Aaron Bartley
Executive Director and PUSH co-founder


Aaron is a Buffalo native and proud product of the Buffalo Public School System. Over the years, Aaron has organized labor and student campaigns for economic justice, including the Harvard Living Wage Campaign and the Boston Justice for Janitors Strike in 2002. Aaron is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and has appeared in major media outlets as an advocate for low-income individuals.

Jenifer Kaminsky
Buffalo Neighborhood Stabilization Company (BNSC) Housing Director

Jenifer Kaminsky joined PUSH’s Buffalo Neighborhood Stabilization Company (BNSC) as the new Housing Director in early 2012. Prior to coming to Buffalo, she helped create shared-equity housing cooperatives with UHAB in New York City and develop affordable housing in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston with the JPNDC. Now, in addition to her work with BNSC, you can find her riding her bike around Buffalo, canning some of the area's amazing produce and spending time with friends. Learn more about BNSC by visiting us online, at

Rahwa Ghirmatzion 
Director of Programs

Rahwa Ghirmatzion was born in Asmera, Eritrea and with her parents and siblings came to WNY in 1984. She grew up on the West Side of Buffalo, was educated in the Buffalo Public Schools and then the University at Buffalo. She has been working at PUSH since May 2013.

Ahmad Nieves
Development Assistant

Julia White
Development Assistant

Clarke Gocker
Director of Policy & Initiatives

Clarke is a sociologist and a tradesman at heart. He’s worked in the residential construction sector in Rochester and Buffalo for several years. At PUSH, Clarke works with construction trainees, training providers, building trades unions, local contractors, and organizers to lay the foundation for a community-controlled economy that puts people first.

Lonnie Barlow
Director of Communications


Workforce Development, Training and Green Jobs

Jason Kulaszewski
PUSH Green Program Director 


Jason is a life-long Western New Yorker living on the West Side. He has been educating people about various preservation efforts in our community at the Richardson Complex, Central Terminal, and with the nationally recognized preservation group Buffalo’s Young Preservationists (BYP). As a Community Energy Advocate he is able to help homeowners across Western New York to invest in their homes and communities which will preserve them and make our local housing more sustainable for the foreseeable future. “Having the opportunity to work with the community is the ideal situation for me, and I am glad to be a part of the PUSH team!”

Luana Dejesus 
PUSH Green Community Energy Advocate

Natalie Rodriguez 
PUSH Green Community Energy Advocate

"As a born and raised West Sider, I come to PUSH Buffalo eager and excited to help my neighbors in the Buffalo community. I have first-hand experience on how this program helps people as my husband and I went through the process with our Black Rock home. I was educated in the Buffalo Public Schools and have 10 years in customer service experience - all things I am excited to bring to the table to help make a difference in people's lives."

Marty Willett 
PUSH Green Community Energy Advocate

Sheila Richards - Perez
PUSH Green Commercial Energy Advocate - Green Building Retrofit Program


Commercial Energy Advocate Sheila Richards - Perez is working specifically in our Green Building Retrofit Program. As a registered architect, “I feel that with my qualifications I can help people better understand their buildings. I’m looking to be a liaison between the knowledge of what it may mean to take care of a building and what they (the owner) already know about their building” she says.This program targets small businesses and non-profits to implement energy efficient upgrades and capital improvements to their buildings.


Brenda Miller
Community Organizer

Brenda has lived on Buffalo’s West Side for 12 years and has been involved with PUSH for the last four years. As a Community Organizer, Brenda is in charge of the division’s events committee, that meets twice a month to plan events, like PUSH’s Annual Summer BBQ bash, Halloween party, Thanksgiving dinner, and community Christmas Party. “I must admit, that if it wasn’t for PUSH I wouldn’t be where I am today.” 

Meghan Zaldivar 
Community Education Coordinator

John Washington
Community Organizer

Grant St Neighborhood Center (GSNC)

Kieth Kristich
GSNC Manager

As a Buffalo native, Keith returned to Buffalo after spending four years studying at Houghton College.Upon return, Keith started working with PUSH Buffalo at the Grant Street Neighborhood Center (GSNC) in September of 2011. After two years as a GSNC team member, Keith became the Grant Street Neighborhood Center Program Manager. Keith continues to enjoy the work he does day to day with the youth and actively seeks to provide an Open, Safe and Productive space for all community members.

Aweso Salim
GSNC Manager


Finance, Administration and Operations

Dawn Wells-Clyburn
Director of Finance and Administration

After returning home to Buffalo in 1999, Dawn was shocked at the state of her community. She was drawn to and became active with several organizations that dealt specifically with social injustice, youth issues and cultural awareness. It became clear to Dawn that she should combine her passion for change with her professional accounting background by advocating for government accountability for publicly funded programs and assisting local businesses & organizations with fiscal efficiency.

Aminah Johnson
Tenant Advocate 

Having served as the Community Outreach Coordinator since 2006, Aminah was the first employee of PUSH Buffalo. She is a passionate advocate for residents of city’s West Side who experience housing issues. She is the author of Fix the City, a column in the Buffalo Criterion.

Margot Shoemaker
Finance Staff


Nakia Hock                                                                                                                                                  

Staff Accountant

Niki Pena                                                                                                                                                  

Accounts Receivables Specialist

Dawn (Delta) Wilson

Accounts Payable Specialist

Jennifer Mecozzi
Logistics Coordinator

Jen has been with PUSH from the pretty much the beginning (from member, to Board Chair, to Organizing Director); Jen is making it her life’s mission to tell everyone she knows that #realpeople have #realpower and that we are the #realpolicymakers. Jen is the proud mother of four, who is dedicated to making the world a better place for her children. Because Jen is a very proud West Sider, she immediately became involved with PUSH; working hard to better her city’s great ‘hood. In the future, Jen would love for Buffalo to be known for something other than O. J. Simpson, various sport stigmas (...and yes, she still cheers for the #Bills and #Sabres!) or our city’s great love of “wings and other things.” “We’ve got to make a change and PUSH is here to do just that - make a change."

Property Management

Diego Carrasquillo
Property Manager

Joshua Smith
Landscape Manager

Joshua Smith is responsible for maintaining all of the vacant properties that PUSH owns in the Green Development Zone. He uses the skills he developed in his former job as an organic farmer to create and care for gardens on our vacant lots. He is ecstatic to be making gardens for a social justice organization that is truly working to better the West Side.

Bob Cook
Maintenance Crew

Bob has been a West Side resident for the past 30 years. He began volunteering with PUSH back in 2008 as a representative for his church, Pilgrim St. Lukes UCC, at the corner of Utica Street and Richmond Avenue. In a few short months, Bob found himself working with the leadership team of the National Fuel Accountability Coalition. Bob is now a part of the PUSH staff working with Josh Smith, keeping our community gardens green and the houses in line for upcoming renovation.Working for PUSH is one of the most satisfying jobs Bob has ever had.