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
Chris Hilderbrant, Executive Director
Chris comes to the organization with a great deal of experience with issues that people with disabilities experience. As a former employee of CDR he knows his way around resources our members will find very helpful.
Amy Scaramuzzino, President
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.
Betsy Saxe, Vice President
Betsy Saxe is an amazing woman who agreed to take on the position of VP because of her belief in what Rochester Spinal Association brings to the spinal cord community. We are glad to have her on the board.
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.
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.
Rick Saxe, Board Member
Rick Saxe is a wonderful addition to the board. He brings personal experience as a caregiver to the board.
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!
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.
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.
Lesley Niebel, Board Member
Lesley Niebel is a local attorney who joined the board in 2020. Her energy and support of the RSA mission is a welcome addition to the board of directors and the organization members.
Leann Rorick, Board Member
Leann Rorick brings experience of the resources available to the disabled community and a personal understanding of the challenges someone with a spinal cord injury must face. We look forward to what she will bring to the board.