Meet the Learning Teams
LaToya A. Cunningham is a Special Assistant to the General Manager for the Buffalo Sewer Authority. A lifelong resident of Buffalo, New York, Ms. Cunningham attended Buffalo Public Schools and is a graduate of Buffalo State and Medaille Colleges.
Ms. Cunningham has worked in many capacities in various organizations that serve the community including, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, Leadership Buffalo, Boy Scouts of America and Community Action Organization of Western New York and Say Yes Buffalo. Prior to joining the Buffalo Sewer Authority, Ms. Cunningham worked with Say Yes Buffalo as a Family Support Specialist where she was responsible for mentoring, facilitating supportive services and community resources for students and families to address basic needs concerns, attendance barriers and behavior challenges. She brings to her position a strong background in project management, community relations, scheduling and event coordination. Ms. Cunningham’s passion for mentoring young people is demonstrated by her volunteer services with Delta GEMS, Compeer and Say Yes Buffalo. These organizations offer opportunities for participants to develop and maintain one on one mentoring with a mentee. Ms. Cunningham believes in supporting youth by empowering them to advocate for themselves for success. Ms. Cunningham understands the barriers and the needs that low income families face within the community and hopes to continue to assist them through her work with the Water Equity Taskforce.
Rahwa Ghirmatzion was born in Asmera, Eritrea in the middle of a civil war. She came to Western New York as a refugee at the age of eight with her family, after living in Sudan. She was educated in Buffalo public schools and SUNY Buffalo State. In 2016, she became deputy director of People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH Buffalo), a community organization that works at the grassroots to create and implement a comprehensive revitalization plan for Buffalo’s West Side, with more than $25 million invested in affordable housing rehabilitation, weatherization, and green infrastructure. In this role, Ghirmatzion oversees the organization’s programs and day-to-day operations, which have grown to include housing construction, weatherization, solar installation, job training, and a youth center on Grant Street, as well as outreach and advocacy on public policy issues facing urban communities. For more than 13 years, Rahwa worked with community-based organizations in Western New York that promote community development. She was executive director of Ujima Theatre Company, a multi-ethnic professional theatre company whose primary purpose is the preservation, perpetuation, and performance of African American theatre. Ghirmatzion was the recipient of the 2013 Community Leaders Arts Award from the National Federation for Just Communities.
Cara Matteliano is the Vice President for Programs at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. Cara is responsible for leading and managing all CFGB program areas including grantmaking, scholarships, community leadership initiatives, research, and evaluation.
Oluwole A. (OJ) McFoy is the General Manager of the Buffalo Sewer Authority, which operates a 560 million gallon per day treatment facility and regional collection system that serves over 550,000 customers in Western New York. He is responsible for delivering on Buffalo’s 20-year, $400 million commitment to eliminate the effects of combined sewer overflows in Buffalo’s Great Lakes waterways. Mr. McFoy began his career at Buffalo Sewer in 2006 as the Chief Operating Officer and has held multiple positions since, including Chief Financial Officer and Chief Engineer. Prior to joining Buffalo Sewer, his early career involved project engineering and management at a regional architectural and engineering consultant firm. Currently, Mr. McFoy serves as Vice-Chair for New York Water Environment Association’s Utility Executive Committee. In addition, he represents New York, serving in the Water Environment Federation’s House of Delegates as a state representative. He holds a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Clarkson University and is a licensed Professional Engineer in New York.
Bill Sunderlin has served on the Buffalo Water Board for the past ten years in a variety of positions overseeing a private/public partnership that delivers over 30 billion gallons of high quality water to the City of Buffalo. Mr. Sunderlin currently serves as the Buffalo Water Board’s Vice Chairman along with being the Chairman of the Governance Committee. Along with his duties serving on the Buffalo Water Board, he also serves as the Director of Purchasing for the City of Buffalo. He has also served as a board member of the City of Buffalo Zoning Board of Appeals. Mr. Sunderlin is a lifetime Certified Purchasing Manager with more than 25 years’ experience working for companies like General Electric, Lockheed Martin and several R&D companies. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering. A native of Central New York, he has lived in Buffalo, New York for over 20 years and has made it his hometown.
Allie has been with the Community Foundation since returning to the great city of Buffalo, New York in 2015 after over a decade of leading an itinerant life of educational pursuit, world travel, and teaching. In her role at the Foundation, she manages special projects and other initiatives that lead to sustainable systems change both in the Buffalo-Niagara region and nationwide. Currently, she is leading the Foundation’s environmental work to improve water quality and assisting in their grantmaking and advocacy efforts. She spent time working with organizations and progressive companies helping them mobilize large-scale campaigns for social change. She worked in Cambodia in the nonprofit sector analyzing market trends and implementing strategies relating to social sustainability initiatives in hospitality. Allie triple majored at the University of Rochester, graduating magna cum laude and holds a master’s degree from Cornell University’s Institute for Public Affairs.