The Board of Directors, Emeritae Board and staff share their passion, insights, and unique skills to collaborate on the barriers facing women and girls in the region.



Kelli Cavo

Director of Development

Kelli joined the WNY Women’s Foundation in November 2017. She is a lifelong resident of Buffalo and is thrilled to see the incredible resurgence that is taking place in her hometown. Kelli also cheers for her Buffalo Sabres – ALWAYS! They will bring home the cup, in her lifetime.

In 2002 Kelli felt a strong desire to give back and left the corporate environment to begin her career in the not for profit sector. She has over 15 years of experience working in development at human service agencies. Most recently, Kelli was the Director of Development at Gerard Place, where she was instrumental in creating a Development Department.

Kelli would like to help pave the way for young women and girls and help make a difference in their lives, just as her mentors have done for her.

e: kelli@wnywfdn.org

Kristen Luppino-Gholston

Director of Strategic Initiatives

Kristen has been working with and for the women of Western New York for nearly 15 years. A licensed social worker with a focus on community development and organizing, Kristen worked with Child and Family Services Haven House and Catholic Charities WIC doing macro-level work to promote a safe and healthy community for women and children by building collaborations, increasing opportunities, educating, researching, and promoting justice. Kristen is a member of the SUNY at Buffalo Chapter of the Rho Kappa Social Work Honors Society and was named one of Buffalo Business First’s “40 Under 40” in 2017.  Kristen lived in Boston, New York City, and Washington, DC before settling in Buffalo in 2003. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Boston College and her Master’s degree in Social Work from SUNY at Buffalo.

Kristen’s motivation to work for women is heightened by the desire to pave the way for her two young daughters.

e: kristen@wnywfdn.org

Sheri L. Scavone

Executive Director

A native Western New Yorker, Ms. Scavone is honored to have joined the WNY Women’s Foundation in January 2014.

A tireless advocate for girls and women with over 30 years of experience leading and growing nonprofit organizations, Sheri volunteers her time to serve on the Board of Directors of SEFCU and the Gay and Lesbian Youth Services of WNY, as well as the Steering Committee of Save WNYCPC, Russell Sage College Annual Fund, and as a member of Leadership Buffalo.

Ms. Scavone is a licensed physical therapist (Russell Sage College), earned an MS Executive Leader degree in Health Systems Administration (Rochester Institute of Technology) and has an advanced post-graduate certificate in Palliative Care (The Sage Colleges). She is currently in the Health Foundation of WCNY Health Leader Fellowship and Trauma Informed Champion programs. Former roles include: Director of Cancer Services for the NYS Department of Health/Centers for Disease Prevention and Control; President/CEO of Gilda’s Club Capital Region; Chief Development Officer at Bellevue Women’s Hospital; VP/COO WNY Physical & Occupational Therapy Group; and Senior Administrator–Surgical Oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

As a women’s college graduate and mother of twins, Ms. Scavone is passionate about harnessing the incredible resources of women to strengthen our community.

e: sheri@wnywfdn.org

Ashley Cannon-Zelasko

Operations & Development Assistant

Ashley, a Western New York native, and an alumna of the University at Buffalo earned her BA in Legal Studies and Sociology in 2016. Prior to this position, she gained tremendous experience working with the media as an Assistant Press Secretary at Empire State Development.

Ashley looks forward to combining her passion to make a difference in Western New York with her desire to empower young women and girls, as she has had many mentors do the same for her.

2018 Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Board Members

Emeritae Advisory Board Members