Meet Our Staff

Executive Director  (716)856-8613 option: 7

Roxanne Casey

Administrative Assistant

Joined the staff at the Old First Ward Association in October of 2022 as a part time Administrative Assistant, the current title is now Office Manager, meaning anything & everything that needs to be done, I will handle it.  Attended Bryant & Stratton for Advertising & Photography, leaving with an Associate Degree to start my 1st career in retail at AM&A’s working my way up to become a Houseware Buyer until the closure of the store chain. Then I went on to work at American Axle, starting as an Union line worker, moving up to a Corporate position traveling the globe while training others in Logistics.  During these careers I continued my passion for helping others by becoming the Cheerleading Coach for the neighborhood, assisted in many, many fund raisers for the community and benefits for individuals.  It was wonderful having these careers that offer me the opportunity to travel the world but my true passion, heart & soul belongs to this community.  I am following in my mother's footsteps, who was named as one of the Directors of the Incorporation of the Old First ward Community Association back in 1977.  I have the passion & drive to move the Community Center upward and beyond! When I’m not working or volunteering I love enjoying time with my family or relaxing at my summer-place.  (716)856-8613 option: 4

Alissa Schmidle

Director of Community Development & Housing Services  (716)856-8613 option: 3

Alissa Schmidle joined the Old First Ward Community Association, Inc. staff in 2016 as the Community Development Coordinator and in 2017 became the Director of the Community Development & Housing Services Department.  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. Alissa, a Western NY native and graduate of SUNY Fredonia, loves exploring the outdoors with her husband and two small children.

Catherine O'Brian

Community Development Housing Specialist  (716)856-8613 option: 2

Catherine is a 2019 graduate from West Virginia University where she received a bachelors degree in psychology and sociology.  Upon graduating, she served as the Assistant Program Coordinator for the Victims Assistance Program where she developed a passion for advocacy and strengthening community involvement. Catherine is currently pursuing her masters degree in social work at the University at Buffalo . Although Catherine has lived in Cleveland, West Virginia, and Pittsburgh, she has always returned home to Buffalo New York where she was born and raised.  At the Old First Ward Community Center, she hopes to help strengthen community involvement and partnerships with other local organizations in an effort to revitalize the strength and benefit strong neighborhoods bring 

In her spare time, you can find Catherine hanging out with her four cats (Binx, Winnie, Ozzy, and Gussie), or traveling around Buffalo taste testing espresso at local coffee shops or finding the best vegan options the city has to offer!

Theresa Bouquard 

Senior Transportation Services

(716)856-8613 option: 1

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

(716)856-8613 option: 5

Timothy Ryan

Outreach & Resource Coordinator (716)586-8613 option: 8

Tim graduated from SUNY Fredonia in 2015 where he received a degree in Public Relations and Public Health. He has previously worked in the Erie County Clerks Office for four years before joining the Buffalo Fire Department. When he is not working he enjoys spending time with his family, his girlfriend Molly, and rooting on his hometown sports teams.