Robin comes from a strong finance and banking background. She worked at numerous banks in Western New York. Her finance career began in 1982 at Buffalo Savings Bank. From there, she worked at Goldome Reality Credit Corp. in 1986. After 18 years, Robin began working at Sgroi Financial LLC. She began her career at Kids Escaping Drugs in 2001 as a volunteer with her family. She saw the benefits of her teenage children coming to the Campus to educate them about the dangers and consequences of substance abuse and addiction. In 2007, Robin became the Volunteer Coordinator at Kids Escaping Drugs, and was quickly promoted to Finance Director. In 2012, Robin became the Executive Director of Kids Escaping Drugs. In 2014, when Renaissance Addiction Services Inc. was established, Robin became Executive Director of both KED and RASI. Robin is a member of the Erie County Opioid Task Force.
John Bennett is the Face2Face Program Director at Kids Escaping Drugs. In his current role John supervises the Face2Face program and conducts programming for adult audiences. John focuses on the Face2Face in the Workplace program (drug trends), adult vaping education, and Social Media and Drugs presentation. In his role as Program Director, John meets with school administrators, counselors, school resource officers, and other staff to establish or enhance partnerships. John is a graduate of Hilbert College where he received his Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice. Prior to joining Kids Escaping Drugs in 2016, John had worked as a Sheriff's Deputy since 2011. During most of his time with the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office, John worked as a School Resource Officer in the Gowanda Central School District. As a School Resource Officer, John worked with students going through a variety of issues such as mental health issues, domestic violence issues, and substance abuse issues. He developed an appreciation for counseling and working with at-risk adolescents.
Justin works as a development associate for Kids Escaping Drugs. In his position, he handles writing press releases, marketing and fundraising material, as well as grant applications. He also oversees KED's donor database system.
Justin earned his undergraduate degree in journalism from SUNY Brockport in 2017 and worked as a reporter for several years, writing for local newspapers and magazines. He received his master's degree in Public Administration and graduate certificate in nonprofit management from SUNY Brockport in 2020.
Before working at Kids Escaping Drugs, Justin worked as a development assistant at FeedMore WNY and served as a volunteer board member for the Sweet Home Education Foundation, Inc., where he led the foundation's mini-grant program.
Justin said his favorite part about working for KED is the ability to educate the public about the complexity of addiction and tell stories about the possibility of recovery.
Angela is the Finance and Development Specialist at Kids Escaping Drugs (KED). She started working for the organization in October of 2017. Angela received her Associate's Degree in Hospitality Management from Trocaire College. Angela has previous non-profit experience and enjoys being part of an organization that gives back to the community. She has always had a compassion toward helping others. She enjoys working at KED because she gets to interact with the patients on campus and because KED is making a positive difference in the WNY community by raising awareness of substance abuse and addiction.
Intrigued by marketing since her 10th grade intro to marketing class. Originally from Canada, Jennifer moved to the Buffalo area in 2000, since becoming a Buffalonian she has worked with some great organizations focused on digital marketing, event planning, and relationship building in both the public and private sector. She is a proud mom of two amazing young men who educate her about video games every day. Jennifer sits on five boards, as either President or Treasurer, focused on enriching the lives of our youth in arts, education, and athletics. She is also the VP of Marketing & Communications for Buffalo Niagara Sales & Marketing Executives (BNSME). BNSME is honoring Jennifer in 2022 as an Elite Sales & Marketing Executive for her digital marketing work with the organization. In her role here as Director of Development she will build relationships in the community to support and spread awareness of KED's critical no cost services.
Intrigued by marketing since her 10th grade intro to marketing class. Jennifer was VP of our MarCom committee in 2005-2008 and rejoined the board in 2020 just before the Pandemic hit. Jennifer quickly guided us through the digital pivot by creating our new digital newsletter the BNSME Buzz, helped us to redesign our website to ensure mobile responsiveness, and has elevated our social media presence. Jennifer is a proud mom of two amazing young men who educate her about video games every day. Jennifer sits on five boards, as either President or Treasurer, focused on enriching the lives of our youth in arts, education, and athletics. Jennifer recently joined Kids Escaping Drugs (KED) as Director of Development helping to spread awareness of KED's critical no cost services.
Who in the world would want to be responsible for the Marketing & Communications of a Marketing and Sales organization like BNSME? Jennifer Szustakowski! Jennifer was our VP of MarCom back in 2005-2008 and reprised that role again in 2020. Jennifer helped our organization through the digital pivot by creating our new digital newsletter the BNSME Buzz, helped us to redesign our website to ensure mobile responsiveness, and has elevated our social media presence. Originally from Canada, Jennifer moved to the Buffalo area in 2000, since becoming a Buffalonian she has worked with some great organizations focused on digital marketing, event planning, and relationship building in both the public and private sector. Jennifer is a proud mom of two amazing young men who educate her about video games every day. Aside from BNSME, Jennifer is heavily involved in the community, she sits on five other boards, as either President or Treasurer, focused on enriching the lives of our youth in arts, education, and athletics. Jennifer recently joined Kids Escaping Drugs as Director of Development, who's mission is to help to end the drug epidemic in Western New York by empowering adolescents and families to live a life free from the disease of addiction through community outreach, education, and early intervention.
Kendall is the Administrative and Event Coordinator at Kids Escaping Drugs (KED). She joined KED in the Spring of 2022. Originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania, she obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Clayton State University in Morrow, Georgia and relocated to Buffalo in 2020. It was in Georgia where she fell in love with a local non-profit animal sanctuary close to her home. After volunteering there, she knew she wanted to implement non-profit work into her career. Kendall is grateful for the sense of community that Buffalo exudes even for a transplant like her and is looking forward to giving back with KED.
Face2Face Program Counselor
Greg Emminger is currently employed by Northwest Bank. Greg focuses his efforts in the Western New York area primarily in the Commercial and Industrial sector. In 2010, Greg was awarded the Lender of the Year by the New York Business Development Corporation for all of New York State. Greg is an active member in many charitable organizations locally including, Kids Escaping Drugs, Eastern Hills Sunrise Rotary, and WNY Kidney Connection; where he serves on various boards and sub committees. In the past, Greg has been involved with the WMY RMA Association, Junior Achievement, Buffalo and Niagara Builders Association as well as a volunteer for the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society of WNY. Greg spends a significant amount of time volunteering and supporting both local as well as national charitable organizations. Greg holds a Bachelor's Degree from Canisius College as well as an MBA from Canisius College. Additionally, Greg is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Club of Buffalo.
Dina Ferraraccio is the 4th year Assistant Principal at Kenmore West High School. Dina holds a Bachelor's of Science Degree from the University of Rochester in Cell and Developmental Biology. She holds a Master's of Science Education from the University of Rochester and a Master's in Educational Administration from University at Buffalo. Currently, this is Dina's 18th year in the field of education. She is honored to become involved in an organization that provides the education and resources for teenagers to overcome their addictions using a compassionate and age appropriate recovery program. Dina looks forward to collaborating with fellow board members and the staff at KED on many different projects in the future!
Michael Jantzi has been an active Kids Escaping Drugs Board Member for over three years. He has chaired numerous events including the annual Charity Gala and Golf Tournament, as well as FallFest. Mike has been a Benefits Consultant at Lawley for over four years. He uses his expertise in construction companies and municipalities to advise organization on their human resources and employee benefits needs. Outside of his work and KED involvement, Mike coaches youth hockey with the Buffalo Jr. Sabres organization, sits on the Niagara Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is a committee member with both the First Tee of WNY and the Courage of Carly Fund. Mike holds a Bachelor's Degree from Canisius College.
Michael J. Baumann currently serves as the Superintendent of Schools for the Newfane Central School District in Niagara County. A graduate of the Canisius College School of Education, Baumann holds Masters degrees in both School Counseling and Educational Administration and Leadership. Prior to taking the helm in Newfane, Mike spent eight years as the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources in the Sweet Home District and six years as the principal of Frontier High School. He began his career in education as a high school counselor at West Seneca West High School, where he also coached football and wrestling for many years. He continues his involvement in Western New York High School Athletics as the president of the Niagara Orleans Athletic League and as a member of the Section 6 Executive Council. Baumann also serves as a member of the Legislative Committee for the New York State Council of School Superintendents'. He is grateful for the opportunity to serve on the Board of Kids Escaping Drugs and hopes to strengthen the connection between KED and the Western New York education community.
Louis has an extensive background in law enforcement with experience as a police officer and an emergency response team member. He earned his B.S. in Criminal Justice at the State University College at Buffalo and A.A.S. in Criminal Justice at Erie Community College. He has served as the Vice President of Chef's Restaurant in Buffalo, NY since 1975-2020. From 1986-1999, he was a police officer for the Town of Hamburg and was a Sheriff's Criminal Deputy from 2001-2009. He has multiple certifications including a certified D.A.R.E. instructor, NYS Certified Breathalyzer Operator, NYS Certified Doppler Traffic Radar Operator, and American Heart Association First Responder. Louis is a member of numerous organizations including the Buffalo Romulus Club, Buffalo Hearing and Speech, National Restaurant Association, the Police Conference of New York and many more. Louis joined the Kids Escaping Drugs Board in 2018.
Tom Burgio is the Senior Account Executive at UPS. He began his career at UPS in 1996, and has held a few positions including Operations Supervisor, Safety Supervisor, and Air Sort Supervisor. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Economics and Finance from The State University College at Buffalo. He also holds a Master's Degree in Organizational Leadership. Tom joined the Kids Escaping Drugs Board of Directors in 2015 after losing a sister to an overdose in 1999.
Matthew "Matty" Burke joined the Kids Escaping Drugs Board of Directors in 2017 and is active on the Development Committee. Mr. Burke has been a generous benefactor and champion of KED for over 25 years. He also served on the Board of Directors for Bishop Timon High School for 20 years. During his tenure with Bishop Timon High School he was the recipient of the Hillery Foundation Award and the Paul Lempko Alumni Appreciation Award.
A prominent business owner in the Southtowns, Mr. Burke owns Burkey's Sportswear as well as several other local businesses around Buffalo. He is very active in the community from organizing fundraisers to volunteering with a softball league for young people in recovery. Mr. Burke is an avid sports fan and has a passion for working with youth and adults along their journey of recovery.
Laurie Kieffer-Lynn is the Global Account Manager for Lynn Associates and Eaton Corporation for the Ortho Clinical Diagnostics account and service support sales for all accounts in Western New York, Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and portions of Ohio and Kentucky. Laurie is a graduate from St. Bonaventure University Laurie is an active Kids Escaping Drugs board member. She also volunteers for Children's Hospital of Buffalo, NY and St. Gregory the Great School.
Kim Marino is a Kids Escaping Drugs Board Member. Kim is President of the St. Mary's High School Lancer Parent Partnership where she has grown both membership and fundraising efforts. She is a Manager of Learning & Organizational Development at Independent Health. She is also responsible for supporting Independent Health's four affiliates, Nova Healthcare Administrators, Pharmacy Benefit Dimensions, Reliance Rx Specialty Pharmacy and Evolve Practice Partners. She has extensive experience in leadership development, team and individual development, and career development. Kim is also an Adjunct Instructor at Trocaire College where she teaches Workplace Learning and Performance. Kim holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from Canisius College and a Master's in Management of Adult Learning from the State University College at Buffalo.
Robert has dedicated his life to children and education and believes through education all things are possible. He currently serves on the Finance Committee of the Minority Bar Foundation and is a former nine-year member of the Trocaire College Board where he served as the Finance Committee Chair for six years. In the private sector, Robert has been the Assistant Superintendent of School Business and Finance for the Grand Island Central School District for three years. Before Grand Island, he was the Director of Finance for the Sweet Home Central School District for seven years and spent five years with the Buffalo Public Schools. Robert has a Bachelor's Degree from St. Bonaventure University, and in 2006, he was voted to their Wall of Honor. He has three Master's Degrees from Canisius College.
Mark is currently employed by Wells Fargo. Prior to working at Wells Fargo, Mark was an employee at M&T Bank for 22 years, serving as the Group Manager within the Commercial Banking Division. Mark is active in the Western New York community, serving on several boards and advisory councils. Mark is a current member of the University at Buffalo School of Management Dean's Advisory Council, and is the Ex-Officio of the Kids Escaping Drugs Board of Directors. Mark was recently recognized by the UB School of Management for outstanding service to the School by an alum. Mark obtained a Bachelor of Science degree with concentrations in accounting and finance, and an MBA with distinction, from the University at Buffalo. Mark is entering his final year of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking and Executive Education Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business.
Krista Ulrich is recently retired from public education after 34 years in the Clarence School District. She continues to work as the Minister of Faith Formation and Pastoral Care at Ebenezer United Church of Christ in West Seneca. She began her position on the board at Kids Escaping Drugs in November 2017. While teaching, Krista held the role of advisor for the Face2Face Club at Clarence High School. She also served as a co-developer of the Youth Court in Clarence. She is currently the advisor for the Western Area Youth of the United Church of Christ. She holds a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Education from SUNY at Buffalo, and is licensed in ministry through the New York School of Ministry where she is currently seeking ordination. Krista is thankful for the opportunity to serve on the board at KED and is passionate about helping children achieve their potential.
Oliver is the Regional Sales Manager at Sonwil Distribution Center. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management at State University College of New York at Buffalo. He is responsible for promoting strategic relationships with new prospects, managing the production of the new trucking company, controlling cost of the sales team, and allocating budgets and expenses. Oliver has been with Sonwil since 2010. Prior to working at Sonwil, Oliver worked at UPS for 21 years. He was the Operations Supervisor for six years, and then became the Human Resource Generalist for two years, and eventually, the Senior Account Manager for three years until 2010. He sits on the Board of Directors at Kids Escaping Drugs.
Brittany Smorol is a Face2Face Program Coordinator at Kids Escaping Drugs. Brittany works with local schools to provide educational presentations and helps at risk youth through the Face2Face Early Intervention Program. Prior to joining Kids Escaping Drugs in January 2022, Brittany had worked as the Assistant Director at Independent Living of Niagara County for six years. She also completed an internship at the Western New York Children's Psychiatric Center. Additionally, Brittany has extensive volunteer service with the EMW Boys and Girls Club and previously volunteered with the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps - Sullivans Division. Brittany received the Volunteer of the Year Award for the EMW Boys and Girls Club in 2010 and was awarded the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce Student Star Award in 2013. Brittany is passionate about working with children and through Kids Escaping Drugs, she educates youth on the dangers and consequences of substance use and addiction, ultimately guiding them to live a healthy lifestyle.
Ashley is a Face2Face Program Coordinator at Kids Escaping Drugs. In her current role, she provides both education as well as community outreach to local youth through Peer2Peer Panel Presentations at schools, and Early Interventions for at risk youth. Prior to joining KED, she spent seven years as both a staff trainer and direct support professional for a non-profit agency that serves developmentally and intellectually disabled adults, as well as many years as both a volunteer and paid EMT. Ashley is a 2008 graduate of Frontier High School and has remained in the area to raise her family. Ashley began working at Kids Escaping Drugs in January of 2022 and has enjoyed every day. Interacting with the youth both on the campus and in the community is enjoyable and fulfilling. She hopes her passion and enthusiasm comes across in the presentations and Early Interventions she conducts and is able to make a difference in someone's life.