Savvy Over 60

Savvy Over 60: Brenda McDuffie

Mar 27, 2019
Buffalo Urban League

Brenda McDuffie was not born in Buffalo, but she has spent her professional career making the city a better place to live. She retains no Brooklyn-born accent, but the public housing she grew up in remains her inspiration to tiredlessly help disadvantaged residents gain the diverse quality-of-life skills needed to provide for themselves and their families. McDuffie chairs the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, is a member of the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable and, this year, celebrates 20 years as President and CEO of the Buffalo Urban League.

Savvy Over 60: Dr. Janet Sung

Mar 27, 2019
Marian Hetherly / WBFO News

Dr. Janet Sung arrived in the United States in 1972 with only her CPA husband John and the $200 their native South Korea allowed its emigrants at the time. Fifteen years later, the couple opened their own radiology practice in a renovated Pizza Hut with pink doors in Cheektowaga. She was the only doctor and had only one x-ray, one mammogram and one ultrasound machine. Little did she know, in 2002 the Erie County Legislature would honor the business, then known as Windsong Radiology, as the largest free-standing diagnostic imaging center in the United States - and it has continued to grow, now serving more than 400,000 visits annually at five locations across Western New York.

Savvy Over 60: Kathleen Garvey

Mar 20, 2019

Kathleen Garvey, 67, has reinvented herself several times. She began her career as a registered nurse, then taught nursing in Houston and at D'Youville College in Buffalo. At the end of the Vietnam War, she used those nursing skills in the U.S. Army Reserves, then on active duty and again in the reserves, eventually obtaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. However, after two decades of military service, it was time to reinvent herself again. Garvey graduated law school and worked on Medicare appeals and the Erie County Medical Malpractice Reform Model. Most recently, she began her own elder law practice, but continues to volunteer with veteran organizations.

Savvy Over 60: Patti Jones

Mar 20, 2019

Patti Jones has considered herself a typical female since she was a very young boy named Peter. She earned her degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology, joined the family machine and tool design company, taught skiing and snowboarding, raced sailboats, was "happily married to a wonderful woman" for 24 years and had a daughter. It was at the age of 50 - in 2004 - she formally transitioned and has since been dedicated to Western New York's LGBTQ communities as an activist and mentor. Jones shared her journey with WBFO.

Savvy Over 60: Leslie Zemsky

Mar 13, 2019

Leslie Zemsky has perhaps the best job title in Western New York. As Director of Fun (and Vice President) of her family-run Larkin Development Group, she is helping infuse "whimsy amongst the warehouses" of what was Buffalo's first business district. A lifelong philanthropist dedicated to numerous nonprofit causes and board memberships, Zemsky began a creative new adventure in 2002 when the family sold its Russer Foods and bought the Larkin Terminal Warehouse at 726 Exchange St. Since then, the area has blossomed into a vibrant community hub powered by her altruistic energy, called Larkinville.

Savvy Over 60: Peg Overdorf

Mar 13, 2019
Valley Community Association

Down in the Valley is Margaret "Peg" Overdorf. Hang your head over the Michigan Avenue Lift Bridge and you can hear her wind blow. This year, Overdorf is celebrating 40 years as Executive Director of the Valley Community Association, from which has bloomed a renewal along the Ohio Street Corridor to the Buffalo River. You may not recognize their names, but the VCA, Overdorf and her close-knit army of volunteers are leaving their mark on our region, serving families and turning former polluted dumping grounds into waterfront destinations.

Savvy Over 60: Paula Feroleto

Mar 6, 2019
Marian Hetherly / WBFO News

During the housing crisis a decade ago, an estimated one-third of civil filings in New York State Supreme Court were foreclosures. "It was huge numbers," remembers the Hon. Paula Feroleto, "so the court had to adapt how cases were treated." Today issues like the opioids crisis, jailing people with mental illness and Buffalo's influx of refugees are requiring new thinking. As Administrative Judge of the Eighth Judicial District, Feroleto's role is to supervise all 95 judges and 850 employees in Western New York's 22 courts while preserving justice for all.

Savvy Over 60: Sheila Kee

Mar 6, 2019
Marian Hetherly / WBFO News

Few Western New Yorkers have led a hospital and fewer have been women. Then there is Sheila Kee. She has led three local hospitals, the Community Health Association of New York State and the Western Region for the state Health Department. Since September 2008, she has served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, where her imprint can be found on many transformational initiatives. However, her career sprung from one of the most important periods in American politics.

Savvy Over 60: Ellen E. Grant

Mar 1, 2019
Weiss Institute / Say Yes to Education

Ellen E. Grant is a fellow at the Weiss Institute, an initiative of Say Yes to Education that marshals best practices and the latest research to address inequities and boost economic development by supporting young people from early childhood to adult success. It is the latest of many leadership hats worn by this savvy woman over 60, who grew up in Buffalo's public housing to become a nurse, a social worker, a licensed therapist, an executive coach, a college instructor, Director of Cornerstone Manor, Vice President at BlueCross/BlueShield of Western New York, President and CEO of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, Erie County Commissioner of Mental Health and City of Buffalo Deputy Mayor.

Savvy Over 60: Althea Luehrsen

Mar 1, 2019
Leadership Buffalo

Althea Luehrsen has been CEO of Leadership Buffalo since January 2012 and is Co-founder and Vice Chair of Women Who Lead WNY. Through service, diversity, inclusion and openness to change, she believes giving back to her community is key to the success of the region. She does this every day, not only by freely sharing her 40 years of work experience, but through numerous board memberships and nonprofit causes. No wonder her career is full of accolades and her mantelpiece with awards.


Savvy Over 60: WNY Women of Influence

Mar 1, 2019
Eileen Elibol / WNED/WBFO

On this first day of March, WBFO is beginning a celebration of Women's History Month with a feature seriesĀ  we are calling "Savvy Over 60."