Our board of directors is made up of a dedicated group of individuals from the local community. They meet on a monthly basis to oversee the day to day running or our nonprofit organization.
Board of Directors
John Casey, Board Chairman
John Casey was born and raised in Rochester, NY and called Canandaigua home since 1991. He is a retired construction executive of more than 30 years who headed up such notable projects as Frontier Field, Canandaigua Post Office building Canandaigua fire Department building, Strong Memorial Hospital Emergency Department and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and the Caribbean, a $192 million condominium and Art Deco era hotel restoration in Miami, FL.
John was hurt in a motorcycle accident in July of 2013, which left him a paraplegic. He is now committing his life to giving back to those that helped him survive. He has served on and resided over numerous boards, including the National center for Missing & Exploited Children Rochester Branch, Builders Exchange of Rochester, Design Building Institute of America Rochester Chapter and Wood Library. John is now working with the Rochester Spinal Association to raise awareness and improve the lives of those with spinal cord disabilities. John lives in Canandaigua with his wife, Christina and their twins, Marlena and Johnny.
Cathy Flanagan, Treasurer
Cathy O’Malley Flanagan, RN, MBA was a nurse on the rehab unit at Strong Hospital in the 1980’s where she met many young people with new spinal cord injuries. Moved by the realization that so much of recovery occurs after the hospital, she was one of the founding members of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association’s Rochester Chapter in 1991. Since that time, she has been actively involved with the Chapter while continuing to work at Strong Hospital. Cathy and her husband Jim reside in Brighton with their 2 daughters, Mary and Meghan.
Susan Shepard, Secretary
Susan Shepard became interested in spinal cord injuries (SCI) started in 1983 at the age of 15 when I was injured in a bicycle accident that left me paralyzed from the waist down. Since then as part of my recovery I have participated in many activities directed at helping those with SCI. I was one of the founding members of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association’s Rochester Chapter in 1991. Since then I have been actively involved as a participant then part of the organizational team working to sustain the chapter in the area for anyone needing assistance. Over the years I have participated in activities for members such as peer mentor programs, prevention programs, sports and recreational activities, support group meetings, local health conferences & national association conferences. My connection with this organization has helped me find strength whenever life throws me challenges and hopefully, I have been able to provide others with the support they may need as well. My husband Mark and I reside in Henrietta with my daughter Allison and niece Carrie.
Amy Scaramuzzino, President of the Association
Amy Scaramuzzino has been an active member of our chapter since 1991. She spent her career working in education with disadvantaged youth. For Amy, knowing that there is life after spinal cord injury was crucial in order for her to heal emotionally and spiritually. Our chapter was and continues to be the bridge to those opportunities for all with SCI/D, their families and loved ones.
Scott Frail, Board Member
Scott Frail received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University center at Binghamton in 1985, and then spent 25 years in sales management in both the commercial printing and paper recycling industry. Inspired by his daughter’s career choice, Scott went back to school in 2010 completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Rochester School of Nursing. For three years he has been employed as a certified rehabilitation nurse on inpatient rehabilitation unit at Strong Memorial Hospital. During this time Scott has assisted with a social support group for individuals with spinal cord injury. Scott finds the work with the SCI community extremely rewarding and his hope is to assist individuals with SCI to develop as much functional independence as possible.
Other professional duties at SMH include Chair of the Professional Nursing Council and Co-Chair of the Magnet Champion Council.
Christian Valentino, Board Member
Christian Valentino is a member of the Law Offices of Pullano & Farrow PLLC. He focuses his practice on representation of individuals seriously injured or the estate and/or family of individuals killed as a result of the negligence of others, including motor vehicle negligence, premises liability, products liability, and other forms of negligence. Christian also has an extensive practice in the area of Estate and Trust Litigation, where he represents individuals in Surrogate’s Court, whether a client is attempting to prove the validity of a decedent’s Last Will and Testament or whether a client wants to challenge the validity of a decedent’s Last Will and Testament on the grounds of fraud, undue influence, or due to the decedent’s lack of testamentary capacity at the time the Last Will and Testament was purportedly executed by the decedent. Christian possesses the knowledge and ability to handle cases through the appellate process. He has drafted numerous successful Appellate Division briefs, and he has argued cases before the Appellate Division, Fourth Department on numerous occasions.
Rob Tortorella, Board Member
Rob is the CEO of Corrosion Products & Equipment, Inc. (CPE), a recognized leader in fluid handling products distribution and industrial construction services. Rob founded CPE in 1988 with his father, and together with his brother Peter and business partner Michael Codi has built CPE into an industry leader.
An athlete since childhood, Rob was the captain of the varsity hockey team in high school and played on the varsity soccer and lacrosse teams. He then attended Holy Cross College, earning a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. At Holy Cross, he played on the varsity lacrosse team, earning the title of captain in his senior year. Days after his college graduation in 1983, Rob was involved in a major motor vehicle accident that caused a cervical spinal cord injury, resulting in permanent paralysis. He uses a wheelchair for all aspects of mobility and is able to live independently.
Rob used his life-changing accident as an opportunity to make a difference in his community. He’s become an active and respected community leader, championing causes of disability awareness, inclusion, and rights. Rob also has supported and participated in adaptive sports such as water and snow skiing, outrigger canoeing, horseback riding, and hot air ballooning. From 1984-1985, immediately following his recovery, he worked as a disability advocate for the Northeast Independent Living Agency (Lawrence, MA) under legendary disability rights leader Charlie Carr. In the past three decades, Rob has volunteered at countless disability rights events and been active on many community boards in the Rochester area. He’s also been a speaker for Think First, a presentation for at-risk teens that raises awareness for permanent spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries.
Rob currently serves on the board of the Rochester Spinal Association and The Sagamore on East Board of Managers. He’s an active volunteer for the Center for Youth. He also heads the board of the Robert A. Tortorella Charitable Foundation, founded in 2011 by his family and friends. The foundation’s mission is to help children and young adults with disabilities pursue sports and the arts.
Patrick Tobin, Board Member
Patrick has over 35 years of real estate development and financing experience.
He served in numerous management positions while at Fleet Bank (and its predecessors via M&A) beginning in 1979 through 1994. During the last eight years of his tenure with Fleet, he served as the Corporate Manager for their Upstate New York Corporate Real Estate Division.
In 1994, Mr. Tobin joined The DePaul Group, a $50M not-for-profit organization based in Rochester, New York, as its Director of Development. In his eight years with DePaul, Mr. Tobin directed the development and financing of a significant expansion in affordable senior housing, focusing primarily on assisted living.
In 2001, Patrick Tobin joined The Christa Companies, a construction/development operation in Victor, NY. The primary development responsibilities were in the residential markets, senior, student and mixed use. Shortly after his arrival, a senior housing development company was established. Patrick Tobin was named President of Living Communities, LLC and the company proceeded to develop numerous senior projects in central and western New York State.
In 2015, S&T Bancorp, Inc. established a permanent presence in Western New York area, after booking nearly $100MM in the previous 12 years in. Leading the market, Patrick Tobin, was named its Senior Vice President and Regional Manager, with a Loan Production Office in Rochester, N.Y. Headquartered in Indiana, Pa., S&T Bancorp, a $6.7B bank, operates numerous Pennsylvania offices, as well as loan production offices in northeast and central Ohio and now western New York.
Kelly Farrow, Board Member
Kelly is an experienced Registered Nurse (RN) with a strong background in both business and healthcare. Over the course of her career Kelly has worked closely with many professional individuals to help them develop and market themselves for successful results. Currently, Kelly works as a Nurse Practitioner at U of R Medical Center.
Kelly earned her first baccalaureate degree in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB) in 2004. After she earned her degree, Kelly worked as a Product Marketing Manager with Buffalo Filter (a medical device manufacturer) in Buffalo, NY. She was responsible to maintain a marketing budget, prepare for and attend national trade-shows, develop marketing materials, and work with medical publications to facilitate press coverage. Kelly also worked closely with a team of engineers to help develop new products that she would be responsible to market as part of the company’s product-line. As a result of this, Kelly was often required to be present in the operating room when Buffalo Filter’s equipment was used during surgery.
Kelly’s passion for understanding healthcare grew during her time at Buffalo Filter, which led her to the University of Rochester (U of R) to study nursing. She completed a Bachelor’s of Science in 2009. During her time as a student at the U of R, she was select for a Full Scholarship. In addition, she was invited to be inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society. Since graduation, she has worked as an RN in the Intensive Care Unit, Ambulatory Procedure Center (Gastroenterology), Pulmonary & Critical Care Outpatient Department, and Family Medicine Practices. She earned her Critical Care Registered Nurse Certification in 2010 and has maintained Advanced Cardiac Life Support Certification since 2009. She has served as a preceptor for new graduates, co-chair of the ASPN Committee (for professional nurse advancement & promotions), and been a member of the Nursing Evidence Based Practice Committee at Highland Hospital. In 2015, Kelly graduated from the U of R with a Master's of Science Degree in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner. Kelly has since become nationally certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
Jan Miller, Board Member
Jan Miller, CFRE is a seasoned development professional. Her career highlights include seven years with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in audience development and over 25 years with non-profit health care agencies, including seventeen years as the Executive Director of the National Kidney Foundation. In 2011 Jan was named the Senior Philanthropy Officer for The Nature Conservancy.
Jan co-founded the Genesee Land Trust in 1989 and environmental issues remain a life-long passion. Jan has served on various boards including the Association of Fund Raising Professionals and the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network. She is an active member of the First Unitarian Church. She earned her BA from the University of Rochester and her MS.Ed from Nazareth College.
Jan entered an unknown world when in 2017 her husband Craig Lending suffered a life-threatening infection which resulted in cauda equina syndrome. Overnight their lives were forever changed. The stark reality of the challenges faced by those with spinal cord disorders was jarring. As a long-time community activist, Jan welcomed the invitation to join the Board and volunteer to advocate for and improve the quality of life for those with spinal cord disorders. Jan is an adjunct professor at St. John Fisher College, teaching a popular non-profit management course.
Craig Lending, Board Member
Craig is a Faculty member in the Department of Biology at SUNY College at Brockport, where he has taught for 27 years. He received his Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He teaches courses ranging from Introductory Biology for nursing students and non-majors. Additionally, he teaches courses in Evolution and a course titled Current Issues in Life Sciences, with topics ranging from genetic testing, GMOs, stem cell therapies, performance-enhancing drugs and the current anti-vaccination movement.
Craig is an avid golfer, hiker, fly-fisherman, photographer and dog agility enthusiast, and many of those activities came to an abrupt end when a staph infection in his lumbar spine resulted in cauda equina syndrome, resulting in paralysis from the waist down. This significant illness forced him to confront the profound difficulties presented to individuals who rely on a wheelchair. It sparked a desire to advocate for greater awareness, understanding and accessibility for the spinal cord disability community. Craig and his wife Jan Miller look forward to learning how to travel with a wheelchair and enjoying adaptive sports like golf and cycling!
Matt Riedinger, Board Member
Matt Riedinger is the vice president at Brown & Brown of New York, Inc.
Born, raised and educated in Connecticut. I started my professional career in banking in 1987. I then moved to the Surety industry in 1988. I remained in Connecticut until 1990 and then was relocated to several different states as I was promoted up the ranks in the Surety Industry. In 2000 I was relocated to Rochester and shortly thereafter I started my employment with Riedman Corp currently known as Brown & Brown of New York.
I have been on several boards which include, The Society for the Protection and Care of Children for 12 years, serving as Chairman my last three years.
I have been a board member of the Rochester Spinal Association since 2017.
Amanda Corona, Board Member
Amanda is a principal at the Bonadio Group on the firm’s Commercial and Construction teams. Her experience includes financial statement audits of clients in a variety of industries including construction, real estate, manufacturing and employee benefit plans.
Amanda holds a B.S. Degree in Accounting from Alfred University. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Construction Industry Financial Professional.
Her professional memberships include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Construction Financial Management Association. Amanda currently serves as the Treasurer on the Board of Directors of the Construction Financial Management Association. Amanda joined the Board of Directors for the Rochester Spinal Association during 2018.
Edward Smith, Board Member
Ed is the newest member to the board. We look forward to sharing more information about him soon.