Hillside has welcomed five new community leaders to its Board of Governors for the 2022 fiscal year. They are:

Todd Bullard, an attorney and equity member at Harris Beach, PLLC, who has been practicing law for 34 years. Mr. Bullard specializes in business and commercial litigation, representing municipalities and authorities as outside counsel, and advising organizations on procurements related to public projects. He is Co-Chair of the Harris Beach Council on Inclusion and Diversity, a member of the Rochester Black Bar Association, and the former Democratic Minority Leader for the Monroe County Legislature. Mr. Bullard holds a BA from Allegheny College and received his JD from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School.

Christopher B. Eckert, CPA, a Director in the Healthcare Consulting and Attest Practice of Freed Maxick CPAs. Mr. Eckert has more than 15 years of experience in public accounting, primarily servicing the healthcare industry. He focuses on audits within the healthcare industry with a concentration on integrated healthcare delivery systems, hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. A resident of Amherst, NY, he is based in Freed Maxick’s Buffalo office. Mr. Eckert holds a BS in accounting and an MBA from Canisius College.

Richard Feldman, PhD, a distinguished scholar, professor and administrator at the University of Rochester. While serving as Interim President of the University of Rochester from March 2018 until July 2019, Prof. Feldman spearheaded the University’s Culture of Respect Initiatives and the Presidential Diversity Council, and led the search for the University’s first Vice President for Equity and Inclusion. As Dean of the University’s undergraduate College, he was instrumental in developing and launching the University of Rochester’s CARE Network, which helps to identify and refer resources to students who are in or heading toward distress and in developing community-based educational programs in which students partnered with community organizations. A distinguished epistemologist, Prof. Feldman directed a unique internship program placing undergraduate students in the Rochester City School District to help children develop writing, reading, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. He is a recipient of the William H. Riker University Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and the Romanell-Phi Beta Kappa Professorship, awarded nationally to scholars in the field of philosophy to recognize distinguished achievement and contributions to the public understanding of philosophy. He is the author or editor of six books and over 75 articles. Prof. Feldman holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Cecilia Griffin Golden, PhD, whose extensive background in education includes having served as an elementary, middle and senior high school teacher in the areas of reading, bilingual education and Spanish. Dr. Golden’s executive and leadership experience includes serving in several positions with the Rochester City School District such as school principal, Chief Academic Officer and Deputy Superintendent; as CEO of the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh; as President and CEO of Volunteers of America, Chesapeake; as Assistant Provost for Southern University Baton Rouge; and as Hillside’s Executive Director of Education from 2013 to 2018. She serves on the Board of Directors for the YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County, and is the current chair of the Board of Trustees for the Strong Museum of Play. Dr. Golden earned her doctorate from the State University of New York at Buffalo in the area of sociology of education, her MS from the State University of New York at Albany in teaching English as a second language/bilingual education, and her BA degree in Spanish education from the State University of New York at Geneseo. She also holds a certificate in leadership from Harvard Business School.

Portia Y. James, an experienced human resources executive with an extensive background in human capital management. Ms. James has served since 2018 as Director of Leadership and Organizational Development for Paychex, and was Paychex’s Human Resources Director from 2016 to 2018. In her distinguished career, Ms. James has held leadership positions in human resources for St. John’s Senior Living, Unity Health System, Wegmans Food Markets and Lifetime Assistance. She holds a MS degree in management from Nazareth College and a BS in human resource management from the State University of New York at Fredonia. Her professional affiliations include membership on the Western New York Board of Directors of the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources and in the Workforce Diversity Network. She also serves on the Corporate Board of Directors for the YMCA of Greater Rochester and the Urban League of Rochester.

“Hillside is stronger with the informed leadership and insights of our dedicated Board members,” said Maria Cristalli, Hillside President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re delighted to have these talented professionals join our Board of Governors, as we continue our journey of innovative service to the youth and families of our community.”

 Hillside’s Board officers for the 2022 fiscal year are Richard J. Gangemi, MD (Chair), former Senior Vice President for Academic and Medical Affairs for Rochester General Health System; Jill Knittel (Vice Chair), owner of the executive search firm JK Executive Strategies, LLC; James C. Haefner (Treasurer), a retired Senior Vice President and Assistant Treasurer for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield; Monica L. Monte (Secretary), a marketing and product management executive; and Edward White (Past Chair), Associate Vice President at AIM Photonics.

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