Niagara Honor Roll: Recognizing the accomplishments of Western New Yorkers - The Buffalo News
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Niagara Honor Roll: Recognizing the accomplishments of Western New Yorkers

Preservation Buffalo Niagara appointed four new trustees to its board at its August meeting. They are: Barbara Marchelos, Patrick Brown and Bob Drozdowski of Niagara Falls and Ramona Whitaker of Buffalo.

Marchelos is an active environmentalist and a retired teacher. Over the last 30 years, she has been involved with preservation projects in Niagara Falls including the attempt to save the Wintergarden and the Falls Chimney which was built before the War of 1812.

She has followed such projects as the Frederick Law Olmsted Parks Prospect Park in Niagara Falls, supports the recent Maid of the Mist to the U.S. side of border and is interested in restoring the Parkway and reestablishing a visitor friendly access along the Niagara River Gorge. Another project she considers worthy of attention is the restoration of the Frontier House in Lewiston.

Brown, a certified public accountant-partner with Brown & Company of Niagara Falls, is a 1981 graduate of Niagara University and brings extensive and diversified financial management, business accounting and budgeting experience to Preservation Buffalo Niagara. He most recently served as commissioner and chairman of the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission.

Brown is an active member of the community through service to the following organizations: Advisor to Niagara Military Affairs Council, United Way of Greater Niagara Division Chair, Town of Niagara Industrial Development Agency Officer; Town of Niagara Business & Professional Association treasurer/board member, Lewiston Kiwanis Club member and past treasurer, Lower Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce ex-officio board member, Niagara Falls Water Authority member, Lewiston/Niagara County Peach Festival volunteer and finance co-chair, and Town of Niagara/Fashion Outlet Mall Charity Fund committee member. He also served as city controller of Niagara Falls, from 1992-96 and will serve Preservation Buffalo Niagara as a representative of Niagara County.

Drozdowski graduated from Niagara Catholic High School and Niagara University, and lived in Southern California for 23 years with a career in executive level sales and sales management, working at Moore Business Forms and Canon Business Solutions.

Since returning to the area eight years ago, Drozdowski has been involved in planning numerous local events including the St. Stan’s Polka Festival, the Niagara Falls Blues Festival, the Taste of Leadership Niagara and the Echo Art Fair. In addition, he has graduated from Leadership Niagara, been appointed to the Niagara Falls Tourism Advisory Board and serves on the Steering Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee for the Greater Buffalo Cultural Alliance. He is currently employed by the Niagara Arts & Cultural Center in Niagara Falls as director of operations and marketing. He also acts as curator and artistic director for two art galleries.

Whitaker’s interest in preservation began in 1988, when she and her husband became stewards of a grand ca. 1882 house in Buffalo’s Linwood Historic Preservation District 25 years ago, which they restored, rehabbed, and beautified over the years and in which they operated the Beau Fleuve Bed & Breakfast Inn for 23 of those years until retiring last December. From 2004 to 2007, she served as editor of Landmark Society of the Niagara Frontier’s newsletter. She researched and wrote editorials for 11 interpretive signs installed in Buffalo by the Landmark Society through a grant from the Community Foundation in 2007.


Air Force Airman Joseph P. Kieley graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Kieley is the son of Gary Kieley of Ransomsville, and Cheryl Mueller of Catawissa, Mo. He is a 2006 graduate of Niagara Falls High School.


Army Reserve Spec. Matthew D. Wright has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises.

Wright is the son of Barbara Hopkins and stepson of Michael Hopkins, both of Newfane, and grandson of Leslie Clark of Lockport. He is a 2007 graduate of Newfane Senior High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 2012 from Buffalo State University.


Kieran M. Hickman of Lockport enlisted in the Air Force, according to Air Force recruiter, staff sergeant Orion LaMontagne.

Upon successfully completing the Air Force’s eight-week basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, near San Antonio, Texas, he is scheduled to receive technical training in Pavements and Construction Equipment Apprentice area.

Hickman, a 2013 graduate of Starpoint High School, will be earning credits toward an associate degree in applied sciences through the Community College of the Air Force while attending basic and technical training schools.


Lauren N. Roberts and Brett A. Burke have enlisted in the Air Force’s Delayed Entry Program near for Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

Lauren, daughter of Mark A. Roberts of Youngstown, and Patty R. Roberts of Ransomville, is a 2010 graduate of Lewiston-Porter High School. She is scheduled for enlistment in the Regular Air Force on Dec. 10. Upon graduation from the Air Force’s basic training course, she will receive technical training in the Air Traffic Control Apprentice area.

Brett is a 2011 graduate of Niagara Falls High School. He is scheduled for enlistment in the Regular Air Force on Jan. 7, 2014. He will be earning credits toward an associate degree in applied sciences through the Community College of the Air Force while attending basic and technical training schools.


Youngstown resident Kelsey Jeffs, 18, was recently selected to participate in the 2014 Miss Teen Buffalo/Rochester pageant competition that takes place today in Batavia.

Jeffs will compete in the Miss Teen division, one of the four divisions that will showcase young ladies ages 7 to 19. Personality is the No. 1 aspect that each contestant is judged on during all phases of competition, which includes interviewing skills and modeling routines for casual and formal wear.

Jeffs is a freshman at Buffalo State College and a 2013 graduate of Lewiston-Porter High School.


Jack Buddenhagen, 17, a senior at Niagara-Wheatfield High School, has been chosen to play trombone in the 2013 All-National Honor Band as part of the National Association for Music Educators (NAfME) All-National Conference. He will perform in the Presidential Ballroom of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in an Oct. 30 gala concert in Nashville, Tenn.

He began his musical education in fifth grade, playing the euphonium in the Colonial Village Elementary School band and expanded to include trombone and piano in the Niagara Wheatfield Middle and High Schools. He’s been recognized in several All-County and All-State festivals, in addition to the recent NAfME All-Eastern Conference. Jack hopes to pursue a college degree in music performance and education.


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