Board of Directors

Bruce Gianniny, President

Bruce  is  a  partner  at  the  real  estate  developer  Gianniny  Associates.  He  is  a  life-long  Rochester  resident,  currently living in Brighton, where he enjoys spending time with kids and grandkids.

Christine A. Eichelberger, Vice President 

Christine  retired  in  2019  from  a  32-year  career  in  commercial  banking,  most  recently  as  Senior  Vice  President  at  Canandaigua  National  Bank.  She  holds  an  MBA  from  the  Simon  School  at  the  University  of  Rochester and an undergraduate degree in mathematics.

William J. Grande, Secretary 

Bill  retired  in  January  2022  from  Micropen  Technologies  (now  Exxelia  Micropen),  where  he  was  employed  since  2004  as  Chief  Technology  Officer  &  VP,  overseeing  the  Company’s  R&D,  new  product  development,  and  business  development  activities.  His  career  spanned  both  academic  and  industrial  settings  and  included  an  engineering  faculty  appointment  at  Rochester Institute of Technology and  research  scientist  positions  at  Kodak,  Cornell,  and  IITRI.  An  expert  in  microfabrication  for  nearly  40  years,  he  worked  in  a  diverse  range  of  technologies,   always  with  the  aim  of  building  tangible,  leading  edge  devices.  An  avid  multidisciplinary  researcher,  Bill  holds  24  US  patents  in a wide range of technologies including micro bearings, medical devices, and hydrogen gas storage.

Susan Desino, Treasurer 

Sue  is  a  Partner  and  Director  of  Financial  Assurance  Services  at  Dejoy,  Knaul,  &  Blood,  LLP.  A  Certified  Public  Accountant,  she  takes  primary  responsibility  for  overseeing  all  assurance  and  accounting  needs  provided  to  the firm’s clients.

Mark Boylan 

Mark  retired  from  Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)  in  2019  after  18  years  with  the  university.  He  is  now  a  part-time  faculty  member  at  RIT.  Previously,  he  worked  in  the  corporate  world  as  a  marketing  executive  and  was  a  principal  in  a  local  management  consulting  firm.  In addition to Writers  and  Books,  Mark  has  served  with  other  local  organizations,  both  as  a  board  member  and  volunteer,  including  Al  Sigl  Center,  Equicenter,  Genesee  Valley  Club,  Hillside  Family  of  Agencies,  Memorial  Art  Gallery,  McQuaid  Jesuit,  Rochester  Community  Players,  Rochester  Philharmonic  Orchestra,  St.  John’s  Home,  St.  Thomas  More  Church,  Simone  Center  at  RIT,  and  YMCA  of  Greater  Rochester.  He  is  a  member  of  Rochester  Rotary  and  the  Country  Club  of  Rochester,  as  well  as  three  social/literary  roundtables,  Gaggle,  Institute  of  Fellows  and  OASIS.  Marks  lives  in  Pittsford  with  his  wife  Anne.  They  have  two  grown  children and one grandchild.

Jaylene Carpenter 

Jaylene  is  a  Manager,  Accountant,  and  Auditor  at  Bonn  Dioguardi  and  Ray. She finds working with non-profits gratifying because they strengthen  their  communities and many times serve as the voice of their constituents.

Eric G. Cook 

Eric  is  Senior  Vice  President,  Financial  Advisor,  and  Senior  Portfolio  Manager  at  RBC  Wealth  Management.  Previously,  he  worked  in  Manhattan  for  nearly  a  decade  as  a  sportswriter  and  sports  programming  coordinator, where he learned the value of storytelling.

Jacquelyn Cox-Smalls

Born and raised in Rochester, NY, Jacquelyn is a retired elementary school principal with 33 years of experience in education.  She believes that education morphs a child’s life, giving them freedom to think, express, advocate and change the world.  Throughout her career in the Rochester City School District as classroom teacher, literacy specialist, teacher coach, and school administrator, her passion has been providing equity and access to urban students with a focus on increasing opportunities for students to engage with creative art experiences and new academic learning. Jacquelyn recently launched Soulchild Studio, Inc: Reimagining Mind and Space with the goals of inspiring freedom of expression through re-vision of thought, voice, and choice and encouraging parents and educators to embrace emancipatory pedagogy at home and in the classroom.

Lester David Friedman 

Les  is  Emeritus  Professor  and  former  chair  of  the  Media  and  Society  Program  at  Hobart  and  William  Smith  Colleges.  Previously,  he  taught  cinema  studies  at  Syracuse,  Northwestern,  and  American  Universities  and  at  the  Art  Institute  of  Chicago.  He  also  taught  health  humanities  and  bioethics  at  Upstate  Medical  Center  (Syracuse)  and  the  Feinberg  School  of  Medicine  at  Northwestern  University  (Chicago).  The  author,  co-author,  and  editor  of  over  20  books  and  numerous  articles,  his  areas  of  academic  specialties  include  film  genres,  American  cinema  of  the  1970s,  American  Jewish  cinema,  British  film  of  the  1980s,  and  Health  and  Humanities.  A  winner  of  the  National  Jewish  Book  Award  (Visual  Arts),  he authored  two  screenplays  that  are the basis of independent films.

Beverly Gold

Bev  is  a  semi-retired  clinical  social  worker  in  private  practice.  She  has  served  as  President  of  the  Parent  Teacher  Student  Association  of  School  23  and  School  of  the  Arts in Rochester, NY,  as  well  as  President  of  the  Rochester  Association  of  Clinical  Social  Workers.  She  has  been  involved  with  Writers  &  Books  since  inception  as member, supporter, and board member.

Grant Holcomb 

Grant  served  as  Director  of  the  University  of  Rochester’s  Memorial  Art  Gallery  for  29  years,  retiring  in  2014.  During  his  tenure,  he  established  a  legacy  of  joining  arms  with  cultural  institutions  around  the  community,  enlarging the art museum and collection, and creating a more inviting campus.

Frank A. Interlichia 

Frank  is  Senior  Consultant  &  Principal  at  Marts  &  Lundy,  a  full-service  fundraising  consulting  firm  with  an  international  client  base.  Previously,  he  served  as  Senior  Associate  Vice  President  and  Chief  Advancement Officer at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Jennifer R. Kellogg 

Jenny is an astrologer and spiritual coach who helps  clients  navigate  change,  find  meaning  in  their  lives,  and  reconnect  to  their  authentic  selves.  She  specializes  in  trauma-informed  astrology,  combining  the  Compassionate  Inquiry  approach  created  by  Dr.  Gabor  Maté  with  modern  astrological  techniques  and  ancient  wisdom  traditions.  She holds  a  PhD  in  Modern  Languages  and  Literatures  from  the  Université  Libre  de  Bruxelles  (ULB),  Belgium.  Jenny  has  worked  in  academia  and  non-profits  in  a  variety  of  administrative  and  leadership  roles.  She  is  also  a  literary  translator from the Modern Greek  and  enjoys  volunteer  work  within  Greece’s refugee crisis.

Celeste Kier 

Celeste  is  Senior  VP/Director of  Marketing  &  Customer  Experience  at  ESL  Federal  Credit  Union.  A  past  Board  President  of  Writers  &  Books,  she  also  serves  on  the  board  of  the  George  Eastman  Museum  and  on  the  United  Way  Women’s  Leadership  Council  Advisory  Board.  Formerly, she  was  a  board  member  of  Hope  Hall  and  the  SUNY  Geneseo  School  of  Business  Advisory  Council.  A  native  of  Pennsylvania,  Celeste  earned  her  Bachelor  of  Arts  degree  in  English  from  the  University  of  Rochester  and  her  MBA  from  the  William  E.  Simon  School.

David Mihalyov 

David  is  Vice  President  for  University  Relations  at  The  College  at  Brockport,  State  University  of  New  York.  Prior  to  joining  the  College  in  2008,  he  worked  in  the  telecom  industry  for  10  years  and  at  the  Democrat  and  Chronicle  newspaper  from  1989  to  1999.  His  book  of  poems,  A  Safe  Distance,  was  published  by  Main  Street  Rag in early 2022. He and his family live in Webster, NY.

Randy K. Morgenstern 

Randy is a Rochester native who spent her higher-level academic years and early employment responsibilities outside New York State. She returned to Rochester in the early 80’s to marry her high school sweetheart and raise her fabulous son. Professionally, she contributed to the success of the Jewish Community Center and Israel Bonds, created and curated the perennially popular Jewish Book Festival, and began the Jewish Singles Network. She went on to direct the Women’s Philanthropy Division of the Jewish Federation for 14 years, overseeing over $2 million in philanthropic funds and celebrating over 100 Lions of Judah, the highest giving level for women. Randy now oversees the Human Resources needs of the successful owner-involved business Radio Social, where she is proud to assist an incredible team of 65 committed staff members. Since moving from the suburb of Brighton in 2008 to Rochester’s St. Paul Quarter, Randy is thrilled to have had the time and desire to become involved in all things downtown. Joining the Writers & Books’ board is a dream come true; she looks forward to learning from the organization and giving of her skills and passion.

Stephanie Paredes 

Stephanie is Assistant Director of Multicultural Programs at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), where she oversees the Women of Color, Honor and Ambition program serving students who identify as women or nonbinary, with an emphasis on women of color. She also directs RIT’s MOSAIC Center, which supports students from all backgrounds as they explore the intersections of their identities and transform into leaders for a diverse and global society. She is a co-founder and board member of Rochester Latino Theatre Company and has contributed to youth and adult programming at Writers & Books.

Timothy B. Schmid 

Tim is a 1989 graduate of Clarkson University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Technical Communications. He began his career in the advertising industry working for a small firm, where his responsibilities included copywriting, proofreading, and graphic design.  After being hired to provide marketing support to a real estate broker, he shifted his career focus and obtained his real estate and broker licenses, representing both buyers and sellers of residential and commercial properties. He received the Saratoga County Rookie of the Year award for achieving the highest volume of sales of all first-year real estate agents in the county. He then moved into a property management career, spending the last 25 years in a variety of roles, including Vice President of Operations at Costanza Enterprises and his current position of Director of Operations at Konar Properties. Since childhood, Tim has been an avid reader and writer, and recently self-published three novels. He has been married to his wife, Roseann, for 30 years. They have two adult children.  Tim is thrilled to have the opportunity to help Writers & Books pursue its mission to promote and celebrate the joys of reading and writing.

Brad VanAuken

Brad  is  president  and  founder  of  BrandForward,  Inc.,  a  brand  strategy  consultancy  with  clients  throughout  the  world.  Previously,  he was  the  vice  president  of  marketing  for  Element  K  (now  Skillsoft),  a  leading  e-learning  company,  and  director  of  brand  management  and  marketing  for  Hallmark  Cards,  Inc.  During  his  tenure  as  Hallmark’s  chief  brand  advocate,  Hallmark  rose  to  4th  in  the  EquiTrend  national  quality  brand  ranking  and  received  the  Brand  Management  of  the  Year  award.  Recognized  as  one  of  the  world’s  leading  experts  on  brand  management  and

marketing, he is the author of Brand Aid: A Quick Reference Guide to Solving Your Branding Problems and Strengthening Your Market Position and The Brand Management Checklist: Proven Tools and Techniques for Creating Winning Brands. He is  a  much  sought-after  speaker  and  writer who has  been  interviewed  by  ADWEEK,  CNN,  Entrepreneur  magazine,  Forbes  magazine,  Fox  News,  HLN,  Investor’s  Business  Daily,  NPR  and  The  Bloomberg  Money  Show.  Brad  was  an  adjunct  professor  of  marketing  at  Avila  University  and  RIT  and  has  been  a  guest  lecturer  at  many  universities,  including  Harvard,  Stanford  and  Northwestern.