Tara Kennedy, Chairperson

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.

Contact Tara at tara@bteambuffalo.com

Alana Eaton, Vice Chairperson

Alana lives in Amherst. She graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 2006 with a degree in Childhood Education and Special Education and earned her Ed.M. in Childhood Education from the University at Buffalo. Alana taught special education for a few years in NYC before returning to her hometown. She now works as a coordinator and trainer for CCNY, Inc., a non-profit agency that supports health and human service organizations in achieving positive outcomes. Alana is thrilled to be back in Buffalo during this wonderful period of growth and is excited to dedicate her efforts to serving the city and its residents.

Contact Alana at alana@bteambuffalo.com

Vanessa Gruber, Secretary

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.

Contact Vanessa at vanessa@bteambuffalo.com

Angela Vacanti, Treasurer

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.

Contact Angela at angela@bteambuffalo.com

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.

Contact Shea at shea@bteambuffalo.com

Tony Astran

Tony is a native of Western New York and lives in Orchard Park with his wife, son, and dog. He works at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center as public information specialist for the New York State Smokers’ Quitline. Tony has served on the boards of Brush Up Buffalo and Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Buffalo Niagara Chapter, including the role of Chapter President in 2014. He earned a master’s degree in public administration (M.P.A.) from SUNY Buffalo State and a bachelor’s degree in communication from Loyola University Chicago. Tony has aspirations to help develop and manage a miniature version of Chicago’s Navy Pier on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor, and to be a mayor of a small town in his later years. He is proud to have been one of B Team Buffalo’s first volunteers at the National Buffalo Wing Festival in 2008, and is even more excited to be serving on B Team’s board.

Contact Tony at tony@bteambuffalo.com

Jennifer Norton

Jennifer is thrilled to be a B Team Board Member! She was born and raised on Long Island, NY. After receiving her BA in Psychology, she moved to Buffalo to pursue her graduate education. She now has two MS degrees in Education (one with a concentration in School Psychology and the other in Childhood and Early Childhood Education). She is awaiting her initial certification so that she can begin work in Special Education. She has enjoyed working with B Team and other volunteer organizations since her move to Buffalo and cannot see herself living anywhere else. She also enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, and finding adventure every day.

Contact Jennifer at jennifer@bteambuffalo.com

Chris Nowak

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.

Contact Chris at chris@bteambuffalo.com

Joanna Panasiewicz

Joanna is a native Buffalonian who enjoys fixing up her 1910 colonial home in Kenmore. She has held a passion for local history since her first job with the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library where she learned about Buffalo’s triumphant past and has actively promoted our region’s assets ever since. She graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Canisius College and is currently Watershed Coordinator working for the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning. In addition to her strong desire to enhance Buffalo and the region by protecting its natural assets, she is an avid supporter of active community involvement.

Contact Joanna at joanna@bteambuffalo.com

Liz Reaves

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.

Contact Liz at liz@bteambuffalo.com

Jason Tennant

Jason moved to Buffalo 5 years ago after growing up in Syracuse. After earning a degree in Radiologic Technology, he has worked as a CAT Scan Technologist, Radiologic Technologist, and currently works at the Gates Vascular Institute as an Electrophysiology Technologist. Very career driven, Jason has been interested in helping the community as well as patients at work. He believes joining the board at B Team Buffalo will give him the opportunity to do so. Jason enjoys numerous sports such as basketball, football, golf, tennis, and soccer in his free time.

Contact Jason at jason@bteambuffalo.com

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.

Contact Denny at denny@bteambuffalo.com