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.

Tracey Lopez, Treasurer

Tracey has been the accountant at Parkleigh for 30 years. Her love of music has drawn her to volunteering for the Rochester International Jazz Festival and working for the Springut Group’s many music festivals. When she’s not working or volunteering, she can be found out somewhere enjoying Rochester’s amazing music scene.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Steve Bartolotta

Steve is a professional composer and musician who was born and raised in Rochester NY. As a singer, instrumentalist and composer for Sony Pictures as well as many others, he has created compositions that are heard internationally. Steve is also the owner of the audio and video production facility, Markethold Productions Inc. founded in 1994. He currently lives in Fairport with his wife Diann and is active as the co-founder of the “Steel Rail Revival“, an annual music festival to benefit Rochester Regional Health’s Neurosciences department.

Kent Joshpe

Kent has a gold record hanging on his wall, but it’s not due to his musical prowess. It was a gift from the band Anthrax, whose logo and album cover he created back in the 80s. Kent grew up in New York City, then came to Rochester to study Graphic Design at RIT. His family owned a summer home in the Catskills and in 1969 their town hosted the original Woodstock festival. Although only 12 at the time, the experience—and later the music—had a deep and lasting impression. Kent is Owner/ Creative Director of Antithesis Advertising and contributes to the RMHF’s Marketing Committee.

Karl LaPorta

John Dretto

Grand Tone

Former Members of the Board of Directors

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

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