About Us


About Us

We Partner with people and organizations to
get change going in our community.

Our Mission

We make communities stronger by bringing voice to diverse public issues and needs and building capacity within nonprofit organizations.

Our Vision

Causewave will be a powerful force for good. It will be a movement itself – serving as the magnet for passionate people looking to do good – and the place where ideas and missions grow into community-changing movements.

About Us


Our Staff

Learn about our staff and board at Causewave Community Partners.

Our Staff

Learn about our staff and board at Causewave Community Partners.

Aaron Lattanzio Senior Program Manager

Aaron Lattanzio
Senior Program Manager




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  • Rochester Advertising Federation; Board Member, Addy Co-chair

  • Healthi Kids; Policy Team Member

  • Rochester Melanoma Action Group; Supporter

  • Alzheimer's Association of Rochester & Finger Lakes; Supporter

  • Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America; Supporter


  • Proud Member of #BillsMafia

  • Attendee of Woodstock ’99

  • Culinary Institute of America grad


Allyn Stelljes Program Team Director

Allyn Stelljes
Program Team Director


  • Providing leadership to the program team to support their work with non-profit organizations and community initiatives

  • Partnering with non-profit organizations to help them build capacity in areas like strategic planning, brand development, communications, board development and other areas of nonprofit management

  • Collaborate on Community Impact Initiatives



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  • LifeResults (tools for personal growth and leadership); Volunteer

  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator; Practitioner

  • Issues that affect women and families

  • Passing Life On and organ donation


  • Lover of impressionist art and Vincent VanGogh

  • Lifelong fan of Mr. Rogers

  • Chocolate chip cookie expert

  • Love to travel, especially when it involves staying at a bed and breakfast

Andrea Carvalho Program and Events Assistant

Andrea Carvalho
Program and Events Assistant




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  • Empowering and meeting motivated, positive women

  • Animal and environmental education/advocacy

  • The vibrant local Rochester animation and film scene

  • Cooking and eating new dishes (mostly eating)!


  • Post-It note doodles are her preferred artistic medium

  • Can talk, in detail, about the distinct tastes of different types of vinegar

  • Dotes on her three adorable lizards.

Beth Hershel Vice President of Community Engagement

Beth Hershel
Vice President of Community Engagement


  • Fundraising to support Causewave Community Partners' work

  • Managing raised revenue including individual donors, corporate members, grants, events, and in-kind donations

  • Recruiting a large network of engaged and influential volunteers

  • Making (often snobby) food and wine recommendations



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  • Raising little feminists (especially my 2 girls)

  • Supporting all things local (especially food, drinks & nonprofits)

  • Women Build Flower City Habitat for Humanity; Volunteer


  • Crushing the competition in Texas Hold ‘Em

  • Self-proclaimed hippie, having lived in both Ithaca, NY and Burlington, VT

Elizabeth Murray Program Manager

Elizabeth Murray
Program Manager


  • Managing four community impact initiatives: Pass Life On, H2O Hero, and Be Brave for Kids, and the Greater Rochester Animal Coalition.

  • Partnering with nonprofits to deliver capacity building support

  • Leading special projects with organizations like ACT for Education and Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association

  • Keeping everyone who’ll listen up to date on the latest political news



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  • Young Women’s College Prep Charter School; supporter and volunteer

  • Wheatland-Chili Central School District Sports Boosters, volunteer

  • Global Leadership Summit, Planning Committee


  • Curbside treasures, Ultimate Collector (the older, uglier, and rustier the better!)

  • Lifelong Fan of Cleveland Browns, Cavs, and Indians

Eric Phamdo Program Coordinator

Eric Phamdo
Program Coordinator


  • Partnering with nonprofit organizations to magnify their impact

  • Working closely on marketing and communications projects for organizations addressing poverty and structural racism, such as the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative

  • Managing the Causewave internship program and supporting emerging leaders looking to make a career in the nonprofit sector

  • Being nerdy about communication skills, research and data analysis, and leadership development



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  • Community philanthropy: Member of NextGen Rochester and the LGBT Giving Circle

  • United Way Pride Leadership Development Program, Steering Committee

  • Rochester Yoga Service Network, Member and Teacher

  • Alum of the University of Rochester and the Simon School of Business


  • Attended culinary school in NYC

  • Has lived on 4 different continents

  • Dog person, but likes cat videos

Katelin Pellett Vice President of Programs

Katelin Pellett
Vice President of Programs


  • Integrally involved in major internal and external organizational initiatives

  • Providing leadership and mentorship to the organization’s program team that works with 200+ nonprofits each year

  • Evaluating and evolving Causewave’s suite of programs to ensure they are aligned with the needs of the region’s nonprofit sector

  • Developing meaningful partnerships with nonprofits and community groups, businesses, and community leaders

  • Keeping the office fresh with the latest pop culture trivia and animal videos



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  • Women-focused causes including reproductive rights, workplace and pay equity, and access to quality healthcare. (Proud board member of the Women’s Council, a Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce affiliate)

  • Animals of all types and the importance of causes that support and advocate for conservation and adoption

  • My husband, newborn baby, 2 fuzzy Tuxedo cats and the rest of my amazing family that all live too far away

  • The Rochester food scene that’s always expanding (although Restaurant Good Luck will always be my #1)

  • Really good wine!


  • Wanted to be a zookeeper or a physical therapist when I was little, until I learned how much science was required for both.

  • Retirement plans include owning a farm with my husband where senior animals can leave out their final days, including a pet donkey named Dill Pickles (Pickles for short).

Mary Hadley  Senior Program Manager

Mary Hadley
Senior Program Manager


  • Partnering with nonprofits to deliver capacity building support with special focus in strategic planning, board development and brand development.

  • Managing community impact initiatives including Get Screened Rochester, drive2Bbetter, and Go All Electric.

  • Supporting Causewave’s work on Cultural Competency and participating in the Racial Equity and Justice Initiative through St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center.

  • Providing latest updates on the NCAA Basketball Championship



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  • Flower City Habitat for Humanity: Board Member, Governance Committee, Women Build Team Leader

  • Genesee Land Trust: Board Member, Board Secretary, Urban Initiatives Chair, Genesee River Alliance member

  • Three grown sons living in NYC, LA, Boston – yeah, great places to visit but I miss them.

  • Travel: Top 5 favorite places I’ve been to include India, Costa Rica, Singapore, Australia and Japan


  • Carabineers fanatic and collector

  • Purdue Alum, Boiler Up, CBO (Chief Basketball Officer)

  • "Flight Fest" originator & craft brew enthusiast

Micaela Allen Development and Outreach Assistant

Micaela Allen
Development and Outreach Assistant


  • Developing grant applications and reports

  • Working with media partners to ensure placement of Community Impact Initiative creative materials

  • Recruiting and managing volunteers

  • Managing all things social media



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  • 13thirty Cancer Connect, Young Professionals Group, Co-Leader

  • Eastside Family YMCA, Volunteer

  • All things chocolate and hazelnut


  • Proud Tour de France fan

  • Loves to watch America’s Funniest Home Videos

  • Expert Bavarian pretzel eater

Todd Butler President and CEO

Todd Butler
President and CEO


  • Supporting entire team’s community improvement work

  • Leading outreach and community involvement

  • Directing strategy and planning of collective impact initiatives

  • Collaborating with individual nonprofits on capacity building projects

  • Working closely with Causewave Community Partners' board of directors

  • Leading office theatrical productions (former star, high school musicals)



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  • Alzheimer’s Association of Rochester & Finger Lakes; Past Vice Chair of Board

  • Rochester Area Community Foundation; Marketing Committee

  • Adjunct Professor; RIT School of Communications and Roberts Wesleyan College of Adult & Graduate Education

  • Lover of all things outdoors: Hiking, Canoeing, Kayaking


  • Craft Beer, Geek

  • Buffalo Sabres, Fanatic


Our Board

Our Board

Officers and Executive Committee Members

Chair // Martha Bush, Community Volunteer
Vice Chair // Matt Jones, Wegmans Food Markets
Secretary // Marisol Ramos-Lopez, MSM, Rochester City School District
Treasurer // Chris Cebula, Armbruster Capital Management, Inc.
Director-At-Large // Susan Barnes, Center for Governmental Research
Director-At-Large // Michael McDougall, ARP, McDougall Communications
Director-At-Large // Courtney Cotrupe, Partners + Napier
Director-At-Large // Dr. Shaun Nelms, University of Rochester / East Partnership
Director-At-Large // Tom O'Connor, Al Sigl Community of Agencies
Director-At-Large // Jessica Murray, Esq., Syracuse University College of Law
Immediate Past Chair // Chuck Samuels, WHAM-TV
President and CEO // Todd Butler, Causewave Community Partners

Board Members

Beth VanVliet // Sr. Vice President of Partnership Marketing and Sales Strategy, Citizens Financial Group

Caytie Bowser // VP/Director, Product Development & Management, ESL Federal Credit Union

Curtis Johnson // Associate, Bond Schoeneck & King, PLLC

Denise DiNoto // Director of Community Services, Rochester RHIO

Denishea Ortiz // Director of Strategic Marketing & Retail Product Management, RIT 

Holly Snow // Director of Community Engagement, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

Kristen Bridenbaugh // Account Director, Partners + Napier

Laura Sadowski // Director of Institutional Giving, Geva Theatre Center

Dr. Marielena Velez de Brown // Deputy Commissioner of Public Health, Monroe County Dept. of Public Health

Mark Stone // Managing Partner & Chief Creative Officer, Dixon Schwabl

Mary Holleran // Vice President of Communication, Rochester Area Community Foundation

Norma Holland // Anchor, 13-WHAM TV

Ronald Willie, Jr. // Chief Operating Officer, Red Argyle, LLC.

Dr. Shaun Nelms // Superintendent, University of Rochester / East Partnership

Susan George // Director of Events & Affiliate Relations, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce

Susan Munn // General Manager, Entercom Marketing Results Group

William McDonald, CPA // Partner, The Bonadio Group


Our History

Learn about the origin of Causewave Community Partners

Our History

Learn about the origin of Causewave Community Partners


In 1949, W.B. “Pete” Potter – Kodak’s vice president of advertising – was on the board of the newly minted Advertising Council. This New York City organization was finding its post-war legs and beginning to develop national public service advertising campaigns. Pete Potter saw that his hometown, Rochester, had problems that needed to be addressed just like his country did.  He knew Rochester was blessed with a great deal of marketing resources and passionate people who wanted to put their talents – and their money – to work on important issues. 

The Advertising Dinner of 1949 had one main agenda item: honor and recognize Pete for his influence on the local advertising industry. As part of Pete’s introduction in the dinner program, he issued a challenge to the advertising professionals in the room: 

“Advertising has become, in America, the greatest single means of mass communication, information, and persuasion which has ever been seen in any society, anywhere, at any time. In Rochester, we are the people who control that force. How will we use it for the betterment of the community in which we live?”
— Pete Potter

From that challenge, The Advertising Council of Rochester was born. For decades, it was a mirror of its national cousin, making its mark on many local issues. They helped the Red Cross form and promote America’s first blood bank. They supported the creation of the Civic Music Association, the RPO’s precursor. For many years they engaged citizens in Rochester’s Community Chest campaign, the future United Way.

For most of our 65-year history, the name The Advertising Council of Rochester described us well. But the world has changed. Our community's needs have evolved, and so has our work. We have dramatically shifted our work from a focus on one-time, tactical projects to addressing critical local needs through a community-centered approach. Today advertising is just one of many tools we use to address complex problems within nonprofit organizations, and within the community.

We have an ambitious vision for the future: that our community will be known for addressing big challenges through collaboration; that our organization will be one of the primary justifications for that reputation, and that we will be a magnet for passionate people looking to do good. We are the place where causes and organizations come to ignite change around their missions.

In January 2016 we officially announced a new identity for the organization. Our new name, Causewave Community Partners, represents what we've always been about – putting the cause first in everything we do. It represents movement – because momentum is necessary to find solutions for tough problems. And it represents collaboration – because we can't – and don’t – do this work alone.

Together, with all of our partners and supporters, we will continue to make waves by carrying Pete Potter’s legacy forward as a powerful force for good in our community. 

Thank you.

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Today, Pete's legacy lives on, in part, thanks to our continued connection to his family. Anne Potter Sylvester, Pete’s daughter, received the Lantern Award in 2015 and has been a loyal supporter of our work.

Pete’s granddaughters, Jayne Malfitano and Laura Sylvester, have been champions of our work both personally and through their leadership of the Harcourt M. and Virginia W. Sylvester Foundation.

Causewave is grateful for this continued support and the opportunity to honor Pete’s legacy, by pulling together the intellectual, creative, and financial resources of thousands of individuals and organizations to make our community stronger.