WHO WE ARE
Derek Matina graduated from Le Moyne College in 2018. He began Sustainability for Scholarships at Le Moyne College in 2015, however his vision for this organization began much before college. When Derek was in High School, when the idea of Sustainability for Scholarships came to him. Derek's motivation stemmed from the service of his grandfathers, Frank Fantanza and Donald Matina, in WWII, who continued their service to our country through their assistance for disabled veterans long after their deployment. Derek wanted to continue his grandfathers' legacy by also helping veterans, but in a slightly different way. He decided he could assist them by paying for their education. During his freshman year at Le Moyne College, Derek took his business idea to Dr. Magdoleen Ierlan, the Marketing Program Director in the Madden School of Business at Le Moyne. She much liked the idea and has been a part of the Sustainability for Scholarships Board ever since. Since it's beginning, Sustainability for Scholarships has awarded scholarships to eight veterans and veteran dependents.
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Michael D. Sgro is a business owner, a certified professional coach, an advocate, a performance expert and empathic leader. He coaches professionals around the country to improve their overall effectiveness, leadership skills, career readiness, digital savvy and so much more. Sgro, a Syracuse native, ascended the ranks in higher education at several institutions in New York state, earning a stellar reputation for his work with constituent programming, relationship building, professional networking and digital media. He spent 20-years on college campuses in New York City and Central New York before coming home to Syracuse to start his own coaching business.
Katherine S Hyatt is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Yoga teacher, business owner and Entrepreneur located in Cicero, NY. Katherine attended SUNY Oswego for her Bachelors degree in Psychology and a Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling. She completed her 200 hr Yoga teacher certification in 2016. Katherine has been active with the Veteran community since 2012, when she began working at National Veteran’s Crisis Line in Canandaigua, NY. Katherine has been volunteering with Connected Warriors, a program that provides free trauma-conscious yoga to Veterans, Service Members and their family members, at the Syracuse VAMC teaching chair yoga and both mat and chair yoga in the behavioral health inpatient unit, since 2016. Katherine owns Branches of Growth Mental Health Counseling and Yoga Studio, that houses 6 clinicians and many weekly yoga classes all surrounding mental wellness. She is married to Tom, an OIF Army Veteran and mom to 2 fur babies.
Tess Barrett is a Certified Mental Health Counselor and serves as an Academic Advisor at Syracuse University. As one of the academic advisers for undergraduate students, she assists students with all issues and concerns related to being a college student from academic advising to degree completion, and everything in between. She is passionate about providing college students guidance through a holistic approach to develop their sense of self in their personal and professional lives. Tess earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY, and a master’s degree in Student Affairs Counseling from Syracuse University. In her free time, Tess enjoys running, traveling to the Adirondack’s and New England, and hanging out with her dog, Penny.
Ryan O'Donnell is a nonprofit fundraiser-turned-sales professional who is passionate about learning, helping others, and bringing people together.
Ryan serves on the Sales & Marketing team at Rapid Response Monitoring, the industry-leader in professional security monitoring headquartered right in downtown Syracuse, NY. As an Account Executive, he is responsible for supporting the growth and success of several hundred of the company's business partners, while concurrently seeking out new mutually-beneficial business relationships with those who share in the mission to protect life and property.
Ryan is a Syracuse-native, however he attended college and graduated with his Bachelor's degree from Barry University in Miami, Florida. After spending nearly 10 years gaining formative relationship management, volunteer coordination, constituent programming, and fundraising experience, he decided to return from South Florida to Central New York to focus on family and the local community he's always known and loved most.
Ryan's father, uncles, and several of his closest childhood friends are all Veterans, which mainly drew him to the mission of S for S. His love of serving as a connector and the opportunity to apply his knowledge of nonprofit management made his participation a most ideal fit.
Joe is a Financial Planner with HighPoint Advisors, LLC. His career began in the financial services industry in 2010. Joe is a product of Cicero-North Syracuse High School and Le Moyne College, where he excelled in both academics and as a student athlete.
Joe likes to stay active within the Central New York Community and in addition to his work for S4S, he serves on the Community Impact Committee Board for the United Way of CNY; this committee helps make decisions related to funding of other local non-profit and charitable organizations. Joe is also a Finance Committee member for ALS Association’s Upstate New York Chapter, where his skills are put to use for bettering the lives of those struggling with Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He also stays involved with his college Alma Mater through volunteering his time to students as a mentor within the Madden School of Business, and through various projects associated with Le Moyne College.
Matt Read is a teacher, student of life and creative marketer. Matt is a Professor of Practice of advertising, public relations and creative advertising at Le Moyne College, and is a dyed-in-the-wool ad and pr executive. He began his career at Ogilvy & Mather in New York City, built relationships at Mower and was the COO of the Digital Hyve. Matt also operates as a contributing writer and as a marketing communications consultant to advertising/PR agencies, media outlets and other organizations, his work includes Ben Walsh's Mayoral Campaign, Strategic Financial, Galaxy Communications and other businesses. He has worked with a wide range of brands across a variety of B2B and B2C industries, including the American Dairy Association, Unilever, Aveda and Nationwide Insurance. He is also the co-founder of the online cooking show Spatchcock Funk.
Yvonne Scott-Younis was born and raised in Syracuse N.Y. and is a Brand Development Manager
for Mohawk Global, a private supply chain solutions and international trade advising company
in North Syracuse.
Having an eclectic background as it relates to her formal education, Yvonne earned a B.S. in
Business Administration from SUNY Oswego and an M.B.A. from Syracuse University. She also
earned professional certificates in Professional Fundraising from Boston University, Nourishing
Tomorrow’s Leaders (for Board Service) from The Gifford Foundation, Executive Communication
from Public Relations Society of America, and in Digital Marketing from Columbia Business
Many local and regional charities are near and dear to Yvonne. She has widespread volunteer
and board service experience with non-profits that address hunger, addiction recovery,
terminal diseases, welfare, and veterans. She has many family members who served in all
branches of our military, including her husband who was a member of the U.S. Army for five
years during Desert Shield/Storm.
Jennifer Walters is a fundraiser, relationship builder, and attorney. She works for Syracuse University as a corporate and foundation relations officer.
A Syracuse native, Jennifer has peppered her career with a variety of experiences with a focus on higher education, career development and corporate relations. Walters is a Le Moyne graduate with a BS in Biology and Chemistry, and holds a JD from Syracuse University College of Law.
THE ADVISORY BOARD
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Sustainability for Scholarships is in the process of adding an Advisory Board.
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