2017 Inductees


    Frank is a 1964 graduate of Gates Chili High School.  He has worked in government for the last 50 plus years and presently is a Constituent Relations Aid for NYS Senator Joseph Robach since 2012.  He also is a Monroe County Legislator for the 4th District since 2015 and Deputy Supervisor/Councilman in the Town of Gates since 2004.  He helps act as a liaison to the Town of Gates in various areas such as Gates Recreation and Parks, Memorial Day events, Veterans’ Day events, and management of other town sponsored events and programs.  Frank received his Master’s Degree from SUNY Brockport in Public Administrations in 1991, his Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science and Parks and Recreation from SUNY Brockport in 1976, and his Associate’s Degree from Monroe Community College in 1968.  He was also a Constituent Relations Aid for NYS Senator George Maziarz from 2006-2012. From 2000-2006, Frank was Parks Director of Monroe County and from 1969-2000, he was Parks Director for the Town of Gates.  Mr. Allkofer was awarded with the 2017 Citizen of the Year Award for the Gates Chili Chamber.  He is also a member of and volunteers at Monroe County Veterans’ Advisory Board, Vietnam Veterans’ Board, Town of Gates Republican Committee, Monroe County Republican Committee, NYS Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation, National Parks, Genesee Valley Parks and the Gates Chili Chamber of Commerce.



    Christopher is a 1991 graduate of Gates Chili High School.  He is presently the Creative Director and Designer of DYNE, a menswear brand that he launched in 2015.  Christopher took college courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology.  He received further training from master tailors in Rochester and apprenticed at a local tailor house where he eventually became the owner at 19 years old.  While at FIT, Christopher studied textiles and received a mentorship from Jack Sauma, the owner of Mood Fabrics in NYC. He has developed a reputation as an expert craftsman and tailor while working with top brands such as Adidas, Sean John, Ecko, the Smithsonian, NY Cosmos, and MacArthur Foundation.  He was a member of the Sean John design team who won the 2004 CFDA Menswear Award.  Chris also served as the Creative Director of Nike’s Blue Ribbon Sports Division from 2003-2007.  While at Nike, he headed the successful Air Force I 25th Anniversary campaign and started Roger Federer’s  “RF” logo.  In 2013, he was named MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, where he worked with faculty and students to research and help expand MIT’s global community.  He has also created designs for Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams, LeBron James, John Legend, and Kanye West. He has created the HIVE program or Hive Fashion Program to teach college aged students the steps of creating a fashion line. Chris works closely with his local vendors to support his community, worked with Cooper Hewitt on projects supporting young adults, completed a White House visit for a job fair where he spoke to students about being a designer, and mentoring kids in the Black United Fund of Oregon.  He states, “Gates Chili was an incredible stepping stone in my growth pattern, in order to get where I am now.  I have had a lot of wonderful memories from Gates Chili.  I’ve also learned a lot of valuable lessons in my time there, and feel that I most learned how to pass on knowledge to the next generation of kids- knowledge that I received from other people like teachers and mentors.” He has deep beliefs in paying it forward.


    Joanne is a 1982 graduate of Gates Chili High School.  She is presently a freelance writer since 2001. She is also a humor columnist and award-winning freelance writer, who has spent the majority of her professional writing career covering entertainment, freelancing and penning columns for dozens of newspapers, magazines and websites in the US and Canada.  Her extensive writing resume includes Refreshed Magazine, Pathos.com, American Greetings, Beliefnet.com, Christian Voice Magazine, Brio Magazine, Breakaway Magazine, RochesterSubway.com and Pet Professional Guild Website.  Joanne is the recipient of three Evangelical Press Association Awards:  2004 Fourth Place Higher Goals Award for Freelance Article, 2010 First Place Higher Goals for her Gospel Sound check blog at Beliefnet.com, which was cited by national media outlets including ABCNews.com, the LA Times, and MTV.com, and a 2015 First Place Higher Goals Ward in the Humorous category. She is also the recipient of an Excellence in Writing Award from The Ozarks Christian News.  A collection of her columns, What the Dog Said, was published in 2013 by Wordcrafts Press.  It includes reader favorites from columns penned over several years. She is currently working on her next book about people buried in historic Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester, NY. Joanne has served as editor for two memoirs published by Wordcrafts Press.  She recently started doing community theater and joined the Village Idiots Improv, Rochester Fringe Festival, and The Shakespeare Company of Greater Rochester, and has appeared in “Midtown” on Amazon.com and “Therapy”.  She volunteers for Flower City Work Camp, Compassion International, and Rescue Pit.  Joanne states that “her days at Gates Chili were often filled with awkwardness and self-doubt.  Her goal was to fit in and be invisible, which she suspects is common to most high school students.”  She states “her teachers were always encouraging and helpful, caring and took time to notice her.”  Joanne believes “they encouraged her gifts and recognized her fears, to help navigate her through young adulthood.”  She states that “many of her experiences were learned through high school and if you stick to what you know you can always make your way through to the other side.”


    Kenneth is a 1964 graduate of Gates Chili High School.  He is presently an Adjunct Professor, Electrical and Microelectronic Engineering Department, College of Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology and Professor Emeritus in the Electrical Engineering Dept., College of Engineering at the University of South Florida and Consulting Engineer since 2013.  Kenneth received his B.E.E from General Motors Institute, his MS in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, and his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He was Associate Professor for the Electrical Engineering Dept. at the University of South Florida.  He was the major professor for eight PhD graduates and 25 Master’s students, who have conducted and published original research in alternative energy for transportation and power. He has also been a visiting scientist for RIT, and has designed the propulsion system conversions and integrated the battery powered electric drive into a small European internal combustion powered vehicle.  He and his research group have created a rapid charge rate charger for electric vehicle batteries and DC/DC converters, and organized the drive train development in GM first commercial electric van.  He was a Senior Engineer responsible for electrical drive systems at GMC Truck and Coach from 1977-1981. He also led a research effort that determined the theoretical feasibility of direct conversion of light to electrical power based on wave nature of light. Kenneth is a Registered Professional Engineer in Ohio and Florida, a Senior Life Member in the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and a life member in American Vacuum Society and American Society of Engineering Educators. He is active in social justice activities and a Rotary Club member in Rochester and Florida.  Kenneth was at Gates Chili for 6 years, “starting the day the school opened and he learned to value and appreciate education provided there.”


    Thomas was a 1966 graduate of Gates Chili High School.  He was the Finger Lakes Regional Coordinator for the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse from 1993 until his passing in 2016.  He was responsible for program administration and coordination of chemical dependency services in a 12 county region of NYS.  Thomas received his Bachelor of Arts from Roberts Wesleyan College in 1971 and received NYS Executive Development Training from 1982-1984.  He was an adjunct faculty member at Roberts Wesleyan from 1990-1991 teaching about drug education.  He also worked for NYS Division of Substance Abuse Services as Finger Lakes Regional Coordinator and Contract Manager from 1977-1993.  Thomas worked for the Monroe County Department of Mental Health, Supervisor of Ridgeland Youth Project, Health Association of Rochester, Drug and Alcohol Council as an Outreach Counselor, and Assistant Director of Teen Challenge of Greater Rochester.  Thomas was a member and volunteer at Greater Rochester United Way, Roberts Wesleyan Advisory Committee, Drug Prevention and Treatment Committee of Rochester, NYS Methadone Task Force, Consultant to Child Welfare Institute, Consultant to the National Resource Center on Child Maltreatment, and the informal advisor to the local director of the Ugandan Water Project.  He helped to develop Catholic Family Center’s “Liberty Manor” residential treatment for women and preschool children.  He created SAISD- Substance Abuse Intervention Services for the Deaf at RIT. He also assisted in the development of Rochester City Drug court, the first drug court in NYS.  Thomas helped in developing the LIFE program at St. Joseph’s Villa for drug and alcohol addiction and he worked developing the Robert Anderson Detox Facility. Thomas received awards from the United Way of Rochester for “Outstanding Friend of Labor” Community Service Award and the First Annual Charles Cuminale Award for Services to Youth in 2002. Thomas was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2015 but was remembered by thousands of people for his loving, kind, caring, and humble ways.


    Naima is a 1994 graduate of Gates Chili High School. She is presently the Senior Portfolio Manager and Senior Vice President of the US Trust, Bank of America in Dallas, Texas.  She manages a diverse base of high net worth clients with total assets under management of $380 million.  Last year, she received the prestigious President Award which is bestowed on the top 5% of sales generating employees in the company.  She is also an amazing internship manager and mentor in the Year Up program for US Trust. Naima received her Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business and Finance at Northeastern University in Boston, MA in 1998.  She continued on and received her Master of Business Administration in Finance/Entrepreneurship/Corporate Accounting  at the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester, and she is presently in process to receive her Certified Financial Planning Certificate.  While a student at Gates Chili, Naima was named Class Athlete of her 1994 graduating class and she was a four year Varsity Basketball starter on a full scholarship to Northeastern.   She set numerous school records in girls’ basketball such as the most individual points in a game with 29 against Penfield.  She led the team to its first ever sectional game in the 18 years of the girls’ basketball program.  Naima was also named to the Democrat and Chronicle Monroe County Super 15 list and made First Team All-County in her junior and senior years at GC.  In 1994, Naima became one of the first girls in GC history to receive a full basketball scholarship to a NCAA Division I school.  While enrolled at the U of R Simon School of Business, she was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and found VISIONS, which was a program to help young women learn about finance, etiquette and other teen issues.  She also mentored inner city young women and helped begin WISE or Women in Service Excellence.  Naima was also head coach of Harley Allendale Columbia JV Girls Basketball team in her early career. Naima and her husband have started “Marie’s Mantle” in 2013 which is a meal preparation and delivery service in Texas.   She states, “Gates Chili was one of the best experiences I have had in life.  The students and teachers made it a great and diverse place to be.” Her advice is to “take full advantage of all the resources the school has, have a wide variety of friends and continue to take pride in your school.”



    Steven is a graduate of Gates Chili Class of 1982.  Steven is currently the Deputy J2 (Senior Intelligence Officer) for the Joint Improvised Explosive Detection and Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) for the Department of Defense.  In this position, he helps synchronize the DoD’s support to attacking enemy networks.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from the US Military Academy at West Point in 1986.  He completed his Master’s Degree in Intelligence Studies at National Defense Intelligence College.  Steven completed the Military Intelligence Officer Basic Course in 1987, the Military Intelligence Officer Advance Course in 1991, Combined Arms Services and Staff Schooling in 1995, Army Command and General Staff College in 2001, is a Veteran of Operation Desert Storm, and Veteran of Operation Restore Democracy in Haiti.  He is retired from Active Duty as a Lieutenant Colonel.  While serving for 21 years in the US Army as a Military Intelligence Officer, he was stationed in Arizona, Colorado, NY, Tennessee, Virginia, and the United Kingdom.  After his retirement from active duty, he helped Department of Defense Senior Leaders understand terrorist strategies and the cultures where terrorists operate. Steven’s military awards include the Bronze Star and the Knowlton Award for Contributions to Army Intelligence, and civilian awards include the Meritorious Civilian Service Award.  He also has coached Little League Baseball and Softball for 16 years, Cub Scout Den leader, and Sunday School teacher.  Steven states “GC gave me opportunities to challenge myself academically and athletically.  It helped me to understand that many opportunities would be available if I was willing to push myself.  This has proven true for most of my life.  The classes and requirements may seem silly or small, but they set the tone for a successful career and personal life.”