Employee Bios

Tori Ferraina

Executive Director

Tori graduated from SUNY Brockport with dual degrees in Recreation & Leisure and Health Science. She previously served as the Teen Director for the Boys & Girls Club of East Aurora and as the Program Director for YMCA Camp Weona. When away from the office, she spends her time playing for the South Buffalo Rugby Club, cooking, and hanging out with her dog, Porter. Tori is looking forward to working with our Old First Ward families and supporters to maximize the potential of our wonderful Community Center.


Alissa Schmidle

Director of Community Development & Housing

Alissa has been with the OFW Community Association since 2016 and has a wealth of non-profit experience. Her responsibilities include qualifying eligible homeowners for city, state and federal programs which provide services for emergency repair, code violations and weatherization; tracking and administering grants; holding community education events; offering down payment and closing cost assistance to new home-buyers; auditing south district neighborhoods for run down and vacant properties; managing neighborhood communications and complaints; participating in the Mayor’s “clean sweep” program; and attending numerous community meetings both during and after working hours.

Wife, mother and human pet to two rescue dogs, Alissa is a proud South Buffalo resident who lives in the area she serves.


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.


Diane Makey

Youth Counselor


Sue Ely

Youth Supervisor

Sue has worked at the OFW Community Center for 6 years. She helps organize the Center’s youth special events, such as the Fall/Winter Socials and movie nights She is also responsible for scheduling and leading the summer youth program. Sue enjoys working with the kids who come to our after school program and would love to see more youth from the neighborhood involved in activities at the Center.


Marissa Bannister

Artist-in-Residence

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

Visit Marissa Bannister's website to see some of her work: http://marissa-lehner.squarespace.com/


Mary Rachel Keville

Youth Aide


Peyton Phillips

Youth Aide


Judy Mulnix

Food Pantry Manager


Kate Zeller

Resource Room Staff (AmeriCorps Member)


Danielle Brown

Bookkeeper


Drew Heidinger

Weight Room Supervisor/Maintenance