Kyle Crandall (class of ’24)
Kyle and his wife Ginger purchased a home in Beechwood in 1999. They are committed to the Beechwood neighborhood and raising their three children here as well. Kyle has served in two different stints as President and is committed to working together with all citizens, good businesses, organizations, and City government to see the neighborhood become a safe and desirable neighborhood for families to live. In addition, Kyle teaches at East High School and coaches the Varsity Baseball team at East and the Varsity Basketball team at NE College Prep. Kyle and his family also fellowship at Bethel Christian Fellowship.
Doreen Young (class of ’25)
As a member of the Beechwood neighborhood and a resident of the City of Rochester for over 30 years, Doreen Young has been committed to creating a safe and healthy community for raising her/our children and supporting our families. Through her work as a board member and her leadership positions at community organizations such as The Historic Parsells Church, Beechwood Neighborhood Coalition, Freedom Scholars Learning Center, School 33 PTA, CLT City Roots and the Beechwood Greenhouse Collaborative, she has been involved in issues of education, housing, health, and community development. Her interest in business development and training emerged through courses with the Urban League and Colgate Divinity. She has been a trainer and facilitator for many youth programs, and developed her own business focused on positive youth development. Doreen brings her knowledge of families, health education, and community development to her long term active involvement in organizations she is committed to working with, such as Foodlink Curbside Market Ambassador program, Food Policy Council Planning Team, Common Ground Health– SACE (ENGOAL), Healthi Kids, PlayROCS/Play Steeets, ROC NPU, and Children’s Institute- Ready, Set, Grow. She is also an IRB certified researcher through U of R.
Jeremy Smith (class of ’23)
Since his time as a youth running around Bay St., Jeremy always knew he wanted to be something bigger than himself – something with real purpose. Early on, that took him onto the football field, as quarterback for Bishop Kearney High School. Later it led him to pursue a teaching degree so that he could be better positioned to mentor and be part of his community’s support system. Independently researching the history of his culture and the discriminatory nature of public education in classrooms and in policies against students of color and impoverished children cemented his personal mission to become a different type of educator.
Determined to fight the cradle to prison pipeline, Jeremy worked at Freedom School as a Site Coordinator while pursuing degrees in Business Management and Childhood Education at St. John Fisher College. Year after year under his coordination, Freedom School was a community exemplar of how to foster a love of reading, increase student reading scores, support cooperative economics, and engage in social action and civic engagement. When Freedom School ceased operation in 2020, Jeremy gathered a group of former Freedom School teachers, students, parents, researchers, and community members to form the Freedom Scholars Learning Center.
Hector Rodriguez (class of ’24)
Bio coming soon…
Joe Di Fiore (class of ’23)
Growing up not far from Beechwood, Joe joined our neighborhood in April 2010 (Parsells Ave) and quickly realized it was the place to be! In addition to his duties as Secretary, Joe maintains the BNC website and Beechwood FB Page, and he rarely misses an opportunity to join a committee or attend a meeting that is likely to impact Beechwood. Joe also serves as a board member for the City Roots Community Land Trust, which works to empower residents and to secure permanently affordable housing options in Rochester. Passionate about potlucks, community-building, and all things Beechwood, Joe has been proud to serve on the BNC Board since 2014.
Matt Smith (class of ’23)
Matt has lived in Beechwood since April, 2001 and has served on our board since 2011. Originally from Long Island, Beechwood’s friendly neighbors, density and diversity remind him of the tight knit neighborhood he grew up in.
A longtime advocate of Beechwood, Matt appreciates our neighborhood’s historic architectural charm and character and is active in its preservation. When he’s not building and restoring leaded glass windows and fixtures he spends his days working on housing restoration projects in our neighborhood.
Tammy Westbrook (class of ’23)
Tammy Westbrook is in her third year with Connected Communities. She has been promoted to Lead
Resident Ambassador this year. Additionally, she is a board member for the Beechwood Neighborhood
Coalition. In her role as a board member and Resident Ambassador she is focused on reducing violence in her community. She just recently joined the City Roots Land Trust organization. Tammy also serves on the Housing Committee for Connected Communities; she is passionate about helping people become
homeowners, and connecting them with resources. In 2019 Tammy was accepted to speak at Communities Joined in Action a national conference in New Orleans for her work on eviction. When she is not working, she likes to do puzzles, garden and spend time with her grandkids.
John P. Gleason (class of ’24)
John is a nationally and internationally certified fund raising executive with more than forty years of development experience. He has worked on the planning or management of eleven major campaign efforts with an aggregate total in excess of $500,000,000. He lives in Beechwood with his wife Mary Ellen Miller Gleason who is a professor at Monroe Community College. They have three grown children.
Esther Wilson (class of ’24)
Esther has been a homeowner on Rosewood Ter. since 1973. Retired from Xerox after 36 years. Longtime Beechwood member/board member and volunteer. NEAD neighborhood volunteer, PAC-TAC, Board of Elections Inspector, Antioch Baptist Church Member (also member of the Food Ministry & Jail Ministry), initiated Rosewood Ter. speed humps.
Beth Sieber (Class of ’24)
After years of searching for a house and a neighborhood that felt like home, Beth’s family was led to Beechwood in 2004. The neighborhood diversity in race, economics, and ages is the same as the one she grew up in, near Pittsburgh. In years past, she was Director at the Webster Avenue Family Resource Center, so her connection and affinity for this neighborhood extends over two decades. Beth’s children are graduates of the City School District.
Now legislative staff for City Council, Beth has worked as a non-profit administrator for most of her career, with particular passions around the alleviation of poverty and inequity, and the protection of our natural resources. Beth values the beauty of our neighborhood’s older homes and tree-lined, walkable streets. She believes in the importance of community and that a sense of place contributes to neighborhood connections. Serving as a neighborhood representative on Main Street redesign, led Beth to serve on the Neighborhood Coalition Board. She is thrilled to see that design coming to life, with
separated bike lanes!
Beth is honored to have served on the Board previously and continues to be committed to working with
neighbors to make Beechwood the best place that it can be for all of its neighbors. She’s also excited to
be walking the neighborhood with a newly-formed group of residents!
Beth is not currently serving on any other local boards. She is on a committee for the local Democratic
party and serves on the Alumni Board and Diversity Task Force for Maryville College, TN, her alma
Jennifer Banister (class of ’25)
Jennifer Banister and her husband Tony Brown were blessed to find their home on Grand Avenue in
2004, bought from a friend whose family had lived in the house since the early 1900s. With her
neighbors, Jennifer helped create an informal block club named for MLK’s radical vision for how we look
out for one another: Our Beloved Community@ Grand & Webster. Neighbors created a lawn business
for/by early teenagers, block celebrations and gatherings, a green space at the corner of Grand &
Baldwin, and have advocated on behalf of our neighbors to get absentee landlords to respect their
tenants and make needed repairs.
For 21 years, Jennifer has worked alongside youth making positive changes in their neighborhoods through the Center for Teen Empowerment (TE). In 2021, TE began hiring 14-19 year olds from Beechwood and Marketview Heights as “youth organizers” who will engage 600+ young neighbors each year. Jennifer’s focus is on community uplift and trauma-informed solutions that address root causes to violence, racial inequities and other challenges that affect our community. She advocates for community-building, jobs, inclusive arts and opportunities for youth and adult neighbors, and measures that prevent the push-out of longtime neighbors in the face of gentrification. She cherishes living in a front porch community, a few minutes from downtown by bike and by foot to our Rochester treasure, the Public Market.
Cheryl Robinson (class of ’23)
Cheryl moved to Beechwood in 1968 on Garson Ave (mother still resides there). Attended #33, Frederick Douglass Jr. High, graduated from East High in 1976 and entered the military (Army) in September 1976. Worked for Eastman Kodak Company, Veterans Outreach, Hillside, #33 RASA Program and several stores within the Beechwood boundaries. Volunteer efforts included previous stint on Beechwood Board and longtime member, neighborhood activities through NEAD, City of Rochester Sector 8 Initiatives, RPD Goodman Section PAC-TAC & PCIC (Police & Citizens Interaction Committee), NEAD Court Watch, 18th Ward Boys Baseball, #33 School PTO/PTA, Blocks In Bloom Block Captain and Mentor.
Newly retired mother and grandmother of one with renewed energy, time and sense of commitment in ensuring all of our neighborhood residents have what they need to enjoy a better quality of life. I have lived on Pershing Dr since 1988 and continue to advocate for my mother who, due to health issues, can no longer fully participate, as she had in the past.
Agnes Perez (class of ’25)
Resident in Beechwood for 37 years. Served on board in the past for over 5 years.
Engineer by training, currently serve as a substitute teacher in the city school district.
Coordinate a food pantry in connection with my Church to provide food for city
residents experiencing food insecurity and emergency.
It will be a pleasure and an honor to serve again.
Marion Hunte-Robinson (class of ’25)
Marion moved to Rochester in Dec 1989. Lived on Parsells and then moved to Bay St in 1996. Day care provider in 1992. Worked at Ryan Center since 2014, #33 school lunch monitor for 3 years, currently working for RCSD and as a Foodlink Mobile Pantry Ambassador. Longtime Beechwood Neighborhood Coalition member, volunteer and past stint on board of directors. Provided day care for #33 PTO/PTA. City of Rochester Clean Sweep Site Coordinator, founded RISE3 (Respectful, Intelligent, Successful Entrepreneurs), in 2004, established the Mario S. Robinson Memorial Scholarship, which serves to honor the memory of my son and highlights exemplary achievements to people in the community. Member of Covenant United Church, created a public memorial garden for the community, worked with youth to improve literacy, cooking skills, healthy life skills, years of working with parent and youth groups (including early childhood and pre-K), food safety manager and certifications. Organized Beechwood Annual Police Holiday Dinner and recognitions.
Kendra Denson (class of ’25)
Kendra Denson moved to the Beechwood neighborhood almost 2 years ago, at the height of the Covid-19
pandemic. She first became involved in Beechwood through her church, New City Fellowship. She loved the idea that New City Fellowship was a culturally centered and neighborhood-focused church; seeking individuals who desired to live in Beechwood and build meaningful relationships with neighbors within the community. Hearing this, she immediately knew that she wanted to live in the neighborhood.
Kendra has been actively involved in the Beechwood community since 2017 through her volunteer work with 441 Ministries. In 2018, she expressed interest in starting a quilt group for women (and men…) who resided in the neighborhood. In 2019, the Democrat and Chronicle featured an article about the group for Black History Month. Soon after, the women became “famous,” having received requests from local quilt groups, who asked them to come share their quilting experiences. Kendra has also invested in the lives of the children who reside in the neighborhood. She has invested her time and talents through her involvement with Kids Club and Summer Meals at 441 Ministries, where kids and staff knew her affectionally as ‘The Dairy Queen,’ known for her wildly popular and entertaining healthy eating activities…complete with line dancing.
Kendra received her master’s degree in Healthcare Administration in 2017 and her project management
certification the following year. On behalf of Connected Communities, Kendra recently had the opportunity to lend her skills by assisting neighbors who reside in Beechwood and were seeking rental assistance during the pandemic. As a renter herself, she remains enthusiastic in her commitment to hearing the concerns of tenants and proactively advocating on their behalf. She is also committed to assisting neighbors, who desire to pursue homeownership, achieve this goal.
Kendra is also cellist and lends her gift to the music team at New City Fellowship. She continues to study cello at Eastman Community School where she also performs in a chamber music group. In addition to her musical background, she enjoys boxing and quilting. Most importantly, however, friends in the neighborhood know that she loves nothing more than line dancing.
Kendra looks forward to establishing meaningful relationships with neighbors, proactively addressing their concerns, and engaging in partnerships with local organizations who long to see Beechwood continue to evolve into a community “Where Roots Grow Deep.”
Members are elected to the BNC board in April during our Annual Meeting. For details on the election process and general governance, have a look at our bylaws.