Leadership Niagara

One year that will change your life

Please join the
Niagara Gazette, Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
and Leadership Niagara as we honor the
2017 class of 12 under 40.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Antonio's Banquet & Conference Center

Registration begins at 8am

$20 per person includes breakfast

Those being honored are:

Adam Bartoszek - The Service Collaborative of WNY

Kevin A. Bittner- Bittner Singer Orchards

Brooke M. Burrows - Grigg-Lewis Foundation

Michael Daloia - Food Bank of WNY

Jason Goldstein- Service Bridges

Daniel  Keating- National Grid

Ashley Marie Pascuzzi - Gross Palowy, LLC

Heather Peck - Greater Lockport Development Corp.

Patrick Proctor- Rainbow Air, Inc.

Dr. Rachel J. Rossi - Orleans/Niagara BOCES

Bryan Rotella - Niagara Falls City School District

Ally Spongr -  Niagara Falls National Heritage Area

Niagara's 12 Under 40

2017 Summer Recruitment Mixer

We welcome our friends, prospects and alumni to join us as we kick off our recruitment for the

Leadership Niagara Class of 2018.

If you wish to advance yourself, your organization, and our community, Leadership Niagara is the place to do it! Join us to learn about the ways in which our leadership development program will change your life!

Wednesday, August 16th

Parkway Prime

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel

401 Buffalo Avenue

Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Event begins at 5:30 p.m.

Leadership Niagara's 10th Annual Golf Tournament

Participating in Leadership Niagara's golf tournament is a unique opportunity to join over 100 leaders for a day of fellowship for a good cause. The proceeds from this tournament directly support our programs and participant tuition.

Join us on

Friday, July 28th

Registration at 9 am, Shotgun start at 10 am

Oak Run Golf Club 
4185 Lake Avenue
Lockport, NY 14094

Tournament/ Sponsorship Pricing:

  • Presenting Sponsor - $2,500: 2 Foursomes, 4 Tee Signs, Co-branding on golfer keepsake gift, company name and large logo  on banner, recognition at the event.
  • Gold Sponsor - $1,200: 2 Foursomes, 2 Tee Signs, company name and medium logo on banner, recognition at the event.
  • Silver Sponsor - $750: 1 Foursome, 1 Tee Sign, company name and medium logo on banner, recognition at the event.
  • Cocktail Sponsor - $500: Sign with company name and logo at the bar, 1 Tee Sign, recognition at the event. 
  • Dinner Sponsor - $250: 1 Tee Sign, company name and small logo on banner. 
  • Closest to the Pin - $250: 1 Tee Sign with logo at the closest to the pin hole.
  • Longest Drive - $250: 1 Tee Sign with logo at the longest drive hole.
  • Tee Sign - $100: 1 Tee Sign with company name.
  • Foursome - $450
  • Individual Golfer - $125
  •  Dinner Only - $50

Click on the link below to register.
Thank you to our Gold Sponsor:

Thank you to our Silver Sponsor:

Thank you to our Cocktail Sponsors:

27th Annual Leader of the Year Luncheon

Please join us on

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

as we honor

Sara Capen, LN '16

Leader of the Year

Niagara Gazette & Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Organizations of the Year

Paul Vermette, Ph.D.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Ret. Captain Kristen Neubauer, LN '10

Distinguished Alumna Award

Bernice Radle

Emerging Leader Award

Doors Open at 11:00am

Program will begin at 12:00pm

Conference and Event Center of Niagara Falls

101 Old Falls Street

Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Individual Tickets are $60

Table Sponsorships are $500

(Table of 8)

Special thanks to our co-chairs

Christopher Marra, LN '15 &

Susan Swiatkowski, LN '15

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Tasha Villani at

716-830-0395 or tasha@leadershipniagara.org

To register, please click on the link below.

I/my company are not able to attend, but I would like to make a contribution to the event.

(Please click the donate button below.)

Thank you to our event sponsor:

Leader of the Year Nominations

Leadership Niagara 2017 Leader of the Year Nominations


If you wish to nominate an individual or organization to be honored during our Leader of the Year luncheon that is taking place on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 11:30am, please follow the criteria below.



Leader of the Year Award

Distinguished Alumni Award

Organization of the Year Award

Emerging Leader of the Year Award 




Individuals/Organizations from all sectors - government agencies, nonprofits, corporations and private sector - are eligible for the awards.  Nominees need not reside in Niagara County, but their impact must be made on the Niagara Region.



An individual or organization who: (1) significantly impacts the Niagara Region; (2) Supports our mission to strengthen regional leadership; (3) Serves as a role model/mentor for future leaders; (4) Exemplifies our organization's core values:

  • Visionary Leadership
  • Excellence
  • Regional Partnerships
  • Societal Responsibility
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Lifelong Learning



1. Submit a one-page statement demonstrating how your nominee fulfills the criteria.

2. Include contact information for both nominee and nominator.

3. Indicate name of the award(s) you are nominating your candidate for.



Please submit your nominations to Tasha@leadershipniagara.org by December 31, 2016 by 5:00pm


The event will be co-chaired by Chris Marra, LN '15 and Susan Swiatkowski, LN '15.

Niagara's 12 Under 40

Join the Niagara Gazette and Leadership Niagara as we recognize the second class of

 Niagara's 12 Under 40.

Wednesday, November 16

Antonio's Banquet & Conference Center

Doors open at 8:00 a.m.

Those being honored are:

Michelle Blackley Glynn

 Full Plate Publicity


Bradley Marble

 Brown Chiari LLP


Philip Mohr 

 Niagara Falls City School District


Roscoe Naguit

 Niagara Global Tourism Institute


Chris Parada

 Palace Theatre


Lana Perlman

 Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation

Stacey Sheehan

 Speaking of Stacey

Hastings Hospitality


Brian Smith

 Greater Lockport Development Corporation


Dawn Timm

 Niagara County Refuse Disposal District


Christopher Tybor

 Chrisfit Personal Training


Janet Walker

 Marjim Manor


Michael Zimmerman

 Lumber City Development Corporation

Leadership Niagara partners with Niagara Falls Area Rotary to Host a Joint Event

Enjoy a night of networking and also hear from Michael Cardus, Leadership Niagara's Principal Consultant, as he reviews leadership as a craft.

Please join us on

Thursday, September 22 at 6pm

Niagara Falls Culinary Institute - Second Floor

28 Old Falls Street

Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Tickets are $25 each and will include dinner

To register, please click on the link below.

Leadership Niagara Summer Mixer

We welcome our friends, prospects and alumni to join us as we kick off our recruitment for the Leadership Niagara Class of 2017.


If you wish to advance yourself, your organization, and our community, Leadership Niagara is the place to do it! Join us to learn about the ways in which our leadership development program will change your life!


Thursday, July 21st

The Lewiston Stone House

755 Center Street

Lewiston, NY 14092

Event will begin at 5:30pm


Leadership Niagara 9th Annual Golf Tournament
to benefit the P. Dan DiMillo Scholarship Fund

We welcome you to participate in our annual summer golf tournament which will benefit the P. Dan DiMillo Scholarship Fund. Participating in the golf tournament is a unique opportunity to support leadership development and change in our community.

Friday, July 29th at Lockport Town & County Club

Registration opens at 9 am, Shotgun start at 10 am

Tournament Prices:

$175 for an Individual Golfer

$325 for a Two-some

$600 for a Four-some

$100 Tee-sign

$50 Dinner Only

Sponsorship Opportunities are available

Thank you to our Co-Chairs: Christine S. O'Hara, LN '92 and Tony Suess, LN '11 

and the tournament committee: Judy Arlington, Mike Dembrow, Kathy DiMillo, 

Stephanie Donovan, LN '14, Rick Gunn, LN '14, Howard Morgan, LN '03, 

Robert Richards, LN '16, and Jaime Ruggiero, LN '15.

Presenting Sponsors:

Breakfast for Breakthrough Leaders

Leadership Niagara is recognized as a leadership development program like no other. We are offering additional intensive workshops free to LN alumni and prospective class members for 2017. All workshops will take place at the Niagara Power Vista located 5777 Lewiston Road Lewiston, NY 14092 from 8:30 am to 10:00 am. 

May 24th - Michael Cardus - Principal Consultant of Create-Learning, Inc.

"How to Create and Sustain Team Performance"

This interactive workshop will consist of Team Building Activities and simulations to bring about an understanding of a Team Performance Model.  Based upon the 7 Steps to High Performance Teams, Mike will lead discussions bringing participants to a greater understanding of how to develop and lead high performance teams, prevention and intervention methods to address challenging team behaviors, and creating buy-in from those outside of the team.


June 14th - Gina Paigen - Third Way Leadership

"Creative Leadership for the 21st Century"

Do you want to expand your creative leadership potential? Through a series of interactive exercises, reflections and discussions, Gina will explore the four cornerstones of creative leadership.  Participants will leave this workshop with tools and techniques they can use for themselves as well as their teams and organizations to build a deeper sense of purpose, build stronger relationships, boost leadership competency and enhance creative potential.


July 12th - Anthony Billoni - Creativity & Leadership Development

"Everyday Creativity"

This interactive session will introduce an everyday approach to creativity - one that you can take back to the workplace and start using at your desk or in a current project.  Creativity links to the content of your job and provides a process that will increase flow, reduce friction and lead to breakthrough output.  Learn the many ways to apply creativity to your business every day!


August 9th - Nancy Askins PhD, CMQ/OE - Askins Learning institute

"EQUATION FOR LEADERSHIP SUCCESS: Core Values/Mission + Behaviors + Accountability = Performance"

Join Nancy as she demonstrates how her award winning core values research can help you and your organization achieve high performance results.  Learn how the application of just a few practical tactics linking core values with on-the-job-behavior can optimize performance and lead to excellent results.  Bring your company's core values, mission and vision statements to life!


Hosted by: Lou Paonessa, LN ‘ 10

The Niagara Power Vista experience is the new must-see attraction in the Niagara region. It’s an exciting, interactive adventure from the New York Power Authority designed for inquisitive minds for all ages. Understand electricity through the eyes of electricity pioneers Nikolai Tesla and Thomas Edison as well as modern-day scientists. See how the massive Niagara Power Project plays a role in providing power.

Then have a seat in the state-of-the-art 4-D theatre to experience what goes into making electricity when you flip the switch. You’ll be in for a wild ride on transmission lines as electricity all over New York. Think you have the right stuff to run an electric plant? Our simulated challenge gives you the chance to not only operate a plant but control the state’s transmission network. Talk about power! And if that doesn’t make your hair stand on end, the Van de Graaff generator will.  You’ll be charged up as you experience the effect of high volts without the jolts. Even after you leave, the fun doesn’t have to end. You’ll get a Power Player RFID card like the ones used at theme parks and rock concerts. You can save your photos and results from the challenges, so you can pull them up later on your smart phone or home computer. Who has the power? You do!

Chaired by: Andrea Pitruzzella, LN ‘10

Vanessa Williams to Appear at Leadership Niagara's Sold Out Leader of the Year Event on Wednesday

We regret to inform you that Judge Glenda Hatchett, is unable to serve as keynote speaker at our 26th annual Leader of the Year awards luncheon, due to a personal matter. Judge Hatchett was scheduled to deliver a powerful message on leadership to our sold out event on April 27th.

We would like to thank Judge Glenda Hatchett and hope that we can hear from her in the future. She is a dynamic speaker with an important message for leaders.

We are very excited to share with you that Vanessa Williams will now participate in an inspirational and intimate conversation moderated by Tim O’Shei , features reporter at The Buffalo News, at our sold out awards luncheon on Wednesday.

Williams, one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in the entertainment industry, is also a humanitarian and strong advocate for equal rights. Her critically acclaimed work in film, television, recordings and the Broadway stage has been recognized by every major industry award affiliation. Her autobiography, “You Have No Idea,” was a New York Times best-seller.

Leadership Niagara is honored that Miss Williams considers Western New York so highly and has agreed to serve as our keynote on such short notice. Her life story is an inspiration and she brings an extraordinary message of perseverance and positivity. We are thrilled to have her share her afternoon with us in Niagara Falls.

Thank you to all of our sponsors and supporters. 

Leadership Niagara's 26th Annual Leader of the Year Awards Luncheon

Please join us on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 for our annual awards luncheon as we honor:

John H. Percy

Leader of the Year

Riviera Theatre

Organization of the Year

Annemarie C. Bettino, MS, LN '85

Lifetime Commitment Award

 Gay Molnar, LN '97

Distinguished Alumna Award

Darius Myles, LN '15

Emerging Leader Award


Doors Open at 11:00am

Program will begin at 12:00pm

The luncheon will take place at the

Conference & Event Center of Niagara Falls

101 Old Falls Street

Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Individual tickets are $60

Table Sponsors are $500

(Table of 8)

Thank you to our event co-chairs, Christopher Marra, LN '15 & Susan Swiatkowski, LN '15

To register, please click on the link below.

The P. Dan DiMillo Leadership Niagara Scholarship

Please join us on Thursday, January 28th at 5:00 at Lock 34 in Lockport, NY to raise a glass in Dan’s memory and to learn more about the Scholarship fund that will honor him for years to come.

The mission of Leadership Niagara is to strengthen regional leadership. Our core values include: Visionary Leadership, Excellence, Regional partnerships, Societal responsibility, Diversity and inclusion and lifelong learning. It is because we hold these values that we recognize the need for financial assistance to participate in the Leadership Niagara program can not only help individuals but better our community as well.

The P.J. Danny DiMillo Scholarship was created to enable this opportunity.

P.J. Danny DiMillo was a vibrant, joyful family man. Dan never let an opportunity to lend a hand or to lead by example pass him by. He was an inspiration to others, treating everyone with fairness and respect. He was a family and community leader and his infectious enthusiasm, willingness to step up to challenges and gregarious sense of humor were loved and admired by all who knew him.

Sadly and suddenly Dan passed away in October 2015, leaving us grieving by his loss, but full of the memories of his drive and passion for life.

Dan especially enjoyed the camaraderie he developed with his Leadership Niagara classmates and was passionate about the importance of developing leaders to foster the growth and future of the region. Dan’s leadership philosophy reflects both the broad spectrum of impact leadership can have, as well as the impact his experience in Leadership Niagara had on him:

“While every individual is a unique mixture of goals, interests, fears, and concerns, ultimately we all strive for something quite simple: happiness. That happiness begins within our homes and certainly extends to our communities. As we form connections and bonds, build relationships and friendships, and work to strengthen them on a day-to-day basis, we will always find ourselves on the road to happiness. Leadership Niagara has revealed the extended community that we can impact in a positive way, while making our lives fuller and enriched.” - Dan DiMillo Leadership Niagara Class of 2014

The P.J. Danny DiMillo Leadership Niagara Scholarship, will be awarded annually to an individual who shared Dan’s leadership values. The scholarship benefactor will not only experience the program that was an important part of Dan life, but have the opportunity to learn valuable leadership skills and principles that will foster their growth and the growth of family, community and businesses in our region. The opportunity to pass on that gift to a select individual will be one of Dan’s lasting legacies.

All donations are 100% tax deductible and will be used exclusively for the scholarship. Individual donations can be made below using the DONATE button. Corporate donations can be made by mailing a check to Leadership Niagara at 1623 Military Road #332, Niagara Falls, New York 14304.

Niagara's 12 Under 40

Please join Niagara Gazette and Leadership Niagara on Tuesday, November 10th as we recognize Niagara's inaugural class of 12 Under 40.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Antonio's Banquet & Conference Center
Registration begins at 8am
$15 per person includes breakfast

Those being honored are:

Bill Beilein
Niagara County Community College

Allen Cowart
Abate School

Laura DeBacco, RPA-CM
Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center

Michael Freedman
Niagara University

Thomas Lowe
Niagara University ReNU Niagara

Dr. Heather Lyon
Enterprise Charter School

Mollie McDonough
YWCA of Niagara Frontier's Community Culinary Training Program

Frank Mergl
M&T Bank

Michael Norris
Seaman Norris Attorneys

Senator Robert Ortt
New York State Senate, 62nd Senate District

Jennifer Pauly
Niagara River Region Chamber

Seth Piccirillo
City of Niagara Falls

For event sponsorship opportunities, please contact Sandy Felicetti at Niagara Gazette by phone at
716-282-2311 x2223 or by email at Sandy.felicetti@Niagara-gazette.com.

Please click on the link below to register for the event.

8th Annual Leadership Niagara Scholarship Golf Tournament

Monday, August 24th at Niagara Frontier Country Club

Registration opens at 9:00am, Shotgun start at 10:00am 

Tournament Prices:

Individual Golfer $120

Foursome $450

Dinner Only $25

Sponsorships available at the following levels:

  • $1,000 Sponsor - includes 1 foursome, 2 tee signs and recognition at dinner
  • $750 Sponsor - includes 1 foursome, 1 tee sign and recognition at dinner
  • $250 Sponsor - includes 1 tee sign and recognition at dinner
  • $100 Tee Sponsor - includes a tee sign with your company name

Sponsorship deadline is August 7, 2015

Co-Chairs for the 2015 Tournament are LN Board Members:

Christine S. O'Hara, LN '92 & Anthony Suess, LN '11

2015 Golf Committee: Kyle Heath, LN '15, Mary Knotts, LN '15, John Lapham, LN '15, Howard Morgan, LN '03, Jaime Proulx Ruggiero, LN '15, Kristin Rhodes, LN '15, Michael Zimmerman, LN '15, and CMSgt Michael Zimmerman, LN '15.

Please click below to register for the 2015 Leadership Niagara Scholarship Golf Tournament

Thank you to our presenting sponsors

Leadership Niagara Partners with Niagara USA Chamber to host a Summer Mixer

Thursday, August 13th

4:00- 6:00pm

The Flight of Five Winery

2 Pine Street

Lockport, NY 14094

Join Leadership Niagara and Niagara USA Chamber of Commerce, to learn more about one year to develop yourself as a leader and to be the change you want to see in Western New York.

Leadership Niagara Summer Mixer

Join Leadership Niagara alumni and friends as we kick off our recruitment for the Leadership Niagara Class of 2016

Thursday, July 16th

5:00- 7:00pm

The Lewiston Stone House

455 Center Street

Lewiston, NY 14092

If you are an alumni, friend, or someone who is interested in learning more about our organization, the summer mixer is the perfect opportunity for you to see what Leadership Niagara has to offer!

We hope you can join us! Click on the link below to register.

2015 Annual Leader of the Year Awards Luncheon

Leadership Niagara is pleased to announce that Bill Strickland, White House honoree, community leader, and author will headline this year's event. He will share his unshakable message of leadership, self-worth and transformation as our special guest and keynote speaker.

Strickland is the author of Make the Impossible Possible and was named a member of the White House Council for Community Solutions by President Obama.  He is president and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation.

Our guest speaker is made possible by: LPCiminelli, KeyBank, The Grigg Lewis Foundation, and The Baird Foundation.


Please join us as we honor individuals and organizations who exemplify Leadership Niagara's core values of excellence, visionary leadership, regional partnerships, diversity and inclusion and lifelong learning.


The following leaders will be honored at Leadership Niagara's annual awards luncheon on April 29th at The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls:



Leader of the Year 

Cathy Walker

Former President and CEO

Seneca Gaming Corporation


Organization of the Year

Greater Lockport Development Corporation


Distinguished Alumnus

Harry Francois, LN '10

Regional Manager of Western New York

N.Y. Power Authority


Emerging Leader

Tom Lowe, LN '14


ReNU Niagara


Lifetime Commitment Award

to be presented posthumously

Merrell A. Lane   


Please click on the link below to register for the event!

2015 Presenting Sponsors


The Best Class Ever has Graduated...

Class of 2014 Graduation

Please click the button below to register for the Class of 2014 Graduation


Leadership Niagara Goes Homeless for a Night

On Friday, October 17, into Saturday, October 18, the Leadership Niagara's Class of 2014 will host

 "Homeless for a Night"

The class led project will raise awareness and create dialogue on homelessness and poverty in Niagara Region.

The event will take place at the Park Place Market located at 630 Main St., Niagara Falls, and

is open to the public from 6-10 p.m.

We encourage you to come out and take part in discussions with:

Rev. James J. Maher, C.M.

of Niagara University

Sam Magavern

of Partnership for the Public Good

Dr. David Taylor

of Niagara University

and Sr. Beth Brosmer

of Heart, Love & Soul Food Pantry

LN Class of 2014 and Leadership Niagara alumni will be spending the night outside in cardboard boxes. The participants will be collecting donations and assembling hygiene bags to be donated to Community Missions of Niagara.

Leadership Niagara Summer Mixer

For thirty years, Leadership Niagara has cultivated a network of over 1200 high performance leaders. 

We invite you to join us as we bring together our alumni and board of directors for a special recruitment reception for the Leadership Niagara Class of 2015. Please join us as we build another dynamic class and celebrate 30 years of leadership excellence.

Thursday, July 17th 

5:00 to 7:00pm

The Lewiston Stone House

755 Center Street

Lewiston, NY 14092

Please click the link below to register or for more information, please email info@leadershipniagara.org

Leadership Niagara Scholarship Golf Tournament

Thank you to everyone that supported and participated in the 2014 Leadership Niagara Scholarship Golf Tournament.

The money raised through the tournament directly support’s LN’s scholarship fund. Over the past 30 years, over 1200 individuals have gone through Leadership Niagara, and the money raised through this tournament enables us to continue to offer scholarships for years to come.

Thank you again to our presenting sponsors!

Leadership Niagara 30th Anniversary Video

Leader of the Year Awards

Please click on the link below to view all of our past Leader of the Year Honorees.