875 E. Main Street, Ste. 140, Rochester, NY 14605  //  585.325.7701

Leadership Team

Leadership Team

Board Member Summary

Cynthia Gray


Fundraising and Development Committee

Assistant Vice President, 

RIT and Rochester Regional Health Alliance

LR Alumna 2004


 "A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent." --Douglas MacArthur


Most Valuable Part of My LR Experience: The network of colleagues and leaders was a huge benefit of the program, along with the opportunity to gain a more in-depth view of the strengths as well as issues that impacting our community. I’ve since joined at least one board because of the connections made in my LR class. 


Justin Copie


Marketing & Recruitment Committee

Owner & CEO, 

Innovative Solutions

LR Alum 2009


"Leadership is a responsibility. Our responsibility is to care for those in our charge, be empathetic to those around us, and be urgent to leave this world a better place, than when we came into it."  ~ Personal Mantra


Most Valuable Part of My LR Experience: My LR experience gave me tremendous perspective on all things living. I will never know the world the same, since my time going through the program. 

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Kimm Proctor


Chair, Finance Committee

Compliance Manager

ESL Federal Credit Union

Andrew Brady


Chair, Board Nominations Committee

President & Chief Evolutionary Officer

The XLR8 Team, Inc.

LR Alum 2004


"The task of leadership is to create an alignment of strengths so strong that it makes the system’s weaknesses irrelevant.” -Peter Drucker


Most Valuable Part of My LR Experience:

Reacquainting myself with Rochester after 7 years away. Learning about the triumphs, the challenges and the inspiring Rochesterians moving our city forward. 

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Maria Cristalli

Program Steering Committee

President and CEO

Hillside Family of Agencies

LR Alumna 2009

Learn More about Maria 

Herb Escher

Marketing & Recruitment Committee

President and CEO

Dale Carnegie Inc. (Rochester and Buffalo) 

LR Alum 2011

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou


Most Valuable Part of My LR Experience:  

Learning about the strengths, and challenges of the Greater Rochester Area. That information has enabled me to serve our community 

Lauren Gallina

Marketing & Recruitment Committee

Marketing Director, 

Gallina Development Corp.

LR Alumna 2015


Most Valuable Part of My LR Experience:

Exploring our community with an incredible group of professionals that became good friends.

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Scott Hendler

Co-Chair, Marketing & Recruitment Committee 

Health Systems Integration IT Operations,

 Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

LR Alum 2013


"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one."  ~Dr. Spock, Star Trek II


Most Valuable Part of My LR Experience:

Understanding all the issues, as well as, all the exciting news and events for the greater Rochester area.


Darren Miller

Chair, Program Steering Committee


Nixon Peabody, LLP

LR Alum 2014


"You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand." --Woodrow Wilson


Most Valuable Part of My LR Experience:

Being exposed to aspects of Rochester that I had previously not encountered.


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La’Ron D. Singletary

Marketing & Recruitment Committee


Rochester Police Department

LR Alum 2015


 “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality” – Warren Bennis


Most Valuable Part of My LR Experience: 

The diversification of ideas & beliefs shared throughout by many.

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Paul Stella

Chair, Fundraising and Development Committee

Creative Services Director,

13WHAM ABC, CW Rochester & WUHF FOX Rochester

LR Alum 2005


“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill


Most Valuable Part of My LR Experience:

The opportunity to immerse myself in the diversity of our community by engaging fellow classmates in conversation and meaningful activities provided the crucial insights that continue to influence nearly all aspects of my life today. 

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Matthew Wagstaff

Co-Chair, Marketing & Recruitment Committee

Manager, Retail Market Sales - New Sales Channels

Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield

LR Alum 2014 "The most humble class"


“Live long and prosper"  ~ Personal Mantra


Most Valuable Part of My LR Experience: The genuine relationships that were developed and maintained over the years.


Staff Summary

Gwen Van Laeken

Executive Director 

Quotes that motivate: 

Let your Community Teach You. If you are not listening, you are not there. ~unknown

“A tree has roots in the soil yet reaches to the sky. It tells us that in order to aspire we need to be grounded and that no matter how high we go it is from our roots that we draw sustenance. It is a reminder to all of us who have had success that we cannot forget where we came from. It signifies that no matter how powerful we become in government or how many awards we receive, our power and strength and our ability to reach our goals depend on the people, those whose work remain unseen, who are the soil out of which we grow, the shoulders on which we stand” 
― Wangari Maathai, Nobel Prize Winner, Biography Unabowed

Proud LR Alumna 2015


Karen McArthur

 Youth Program Manager

(LR Consultant)


Carolyn Scott

 Office and Programs Administrator

(Flower City Americorp Member)


Joan Roby-Davison

 Program Assistant 

(LR Alumni - Consultant)