United Way of Greater Rochester names new president and CEO – www.democratandchronicle.com

United Way of Greater Rochester names new president and CEO

by: Meghan Finnerty

Entering its 100th year, the United Way of Greater Rochester named a new president and chief executive officer on Tuesday.

Jaime Saunders will join United Way as president on Jan. 10, 2018.

Former president and CEO, Fran Weisberg, called a “powerhouse” by her successor, said she is excited about her transition into “just helping Rochester.” Weisberg held the position since 2015.

“It’s time to give the torch to someone new,” Weisberg said — Saunders is “the perfect person.”

Dan Burns, board chairman, said the search committee was made up of about 10 people who started the “important job,” in June. From 60 inquires, 25 applied, from there the list was narrowed to only five who had interviews and assessments. The final two were taken to the board where Saunders was unanimously selected.

 Experienced in helping the community, Saunders is the President and CEO of Willow Domestic Violence Center, and will assist the center’s search for a new president in her departure. Additionally she has prior leadership experience working at the Center for Governmental Research and Foodlink.

“Passionate” is not an adequate word to describe Saunders, Burns said, what she brings to the table is much more. “Her experience in serving those most in need will bring a welcome perspective to the work that United Way does to identify the greatest local challenges.”

At a 10 a.m. press conference, Saunders said, “I have long admired this important community organization, throughout my career I have had the honor of working for United Way community funded agencies, programs and strategic partners, such as CGR. I have seen first hand the incredible impact United Way has on our community, every day.”

In her experience at CGR, data from science and research was used to look at complex community challenges. This experience will be an asset to the new position, officials said.

The “marriage” between working with the “head and heart,” is important to her. At United Way, she will seek to help the community with immediate needs and simultaneously work to tackle long term problems, she said.

“I am deeply humbled to be selected as the new leader of United Way of Greater Rochester.”

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Puerto Ricans fleeing hurricane aftermath welcomed in Rochester -whec.com-

Puerto Ricans fleeing hurricane aftermath welcomed in Rochester

ROCHESTER, NY (WHEC) – Following Hurricane Maria, hundreds of people relocated to Rochester from Puerto Rico.

On Thursday, they were welcomed to the Flower City with a reception put on by IBERO.

“In response to the number of families that are relocating to Rochester from Puerto Rico, IBERO is leading a collaborative effort that ensures they feel welcomed and receive the assistance they need to rebuild their lives,” wrote the organization.

The Welcome Reception included dozens of organizations and agencies assisting the hundreds of families with finding places to live, work, and go to school.

“As of Friday, November 3rd, approximately 500 individuals (250-300 families) have arrived in Rochester and the surrounding area. As the only full service dual-language human services agency, and with nearly 50 years of experience, IBERO has the expertise that is needed to serve this new influx of residents,” stated IBERO.

Due to the response effort at the local level, IBERO has established a new Hurricane Maria Fund to help provide clothing, school supplies, food, and toiletries to the families. Monetary donations can be made with a credit card online.

Checks can be made out to Ibero American Action League and mailed to 817 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14605. The memo line should be noted as IBERO’s Hurricane Maria Fund.

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by Jordan Mazza

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Hurricane Maria has devastated Puerto Rico – the only home the Lopez family has ever known.

“In some places we don’t have food, we don’t have water,” said Jann Lopez. “And people pass hungry. It’s bad, very, very bad. I lost my job in Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Maria and came here to have a job, school for my kids, and better lifetime for my entire family.”

They’re among approximately 500 people so far who have moved from Puerto Rico to Rochester after the hurricane.

“They have absolutely nothing,” said Patricia Cruz-Irving of the Ibero-American Action League. “So imagine what it must be like having lost everything and then having to move somewhere else. At least they have family to come to, but still having to rebuild from the ground up.”

That’s why the Ibero-American Action League organized a welcome reception Thursday at 938 Clifford Avenue to help them acclimate to their new home and connect them with support services.

“I’m here today because they’re helping us out,” said evacuee Wanda Alaya, who moved here from Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. “And I’m so glad they have all these agencies giving us an opportunity to stand up again.”

Dozens of local and national agencies were on hand Thursday to help displaced families with housing, jobs and medical care.

“The idea is to give them one location that they can come to, so they don’t have to go to one building for one thing, one location for something else,” Cruz-Irving said. “They can come here for everything they need, and then from here, they can start to rebuild their lives.”

Agencies present included the Red Cross, the New York State Department of Labor, Foodlink, the Rochester City School District, and the Rochester Housing Authority.

The RHA says hurricane evacuees are considered a “super-preference” in getting Section 8 housing.

“They would actually come to the top of the list,” said Sandra Whitney of the Rochester Housing Authority. “So it’s a way for us to be able to get housing when that’s obviously their greatest need right now.”

Whitney says at least 20 landlords have agreed to give evacuees one or two months of free rent.

And Ibero says it will continue to operate a multi-agency resource center in the Clifford Avenue space at least one day per week.

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First ICON Honors winners announced – rbj.net

First ICON Honors winners announced

by: Rochester Business Journal Staff

The recipients of the first-ever Rochester Business Journal ICON Honors awards have been selected.

The honorees are business leaders over the age of 60 who have had notable success and demonstrate strong leadership both within and outside of their chosen field.

“Strong leadership, a commitment to mentoring and being an active community member are qualities shared by the ICON Honors recipients,” said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, publisher of the Rochester Business Journal. “They have moved business in Rochester forward, both their own businesses and the Rochester business community in general. ICON Honors recipients have committed many years to making our area a wonderful place to live and to work, and they truly deserve to be called icons. Rochester Business Journal is pleased to honor them.”

The ICON Honors awards will be presented Monday, Dec. 18, at a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Genesee Valley Club, 421 East Avenue in Rochester. Winners will be profiled in a special publication that will be inserted into the Dec. 22 issue of the Rochester Business Journal and available online at www.rbj.net.

The 2017 Honorees are:

  • Don Alhart, News Anchor and Associate News Director, WHAM-TV
  • Kate Bennett, CEO, Rochester Museum & Science Center
  • Thomas F. Bonadio, Managing Partner and CEO, The Bonadio Group
  • Vincent Buzard, Appellate Counsel, Harris Beach PLLC
  • Lauren Dixon, CEO, Dixon Schwabl
  • Richard Dorschel, President, Dorschel Automotive Group
  • Hilda Rosario Escher, President and CEO, Ibero-American Action League
  • Garth Fagan Founder, Garth Fagan Dance
  • Thomas Golisano, Founder, Paychex Inc.
  • George W. Hamlin IV, Chairman, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust
  • Nelson Leenhouts, Chairman and CEO, Home Leasing LLC
  • Giovanni LiDestri, CEO, LiDestri Foods
  • Sandy Parker, Former CEO, Rochester Business Alliance
  • Joel Seligman, President, University of Rochester
  • I C Shah, Founder, ICS Telecom Inc.
  • Albert Simone, President Emeritus, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Louise Slaughter, Congresswoman, New York’s 25th Congressional District
  • Justin L. Vigdor, Of Counsel, Bond Schoeneck & King Attorneys
  • Danny Wegman, Chairman, Wegmans Food Markets
  • Fran Weisberg, President and CEO, United Way of Greater Rochester

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Renting homes is overtaking the housing market. Here’s why – www.democratandchronicle.com

Renting homes is overtaking the housing market. Here’s why

by: Bob Sullivan

Single-family rentals — either detached homes or townhomes — are developing faster than any other portion of the housing market. These rentals outpace both single-family home purchases and apartment-style living, according to the Urban Institute.

“Almost all the housing demand in recent years has been filled by rental units,” says Sara Strochak, a research assistant with the Urban Institute. She also states that single-family rentals have gone up 30% within the last three years.

This change is unique to newer generations. But when did rentals become so popular? And why are people more inclined to rent than to buy? Below, we’ll further discuss the rise in rentals and how it affects the housing market.

When did the rise in single-family rentals start?

The housing bubble collapse and the recession that followed shattered the decades-old tenet of American wisdom that you can’t go wrong buying a home. Most of the housing market fallout from the Great Recession has finally receded — foreclosures and underwater mortgages are back to traditional levels and housing values have recovered in most places. But one thing hasn’t recovered: Americans’ unquestioned desire to own a home.

Today, single-family rental homes and townhomes make up 35% of the country’s 44 million rental units, compared to 31% in 2006.

Who is leading this trend?

Millennials are leading the way to single-family rentals, and myriad factors contribute to this trend. Many young adults aren’t in a hurry to lay down roots, whether they’re prone to traveling or simply aren’t ready to commit to one area or one home. Student loans and stagnant incomes can also make it harder to save up for a down payment. And it’s inevitable that young people who came of age during the housing bubble would be reluctant to take a leap of faith and commit to a 30-year mortgage.

“While the age distribution of the U.S. population suggests most millennials are reaching the age of household formation and demand for single-family homes, much of this demand is likely to be channeled into the rental market,” says Strochak.


UB Law School clinic to help hurricane victims – www.nydailyrecord.com

UB Law School clinic to help hurricane victims

by: Bennett Loudon

The University at Buffalo School of Law has launched a new law clinic — The Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance Legal Clinic — to provide free legal assistance to the victims of Hurricane Maria.

Applications are now being accepted and eight students will be selected to receive about two weeks of intensive training in preparation for a 10-day trip to the island in January.

The students, who will receive academic credit for their participation, will work under the supervision of Kim Diana Connolly, professor and vice dean for advocacy and experiential education, and director of the law school’s clinical legal education program.

“We are still in the process of working with experts on the ground to figure out what their legal needs are going to be in January,” Connolly said.

“We’re not deciding what we’re going to do until we hear from our partners what they need. So we are still in the process of designing the curriculum,” Connolly said.

Disaster-related legal issues typically include landlord/tenant problems, insurance claims, FEMA claims and consumer issues, such as contractor fraud.

UB faculty, local alumni and other experts will help provide the training for students. Some training will be done by video conferencing between Buffalo and Puerto Rico.

“We’ve had a lot of alumni interest in providing their expertise, so we’ll be able to have students with iPads down there connecting with alumni who will be able to provide some support,” Connolly said.

A fundraising campaign with a $30,000 goal is underway to help pay for travel costs.

Connolly also is planning to blog about the project while she’s in Puerto Rico.

“People are going to be able to follow along on the clinical legal education website here at the law school,” Connolly said.

Luis Chiesa, a criminal law professor at the law school and a native of Puerto Rico, will act as an academic consultant.

“Access to justice is at the heart of everything we do at the law school and this initiative is a perfect example,” Dean Aviva Abramovsky said in a news release.

UB School of Law is currently hosting three students from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law who could not continue their studies in Puerto Rico because of the hurricane.

“We have a long history of providing pro bono service and teaching our students to view the world with compassion, knowing that regardless of where they ultimately choose to work, they have a moral responsibility, as lawyers and as leaders, to use their skills and knowledge to ensure justice and to give back,” she said.

Donations to support the effort can be made online at: https://goo.gl/SHvRcF.

For more information, call (716) 645-2167 or email law-clinic@buffalo.edu.