Staff & Leadership
Luis A. Perez, LMSW
President & Chief Executive Officer
Luis has been instrumental in the creation and expansion of GRSLA. Prior to being named President and CEO, he served as the Executive Director of the Horizons at Harley program and as the Director of Program Support and Expansion for GRSLA.
As President & CEO, Luis advocates for community-wide investment in high quality summer learning programs. Working with both community leaders and our generous funders, Luis continues to stress the need to include summer learning in all strategic plans attempting to close the opportunity gap for students and families in the City of Rochester.
Luis has committed the past 30+ years to helping low-income, inner-city children be successful academically and in life. Find out more here.
Mary Jo Gabel
Chief Financial Officer
Mary Jo volunteers a large portion of her time to serve as GRSLA's Chief Executive Officer. She has been a integral part of GRSLA's leadership since it's inception in 2011, and continues to share her expertise by overseeing the creation and management of GRSLA's budget. Mary Jo works with funders, board members, program directors, and staff to ensure that GRSLA has the finances available to provide as many students as possible with high quality summer learning programs today and well into the future.
Mary Jo is the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of the Hardy Gabel Group, LLC, and is a financial consultant for Career Development Services, a non-for-profit organization focused on assisting individuals and corporations that address the challenges of today’s workplace. In addition, Mary-Jo also served as a Board Member and Chair of the Horizons Enrichment Program at the Harley School and was elected to the Board of the National Program in 2005. She also has six years of mathematics teaching experience in Dryden, NY and in Rochester, NY. Find out more here.
Conger is committed to building GRSLA's capacity in order to one day provide summer learning opportunities to every student in the Rochester City School District.
Conger is one of the founding members of GRSLA and volunteers in a full-time capacity as the board chair. He works with funders, board members, program directors, and staff to create and implement the boards strategic plan, and encourages every community leader, parent, and individual he meets to become a summer learning champion.
Conger is President and Founder of the Hardy Gabel Group, LLC, a management consulting firm specializing in product and technology development and financial management. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of RPC Photonics Corporation.
Early in his career, Conger taught high school physics and mathematics at the Polytechnic School in California and then served as Associate Professor of Optics at the University of Rochester. Find out more here.
Coordinator of Family Outreach & Support/ Manager of Data & Outcomes
Gretchen Smith, LMSW is the Coordinator of Family Outreach & Support and Manager of Data & Outcomes for GRSLA. Gretchen coordinates GRSLA’s family outreach team, which works year-round to maintain connections with summerLEAP families and make summer-after-summer placements possible. She also manages the collection and dissemination of outcome data for GRSLA programs.
As a licensed master social worker, Gretchen holds a BSW from Nazareth College and an MSW from Roberts Wesleyan College.
Before joining GRSLA during summer 2016, she served as a live-in case manager at a house of hospitality for homeless pregnant women in Phoenix, AZ.
Erin O'Brien, LMSW
Family Support Specialist
Erin O’Brien, LMSW is one of two GRSLA Family Support Specialists. Erin coordinates home visits and other outreach with families participating in the summerLEAP program. She supports students, families and teachers involved in summerLEAP throughout the year to ensure each participant has the tools and supports needed to continue to learn.
As a Licensed Master Social Worker, Erin got her Bachelors in Social Work from Syracuse University and her masters at the University of Maryland, with a specialization in Child, Adolescent and Family Health.
Before joining the GRSLA team in 2019, Erin worked with students in a variety of capacities, but most recently worked with students with developmental disabilities as an Early Intervention at the ARC of Genesee Orleans County.
Family Support Specialist
Vialma Ramos is our bi-lingual Family Support Specialist since July 2017. Vialma stresses the risks of summer learning loss and the benefits of participating in a summer learning program. She ensure that families understand that they are making a multi-summer commitment their child's education.
As a parent of a child enrolled in a GRSLA program, Vialma shares first hand experiences, generates excitement and encourages parental involvement in the programs. She hopes that her disclosure allows families to feel more comfortable in making a commitment to the program and ensuring daily attendance.
Vilama obtained an Associate's Degree in Human Services from MCC and a Bachelor's Degree in Developmental Psychology from Empire State College. She has been working in the Human Services field for over 30 years.
Administrative Support Specialist
Brandi helps to keep GRSLA staff, program directors, and board members organized. She oversees GRSLA's website, keeps grant records, takes meeting notes, and organizes training.
Brandi has a Masters in Community Development and Planning from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Before joining GRSLA she was employed by the Department of Recreation and Youth Services for the City of Rochester where she over saw youth and adult service-learning programs for over seven years.
Rachel Perez-Rumpf is the Program Photographer and Snapshot Designer for GRSLA. Rachel photo-documents each EPK and UPK site in the summerLEAP consortium during the summer session. Once the summer program has concluded, Rachel uses the photographs taken to design the Snapshot book; a companion document to the RECAP report published by the The Children’s Institute.
Rachel holds a degree in Photography with a concentration in Photojournalism and Documentary studies and a minor in English from the Rochester Institute of Photography.
Rachel teaches High School digital art during the school year.
Beth Camann is the Financial Consultant for GRSLA. She is responsible to record all financial
transactions on a regular basis throughout the year.
During the summerLEAP program especially, she is
busy keeping tract of expenses and assuring that the programs are funded.
Beth holds a degree in Accounting from Nazareth College and an MBA in Finance from Rochester
Institute of Technology. In addition to GRSLA’s Financial Consulting, Beth also does consulting for
several other not for profit organizations.