Golisano Children's Hospital Board
We are committed to the excellence of patient care, education and research for the children of the Finger Lakes Region and beyond. This will be accomplished through fundraising and promoting an increased awareness of Golisano Children's Hospital.
Michael Goonan, Chair
Goonan has volunteered on the Golisano Children's Hospital Board for 10 years and has also served as Chair of Golf Fundraisers.
As the Chief Financial Officer of URMC for close to 30 years, Goonan has profound experience as a leader. Under his tenure, the institution experienced enormous growth while maintaining its financial stability.
Goonan, now retired, is deeply committed to advancing the mission of Golisano Children’s Hospital. He and his wife Judy were honorary chairs of the 2014 Gala and generously named the nurse's documentation station in the new hospital's seventh floor.
"With the support of a highly-committed and energetic Board, an extremely supportive University and Medical Center, and an entire community with a proven philanthropic track record, I have no doubt that we will meet the challenges that may lie ahead and continue to insure that children in our community will receive the best care."
Howard "Howie" R. Jacobson, Executive committee
Jacobson's connections with the hospital date back to helping as co-auctioneer at the 1996 Gala; then, in 1998, the place became even closer to his heart when one of his sons was in a life-threatening car and bicycle accident and airlifted to the children's hospital.
“Dr. Walter Pegoli and the team performed their magic, and afterward, I wanted to do more. Being asked to join the Board afforded me that opportunity,” Jacobson said. “After all, it’s all about the children.”
Jacobson serves on the Gala committee and partners with community fundraising efforts. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, snow-shoeing, swimming, and wine-and-food sampling. He resides in Rochester and Canandaigua with his wife, Jona. They have seven children: Grace, Angus, Henry, Rory, Gunther, Paige and Tess.
Chesonis’ ties to Golisano Children's Hospital were born at the same time as his youngest daughter, Katie, who required open heart surgery when she was only one day old. Things turned out well for Katie—so well, in fact, that pediatric cardiac surgeon, George M. Alfieris, M.D., said she "was perfect."
Suddenly, Chesonis was faced with another challenge: how to thank the man who saved his daughter's life.
Joining the board and promoting the hospital, its team, and its vision seemed to be a solid start. He has since been inspired to do his part helping other families enjoy the same positive medical outcomes that his had, and his efforts are especially evident in his energetic and innovative service as Chair of the Stroll for Strong Kids Committee. The Stroll is an annual fundraiser involving more that 2,000 participants.
Chesonis lives with his wife, Amy, and their three children, Tommy, Sarah and Katie. He enjoys photography, tennis and volleyball, and sharing activities with his children—ranging from his son's Cub Scouts, football, baseball or basketball, to his daughters' dance classes and soccer games.
Jeffrey A. Davis, President of Elmer W. Davis, Inc.
Davis' ties with Golisano Children's Hospital run close to his heart—his daughter was treated here on a number of occasions, undergoing several surgeries. Now a healthy teenager, his daughter is the primary motivation behind Davis' decision to serve as a board member. He, his wife Patricia, and their family live in Pittsford.
Roger B. Friedlander
Friedlander, who has been involved with Golisano Children’s Hospital for many years, has served both as Board Chair and as a member of the Executive Committee.
Most recently, as medical center liaison, Friedlander and his family have donated a pediatric intensive care transport isolette, which will help in transferring the tiniest patients by tending to their most critical care needs while in-between hospitals.
Friedlander's daughter, Deborah Haen, also serves as a member of the board.
John Halleran, President and CEO of Halleran Financial Group
Halleran’s first involvement with Golisano Children’s Hospital was a fundraising event that his company, Halleran Financial Group, sponsored to raise money for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). John’s ongoing connection to the hospital began when he and his wife Laura met a family whose lives were changed by the “beacon of health and hope that the hospital is to families with children in health crises.”
Halleran’s position on the board sprang from his participation in and corporate support of the annual Golisano Children’s Hospital Gala in 2013 and his and his wife Laura’s participation on the Gala board in 2014. The Hallerans made a very generous commitment to the 2014 Gala’s fund-in-need, which will pay for a new invaluable communication system for physicians and nurses in the new building. A long-time supporter of youth in the Rochester community, John is looking forward to helping the children’s hospital “reach the finish line” in the final stages of its new building.
The Hallerans reside in Honeoye Falls with their three children, Grant, Benjamin and Grace.
Jim Hammer, President and CEO, Hammer Packaging
More than twelve years ago, Hammer and his wife Donna decided they wanted to focus on helping the charitable efforts of Golisano Children's Hospital. They have been a major sponsor of both Gala and golf tournament and Hammer Packaging Corporation have generously donated the services for printing invitations for the Gala for many years. Hammer's family members have inherited this giving spirit. Donna and the Hammers' daughter-in-law Selma have served on the Gala's planning committee and their son Jason has helped plan the hospital's annual Golf Classic. In 2008, Hammer Packaging Corporation, of which Hammer is the president and CEO, was awarded the hospital's Miracle Maker Award for Outstanding Commitment by a Company.
In addition to his new membership on Golisano Children's Hospital's board, Hammer is also a board member of the Mary Cariola Children's Center and a board member of the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center and JP Morgan Chase's regional board of directors. A staunch believer in the power and importance of giving back to one's community, Hammer looks forward to growing and strengthening his relationship with Golisano Children's Hospital.
Jennifer Johnson, 13WHAM-TV and FOX Rochester anchor and reporter
Johnson’s involvement with Golisano Children’s Hospital began in 2011 when her daughter Grace Esposito was born with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia and, after more than two months of ups and downs in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), was able to go home. Named a 2012 Miracle Kid, “Amazing Grace” sadly passed away on Feb. 16, 2013 after a surgery to repair a new hole that formed in her diaphragm. At only 16 months old, Grace had a large impact on the community and touched so many lives.
With the help of Rochester-area Kiwanis Clubs (Johnson’s husband Vincent Esposito was the Irondequoit chapter president) and 13WHAM, Grace’s parents started a fundraising campaign in Grace’s honor. Thanks to their combined support, Grace will have a NICU room and healing garden (“Grace’s Garden”) named in her memory in the new Golisano Children’s Hospital building.
Even though Grace has passed, Vinnie and Jennifer continue to feel inspired to give back to the hospital and its providers because of the time they were able to spend with Grace.
“It feels very natural to become a part of the board,” Johnson said. “As a reporter I’ve learned so much about the hospital, but I never expected to become synonymous with its name. I’m so glad Grace’s story has inspired others during their battles. I welcome the opportunity to be around a group of people and families who may have been through the worst with the loss of a child and still support the hospital like we choose to do.”
The Espositos live in Irondequoit with their daughters Avery and Luciana. They enjoy spending any moment of down time they have together as a family.
Todd Levine, President of Alleson Athletic, a fourth-generation family business
Levine’s involvement with Golisano Children’s Hospital dates back several years, but he solidified his commitment in March 2002 when he joined the Board.
The William and Mildred Levine Foundation, of which Levine is president, has committed $1 million to naming a pediatric autism clinic that will be located near Rochester's Route 390/Kendrick Road interchange. The Levine Clinic will address the increasing needs for diagnosis and treatment in an environment that will meet the unique sensory needs of these youth.
Levine and wife, Julie, are proud parents of three healthy children, Noah, Morgan and Rachel.
Scott Marshall, President of Marshall Farms Group
Scott Marshall and his wife, Courtney, were proud parents of two healthy boys before they delivered their daughters, Anne and Molly. Both girls, though born two years apart, each arrived nearly 3 months early.
"After Anne, we thought this was just an anomaly," Marshall said. "Having had two boys at full-term, we were confident this wouldn't be a risk we’d run into again down the road."
Anne and Molly each spent 3 months in the NICU at Golisano Children's Hospital, gaining strength, learning to breathe and eat, putting on weight. Now, both are healthy girls and the Marshalls are giving back to the hospital in any way they can.
"The NICU is especially close to our hearts," Marshall said. "I serve on a committee that plans events such as 'An Evening of Wine and Wishes.' It's a joy to be able to champion the hospital—the doctors, nurses, staff. After all, for a long time, they were the ones supporting us."
Gary Mauro, President J.T. Mauro Co. Inc.
Mauro shares ownership of a mechanical contracting company with a tradition of taking a vested interest in its clients. For Golisano Children’s Hospital, that means J.T. Mauro steps beyond its expected role in providing complete mechanical systems for our PICU/PCICU and the William and Mildred Levine Pediatric Surgical Suite projects; they also support the hospital financially by sponsoring the metal fish and butterflies sculptures that adorn the walls leading up to the new units, funding a PICU nurse’s station, sponsoring the annual Gala and golf tournaments, and generously providing the Miracle Makers’ Luncheon since its inception
Mauro says that, "Over the years, I have had the unique opportunity to watch Golisano Children's Hospital grow. From that, I have witnessed firsthand the commitment of its administrators, department heads and staff to the cause—providing superior pediatric care to the Rochester's children."
Mauro will play a role on the annual Gala and Golf Tournament committees. He currently serves on boards of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and Hillside Children’s Center Foundation.
"It's an honor for me to play a role in one of our community’s greatest assets," he said.
Mauro lives in Brighton and has a daughter who recently completed graduate school in Chicago.
Raymond J. Mayewski, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and Vice-President at URMC
Raymond Mayewski , M.D., is Deans' Professor of Medicine and a senior clinician/administrator at Strong Memorial Hospital. Mayewski acts as a liaison between medical staff and administration and coordinates administrative and clinical matters related to patient care and safety.
In addition to his leadership roles within Strong, Mayewski plays an active role in supporting the URMC as the Director of the Grateful Donor Program. Mayewski has been a staunch supporter of Golisano Children’s Hospital as it expands, helping the hospital obtain important financial support.
Kim J. McCluski, Consultant, executive committee
Co-chair of Golisano Children's Hospital's Community Fundraising Committee, McCluski is no stranger to community boards. She serves on the Pittsford Central School District Board of Education, Monroe County School Board Association, and the Nazareth College Board of Trustees in addition to her work with the hospital.
McCluski currently lives in Pittsford with her husband, Stephen. They are the parents of two sons, Brad, 25, and Ryan. Ryan sadly passed away in 2004 and is honored by a memorial basketball tournament, The Rainbow Classic, each year. The tournament is held between Pittsford Sutherland and Pittsford Mendon High Schools, honoring both Ryan McCluski and Katie Pasley.
McCluski enjoys cooking and working out; her passion for the children's hospital springs from personal experience—she worked there from 1975 to 1983—and from the caring and dedication of the staff during Ryan's illness.
Kathy Parrinello, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Strong Memorial Hospital, Associate Vice President for the University of Rochester Medical Center
Parrinello’s leadership skills have translated well in her work with Golisano Children’s Hospital. A strong advocate of the hospital, Parrinello has been a huge help with getting the word out to the Medical Center community about events like Miracle Jeans Day, the Golf Classic and the Ski Outing. She has assisted in many other ways as well, including securing space for Golisano Children’s Hospital’s telethon and Drive for Miracles Radiothon.
In addition to her administrative duties, Parrinello precepts and teaches students in the University’s graduate school of business, the Simon School, in healthcare management. Parrinello also chairs the COO forum for the Hospital Association of New York State and serves on the Board of the State appointed, Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency and is also a board member of the Visiting Nurse Service of Rochester, where she chairs the Program and Planning Committee.
Dante Pennacchia, President and CEO, Maxualize, LLC
When Pennacchia was chief marketing officer at Pictometry, he created an alliance between government and business that resulted in an altruistic, yet profitable, effort that helped victims of Haiti, Katrina and other disasters. The efforts helped build Pictometry’s viability within the insurance industry as well as the awareness of the company as one that does a great deal good for humanity.
In 2011, Dante took that groundbreaking idea with him when founded his own firm, Maxualize, LLC. As President and CEO he is focused on helping Rochester start-ups grow while showing them how being altruistic can profit them at the same time as the community at large.
Dante is a member of the Rochester Angel Network, a volunteer for the Golisano Children’s Hospital and splits his time between being Chairman of the Board at Raland Therapeutics, a start-up that focuses its efforts on mezzanine level bio-therapeutics for people in small populations, and being CEO of Maxualize. He is also an advisor to the Children’s Institute in Rochester.
Pichichero’s involvement with the children’s hospital board dates back to when Robert Hoekelman, M.D., served as the chair of the Department of Pediatrics more than 30 years ago. Angela was an active member of the hospital’s original board, before it gained its Golisano Children’s Hospital name, and she looks forward to continuing to be a champion for children today.
Throughout her many years in Rochester and long-standing connection with both Strong Memorial Hospital and Golisano Children’s Hospital, Angela has contributed greatly to the growth of both facilities. A generous gift from Angela and her former husband pediatrician Michael Pichichero, M.D., helped name the sixth floor outpatient treatment clinic in the Ambulatory Care. The Pichicheros also financed and helped run Pediatric Links with the Community (PLC), a program, now known as the Hoekelman Center, that trains leaders in community health and advocacy. Angela served on the PLC advisory board for 10 years.
With a background in child and adolescent counseling, Angela was a professor of Human Services at Monroe Community College for 25 years. A long-time volunteer, she also served as Chair of the Board of Governors for Hillside Family of Agencies. Now retired, she lives in Brighton and enjoys spending time with her two children and grandchild. She remains passionate about supporting families in crisis and remaining an involved community member.
Jennifer (Jenni) Ralph, Owner of Wisteria Flowers & Gifts, decorating chair of the Golisano Children's Hospital Gala's planning committee
Ralph’s connection with Golisano Children’s Hospital began in 2003, when her daughter Charlotte was born with a minor facial deformity. During her daughter’s stay at the children’s hospital, Ralph recognized how lucky she was to have the institution right in her community and knew she had to give back in some way.
Ralph has dedicated countless hours working with her creative Wisteria team to design beautiful floral arrangements for a number of children’s hospital events, including our annual Gala, Radiothon, and Miracle Luncheon. Ralph has been the decorating chair of the Gala’s planning committee for a number of years. Not only does she help transform the venue the day of the event, but she also donates a majority of the décor, making each year unforgettable. When she’s not hands-deep in creating floral designs, Ralph also volunteers at the annual Golisano Children’s Hospital Golf Classic, helping golfers with registration and more.
Ralph is excited to continue her work with the children’s hospital as part of the board and to be a part of something as exciting as the new children’s hospital. She lives in Pittsford with her two kids, Ben and Charlotte. Whether it’s skiing during Rochester’s winters or running the kids around for their various activities, Ralph enjoys spending time with her kids and staying active together.
Gail Riggs, Ph.D.
Riggs’s first experience with Golisano Children’s Hospital was in 2001 when her twins, Abigail and John, were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) as preemies. “They were healthy preemies, they just needed to grow,” explained Riggs. In the NICU, Riggs saw many other babies who needed much more serious medical treatment. This experience made her want to help do whatever it took to help create the next generation of miracles in modern medicine.
In 2005, Riggs and her husband, Dr. Patrick Riggs, funded the Riggs Special Care Nursery in the NICU to help the more than 1,200 babies that visit the NICU annually. They continue to be very supportive of the very special unit and other areas of the children’s hospital as well.
Riggs has a Master’s Degree in social work and a Ph.D. from Tulane University. Her husband is the Chief of Vascular Surgery at Rochester General Hospital. Riggs manages a company named after her daughter, the Abigail Riggs Collection, which has been hugely successful in selling handbags locally and nationally to benefit non-profit organizations including Golisano Children’s Hospital.
Mark Siewert, Chair from 2010-2015, Former owner of Siewert Equipment Company
Siewert has seen the expertise and kindheartedness of members of Golisano Children's Hospital first-hand. From November 2001 to July 2002, Siewert's son was cared for in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Siewert joined the board in June 2002 and since then, he has carried a strong belief in the children's hospital and passion for giving back throughout his tenure on the fundraising board. In June 2010, he became board chair and then stepped down from the position in June 2015.
Siewert was involved in the fundraising efforts for the PICU, which opened in 2004, and the William and Mildred Levine Pediatric Surgical Suite, which opened in 2006. The hallway leading to the pediatric surgical suite, which is filled with blue skies, kites and butterflies to serve as a calming force for children entering the facility, was named in honor of Siewert's son, Mark Daniel. Siewert participates in several subcommittees on the board to recruit corporate sponsors for the annual golf classic and gala events.
Mark and his wife Marcia were among the first individual donors to support the new Golisano Children's Hospital and its pediatric programs. Part of their generous gift named the Mark Daniel Siewert Pediatric Conference Center on the building's first floor.
Siewert also serves on the Al Sigl Foundation board and McQuaid's board of trustees. He enjoys golfing, boating and reading. He and Marcia live in Pittsford and have another son, Christopher.
Mike Smith, Executive committee
Mike Smith has been very involved with Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center for a number of years. In 2008, he and his wife, Alice, were honorary chairs for Golisano Children’s Hospital’s annual Gala event – the biggest fundraiser for the children’s hospital. In 2008, Smith offered to have his company, the Cabot Group, be the presenting sponsor for the Gala for the next 10 years, ensuring the success of the event for years to come.
“The gala is both a celebration of the children’s hospital and an opportunity to raise funds so the children’s hospital can continue to do its good work,” said Smith.
Smith, who has also been part of the Gala’s sponsorship committee, is continually impressed and moved by the enormous impact the children’s hospital has on our region. He has spearheaded his company’s efforts to support the hospital, which has included sponsoring the Golf Classic in addition to his continuous support for the Gala.
“It’s easy for us to participate. We don’t really do the hard work like the many wonderful doctors and nurses and volunteers, but we like to contribute,” said Smith. “You walk through life and you see so many needs, but when you see a kid with medical needs, it just makes your heart skip a beat. We don’t do much, but I truly believe in Golisano Children’s Hospital and so we do what we can to help.”
Steve Terrigino, CPA of the Bonadio Group, executive committee
Steve Terrigino became involved with the hospital in November 2006, after his 12-year old son was hospitalized during the week of Thanksgiving for an appendectomy. “My wife and I were immediately impressed with Golisano Children’s Hospital,” said Terrigino. “The care and level of service we were provided from the emergency room to the pediatric floor was unprecedented. The genuine care and attention my son received from Dr. Walter Pegoli was absolutely amazing.”
While at Golisano Children’s Hospital, Terrigino was surprised to see that every child was receiving equally exceptional care that paralleled his son’s. Terrigino’s son was released on Thanksgiving Day. That year, he and his family certainly had a lot to give thanks for. Terrigino has since then decided to join the board to repay his gratitude to Golisano Children’s Hospital. He has found a passion for this hospital and is excited to take part in its mission to offer kids in the Rochester area the best care possible.
James G. "Jim" Vazzana, Managing partner at Wiedman, Vazzana, Corcoran & Volta, P.C.
Vazzana has been an active fundraiser for Golisano Children’s Hospital Board, and its predecessor, since 1988. He has great interest in the Children’s Hospital because of the loving and tender care that is rendered by both the doctors and nurses to the children of Western New York State.
Alan Wood, RE/MAX Plus partner, Ugly Disco co-founder
Wood and his fellow "Ten Ugly Men" members, as well as the Ugly Disco team, have been prominent supporters of Golisano Children’s Hospital for more than 10 years. After witnessing the quality of care the wife of one of his fellow Ten Ugly Men members received, Wood wanted to give back. The “love, empathy, and care” shown by pediatric oncologist and palliative care specialist David Korones, M.D., was particularly moving.
The success of the Ten Ugly Men, as well as the Ugly Disco, continues to raise awareness and funds for the children’s hospital. Wood remains impressed with the high quality of the staff at Golisano Children’s Hospital and the loving care they provide for their patients.
Wood works as a partner at RE/MAX Plus and he and his wife, Susan, are the proud parents of two children.
Bruce Zicari II, CPA and CVA of the Bonadio Group
Vice president and co-founder of Nancy & Friends Fighting Cancer, Inc., Bruce is committed to helping others. The organization raises and distributes funds for cancer research and individuals and families fighting cancer. Bruce has been a member of the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center board for more than seven years, two of which he served as board chair. His work with Nancy & Friends and the Cancer Center inspired him to become involved with Golisano Children’s Hospital. After losing his sister to breast cancer 10 years ago, Bruce hopes that his position on the board will allow him to engage in similar cancer outreach programs, specifically those that help children fighting the disease.
“Golisano Children’s Hospital is a phenomenal cause and does a lot of wonderful things in the community,” Bruce said. “Both causes are extremely important to me and I hope to spend as much time with both organizations as possible.”
Bruce lives in Rochester with his daughter Isabella and enjoys boating, golfing, and spending time with his family.
- Michael Amalfi
- Brad Berk, M.D., Ph.D.
- Joseph L. Carbone, D.P.M
- David F. Christa
- Judy Columbus
- John DiMarco II
- Wanda B. Edgcomb
- Harvey B. Erdle
- Timothy D. Fournier