About Us

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Our Guiding Principles

These are the essential beliefs that govern the actions of all those who are associated with the United Way of Northern Chautauqua County.

  • Respect for all members of our community.
  • Responsiveness to the needs of the community
  • Open and accountable
  • Integrity and honesty
  • High levels of participation and collaboration
  • Passionate belief in our community

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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The United Way of Northern Chautauqua County, committed to the creed of “Live United,” will strive to model and demonstrate diversity, equity, and inclusion within all our operations. In a community that is increasingly diversified, we value and recognize that all our neighbors face challenges and desire opportunities to be part of the solutions we bring to our community.

We acknowledge that racial inequity, ethnic discrimination, and language barriers have prevented some of those within our community from thriving, being able to access important services, or feeling included within our communities. Our organization will use its position to promote equity and inclusion for all of those in our region, especially those that have lacked access or opportunity and faced barriers in the past.

Our staff, board, volunteers, and partners will make decisions that are inclusive of the voices of those being served and representative of our community. Programming will address barriers to access, ensure that all individuals have the help they need, and strive to ensure delivery from a diverse network of professionals. To fully meet our potential as a community we must ensure that all of our neighbors are included, and that systemic barriers no longer hold people back from achieving their potential.

Who We Are

Our Team & Leadership

The United Way of Northern Chautauqua County depends on community-minded individuals to provide us with a strategic vision to ensure we are meeting the needs of the communities we serve. Our current board of directors consists of the following outstanding individuals …

Tyler Gotowka

Tyler Gotowka

Sales and Risk Professional

A St. Bonaventure graduate with Dean’s List honors, Tyler worked at Philadelphia Insurance for five years before starting at Lawley in 2012. Since joining Lawley, Tyler spent five years on the board of Catholic Charities of WNY. He helped start and organize the Northern Chautauqua Young Professionals Group, Tyler also served on the Chautauqua County COVID-19 Relief team that raised just under $1,000,000 to help community members in need.

Tyler served on the board of Boys & Girls Club of WNY for three years where he helped manage over $5,000,000 in additional funds (mainly from the Ralph Wilson Foundation) to the thirteen Boys & Girls clubs in WNY. He has served on the Board of the United Way of Northern Chautauqua County for six years, with the last three years as president.

Jennifer L. Wilkins

Jennifer L. Wilkins

Internship Coordinator, SUNY Fredonia

Jennifer is an alumnus of Fredonia with degrees in education at the Masters and Bachelors level. Prior to accepting the Internship Coordinator role in the Career Development Office in 2011 she served as a full-time Residence Hall Director for seven years and worked part-time with the Admissions Office, Summer Orientation, Career Development & Student Affairs division. Jennifer demonstrates a commitment to inclusive excellence, and the ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with students, alumni, employers, faculty, and staff.

As a 20+ year resident of northern Chautauqua County, Jennifer has extended her reach beyond the work day to include active participation in local charity fundraisers, volunteer commitments, and leadership board roles with the local soccer organization, boy scouts, WNY Association of College Career Counselors, SUNY Career Development Organization, and Conference Co-chair. She was most recently recognized for “Excellence in Employer/Faculty/Community Collaborations,” amongst all SUNY schools, and by the Fredonia College Council, as a recipient of the “Award for Community Engagement.”

Lucas Catalano

Lucas Catalano

Fredonia FSA

Lucas is a lifelong resident of the Dunkirk-Fredonia community.  He is an alumnus of SUNY Fredonia with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Lucas currently works for the Faculty Student Association at SUNY Fredonia as an account receivable clerk. Lucas has a tight-knit family. His parents, Joan and Gregory Catalano, were teachers for the Dunkirk City School District. Lucas’ sister, Rebecca, resides in the Buffalo area. Lucas serves as the Board Secretary for the United Way of Northern Chautauqua County, a board member for the Dunkirk City School district, and the Treasurer for CSEA Local #607.

Kelly Dimitri

Kelly Dimitri

Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer

Kelly is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University where she received her undergraduate accounting degree and MBA.

After spending several years working in Buffalo at Ernst & Young and M&T Bank, Kelly entered the not-for-profit sector by joining the Chautauqua County Chapter of NYSARC, Inc., better known as The Resource Center in Jamestown, NY.

Kelly serves as both COO and CFO for this organization that supports individuals with disabilities and other challenges in achieving maximum independence, contributing to their community, experiencing lifelong growth, and enjoying quality of life.

Jessica L. Winder

Jessica L. Winder

Site Manager/Social Work Supervisor 1

Jessica L. Winder, LCSW-R was a SUNY Fredonia Social Work program graduate who returned to the community in recent years for work and to live with her family. Her exposure to the United Way was in part from her professional experiences as a clinical social worker in the communities she has served and participating in the NYS SEFA campaign over the past 16 years. She has worked with individuals from all walks of life, but her current focus is working with adults who have a mental health diagnosis. She looks forward to continuing to help serve the Northern Chautauqua Region and assisting them in accessing needed services the United Way provides to the community.

John Noel

John Noel

Training Specialist

John Noel is a native of Kansas City, Missouri who was raised in Tampa, Florida. He received his bachelor’s degree from Central Methodist University, in Fayette, MO, where he lettered in both football and track for three years. He is a veteran of the Army Reserve serving 8 years in the Med Corps.

He currently resides in Fredonia with his wife, Dr. Patricia Noel, a professor at SUNY Fredonia in the biology department. He has two wonderful children, Lyla and Wyatt.

A veteran in the education field, John has been a teacher, administrator, corporate trainer as well as a college recruiter. He currently works at Wells Enterprises as a training specialist and is the defensive coordinator for the SUNY Erie Community College in Orchard Park NY.

Jacob E. Sam

Jacob E. Sam

CEO

Jacob Sam is a high-performing entrepreneur and executive-level business leader. Jacob continues to find success in his role as President of The AG Team, paving the way for the future of logistics and transportation.

The AG Team has seen a tremendous amount of success and growth over the span of Jacob’s tenured career. This foresight enables Jacob to stay competitive in a volatile market by leveraging a proven track record of speed, accuracy, and superior customer service.

Adam Dolce

Adam Dolce

Executive Director

Adam developed a passion for helping through community service as a teenager, resulting in a career spent in service to others. Throughout his 16 years working with the Job Corps program, he organized projects and activities that engaged students in this passion for helping others, resulting in thousands of hours of service to the community.

He has served on numerous boards, including the Chautauqua County Youth Bureau, Cattaraugus-Allegany WIB Youth Council, and currently serves on the board of the Sonshine Charity Fund and Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union. Starting as the Executive Director of the United Way of Northern Chautauqua County in 2018, he has continued to find ways to bring individuals together to have an impact on others.

Under his leadership, the UWNCC has taken on an annual Coat Drive, emphasized building collaborative relationships with nearby United Ways, and strengthened corporate and public sector partnerships. Adam holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management from Grand Canyon University and resides in Dunkirk, NY with his wife and two children.

Kyle Yelich

Principal

Kyle Yelich is the High School Principal of Silver Creek Central Schools. 

Mr. Yelich has been an educator since 2009, serving as a teacher, building leader, and district administrator throughout Western New York. During that time, Mr. Yelich has worked with various non-for profit organizations to raise money for causes such as cancer, homelessness, and child abuse and neglect, as well as national causes such as Wounded Warrior and the Salvation Army.

Kyle volunteers as a coach at Elevation Combat Sports Academy in downtown Fredonia. He has been a member of the staff for almost 10 years. He and his family are passionate about volunteering and giving back to the north county. They strive to make a positive impact in school and in the greater community. 

Mike Ringler

Leadership

Past Presidents

For over seventy years, our organization has benefitted from outstanding volunteer leadership.

2019 Rebecca Hamlet Kapple
2017-18 Kyle Leikam
2014-16 Richard Erdle
2012-13 James Subjack
2010-11 John D’Agostino
2008-09 Peggy Tiffany
2007 John Gullo
2005-06 John D’Agostino
2004 Jim Kurtz
2002-03 Katherine Kaus
2001 R. Timothy Eades
2000 Charles Divine
1999 Ronald Hall
1997-98 David Korzenski
1996 Daniel O’Rourke
1995 Lawrence Witkowski
1994 Bonny Wade
1993 David Mackowiak
1992 Roger Britz

1990-91 David Larson
1989 James MacDonald
1988 Philip W. Lord
1987 Peter B. Huiner
1986 John W. Kam
1985 L. Walter Schultze
1984 Carol Case Siracuse
1983 Donald F. Maxson
1982 Douglas Carder
1981 Elizabeth Goodman
1980 Peter D. Clard
1979 Al Dent
1977 & 78 Bruce Ritenburg, Jr.
1976 Reg Corsi
1975 David C. Drayo
1974 Howard Schickler
1973 Harold Zell
1972 Michael Brunecz
1971 S. Michael LoCicero
1970 J. William Farrell

1969 Dallas Beal
1968 Martin Hemphill
1967 Richard Seville
1966 Ernest J. Green
1965 W. Kendall Palmer
1964 Philip W. Evans
1963 Harold Ferrington
1962 Julius Bachman
1961 Michael Sam
1960 Robert Webster
1959 Harry Porter
1958 William Wells
1957 John Foster
1956 Edward Orcutt
1955 John Foster
1954 Alvin Surma
1952-53 Bruce Ritenburg, Jr.
1951 Byron Woodin
1950 Hugh Carrough