2018-2019 Board of Directors
+ President: Carey Ann Denefrio
CAREY ANN DENEFRIO, President,is an Associate at Littler Mendelson, P.C., a U.S. based international law firm exclusively devoted to representing management in every aspect of labor and employment law. At Littler, Carey Ann represents employers and management in a broad range of labor and employment matters arising under federal and state law. Carey Ann specializes in the areas of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, as well as workplace safety and health. Before joining Littler in July 2015, Carey Ann served as the Confidential Law Clerk to the Honorable Jonathan W. Feldman from December 2007 – July 2015 and was an Associate at Ward Norris Heller & Reidy LLP from September 2005 – December 2007. Carey Ann received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Boston College, and received her Juris Doctor degree from Albany Law School, cum laude, where she served as Executive Editor for Lead Articles on the Albany Law Review.
Carey Ann is currently a member of GRAWA’s Legislative Committee and served as Chairperson of the Legislative Committee from 2014-2017, and as a WBASNY Delegate from 2017-2018. Carey Ann currently serves as the Co-Chairperson of the Labor and Employment Law Committee for the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York. Carey Ann is an active member of the Monroe County Bar Association. She served on the Board of Directors for the Foundation of the Monroe County Bar from 2011-2017, served as Chairperson of the Foundation Grants Committee from 2014-2017, and served for several years as Chairperson of the MCBA Young Lawyers’ Section Community Outreach and Social & Networking Committees. Carey Ann currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Women’s Council. From 2008-2017, Carey Ann served on the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities Community Services, and its Nominating Committee.
In 2019, Carey Ann was recognized by The Daily Record for “Excellence in Law,” and received the “Top Women in Law” award. In 2017, Carey Ann was recognized by The Daily Record as an “Attorney of the Year – Leader in Law.” In 2013, Carey Ann was the recipient of the MCBA’s Emerging Bar Leader award, as well as the Rochester Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 award. In 2011, she was recognized by The Daily Record as an “Up and Coming Attorney.” Carey Ann, her husband Tim, her son Tate, and her two-year old twins Finn and Piper, reside in the City of Rochester.
+ President-Elect: Randi Proukou
RANDI PROUKOU, President-Elect, is co-founding Partner at Zea Proukou PLLC, handling Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability matters for injured workers and disabled individuals. Randi started the business with partner Daniel Zea in October of 2014. Randi received her Bachelor’s Degree from Nazareth College in Rochester and received her law degree from the University of Dayton School of Law in Ohio. Randi has been an active member with the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys (GRAWA), previously acting as Membership Chair in 2015-2017 and the Family and Careers Committee Chair in 2018-2019. On the state level, she is the co-chair of the Ethics Committee with WBASNY. She is also active with the Injured Workers’Bar Association and the Monroe County Bar Association. Randi has been selected for inclusion in Upstate New York Super Lawyers as a Rising Star for the past four years. She was recognized as an Up & Coming Attorney in 2015 by The Daily Record. Randi received GRAWA’s President’s Award in 2017, as well as Rochester Women’s Network’s 2017 Up & Coming Businesswomen’s Award. She was most recently honored by the Rochester Business Journal in 2018 as one of the area’s Forty Under 40. Randi has also spent the past three years coaching Girls on the Run and, most recently, coaching Brighton area community youth soccer. Randi and her husband, Nicholas, an attorney at Woods Oviatt Gilman, reside in Brighton with their children Levi, 6, and Lilah, 1.
+ Immediate Past-President: Katherine (Katie) Courtney
KATHERINE (KATIE) COURTNEY, Immediate Past President, a Rochester native and alumna of Our Lady of Mercy High School. She is also a graduate of Niagara University and the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School (JD/MSW). She recently started the position of law clerk to the Honorable J. Gregory Wehrman, United States Magistrate Judge (Eastern District of Kentucky). Previously she was employed with the Social Security Administration’s Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) as an attorney advisor. In this capacity, she also served the Agency as a national trainer for new decision writers. Prior to OHO, Katie was a staff attorney with the Disability Advocacy Program Unit at Empire Justice Center. Katie is active in the Monroe County Bar Association, Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys, and the Women’s Bar Association of New York. She is past chair of MCBA’s Disability, Labor and Employment Committee and was previously on their Board of Trustees. She will be joining MCBA’s Foundation Board this year. She has served on the GRAWA Board in various positions. At the statewide level, Katie served as co-chair for WBASNY’s Legislative Committee and the Convention Committee. Katie is an avid runner and resides in Spencerport with her family.
+ Secretary: Jennifer Aronson-Jovcevski
JENNIVER ARONSON-JOVCEVSKI, Secretary, is a Canandaigua native but lives in Rochester with her toddler (Jax) and husband (Jimmy). Jennifer received her B.A. in Communication Studies (with honors) from Florida State University in 2008. After graduation, Jennifer was selected as one of the founding corps members for the AmeriCorps Teach for America program in Jacksonville, FL where she taught 3rd grade to over 40 inner city students in one classroom. Upon completion of Teach for America, Jennifer earned her joint J.D. Magna Cum Laude/M.A. Cultural Foundations of Education Summa Cum Laude from Syracuse University College of Law and Syracuse University School of Education, respectively, as well as a Certificate in Disability Law and Policy. Jennifer is currently an associate attorney in Boylan Code LLP’s Commercial Lending and Real Estate Group. She also leads the firm’s Charter School Law Practice Group. Jennifer wears two hats and concentrates a portion of her practice on real estate (lending, commercial and residential real estate sales and acquisitions and municipal development) and the other portion is dedicated to advocating for charter schools to further their effort to close the achievement gap in Rochester. Jennifer focuses a large portion of her practice representing local charter schools, charter school board of trustees and charter management organizations on a variety of issues regarding general education, charter school law, labor/employment, board governance, real estate transactions and construction contracts. She also advises charter schools regarding special education law (i.e. attending CSE meeting, reviewing/drafting/complying with IEPs and 504 Plans and attending due process hearings), student and family matters (i.e. residency, student discipline, homelessness, safety/security concerns, transportation and FERPA compliance), charter school renewal applications and dissolution. Jennifer was awarded the “Up and Coming Attorney” Award by the Daily Record (2019) and is listed in the SuperLawyers® Rising Star, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Editions. She has published legal articles in the Daily Record and is an active contributor to the National School Boards Association Council for School Attorneys blog. Jennifer is the former Chair of the Women’s Health Committee for the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys and member of the School Law Committee for the Monroe County Bar Association. She currently serves on the Governance Committee for the Young Women’s College Preparatory Charter School (YWCP) and is slated to join the 2019-2020 YWCP Board of Trustees. She is also a member of the New York State Association of School Attorneys, the National School Board Association – Council for School Attorneys and is an active member of the Rochester Charter School Leadership Forum. She is also an active member of the NYS Commercial Association of Realtors and plays an active role in Boylan Code’s monthly #RealEstateRoundtable. In her spare time, Jennifer participates in various community service activities, volunteers for local schools reading to K-2 students and teaches indoor cycling at Midtown Athletic Club.
+ Treasurer: Hinna Upal
HINNA UPAL, Treasurer, is an attorney at Littler Mendelson, P.C., a U.S. based international law firm exclusively devoted to representing management in every aspect of labor and employment law. There, she represents employers in a broad range of labor and employment matters including complex business litigation, class action and regulatory issues. She has worked extensively in federal and state court, both at the trial and appellate level. Previously to joining Littler, Hinna was the deputy general counsel at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and an attorney in another New England law firm. Hinna received her bachelor’s degree (Honors) in Sociology from Queens University and her J.D. (magna cum laude) from Roger Williams University School of Law. She served as Executive Notes and Comments Editor on the Law Review and after law school, Hinna clerked for William Smith, chief judge at the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island and Hon. Francis Flaherty at the Rhode Island Supreme Court. She is past President of the South Asian Bar Association for Greater Boston.
program Committee Co-Chairs
+ Sarah Lobe
SARAH LOBE, Program Committee Co-Chair, is an attorney with Nixon Peabody where she works on environmental law and renewable energy matters. She has experience as a lawyer, law professor, and advocate with a focus on environment-related issues. Her background includes a Master’s in public policy from Boston University with fieldwork on access to water in New York City, China, Argentina, and India. While studying law at American University Washington College of Law, Sarah completed over 500 hours pro bono service, including analyzing legal issues in water pipeline implementation for the Navajo Nation. She helped hold businesses and governments accountable for environmental harms while working for the U.S. federal government and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. Sarah was a law professor in Istanbul, Turkey, and she continues to teach environmental law at Nazareth College and legal writing for LL.M. civil society scholarship recipients. Having recently returned to Rochester, Sarah is excited to be an active part of the GRAWA community and to continue to serve for her second year on the GRAWA board.
+ Katerina (Kat) Kramarchyk
KATERINA (KAT) KRAMARCHYK, Program Committee Co-Chair, is an associate at Ward Greenberg Heller & Reidy LLP. Kat focuses her practice on litigating business, healthcare, and intellectual property matters. Kat received her J.D. from Albany Law School of Union University, cum laude, in 2013, and her M.B.A., with honors, from Union Graduate College in 2013. Kat is an active member of the Rochester community, and has served on the board of the Monroe County Bar Association’s Young Lawyer’s Section since 2014, and the Academy of Law since 2015. Kat was the 2017 recipient of the MCBA’s Raymond J. Pauley Award, and the 2019 recipient of the MCBA’s Emerging Bar Leader Award.
When not working, Kat enjoys watching Syracuse football and basketball, practicing Pilates, reading, and spending time with her partner Brandon working on their 1920’s colonial.
+ Nominating Committee Chair: Denine Carr
DENINE CARR, Nominating Committee Chair, has been the Title IX & College Compliance Officer at the State University of New York’s College at Brockport since 2015, after having practiced law for 25 years, and for 12 of those years, working part-time. Denine was a GRAWA board member for several years, has served on several committees, including the Family & Careers, Membership, Judicial Evaluation, and Nominating Committees, and is a past president. She also served on WBASNY’s Judicial Screening Committee. Denine serves on the Rochester Education Foundation Nominating Committee, and previously served on the Bivona Child Advocacy Center Human Resources Committee, Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley Governance Committee, as well as the YWCA of Greater Rochester Nominating Committee. Denine received her B.A. from the University of Iowa and her law degree from Loyola University of Chicago Law School. Denine first became involved with GRAWA by way of the Family & Careers Committee many years ago, when she and her daughters, who are now 20 and 22, were a lot younger.
JEC Committee Co-Chairs
+ Jennifer M. Schauerman
JENNIFER M. SCHAUERMAN, Judicial Evaluation Committee Co-Chair, is an Associate at Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP, and represents clients in a broad range of litigation matters, including insurance defense, personal injury, and construction/surety litigation. Jennifer received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Nazareth College, and received her Juris Doctor Degree from the University at Buffalo Law School. Jennifer also serves on the Rochester chapter of the University at Buffalo Law School Alumni Association. Jennifer received the Daily Record’s Up and Coming Attorneys’ Award in 2013, and the UB Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Award in 2016. Jennifer, her husband Chris, and her daughters Ashley and Allison, reside in Irondequoit.
+ Leigh Ann Chute
LEIGH ANN CHUTE, Judicial Evaluation Committee Co-Chair, has been a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Rochester since 2014. She has practiced in the areas of family law, focusing on representing victims of domestic violence, and most recently in the areas of housing and consumer law. Leigh Ann received her B.A. from American University in Washington, D.C. in 2009. She wanted to work in legal services, and attended the University at Buffalo Law School, graduating in 2012 to make it happen. A native of Rochester, Leigh Ann feels passionately about providing competent legal counsel to clients who would otherwise go unrepresented.
+ Media Committee Chair: Amanda Dreher
AMANDA DREHER, Media Committee Chair, is an attorney and volunteer leader in the Rochester community. She served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office in the Local Courts and Appeals bureaus. Prior to that, Amanda worked as a Senior Appellate Court Attorney in the Decisions area at the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department. She is a 2019 recipient of the ESL Jefferson Award for outstanding volunteerism, based on her work over the past several years as part of ROC City Bottoms Diaper Bank and its successor, the Junior League of Rochester Diaper Bank. Amanda has been a member of the Junior League of Rochester for over 10 years and served as its President in 2014-2015. The League has recognized Amanda for her dedication with its Recognition of Service Excellence Award twice, in 2012 and 2016. She currently serves on the Town of Brighton’s Historic Preservation Commission and is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Landmark Society of Western New York. Amanda has been active in the Monroe County Bar Association throughout her career, serving on multiple committees, and she has served on the Board of Directors for the Albany Law School National Alumni Association since 2010. She has been a member of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys for over 10 years and previously served on the Board of Directors as Programs Committee Co-chair from 2010-2012. She currently serves pm the Board as the Media Committee Chair. Amanda received the Rochester Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Award in 2014 and the Daily Record’s Up and Coming Attorney Award in 2013. She lives in one of Brighton’s historic homes with her husband Michael and son Benjamin, and she is expecting another son this summer.
+ Legislative Committee Chair: Laura Myers
LAURA MYERS, Legislative Committee Chair, is a partner at the Wolford Law Firm, LLP, which is a majority woman owned business. Laura represents small and large businesses and individuals in commercial, employment, intellectual property, personal injury and general litigation matters. Laura has extensive experience litigating cases in New York state and federal trial and appellate courts. Laura also has extensive experience resolving disputes without resorting to litigation through settlement negotiation and participating in mediation and arbitration. Laura is admitted to practice law in New York and Ohio and is a registered patent attorney.
Laura is a current Board member and the Development Co-chair of the Monroe County Bar Foundation and is a Board member of the Rochester Housing Development Fund Corporation. She has received the Daily Record’s Top Women in the Law Award, the Rochester Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 award, The MCBA’s Emerging Bar Leader Award, and The Daily Record’s Up & Coming Attorneys’ Award. Laura is a graduate of the University at Buffalo where she obtained her law degree and MBA and served as an Articles Editor on the Buffalo Law Review. Laura, her husband Curtis and their one-year old son Jacob, live in Pittsford.
+ Membership Committee Chair: Lauren Whiting
LAUREN WHITING, Membership Committee Chair, is an associate in Nixon Peabody’s Private Clients group. Lauren focuses her practice in the areas of estate planning, wealth distribution, tax planning and estate and trust administration. She works with clients to develop estate plans personalized to meet their specific planning goals. Lauren has assisted clients with international estate planning, including the multi-jurisdictional tax issues facing international families. She also assists fiduciaries and beneficiaries through all stages of the trust and estate administration process. Lauren received her Bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University (magna cum laude) and her J.D. (cum laude) from Michigan State University College of Law. Lauren serves as a Board Member for the Monroe County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, the Estate Planning Council of Rochester, and the Oatka Festival (LeRoy). Lauren also assists the Advancement Committee for Volunteers of America. In 2018, Lauren received the Daily Record’s Up & Coming Attorney Award. Lauren enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with her husband, family and friends.
CLE Committee Co-Chairs
+ Christin Murphy Cornetta
CHRISTIN MURPHY CORNETTA, CLE Committee Co-Chair, is the Confidential Law Clerk to the Honorable Marian W. Payson. She has worked for Judge Payson since October 2012. Prior to becoming Judge Payson’s Law Clerk, she was an Associate at Ward Greenberg Heller & Reidy LLP. Christin received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Rochester, cum laude, and received her Juris Doctor degree from Cornell Law School, magna cum laude. Christin is a member of the Monroe County Bar Association and currently serves as a member of the MCBA Awards Committee. She has been on the Board of Directors for the Foundation of the Monroe County Bar since 2015, and she currently serves as the Board’s Secretary, as well as on the Grants and Executive Committees. Christin previously served for several years on the executive board of the MCBA Young Lawyers’ Section. Christin continues as CLE Co-Chair and served on GRAWA’s Women’s Health Committee, serving as co-chair of that committee in 2016-2017. In 2012, Christin was recognized by The Daily Record as an “Up and Coming Attorney.” Christin lives in Webster with her husband Brian, daughters Vivien and Fiona, greyhound Sawyer, and cat Leo.
+ Linda Kostin
LINDA KOSTIN, CLE Committee Co-Chair, has been the Assistant Director of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department Attorneys for Children Program since January 2013. Previously, Linda was the Pro Bono Coordinator at Volunteer Legal Services Project of Monroe County for four years, where she served as Co-Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Pro Bono Coordinators Network. She was a solo practitioner for 10 years, during which time she worked extensively as a law guardian and was honored to receive VLSP’s William E. McKnight Award for pro bono service in the area of family law. Linda began her career at the law firm now known as Nixon Peabody. She graduated from Syracuse University College of Law, magna cum laude, and SUNY Geneseo, summa cum laude. Linda is a member of NYSBA’s Committee on Children and the Law. She is a longtime resident of the Town of Greece. Linda and her husband, Robert, are the proud parents of two adult children.
+ Diversity Committee Chair: Nicole Ladner
NICOLE LADNER, Diversity Committee Chair, is an associate at Littler Mendelson, P.C., a U.S. based international law firm exclusively devoted to representing management in every aspect of labor and employment law. Prior to that, she was an associate at Ward Greenberg Heller & Reidy LLP, where she represented corporate and institutional clients in a broad range of civil litigation matters. Nicole is a proud graduate of the University at Buffalo, and she earned her J.D. at the University of North Carolina School of Law. Nicole is an active member of the legal community here in Rochester where she serves on the Awards Committee of the MCBA, and as Community Service Co-Chair of its Young Lawyers Section. She’s also a proud member of the Rochester Black Bar Association.
+ Maritza Buitrago
MARITZA BUITRAGO, WBASNY Delegate, is an attorney in the family court section of the Monroe County Public Defender’s office (PD) dedicating herself to ensuring that justice is equally provided to all members of our community. She began her legal career with the Legal Aid Society, representing clients in domestic violence and matrimonial cases. In 2000, she joined the PD’s office and left to serve as an Assistant Attorney General in the Rochester Regional Office. But her devotion to representing families in need led her to return in 2009 to the PD’s office and exclusively works in Family Court representing clients in a wide variety of family law cases.
Maritza hails from a family dedicated to law and education. She grew up as the daughter of a judge who served his community for 25 years. She came to Rochester as a recipient of the Alumni and the AHORA Scholarship for Hispanic students. She earned her B.A. in Political Science and History and her Masters Degree in teaching at the University of Rochester and obtained her Juris Doctorate degree from SUNY at Buffalo School of Law. Following a family tradition of public service, Maritza has taught Social Studies in the Rochester City School District and Spanish at the University of Rochester as well as interned with the Rochester City Council. She has been recognized for her work and in 2014 received the Daily Record’s Excellence in Law Unsung Legal Hero Award, in 2016 the NYS Assembly Puerto Rican Hispanic Task Force’s Somos el Futuro Award and in 2017 the NYS Defenders Association’s Excellence in Adult Indigent Representation in Family Court. Maritza is a member of a wide array of community organizations including ACT for the Children Board, IBERO American Action League Board, La Cumbre, Rotary Club, and the I.T.A.L.E.O. She currently lives in Penfield with her fiancée and her father, who came to Rochester following Hurricane Maria’s devastation in Puerto Rico.
+ Alison Moyer
ALISON MOYER, WBASNY Delegate, is associate counsel for the Rochester City School District. She supports the District in claims, litigation, insurance, and policy matters, and defends the District in employment, property, contract, general liability and premises liability litigation. Prior to joining the District, Alison was a partner at Rupp Baase Pfalzgraf Cunningham, LLC, where she was a trial attorney and counseled clients on litigation and insurance coverage issues. She received her B.A. from the University of Rochester and her J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law. Alison, her husband Erik, and her son Samuel reside in Fairport.