As current board members of First Tee-Western New York, we are fortunate to see the value in our youth and the impact we can make by investing our time. We believe in the mission of our organization and encourage you to join us in supporting it.  

The board needs a variety of skills including, but not limited to accounting, human resource, legal, technology, and media expertise, as well as those connected to local foundations.  The Board Development Committee is accepting applications. Individuals interested in board service or serving on a committee can complete an application below or contact Timothy Karches, Executive Director, 716.250-3355 for more information. 

Board of Directors

Dan Misko
Board President
Pegula Sports
Senior Vice President
Chales Pezzino
Board Vice President
Accounting & Auditing Partner Tronconi Segarra & Associates

Board Treasurer
Board Secretary
Andrew Bennett
Chief Development Officer Kaleida Health

Kevin Berchou
M&T Bank
Head of
Internal Communications

Lisa Bolognese
Director of Information Technology Town of Cheektowaga
Travis Geiger
Akamai Technologies 
Ryan Gilbert 
Partner PWC 
Gary Hall Jr.
Executive Director
Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.
Niagara Community Center

Dan Kelly
Hodgson Russ

Jaimie Miller
Account Vice President
The Arthurs Malof Group
UBS Financial Services, Inc.

Brian Pilarski
Executive Director Seneca Babcock Foundation 

Victoria Schiro
Executive Director WNY PGA 


Tim Karches
Executive Director
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 Executive Director role in the summer of 2022.

Tim is grateful for 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.

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.