Liz Reaves, Chairperson

Liz is a native of Elmira, NY but raised in Depew, NY. She and her meows Tuna, Gordon, and Goopers call the Westside home now. She is a graduate of D’Youville College with a B.A. in History and a Masters in Secondary Education. Liz enjoys her free time by volunteering with various organizations throughout Buffalo, traveling, reading, crafting and performing stand up comedy. She’s beyond excited to be a part of the B Team board and to continue engaging Buffalo communities through volunteering.

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Vanessa Gruber, Vice Chairperson

Vanessa currently resides in North Buffalo with her dogs, Mitch and Myles. Vanessa was born and raised in Buffalo, NY and is a graduate of Buffalo State College with her B.A. in Public Communications and has her graduate degree in Organizational Leadership from Medaille College. She is currently employed as an Associate Marketing Manager at Rich Products on the New Platform Accelerator Team. She is excited to participate in B Team Buffalo’s efforts to better our community and support local organizations.

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Kailin Kucewicz, Secretary

Kailin was born and raised in Cheektowaga and has been involved in the WNY community since she was a teenager. She has a B.S. in Business from Wells College and a Master of Engineering degree in Technical Entrepreneurship from Lehigh University. Kailin currently works as a Peer Mentor and Health Educator through Native American Community Services. For fun, she likes to practice her moves for roller derby and play fetch with her cat, Princess Waffles. She is so excited to be a part of B Team and continue to make a difference in her community.

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Chris Nowak, Treasurer

Born and raised in the Buffalo area, Chris has earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Buffalo State College.  He currently resides in Lancaster with his family.  Chris serves as Vice President at Evans Bank, responsible for executing the institution-wide Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Programs, implementing the financial crime program, along with managing the BSA Compliance, Fraud and Security Departments.  He has professional memberships with the American Bankers Association (ABA), Association of Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS), and the Buffalo Economic Crimes Task Force.  Chris has enjoyed time supporting several other local community organizations and is excited for the opportunity to serve on the B Team board.

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Shea Akers

Shea was born, raised, and resides in Western New York.  Shea has been an active member of Nickel City Housing Cooperative, Food Gnomes, Buffalo Infringement Festival, A Buffalo Pyromance Fire Arts Troupe, and is the current Program Director of an after-school program and a summer camp. When she is not working with children, she is out in the woods as a nature and mycology hobbyist, exploring all of the parks of Western New York. She one day dreams of creating an alternative learning space for children and adults alike that would incorporate learning through skill share, nature, and play based exploration. Of all the roles that Shea has taken, being an aunt has been her favorite.

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Callie Banko

Callie is a native Western New Yorker and currently resides in West Seneca. She earned her B.A. in journalism and mass communications from St. Bonaventure University in 2006 and went on to earn her M.S.Ed. in early childhood education from Niagara University in 2009. She is currently employed at BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York as the RFP Supervisor within the marketing and communications department. Callie is excited to join the B Team and looks forward to helping those within the Buffalo community.

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Sarah Hansen

Sarah is a life-long Western New Yorker who currently resides in her hometown of East Aurora, after spending many years living in the City of Buffalo. She graduated from St. Bonaventure University with a liberal arts degree before attending the University at Buffalo Law School and obtaining her J.D. She is a partner in the Buffalo law firm of Burden, Hafner & Hansen, LLC, where she practices in the insurance defense field, with a large portion of her practice dedicated to defending trucking accidents, municipal liability claims and employment matters. In her free time, Sarah enjoys adventuring through the Western New York area with her husband, daughter and two dogs, hiking trails and seeing the sights, with her camera in hand. Sarah is excited to be part of the B Team Board and to give back to the community she has been so blessed to be part of throughout her life.

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Tara Kennedy

Born and raised in Buffalo, Tara has spent her entire life active within the community. She is a long-time employee at Ingram Micro, Inc. and graduated with her BA in Business Administration (2014) and Masters in Organizational Leadership (2016) from Medaille College. She is excited to be a part of the B Team and looks forward to the opportunity to bring her passion for volunteering and raising civic awareness to the community.

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Christina Petit

Christina was born and raised in WNY. After graduating from SUNY Fredonia with a BS in International Studies and a BA in English Literature, she moved abroad to teach English as a Second Language. After living in South Korea, Thailand and Australia, she decided she needed to be closer to her family (and decent wings) so returned home. After volunteering with Americorps she was hired at Elmwood Village Charter School and three years later, is the Registrar and the Admissions Coordinator for both of their campuses She loves climbing mountains, big and small adventures, good coffee, cooking and seeing live music! She is proud to be a part of the city of good neighbors and loves working with The B Team to make sure Buffalo lives up to its nickname!

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David T.R. Stewart

David grew up in Western New York and currently resides in North Tonawanda. He has a B.S. in Biochemistry from Binghamton University and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University at Buffalo. Since 2013 he has taught chemistry and biochemistry at D’Youville College in Buffalo’s West Side. In his spare time, he enjoys home-brewing beer and watching British detective shows. David is excited to work with the B Team board to encourage and support widespread community involvement.

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Angela Vacanti

Angela is a Western New York native who currently resides in North Tonawanda. She graduated from Daemen College with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Master of Science in Professional Accountancy and went on to earn her CPA designation in February 2017. Angela is a member of the Lumsden McCormick tax department where she works with businesses and individuals on tax compliance issues and is chair of the firm’s Making A Difference committee. Angela is excited to serve on the B Team Board of Directors and dedicate her passion for volunteering to the Buffalo community.

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Denny Yeh

Denny was born in Rochester and moved to Buffalo in 2012 for graduate school. He has a Master’s degree in Global Business is currently working as a relationship banker with Fiserv. Aside from volunteering with B Team, you may see him in other events as he is actively involved in several other organizations ranging from the arts to assisting veterans. Denny likes to travel, watch movies, and run. He has completed 2 full marathons and has several more full marathons lined up.

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