Board of Directors

Rochester Music Hall of Fame Board of Directors in 2019

2020 RMHF Board of Directors

The Rochester Music Hall of Fame Board of Directors is entirely made up of volunteers who receive no form of monetary compensation.

Jack Whittier, President

Jack is a professional musician and has served on several non-profit organization’s boards and committees, including The New York Wine and Culinary Center, The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children and Bivona Child Advocacy Center. He is the Chief Financial Officer at Brothers International Food Corp and once served in that same position for Palmer Food Services.

Tracy Kroft, Vice-President

Tracy is a development, communications and public relations professional, a longtime supporter of the Rochester music scene and writer of the music blog, Rochester Music Scene (And Heard). She is an avid photographer who volunteers for the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival and the Fairport Music Festival. She has also lent a hand to Isaiah House, The Community Place, Epilepsy-Pralid and other community non profits. Tracy has a passion to recognize celebrate and honor the tremendous musical tradition of Rochester.

Amy Ryan, Treasurer

Amy is the controller at the Hoselton Automall. With an extended family of musicians, she is a music enthusiast who studied piano at the Eastman School of Music Preparatory Department.

Tony Gross, Strategic Development Officer

At the age of 19, Tony became a member of the A&M Records act Head East. He has been actively involved in the music industry ever since. Throughout the years he has served in a number of roles in the business, including: A&R, artist management, composer and producer. At the present time, Tony manages an award-winning songwriting team, is a voting member of the Recording Academy, serves as recording industry consultant to Nazareth College in Rochester, New York, and serves as President of GFI Productions, a full service recording studio that has hosted many notable contributors to the music industry, including, but not limited to, Chris Botti, Jeff Buckley, Trey Anastasio, Mick Taylor and Robert Moog.

Susan Gross, Secretary

Susan grew up surrounded by music. She comes from an extended family of musicians and is married to fellow board member, Tony Gross. She has worked for the law firm of Boylan Code for over 30 years. and currently serves as its director of human resources.

Steven Feder

Steve is a litigation law partner at Pirrello, Personte & Feder, and counsel to the Rochester Music Hall of Fame. Once a full-time musician and band leader, he now performs part-time with longtime area group Time Bandits and as a solo acoustic act.

Jim Richmond

Jim is a founding member of the ten-piece band, Prime Time Funk, Jim Richmond was a child who entertained the neighborhood kids by imitating Elvis on his front porch. He led his own band, The Echomen, while still in high school, then went on to major in music at SUNY Fredonia. Jim’s serious vocal, songwriting and arranging talents have kept him in demand over the years, sharing the stage with acts including George Benson, Tower of Power, Gene Cornish, Lou Gramm, Chet Catallo and Grammy winners Terrance Simien and CJ Chenier among others.

Scott Gudell

Scott is a combination of a passionate music fan and a historian/music critic. Shows attended at a young age included The Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, The Stones, Count Basie, Son House and countless others. Traveling exposed him to live concerts from Berlin to Beijing to Buffalo…and back to Rochester. He eventually became more involved in media as a part time DJ, media sales rep and an author of approximately 1000 articles including interviews with entertainers such as big band leader Artie Shaw, rocker Little Richard, comedian Henny Youngman and Broadway sensation Indina Menzel. With an extensive and extremely diverse LP and CD collection, he strives to combine entertainment with education.

Paul Boutté

Paul is a professional musician, songwriter, producer, and adjunct professor of music at SUNY Brockport. He is program director/host of “Sunday Morning Gospel” on 103.9 WDKX, and was producer and session musician with Edwin Hawkins, Missy Elliott, Shaquille O’Neal, Jodeci, and more.

Steve Czubara

For twenty years Steve has worked with Whirlwind Music in Rochester brokering sales and providing custom audio and video equipment installations and products for such clientele as Radio City Music Hall, Julliard School of Music, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Lenny Kravitz, Phish, Ani DeFranco and many more. As a music lover with a thirty year passion for photography Steve has had photographs published on album covers, magazines and newspapers etc. featuring some of rock’s greatest stars including David Bowie, Peter Gabriel and Elton John. With an appreciation for the art of musical entertainment Steve has also promoted concerts from Rochester to Syracuse.

Jerry Falzone

A veteran of the road, Jerry spent his twenties traveling throughout the Eastern and Southern states and Canada with rock band Pearl. He spent the next five years as a talent agent for Rochester Talent Unlimited where he established road tours for local bands. He produced the TV show Beyond the Lyric with Debbie Randyn that featured local and national songwriters. Jerry Falzone has co-produced CDs for Debbie Randyn and Mason Tyler as well as three of his own CDs. Jerry is a songwriter with a Top Album Pick from Billboard Magazine (For Pearl’s first LP release), has established the Lake Shore Coffee House Series and Fandango at The Tango, a weekly concert series featuring local and national songwriters. Jerry is married to Kathy Anetrini-Falzone, works as a Senior Account Executive at IMS Direct and lives in Rochester.

Mike Dornberger

Mike is a professional musician who moved to Rochester from Los Angeles California in 2003. He has been the lead singer for bands in Florida, California, and locally including his current band Hallpass. As the singer for Perfect World, he shared the stage with his good friend and RMHF founder Karl LaPorta. Currently Mike is an associate broker with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and also a stage manager for the Rochester International Jazz Festival as well as other events. Since 2004 he has been happily married to his wife and high school prom date, Lori.

Cynthia Gray

Cindee’s passion for music and for preserving and promoting our rich cultural tradition in the Rochester community led her to the RMHF board. She also serves on several other non-profit boards and committees including CCSI, Bivona Child Advocacy Center, and Heritage Christian Services. She has spent most of her professional career at RIT in government and community relations and special events. She is recently retired as an assistant vice president for the alliance between RIT and Rochester Regional Health after working for 32 years.

Micheline DeFranco

Micheline has performed with community concert bands and chamber groups for more than 25 years. A development and communications professional, she is passionate about music and the vital role it plays in our schools and communities. She is the director of stewardship for Principle Gifts and Presidential Advancement at the University of Rochester. She has also served on the board of the Mary M. Gooley Hemophilia Center as the chair of the Fundraising Committee and a member of the Greater Rochester Bleeding Disorders Walk Committee.

Heather Rickett

Heather loves music and how it transcends boundaries and volunteered for the RMHF for many years before being elected to the board. She has worked in development and communications for area not-for-profits and also volunteers for many local organizations.

William (Bill) Baldwin

Bill retired after 34 years in public education as a band director. He composes and arranges music for area school music groups, and plays trumpet in a local brass quintet as well as the Rochester Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra. A NYSSMA Brass Adjudicator, he is marking his 25th year as a solo festival coordinator for the Monroe County School Music Association.

Steve Bartolotta

Kent Joshpe

Former Members of the Board of Directors

  • Diane Baltadonis
  • Gerald Brongo
  • Alex Carroll
  • Kevin Hart
  • Bill Hunt
  • David LaPorta
  • Donna LaPorta
  • Karl LaPorta
  • Kathy Palokof
  • Bruce Pilato
  • Mark Provenzano

Founding Members

  • Gerald Brongo
  • Steven Feder
  • Bill Hunt
  • Mike Johannson
  • Tracy Kroft
  • David LaPorta
  • Donna LaPorta
  • Karl LaPorta
  • Kathy Palokof
  • Mark Provenzano
  • Jim Richmond
  • Gary Schurr