Board of Directors

Dan Misko
Board President

Pegula Sports
Senior Vice President
Andrew Bennett
Board Treasurer

The Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Foundation
Vice President
Lisa Scally

Golf Professional
Oak Hill Country Club


Dr. Mandip Panesar

Associate Medical Director/
Chief Medical Information
Officer – ECMC
space
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

Staff

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.

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, and 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.

Personal..

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!