Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Welcomes CLIMB Class of 2020-21

Chamber Leadership Initiative: Mentoring for Business

ROCHESTER, NY (September 29, 2020) Rochester Chamber’s CLIMB, or Chamber Leadership Initiative: Mentoring for Business, has selected 23 young leaders representing a wide variety of roles and industries in the Rochester/Finger Lakes region, to participate in the 2020-21 program. This marks the fourth cohort of young professionals to participate in CLIMB.

An experiential leadership development program, CLIMB provides young professionals with education, peer connections, and resources to help them ascend to new heights of leadership and success within their organizations and community. Throughout the year-long experience, participants undergo an in-depth exploration of the regional economy, receive personalized development training from The XLR8 Team, and are matched with an executive from the business community for a one-to-one mentoring relationship. Upon successful completion of the program, CLIMB graduates are asked to join the Future Leaders Advisory Council (FLAC) to provide key insight and engagement with Rochester Chamber leadership. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020-21 CLIMB program will be conducted virtually.

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bob Duffy said, “CLIMB is a commitment to our next generation of leaders in a time when their vision and courage are needed more than ever. This program arms them with the knowledge and connections they need to succeed and to bring our region along with them. We are thrilled this year to welcome a strong and diverse cohort, representing some of the best rising talent that Rochester and the Finger Lakes has to offer. Our special thanks to the Executive Mentors for volunteering their time and talent to invest in our young leaders. We look forward to another great year of growth and exploration.”

The Greater Rochester Chamber CLIMB Class of 2020-21 includes:

  • Lindsey Badger, Constellation Brands
  • Kyle Banks, RG&E
  • Nick Carleton, WeldWorks
  • Abigail Jamison Clark, Abigail Ventures
  • Myles Forsett, Anchin, Block & Anchin, LLP
  • Robert Hoggard, Rochester Regional Health
  • Lauren Iuranich, REDCOM Electronics Manufacturing Services
  • William Leinen, Ward Greenberg
  • Tim Lynch, IDEX
  • Caroline McClendon, Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network
  • Matthew Murphy, ESL Federal Credit Union
  • Kai Namesda, Pennant Ingredients
  • Nonso Nwanze, Rochester Regional Health
  • Joy Pierce, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery
  • Robert Poltrino, Wright Productions
  • Farrah Qadri, Rochester Regional Health
  • Julie Riley, Paychex
  • Courtney Brooke Santiago, BE Innovations
  • Elisabeth Stojkovic, Cameron Community Ministries
  • Douglas Thoma, Broccolo Garden Center
  • Bryn Virkler, Bryn Virkler Communications
  • Kiara Warren, City of Rochester
  • Colin Young, Sage Rutty

Greater Rochester Chamber thanks its 2020-21 CLIMB Executive Mentors:

  • Kim Allen, Dixon Schwabl
  • Dave Beinetti, SWBR
  • Dr. Hiloni Bhavsar, Rochester Regional Health
  • Steve Blowers, Lifetime Assistance
  • Julie Camardo, Zweigle's
  • Ann Marie Cook, Lifespan
  • Shaquana Divers, Excellus BCBS
  • Lauren Dixon, Dixon Schwabl
  • Barb Egenhofer, ROC2025
  • Amy Gurske, CAUSE + EFFECT Strategy
  • Sanjay Hiranandani, Bluespout
  • Ray Isaac, Isaac Heating & Air
  • John Loury, CAUSE + EFFECT Strategy
  • Yasmin Mattox, Arkatecht
  • Hon. Renee Forgensi Minarik, NYS Court of Claims
  • Aaron Newman, CloudCheckr
  • Wade Norwood, Common Ground Health
  • Sujatha Ramanujan, Luminate Accelerator at NextCorps
  • Tyrone Reaves, TruForm Manufacturing
  • Jaime Saunders, United Way of Greater Rochester
  • Donna Shultz, Mirror Show Management
  • Matt Tipple, JP Morgan Chase
  • Jerome Underwood, Action for a Better Community

For more information on the CLIMB program, visit

Climb 2020 21