Board of Directors

Dan Misko
Board President
Pegula Sports
Senior Vice President
Andrew Bennett
Kids First Tournament Director
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Thomas Baker
Sandhill Investment Management
Investment Advisor
Dr. Mandip Panesar
Associate Medical Director/
Chief Medical Information
Officer – ECMC
Kevin Berchou
M&T Bank
Head of
Internal Communications
Gary Hall Jr.
Executive Director
Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.
Niagara Community Center
Patrick Sgroi
Board Member Emeritus
Sgroi Financial, LLC



Tim Frank
Executive Director
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How I got involved with The First Tee of WNY…

I have been involved with The First Tee of Western NY as a board member and then as Board President in 2017. I was introduced to the program at the Kids First Golf event in 2015 as an invited guest. I retired from the information technology sector in 2017 where I was the co-founder and CEO of Inergex (now Crossfuze). It was exciting, but after 32 years in the information technology business, I was ready for a career change.

Golf Related

I am extremely passionate about the game. I am a Golf Level 2 Titleist Performance Institute certified instructor and both a Certified Interscholastic Coach and Accredited Interscholastic Coach. I specialize in biomechanics and the kinematic sequence. I have worked with several top junior players on both a local and national level.

I really enjoy analytics and statistics for managing risk and shot percentages, any sort of game improvement technology, swing analysis, the mental game/strategy, and more. I coach High School Varsity golf at Alden HS in addition to coaching Varsity Tennis. I also volunteer as a rules official for the NYSGA for several state events each year. I believe that learning should be a lifelong venture.

Favorite current golfers: Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler

Favorite golf legend: Bobby Jones

On the personal side…

I have been married almost over 30 years and have an 22 year old son who is senior at the UB School of Architecture. My wife and I also took full custody of my 2 nephews when they were 11 and 12 (in 1999) and raised them through adulthood – both are in their 30s today. Like most IT professionals I am a science/fantasy fiction nut and I play bass and guitar.

Fun Fact: I still roller disco from time to time…

Back to the First Tee of Western NY…

Having been intimate with The First Tee and the programming, I was excited to have the opportunity to get more engaged and have an impact on our growth and sustainability. I have aspirations to grow and expand The First Tee of Western NY into areas throughout the region so our programs can have a greater and lasting impact on the youth in our communities. I will be relying on our great coaches to do just that!! Our goal is not to produce the best golfers as part of a junior golf program, but to enhance the lives of our youth through the life lessons our programs teach.

Tim Karches
Program Consultant
STEM Coordinator
TFT Recognized Coach
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Tim Karches also know as Coach Tim has been involved as a coach with the First Tee of Western New York since 2007. Tim took over the Program Director role in the fall of 2019. Along with his duties as The First Tee Program Director he has been a classroom teacher in The Holland Central School District for over 18 years.

Tim is grateful for the The First Tee which allows him to combine his passion for golf and skills as an educator to extend opportunities to young golfers who may otherwise not be introduced to the game.

Tim continues to teach and learn about the game of golf with the help of his Wife Jessica and especially his three kids, Owen, Ethan , Abby who grow their own games through The First Tee of Western New York.

Janet Battaglia
Outreach Coordinator
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How I got involved with The First Tee of WNY…

I was first introduced to The First Tee of WNY as a PE Teacher in the Amherst Central School District. Out staff was trained in The First Tee National School Program. I retired from Amherst in 2017 and began volunteering with the summer The First Tee of Western NY Life Skills Programs at Brighton and Grover Cleveland Golf Courses. I enjoyed the opportunity to continue working with children and especially bought into the Core Values and Healthy Habit components of The First Tee curriculum. In January of 2018, I was asked to work more extensively in the organization as the Outreach Coordinator. In this capacity I work with area schools and community groups to help grow our program locally. Additionally, I coach Life Skills Classes that run during the year.

Golf Related..

I have enjoyed getting back into golf in recent years. I appreciate the natural setting, panoramic views, the exercise and socialization. I have worked at improving my game by playing more often and focusing on the mental aspects of the game. I believe golf allows you to get a better understanding of yourself, your actions and reactions and your mental approach to situations.


I have been married to my husband, Pete, for 35 years. Together we raised three great children and have one grandson and another on the way. In my time at Amherst, I coached many different sports but mainly was involved in Lacrosse at the high school and middle school levels. I have run an area summer girls lacrosse camp at Amherst for 20 years.

Erich Spitz
Program Director
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Kristen Bromley
Kristen Bromley
Director of Outreach
and Fundraising
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I first started golfing when I was about 5 years old and it certainly helps having a twin brother just as competitive (on and off the golf course) motivating me to get better. I attended Pittsford Sutherland HS and played on their Varsity Girls Team 7th – 12th grade. I attended Siena College in Loudonville, NY where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. I was on the Women’s Golf team and we won the MAAC Conference Championship in 2014, earning us an NCAA bid at regionals hosted by Oklahoma State University. I served as the Student Athlete Mentor and Co-Captain my junior and senior year.

Upon graduating, I traveled to Belfast, Northern Ireland as part of the Sport Changes Life Foundation for a year. I attended Ulster University and received my Master’s Degree in Sport Coaching and Development; coached junior golf at Holywood Golf Club; and mentored a variety of youth groups in the Belfast community using sport as the outlet.

For the past year, I worked at Brook-Lea Country Club as the Membership & Marketing Director and have also worked for the Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic hosted by Brook-Lea since 2015.

I’m excited to be apart of The First Tee of WNY in Rochester where I’m confident we can continue to introduce and grow the game we all love!