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.



  • Dr. David Balkin, President, Erie Community College
  • Marie Cannon, Commissioner of Social Services, Erie County
  • Dr. Katherine Conway-Turner, President, Buffalo State College
  • Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, President/CEO, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
  • Dr. Matthew Giordano, President, Villa Maria College
  • Dr. Ellen Grant, Deputy Mayor, City of Buffalo
  • Dr. Kate Haq, Curriculum Chair, Buffalo Parent Teacher Organization
  • Molly Hirschbeck, Communications Director, Office of Senator Tim Kennedy
  • Blythe T. Merrill, Senior Vice President for Programs, The John R. Oishei Foundation
  • Wendy Mistretta, President, District Parent Coordinating Council
  • Lou Petrucci, President, Buffalo Board of Education
  • Phil Rumore, President, Buffalo Teachers Federation
  • David Rust, CEO, Say Yes Buffalo
  • Dr. Tonja Williams, Superintendent, Buffalo Public Schools

Contact Us

Questions? We want to hear from you! Visit, call or email us.