Operating Committee

The Say Yes Buffalo Operating Committee meets every three weeks to review progress, challenges and opportunities related to Say Yes Buffalo and its work.


  • Sharon Belton-Cottman, President, Buffalo Board of Education
  • Mark Boyd, Chief of Staff, Office of Hon. Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes
  • LeVar Burke, Chief of Staff, Buffalo State University
  • Marie Cannon, Commissioner of Social Services, Erie County
  • Roberta Cates, Buffalo Parent Teacher Organization
  • Dr. Catherine Collins, NYSED Board of Regents
  • Jody Covington, President, Buffalo Council of Supervisors & Administrators
  • Dr. Nate Daun-Barnett, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, University at Buffalo
  • Dr. Matthew Giordano, President, Villa Maria College
  • Danielle Grzymala, Buffalo Parent Teacher Organization
  • Molly Hirschbeck, Communications Director, Office of Senator Tim Kennedy
  • Dr. Callie Johnson, Deputy Mayor, City of Buffalo
  • Dr. Will Keresztes, Chief of Administration, Public Affairs, and Planning, Buffalo Public Schools
  • Blythe T. Merrill, Senior Vice President for Programs, The John R. Oishei Foundation
  • Marc Mueller, Assistant Commissioner of Family Well-Being, Erie County Dept. of Social Services
  • Erikson Neilans, VP of Enrollment Management, SUNY Erie
  • Ed Speidel, President, District Parent Coordinating Council
  • Adiam Tsegai, Officer-in-Charge, SUNY Erie
  • David Rust, CEO, Say Yes Buffalo
  • Maria Whyte, Chief Community Impact Officer and Chief of Staff, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

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