Lu grew up here in Buffalo and left to pursue her undergraduate education at Georgetown University in D.C. Following that, she spent several years in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps on the Colville Reservation in Omak, Washington before continuing on to earn her M.A. from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. Lu returned to Buffalo and spent 12 years as a campus minister at Canisius College before becoming the Executive Director of Family Promise of WNY. She is motivated each and every day by the children and parents FPWNY serves to make this program better. She lives with her husband and two children on the West Side of Buffalo.
Stephanie is a New York City native who moved to Buffalo to pursue her education at Buffalo State College. She has spent the last few years in classrooms working one on one with students. Her recent position at Erie 1 BOCES gave her the inspiration to join our team here at Family Promise. She is looking forward to helping all the children and parents that we serve here at Family Promise.
Hannah is native to Trinidad, having moved to the United States in the early 2000s. She started as a housekeeper at Family Promise and moved up to be our House Manager. Hannah is passionate about this position because she believes in the power of faith and positivity in difficult situations.
After graduating from SUNY Fredonia with a Music Business degree, Susana has spent most of her career in marketing/communications; starting off in concert promotion, working at a number of advertising agencies as well as several firms in their in-house marketing departments. She decided it was time to use her skills for the greater good, serving the community and helping others in any way she can. She's extremely grateful to be a part of Family Promise.
Mark is a Buffalo native who moved away to Miami FL to peruse a carrier in hospitality. Three years ago, Mark moved back to Buffalo and continued to manage restaurants. With COVID-19, the hospitality world shifted and Mark looked to apply his leadership and organization skills in a different way here at Family Promise. As the Virtual Learning Coordinator, Mark spends his time working with our families to make the most positive learning experience we can offer given the current circumstances. We are excited to have Mark on our team and look forward to everything he can bring to the table.
Annalyse is a recent grad from Canisius College where she studied Psychology and Environmental Studies. Throughout her time at school one of her biggest motivations was deepening community. Her love for people and inclusion is what brought her to Family Promise. She is looking forward to connecting to her local community and being a small part of an important cause.
Christian Hoffman is the Director of Communication at Community Missions in Niagara County, the largest private provider of basic human needs and of mental health services in the area. Since joining the Mission in February 2013, Mr. Hoffman has garnered unprecedented media coverage for the agency, launched several new initiatives, and helped secure hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funding. He resides in Cheektowaga with his wife, Toni, and two children, Elliana (6) and Jack (3). He has served on the Board of Family Promise of WNY since 2014.
Kelli Cavo currently works at Via Evaluation which provides grant writing and program evaluation services in Buffalo. She has a background in Human Resources and Fund Development and has held Director of Development jobs at the WNY Women's Foundation and Gerard Place.
CJ Van Note is a Manager with BS&P CPA’s and Consultants working in all areas of taxation. CJ has been in the tax industry since she graduated from Niagara University with her MBA in 2012. CJ is passionate about helping the people in the City of Buffalo in any way she can including serving as treasurer of Family Promise of WNY. CJ used to serve on the board of Dog Ears Bookstore and Café and volunteers with many organizations through her firm. CJ has been on the board of Family Promise since November of 2015 and currently resides in Lake View with her husband.
Kristen Luppino-Gholston is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Work at Daemen College. Prior to coming to Daemen as the Director of Civic Engagement in 2018, she held positions with WNY Women’s Foundation, Catholic Charities WIC, and Child and Family Services Haven House. A community social worker by training, Kristen focuses on macro-level work to promote safe, just and healthy WNY communities. Kristen was named one of Buffalo Business First’s “40 Under 40” in 2017. She resides in Buffalo with her husband and two daughters.
Steve Blass is a Insurance Agent for Knights of Columbus Insurance. Steve has a Bachelors of Science in Childhood and Special Education from Daemen College and a Masters of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Medaille College. Steve brings fundraising and development skills and knowledge from previous work experiences to the board. Steve has been helping Family Promise of WNY since 2014 and on the Board since 2017.
Matthew currently works for Verizon as the Senior Manager of Learning and Development. In this role, Matthew is responsible for overseeing the L&D needs for Verizon vendor partners from a national perspective. Matthew is a native of Buffalo, New York and currently resides in Amherst with his wife, Asia, and 2-year-old son, Matthew2. Matthew graduated from St John Fisher College with a degree in Business Management. Matthew is involved with serving with Buffalo Prep and is passionate about helping serve the city of Buffalo.
Marissa Desiderio is the Program Manager of Case Management Services with Child & Family Services of Erie County. Prior to Child & Family Services, Marissa was a Supervisor with Say Yes to Education Buffalo and Catholic Charities. She has been working with children and families for over 15 years in various capacities. Marissa is also a clinical social worker who maintains a small private practice.
Katherine Dibble is a Pro Bono Staff Attorney at ECBA Volunteer Lawyer's Project, Inc. Her interest in joining the Board of Family Promise stems from both her personal and professional life. As an attorney, she has had the opportunity to be on all sides of difficult situations, and has had to counsel people through some of the most trying parts of their lives. In these moments, she has realized how important it is to have robust support systems in place to help anyone and everyone who needs a hand. As a life long Buffalonian, she could not be more proud to be part of a community that fosters places like Family Promise and protects the most vulnerable people in their most vulnerable moments. She finds having some small role in assisting in the mission of Family Promise to be a privilege.
Michael Lynch, LMSW, is an assistant clinical professor for field education at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. Lynch works with the field department connecting students to meaningful agency placements. He has spent a number of years working with the field department in various capacities, including as a faculty liaison and a field educator. Additionally, he brings experience working in a variety of social work settings including urban education, program development, child welfare and community collaborations. Michael lives on the west side of Buffalo with his wife, Meghan, and his son, Hugo. Michael has a strong commitment to social justice and equity and pursued helping at Family Promise after hearing about their mission and the impact the work is having on the community.
Keith Preston is a certified public accountant (CPA) in New York State specializing in providing audit and attestation services to small and medium sized businesses particularly in the manufacturing and construction industries. He also audits a wide variety of employee benefit plans for private and public companies. Prior to auditing, Keith worked in small business consulting and taxation and specialized in providing tax preparation, attestation, and consulting services to a variety of closely held private companies and individuals. In his spare time he enjoys reading, music, hiking and being outdoors, and spending time with friends and family.
James is a Vice President and Community Office Manager for BankonBuffalo in Amherst, NY. James has spent his career in banking and his experience ranges all over the country having worked for some of the nation’s largest banks in Arizona, Florida, and Buffalo. He is a native of Syracuse, attended Canisius College, and left Buffalo after graduation for “greener” pastures. Not long after leaving James found his true love for Buffalo and Western New Yorkers. After 10 long years, James returned to Buffalo for good in 2014. James is a resident of Williamsville with his fiancée and two children. He is a proud Graduate of Leadership Buffalo Class of 2020.
Kaylei Russell, CPA is a Senior Accountant with BS&P CPA's and Consultants where she focuses on providing taxation and attestation services to small businesses and individuals. After graduating from SUNY Fredonia with a degree in Public Accountancy, Kaylei relocated to Buffalo and is passionate about becoming involved in the local community. She is eager to use her professional experience to aid the mission of Family Promise and play a small role in making a lasting impact in the lives of others. Outside of work Kaylei enjoys hiking with her dog, cycling, kayaking and spending time with friends and family.