Rochester Education Foundation is focused on raising resources to help city school students succeed. We are independent and non-partisan. We also are legally and functionally independent of the Rochester City School District. REF is a 501(c)(3) corporation; all contributions are tax deductible to the full extent provided by law.

REF is governed by a board of directors drawn from the community, and advised by an Advisory Council. Day-to-day activities of the organization are overseen by the Executive Director.


  • Patricia Braus, Executive Director
  • Stuart Hencke, Deputy Director
  • Taylor Cook, Administrative Assistant
  • Shavae Lewis, Community Engagement Specialist
  • Joan Gerrity, Special Projects

Board of Directors

Todd Allen // Retired

Diane Caselli // Attorney, University of Rochester

Edward Cavalier // Retired Principal RCSD/Former CEO, Charter School

Julie Cook // Attorney and Compliance Specialist, Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.

Judith Dumitru // Assistant Director, Financial Aid and Scholarships, Rochester Institute of Technology

Lori Florack // Director of Talent Management and Administration, Excellus BCBS

Anthony Green (Board Secretary) // Deputy to the Provost, University of Rochester

Laurie Haelen (Board Treasurer) // Senior Vice President, Investment Officer, Wealth Strategies Group, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Co.

Sara M. Kelly, Ph.D. // Interim Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, The College at Brockport, SUNY

Joseph M. Levy // Retired, Xerox Corporation

Kimberly McKinsey-Mabry, Ed.D. // Dean, Business and Community Engagement, Monroe Community College

Diane Miller // Vice President, Marketing/Member Services, Advantage Federal Credit Union

Robert R. Neale. (Vice-Chair) // Howard Hanna Real Estate Services

George Tsanis // Vice President and Senior Bank Manager, East Winton M&T Bank

Mark D. Wagner // Director, Provider Reimbursement Operations, Excellus BCBS

Advisory Council

Dan Burns // Rochester President, M&T Bank

Walter Cooper, Ph.D // Retired Kodak scientist, former New York State Board of Regents member, community activist

Barbara Deane-Williams // Superintendent, RCSD

Jennifer Leonard // President and CEO, Rochester Area Community Foundation