We are honored to be led by the following amazing and resourceful women.

Dianne Crozier

Board Co-President
Dianne joined WGGS in 2011 and served as a Muse for two years at Oneida. She is now on our Muse substitute list.

Melanie Puorto Conte

Board Co-President Resource Developer
Melanie Puorto Conte has been a member of the WGGS Board of Directors since 2014 & serves as our Resource Developer. She is an adjunct professor at The Sage Graduate School, Division of Health Sciences, Forensic Mental Health Masters Program. Melanie is also active in The Schenectady Foundation Call To Action For Youth and Youth Advisory Council and she leads a “Life Worth Living” Group at New Choices Recovery Center. Melanie is a volunteer advocate for a number of trafficked women in the Capital Region.

Karen Draper

Board Vice President
Karen joined WGGS in 2005 and has been a Muse in several middle schools since Girls' Circles began. She also assists with Girls' Circles curriculum development & production of the Girls' Journals, Muse trainings & support, fundraising & event planning.

Laura LaFontaine

Executive Director
Laura has been a Muse since 2014. She also facilitates workshops for Girls Day Out.

Suzanne DeWald

Board Treasurer
Suzanne holds a B.A. in English Education as well as a Masters of Public Administration. She recently retired after 23 years as the Development Officer for the Schenectady City School District. Prior to her work with the District, Suzanne held leadership positions in public and non-profit organizations. Since retirement she has begun providing grant consulting services.

Katie Beltramo

Board Secretary
Katie joined WGGS in 2013 and has been a Muse at Paige and Central Park Middle School. Katie also administers our website and social media accounts and publishes our quarterly newsletter.

Ebony Belmar

Program Coordinator of Girls' Day Out
Ebony has been with WGGS since 2005. She is deeply committed to the families of Schenectady & in program development. From her role as Program Coordinator of Girls' Day Out, she has also spearheaded the creation of Boys Day Out & Parents Day Out. She continues to function as a liaison between WGGS & the Schenectady City School District. She is a social worker at Mont Pleasant MS.

Miranda Rand

League of Women Voters
Miranda has been a passionate supporter of WGGS for more than five years. She served as lead muse at Jessie Zoller Elementary for three consecutive years and now acts as Muse Recruitment Coordinator.

Jane Baldauf

High School Muse

Gail Gordon

Capital District 100 Hispanic Women
After retiring from serving as General Counsel to the N.Y.S. Office of Children & Family Services in 2007, Gail learned about the WGGS from the Capital District 100 Hispanic Women. She became a Muse the first year of the program & has never left. She now serves on the Board.

Tanya Hull

Having learned of the program from a former Executive Director of WGGS, Tanya has been a muse since 2015. She has served at Paige Elementary School and Central Park Middle School. Although she is involved in various organizations within the community, working with the girls in the Schenectady City School District has been the most rewarding.

Kerrie Wolf-Piechota

Kerrie first joined WGGS as a muse during the 2015-16 school year. She serves on several boards and committees in the area. She also volunteers with Community Hospice's Camp Erin and Wave Riders programs, at her church, and in a number of other organizations. Kerrie currently works in development and communications at the YWCA NorthEastern NY.   

Pam Carter

Pam was a previous Muse at Central Park Middle School, and for the past two years she has been a Muse at Oneida Middle School. She will transition to Schenectady High School as a Muse to maintain a connection with her Oneida girls. Pam is active at her church and in the community. She volunteers with the SICM Food Pantry, serves as a Board Member with Safe Inc. of Schenectady County and with the YWCA in Schenectady.

Lakeia Allen Bowman

Board Member
Lakeia served as a Muse at Central Park Middle School and currently works as a mental health counselor for SEAT (Social Enterprise and Training for 16-24 year old out-of-school youth). Lakeia grew up in Schenectady, and her dad was Schenectady City Councilman Joe Allen.