2022-2024 DWR Board
Lori Jeanne Gauthier
Lori Jeanne has been living in Rochester for 33 years, having moved from Springfield, MA to attend NTID (SVP ’89). She received a degree in Marketing & Sales from Bryant and Stratton College in 1995. After several years as a full-time mom to her four beautiful children, she worked as a pre-K paraprofessional with the Rochester City School District and then as a home health aide with Unity Health System. She now works as a Rehab Caregiver for Rochester Regional Health. She is also a health coach—on the side—and loves it! Her favorite hobbies are gatherings, tea parties, dancing, listening to music, traveling, boating, arts and crafts, nutrition and fitness, meditation, and spending quality time with her husband, family, and two affectionate cats, Bruce and Sunshine. Lori Jeanne previously hosted DPHH and DNO events and currently hosts an annual outdoor tea party. She is now humbled and honored to serve the community of Deaf Women as the President of DWR.
Hi! I am Eileen Todesco, am a New York native, having grown up in Mt. Morris, the little town next to Letchworth State Park. I attended Rochester School for the Deaf and graduated from there in 1985. I went to college but did not finish completing my degree. I am a proud mom of a son, 34, and a daughter, 32 and have been married for 34 years. My hobbies are traveling, reading, spending time with family and friends and being active in various organizations such as RSDAA, RRCD and now this wonderful organization called DWR.
Graduated from the RIT Social Work program and currently work at NTID. I love animals and nature. Seeing sunsets where ever I am is always refreshing to my soul. Getting up for the occasional sunrise does wonders, as well. I love analyzing finances and learning about Financial Independence, hence the reason I became Treasurer. I am happily married and raising a wonderful kid! Hope to meet more folks at various events. Come find out which football team I support and what other sports I love. :-)
Website & Social Media Coordinator
Karen Putz is the author of multiple books, including “Unwrapping Your Passion.” Karen holds a BS and MA in Counseling and Rehabilitation Counseling. She is a transformational coach and is known as "The Passion Mentor." Karen is an adjunct instructor at RIT, teaching "Finding Your Passion".
For fun, Karen likes to barefoot water ski. She is on a quest to barefoot water ski in all 50 states. New York was her 22nd state! Other fun activities include disc golf, painting, hiking, and exploring lakes on a SeaDoo.
I hold a BS degree in Social Work and an MS degree in Career and Human Resources Development from RIT. I am currently an Assistant Director assisting deaf and hard-of-hearing students with their employment searches in fields such as Applied Computer Technology and Information Technology. I teach courses related to job search processes, help students develop their interviewing skills, advise them about employment trends and coach them on finding co-op/internship opportunities. I develop and enhance employment opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing students and graduates of RIT. Based on requests from companies and organizations, I travel and conduct employer training workshops "Working Together: Deaf and Hearing People" regarding accommodations and integration in the workplace. I also work with the staff and faculty of the colleges and share job trends. Other past responsibilities include in this role being a campus coordinator of the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) for RIT/NTID deaf and hard of hearing students and graduates who are interested in job opportunities with federal/government agencies and private sectors. I was a team leader for coordinating programming offerings for students and alumni to continue learning about various topics such as career readiness, accommodation tools used in the workforce, etc. Most currently, I am on the team for the Training Resources and Career Coaching for the Deaf(TRACCD) program, which help deaf people whose career or career advancement has been derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic get back on track.
Enough about my career…
A few more facts about me:
I with my Deaf parents moved from the Ukraine in 1994 and now live in Rochester, NY with her husband, Dmitriy Kiselgof- who also hail from Russia- and two daughters.
I am a watermelon girl. I used to eat watermelons for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and supper. Watermelons are my food number 1 but now I eat it very moderately.
I am a tea girl. I drink hot water/tea exclusively and even during the hot weather. (I am not a British royal member.☺)
Intermittent fasting (IF) has become the way of my life. If you are intrigued to know more about IF, shower me with questions.
I experienced one of the steepest and fastest zip line in Dubai, flying for .6 miles in length and 557.743 feet in height and with an average speed of 50mile/hour.
I am antlophobic. I fear the power of floods.
I struggle with being a perfectionist but learning to overcome it.
I enjoy teaching courses Russian Sign Language (RSL) classes at NTID. In 2019 I led a faculty study abroad program with deaf and interpreting students to Moscow and St. Petersburg, which is my birthplace.
I have recently discovered the joy of adding plants to our house. I am striving to be a green thumb. Unfortunately, I lack patience when it comes to gardening.
I am learning new things every day through reading, browsing social media, trying new recipes, attending gatherings, and traveling are some of my favorite hobbies.
Director of DWR Sponsors
Ellen Warner has been living in Rochester for 35 years having moved from Albany, NY. She attended NTID to study business, and then became a full-time mom of 4 beautiful children. She got back into the workforce and worked in the education space at Rochester School for the Deaf, RIT, and St Rita’s Catholic School. As well as working with a deaf group home where she supported them in everyday life skills for 8 years.
After many years of being a soccer mom and traveling the country, she cultivated her love for communication and people and joined American Communications Network, being the first deaf woman in the company. She was able to bring recognition for the deaf community by working alongside the CEO to make the content more inclusive while empowering and training new members. Ellen was granted the “Power of Leadership” and “The Inspiration Award” and recently became the Regional Coordinator.
She is humbled and excited to continue providing leadership and inspiration to others on the Helping Hands Committee as a Chairperson of The Deaf Women of Rochester "to foster a deeper appreciation and recognition of the role of Deaf Women in deaf culture among the deaf as well as the general public.”
In her free time, she enjoys long walks with her dogs, spending time with her family, traveling, and reading books
Hi! My name is Michele Steele. I am glad to return Rochester after six years residing in St. Louis, Missouri. I am currently working for NTID Outreach Program.
Mary Karol Matchett, previous DWR Advisor and I were co-chair for Deaf Girls of Rochester.
Lived in Rochester, NY longer than my birth state.
Proud Mom of two adult children and their significant others.
I root for Dallas Cowboys!!
Meditation every day.
Focus today, worry about tomorrow when new day arrives. I look forward to meeting each of you. Let’s learn new things and have fun!
I am a research faculty in the NTID Center on Culture and Language and strongly believe Western New York has two seasons: skiing and sailing. Also, I love shooting photos from different destinations around the world.