Action Badge 1st place in Sculpture and combat experience categories, alumni award at Lesley Art and Design, Committee Choice Award, BUILT 2015. Community Involvement/Memberships include active member of both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.
Scott Lyle ('86)
Scott Lyle - President of Mass Equities, Inc. in California - Class of 1986
Previous experience includes sales executive at an NBC affiliate, Artist-in-Residence at the Alleyway Theatre, First Vice President, Senior Vice President of Operations, Manager of Telecommunications Services and Vice President of Telecommunications and Technology Services for Arden Realty Inc., President and CEO of Next Edge, Inc., and COO of GE Capital Real Estate. Community Involvement/Memberships include energy conservation and sustainability, advocacy for critical issues that face the LA community, both volunteer and economic support for the Oak Park neighborhood school district, Honors and Awards include Chairman of the Energy & Environmental Committee for the LABC
Patrick McGrain ('90)
Patrick McGrain - Associate Professor and Program coordinator of Criminal Justice at Gwynedd Mercy University in Pennsylvania - Class of 1990
Previous experience includes Assistant Professor Criminal Justice at Holy Family University and Director, Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Program: Assistant Professor at DeSales University. Community Involvement/Memberships include Plymouth Little League Coach, Little League Umpire, USA Volleyball Referee, Plymouth Little League Board Member Honors and Awards include Certificate of Merit in Training from Temple University and Montclair Who's Who in Collegiate Faculty.
Amanda Ross ('02)
Amanda Ross - Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Alabama - Class of 2002
Previous experience includes Assistant Professor of Economics, Finance, and Legal Studies at the University of Alabama, Assistant Professor Department of Economics at West Virginia University and Faulty Research Associate at West Virginia University. Community Involvement/Memberships include Coordinate a referee mentor group in Alabama for young officials, teach referee courses and conduct ongoing training sessions for more senior officials and serve as a faculty advisors to a women's empowerment group. Honors and Awards include University of Alabama President's Faculty Research Award, West Virginia University Department of Economics Research Award, Lincoln Land Institute Young Scholar and Maxwell Dissertation Award.
Nicholas Stefanovic ('00)
Nicholas Stefanovic - Director of Veterans Service Agency for Monroe County - Class of 2000
Previous experience include United States Marine corps, Judicial assessment Specialist for the NY State court system, Consultant for Justice for Vets, Center for court Innovation, and the National Institute of corrections, Instructor for the United States Marine corps, . Community Involvement/Memberships include Marine Corps Coordination council, Vice Chair of the VOC board of directors, founded a united council of organizations that work in addiction and recovery services for United Recovery council of Monroe County and Advocacy on Behalf of Treatment courts. Honors and Awards include John R. Schwartz Accountability Meets Compassion Award, War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Certificate of Commendation, Combat Action Ribbon Global, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
Matthew Bowers ('99)
Matthew is a 1999 graduate of Gates Chili High School. He presently is the president of Rochester Passive House Consulting where he was the first person to have a building in our region certified to the most stringent building energy standard in the world (Passive House International). He designed and implemented the necessary components of one of the tightest houses in the world while maintaining superb indoor air quality and extremely low energy consumption. He is also a building scientist where he analyzes existing buildings for energy usage and provides consulting on lowering a buildings total energy while improving comfort and indoor air quality. Matthew attended Naval Nuclear Power School graduating in 2003 and then RIT with a Bachelor of Science with Highest Honors in Mechanical Engineering Technology in 2010.
In 2007, Matthew was awarded the Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medal for saving the US Navy over $600,000 in repair parts allowing an overhaul to stay within budget. From 2005-2007, Matthew was Chief Machinery Operator and directly supervised a team of sailors responsible for proper operation of the Aircraft Carrier’s main engines, electrical generators, distilling units, air compressors while in combat zone during OEF (Operation Enduring Freedom) and OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) Deployments. Matthew was a Corrective and Maintenance Supervisor from 2004-2006. He identified and scheduled repairs of all systems in the engine room and supervised 30 naval mechanics in multiple emergent repairs to the ship’s engine, generators, compressors, etc. during OEF and OIF deployments. Matthew has raised over $4000 for Veterans’ Outreach Center through donations from Passive House Tours. He is married to Brianna Bowers and has two little girls, Lucy and Eleanor, and one boy, Nathan. Matthew believes he would not be where he is today without his faith in God and family, who have given endless love and support through the toughest times and the greatest achievements.
Matthew’s advice to Gates Chili students is his “…daily top five: 1. Learn something new every day, 2. Teach someone else something new, 3. Solve your boss’ problems, 4. End everyday with 10 fingers and 10 toes, and 5. Go to bed tired!”
Renee Calleri Emanuele ('93)
Renee is a graduate of Gates Chili High School Class of 1993. She is presently the owner and stylist of Creations Salon and Body INC, which she began when she was 25 years old. Renee is a seasoned professional hair stylist who runs and manages a business. She is certified in Organic Colour Systems, Matrix colors, permanent waving, Deva Curl, eyelash extensions, and hair extensions. Renee graduated from Continental School of Beauty and received a Cosmetology degree.
From 1993-2002, she started as a receptionist at Hair Styles by August in Chili and worked her way up to a stylist and certified stylist in color, waving, waxing. She has travelled all over America to teach other stylists, as well as being a mentor and educator, in New Forest, England, for Organic Color System. Renee has travelled all over Ohio and New York State to teach stylists in Matrix Socolor, ColorSyn, and permanent waving. Renee volunteers 2 days a week in the kindergarten classroom at Paul Road School. She also has organized the counting and collecting of Box Tops for Paul Road School from 2011-2017 and helped raise $3,000-$6,000 for the school. She helped to create and build a Paul Road yearbook for students, is Secretary and Treasurer for Paul Road Parent Board, helped bring Little Free Library to Paul Road, as well as Crayon Initiative and Sacred Santa Show to Paul Road. Renee has helped to raise $2000 for Rochester Arthritis Marathon, raised $500 for Marine Corps Marathon, raised $1000 for Savanna, Georgia, Marathon for Willow Pickard, adopted numerous families for Gates Chili HS Service Club for Christmas and Thanksgiving, and coached Chili girls’ soccer. She has done a “Haircuts for Cancer” day with money raised for Willow Pickard, who graduated from GC but suffered and passed away from cancer. Money raised went to Willow’s Go Fund Me account. She has participated in Locks for Love, Paint the Town Purple for Gates Chili Relay for Life, giving trees at the salon, donations for Green Angels, a non-profit organization giving to low-income families.
Renee states that high school was the best years of her life where she met the best friends she still has. She participated in JV and Varsity Soccer, Service Club and Life and Death. She feels many of these things helped her deal with and assist people in difficult situations. She received the Health Award in her senior year and feels that has helped her to listen to others and understand and give back to the community. Her advice to GC students is to make choices that will help set your foundation for your future. She believes you need to make high school a positive moment and to look back on it and see how it helped with growing friendships, building responsibilities, and loving your community.
Dr. David Olivo ('83)
Dr. Olivo is a 1983 graduate of Gates Chili High School. Dr. Olivo is presently the owner/dentist of David A. Olivo, DMD, General and Cosmetic Dentistry in Gates and Rochester, NY since 1993. David received a Psychology Degree from SUNY Buffalo and then attended Boston University Goldman School of Graduate Dentistry, DMD. He received a Certificate of Recognition for Excellence from the American Academy of Dental Practice Administration and Organization of Teachers of Dental Practice Administration in 1991. He was also the Seventh District Dental Society Peer Review Chairman. David received recognition from Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. He received the Open Care Patients’ Choice Award and United Concordia Outstanding Service as a Participating Dental Office in 1995. Dr. Olivo received the Certificate of Recognition for Continued Leadership and Involvement in the field of CAD/CAM Dentistry in 2014.
Dr. Olivo coaches Brighton Girls’ Lacrosse and is also a mentor for young dentists in school with BU Dental School APEX Program. He has also helped with Nazareth College Health Fair, screening elementary children in schools and talking to children about oral health, as well as being the vice president of his church council. David has sponsored youth soccer, hockey, baseball, and track teams in Gates and Chili. He also served on Peer Review for Monroe County Dental Society and Monroe County Dental Society Board. He continues to visit nursing homes and shut ins who need help with oral care. David is the proud parent of two daughters, Grace and Emma. His advice to Gates Chili students is to appreciate how committed and dedicated the teachers are in your education and personal development. He states, “Be sure to take advantage of that!”
Heather McKane Rogers ('89)
Heather is a 1989 graduate of Gates Chili High School. She is presently a partner and attorney at Davidson Fink LLP. She also is an owner/member of Tres Mojo LLC and a real estate broker. Heather attended Wittenberg University with a BA in Business and Spanish in 1993. She continued on at Duquesne University of Law with a Juris Doctor Degree. In 2000, she received her MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology. As a partner at Davidson Fink LLP she manages default operations, residential and commercial foreclosures, commercial and residential real estate representing buyers, sellers, and lenders. From 2011-2012, Heather was chair of the Real Property Section of the New York State Bar Association. Heather served as secretary and Vice Chair of the Section, Past and Current Co-Chair of the Real Estate Finance Committee of the Section, past 7th Judicial District Representative for the Section, Speaker for the NYS Bar Association, member of the Zombie Property task Force, and a member of the Diversity Challenge Team. She was also the past Chair for the Real Estate Section of the Monroe County Bar Association from 2005-2006, a past member of the Academy of Law and Committee on Unauthorized Practice of Law, and Chair/Moderator/ Speaker for the Monroe County Bar Association Continuing Legal Education on Real Estate Topics. Heather is an authorized title agent for Chicago/Ticor Title Insurance Company and First American, member and sub committee Co-Chair Monroe Vacant Property Task Force. She was also an associate attorney for Fix Spindelman Brovitz and Goldman from 2000-2003 and Shapiro and DiCaro from 1999-2000. She volunteers with Honeoye Falls Blaze Travel Soccer Association, Mendon Storm Baseball Team, advisor for Rochester Junior Yacht Club.
Heather describes her years at Gates Chili as a placed where educational and extracurricular opportunities were deep. Her advice would be to allow yourself to find your passion and find a way to make a living out of it. She states do not be afraid to keep looking for that passion and understand that you are never stuck but you can reinvent yourself at any time. Heather believes that you should give yourself time and provide yourself with enough money to be able to do the things you enjoy with the people you love. She states, “You are the creator of your own destiny-don’t blame others-take responsibility and if you don’t like where you are, fix it. But no matter what you are doing, even if it is not your end game, at that moment, show up on time, be respectful, and work hard. Your work ethic and attitude can get you just about anywhere.”
Jeanine White ('85)
Jeanine is a 1985 graduate of Gates Chili High School. She received her BS in Management from Ithaca College in 1989. She presently is a Tax Recruiting Manager at Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC). Jeanine is a seasoned recruiting professional with over 13 years of experience in full- life cycle recruitment in both corporate and agency settings for various industries, vertical markets, and positions. Jeanine is involved in vetting top-tier candidates, earning trust with hiring managers and colleagues, and serving clients in a Subject Matter Expert capacity. Some of her skills involve Resource Management, Employee Career Development, and Coaching Skills. Previously, Jeanine was an IT Specialist at Foothills Consulting Group in California (2017-2018), and Independent Contract Recruiter (2015-2017), a Career Development and Employer Relations Manager with Pepperdine University (2014-2015), and a recruiting specialist with Deloitte Tax in California (2013-2014). She was also a recruiting manager from 1991-2000 at various offices.
Jeanine is also an inventor of “Hop ‘N Pop” which helps children on the Autism Spectrum find a way to socialize with one another. She is the proud mother of two children, Drew and Nina. She is also involved with several organizations for abused children, a Court Appointed Special Advocate, NO MORE organization advocate, One Love Foundation Advocate, Second Chance Employment Services Volunteer, CURE childhood Cancer volunteer. Jeanine believes her years at GC were filled with strong academics, and helped her to overcome struggles and turn tragedies into triumph, and love and support from the GC faculty. She was very involved at GC during her years there from Drama Club to Student Council to Cheerleading. She believes the education, support and guidance she received at GC taught her to be a critical thinking, a problem solver, a doer but most importantly, an empathetic, non-judgmental human being.
She states she is “incredibly grateful for having been a student in the GC School District and hopes that her story will help current and future students know that they are or will be part of a district that has provided or will provide them with skills that are going to help them to not only be successful but to be incredible human beings.” Her advice is to tap into their unique strengths and passions and pursue a path of purpose: one that has real meaning to them. She also states take time to reflect on who has been there for them throughout their time in the district and to never lose those connections and to take time to thank those people whenever you have the opportunity