RWO's 2020 MEN'S Edition

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men’s ed



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dition 2020 { TABLE OF CONTENTS }

MEN 2020

MEN 2020 (CON’T)




A ROCHESTER PRO Zachary Johnson




RW READS & WRITES Corey Tanskley


ALL ACCESS Mike MacArthur


HELPING OTHERS Joseph Petralia






INSPIRING MAN David “Wheels” Maxwell






ROC HARD Author Miquel Powell


HANDSOME Anthony Lewis


FASHION FORWARD Whiskey Jacks Collection






A DJ’S JOURNEY Jeron Hansen











RWO TRAVELS Agness Wine Cellars




RWO HAS GONE TO THE DOGS Mark Forrest Patrick


KING OF ARTS Nik & The Nice Guys




A BIRD’S EYE VIEW Gregory Wolfe






A SPECIAL TRIBUTE Manuel “Manny” Ortiz

174 86



“Don’t wait for extrordinary opportunities, seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities, strong men make them.”


lease welcome this year’s 2020 Men’s edition of Rochester Woman Online “cover man”, Rochester Salvatore’s pizza franchise legend, Rochester Lancers owner, and well, let’s be realistsic, something of a track suit wearing fashion icon...”SoccerSam” Fantuazzo. Read all about his inspiring and truly incredible story starting on page [16].

Plus, we are honored to bring you a special tribute to the “People’s Cop”, fallen RPD Officer Manuel “Manny” Ortiz. He personified what it was to be a truly inspiring man. An incredible son, brother, father, and friend. His infectious smile would light up a room. RWO was blessed to have called him a friend, and he will be greatly missed in our community. Read more about Manny starting on page [34].



On the cover of our 2020 Rochester Woman Online’s Men’s Edition we have the Salvator’es pizza franchise legend himself, “SoccerSam” Fantuazzo. Fantuazzo was photographed by Charlene Mann Photography in his corporate headquarters in Webster, NY as well as his private residence with his wife.



This year’s annual men’s edition is the largest we have ever had. It is filled with over 250pages of amazing local men including some you may recognize like David “Wheels” Maxwell, Nik & the Nice Guys, Oz Tozan, chef John Vito, musician Mike MacArthur and others like pro boxer Zachary Johnson, designer Erin McDonald, author Miquel Powell or DJ Jeron Hanson that are all up and coming. Rochester is so lucky to have such an incredible pool of truly inspiring men to be able to choose from. Thank you everyone for the wonderful recommendations. We hope you enjoy reading every page, and sharing with all of your friends and family. And who knows, maybe we will make this a more regular online publication. What do you think?

‘Approach He

Specializing In:

Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture Cosmetic Acupuncture for anti-aging is a system for rejuvenating the face and neck by reinvigorating the matrix of collagen and elastin, tightening the skin. It improves natural skin beauty.

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Salvatore Fantauzzo L.Ac., M.S.

Salvatore Fantauzzo has been practicing Acupuncture for over 4 years. Salvatore is a graduate of The Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine of New York Chiropractic College.



Kelly Breuer


Kelly Breuer



Charlene Mann Ford & Natalie Sinisgalli Charlene Mann Photography Daniel Delucenay Kelly Breuer Michelle DiBernardo Randy Agness Karen Webber Shanelle Benson Reid Ray Mayoliz Orlando Ortiz Mark Forest Patrick Josephine DiGiorgio Abdy Mercado Kara Galante Matt Driscoll Anthony Lewis David Maxwell Dara Rennart Terry Danielle Erin McDonald Ebony Smith Corey Lamar Tanksley Devon Degazon Bey Miquell Powell John Vito Miquel Melendez Jr Jeron Hanson Kelly Breuer Toni Natalie Network Rochester


Rochester Woman ONLINE is the premier professional woman’s online publication in the greater Rochester area. Our feature articles address major topics that interest local women. Each issue includes articles on health, fashion, fitness, finance, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives, as well as a spotlight on local area women. The electronic magazines are distributed freely through your favorite app store and will be in your inbox electronically by the first week of every month. The publication is available free of charge. Please feel free to contact publisher Kelly Breuer at 585.727.9120 or you can email us at Download our current media kit at www. The magazine is published 12 times a year by Rochester Woman ONLINE. Copyright © 2020 Rochester Woman ONLINE. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or republished without the consent of the publisher. Rochester Woman ONLINE is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photos or artwork. All such submissions become the property of Rochester Woman ONLINE and will not be returned.

P & W

r e t s e Roch a z z i P Style





ade Italian sub bread!


fish frys, calamari, shrimp, fish sub




You may know him as the fun, track suit wearing, flamboyant Salvatore’s Old Fashioned Pizzeria franchise creator, Donut’s Delite franchisor and Rochester Lancers soccer teams owner, “SoccerSam” Fantauzzo. To Rochester Woman Online he is the 2020 Men’s edition cover, and a really sweet, down to earth guy who would give you the shirt off his back to try and help you.

name to open America’s first soccer themed Italian restaurant called, SoccerSam’s Pizza Pasta Café. How did you start Salvatore’s Old Fashioned Pizzeria? In 1972 at the age of 12 I started working at my Uncle Fred’s meat market. My senior year at Eastridge HS I did a home economics project

Recently I had the chance to sit down with Sam and ask him to tell us a little about himself, how he got started, his franchise business and more. Here is what I found out, and it definitely wasn’t disappointing. Ever yone knows “SoccerSam” for his outgoing personality and style...tell us a little about what you are like under it all.. In real life, I am extremely shy and I am pretty awkward outside of my soccer and pizza worlds. I spent so many years working 7 days a week, 16 hour days that I never adjusted to a normal social life. How did you get the nickname “Soccer Sam”? In 1994 I started doing a cable access tv show and our focus was soccer. One of my friends then began to call me SoccerSam. In 1999 I used the 16


on pizza. I convinced Uncle Fred to put a pizzeria inside his meat market that was located at 1978 E Main St. A few months later he realized how many extra hours he would have to be open and work so he decided against it. At the age of 17 and while I was still in high school, I rented the old East Main shoe store at 1985 East Main St across from Uncle Freds. Soon my parents and Uncle Fred found out and I promised everyone

that I would graduate from high school. On July 5 1978 the first Salvatore’s pizzeria location opened at 1985 East Main St. Regarding the Pac Man picture, my first two years in business we didn’t have many customers. I would play neighborhood kids in Pac Man and bet them a free pizza if they could beat me. Their quarters added up each week for me to survive in business. Soon after, I got really lucky my neighbor was this biker dude that would come in every day for lunch. Customers started coming in and telling me that they heard about our meatball sub or our steak sub on the radio from ‘Brother Wease’. Around the same time this well dressed lawyer looking guy would come in every day for lunch and I soon found out that he was Andrew Langston. He was the founder of WDKX and we soon traded food for radio commercials. That’s when I realized the power of advertising and I then put every penny I made into marketing with Brother Wease and WDKX. I didn’t have time to play Pac Man anymore. When/how did you know when you were ready to franchise?







COVER STORY } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “In 1994 I started doing a cable access tv show and our focus was soccer. One of my friends then began to call me SoccerSam. In 1999 I used the name to open America’s first soccer themed Italian restaurant called, SoccerSam’s Pizza Pasta Café.”

In the early years I had family & Friends help me at my original store. When my brother Chuck and my cousin John graduated from high school they wanted to open their own location in 1982. I helped them with the process and as years went on several young pizza box makers, delivery drivers and family members approached me about opening their own location. In 2011 I decided to become a NYS Franchise and we converted all of the current license agreements into approved NYS Franchises. Donna Waasdorp who helped handle tickets for the Lancers was as sharp as most lawyers and helped put this NYS Franchise process together for me. I was really fortunate with my earlier franchisees working day and night like I did for years to build their locations. I won the lottery with an amazing wife that let me work while she took care of our home and family. I never anticipated the amount of time, energy and man power it would take to operate 29 locations at the Corporate level. I don’t sleep much making sure that all 29 locations are operated like our original store in 1978. I currently answer each and every customer issue and I send daily emails to remind everyone that Details=Difference and Perfection=Profits.

Tell us a little about the “women”, specifically that one very special woman behind Sam Fantauzzo... I met my wife Linda in High School and we married in 1980. We currently

first delivery person back in ’78. In the ‘80s she helped me create our school pizza division and in the ‘90s she helped create recipes for Salvatore’s and SoccerSam’s. Throughout that time she went to weddings, funerals and birthday parties alone, while I worked. She is a very special partner. In 2011 I started the Rochester Lancers and I brought a ticket & sponsorship person named Kayla Kent. I soon gave her, her middle name of Klark and today Kayla Klark Kent-Moreira now handles our soccer division and is my CFO for all my companies. Her new name is “Mama Monies”. One of my proudest moments as a business owner was to have Kayla ask me if her kids, Jilliana and Thiago, could call me ‘Papa’.

have 3 children (Salvatore, Roxanna and Silvio) and 7 grandchildren (Santino, Salvatore, Noella, Jovany, Massimo, Frankie and Camila). Linda was my

In 2013 one of my food brokers brought her daughter to work with her. Within months I hired Ashley Maria King to handle merchandise sales for our Lancers soccer team. Today ‘Maria’ is our President of Business Operations and handles legal, marketing and more for all of our brands. Ashley’s baby girl is due on my birthday in August and if that baby doesn’t call me ‘Papa’ I’m going to have to fire her again. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MEN’S EDITION 2020






“In real life, I am extremely shy and I am pretty awkward outside of my soccer and pizza worlds.”






COVER STORY } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “Linda was my first delivery person back in ’78. In the ‘80s she helped me create our school pizza division and in the ‘90s she helped create recipes for Salvatore’s and SoccerSam’s.”

Both Ashley and Kayla are like family to me and I’m blessed to have them watch my back 24/7 and protect my family and my companies. I want them to always focus on raising their families first and work second. I encourage Kayla to bring her kids to work or stay home with them when needed. Ashley’s maternity leave will be longer than most wars. It took me 30 years to realize the importance of keeping the right people around me to continue the success of my brands. What has been the greatest challenge for you in business? Our greatest challenge has been competing & marketing with national chains and local super market chains that have layers of top executives overseeing their companies with huge marketing budgets. We compete with great food, great service and we have had to be extremely creative with our limited marketing budget. At Salvatore’s I have Kayla, Ashley and my son Silvio. We are fortunate to have several great owners that have devoted their lives to their individual stores. What have you done to keep your franchise dreams alive during Covid 19?

I got really lucky that I had cousins in Italy that were in the pizza business and they were 8 weeks ahead of us with Covid. I started preparing my stores well in advance for safety shields, masks, distancing decals, box safety seals and more well before NYS mandated these items. My OCD finally paid off and our locations have been spotless clean since 1978. I now believe that

Franchisee Nick Pearl came up with the idea for touchless delivery before it was even introduced. We helped to donate thousands of masks at our Bay Rd location to First Responders. We got worldwide attention from the Dr. Fauci donut at our Salvatore’s location inside the historic Donut’s Delite building. We continued the donut craze with other donuts such as: First Responders, Teachers, Emojis, ‘The Mask’ Donut & more.

our customers truly appreciate how we operate. We helped feed first responders and hospitals for months through our ‘Feed Rochester’ Campaign, thanks to IHeart Radio and our location owners.

Te l l u s t h e stor y behind purchasing Ro c h e s t e r’s famous Donut’s Delite… In 2008 I kept on driving by the vacant Donut’s Delite building on my way to work, operating the Rochester Rhinos. I continuously called the realtor with offers that they rejected. Finally they accepted the offer and I was ready to put a Salvatore’s location at the corner of Culver and Empire. I convinced the two closest Salvatore’s Franchisees, John Coraggioso and (cousin) Ray LoRe to join the project. When I went to the City of Rochester to try ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MEN’S EDITION 2020





{ {SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY }} “ Our greatest challenge has been competing & marketing with national chains and local super market chains that have layers of top executives overseeing their companies with huge marketing budgets.”

to keep the same size signs that were currently on the building I was told that I must comply with new sign ordinances. I reached out to Robert Malley, the original Donuts Delite founder that started the business in 1958 about keeping his name up on the building and we would become

Salvatore’s at the Historic Donuts Delite building. I then approached Mr. Malley about sharing some of his donut recipes to try to keep the donut tradition alive. After the grand opening in 2010 my hunch was right and Rochester loved these donuts. We continued to have lines around the

building for weeks and 10 years later the madness hasn’t stopped. Current Franchisee, Nick Semeraro is a very creative baker and has helped keep my dream alive. What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome in your life? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MEN’S EDITION 2020


{ FOR A GOOD CAUSE COVER STORY }} } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “ We are fortunate to have several great owners that have devoted their lives to their individual stores.”

In 2009 I had gastric bypass surgery. I strongly recommend the surgery for anyone that has tried every diet, has diabetes or high blood pressure and can’t lose weight. My doctors over looked one of my medicines and I bled internally, lost my entire memory and almost lost my life. Father Michael Costanzo and Dr. DiBenedetto from Rochester General Hospital saved my life and I soon learned how to adjust without any past memory of my first life with the help of my beautiful wife. In 2010 we decided to create a new office and Patty Powers my longtime media buyer helped me reconnect and we soon hired Lyndsay DiMeo to handle the graphic department and Mike Moran who helped create All my franchisees kicked in and my brother Chuck Fantauzzo helped with inspecting the locations daily. Within a few years I was back on track ready to take on the pizza world. Today, our new office that Ashley and Kayla operate is also four floors of a Rochester Soccer Museum including memorabilia and artwork of my all time favorite player, Abby Wambach and my all time favorite team the US Women’s National Team.



What has been your biggest accomplishment? -Business wise: Creating a platform for Salvatore’s that young people who work hard can achieve anything they want in life by being part of our brand. I am also proud of our efforts continuing to help donate to local nonprofits in Rochester, including The Breast Cancer

Coalition of Rochester, Camp Good Days and Special Times, and more. -Soccer wise: Bringing the Rochester Lancers name and logo back to this great city in 2011. I fell in love with soccer in 1970 attending Lancers games with my Uncles and Dad. -Personal: I’m proud of my 3 kids, Salvatore, Roxanna and Silvio. They all work really hard and have become

great parents and great people, just like their mommy. My son Silvio operates two Salvatore’s locations and is training to take over the company one day. My son Salvatore is the first in our immediate family to graduate high school and college. He now owns Fantauzzo Acupuncture where he specializes in Cosmetic Acupuncture and he is why I look so good. My daughter Roxanna was a young single mom and raised an amazing young man, Santino. She now has 4 children and I see the same hippy chick calmness in her that I love about my beautiful wife. If you could redo 1 thing that has happened to you what would that be and why? I was obsessed with making Salvatore’s a success. I have been obsessed the past 42 years to keep all our locations open and help all our owners become successful. I did not learn to connect with my family, friends, or neighbors. I missed out on a lot of important moments and connections that I should have made. Facebook has helped me to reconnect with people that I knew very well in my first life. I still play pick up soccer 2 times per week but unfortunately, I am the last one to arrive and the first one to leave because of work responsibilities. I never learned how to hunt, fish, boat, ski,







COVER STORY } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “We helped feed first responders and hospitals for months through our ‘Feed Rochester’ Campaign, thanks to IHeart Radio and our location owners. Franchisee Nick Pearl came up with the idea for touchless delivery before it was even introduced.”

golf or anything that I could teach my kids and now my grandkids. My only hobby has been work and my mental release has been soccer. I truly regret not having a better work life balance. Where do you see yourself in 1year? What about 5years from now? My goal is to retire in 20 years. I would like to semi retire on our 50th anniversary of Salvatore’s. By then my son Silvio’s two kids (Massimo and Camila) will be in school and he will be able to take over most of my day to day responsibilities so I could focus strictly on the marketing part of the business that I love. Ashley and Kayla’s children will be in school by then and they could help Silvio with all my crazy daily responsibilities. How did you end up owning a professional soccer team? In 2010, Chris Economedies, who was the first person to hire me with the Rhinos in 1996 contacted me to be part of his new indoor league the MISL. I reached out to Rich Randall who was my right hand man at the Rhinos to come operate the team. I then called some of my closest friends and they invested the money needed to bring Pro Soccer back to Rochester (Chris Wilmot, Dom Vieira, Steve Stokes, Luis Ribeiro and John Coraggioso). Soon the Rochester Lancers indoor team was born with the help of several former Rhinos including Doug Miller. Rich Randall helped hire my amazing staff & to bring in players. Soon we became the most successful indoor team from 2011-2015. I later decided to join the NPSL and create an environment

where local players can feel like pros. When the WNY Flash left Rochester, I was able to fill a void for women’s soccer with the Lady Lancers playing in the UWS. We now operate three soccer teams and I love every minute of it. What is one thing about you that your audience may not know? I am extremely shy and struggle to hold conversation if I’m not in my work or soccer environment. I have the attention span of a squirrel, Your wife has played a huge role in your life both personally and professionally...Tell us a little about her, her role in the Salvatore’s Pizza dynasty, and a little about the woman behind the infamous Sam Fantauzzo Linda has been my best friend and partner since I met her in 1976. She helped me create Salvatore’s and was supportive with all my crazy endeavors including becoming a Professional Wrestler (Dr Love). She was my valet and her stage name was Nurse Nice Lips. We soon grew up and started our family in 1983 with my first son, Salvatore being born. She took care of everything home related so that I could focus on building Salvatore’s.

our whole sale commissary. On the weekends she would help me with our catering division, supplying parties throughout Monroe County. When we started SoccerSam’s she brought all her recipes and soon our restaurant was a huge success. Throughout all that she was an amazing mother and had her own hair dressing business to juggle. She is the landscaper, the painter, the cook, the grandmother and the hot mama that holds it all together. She is my favorite hippy chick. Is there anything else you are working on that RWO and our audience might want to know about? We are currently working on developing a new pizza concept that we plan to franchise nationally. SoccerSam’s pizza will be available for any bar, café, ice cream store, etc to add amazing European Style Pizza to their establishment. We are also working on opening more Donuts Delite locations and we hope to bring a well known ice cream brand back to Rochester.

For 10 years we supplied all the school districts with pizza. Linda would come in at 4am and help us produce the pizzas, she would then leave and go home to get the kids ready for school. After they were off to school, Linda would come back and help us finish the day at ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MEN’S EDITION 2020









MANUEL “MANNY” ORTIZ Manuel AKA “Manny” Ortiz Born in Brooklyn New York, raised in Pennsylvania and then relocated to Rochester New York at a young age, Manuel Ortiz younger years as a youth consisted of learning to play two instruments. He learned how to play the drums and also the trumpet. He performed for church ceremonies and joined in many parades. He was always full of great spirit. Growing up he was always volunteering for something or helping someone out. When he transitioned to high school he again enjoyed playing his instruments but instead of playing sports like some of his friends, he took up wood shop and mechanics as he always enjoyed hands on activities. In his junior year, whil being raised by a single mom, Manny wanted to work and help her out. So, he picked up a job delivering newspapers and worked at a retail store (McCrory’s) in downtown Rochester after school. When Manny graduated, like many, college was not an option as his 34


family with a newborn (his first born daughter –Solangee) had just begun. Manny began to work to provide for his family and landed a job in construction. There he would learn to drywall, paint and build up his skills in flooring and decorating. Manny’s homes were always neatly painted and decorated.

However, during this time Manny knew something was missing, Manny realized that he wanted to do more than just trade skilled jobs. Ortiz wanted to do work for the people and the community and was persistant in becoming a Rochester police officer.

It took more than a few attempts for Manny to finally become the Police Officer he desired to be, but he was persistent in taking the test every time it was offered. Once Ortiz was able to achieve the role as a police officer, he made every stride to become the “Peoples Cop”. Manny’s job to serve the community was his passion from the minute he got up every morning. He just didn’t wake up to arrest criminals, but he tried to advise them and see what he could do to help them out so this would not have to happen to them again. As Manny would walk through the community he would walk up to people or people would walk up to him shake his hand and thank him for his service. He made many connections and gave many advice. Every time Manny received a call for service he would always answer that call as if it was a family member or his best friend. He always treated everyone as a priority and never treated anyone any different. Everyone mattered to Manny. He would always follow












SHIFT+CONTROL { A SPECIAL TRIBUTE} } “It took more than a few attempts for Manny to finally become the Police Officer he desired to be, but he was persistent in taking the test every time it was offered. ”



SHIFT+CONTROL { A SPECIAL TRIBUTE} } “Once Ortiz was able to achieve the role as a police officer, he made every stride to become the “Peoples Cop”.”

He would always follow up with these individuals who he answered calls for to make sure they didn’t find themselves in a similar predicament. Not many have the true compasion and dedication that he showed, especially to his community. On top of being a Rochester police officer and brother to many other officers, Manny was also a great family man. He was a son, a brother, a husband, a father and an overall incredible human being.

trying different dishes out, eating and always trying to stay healthy too. Ortiz was also a selfless community servant, and I don’t even think he really realized it. Manny was involved in so many different community activities and organizations and he handled them all with grace and presence. Whenever there was a community

Manny was with his fiance Lisa, and their two beautiful children ( Sophie & Alex) He always said the best thing he ever did was be a father. All of Manny’s free time was used to spend time with his kids. He would take them to doctor’s appointments, school activities, sports activities, family trips and especially loved summer outings. Family outings were the best because they always seemed to put a huge smile on his face. And anyone who knew Manny knew that “sparkling” smile. One of Manny’s biggest passions was cooking and well of course eating. This man loved to eat! There wasn’t a dish that Manny wouldn’t try. Manny has many videos on his social media page where he was either cooking and 40


activity Manny was there. If you needed Manny too lend a hand he was there. When you needed Manny to pick something up he would volunteer and he did all of these things without any hesitation and always with a smile on his face. When I mentioned earlier that Manny was the “People’s Cop”, what I meant was not only was he

known to community residents in his neighborhood where he patrolled, but he was also known by the Businesses, Community Based Organizations, Pac Tac’s (one of which he formed), Churches and even those that were committing unlawful acts knew him. Manny’s sisters were definitely a major part of his daily life and routine as he made it a point to touch base with his sisters almost everyday sometimes 2-3 times a day. He loved his sisters and every time they would go out to be social he would always make sure his sisters were looked after by establishments and security and owners. They were always protected by Manny in one way shape or form. Now they feel manny is following them by way of a Rainbow that they have been frequently seeing and a Bird that we all built bird houses for at a friends house. Manny is watching his family and it is a great comfort knowing this. Manny is a protector of many still. He will be greatly missed by everyone’s lives that he ever touched, and has left an incredible legacy for his family. That is all any of us can ever hope for.




SHIFT+CONTROL {{ A SPECIAL TRIBUTE}} “He will be greatly missed by everyone’s lives that he ever touched, and has left an incredible legacy for his family.”








“Let me tell you a little bit about myself that some may not know.”Ray Mayoliz Born in 1968 in the Bronx NY to a teen mother and teen father. A pair of youngsters that would not stay together not long after I was born. Although my dad did not play an active role in my upbringing I knew who my father was and he made attempts throughout the years to connect. I did gain a step-father who was good to me and my mother for the most part as a provider but lacked in many areas. My mother did the best with everything that was thrown at her and has taught me many valuable lessons in life. Some things my brother and I were exposed to may not have been great choices but they were all lessons learned. We owe her for an upbringing that was full of many great memories and just like all families there were some dark moments, however we have prevailed. I learned what poverty and fear was growing up in the 70’s in the Bronx. Dilapidated buildings and rubble everywhere as we went through some scary times with the drug epidemic, 48


buildings being burned down by arsonist and living in fear in 1977 because of a serial killer the Son of Sam – David Berkowitz. I remember these moments as if they happened yesterday. Although all this was happening I still had friends on the block that I

will always remember. Transitioning to Upstate NY a place that was called the “Flower City”, I use to visit Rochester NY before moving here. Not having cars in NY City, we always traveled by train, the trip to Rochester was no different – an 8 hour trip on Amtrak was a highlight

for me as a youngster as we would leave tall buildings, cement parks and no greenery to passing farms while staring out the window of the train and seeing animals, trees and fall foliage, a greenery that I was not exposed to growing up. Upon getting to Rochester to visit my dad , my thought was everyone in Rochester is rich as they all had or lived in private family homes – there was no real projects or buildings that I was accustomed to living in. I wasn’t the greatest kid in NYC and picked up some bad street habits, moving to Rochester was like a new beginning for me and my family. I didn’t have to fight every day, I could be nice and people would say thank you – this was all new to me but I embraced it and was able to establish myself with a new look at life. I never drank and I never smoked and always stood my ground and sometimes still find myself saying no to people offering. I attended Catholic school for 7th and 8th Grade in a predominantly Italian neighborhood in the 80’s and enjoyed those years at St. Anthony’s of Padua and off to RCSD Edison Tech from 1982-1986.





“The focus for our ROCMBK is to work with Boys and Young men of Color (BYMOC) and create a cradle to career path for all black and brown boys.”









FOR A GOOD CAUSE }}} IN HIS OWN {{{ WOMEN WHOWORDS INSPIRE “Upon getting to Rochester to visit my dad , my thought was everyone in Rochester is rich as they all had or lived in private family homes – there was no real projects or buildings that I was accustomed to living in.”

I enjoyed high school, high school sports and of course having girlfriend’s lol. I was not the brightest when it came to getting great grades but I was an average student in my eyes and didn’t think much of the future so I didn’t push myself the way I know I was capable of. I took a shop class that not many people consider in a high school. I took aviation as I had dreams of being a pilot one day or an astronaut like Major Tony Nelson – yes a character on the television show I dream of Jeannie, I just dated myself-lol. I was able to learn how to fly small engine planes in high school and when I tell people this they hesitate to believe this could be remotely true. Well it is true only at Edison Tech. I had enough credits to graduate from a regular high school my senior year but I was failing shop class because of my attendance and was removed from Edison my senior year not allowing me to graduate with my friends of 4 years and instead graduated from East Evening Night School in June of 1986. One of my biggest regrets is not walking the stage with my class. As I mentioned I was failing due to attendance, well the truth to the matter was I had a son and was working

fulltime at a supermarket to support my little family. I followed my teen parent’s footsteps and made the choice that would impact my life forever. I had aspirations to be a pilot and was able to get in to Spartan School of aeronautics in Tulsa Oklahoma. I got

Upon returning from Tulsa I tried seeking employment in many areas but none were providing me with what I needed, I needed a job with benefits and good pay and that’s when I made the decision that changed my life forever. I joined the US Army after being strongly suggested I do so considering the alternatives of a young teen father. My life turned upside down as I had to learn to be disciplined, follow orders, learn true respect and learn things like code, honor, loyalty, dependability. I loved every day I wore the uniform and felt like I was on top of the world until this world too came crashing down as I was dealing with marital issues and financial hardships. I was discharged after my stint but would have made the Army my career if circumstances were different.

there but was not prepped for college life, tuitions, housing, work and living in a completely different lifestyle that was challenging along with new found freedom. I failed the 1st semester and quickly dropped out when I was told that I could never be a pilot because of my vision unless I have them corrected, my dreams shattered.

After returning home back to Rochester with now 2 children – life was just insane and hard to make ends meet and my grandmother becoming ill with Alzheimer’s an ugly disease. My mother had to put my grandmother in a nursing home and I wasn’t happy about that but there was no other choice. I reacted by ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MEN’S EDITION 2020





{ {INSHIFT+CONTROL HIS OWN WORDS} } “I dedicate my story to my friend Manny Ortiz as it is my honor to be featured with you in this 2020 Edition of Rochester Men Online.”

becoming a nursing assistant to work in the very hospital my grandmother was a resident at to ensure I see her every day and ensure she was getting the best quality care. Yes I did this. Grandma passed time to move on to next job. One thing I can say is working with people has always been me and the next few years I worked in many capacities as a Certified Nursing assistant, a Drug & Alcohol substance abuse counselor,

A counselor for Individuals with HIV/Aids , A pre-release counselor for federal prisoners. In 1998 I received a call that would change my life again. Mayor Johnson is putting together a team to work with high at risk youth we think you might be a good fit. Prayers answered a chance to make a difference with young people and give back what was given to me a second chance to change my life, I can help guide our

youth to that same path I was given. I had the best co-workers ever and we as a team created something that has lasted, now in its 22nd year the Pathways to Peace program for the City of Rochester. The program has evolved throughout the years and is ever changing with the trends and needs of our youth and community. I recently have moved on from Pathways, however I will always be grateful to all the team members who have ever worn a Pathways to ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MEN’S EDITION 2020


{ { WOMEN IN HIS OWN WHOWORDS INSPIRE }} “In 1998 I received a call that would change my life again. Mayor Johnson is putting together a team to work with high at risk youth we think you might be a good fit. ”

however I will always be grateful to all the team members who have ever worn a Pathways to Peace –staff shirt. I am currently now the Newly Appointed Coordinator of the Rochester NY My Brother’s Keeper Initiative- a collaborative effort with the Rochester City School District and the City of Rochester. A program created by President Obama shortly after the murder of Trayvon Martin. A program that is overseen by the Obama Foundation & NYS MBK Alliance. The focus for our ROCMBK is to work with Boys and Young men of Color (BYMOC) and create a cradle to career path for all black and brown boys. 56


I have been married now to my wife Carmen Outlaw-Mayoliz for 21 years and counting and she has been my rock that has allowed me to give of myself to the work. I have 5 children all who are grown and doing very well for themselves. Ray, Andre, Peter, Tiara and Sasha and 3 grandchildren whom I rarely get to see as they reside in other states.

older generation from 30-60 years old as deemed Mega Clasico’s classic music from the 70’s,80’s and 90’s. My show has drawn listeners and viewers from all over the US and has reached listeners in 26 Latin American Countries, not bad for a little old Rochesterian. Tune in on Saturday Morning’s from 7 am –noon on Yo Te Veo – Means I see you.

I am also married to a passion of mine and that is my love for music. I have been a disc jockey for over 35 years and have been a Radio Dj / Personality for the last 5 years. I currently have a show on Rochester’s Number 1 Commercial Latino Radio Station 97.5 La Mega. My show is specific as it caters to the

I dedicate my story to my friend Manny Ortiz as it is my honor to be featured with you in this 2020Edition of Rochester Men Online. Thank you Kelly for this honor.









“I wanted to be an advocate.” That was Blake’s response on our first date when I asked him why he chose law as a profession. Some years later, as part of a professional development project, I had him take a personality test that revealed his true nature was a “helper”. Without a doubt, that trait has driven the attraction and retention of his dedicated team and the incredible growth of Webber Law. When we were first married, Blake was an associate attorney at a firm well known for its malpractice defense work. Not particularly drawn to litigation, Blake was given lots of “everything else” in the business - corporate formation and counsel, real estate, traffic violations, and other transactional matters - so that the partners could focus on their core areas of expertise. The firm allowed attorneys to carry a book of business outside the firm as long as fees didn’t exceed a certain amount. Blake would work at the firm all day, while in the evenings, he would take diligent care of the clients in his growing side 60


book. Without a formal development program within the firm, Blake felt lost; he wasn’t getting the exposure to the work that would put him on a partnership track. He began to look around for jobs at other firms, and I began to encourage him to consider starting his own practice: if

you can’t find a firm culture that fits your passion for helping your clients, start that firm yourself. Our fathers and grandfathers had been business owners, so it was in our blood. “So what if you fail?”, I remember telling him, “Just go back to a firm. With even a small book of business, you’d be picked up in a heartbeat.”

With that, in February 2013, Blake started Webber Law. We were living in our first home at the time, a twobedroom townhouse in Corn Hill. The second bedroom was his office, and our dining room table was his conference room. For the most part, clients didn’t come to him; he marketed himself as a concierge law practice and made house calls instead. That approach was hugely popular. He worked all hours (still does), and by the end of 2013, he had reported twice as much income as when he was employed. Clearly, solo practice suited him. When Blake made the leap, I was a Senior Accountant at a regional public accounting firm. We were both certain that my career trajectory likely involved making partner, and by the end of 2014, I was a licensed CPA and held the title of Supervisor. Despite how content I was, I had just witnessed Blake pass that critical two-year point in his practice and was beginning to feel the urge to try my own luck. If Blake could start a business, why couldn’t I?





“We’re always tossing business ideas around, and every now and then – after the depth of vetting only an attorney and an accountant could do - they stick.”








“We frequently acknowledge that our marriage is strengthened not despite all those experiences, but because of them.”

Accountants and attorneys are generally conservative by nature, so the thought of placing both of our destinies into our own hands was extremely intimidating. I remember vividly the evening I was preparing to tell him. It was a Friday night in the Spring of 2015, and I was cooking dinner in our little kitchen in Corn Hill. Blake came down from his office and I just blurted out, “I want to start my own practice.” I expected a long discussion, likely a stress-fueled and emotional one, but Blake simply replied, “Then do it. You helped me start mine, it’s time for me to help you start yours.” The following Monday, I put in my two weeks’ notice. To say the rest is history would imply that the last seven years have been easy; they most certainly have not. We’ve over-hired and fired, we’ve endured cash flow problems, we’ve made record money one year and half that the next. But the rewards are sweet, especially for two business owners who happen to be married to each other. We 64


frequently acknowledge that our marriage is strengthened not despite all those experiences, but because of them. When a problem arises in my business, Blake has already been through it and offers advice. If Blake has to cancel plans to work late, I don’t get angry because I’ve had to

do it as well. Last year, we signed a lease for office space and brought our staffs under one roof. Our offices are right next door to each other, and we count ourselves blessed to be able to wake up, work, and fall asleep next

to each other every day. It is said, once you build a business, you want to start another one. In our case, it’s very true. In addition to Webber Law and Webber CPA, we’ve started two other businesses along the way: Swyft Abstract, an abstract and title company to support Webber Law, and Webber Systems, a proprietary software in development to support Webber CPA. We’re always tossing business ideas around, and every now and then – after the depth of vetting only an attorney and an accountant could do - they stick. Each year on our anniversary, Blake asks me where I think we’ll be the following year. You’d think after 11 years together, life would have b e c o m e m o re predictable by now, but that is not the case for us. I believe as long as we’re still together, pursuing some new adventure over a delicious meal, it will have been a success.









In this 2020 Men’s special edition of Rochester Woman Online, we had the priviledge to sit down for a little question and answer session with musician, Rochester native, and All Access CBD/Vapor/Labs owner Mike “Mac” MacArthur. This is what he had to say to RWO about where he came from, where he is going and what has influenced him. Tell us a little about where you grew up and your family: I grew up in Rochester NY. Specifically, Fairport with my parents Mike and Carol as well as my sister Michelle. We lived there until I graduated Fairport High School and then all moved to Florida. After you graduated, what career path did you decide to follow and why? Music…period. I started in 5th grade band and never stopped. I guess you could say my career path chose me. I was fortunate to have so many supportive people encourage music in my life at such a young age. Family friends as well as musicians themselves, Bob and Bill Lewis along with lifelong teacher and friend to this day, Bill Tiberio shaped me as a person and musician and gave me all the tools I needed to succeed. What was it like touring the world playing music? I was lucky to have the pleasure of touring the world with jazz trumpet legend Maynard Ferguson in my 20’s as a young musician. That led to touring with Diane Schuur, Rick Derringer, Frankie Valli and many others. I loved being on the road. Music was always the focus and seeing the world

was amazing, knowing that what I loved doing was making it all possible. Who was the one person you have met that has made the biggest impact on your life? I met them the day I was born….my parents:) They encouraged everything I have done since and have been a huge part of who I am. Musically, Bill Tiberio has always inspired me and taught me the importance of what music can accomplish through people. What made you decide to settle in Florida?

2014. I did’t want to tour anymore so I could be home with my wife and daughter. I had quit smoking by turning to vaping, so I opened a store and made it unique. There actually were vapor lounges at the time. I just wanted mine to be different, starting with the people and vibe. When and why did you decide to open All Access CBD? A few years into running the Vapor stores, it became a natural progression to explore the CBD world. I had an opportunity to grab a retail space and I just went for it, not knowing how much we would learn and grow in the process. I am so glad I took that chance. What makes you unique or different from other CBD companies that are popping up everywhere? The Lab. In addition to having CBD retail stores, I decided to build a ISO 6 medical grade lab and become not just a retailer, but my own manufacturer.

I got a scholarship to Florida State School of Music in Tallahassee FL. My parents and sister moved to Florida as well at the same time. I spent a year there and then transferred to Manhattan School of Music in NYC. From there, I left to tour and eventually plant roots in Tampa Florida. When did you open the All Access Vapor shops and what led you to create this business at the time when there really were no vapor lounges?

What is the one thing about Mike MacArthur that people may not know? I am pretty transparent. haha. If you don’t know me that well, I like Tommy Bahama (some say I have a problem), flip flops (I hate wearing socks) and being home with family. Who is your favorite musician? Who have you worked with in the past that you would love to again? Too many great musicians to choose from, but if I had to pick one it would be the band Tower of Power. I have worked a few times with Gino Vannelli and always get excited when I get that phone call. I was supposed ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MEN’S EDITION 2020


{ ALL ACCESS } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “I guess you could say my career path chose me. I was fortunate to have so many supportive people encourage music in my life at such a young age.”

to perform with him again earlier this year, but the shows were cancelled. Who has been your biggest musical influence? This one is hard to answer. Being a good musician is a result of grabbing the styles and ideas of many to create your own voice. Having said that, Gene Ammons, Michael Brecker, Lenny Pickett, and Gene Harris are some of my absolute favorites. Personally and musically, Bill Tiberio has been a lifelong influence both with my career and in life. Name one thing that you love about owning your own business… Creating jobs and watching people grow into something they didn’t think was possible. It’s all about the people no matter what business you are talking about. 70


What piece of advice would you give a young entrepreneur? Have a vision, stick to it and be willing to be flexible to get where you want to end up. What makes you who you are? My family…period. My wife Danielle and my daughter Sydney are my life. Having the flexibility to spend time at home with them is the most valuable thing ever. What is a saying/quote you have always lived by and why? Family first. And when friends become close enough over time, they fall into that category. As I get older I gravitate toward the importance of living my life with integrity more than ever. Tell us about your different businesses

and what makes them run effectively… Right now I have All Access Vapor, All Access CBD, All Access Labs and All Access Recording. Having the right people, trusting them, treating them with respect and having a solid vision is a must. From there, I have just taken chances and followed my gut and dreams. If you could do one thing over in business what would it be and why? I don’t think I would do anything over. I have learned a lot from my mistakes and that has made me who I am today. I guess maybe the only thing I could think of would be wishing that when I was younger, I could have taken more time to ask questions and learn more from those with more experience than me at the time.









“Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.” - Les Brown June 1993, High school is over, I graduated. I have no plan to attend college; I didn’t do well in high school. I leave high school with a special education diploma, so in actuality I really don’t have options. I have desires, I have dreams and I know there is more to life than this. But let’s be honest, I have no academic skills, I have no role models, just a vision. I see people with nice houses and luxury cars but I don’t know the path to take to obtain these items. I had no one telling me to strive for these things when I was growing up. I lived in poverty. My view of success was the local drug dealer and rap videos. Here’s one incident I vividly remember: Mr. Reid to the front of the class: What do you want to be when you grow up? Here are the careers I had to choose from: professional athlete, rapper, singer, or hustler; needless to say, I chose hustler. Of course my teacher called my mom. My mom was embarrassed and extremely upset. But I think I was more embarrassed and upset than she, because I received a paddle in front of the class for my choice.

When we got home my mom told me to go to my room and do my homework. I’m sure she would have tried to kill me if I even considered going outside. I was on punishment for a week. She reminded me once again, not to even think about going outside to play. I knew wanting to be

a hustler was a bad choice and so for five whole days I was deterred. But when my punishment was over and I was allowed to go outside, once again, my desire to be hustler had returned because at the time, that was my visual standard.

So life goes on and we move to Seneca Falls. Years pass and now I am a senior in high school. Seneca Falls was a different world. I remember a particular incident when a random person made a racist comment and everyone laughed, except one person, a friend. She was in my graduating class. We were really good friends in school. We ran track together. She mentioned her family owned a business. I would see her father at the track meets. He always seemed really cool, handling business. When I think back he kind of looked like Steven Segal. He always took out the time to greet me whenever he saw me. His acknowledgment made me feel important. One day while at a basketball game I approached him. I asked if I could come work for him. I also told him I had no intentions of going to college. He replied, “you don’t have to go to college to be successful, I didn’t ”. I still had insecurities because I didn’t want to tell him I had a special education diploma. I thought if he knew the truth, he wouldn’t hire me. That school year came and went, I graduated from high school and I started working for his company, a



{ CNY INSPIRING MAN { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Mr. Reid to the front of the class: What do you want to be when you grow up? Here are the careers I had to choose from: professional athlete, rapper, singer, or hustler; needless to say, I chose hustler. Of course my teacher called my mom.”

dental laboratory. I remember having to bring my high school diploma, driver’s license and my social security card, I felt like he would give me job mopping the floors or cleaning the bathrooms because I was a special education student. I knew I could do more, but I didn’t know what he thought. I recall walking down the hallway and a member of the hiring staff quietly said to Sir, “I have all of Todd Reid’s paper work, he has a special education diploma”. He replied, “I don’t care”. I was relieved; I mean words cannot explain the heavy weight that I had been carrying; now it was gone. My secret was out. I wasn’t mopping or cleaning bathrooms; I worked in the model department. That was the first time I felt like I had a chance to be successful. I knew I wasn’t book smart, but I knew I had skills. I simply wanted someone to take a chance on me. I was frightened that no one would. But the CEO of a dental laboratory took a chance. I felt like he was looking out for me. He would offer me opportunities to make extra money, he would take out the time to talk with me, and he would give me advice on life. He would talk to me about the growth of 78


his company. He taught me to look towards the future. He dialogued with me about setting goals and having a vision. He was the first person I knew who spoke positively about the future. This was the first time I felt my special education diploma had no influence on my future success. I began to consider him a friend, a mentor probably more

like a father figure. Years went by and I saw, everything he predicted, happened. I saw the growth of his laboratory, but I also saw the growth in the people of who worked in his laboratory. Most importantly, I saw the growth in myself. At this time I was a polisher, but I had visions of being a metal finisher or waxer. I thought being a ceramist was beyond my reach.

In communicating with him, I would often say “I want to be a ceramist, but I’m not sure if I can”. He would in turn say, “how bad do you want it?” That was always his reply when I was unsure about accomplishing a goal. I would sit and look over the shoulder of other ceramist to get a feel for how they moved their hands and how the designs developed. I began to gravitate towards the lead ceramist in the laboratory. I recall him being extremely happy back then. He told me being a ceramist was the best job in the world and you could make great money. My idea of great money was $20/hour. I remember visiting his house and being blown away. I thought to myself, “This guy makes way more than $20/hour”. This gave me visual standard. He became my second mentor at the laboratory. I found myself looking over his shoulder and asking him questions. The CEO, back then, would say if you get finished with your work at a decent time then you can go sit with him (lead ceramist). So I would watch him pick up these tiny pieces of porcelain with a brush and place them perfectly. I wanted to be able to do it too. Then he would give me a training case to





{ CNY INSPIRING MAN { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “I have all of Todd Reid’s paper work, he has a special education diploma”. He replied, “I don’t care”.

work on. It seemed so hard. I could not do it in the beginning. I would get frustrated because I wanted to be successful. At the time my definition of success was being a ceramist. Years go by, and I soak up knowledge from everyone at the laboratory. They are all valuable resources. I spent a lot of time wanting to be like other people and letting material items define my success. But I realized I was happiest being a ceramist and being the best Todd I could be. It took me a while, but I came to understand, we all bring our 80


unique talents. This company provided me with a visual standard, I had to learn to meet and exceed those standards. I was no longer trying to be like the other talented technicians. I could only be me and I continued to grow. This company served as my foundation. Similarly, when you are building a house, there are tools you must have, like hammers and nails, but most importantly you must have a solid foundation. Working for this company was and still is my solid foundation and I am eternally grateful.

Spending 20 years at this company has brought me to this point. I am now the President of my own company, ACCESS Dental Laboratory. ACCESS Dental Laboratory is the first African-American owned, full-service, dental laboratory in the country. We are a comprehensive, light manufacturing, tech, companies that specialize in dental restorations while adhering to the highest industry standards on the technical manufacturing and design of crowns, bridges, partials, dentures, night guards, implants and veneers, opeing Spring of 2021.





{ CNY INSPIRING MAN { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “He would in turn say, “how bad do you want it?” That was always his reply when I was unsure about accomplishing a goal.”









DAVID “WHEELS”MAXWELL My name is David Maxwell, better known in the Rochester area as Wheels. Later in this story I will tell you how the nickname “Wheels” has changed my life in such a very positive way. But first I think it is important to tell you a little bit about myself and my journey leading up to it. I was born two months premature, so my lungs had not had a chance to fully develop. I had to be transferred from Genesee Hospital to Strong Memorial Hospital Children’s Neonatal Care Unit. It was during that transfer that I stopped breathing and had a lack of oxygen to my brain. That loss of oxygen is what caused me to have the condition that I live with today called cerebral palsy or also known as “CP”. CP can come with a wide range of limitations and affects. In my case I have weakness on the right side of my body and spasticity in my legs. I use a wheelchair as my primary way of getting around. I am not paralyzed and am able to use a walker for short distances. At age 5, I began competing in the Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged in Brockport and Long Island and continued through the age of 21. I competed in several track, field and swimming events, winning many medals for my success and achievements as an athlete. The “Games” program has shaped me in so many positive ways, building stronger confidence, self-esteem, and long-lasting friendships. Because of the

Games program and the encouragement of my parents and family, I have learned no matter what your limitations are, nothing is out of reach. One of my favorite memories from these Games was getting the opportunity to go to Ireland as part of the 1st American team to compete in the Irish Physically Challenged Games. We also had the chance to travel the Irish countryside, stay with Irish families and meet with many of Irelands leaders.

After high school I wanted to pursue a degree in communications, as I always dreamed to have a career in either television or radio. (As I small child I can remember sitting in my living pretending to be Don Alhart, the host of the United Cerebral Palsy Telethon.) Due to some of my limitations as well as the lack accessibility available for me at MCC, I decided to pursue a degree in graphic arts from Bryant and Stratton College. But the dream of being on radio or television was really a dream

that I never lost the desire for. Now you might be sitting there reading this and wondering, so where did you get the nickname “Wheels” and how did it change your life!!! One night, sitting at a poker table, in walked Brother Wease. He ended up sitting down in the seat next to me and we struck up a conversation. I happened to mention to him that I was on his old radio show many years ago. During that show he said he would never remember my name, so he gave me the nickname “Wheels”. That night and for several nights afterwards we would have conversations at the poker table about my life and the funny stories and experience I had about being in the wheelchair. We went out to dinner a few times and on one of those nights out to dinner he said to me, “bro you’re pretty funny you should come up on the radio and tell some of your stories.” I still remember the first time I was on the Brother Wease show on radio 95.1. It was almost 5 years ago now and the show was broadcasting outside for the 9-11 Memorial. After that show, I guess you could say I had caught the bug, I knew that was something that I wanted to continue to do. My dream had finally become a reality. Well, I must have done something right because they ask me to sit in on Friday’s and I now I also fill in for people on vacation. So, you see I am truly getting to live out my ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MEN’S EDITION 2020









dreams and if it wasn’t for Brother Wease and his team on the 95.1 Brother Wease Morning Show that dream may never have been realized. And everything that I have done from that point forward in some part has been because of what Brother Wease saw in me during our conversations at the poker table. One of those very cool things that I have had the opportunity to do (Which was also a bucket list item for me.) was doing stand-up comedy at the Comedy at the Carlson. Sitting down of course!! I know that is the corniest joke there is, but if there is one thing I believe, it is if you cannot laugh about it, you cannot live with it. 90


At the beginning of 2020 when the Corona virus hit our area, it gave me the opportunity, with a little more time on my hands to start a new venture. One that I had been tossing around for a few years. I was able to start my own Podcast called “Wednesdays with Wheels”. The Pod Cast is an hourlong interview format that I also do live on Facebook. I choose a variety of people to interview, some you may know from our community and some you may never have heard of. You see, I believe whether you are very well known or not known at all, everyone has a story and that story needs to be shared. My Podcast can be found on Facebook live every Wednesday

night at 7:00 p.m. or on any of the many podcasting platforms such as Spotify or the iHeartRadio app. In closing the one thing that I hope people will take away from my journey is that no matter what your dreams are and no matter what the obstacles are that stand in the way of your dreams…..keep on chasing those dreams! Sure, there will be some bumps and bruises along the way but that’s what makes reaching your dream so much sweeter.

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MEET ERIN MCDONALD Event and Interior Stylist Erin McDonald is a designer at heart, always has been and always will be. He grew up in Rochester, New York and was a dancer for a good portion of his life. He moved to Chicago when he was just 19 to pursue a dancing career. Hi s p a t h l e d him into the world of flowers though, starting with the design of windows in Chicago. During his twenties, he decided to move to Miami, Florida for a short time where he designed windows on Lincoln Road and started to delve into the event world a bit more while there. His “wanderlust” spirit then brought him to San Diego in the early 2000’s where he continued to design windows and worked with several high end event design companies there. Sadly, in 2004 his brother died unexpectedly and then the world opened up for him. He was brought back to Chicago to work with the venerable team at HMRDesigns. He has been a wedding florist and

event designer for well over three decades working along side some of the top professionals in the country, including being former VP for HMRDesigns in Chicago. He has won several awards for his events throughout the years and is humbled by the fact that he barely graduated high school and never went to college. McDonald has designed events

for several presidents, dignitaries, celebrities and thousands of beaming couples. His craft for turning rooms into spectacular events has blossomed into interior design of homes and designing event venues. Erin is sought after throughout the nation to help existing event companies, as a consultant, to increase their brand awareness, teach their existing teams how to sell event design, and

re-designing their studios; to match their long term goals. McDonald has designed events all over the world such as destination weddings and events in Rome, Mexico, nuptials in Paris, and curated designs all throughout Rochester and Chicago’s most elite properties. His holistic florists approach to design can take him anywhere from a luxurious table for 20; for a second wedding, to designing a brand new event venue for one of Chicago’s power families. His design logic is simple…”keep it simple and the design will speak volumes”. In early 2020 he opened his first “second” location in Upstate R o c h e s t e r, New York. The move back to his hometown was his way of getting back to his roots and being able to share time with his dear family. The goal was to open Rochester and Upstate New York region for event design under his name while still focusing on his legacy clients in Chicago and the Midwest. Unfortunately he has had to pivot his company concept and focus on ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MEN’S EDITION 2020



“He has been a wedding florist and event designer for well over three decades working along side Chicag

smaller weddings and events, given the COVID pandemic and has just launched his sister company Down To Earth Event which is a stylized event concept focusing on small, chic events brought right to your home. Erin also has a new product coming out, called EMOCUFF, that is centralized around the floral and event industry and is a tool band to safely carry your hand tools while creating floral arrangements. His work has graced the pages of such publications as Martha Stewart, Modern Luxury Weddings, Grace Ormonde, Town and Country Weddings, InStyle Weddings, Brides, as well as the top wedding and event blogs such as Carats and Cake, Junebug Weddings, Style Me Pretty and 100 Layer Cake. McDonald has been a course instructor with The Event Leadership for many years and has worked alongside Bizbash Media where he taught a national Design Lab where hundreds of people competed on tabletop design. He has spoken at several top event conventions including Catersource and The Special Event. In 2011 he was voted as Chicago’s Man of Style where nowadays you will probably find him in jeans a t-shirt and most definitely a hat. He loves living back in Rochester these days and spending time with his mother, sister, nieces and nephews and awesome brother in laws. He has 96



e some of the top professionals in the country, including being former VP for HMRDesigns in go.”

a 4 year old lab mix named Joey who is his partner in crime and everyones favorite dog. Since moving back to Rochester he has the wonderful opportunities to restyle and update the wonderful Inn on Broadway University Ballroom, and works exclusively with venues such as Oak Knolls Manor in Caledonia and Lincoln Hill Farms in Canandaigua as a preferred partner. He loves and lives a work-live lifestyle and says that he will probably never retire…”Everyone loves a good gay designer. I’ll never not work”.

{{ GETTING CREATIVE} } SHIFT+CONTROL “He loves and lives a work-live lifestyle and says that he will probably never retire… ”Everyone loves a good gay designer. I’ll never not work.”




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ANTHONY LEWIS After working almost 20 years in the security industry and spending 10 years of that time as the Director of Security for Midtown Plaza and the Midtown Risen Project until March of 2012, I was laid off. I decided to create D.B.I. Management Group in April of 2012, and in 2015 restructured it to D.B.I. Management Gr o u p , L L C , w h e r e managing ideas and visions and turning possibilities into opportunities are achieved through coaching and consultation.

careers. I was excited about the offers and the opportunities, but from my experience, every opportunity isn’t always a good one. Each one needed to go through an onboarding

Currently I’m still suffering from the accident. The disabilities, and chronic pain among other issues have forced me to to make some changes within my business and to find a niche that not only allowed me to use my experience, but also met a demand, which was providing operations management and strategic support services to entrepreneurs and small businesses.

I started out as a freelancer using Twitter as my main source to find clients and since I’ve had years of experience working with music artists, I had an insight of what they needed to promote and market their projects, events, etc. I followed them making humorous comments on their posts, sparking conversations among fans and other artists, creating introductions among artists, spear heading collaborations, giving management advice and then eventually they started inboxing me asking to listen to a new song, beats, watch a video. Before I knew it I had up and coming artists from Hip Hop to R&B from around the world asking for advice, and seeking management for their

that disabled me. This prevented me from traveling to work with him as his manager so in 2016 while laying in the hospital bed after having back surgery, I called to tell him that he should find other management group. We mutually decided to part ways as I didn’t want to hinder his career. A year prior to that we had been working hard and he was mentioned in the 2015 XXL Magazine as an up and coming artist to look out for.

process. I had chosen an amazing artist to work with and we were making progress with his career, then I was involved in a car accident in 2013

My mission is to help people become successful business owners and entrepreneurs, but to also empower them by providing a learning environment for themselves and their business. I inform potential clients that I should not know more about their business than they do, and as a requirement for us to work together they will have ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MEN’S EDITION 2020


{ HANDSOME } { ANIMAL CARE CORNER } “As HANDSOME, we highlight having an abundance of character,honesty, integrity, morals, and trustworthiness which embarked on the journey of finding products that have the same qualities.”

“homework assignments” to learn the processes and systems they need to meet their targeted goals, to stay in line with the mission and vision of their business. As time went on I realized that 99% of my clients and those that I mentor or coach are women business owners and entrepreneurs. I don’t know how that happened, but I’m happy and glad it did. Wo r k i n g w i t h women isn’t new to me, and I’m very comfortable, it could be from being raised by my mom growing up and seeing her go off to work and make minor repairs around the house by herself. I wanted to help her do things around the home, make things easier for her and take some of the burden off her shoulders. With that I never had an issue working with or for a woman. I might get some slack from this, but I’ve noticed that women are very determined when they want something, more so than the few men I’ve worked with and nothing is going to stop them. That makes me work just as hard, if not harder for them toassist them with reaching 104


their business and sometimes their personal goals . Often both one and the same. I have assisted my clients with creating

purchase a ticket for an event from an employee, as I approached her desk, she said, “You’re a very HANDSOME man”. I’ve been told that before, but I never took it as a compliment, I took it as she was being nice and to be honest. I really didn’t know the complete or correct definition. As I Googled HANDSOME, I realized that the definition is about me, however I had chosen to focus on the character and quality of a person rather than the looks. Looks fade, disappear and can only take you so far. A few days later, I filed and formed HANDSOME.

clothing lines, revamping an existing business and starting a new business in unfamiliar territory. I feel that as a business owner that we must also explore other business ventures that inspire us to be more creative and open doors for more opportunities. In 2016. I went to City Hall to

As HANDSOME, we highlight having an abundance of character,honesty, integrity, morals, and trustworthiness which embarked on the journey of finding products that have the same qualities. We started selling handmade all natural, no animal by products soaps and beard oil to men and women. I’m very happy that I took the leap of faith in becoming a business owner and helping others do the same






Tell us a little about who is Orlando Ortiz. where you grew up, where are you now, family, etc... I was born and raised in Cayey, Puerto Rico. At the age of 10, my family came to Rochester for a one month visit to see other family members. Now, 25+ years later, I’m still on that “one-month” vacation. My family decided at the time to make Rochester home.

transition to college at MCC & RIT. The summer between junior and senior year I was provided an opportunity to co-op at The Gleason Works. This coop provided me hands on experience in the field I was learning in school and hoped to continue in college. Over the years at Gleason I was exposed to

I started helping out in my uncle’s grocery store, Rivera’s Market at the age of 11 doing odds and ends jobs. Although I wasn’t there many hours, the exposure provided me with the value of hard work, commitment, and working for what I want in life. My family consists of my wife Denishea and two boys Esaias and Gian. We reside in East Irondequoit. What do you do for a living and how did you get started? I’m a Manufacturing Manager at The Gleason Works. I got into this industry by attending Edison Tech High School which has a vocational program. I selected machine shop as my area of focus for the remainder of my high school years. During that time, I became exposed to Manufacturing processes and Engineering which later aided my

various areas such as machining, process engineering, mechanical engineering, quality control, and production management. Each experience aided my professional growth and allowed me to reach the current position of Manufacturing Manager. The one thing I love is that despite all the positions I’ve had over my career at Gleason and other companies, I’m now managing the area I started working in as a 16-year-old. I have come full circle and wouldn’t

have thought that was possible when I started my career at Gleason. You are the organizer of the Puerto Rican Festival. How did you become involved with it? Yes, I’m the President of the Puerto Rican Festival, Inc (PRFI). I became involved with the PRFI in 2003. I was attending RIT and had joined my fraternity, Lambda Alpha Upsilon Fraternity, Inc. Since I was one of the fraternity brothers from Ro c h e s t e r, I was tasked with exposing the organization to community service opportunities. I came across volunteering at the PRFI the summer of 2003 and we loved it. We came back to volunteer again in 2004, and in 2005 I was asked to join the board as the Volunteer Coordinator. Since then I’ve held the position as Treasurer and the President the past 10 years. What are some of the responsibilities being the organizer of such a large event? We are the largest ethnic festival in Monroe County, and we are very proud of the history and legacy this organization has here in Rochester. The Puerto Rican ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MEN’S EDITION 2020








{{LOCAL SPOTLIGHT } SHIFT+CONTROL “I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished to date and feel everything happens for a reason and how it’s meant to happen.”

Festival is one of many events that the PRFI does yearly. As organizers of the Puerto Rican Festival, we meet yearly to ensure we keep continuity of planning our events throughout the year. The all-volunteer board that puts together this Puerto Rican Festival have the responsibility of putting together one of the safest and most organized events here in Rochester. We thrive in seeing our patrons enjoying themselves during the festival and makes all our efforts worth it.

that bring the culture and pride of our heritage. What is your greatest accomplishment to date? I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished to date and feel everything happens for a reason and

How has everything in 2020 with the Covid-19 impacted the festival? The Puerto Rican Festival was slated to celebrate its 51st annual Puerto Rican Festival celebration in 2020. Our planning began in November 2019 and in March 2020 we realized the heightened concerns over COVID-19. At that time, we decided to stop all planning until April so we can assess what was happening. That is when we decided to cancel the 2020 Puerto Rican Festival. It was a heartbreaking decision for us to make, but one we felt was the right one not only for the safety and security of our organization, but for the longevity of the organization moving forward. It’s our intent to come back in 2021 and bring back the one Latino event 112


how it’s meant to happen. If I had to pick my greatest accomplishment, it would have to be my family. They keep me grounded and motivated to do better every day to ensure I leave a legacy behind to my children and others I care about. What are your plans for the near future? Continue to take advantage of this

pandemic to spend more time with my family and also re-evaluate where I spent my time pre-covid and determine if I need to make change post-covid to ensure I remain committed to what is important in my life. Name one thing that you love about what you do and why... 1. Professionally I love that I get to work with people on a daily basis. I get to solve problems, find ways to satisfy our customer needs, and make a difference daily. 2. Volunteering wise, I love that I give of my time to various organizations. These include T h e Ho u s i n g Council, PathStone Corporation, FoodLink, and RIT Alumni Association. Each board satisfies a particular interest of mine in giving back to my community. What makes you who you are? I’m a very positive person. I love to smile and make others smile. I try not to let anyone gain control of my happiness.







SPOTLIGHT} } {{ LOCAL SHIFT+CONTROL “I came across volunteering at the PRFI the summer of 2003 and we loved it. We came back to volunteer again in 2004, and in 2005 I was asked to join the board as the Volunteer Coordinator. Since then I’ve held the position as Treasurer and the President the past 10 years.”

If you could do one thing over in your life what would it be and why? I don’t personally have anything that I would do over in my life. I feel each experience has been the right experience for me at that time. The one area I wish I was exposed at a younger age would be real estate and creating generational wealth. Who is the one person in your life that has had the biggest impact on

you and why? There are actually two people: 1. Dennis Shaw has been my 2nd father and mentor since I remember being here in Rochester. He’s been an amazing sounding board and someone who always says the right thing at the right time. 2. Denishea Ortiz, my wife has been a strong supporter of my interests, goals, and continues to be someone that helps me grow daily.

Is there anything else you want our audience to know about Orlando Ortiz? One of my favorite quotes is by Henry Ford who said: “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal”. We often make excuses why certain things happen to us. I believe when we do that, we’ve taken our eyes off the goal we’ve set.







MATT DRISCOLL For Dr. Matthew Driscoll, it’s all about giving people a healthy foundation of continual movement and support. As a former college athlete and father of two kids, he more than understands the importance of being injury free and mobile. He wants everyone to feel empowered to live and move as they want to, day after day, year after year.

The care at Driscoll Chiropractic centers on what Dr. Driscoll considers the four pillars of a healthier lifestyle: movement, sleep, nutrition, and breathing, all advanced learning services in which he is constantly researching for . Dr. Driscoll also carries advanced training in Active Release Technique (ART), the gold

“The worst kind of injury is the one that keeps coming back,” explains Dr. Driscoll. “I want t o g i ve p e o p l e preventative care, but also a sense of how other effective health practices can positively impact their lifestyle. That way, people get a more comprehensive understanding of how they can help themselves outside my office.” Dr. Driscoll received his undergraduate degree from St. John Fisher College and his Doctorate in Chiropractic from the New York Chiropractic College. He then interned at the Catalyst Health Group which lead to becoming an Associate Doctor, responsible for all aspects of care at Pittsford Performance Care, before then starting his own practice in Webster, NY.

standard for soft tissue treatment, and Foundation Training, a series of exercises that promote behavior change in the way you move to correct any imbalances caused by modern, everyday habits. His is the only practice in upstate New York that offers Foundation Training, whereas before, patients would have to travel to Toronto, to find such assistance.

The core of Dr. Driscoll’s success is simple: he listens to what people need. He utilizes a personalized approach for patient success and works together with his patients to set realistic goals. They don’t just get the standard office visit, they get homework. “I want my patients to become active participants in their recovery, not just because it’s the best way, but it’s also the only way to achieve long term results they can live with.” Dr. Dr i s c o l l’s dedication to wellness doesn’t stop with his patients. There’s an overall philosophy of positive change he wishes to extend to the Rochester community as well, and he reaches a wider audience as the host of his own podcast. “ROC Spotlight” features conversations with other professionals in the health and wellness space in Rochester. Dr. Driscoll sees it as a unique way to continually further his education, promote wellness to a wider community, and amplify the voices of the many area professionals all working to help people live their healthiest lives.

“I want my patients to become active participants in their recovery, not just because it’s the best way, but it’s also the only way to achieve long term results they can live with.”

SHIFT+CONTROL {{ ASK THE DOCTOR }} “I don’t ever want to feel too comfortable in my practice or in life because when you stop adapting, you’re not giving the best care or being your personal best for the people around you.”

“The podcast has been such fun. You have to keep learning and build partnerships with people that keep you in check. I don’t ever want to feel too comfortable in my practice or in life because when you stop adapting, you’re not giving the best care or being your personal best for the people around you.” When it comes to keeping himself centered, Dr. Driscoll turns to his wife, Kiersten, and their two daughters. Visit to schedule an appointment, subscribe to Dr. Driscoll’s YouTube channel, listen to an episode of his podcast, or find additional resources on socila media - follow his Instagram page (@dr.driscoll) for a Doctor Matt approved daily health tip! Driscoll Chiropractic 2115 Empire Blvd (4.14 mi) Webster, NY 14580 (585) 672-3870














“Money certainly doesn’t define my success.” Anthony Jay Galante goes by Tony around town. He was born and raised in Webster, NY – and never left! Tony was born with community service in his blood. His 89 year old grandmother recalls him playing fireman when he was about 4 years old, making sure his toy trucks had gas. “It was so funny, he was so young and already thinking about how he would be able to help his community. Nobody had ever seen anything like it!” At age 14, Tony joined the explorer program through the West Webster Fire Department. “In a sense, I was lucky I just always knew community service was my calling. I wasn’t sure at first if I was more drawn to firefighting or law enforcement, but soon realized I didn’t have to choose.” Tony devoted all of his spare time to the West Webster Fire Department as a teenager. “I never felt like I gave anything up, no way. There was such a strong sense of family at the fire department, there was nowhere I’d rather be. Yeah, I would be playing Monopoly on a Friday night waiting for the tones to go off, but it was where I was supposed to be.”

After high school, Tony attended MCC but was quickly picked up by the Monroe County Sherriff’s Department as a jail deputy. “The jail teaches you how to deal with people – and teaches you quickly!” By 1999, Tony had joined the Rochester Police Department, then transferred “home” to the Webster Police Department in 2001, where he retired from last year. While enjoying a career in law

enforcement, Tony and his wife, Kara, opened a steam cleaning business in 2012. Kara recalls, “His beloved dog had cancer and the treatment was making her so sick. I was finally forced to tell him he had to find a different way to clean up after her. Little did I know, our family business would come out of that conversation!”

Tony researched several different cleaning methods and quickly decided on steam cleaning, or hot water extraction. Kara, a Registered Nurse, researched chemicals; together, they devised an amazing steam cleaning business! The Steam Police, LLC, caters to anyone needing residential or commercial cleaning of carpet, tile, upholster, hard wood floors; flood remediation and restoration – and is now opening a biohazard division. “The most important part of this business is the science. We follow evidence based science to make sure we have state-of-the -art equipment - and amazing people to maintain it.” In 2012, Tony was the only steam cleaner. He would get out the door by 8am, clean all morning, rush home to shower and leave at 2:15 for his 3pm11pm shift as a police sergeant. Because of his commitment to quality and reliability, the business quickly grew. By 2020, The Steam Police has 18 employees, and provides services to Rochester and Buffalo. “Our secret is commitment. We are committed to treating our employees like family and we don’t take their hard work for granted. We are also committed to making sure our customers are so happy, they become ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MEN’S EDITION 2020





{ LOCAL SPOTLIGHT }} SHIFT+CONTROL “Our secret is commitment. We are committed to treating our employees like family and we don’t take their hard work for granted.”

our biggest cheerleaders. We have so much repeat business and get so many referrals, it’s humbling.” Humbling. That’s actually a good word to describe Tony. While working as a police officer and then police sergeant, Tony received countless awards and letters of recognition for his distinguished service. “Those are all part of the job. Every good cop gets and gives hugs and gets recognized around town. That’s the benefit of being a small business owner in the same town, I guess!” On his personal time, Tony and his

wife are raising six kids ranging from 23years to 11 months, and rescue mini-pigs. “I truly feel like the best gift we gave the kids is each other. We are a built in team and this family business is for and about all of us. As for the pigs, they are good for me because nobody tells me what to do or talks back!” “Usually it’s a difficult transition to go from working a full-time law enforcement career to a more traditional type of job. The Steam Police has afforded me a transition most aren’t lucky enough to have. Actually, raising 6 kids is a bit like

law enforcement as well!” All joking aside, Tony expressed his gratitude to his platoon for continuing to keep in touch both personally and professionally. “As we open this new biohazard division, it’s invaluable to have the support of my brotherhood. It’s not a pleasant, happy time for a property owner, let alone a family member who needs this type of clean-up. I’ve helped people through a traumatic time more times than I can count and a few cases just stick with you. There are a few victims and families I’ll just never forget.”



(585) 563-8008 I WWW.TH






ABDY MERCADO A Photographer Who is Changing Boundary’s Many of us may not be aware that mainstream photography has been in existence for over 100 years and you may very well have though the artists who exercise it would be pretty well fruitful by this time. There is always a small number of artists who break the bounds of conventional though, master the latest technical innovations and find new outlets to share their enthusiasm for the art.

love of photography. Combining multiple interests into a single hobby is something many of us have done, but Abdy took it one

Abdy is a fourteen time featured photographer on “VOGUE Italia, PhotoVogue,” as his very first feature came just three months after he began his journey in the photography industry. Abdy wants the possibility to continue to aspire both humanity and upcoming photographers, to leave a meaning behind both his name and art.

I have faith this story could easily be entitled “Global Photographers Who Are Striving to Change Photography”, because as I wrote it, I came upon many instances than I could count of photographers who are pushing the limits of their craft. With as little as less than a year practicing his craft, Abdy Mercado has gathered his share of admirable and impressive collections of photography. But, in my opinion, the most impressive thing Abdy has done is to combine his passion for humanity with his

growing photographers of all times, but it’s his determination, boldness and work ethics that impress me the most.

Leave a Mark! +Live for EVER Wearing my Skin like a BOSS

big step farther and made it a successful business.

Featured on “VOGUE Italia, PhotoVogue,” on Sep. 2, 2019 Photography by: Abdy Mercado

There are a host of great photographers on this planet of ours, and Abdy is one of the fastest ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MEN’S EDITION 2020




{ BEHIND THE LENS } “Abdy wants the possibility to continue to aspire both humanity and upcoming photographers, to leave a meaning behind both his name and art.”




TRIPLE C’S Can you tell us a little about yourself? I’m originally from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I moved to Rochester New York in 2013 to pursue higher education. Four years later, I graduated with a business degree in 2018. I had a very successful eleven-year career in higher education as a senior admissions advisor and assistant director of admissions before I made the decision to walk away from it to pursue the vision God gave me seven years ago. The vision led to me forming Triple C’s Commercial and Residential Services, LLC in 2017. I officially launched my business June 15th of 2019. A year and two months later I’m extremely humbled and thankful for all the doors God continues to open for me and Triple C’s. I’m excited about the future and doing everything I can to keep making a positive impact in the community.


with an experienced team of skilled workers to help everything I envisioned come to life. A little over a year in business and we are over 150 clients servicing Western New York.

How did you first get involved in your line of business?

What are 3 lessons you’ve learned as a businessman that you can teach a businessman that is just starting out?

Honestly, I had experience with exterior/ interior painting and landscaping but many of the services I now provide I had no previous experience in. I just followed the vision God gave me and in a matter of time he provided me

The first lesson that I would say is to believe in yourself, dreams, and vison even when others don’t. People will often try to place their limitations on you so it’s essential to stand firm on your beliefs when it comes to


chasing your dreams. You can’t let the opinions of others allow you to bend, fold, break or get discouraged in any form. The second lesson I would encourage a businessman just starting out is to embrace failure, mistakes, and learning along the way. Running a successful business is not easy so I feel it’s important to not beat yourself up or get down when things don’t go as planned. Understand it’s normal and all part of the process. This last lesson I would encourage someone just starting out is extremely critical and it’s knowing your Target Market. Once I learned this everything in my business changed i m m e d i a t e l y. I ’d tell them to know your target market because when you do it’s powerful for any business owner and company. Out of all your goals for 2020, what is one you haven’t accomplished yet but are working towards? I’m a bibliophile so a goal of mine was to read at least 10 books this year. Business has tripled for Triple C’s this summer so I haven’t come close to reaching that goal but every chance I get I’m somewhere enjoying a good book. I’m currently reading Leading At A Higher Level by Ken Blanchard.





“The first lesson that I would say is to believe in yourself, dreams, and vison even when others don’t. People will often try to place their limitations on you so it’s essential to stand firm on your beliefs when it comes to chasing your dreams.”






{ BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT } “I see Triple C’s easily being one of the most respected and well known businesses in Western New York. I’ve already started working on a second business that will launch in 2021 or 2022 that I’m pretty excited about as well.”

Where do you see yourself and business in 5 years? I see Triple C’s easily being one of the most respected and well known businesses in Western New York. I’ve already started working on a second business that will launch in 2021 or 2022 that I’m pretty excited about as well. I will have my own trade/ mentoring program for young black men in the community teaching work ethics, skills, discipline, and various types of etiquette. I’m passionate about our youth and using my life experiences to help those who grew up without a father figure in the home like myself. I believe in each one teach one. If I’m able to be a blessing to one kid then my efforts were more than worth it. What is your number one source of motivation? My mother and my identical twin daughters absolutely mean the world to me so they have and will always be my number one motivation. Legacy is something I’m passionate about and I have already broken the generational curse in my family in a number of ways so being able to leave them something that was built strictly off my grind and hustle means more to me than words can ever express. How can the readers connect with you? I can be reached on my FB business page and IG page at Triplecsceo. I can also be reached via email at info@ My business line is 142









What does an accordion, a hockey team, and a chicken all have in common? Answer: Each played a role in the creation of a Rochester band which eventually became known for bringing rock and roll to the Super Bowl. The Nik and the Nice Guys band was formed by a group of Canadian hockey players at NCAA Division 1 St. Lawrence University that included National Hockey League coach Mike Keenan and present day Nik CEO / CPA and Victor resident Gary Webb. That St. Lawrence University “college band” wrote the book on audience participation, Webb has remarked. The group disbanded upon graduation but re-formed in the 80’s when Keenan became coach of the Rochester Americans hockey team. Originally the recreated Nik was a means for day-time business professionals to become night-time party animals raising funds for charity. However, thanks to Super Bowl bookings, former Toronto area resident Webb, turned the band’s continued success into a full-time touring and recording operation. Nik played a significant historical role in changing the entertainment dynamics

of Super Bowls. In the late 80’s, NFL Properties experimented with live rock music at the world’s largest annual media event. This was in stark contrast to the stringbased orchestras and “safe” variety acts like Up With People. NFL Properties executive Maureen Rosen auditioned

Nik and the Nice Guys at a McQuaid HS dance, then took a huge career risk by hiring the unknown, crazy rock/pop band to perform for NFL customers at Super Bowl XX in New Orleans - Bears routed the Patriots. Nik shows around this time featured George Walter, a CPA from Avon NY, fully costumed as a chicken, ala Nik’s Chick! And the band went on to perform for NFL customers at 21 subsequent Super Bowls. The success of Rosen’s experiment and

off the wall Nik performances paved the way for MTV and live pop music to become an integral part of every Super Bowl. Nik continued to play high profile events reported on by USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated etc. and ended up on weekly TV in the 90’s as the house band for ESPN’s “The Lighter Side of Sports” and NBC’s syndicated series “The Bob Uecker Sports Show.” Reruns of these shows played all over the world and Nik hit the road touring in Europe, Cayman Islands, Japan, Mexico everywhere! Also in the 90’s, due to booking demand, Nik and the Nice Guys spun off a number of completely separate NICHE-ACT SHOWBANDS much the way TV sitcoms spin off other shows. Webb’s Nik Entertainment Co. was formed to manage these acts, and Webb himself decided to end his 15 year accounting career, including 5 as Partner at the Deloitte International CPA Firm’s Rochester office. Webb’s musical direction of the 100+ Nik performers, including 21 females, stems from accordion lessons starting at ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MEN’S EDITION 2020



age 8 - “bass is the left hand, keys is the right hand… and you have to manage the bellows.” However, by thinking beyond the music and additionally scripting comedic bits, fun costumes, props, and choreography, Nik shows are unlike those of its 148


North America competitors. The CV pandemic has forced the company, now based in Toronto with a Village Gate Square Rochester office, to “retool” with a broader supply of smaller, eclectic acts in expectation of

a very different post-CV live music environment. Gary further advises to not underestimate what you can do with with an accordion, a hockey team and a chicken.




JASON HILTON The Unreasonable Man “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman These days, above all else, Jason finds his identity in Jesus as a Christian. However, others have seen him and known him as many things. Jason started his first business at age 15 buying and selling collectibles at local shows and flea markets. Since then he has founded and built several businesses including an investor marketing agency, a 501c3 dedicated to inclusive events that serve all of Rochester and beyond, pop up experiences, Rochester’s first cereal bar, a FORBES business council member, missionary, entertainer, promoter, and served as the CEO of a publicly traded company. Even with all this, Jason finds the most joy in serving and volunteering with many local charities. His greatest and most important role has been being a husband and father. Jason’s heart for serving, love for food and pop culture has helped transform the way people experience our community and city. Here’s what friends, family and community members have to say about him. “You are SO present in their lives, unlike a lot of dads. My first impression of you was definitely that you are selfless. You’re always looking out for your family, friends, and community first and then yourself.” -Alex Papaleo 152


“You’re like an older brother to a lot of people in the community. Anytime someone would come into the shop it was just a sense of familiarity in the way you talked to them even if you’ve never met them. You’ve got a really big heart and you love to share it” -Jacob Hubbard “Never change Jason. You are an earth

“Jason is a charismatic leader, entrepreneur, caretaker for your family and people in general. A big guy with a bigger heart!” -Harry Jallil “A man from the wrong side of the tracks trying to make right. His living situation created some good, bad, and great habits.No matter what obstacles were there he strove to overcome. And has the courage to break new ground like a true explorer.” -Sean Dougherty “I admire Mr. Hilton and his company for the work they do in the community, as well as the innovation they have demonstrated by opening the first cereal bar in Rochester. POP ROC is a destination for many (including myself). Jason is active in supporting the downtown region. He is civic-minded and I know personally from working with him, he cares deeply for our city and community. During the COVID-19 crisis, Jason was one of the first business owners to work on supplying food and masks for those in need.” - Aaron Newman

angel and though it’s not always pretty you are always loved and passing that on to everyone who is privileged to encounter you.” -Dani Polidor “Throughout our experience collaborating together on East & Alex you were extremely generous with innovative ideas and support for your friends’ efforts. Also your love of family stood/stands out to me” -Ralph Vincent DiTucci

The most important person in his life and the one who knows him better than anyone else, is his wife Angelina Hilton. Angelina had this to say. “I’m blessed to call Jason Hilton my husband, my partner, my confidante, my best friend, my biggest supporter and encourager, and the father of our children. I’m thankful to share all areas of my life with him, and for how hard we’ve worked at getting where we are now. I met Jason in 2008 and I was smitten







{ ROCHESTER MEN’S ENTREPRENEUR } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” - George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

after our first date which included a home cooked meal he prepared along with some Wii bowling and a living room dance party. I remember he shared his passion for food and that he believed a relationship with food is one of the most intimate relationships someone can have, because we become what we eat. Then he told me how happy it made him to cook for others. I can see the joy it brings my husband to be creative in the kitchen, and the reaction people have when they experience what he has prepared. He said he really wanted to feed a community, and desired to help heal people from the inside out.

There is so much I can share about this man, but I think it’s important to let you know some reasons why I love and support him and how he is continuously making a positive difference in my life as well as in the lives of others. I love him for how much he loves his family. He didn’t know what it was to truly love someone else until his first niece was born. Since I’ve met him, helping to raise his nieces and nephews was his priority. These children I met 12 years ago are now young adults and Jason is still an active role model and support system in their lives. He is also a present father. We both work

together in our careers and as parents. We are often on deadlines and schedules so it can be easy to get distracted or feel we aren’t doing enough for our family and work. But when I see Jason with our kids, they are so happy. He takes time to play with them, learn with them, adventure with them, involve them in serving our community. When their daddy comes home, all they want to do is climb all over him and tell him about what they’ve been doing and show him what they’ve been working on. When we would have opposite schedules and he would leave early in the morning, I would hear him praying over our children. I didn’t grow up having a relationship with ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MEN’S EDITION 2020


{ ROCHESTER MEN’S ENTREPRENEUR } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” - Jeremiah 29:11

my father, many people I know didn’t, and I’m so grateful that he makes his family his priority and makes sure to let us know we are loved. I love him for how much time and effort he puts into being a better version of himself. It’s important to us to break off the iniquities from previous generations in our family and we recognize we have to make changes in our lives to do this. We both acknowledge we have hurts, habits and hangups we have to deal with so we can be the best version of ourselves for each other, our kids and those who look up to us. In 2016 we joined Celebrate Recovery. Right before this our relationship had hit rock bottom. We had an intervention from our pastors and community at Bethel Christian Fellowship. We temporarily separated while we started out in different recovery locations and after several months, came back together and continued on our path of recovery together. The reason I mention this is because we are called to share our testimony with others and I’m glad we do because we know it helps letting people know they are not alone and that someone does care and love them. Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable in front of others takes courage. We understand hurt people hurt people, and it’s here we have learned what having grace truly means. What loving the unlovable truly means. We accept hardship as a pathway to peace. I love him for loving me at my worst. For forgiving me of the things I have done to hurt him. I love him for not giving up on me and empathizing with my struggles. I love him for not judging me when I share my feelings. I love him for giving me space and time I need to grow. I love him for the person he is growing into. He admits he struggles and is transparent about it. I’ve seen this man grow from solving issues with fists to solving them with prayer. I am so inspired by the way my husband handles adversity. I’ve seen him be taken advantage 156


of, stolen from, beaten up, and torn down by low blows and he still conducts himself with grace. Jason says, “I follow God because He is good, not because I am good. I am a sinner, I am human. And this is where I think people get confused about what it means to follow Christ. I follow His lead because I’m not perfect and I want to be better.” I love the way Jason thinks. I’m so turned on by his passion behind ideas. I love working with him because I know whatever we work on will be exciting, challenging, and different. He is a creative problem solver which is why I think he is always thinking of ways to bring people together to experience joy. His love for learning and risk taking sets him up to have really big, audacious goals. I love how he is at my side during some of the most important milestones of my life. I get a great job after college, he is there. I quit that job to move to the Philippines and start a new business, he is there. I became a caregiver for my mother who had cancer, he was there. I began volunteering, lobbying, and traveling giving speeches for the American Cancer Society, he was there. He even scheduled us to cook on a regular basis for patients and caregivers at the Hope Lodge. For both our children, he attended every appointment and was there coaching me through both births. I began my journey in recovery, he was there. This man is a constant in my life. This is important for me to share because I know what it’s like to be lonely, even when surrounded by people. People who stick around for you, support you, and sacrifice for you, this is love. It wasn’t always easy, it still isn’t. But I know come hell or high water, or a crazy pandemic, my husband is my ride or die. “Grit is not just a simple elbow-grease term for rugged persistence. It is an often invisible

display of endurance that lets you stay in an uncomfortable place, work hard to improve upon a given interest, and do it again and again.” - Sarah Lewis. I love how my husband stands up for what is right, regardless of popularity or consequences. I love how he can take crappy circumstances and do something good with it. It doesn’t matter how stressful or tough life gets, he thrives on the pressure to find the silver lining. We’ve experienced some really crazy things in our life, and yet we haven’t allowed ourselves to remain stuck. I’m amazed that even during some of our darkest times, times that could shove a person right on their bottom and hold them there, people still seek Jason out and he still gives what he can. Even after 12 years, life with Jason is everything but boring. Together, he and I make a really dynamic duo. While we’re closing one chapter of our lives, we’ve been simultaneously writing the next. At the moment, we are working on three new projects, one of which we are about to launch, Variant America. This particular project is taking us across America with our family. Think of it as a family version of “No Reservations” meets “American Pickers” with a little “Diners, Drive Ins & Dives” mixed in. It’s our goal to help make Rochester a fun, family destination. By going out and bringing back what we see and learn in other places, we believe more people from all over the world would come to experience it in our city as a more family friendly, pop culture destination. We believe people will want to live, play and most importantly, stay in Rochester if we stick to our core values of fun, creativity, safety and community. We hope you’ll join us on our adventures and new ventures by following us on social media or signing up for our newsletter at If you’re interested in participating, please email us at’’










OZ TOZAN You’d assume the question “What do you do?” is an easy one, that’s until you’ve met Oz Tozan. The best way to describe the seemingly always evolving answer seems to be what ever he wants to. That is, as long as he can bring creative concepts to life, entertain and make people smile, while helping those in need and being a good role model for his son.

coordinator and full-time single dad. The man is a walking plug. If there’s something you need or want done in Rochester, he’s your go to man. It’s honestly easier to just list what he’s up to now, otherwise we’d be here a while.

He is the host of his own radio show on 106.3fm at 9pm every Thursday nite and is even the new game day stadium announcer for the ROC CITY BOOM, Rochesters newest soccer team.

Apart from being a full-time single parent, Tozan has a resume a mile long of accomplishments. From clubs, bars, restaurants, salons and more, he’s a maverick with a unique presence that is noticed in any situation and he is comfortable in any role. Tozan established a reputation for being the best at whatever he decides to do. Minus writing this article because he says “Tt’s weird to talk about myself ”. So here we are, t-minus 4 hours to publish and luckily he has a friend like me to do the dirty work for him. You either know his name or his work. A marketing maniac, brand creations engineer, promoter, radio host, actor, game day soccer announcer, event

Tozan is also the main promoter, event coordinator and social media manager at Club ONE. One of the reasons there is the new 90s bar in Rochester “BAR!90” is because of Tozan and his team who was the genius behind bringing it here and putting the concept into reality.

Plus, I bet you didn’t know he is a member of the BiQi marketing group with several national brands, world famous influencers, makes websites, original creative content, logos and any other business marketing tools you may need. Some how he manages to still do charity work that ranges from cancer fundraisers to opioid awareness and recovery.

Currently he’s a supporting actor in “City”, which is making huge waves in the film festival circuit. He is also featured in several music videos for national acts like Ovtlier and Trash Talk. Tozan even has a cameo in the Chris “Goodnews Cardwell” film “Rent-a-Ride”.

When it comes to inspiring, motivated leading men, I don’t know anyone who personifies it any more than Oz Tozan. Catch his podcast, or every Thursday night on 106.3FM. Or, be sure to watch out for him on the runways or fashion shoots with Rochester Woman Online. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MEN’S EDITION 2020


“A marketing maniac, brand creations engineer, promoter, radio host, actor, game day soccer announcer, event coordinator and full-time single dad. The man is a walking plug.�






{ A WALKING PLUG } “He is the host of his own radio show on 106.3fm at 9pm every Thursday nite and is even the new game day stadium announcer for the ROC CITY BOOM, Rochesters newest soccer team.”






Hi, my name is Zachary Johnson from Clifton Spring, New York and I am 35 years old and a Professional Fighter in MMA and Boxing . I went to Midlakes High school and graduated in 2004. My parents are Bill and Sue Johnson and I have a brother, Scott Johnson.

for sports and love the competition to win and get better. I have used this competitive nature in my life, from education to work to be the best I can be each day and move up . I believe in life people don’t define who you are, only you can do that.

I was a three sport athlete in high school playing football, and indoor and outdoor track. After High School, I went on to Genessee Community College and studied Travel and Tourism and played Lacrosse for a year and half . I played Semipro football for 4 seasons for the Finger Lakes Impact, Oil City Rampage and Auburn Commanders. I have also played one season of Professional indoor football for Buffalo.

One day I got a message on Facebook from a match maker out of Virginia

After football was over, I wanted to keep competing and a friend of mine, Darth Vadar said I think you should train to fight . He started to train me and he got me into MMA. I did a few events and loved the competition and wanted to keep doing it.

asking me if I wanted to turn Pro in Boxing . I only fought MMA, never had any boxing matches . I made my Pro Boxing debut April 26th , 2017 in Virginia against Cornell “Hitman” Hines at the ABC complex . I lost to Cornell Hines after the referee stopped the match and Cornell went on to be signed by Golden Boy Promotions.

I have always had the passion and drive

I went on to fight Adrian Sosa that


summer in Massachusetts at the DCU Arena on short day notice . Adrian is a future world champion and I learned a lot about not taking a short notice fight because I was not ready or prepared enough and suffered my second loss with a KO. After that, I took 2 years off from fighting and had to go through many tests to get back into the ring. Meeting with my primary doctor and also a neurologist doctor just to name a few things. It was a long road to get back to fighting, but working with CES and the Massachusetts commission I was approved to come back and fight . I would make my Pro MMA debut for CES in October of 2019. I made my debut and fought on CES on the UFC fight pass against Nate Ghareeb a Muay Thai fighter and kickboxer . Fighting under the bright lights and liveon TV where many fighters from this promotion go on to the UFC. My nerves and butterflies were there in the dressing room and even the walk from the back to the octagon. The fight ended in a stop due to Nate’s knee to my face split it open very badly and the doctor on site couldn’t stop the bleeding, nor seal the cut.







{ {ASHIFT+CONTROL ROCHESTER PRO }} “Fighting under the bright lights was a honor and I’am very humbled by the experience of fighting on the big stage. ”

Fighting under the bright lights was a honor and I’am very humbled by the experience of fighting on the big stage. My last fight back in February for All Star Boxijg live on the Telemundo deportees TV was huge and a big fight . Again, it was under the bright lights and on the big stage. Plus, I was going into this match having a new coach and training gym. I train at Future Boxing in Rochester, NY and my coach is Derrick Gunter. Just working with him, my skills have improved so much from my first three professional boxing fights. I ’m m o r e confident then I ever have been and my footwork has improved along with the speed in my hands. I fought up and coming boxer Julio in Florida for an All Star Boxing Promotion and I lost that fight to him by KO. But, I was so aggressive in that fight and more confident then I ever have been. My new skills and overall improvement really showed this time. People who have followed my pro fighting career saw that in 172


my last fight and the comments and words of encouragement from people were great. I am getting ready for my 5th Professional Boxing fight this month on August 22nd in Alabama for One One Six promotion, I will fight my toughest opponent yet in Noe Lopez.

He is a fighter who is 9-2-1 and with me being 0-4 there are many doubts . All the hard work and training getting ready for this fight I can assure fans we will come away from this fight with a win and shock the world . I know I can pull the upset and prove hard work truly pays off . In life, and especially competitive sports, you have to deal with the

negativity that comes with it and the people’s opinions and comments saying your not good enough. Some say I should quit, but I have to zone that out along with the trash talking and do what makes me happy and stay humble and blessed. Im also signed under 636 management which is owned by Craig Spazman from Shortsville, NY. He also has a radio station in the morning and other sports events on Chosen Spot radio . When I’m not boxing I work Full time at Po w e r a n d Construction Group in the street lighting division and enjoy hanging out with friends and going to concerts and and of course sporting events. I’m a big Philadelphia Eagles fan and Boston Red Sox fan. I also enjoy dirt track racing and nascar and going to galas and functions for a great cause and giving back to the youth .



Tell us a little about who is Corey Tanksley is.. where you grew up, where are you now, family, etc... I am a proud father of three daughters. I was born and raised here in Rochester. I am an award winning author of mynovels B-boy to Man (Freshmen and Sophomore Jinx), I am a NYS licensed Life Insurance agent, and I am AHIP certified. I am also the President of The Rochester Black Authors Association (RBAA). I created the first ever Black authors expo in 2015 in the city’s history, I am also a party promoter/planner.

My brother came up with that name. It represents strength and being the best at what you do while unifying with great people. How has everything in 2020 with Covid-19 impacted your business for better or worse?

What makes you who you are? family and friends. If you could do one thing over in your life what would it be and why? Treating women better. I made some very poor choices that i’m not proud of.

What is your favorite thing to write about?

How did you come up with the name Silver Bacc Brothers? 174


Beside my Mom and daughters it would be my Godbrother Lawrance Evans Jr. he is my best friend and has helped me tremendously with so many things.

The creative process and hearing back from fans of the book.

My brother convinced me I could write a book and I believed him.

Hip Hop and real life relationship ups and down. I have plenty of experience with both.

Who was the one person you have met that has made the biggest impact on your life?

Name one thing that you love about what you do and why...

What made you decide to be a writer/author?

I used to be a Hip Hop artist. However I transitioned to become a writer. I wrote my novels simply because I had too. The story came to me in a flash and I had to tell it. I have two more novels on the way.

in there honor.

Who is the one person in your life that has had the biggest impact on you and why? I got sick (unrelated to covid) so I was set back for 3 months...but now it’s full speed ahead. I have some great opportunities to take advantage of.

My mother hands down. She is my angel. Is there anything else you want our audience to know? Any big future plans?

What is your greatest accomplishment to date?

Support Black business...espicially mine lol!

Business wise my novels. Folks love them. it makes me so proud. My ancestors would have been lynched for knowing how to read and write. So I write proudly

Corey Lamar Tanksley Author SilverBacc Brothers 585-747-6172

{ RW READS & WRITES } “I used to be a Hip Hop artist. However, I transitioned to become a writer. I wrote my novels simply because I had too. The story came to me in a flash and I had to tell it.”



SILVERBACC BROTHERS Licensed Life Insurance Agent AHIP certified Health care enrollment is almost here! I can sign you up for Medicare. (65 years of age or older) Need life insurance? I can get you some. I also can help your company get free supplemental health benefits with no cost to the employer or employees. CALL ME TODAY 585-747-6172

Let’s Get You Into the Home of Your Dreams With years of experience in both the financial and mortgage industries, I’m uniquely prepared to help you navigate the complexities of the mortgage process. I’m always ready to go the extra mile to ensure you have the support, knowledge, and confidence you need to make the right decision for you and your family!

Joe is the consummate professional and goes the extra mile for his customers from start to finish of the home buying experience. - Patrick S.

I can’t recommend Joe enough! If you’re looking for someone who will be clear, accessible, and personable, look no further. Joe treats you with respect and makes what could be an overwhelming process wholly approachable. As a first-time buyer, he comes with my highest recommendation. - Teresa L.

Joe and his entire team were amazing throughout the entire process. He took the time to explain each step of the way, and was always so responsive whenever we had a question or thought. I would recommend him to my friends and family in a heartbeat. Thanks Joe! - Rebecca S.

Joe Petralia Mortgage Originator, NMLS#471630 585-402-5084

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or looking to refinance, we’ve got the right program for you. Genesee Regional Bank has a wide variety of mortgage options to fit every need, including grants and down payment assistance programs. Grant programs for employees of the University of Rochester, Rochester Regional Health, and more First-time homebuyer grant programs like the Homebuyer Dream Program GRB’s Doctor’s Mortgage program designed to help medical professionals with student loan debt buy a home

Here. For You. 1850 South Winton Road Rochester, NY 14618 585-427-9200

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Integrity. Intellect. Dedication. The characteristics that direct Joe in every aspect of life. Born to loving parents in Gates, he has spent his life in the Greater Rochester region. After graduating Gates-Chili High School, he attended Monroe Community College and transitioned to Saint John Fisher, where he earned a Master of Business Administration, with a concentration in Finance. His knack for numbers often leads to “ Joe vs. Calculator” speed games, at which technology is put to shame. Fueled by a passion for helping people, Joe has chosen a career where he is in a position to help hundreds of families per year obtain their dream of homeownership. As a senior loan officer at Genesee Regional Bank, Joe takes pride in educating all clients on their loan options and provides a detailed evaluation for each scenario. Joes’ attention to detail has earned him a reputation for being an expert with first time buyers, and he ranked #1 in New York State for helping first time buyers obtain state grants in 2019. Joe has just completed his seventh year at GRB and looks forward to many more years at the bank. Through a successful career in mortgage lending, Joe has found avenues to fire up his entrepreneurial spirit. In 2017, the opportunity to purchase Rita’s Italian Ice and Custard presented itself and Joe jumped. His

philosophy was “It’s Italian ice and I’m Italian, so it’s got to be a good match!” Joe purchased a distressed business, that with the injection of love and attention, has become a successful business that employs 14 people and once again become an integral part of the community. Known for being an establishment that offers a variety of frozen treats that often meet the dietary restrictions

of many allergies. Rita’s is notorious for community donations and often hosts charitable fundraising nights in the store. With every year under his ownership, Rita’s has become more engrossed in the community and has grown new corporate relationships. Within the store, Joe’s specialty are the custard cookies.

While revamping Rita’s, Joe simultaneously started a healthy vending business called Petralia Vending. It is a family run business with machines located in various children’s’ centers, office buildings and fitness centers. One thing is for sure, Joe is always interested in growing his business portfolio. There’s something new on the horizon, but he can’t share the details yet! Over the last 8 years of mortgage lending, Joe has helped hundreds of people navigate a complicated lending process. His heart and compassion are evident in every conversation. Joe’s heart has also enabled him to make generous donations to local charities, both with a donation of time and money. Joe began his charitable donation of time in 2013 with a 500 bike ride (old school bicycle, no motor) to Boston in order to fundraise for the Golisano Children’s Hospital. The following year, he rode for the same cause to Cincinnati, and then to Washington DC. Today, Joe sits on the board of directors for Farley’s Friends, where the organization fundraises for a variety of causes and organizations that span worldwide. Joe is also a huge animal lover and has fostered many dogs over the years. Some of the fostering has led to a fostering fail, resulting in the adoption of 2 dogs. Penny, a redbone coonhound, is the true love of Joe’s life. She’s a feisty 5 year old that is known by neighbors as the escape ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MEN’S EDITION 2020


{ HELPING OTHERS } “Integrity. Intellect. Dedication. The characteristics that direct Joe in every aspect of life.”

artist. Marco, a 3 year old yellow lab, is the proverbial little brother and takes joy in annoying Penny on an hourly basis. Both pups are spoiled with love and treats. Other than animals, Joes hobbies include Biking, Kayaking, exploring 182


and traveling. These are actual hobbies, not a dating site description. Joe has been in a long term relationship with his girlfriend, Dara, and has promised an engagement sometime prior to 2042. On a serious note, Joe feels blessed to have a best friend and partner in crime by his side.

He may consider bumping-up the engagement by a decade.




think twice






When a work colleague pours heart and soul into a job for his sheer love and dedication, he will never be forgotten. David Carsel was such a person. In 2006, under then-Executive Director Maryjane Link, Children Awaiting Parents (CAP) had the pleasure and good fortune of hiring David Carsel as financial officer. He was an efficient, organized and jovial addition to CAP. His supervisor at the time—Progra6m Director Patricia Burks— quickly realized David’s many additional talents and skills, advancing his position to office manager and finance, and bringing him on in development and event roles as needed. His eye for detail, ability to help set up any type of event, as well as finding amazing auction items, were second to none. David was able to juggle a mountain of financial obligations while keeping everyone in the office on their toes. Under his care, even the office plants grew wildly, spreading for yards across office cabinets. David was one of those well-liked staff members with whom everyone enjoyed conversing and sharing a good laugh. Without reservation, board and staff loved 184


and respected him. He was that staff person to whom everyone went for help, advice, support, and even home décor. He had an innate gift for beauty, finding unique antiques that he made into decorative pieces for his home. His kind heart also extended toward animals, especially

David’s love and commitment to CAP can never be replaced. He made CAP a priority in his life. At the recent celebration of his life, I had the privilege of meeting numerous people whose lives he touched. In a quiet way, David was the one who demanded perfection, and many of his close friends said they imagined he performed the same way at CAP. David’s talents also extended to figure skating, where, at the Genesee Figure Skating Club, he had many admirers. At his celebration, close friend and fellow skater Marianna O’Brien related David’s love and talent for skating over many years, often skating together. Other GFSC members told of David’s great skating ability and his love for the sport.

to his beloved cat. Everyone who knew David also experienced his wonderful and quirky sense of humor. He often joked about offering a “special” at CAP: every adoptive family would get two children for the price of one (referring to adoption fees).

Coming on as CAP’s executive director in late 2018, I only had the privilege of working with David less than two years, but—with his thorough knowledge of all aspects of the organization—he was my “go-to.” He could figure out the financial issues, pull a budget together in no time, help plan a gala, and keep the office neat. Recently, I struggled with our mutual decision to begin diminishing his hours so he could work toward retirement within the next year. COVID’s restrictions





{{{ASHE FAREWELL SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLESTRIBUTE TALKS { RECOVERX } }} } “David was able to juggle a mountain of financial obligations while keeping everyone in the office on their toes.”

impacted David’s ability to work from the office, so we met every Friday, including a meeting during the week of July 13 with great plans for our office reopening and goals for 2021. But that meeting day would not come. Suddenly and unexpectedly, David was gone on July 16. Mary Jane Link was so proud she had hired David, who, with his 14 years at CAP, took on the unofficial role as

“CAP Historian” plus so much more. CAP Adoption Specialist/Program Manager Veronica Black related how she, Pat Burks, and David had become family, celebrating holidays together over the years. David supported Veronica in numerous ways both as friend and colleague. His true spirit shown through as an annual REC Center volunteer with Veronica, helping cook, clean and serve meals. “There was no one like David, he

would do anything for anyone,” Veronica said. And that was true. During COVID, David supported collections for families and youth, and even donated items for staff that he thought they might enjoy. CAP will never be the same. It is my hope that David’s love and dedication will act as an example—a beacon for the organization as we move into the future without him. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MEN’S EDITION 2020


{{ ASHE FAREWELL HUSTLESTRIBUTE TALKS } } “David’s love and commitment to CAP can never be replaced. He made CAP a priority in his life. At the recent celebration of his life, I had the privilege of meeting numerous people whose lives he touched.”

Finding Families for Waiting Kids. For more information contact: 888-835-8802 or 585-232-5110

Spring2020-CAP-RW-ad.indd 1


2/26/20 11:53 AM


JOHN VITO I awoke in the ICU at Highland Hospital. A woman in a chair next to me was intently staring at a dresser sized machine. She did not make eye contact and provided vague one word answers to my questions. Soon a doctor walked in. At this point the medical staff knew my future, I only knew my past. The two were not going to work together at all, but that was something I was unaware of for several months.

work day often extended to eighteen hours. The incompatibility of my old and new lives took away another aspect of my identity. I had some choices to make. I had seen several people go though illness and chronic disease due to the nature and longevity of my business. I

The last thing I remembered was walking through the doors of the treatment area of the ER. That was six hours earlier. The doctor briefed me on what happened, why I was there, and the plan to get me out. I had kidney failure and. I was in “End Stage” of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The permanent damage no longer allowed them to function well enough to maintain life. My options were limited; dialysis, represented by the machine next to me, or a transplant. Both are considered a permanent and necessary treatment as there is no curing the damaged kidney. For the past 20 years I arrived on State Street in the early morning to open my restaurant, serving breakfast and lunch, and had recently opened a second restaurant serving lunch and dinner The 190


could muster the energy to do much of anything else besides be a patient and maintain the necessities of life. And that may be why we see so few patient advocates with chronic diseases or other severe illnesses. When I started cooking again it was not to be a part of an advocacy path. It was purely for my own survival. Diet is one of the few elements patients have any control over, and it is complex, changing, and unfortunately unique for each patient. The kidneys filter out the excess nutrients and create balance in our body. When they don’t work, we monitor our diet to help maintain that balance. There was plenty of general information available, but the particulars were missing.

noticed two different paths that others took; go on with their life as best they can, and privately fight their illness, or use a outward-facing approach with openness and advocacy. The long hours at the dialysis center added to my personal experience with this disease as I saw how it impacted many others. I did not see how anyone

The effort I was putting into my own survival, my experiences and interest in food science, turned out to be a useful set of tools to fill a gap in the patient care aspect of CKD. My cooking was not only feeding my body but it was providing me with a therapeutic for my mental health. Other patients at the center starting asking me questions about food as well. When I began volunteering with the local kidney foundations it was even










{ COOKING FOR KIDNEYS { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “The incompatibility of my old and new lives took away another aspect of my identity. I had some choices to make.”

more apparent that there was a need for this type information, especially from someone who has “sat in the chair,” and understood the effects of the disease. This led to the development of my video cooking series with the aid of two local foundations. I helped individual patients and caregivers better understand the disease and how they could participate in their own care. Renal dietitians starting asking me to speak at different events locally and in other states. And then it happened. A call from UPMC in Pittsburgh telling me that 194


they had a matching kidney. It had been a long five years. After Surgery and a 4 month recovery, I was off on a new form of treatment. The kidney was not perfect and I still have reduced function but it is a significant improvement in my quality of life. With the extra energy and clarity of mind I wrote my book “Cooking for your Kidneys” and accelerated my efforts to help people with CKD. I was honored locally by the kidney organizations for my work as a patient innovator in 2017. In 2020 I won the Patient Innovator

Challenge award from Kidney X: Innovation Accelerator, a collaboration of Health and Human Services (HHS) of the U.S. government and the American Society of Nephrologists (ASN). Speaking engagements, live cooking events, recipe writing for large companies in the CKD community are all part of my new life. I am fully engrossed in helping out others that have been forced on this long and difficult road. I guess I know what path I ended up following. Website : Book: and other outlets.





AUTHOR MIQUEL POWELL Who is Miquel Powell? Miquel Powell is a very complex person. I am by career a well-known substance abuse therapist- licensed by NYS. I have been employed by a large non-profit organization in Rochester, NY since 2014. I am a self-published author. And most-passionately I am a community activist. I have worked on issues related to anti-violence, substance abuse awareness, racial equity, and community development. I am also a sitting member on the first ever Police Accountability Board here in Rochester, NY.

X, and James Cone. I draw inspiration from my ancestors. I am always grateful and indebted to them for the sacrifices they made with such courage and dignity. It keeps me going. When and how did you become involved with writing and then becoming and author.?

I think that my work as 1 of 9 board members on the Police Accountability Board is where I am able to make to most community impact aside from all of the others initiatives I supported or facilitated. I think that the PAB is so vital to the times and the Rochester, NY community. It will prove to have the most impact in our city once fully implemented.

I was born in Ahoskie, NC in a small town. My uncle, John Vinson was the first to migrate to Rochester in the 1950’s. My aunt Maureen Powell-Smith followed in 1971. My mother visited Rochester often prior to my birth but made Rochester her permanent home shortly after I was born in 1981.

My mother worked different jobs and did her best to raise us as best as she could. Who is your biggest influence and why? My biggest influences are most of the African-American Civil Rights leaders. I love Dr. Martin Luther King, jr, Malcolm

Prior to being incarcerated in 2002, my highest level of education was the ninth grade. I am proud to say that I will be starting my graduate degree studies at SUNY Brockport this fall in the master’s degree program. What community impact have you helped to facilitate?

Where did you grow up and what was your family dynamic?

I was raised in the historic Scio Street neighborhood in a single parent household. Our neighborhood was oppressed and heavily policed throughout the 80’s & 90’s.

biggest achievement thus far is gaining a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from SUNY Brockport in 2017.

What do you see yourself doing in 1 year? 3years? 5years from now?

I first started writing in 2004 while serving a seven year prison sentence in the NYS department of corrections. Writing for me was a way to escape from the harsh reality of being an incarcerated black man. What has been your biggest achievement? Aside from being a father to my three children I would have to say that my

I see myself completed my graduate studies at SUNY Brockport. I would like to then teach at one of the local universities. How has Covid-19 impacted you personally? The biggest effect Covid-19 has had on me is both at work and at him. My kids haven’t been to school since March and we have been working from home as well since the same time. It is a total life change for all of us. It truly presented for us a “new normal”. I have been ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MEN’S EDITION 2020


{ R.O.C. HARD } “I was raised in the historic Scio Street neighborhood in a single parent household. Our neighborhood was oppressed and heavily policed throughout the 80’s & 90’s.”

trying to really adjust but it has been hard for sure. How did you start Reentry & Community Development Center? I started The Reentry & Community Development Center in 2017. I funded it out of my own pocket. We are in the process of filing for 501c3 nonprofit status.

What is the Scio Street project? The Scio Street Homes & Business Development Project is an initiative we started a few months ago in which we are organizing to ask the City of Rochester to invest $5- $7 million dollars in the historic Scio Street neighborhood. Scio Street is an oppressed Black neighborhood that was heavily-policed throughout

What is it all about? The Reentry & Community Development Center is aimed and provided services to brothers and sisters who were recently released from jail or prison. We also have hosted many community development initiatives in the Rochester, NY community. Our philosophy is that we would be doing people who are in reentry a disservice if we were not working to enhance all other social systems they are expected to interact with. We are in the process of restructuring, but the core reentry services we provide are care management, reentry & substance abuse groups, and free hygiene products. 198


1. Build 25- 30 brand new homes from the ground 2. Build 2 building in which both have four storefronts for businesses 3. Resurrect the Weld Street Park 4. Invest in more green spaces 5. Provide Home Improvement Grants for existing home owners/ landlords I believe that this project aligns with Black Liberation. Many local leaders are saying today that Black Lives Matter. If so, prove it. What would you like our audience to know about you that they may not?

the 1980’s and 1990’s. Over the years many of the community resources were taken away and ultimately nothing has ever been put back. There has never been any major developments on Scio Street in nearly 40 years. What’s left is 106 empty lots and 12 churches. We are asking the City of Rochester to invest in the following:

I am very committed to uplifting the Rochester, NY community. I have a desire to see the city maximize its potential.






Khangle was established in 2015 and has been featured in over 40 fashion events internationally, including New York Fashion Week, Philadelphia Fashion Week, Houston Fashion Week, Chicago Fashion We e k , a n d DC Fashion Week. He has worked with producers from Project Runway, Philadelphia Fa s h i o n We e k , a n d Harper’s Bazaar Magazine. Khangle has an exclusive partnership with the Golden Sea and World International Beauty Pageants, which hosted events at the Turning Stone Casino (Verona, NY) and MGM casino in Virginia. Khangle has appeared on WKTV, Spectrum News, and CBS News to discuss his collections. He also serves as an education coordinator for fashion programs at Syracuse University, Cazenovia College and

Herkimer College, while traveling across the country as a runway coach. He helps talent pursue careers in modeling based on his extensive knowledge of the fashion

services with everything exclusive designed by him. A twist for the area like New Hartford to have a fashion designer offering customized garments. T h e Asymmetrical suits made a huge impact on people in both gender with it unique look, affordable price and completely comfortable/ adjustable. Visit our showroom shop online at: GlassSlipperNY. com Visit our brand page at: Khangle. vn Instagram: @ Email: Fashion@

industry and modeling agencies. This year, 2020. Khangle successfully opens his first showroom especially in bridal gowns and suits, offering rental ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MEN’S EDITION 2020






“I bring the miracle into fashion.”



{{ FASHION FORWARD SHE HUSTLES TALKS } } “Be Unique. Be Different. Be U”






New York State on pause: no meetings, campaign rallies or door to door campaigning. How are our political candidates handling the difficulties of running a campaign in the midst of a worldwide pandemic? You might think this task overwhelming. I reached out to several candidates to ask. Highly respected and beloved 25th District Congressional incumbent Joe Morelle, Jeremy Cooney, running for New York State Senate, District 56 and ChaRon Sattler-Leblanc candidate for New York State Assembly in District 133. Surprisingly, not so much. Different, certainly. Requiring new ideas and new thinking, yes! What each of these potential public servants did was work to their ideals. They have varying degrees of experience in the political arena, but all reacted similarly. Congressman Morelle is obviously very experienced. But he has to represent us in Congress and run a campaign during this national crisis, certainly no small feat. We asked what he saw as the biggest challenge. “The lack of physical outreach to my constituents. I am a door to door guy”. For him, knocking on doors and talking to people keeps him up to date on the constantly changing needs of his community and is a part of the task he loves. But the Congressman suspended his campaign in March despite a primary challenge. He felt strongly that the 210


needs of his constituents had to come first. Joe rolled up his sleeves and got right to work as our representative. He worked directly with Adam Bello and Doctor Mendoza to ensure our most vulnerable population was cared for. He personally inquired of community organizations and individuals, “Are you okay? Are you safe? What do you need? How can I help you?” He was there for Town Hall meetings to answer questions from constituents. He worked with the

United Way and food banks all over the county. He worked tirelessly to get Monroe County to a place that we might start to re-open. Congressman Morelle’s campaign started again in mid-May. He reports challenges for sure, but left us with two thoughts. “First, let us try to find balance, calm and thoughtfulness during this difficult time. Second, let us all make a contribution to each other by helping each other and working together as a society”.

Jeremy Cooney also suspended his campaign. “I picked my community over my campaign. We went right to it”. He volunteered for different community organizations including Jewish Family Services. He personally delivered meals to people. He worked with local food cupboards. He was quick to notice a gap in the system. Children could not get books to read. After all, we had put Monroe County on pause. “Our schools were closed, our libraries were closed, kids had no way to access books”. Jeremy set up a book drive. He posted on his social media accounts the need he had for books for our kids. “Well, it exploded”. He was able to collect more than 6000 books. He and a group of his volunteers had contactless pick up in driveways and on porches throughout his district. He was able to arrange for a local trucking company to donate their truck and time to deliver the books to local food cupboards. When families came in for food, they could also get books for their children. Cooney said “Being a government leader means filling the voids”. This is ChaRon Sattler-Leblanc’s first run for office. ChaRon is the Senior Director of Academic Success at Rochester Institute of Technology. Her challenges were a bit different. She had a campus of students and two children of her own to keep safe. And run for office. Charon worked closely with Livingston County. She too noticed the food cupboards were doing an incredible job

{ ROCHESTER WOMAN POLITICS } “I picked my community over my campaign. We went right to it”. -Jeremy Cooney

of food distribution and was there to lend her support, coordinating a food drive for Livingston County’s Office of the Aging. She learned many seniors were using their resources to feed their pets and included pet food in the drive. She attended rallies in several communities in support of Black Lives Matter, and discovered the leaders of these gatherings lacked equipment for the speakers. She 212


transported her own mobile equipment to rallies and provided a Bluetooth microphone system so their voices could be heard. The original intent of this article was to reach out and uncover what obstacles existed to a campaign. As it turns out, it wasn’t about what candidates couldn’t do during this pandemic, but what they could and did do. Yes, it is difficult

to run right now. Not being able to knock on doors is tough, that really is the best way to meet the constituents. These candidates did not focus on the negative. They reached for positive ways to help. The best way to campaign now is to do the same things you hope to do while in office, serve your constituents. At the end of the day, it was impossible after talking to these incredible people to put to paper the negative.


JERON (DJ CMELZ)HANSEN Journey as a DJ: Origins To start off the story of my journey, we must go back to the beginning of where everything started. My DJ journey started back in 2008 at the college of RIT. That is where my DJ colleague, Keshawn King, and I started a movement on campus which would come to be known as Island Sound Crew Productionz (ISC).

realize since we were only djed for colleges, the Rochester public didn’t know who we were, so we had to start from the bottom. 6 years later we are now making a name for ourselves in the Rochester community. We’ve dj’ed at Taylors nightclub, 45euclid St, Vinyl, Bar Bantam, Butapub, German House, Cure, Skylark Lounge, and Bar Louie. These places mean a lot to me as a dj because they allowed me to control

The reason why we chose the name Island Sound Crew Productionz was, Keshawn and I come from a Caribbean background and when a group of DJ’s come together it creates a sound. We had multiple DJ’s in the crew, which is why the name was chosen. First it started off as a group of friends goofing around playing at house parties but when our parties became well known around campus and Rochester individuals started to come around, we decided to do this professionally. My buddy, Keshawn and I, always had a love for music. Keshawn being an electrical engineer had a passion for speakers and I grew up a musician, so it made sense for us to start a DJ business. After we became the top djs at RIT we quickly became the DJ’s for colleges in upstate NY. To name a few: Brockport, U of R, Geneseo, Hobart and William Smith College, Monroe Community College, Nazareth, and of course RIT. For 7 years these colleges were our main clientele. In our younger years of 20-25 we only dj’ed for colleges. As keshawn and I grew older we decided to venture into a new market since we were getting older and we were falling out of touch with the younger generation. We decided to start djing for the Rochester community. What I did not 214


international population. I was able to be exposed to different types of music such as afro beats, meringue, bachata, reggaeton, Baltimore club music, and go go music. I’m happy that before I became a DJ I was a musician playing the trumpet which gave me the opportunity to be inspired to play diverse music. Certain songs I had in my playlist I had to play in Jazz band. Whenever I play those songs it would take me back to the days I use to play with my bandmates. It was funny when I told my music teacher that I became a DJ. She laughed and said “I knew you would always do something with music.” I believed I was always destined to become a dj, it fits my persona perfectly. Currently I work for the Rochester Women Online as their official dj and also work for the Rochester RazorSharks as their official dj. I am also proud to say that I am a resident dj for Cure in the public market area where I can throw my own events. So, the public can experience my style of music and pieces of my history and experience my journey.

the music. ISC still has a long way to go but if anyone wants to know my journey and see the growth of the group, they can always youtube ISC productionz and see the different parities I’ve done over the years. Not only have I dj’ed for parties, but I’ve dj’ed for talent shows, step shows, dance battles, weddings, networking and corporate events, etc and the list goes on. I pride myself for being a diverse dj. I’d like to thank RIT for that. RIT has a huge

When I’m not djing I like to travel and experience different cultures and music such as North Carolina, Canada, Croatia, Amsterdam, St. Thomas, etc. Travelling has helped me experience diverse music ,more than I would have experience in Rochester, NY. My main goal as an entertainer is to bring back diverse music so that Rochester can experience it. People ask me why I became a dj. I simply reply that I’m happy to come to work and play songs to make people happy. I don’t do it for the money, I do it for the genuine love of music. Bringing people together and connecting them is my second job. Overall, I just love what I do and bringing new experiences and music wherever I go.

A DJ’S JOURNEY {{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}}} SHIFT+CONTROL “I believed I was always destined to become a dj, it fits my persona perfectly. ”




1823 Penfield Rd I Penfield, New York 14526



585) 586-7846 I


MATT REIS Thank you Matt Reis, owner of Bathtub Billy’s Wood Fired Pizza and Bar for taking the time to tak with Rochester Woman Online about who he is, what it is like owning a restaurant during these unprecidented times, and what he is doing to survive. Tell us a little about who you are, where you grew up and your family...

Dine in business has been slow to recover, our take out business has been amazing since we were forced to close down because we have amazing customers and friends. What is the one thing about Matt Reis that people may not know? I am very open book, there is not

Who is your favorite food? Probably Pizza or Chicken Parmesan. What are your plans for Bathtub Billys in the near future? I would like to franchise to get more locations. Who has been your biggest business influence?

I grew up in H a m l i n , N Y, I n ow l i v e i n Greece. I have 2 sons Matthew, 21, Joshua, 16 and a daughter Jocelyn, 10. I have a girlfriend, Natalie. Who was the one person you have met that has made the biggest impact on your life? My father, no question about it. What made you decide to own a restaurant? My best friend Mark played volleyball at the Tub since it opened, the previous owner had killed the business and was going to close the doors for good, mark could not let that happen. How has Covid-19 affect your business?

much people don’t know but I guess if there is one thing that I didn’t know was I live for today, not tomorrow, my wife passed away at 27 years old and I learned you cannot guarantee tomorrow will come, so do what you want now and do not sweat the litttle things in life.

has the answers.

Michael Perri from Perri’s pizza and my girlfriend Natalie. Mike has been a business guy since I have known him, he has built a pizza franchise from the ground up and always is doing something to help the community. Natalie works so hard with her job at Wegmans and she handles a lot for Next Door bar & Grill, so if I have any question I go to her and she always

Name one thing that you love about owning your own business... While it can be stressful at times, my favorite part is knowing that I am helping 28 families pay their bills, be able to do things with their kids,

{ SAYING IT HOW IT IS } “Some people succeed because they are destined to, but most people succeed because they are determined to.”

etc. It is rewarding to see all of this and know you play a large role in it. What piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to open their own restaurant business?

because they are determined to.” I started off with about $1000 for my first business, I worked endless amount of time building it, nobody gave me

If you could do one thing over in business what would it be and why?

If you think you are going to get rich, think again. 6 Years I have been doing this, now just starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel, it is a long tunnel and there can be some very tough times, times where you cannot even cash the small paycheck you write yourself, know that the hours are going to be 7090 hours per week until you are able to have someone that can help you run the place that you can trust.

I would have found someone to help me run the restaurant sooner, I was doing the work of 3 people and because of that I made some mistakes that could have been avoided. Who is the one person in your life that has had the biggest impact on you and why? My father, he built a work ethic in me like no other, he taught me the right way of doing things, the way to help families who needed it without expecting anything in return, even a thank you.

What makes you who you are? A stong influence from my father. What is a saying/ quote you have always lived by and why? “Some people succeed because they are destined to, but most people succeed 222


a week job, that business sold and I started a landscape business the same way, from the ground up, sold it years later, nothing was ever given to me, not one penny, I am proud of that.

anything, I did not have a financial backer or family member to help me or bail me out, I was determined to make it work, I was very successful in doing so while working a 50 hour



At some point we all run into someone, that is a little more than meets the eye. Someone that is less conventional than most people you see. Meet Vincent DiGiorgio, not your typical guy walking down the street. He is someone who dresses to the nines every day, regardless of the global pandemic that is amongst us. He fights the convention of dressing down, just because everything is closed. Believing, pandemic or not, “you don’t need to look like a shlub.” Vince consistently i n s p i r e s f a m i l y, friends and everyone he interacts with both at home, work, church and in the community. He has an intense love of family. His loyalty, guidance and hard work ethic are evident in all he does. His favorite thing to do with free time is spending it with family, especially his kids Brianna and Sandro. Watching them become adults , pursuing their interests/dreams and achieving their goals is the greatest joy for him. But where did his story begin? Leaving his native Sicily when he was just a boy, Vincent chose the path of being in the custom clothing business, just like his father and grandfather before him. Starting his own custom 224


tailoring business at the age of 18. He is a third generation custom tailor. He owns ONE Custom Clothier on Monroe Avenue in Brighton and he has served the Rochester area for over 33 years. However, the family roots of dressing well and working hard began generations ago in his native

Sicily. Vince’s passion for creating garments were definitely inspired by his family heritage. Beyond the advice/counsel, he provides guidance on current trends, classic styling and is an absolute expert in garment fit. Besides work and family, the most important part of his life is his personal beliefs and paying it forward.

He is a faithful Man of God and a Eucharistic Minister at St. Rita’s Church. He serves the church regularly. It is not uncommon to find Vince taking time out of his weekend to help those that need guidance and support. He even does Bible studies at his home. It is truly refreshing to see someone practice what they preach. Vince also believes in giving back to the community. As COVID19 made its way into Rochester, he was committed to help “Spread the Love , Not the Virus”. He procured thousands of medical grade masks through his various clients and contacts in many countries. After a brief conversation with his friend, Sam Fantauzzo, the Salvatore’s pizza family volunteered the use of their Webster pizza/pub location as a pickup point for the surgical masks. Within a few short hours, Vince donated 10,000 masks to frontline healthcare workers that came to the drive-up window that morning. He is the type of person who inspires others to follow their own path and start their own businesses. One person that he encouraged most recently is his son Alessandro. Guiding him to start his own business at the age of 18.

{ NOT YOUR TYPICAL GUY } “Meet Vincent DiGiorgio, not your typical guy walking down the street. He is someone who dresses to the nines every day, regardless of the global pandemic that is amongst us.”



{{ NOT RWO’S YOUR MENTAL TYPICAL HEALTH GUY}} “Vince also believes in giving back to the community. As COVID19 made its way into Rochester, he was committed to help “Spread the Love , Not the Virus”.”

He loves being able to help people by taking the time to listen to their stories and inspiring them to develop themselves through personal reflection and investing in themselves. Trying to help others to develop a strong moral and psychological life plan, in order to set themselves up for success in life. Believing that true success is not a monetary number, but the ability to live your life by your terms. 226


He believes that helping one another by life coaching and guiding those that have veered off the path of life, is the greatest gift that you can give someone. This is the reason Vince has been selected to be in this edition. Emulating to those around him, the values of how a Father/Entrepreneur/ Husband/Citizen and Philanthropist

should treat those in our community. Rochester is a better place for having him around and inspiring the community. A community that he is so happy to call his home.






Who’s heading to the Finger Lakes? It should have been the biggest story of the day when it comes to local success stories as the Finger Lakes Wineries are reopened based on the criteria required in Phase 4. Robert Duffy, former Lt. Governor and current CEO of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce, was tasked with the Reopen Rochester and Finger Lakes. By all accounts, the movement thru to Phase 4 has been extremely successful. The Finger Lakes wineries have restarted wine tastings under the new social distancing requirements and are taking reversation to maintain a flow of vistors to prevent overcrowding situations. Yes, We are Open and ready to serve. If you aren’t familiar with the Finger Lakes, then you have been missing out on what has been designated as the best wine destination in the nation over multiple voting platforms. Now people are coming from all over the state, country and globe to taste and buy Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Dry Rose from the close to 100 wineries in the region. Generally, weekends are the most popular time to visit, yet Monday to Friday schedules do vary so its best to call ahead or

check-out the wineries websites. With the changes to the antiquated New York Alcoholic laws, the beverage industry has seen dramatic growth in wineries (471) and breweries (460). This allows for creating many trips thru the region on Canandiagua, Keuka, Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. The Finger Lakes consists of eleven glacial lakes spanning the distance

south between Rochester to Syracuse with microclimates that are ideal for growing grapes and hops. Over the last thirteen weeks, Agness Wine Cellars has been broadcasting on Facebook Live Virtual Wine tastings pouring twenty-seven Rieslings which define the great

tastes and aromas from the worldclass Finger Lakes wine region. In essenses, we are providing a fun and friendly format to learn about many wineries that you would like to visit and may not have heard of previously. On July 30th, we broadcasted live at the Rochester Women magazine’s POP-UP On the River at Kainos Restaurant in the Corn Hill neigborhood. If you attend this event nice we were there to chat about wines,and any other topic as I was around that evening, share a taste and a few smiles. Ultimately, first you have to determine if you are ready to visit tasting rooms to sample wines and brews or spirits as there are as many choices as you can possibly imagine. Beyond that an amazing amount of selections Rieslings, Reds, Roses and Sparking wines in the terms of high quality award winning tastes. Many people travel the rolling hills and valleys with acres of beautiful grapevines all around no matter which path on either side of the lakes. So make a day of it or even a romantic weekend trip for two and remember there are great choices try and buy at every turn.



{ RWO TRAVELS } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Now people are coming from all over the state, country and globe to taste and buy Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Dry Rose from the close to 100 wineries in the region.”




MARK FORREST PATRICK Recently Rochester Woman Online had the opportunity to ask some questions of long time friend, and supporter, Mark Forrest Patrick, owner of Tuxedo K-9 Training. This is what he told us.

What made you decide to work with dogs? I have always enjoyed working with animals, as a small child I showed dogs, horses and beef cattle. I have always felt the connection and bond

Tell us a little about where you grew up and your family… I grew up omg s small beef cattle farm in Leicester, NY and attended Perry Central School. My parents both worked for the State of New York. I have two sisters that bothlive locally in the area. My father passed in February 2020 after a long illness and my mother still lives on the same property that they purchased as newly weds. After you graduated, what career path did you decide to follow and why? Upon graduation I attended Genesee Community College and then University of Wisconsin-Green Bay majoring in Business Administration/Public Relations. From college I relocated to Los Angeles and worked at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for several years prior to my career as a Manager with AT&T Wireless in Los Angeles. In 2005 I relocated back to the Rochester area where I chose to make a career change and began my career in Pet Services.



hear in their voice the frustration and concern with their dogs behavior. You listen and provide guidance with patience and compassion for not only the human but also for the family dog. Many pet owners are first time dog owners and are concerned that they are doing what is right for the dog and their family. I truly love my profession and working with my clients is a gift that I was given. Observing the bond between a human and their dog grow over time is truly an amazing feeling. It always makes me laugh when people say “Wow, how did you do that?” Then I show them how they can do it too and they realize that it is not a trick but it is communication and consistency.

with our animals. Working with dogs and building the relationship between the human and their dog has been a rewarding experience for the past ten plus years. When you receive the call from a dog owner and you can

When and why did you decide to open up Tuxedo K9? I worked in Corporate America for several years and I was getting burned out and needed a change. When I began my research I was looking at the growing business categories in 2009. At that time Pet Services was a growing field and now today the market has become concentrated and there are pet service businesses popping up through out Monroe County. The number of dog owners has also increased with more and

SHIFT+CONTROL } { RWO{HAS GONE TO THE DOGS } “I am a Force Free, Positive Reinforcement trainer. I use a reward based method and for dog owners that are concerned about using treats there as so many other option other than food.”



{ RWO { RWO’S {HAS SHIFT+CONTROL GONE MENTAL TOHEALTH THE DOGS } } } “Owning a small business has been rewarding and enjoyable to see the impact we have been able to make on the community.”

more landlords allowing dogs into their apartments. As the owner of Tuxedo’s K9 Training Camp we have partnered with several community organizations and events with sponsorship and offering our services when in need. My goal as a business owner was to provide a service for everyone. I have spoken to inner city school children on pet safety and to residences of senior living on pet companionship and the affects of the having a resident pet. Owning a small business has been rewarding and enjoyable to see the impact we have been able to make on the community. What is your favorite part about your business? The dogs are definitely my favorite part of the business. There is nothing better than being out in the community and a dog hears your voice and gets excited when he see’s you. I also enjoy the human bond that I have made with pet owners. For some pet owners I have trained several of their family pets. That bond really makes a business owner feel good. What is the one thing you would change about your business? I wish I would have started my business where I had more opportunity for growth. Our location is at capacity and their is not much room for an expansion like adding an outdoor space or swimming pool for the dogs. I would also like to have a larger training facility to offer more training opportunities. Currently I offer ten training classes a week and 234


manage a 24/7 staffed operation so I keep very busy. What is your favorite breed of dog and why? This is a tough question because I like so many breeds and not sure that I have a favorite. I enjoy watching all the breeds learn, process and the excitement in their body when they know they have pleased the handler. What method of training do you utlilize the most? I am a Force Free, Positive Reinforcement trainer. I use a reward based method and for dog owners that are concerned about using treats there as so many other option other than food. For some dogs food is not a reward but a toy, ball is a higher reward. I customize the training based on the clients need as long as it is a positive reinforcement method. Who was the one person/or animal you have met that has made the biggest impact on your life? There are so many people and their pets that have had an impact on my life. But one that always comes to mind is a client that contacted me that she has a very large dog that was very strong and shows having some challenges managing his strength and listening. Her dog was not a friend of large trucks and they owned a company that had large trucks making deliveries daily. She called and said she needed help before someone got hurt. The journey with her and her dog began with me visiting their home.

When I arrived the dog coming bouncing and barking out of the home and ran to the side of my car. He was large, powerful and excited. I slowly opened my car door and before I was able to step out of the car he was sitting waiting for me to exit the car. He jumped up on me and very excited. Our bond in stately began and with a few months he was at the family wedding, walking down Shoen Place and was one amazing boy that truly loved his human bond. He will forever be one of my fondest memories among many others. I know you had a major life changing event recently. Tell our readers about that event, and how it changed your life. February of this year I had been working with a dog on his impulse control when meeting and greeting strangers. He had come so far and was able to sit and rest when visitors would come into his home. During a lesson in February, we were working on a leave it cue. He had done this cue several times previously and had shown no reactive or responsive tendencies. He had played down and we placed a treat on the floor as we had done several times before. As I stood up he lunged and grabbed my arm biting off a chunk of my arm. After weeks of recovery, plastic surgery and many hours of evaluating the situation and the sequence of events. It is important for all of us to realize that our dogs are animals and can some times have difficult days and their behavior can be unpredictable. I have learned so much from this situation and Icontinue to learn,

{ RWO { RWO’S {HAS SHIFT+CONTROL GONE MENTAL TOHEALTH THE DOGS } } } “The dogs are definitely my favorite part of the business. There is nothing better than being out in the community and a dog hears your voice and gets excited when he see’s you.”

evaluate and process this sequence of events that lead up to the attack. Has it changed the way I interact with dogs in my profession - absolutely! I am much more aware and continue to focus on continuing education. The profession os continually doing scientific research on animal behavior. It is critical for everyone In this profession to continue learning. What makes you unique or different from other dog daycare and training facilities? We are available 24/7 through Social Media and when you call the business you will likely speak to me or I will respond to you via social media. We also have a Veterinary Technician on staff along with two other trainers. We also have an amazing relationship with several veterinary clinics in the community. Our rates are all inclusive and there are NO hidden additional charges. What is the one thing about YOU that people may not know? I love to travel the world and when I am on vacation the dogs still seem to find me. When I was in Costa Rica two years ago we went zip lining and out of no where these dogs came running down the hill and came up to me to say hello. Who has been your biggest business influence? 236


There are so many trainers and pet care business owners that influence my business daily. The pet services industry is unique because there are so many opportunities to meet fellow trainers and business owners and conferences and continuing education seminars. Name one thing that you love about

owning your own business… Flexibility and branding your product. I enjoy the marketing and building the business partnerships. What piece of advice would you give a young entrepreneur starting in this field? The industry is in the process of developing standards and a certification process. Develop a marketing plan that will allow flexibility and opportunities

for growth and change. Be prepared for changes in the industry and more and more states develop operational guidelines. If you could do one thing over in business what would it be and why? Since so many of our clients are coming from rescues any are not socialized or given a breakdown period before they are put into the community. So many do not know how to cope in their new environment. Build out a larger training space for our clients that are having social behavioral concerns. Lastly, since Covid-19 hit, how has it affected your business both positively and negatively? Our business has been impacted by the pandemic with schools closed and colleges closing early more people are working from home. We are beginning to see the long term impact of families staying at home. Many dogs are developing separation anxiety and behavioral concerns when family members leave the home. We are beginning to see more training needs and some of the behaviors are significant with destruction and resource guarding of objects and people in the home.





DEVON REYNOLDS Brothers & Sisters Unisex Salon provides hair styling services, beauty enhancement and hair care and is owned by Devon Reynolds. Reynolds is a barber by trade but he believes he was born to help others. Reynolds was the recipient of the 2018 ESL Jefferson Award for outstanding community deeds. He truly believes that if he’s going to live and work in a community, he must invest in it. The salon also features a year around food and clothes pantry that serves the entire Rochester community. They are all about uplifting the communities around us and bettering our future as a culture!! ​ Brothers & Sisters Unisex salon has organized and executed an Annual Thanksgiving Dinner, Annual Grocery Giveaway, Annual Healthy “Barber - que”, Annual Father’s Day Award Show, Annual Coat Giveaway, RCSD free haircuts and free haircuts for the homeless, Aunt Annual Halloween Haunted Shop, Annual Vote or Be Tricked and a Annual Bookbag Giveaway. ​ ​ Grocery Giveaway: 150 families​ Thanksgiving Dinner: 35 individuals​ Dinner donation to Tent City (homeless grounds)​ Healthy barbeque: Sports tournaments and health awareness events, screenings, non-profit vendor tables, 150 attendees​ Father’s Day Award Show: 50 attendees; honored 20 fathers​ Coat Giveaway: Donated 60 coats​ Free cuts in RCSD: over 200​ Free cuts for homeless: 70​ Halloween Haunted Shop: 30​ Bookbag Giveaway: over 200​ Annual Vote or Be Tricked: 40 attendees​ Located at: 1278 DEWEY AVE Rochester, NY 14613 (585) 458-5519 238









GREGORY WOLFE I grew up in the Rochester area and went to college in PA. After graduation I was commissioned into the Army as a 2nd lieutenant. I was posted at Fort Bragg, NC in the 82nd Airborne Division. I took part in the invasion of Panama and the Gulf War. When I returned home, I got my first civilian job as a production supervisor at Sentry Group. I spent the next 20 years working in manufacturing and operations management. Some of those positions took me and my family out of state. After returning to the Rochester area,

my family including my wife, two daughters and son, decided to settle in Victor, NY. A short time later I elected to leave operations work and established a specialty wood business to support the woodworking and furniture making community. After about 5 years the store was sold to a larger business and I purchased a pizzeria in the city which I owned for about 4 years. In the last few years I have become interested in drones and drone technology. Just one year ago, I founded Aerial Photography of Rochester.

photography, but have been moving toward more technical applications as they became more available and affordable. Today Aerial Photography of Rochester offers a number of services such as real estate photography, aerial photography of advertising, thermal imaging and more. We also provide specialized services like thermal roof inspections, building, infrastructure,insurance and utilities inspections. Be sure to check us out at www.

I initially focused on offering just aerial



Network Rochester is the premier business networking, events and brand marketing group committed to delivering your message in a way no other medium can. With a database of over 65,000 local business professionals, we are able to create highly effective marketing campaigns to suit your business. Along with coordinating large expos & events, grand openings, networking events and more! We build relationships. We help you to make sales. Promote your services. Gather data. Network Rochester delivers powerful, creative, high performance campaigns. We utilize cutting edge media and technology, along with traditional marketing methods to achieve maximum results. We are your one-stop-shop for all your events, marketing and advertising needs.


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