Meet Our Staff

Patrick Gormley

Executive Director

Old First Ward Community Association Executive Director Patrick Gormley has dedicated the last decade to growing and connecting communities through work at varying nonprofit institutions. A native of Lewiston, NY, Patrick began his community work with New York City's Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum where he led educational programming for thousands of residents across the City's 5 boroughs. In 2014, he made his return to the City of Good Neighbors and began working at the Valley Community Association as their academic coordinator, and later, as executive assistant to Peg Overdorf. Educational advancement, economic development, and neighborhood beautification have been hallmarks of Patrick's work.

Patrick currently resides in Buffalo's First Ward with his wife Kelly. He is a proud graduate of Niagara University and a lover of all things Buffalo, especially its turbulent sports teams, beautiful waterways, and classic architecture. Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine.


Alissa Schmidle

Director of Community Development & Housing Services

Alissa Schmidle joined the Old First Ward Community Association Staff in 2016 as a Community Development Coordinator and became the Director of the Community Development & Housing Services Department in 2017. Through her role as Director Community Development & Housing Services, Alissa's goal has been to educate community members as to the services and assistance available to them in the goal of creating empowered citizens in the benefit of forging healthier and more sustainable neighborhoods.


Kirsten Klettke

Community Development & Housing Services Specialist

Kirsten Klettke joined the Community Development & Housing Services team in 2018. She is a graduate of the State University of New York at Geneseo, holding degrees in Anthropology and International Relations. As a Western New York native and current Buffalo resident, Kirsten hopes to make a positive impact, large or small, one community member at a time.


Yvonne Answeeney

Office Manager/OFW Chef



Theresa Bouquard

Senior Transportation Services

Theresa Bouquard has worked at the Old 1st Ward Community Center for 38 years, first as a youth aide for about a year, then as the Senior Citizen Driver. The first 20 years Theresa drove a bus, but was happy when the Center downsized to a van. She enjoys talking with all the people she meets when taking them to their destinations. Theresa is a stickler for punctuality and takes pride in being on time for their appointments. Theresa is a lifetime resident of the Old 1st Ward, living in the same house since she was 4 years old. One of TEN children, her family has run a small boat livery on the waterfront for over 100 years, to which Theresa attributes her love of being near or on the water. Theresa counts 17 nieces & nephews as well as 21 great-nieces and nephews.


Jenn Kegler

Youth Program Coordinator

Jenn Kegler (they/them or she/her) joined the Old First Ward Community Association Staff in September of 2020. Jenn is a graduate of Canisius College, with degrees in Anthropology, Art History, and Gender Studies. Jenn comes from a background of working with youth, and is passionate about serving local communities of Buffalo at grassroots levels through community engagement, programming, and outreach.


Diane Makey

Youth Counselor


Alyssa Elbaneh

Youth Aide



Artist-in-Residence

Old First Ward Community Center is presently hosting an Artist in Residence!