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The Board Members of Out of The Blue have come together with a common mission -- To enhance the quality of life for adults with disabilities, living throughout Western New York. Through their past experiences and personal dedication, they hope to make a difference in the lives of adults with disabilites throughout the WNY area and beyond.

Doug Smith - President

Doug is the Vice President of Sales at North American Breweries (NAB). Prior to that Doug worked as a Sales Director since the formation of NAB. He is a Certified Cicerone who started with Labatt Breweries of Canada in 1987 as District Manager of Buffalo/Rochester in their US division. While at InBev, he was prompted to Regional Manager for Upstate NY and has spent considerable time managing teams within National Accounts, building the Labatt brand to the number one beer in Upstate NY. Prior to Joining Labatt Breweries of Canada, Doug work for Try-it Distributing in their sales division. Doug and his wife JoAnne currently live in Hamburg, NY and have 3 children. Doug attended Hilbert College and University of Buffalo School of management where he earned his BS in Business Administration.

Roberta Bemiller - Vice President, Public Relations

Roberta is owner of RLB Coaching & Career Consulting LLC, offering career coaching, resume writing, and professional job search strategies for individuals going through a career transition.  She is a certified coach through the Coach Training Alliance and holds a BA degree in Psychology from SUNY Fredonia and an MBA with a concentration in Human Resources Management from UB.  She is also an Executive Coach and Leadership Development Consultant with Career Partners International Buffalo | Niagara.  Roberta is a member of the Board of Directors for the Hamburg Alumni Foundation and a past Board member for the Orchard Park Chamber of Commerce.  She resides in Hamburg with her husband Todd, and two daughters.

Christopher Billoni - Vice President, Marketing

Christopher is the 3rd generation of the Billoni family at Colvin Cleaners, which started in 1931. Colvin Cleaners is the only GreenEarth dry cleaner in Western New York, so their dry cleaning solvent is safe for your clothes, your skin, and the environment. Christopher is Vice President of Colvin Cleaners. They also run two charity programs: Gowns for Prom and Coats for Kids. Christopher graduated from SUNY Geneseo where he earned his BS in Business Administration. He and his wife, Krissy currently live in Kenmore with their son, Luca. Chris enjoys the outdoors and is an avid skier and soccer player.

Paul Braun - Vice President, Community Affairs

Paul works in the Iroquois Central School District in the Wales Primary School Building as a Librarian and Technology teacher. He is also a member of the Executive Board of the Tri Town Soccer Club and has coached soccer for over 17 years in both house and travel leagues. Paul and his wife have four children, two dogs, two cats and a chinchilla.

Debi DiVita-Cleary - Treasurer

A native Buffalonian, Debi is married with three children, and has one grandson. Debi began her life-long devotion to working with the disabled population at a very young age. Her commitment to nonprofits began as a teenager, first volunteering and then working for The Muscular Dystrophy Association as a Camp Counselor and Patient Service Coordinator's Assistant. She continued pursuing her passion by volunteering for The Special Olympics, and spending summers working as a counselor at residential camps for disabled children and adults. This left Debi to earn a BS and MS at State University College at Buffalo in both Elementary and Special Education. Debi taught Special Education for 35 years until recently retiring in 2014. Through her teaching and volunteering she developed a strong devotion to working with people with disabilities. She is eager to continue her dedication by volunteering her time with Out of the Blue WNY Inc.

Karen Hazen - Vice President, Community Outreach

Karen is retired from a 25 year career with People,Inc. Throughout that time she held various positions in a Group Home and was an Instructor at the Day Hab. in Orchard Park.


While employed with People Inc. she served on many committees within the Agency. She also Volunteered for the Special Olympics, Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding, People & Places, Hospice and the Buffalo News Kids Day.

Karen is a graduate of Hamburg High School with a very diverse resume. She is a Licensed Cosmetologist, a RA certified Aerobic Instructor, and a self-employed floral designer/owner of "The Foret-Me-Knot".

She and her husband John both reside in Orchard Park.

Her creativity and compassion to serve others led her to her True Calling in Life; to assist people with disabilities. She is proud to be part of this ambitious group from Out of the Blue WNY and together we can continue to make a difference in their lives.

Mary Ann Meegan - Vice President, Fundraising

Mary Ann, a retired teacher, resides in Hamburg, New York. She is an active member of Imagine: Hamburg, a local civic organization. Mary Ann has a BS in Elementary Education, an MS in both Elementary Education and Special Education from SUNY College at Buffalo and certification as a School District Administrator from SUNY College at Fredonia. Mary Ann began her teaching career in private schools and then became a special education teacher with Erie 2 BOCES and worked with a diverse population of students. Mary Ann also worked as trainer for the Special Education Training Resource Center (SETRC) by developing and providing workshops for parents and teachers to help promote the well-being of individuals with disabilities. During her tenure with BOCES, Mary Ann worked on two training programs in conjunction with New York State Education Department. The first focused on individuals who suffered Traumatic Brain Injury and the second and more extensive was a training program for individuals with emotional and behavioral concerns. Mary Ann continued her teaching career in a local district until retiring in 2015. From volunteering with her students at Cradle Beach Camp to her continued work as a trainer to assist parents and teachers, Mary Ann looks for ways to support those with disabilities. She looks forward to working with Out of the Blue WNY Inc. to further these opportunities to give back.

Valerie Rufat - Secretary

Valerie is a native of Pendleton, NY and currently resides in Orchard Park, with her husband Izzy and their son. Valerie has been an active member in the Western New York community and multiple non-for-profit functions through her years spent with the Buffalo Jills organization. Valerie, has traveled to both Iraq and Germany on USO trips and has really taken a keen interest in volunteering efforts.


Valerie’s attention to detail, and spirit for dance and laughter has brightened up our board room.  She is the number one cheerleader for Out Of The Blue!

David Simoni - Vice President, Legal Affairs

David Simoni currently is Counsel at North American Breweries.  As Counsel, Mr. Simoni is responsible for handling various marketing, sales, and property contracts. Mr. Simoni received his law degree from the University at Buffalo and a bachelor’s degree in business administration with minors in corporate accounting and legal studies from Ithaca College.  Mr. Simoni is originally from Rochester, New York and is an avid downhill skier.

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