Intro Image - Meet the Newest Additions to Our Team

Meet the Newest Additions to Our Team

May 1, 2024

Six new staff members bring deep skills, diverse experiences, and fresh ways of thinking.


Sarah has red hair in a ponytail and is smiling while wearing a purple shirt.

Communications Officer Sarah Studwell comes to us from Causewave Community Partners, where she worked with nonprofits in need of capacity-building, facilitation, and strategic communications. Sarah will use her superpowers of person-centered inquiry and synthesis to tell rich and nuanced stories of community-based philanthropy. Sarah is a graduate of Middlebury College, but has spent most of her life in Rochester, where she serves on the board of Genesee Land Trust and chairs its Communications Committee.

Community Foundation Initiatives

patricia marcaida

Patricia Marcaida is director of the Rochester Procurement Equity Project, our newest initiative. Patricia will work in partnership with some of Rochester’s largest employers to transform purchasing practices and increase spending with the region’s BIPOC businesses. Patricia’s career spans marketing, consultancy, communications, and management roles, ranging from multinational corporations to a small, BIPOC-owned business in Rochester. She holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a bachelor’s degree in business marketing from Long Island University, and a certificate in Leading Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from Northwestern University.

Community Programs

Tyana is smiling in a purple turtle-neck. Her dark hair is long and she is wearing white earrings.

Director of Early Childhood Dr. Tyana Velazquez-Smith will contribute extensive expertise in early childhood systems and research. With a doctorate in Teaching and Curriculum from the University of Rochester, Dr. Velazquez-Smith is an adjunct instructor at U of R, teaching courses like Race, Class, Gender & Disability in American Schools. She is the Founder and CEO of Sensational Inclusion, dedicated to building equitable educational ecosystems. Dr. Velazquez-Smith is a native Rochestarian, passionate activist, educator, and dedicated researcher.

Human Resources

Karen Fairhead, Part-time human resources consultant, is on loan with us from HR Works, Inc. — local provider of third-party, HR support — and has over twenty years of experience as a human resources professional.  With her extensive employment and benefits knowledge, Karen will support employees and implement processes of excellence in recruitment, interviewing, on-boarding, training, and more.

Office of the President

Cameron is smiling, wearing a charcoal gray suit and a light blue shirt. He has dark brown hair and blue eyes.

Cameron Caputi is our first director of community and foundation analytics. Cameron previously worked as a Senior Research Analyst at Rochester City School District, where he streamlined data processes and developed comprehensive dashboards for the district’s leadership. He has a Master of Public Policy and Management degree from Carnegie Mellon. Cameron will play a crucial role in improving data gathering, performance visualization, and monitoring of both impact and progress.

Philanthropic Engagement

Kara is smiling wearing a tan shirt. She has shoulder-length brown hair.

As Philanthropic Planning Officer, Kara Dwyer, builds and stewards relationships with Community Foundation donors. She leads research efforts to connect philanthropically-minded individuals with their greatest opportunities for impact, with an emphasis on Wayne and other regional counties. Kara led the Master Chorale of Tampa for many years, where she supported a talented board of directors and partnered with a director of development to expand their group’s donor base and reach.

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