Board of Directors

2024 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.
Officers

Jack Whittier, President

Jack is a professional musician, performs regularly in the Rochester area on piano and French Horn and currently is a member of the Perinton Concert Band. He has served on numerous non-profit organizations’ boards and committees, including The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children, Bivona Child Advocacy Center and The Hub585. He has been President of RMHF since 2018 and served as Vice President from 2010-2018. His day job is Chief Operating Officer and CFO at Brothers International Food, LLC, where he has worked since 2015. Prior to Brothers he was CFO at Palmer Food Services for 15 1/2 years.

Tony Gross, Strategic Development Coordinator

Tony Gross is Strategic Development Coordinator for the Rochester Music Hall of Fame. He entered the music business at the age of 19 as guitarist for the A&M Records recording artists “Head East.” Currently, Tony is President of GFI Productions and manages American Country Music Artist and Influencer Claudia Hoyser.  He is also Co-Founder of Hoyser Country Blend Coffee and Hoyser Country Drunken Bean Whiskey. Additionally, he has served as Contributing Editor for EQ Magazine and is an Applied Research and Technology Advisory Board Member.  Tony is also an Advisory Board Member of Root Words and has been a featured guest on PBS affiliates on Digital Rights Management.

Board Members

William (Bill) Baldwin

William Baldwin retired after thirty-four years in public education. He was a junior high band director at the Twelve Corners Middle School in Brighton for the last 20 years of his career. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education at Potsdam as well as his Masters Degree in Trumpet Performance.

Over the years, Bill has conducted many all-county bands. He has also done numerous presentations at state and local conferences on using technology in the music classroom. He is most proud of having chaired the Monroe County Music Educator’s junior high solo festival for 25 years.

In 2016, Bill was honored by the RPO as an “Outstanding Music Educator”. As a trumpet player Bill still enjoys performing and playing with several local bands. Bill is proud to be a member of the Board of the Rochester Music Hall of Fame.

Steve Bartolotta

Steve has dedicated his life to all aspects of music, audio and video production. Steve is also a IMDB recognized composer “King’s Faith” 2013, and his original compositions can be heard on radio and TV  both nationally and internationally. Steve also enjoys performing locally as a singer and bass player in some of Rochester popular rock bands such as Beatles Roc, Jesus Christ Superstar in Concert and Tillerman. Steve was recognized as one of Rochester’s top male vocalists in the early 90’s (Rochester Music Awards). As a musician and singer Steve has performed and or recorded with members of Blood Sweat and Tears, Jefferson Starship, Foreigner and countless others. His local and national music contacts are the result of his years of dedication to local and regional music scene.

Paul Boutté

Paul C. Boutte is a professional musician, songwriter, and producer whose specialty is Gospel music and the Hammond organ. Currently Paul is the musical director of the Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church, and the Spiritus Christi Church. Paul is an adjunct Professor of Music at the State University of New York at Brockport. Paul currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Rochester Music Hall of Fame and is a founding member of the ROC Music Group LLC.  Paul, as well as his company, The ROC Music Group LLC, also developed the curriculum for the music program of the In Control program of Rochester NY.

Paul is the program director and radio personality of the top rated “Sunday Morning Gospel” radio show on 103.9 WDKX for over 20 years. He currently holds the position of ROCmusic Associate for the City of Rochester’s music program, ROCmusic. Paul has worked as a producer with the likes of Missy Elliot, Shaquille O’Neal, Kierra Sheard, Nicole Wray, and Devante Swing of the group Jodeci and has played as a session musician on Grammy, Stellar, and Dove Awards nominated projects.

On the local scene Paul has been band leader and one of the directors of the annual MLK Musical Celebration Concert as well as the city wide MLK Day Community Service for over 25 years. His recent awards and accomplishments include several Roc Awards such as the Lifetime Achievement Award, a City of Rochester Summer Soul Fest musician for feature acts, and a presentation of the “Key to the City” from Mayor Lovely A. Warren for musical contributions to the Rochester area and beyond. Paul continues to advise, produce, play and promote local talent in the local Gospel and R& B scene of Rochester.

Steve Czubara

For twenty five years Steve has worked with Whirlwind Music 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, and many more. As a music lover with a forty 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.

Mike Dornberger

Mike Dornberger is a proud Board Member and Induction Ceremony Producer for the Rochester Music Hall of Fame.

Mike moved here from Hollywood California in 2004 where he was pursuing a musical career as a singer following an album release. Immediately he joined, as lead vocalist, a few established bands here in Rochester including Perfect World, and currently Hallpass, as well as playing Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar and headlining Tom Petty, and Prince Tributes.

Mike is a father of two boys and is married to his high school senior prom date for the last 20 years.

He has been a stage manager for the Rochester International Jazz Festival for the last 15 years and Producer for the Fringe Festival for the last 3. Mike is a realtor of nearly 20 years and currently also works at Whirlwind Music Distributors.

He enjoys family time, time with his 2 dogs, being with friends and playing guitar. He has a large Pez collection and is a diehard Pittsburgh Steeler fan.

John Dretto

John Dretto is a Rochester Native and a graduate of East High School and St. John Fisher University.  He performed with numerous bands during high school and college from the early 60s to the 70s.  John started at Music Lovers Shoppe, Inc. in 1971, when it was located on Main Street East, downtown Rochester.  He purchased the company in 1980, opened a satellite store in Syracuse, 1991, and operated Music Lovers until 2000.

John has volunteered for several non-profits and served on the Holy Childhood Board of Directors for 25 years.  He remains active with Holy Childhood as a volunteer.

John has been a real estate broker since 2001 and currently produces music shows and events and manages a number of bands and artists with his Maestro Management Company.  He resides in Webster with his Wife, Ramona and has two children, Delaney and Jon.

John joined the Rochester Music Hall of Fame Board of Directors in 2022.

Steven Feder

Steve’s BA degree was in music and he was at one time a full-time performing musician. He is a law partner at Pirrello, Personte & Feder PLLC, and has been a Board member and counsel to the Rochester Music Hall of Fame since the start of the organization. Like many of our Board members, Steve continues to perform part-time (with longtime area groups Time Bandits and Time Bandits Acoustic, and also as a solo acoustic act).

Jerry Falzone

Concert producer, concert promoter and veteran of the road, Jerry spent his twenties traveling throughout Canada, the Eastern and Southern States with rock band Pearl. He spent five years as a talent agent for Rochester Talent Unlimited establishing road tours for local bands. He produced the TV show Beyond the Lyric with Debbie Randyn that featured local and national songwriters. He was also the Program Director for Fort Hill Performing Arts Center and helped establish the Avon Park Theater as a destination venue.  Jerry has produced the stage concerts, Deja Vu All Over Again, a Celebration of the Music of Crosby Stills Nash & Young and It Feels Like Heaven, A Celebration of the Music of Tom Petty.

 Jerry is an independent record producer and has released five of his own records, three with Liar’s Moon. 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, Lake Shore at The Little, Lake Shore at The Mission and Fandango at The Tango, a weekly concert series featuring local and national songwriters.

Jerry is married to Kathy Anetrini-Falzone and currently lives in Port Orange, Florida where he is working on producing his next music series.

Grand Tone

Music Producer, songwriter, Event Promoter, Talent coordinator, Radio Personality and Entertainment Director.

With over 30 years of experience in the development and careers of several music producers, songwriters, musicians and numerous artist (music, art & poetry) and in the entertainment territory of television, radio, comedy, media, and urban magazines, Grand Tone has built and maintained strong relationships within the local and national music and entertainment industry.  He is a respected political event promoter and music coordinator for several event and has hosted various diverse elite soirees and supervised music for live events.

He is also a radio personality and served as Entertainment Director for Arts & culture for Breakthru Magazine.  He has been the liaison for and to the community seeking connections to comedians, performing artist, host for event, and links to establishments to hold events and public forums.  The Roc Award “Best Host” winner, Rochester Black Man Achieve “Entertainer of the Year” honoree/winner, and Breakthru Magazine Icon recipient is currently the Executive Owner of Roc Music LIVE Entertainment which produces, manages, and coordinates live entertainment for events, galas, and music festivals.

Grand tone has received several honors and awards, and a proclamation for his community work with the annual Mayor’s Ball, The Roc summer Soul Fest, Juneteenth, and The Square Fair.  He currently produces the popular weekly music showcase, R&B Wednesdays at Urban Euphoria along with his wife, Lady Star, and will soon be embarking on his new music related podcast The Rhythm & Groove Podcast.  He continues to be an advocate for local artist and their music and continues to be a mentor and consultant for the youth and Rochester’s plethoric entertainment culture.

Rich Greene

Rich Greene has lived in the Rochester area since 1978. He retired in 2020 after a 28 year career in education as an elementary classroom teacher and elementary school principal. Rich is the front man and founding member of the Rochester band Reporter.

He served for more than 12 years on the Board of Directors for Generation Two, a nonprofit now part of The Strong Museum of Play. Generation Two is a school-based universal mental health intervention program using one-on-one child-directed play. https://g2rochester.org/

Rich also served on the Advisory Board for the nonprofit We R 3C, a character education curriculum for elementary schools. https://www.wer3c.org/

He is one of the core team of musicians who created Elvio’s Camp ROC Star, a rock and roll music summer camp for kids. https://rocstaracademy.com/

Rich has written over 100 songs for kids and enjoys performing for audiences of all ages.

Scott Gudell

Scott is a passionate music fan as well as a historian/music critic.  He’s attended over 1500 shows in the States, as well as in Canada, Europe and the Far East, including blues in New Orleans, shows at the Montreal Jazz Festival, opera in Beijing, classical music in Berlin, Salsa and punk in New York City and more.  He’s had over 1000 articles published in regional and international arts and entertainment magazines covering a wide variety of sounds and styles.  In 2023, he was selected to join a panel of international music experts as they critique submissions from around the world for an annual Italian based contest.  Finally, he’s working on several books including one focused on US blues and how it influenced the British Invasion of the 1960s and beyond.

Karl LaPorta

Karl is the founder and former president and CEO of the Rochester Music Hall of Fame. He has played piano and keyboard professionally for 55 years with several groups, and as a solo artist and has been a piano technician for 40 years. In 2014 he composed and recorded his CD The Gift. Karl has been married to his lovely wife Donna for 50 years she was past RMHF secretary and instrumental in the founding of the organization.

Tim Leverett

Tim Leverett is currently Vice President of Marketing for JN White. Prior to that, Tim was the Senior Director of Marketing at an e-commerce fulfillment company, and has held positions in the advertising agency world as Graphic Designer, Art Director, and Creative Director. In 2004, Tim founded a software company with a successful line of children’s entertainment software sold across the U.S. in major retail and in 5 languages and 25 countries around the world.

Tim is also a working musician. He is currently playing drums and touring the United States with Claudia Hoyser and her band, and has played drums with many other Rochester regional bands dating back into the mid 1980’s. He has played in bands which have opened for and played shows with Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Little Big Town, ZZ Top, Brad Paisley, Willie Nelson, Charlie Daniels Band, Little River Band, and many more. Tim is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and composer with achievements such as composing and recording a classical children’s ballet that was premiered by Rochester City Ballet.

In the mid 90’s, Tim worked at Dajhelon Recording Studios in Rochester as the Art Director where he worked on artwork and design with national recording artists including Jodeci, Timbaland, Missy Elliot, Ginuwine, Aliyah and others. He created the artwork and design for Jodeci’s ‘”The Show, The After Party, The Hotel” album, and album singles, earning him 2 Gold and 2 Platinum Record Awards for Artwork & Design.

Tim’s diverse creative background has also honed skills in video production and photography. He has directed, shot, and edited award winning full-length music videos which have aired on CMT, multiple aired tv commercials, and many corporate video projects. He has won numerous photography awards and had many photographs published.

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.

Joe Robach

Former State Senator Joe Robach has earned a reputation as a strong advocate for the Arts and Music at all levels in the Rochester community. In addition to his time on WDKX top rated show, Memory Lane, Joe has supported Greece Performing Arts Society, Ontario Beach Park Music by the Shore as well as many other musical programs and activities. Joe describes himself as a sloppy drummer who loves attending live music performances of several genres.

Joe currently hosts the popular radio show and podcast “Real Talk for Real People” focusing on community and organizations that impact us. On WYSL Radio, the “Voice of Liberty”.

In addition to the Music Hall of Fame Board of Directors, Joe has served on many boards, past and present, including Veterans Outreach Center, The Pirate Toy Fund, the YMCA and The Norman Howard School just to name a few.


Former Members of the Board of Directors

  • Diane Baltadonis
  • Gerald Brongo
  • Alex Carroll
  • Michelle DeFranco
  • Cynthia Gray
  • Susan Gross
  • Kevin Hart
  • Bill Hunt
  • Kent Josphe
  • David LaPorta
  • Donna LaPorta
  • Tracey Lopez
  • Kathy Palokof
  • Bruce Pilato
  • Mark Provenzano
  • Heather Rickett
  • Amy Ryan

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