Announcing our new executive director

Dear friend,

Our board of directors has some big changes to announce. Pat Braus, our Founder and current Executive Director, has decided to step back as the Executive Director. This decision makes way for a new generation of leadership at REF. Our board has selected StuartHencke, our current Deputy Director, as our new Executive Director. We are pleased to have such a capable and dedicated person to lead REF.

Pat's new role is Director of Policy and Strategy. She will work with staff, board and the community to continue to promote the mission and goals of REF. Pat has shepherded the organization from inception in 2003 to the vibrant organization it is today, providing critical resources and programs for thousands of Rochester City public school students. The Board is delighted that she has decided to stay on part-time providing valuable strategic advice moving forward.

“I am glad to be part of a terrific team working to support the success of city students,” Pat noted. “After leading REF for 16 years, it is a pleasure to see the organization continue to move forward.” 

Stuart is a graduate of Creighton University School of Law and proud 19th Ward resident. He comes to this position with seven years of experience with REF. In his current job he has been an integral part of all areas of our work. Most recently, Stuart has been instrumental in the expansion and success of REF’s college access program, which offers help to city students filling out federal financial aid forms, visiting college campuses and learning about college. 

“I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to continue to build upon the incredible work that REF has done on behalf of city students under Pat’s leadership over the past 16 years,” said Stuart.

The board looks forward to working with Stuart as he leads REF into the future, with strong programs to help improve the lives of Rochester city school children. Please join us in congratulating Stuart and Pat on their new positions, and thanking Pat for her dedication and commitment to REF and our city students. 
Robert R Neale
Chair, Board of Directors


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