Believe In Syracuse

About Believe In Syracuse

Board of Directors

Sally Sayles-Hannon

Sally is a diversity educator and active community organizer/advocate in Central New York. She has been an instructor at five U.S. universities and colleges. Currently, she holds an instructor position at Cayuga Community College in Auburn, New York in the School of Social Sciences and Education. She holds a B.A. in Liberal Studies from Grand Valley State University, an M.A. in Women’s Studies from Texas Woman’s University, and is a Ph.D. Candidate in Cultural Foundations of Education at Syracuse University.

Sally moved to Syracuse in August of 2008 from Dallas, Texas. Her love of Greater Syracuse, especially the community, has since made Syracuse her home. When she has the opportunity, she enjoys visiting family in Michigan, spending a good weekend in the outdoors, and listening to live music. She resides in Clay, New York with her partner, child, and cat. 

Kathy Speed
Vice President

A lifetime resident of Central New York, Kathleen attended Universite Laval, Quebec, Canada, and SUNY New Paltz.  She retired from the Onondaga Country Mental Health Department Day Treatment Program for Children after a 32-year career supervising a small group of treatment staff and also planned, supervised and led individual and group therapeutic activities. 

After retirement, Kathleen became involved in community engagement, activism and volunteerism which led her to Believe in Syracuse.  Her history with Believe in Syracuse began while it was still an idea being discussed in the Franklin Square Freedom of Espresso coffee shop by a small group of people who shared a different, optimistic view of the greater Syracuse area. Having experienced both the thriving Syracuse of the 1950’s and 60’s and the devastating downturn beginning in the late 1970’s, she was keenly aware of how discouragement had negatively impacted the area and its residents.  The energy and vision of Believe in Syracuse drew her in, and she has been an involved and engaged member ever since.  Kathleen is on the planning committee for World Refugee Day on behalf of Believe in Syracuse, and also serves on the committee of the Crawfish Festival. 

Mery Lamphier

Mery relocated from New Jersey with her degree in Business Management from Stockton University in Pomona, NJ. She has lived in Syracuse since 2014 after getting hired as a Claims Specialist. She quickly fell in love with everything Syracuse has to offer and decided to stay. One of her many passions is volunteering and helping others. While searching for frequent volunteer opportunities she came across Believe In Syracuse and started to volunteer her time as a member of the Community Engagement & Special Events Committees. Now a few years later she is on the Board of Believe in Syracuse while still committed to community work. 

Patrick Taylor

Patrick has lived in Syracuse his whole life and received all his education in Syracuse receiving his bachelor’s degree in accounting from LeMoyne College. Patrick has worked for and served on the boards of nonprofits for over 20 years. 

Patrick is married and has two grown sons. In his spare time he drives for Lyft where he meets many diverse people who call Syracuse home and he loves the conversations that his passengers share about their experiences of living in Syracuse. 

Ahmeed Turner
Sergeant of Arms

Currently, the Syracuse Chapter Executive Director of Say Yes to Education, Ahmeed has worked in the Nonprofit sector for Vera House, City Year, St. Luke’s House, and Elmcrest Children’s Center. Ahmeed has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Cheyney University and a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Syracuse University. He grew up here, went away for college and lived in Washington, DC. After coming back to CNY, he realized the many benefits to the Syracuse area. He now lives in the Salt Springs neighborhood on the east side of Syracuse.

Jessica Bumpus

Jessica Bumpus has been a member of Believe in Syracuse since 2013. She joined the Board of Believe in Syracuse in 2017 and has served as Treasurer, Vice President, and President of the Board; she is currently a Member of the Board. She first moved to Syracuse in 2004 to attend the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) and fell in love with the region. She has lived in the City of Syracuse, Liverpool, Lyncourt, and Camillus. She has a Bachelor’s in Conservation Biology and MBA with a focus on sustainability, natural resource management, and green development. She has been actively involved with numerous non-profits including GreeningUSA and League of Women Voters. She worked at Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, most recently as Operations Manager and Sustainability Advisor for the organization. She is currently Communications Director for New York State Senator Rachel May. Jessica is very enthusiastic about the region and loves working to promote the amazing things Greater Syracuse has to offer. She is also passionate about collaborating with the many great people and organizations working to make the region a better place for everyone.  

Christopher Hess

Owner of Camillus Massage Therapy, Christopher has a deep and broad passion for the Syracuse community. He brings Marketing, Sales, and Management expertise to our board. Christopher served on Active Duty in the U.S. Marine Corps. He grew up outside Auburn and came to Syracuse in 2001. Over the years, he has lived on Tipperary Hill, the Northside and other parts of the Greater Syracuse Area. He started Camillus Massage Therapy in 2014 and grew it into a four-location business with 16 employees. Christopher loves Syracuse’s festivals, historic architecture, parks, neighborhoods, varied dining options, and the local arts scene. He is continually inspired every time he sees the skyline of the city which fuels the flames of his passion for Syracuse.

Denise Baker

Denise Baker currently works for Molina Healthcare as a Supervisor for HEDIS Operations-NY. Denise volunteers with community organizations supporting members within our community. Including Believe in Syracuse- current Board member and Community in Caring committee member, Youth Substance Abuse Prevention coalition (YSAP). Elected to serve on the Liverpool Library Board of Trustees- Current President. Denise previously worked as the Co-VP for Black Nurses Rock-Syracuse a non-profit organization which supports African American Nurses in the community. Denise is passionate about ways Believe in Syracuse can support community growth and healing; and believes in community engagement activities which improve the lives and wellbeing of all members within our community. Denise has been a member of Believe in Syracuse for more than two years.

Andrew Schutt

Andrew graduated with a business degree from SUNY Oswego, where he discovered his admiration and curiosity regarding the brain and human behavior. This led him to start a marketing company here in Syracuse called Schutt Media, working with local businesses to build their brand and generate revenue using social media.

Andrew believes honesty and authenticity are the keys to building quality relationships – he strives to carry that out in everything he does in his personal life and the work he does professionally.

Timothy Crosby

Tim Crosby, a native of Pittsburgh, PA, moved to Syracuse, NY in 2015. He attended Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and his Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership.  Currently, Tim is the Vice President of Client Relations at SIDEARM Sports.  Headquartered in downtown Syracuse, SIDEARM Sports is a technology firm that powers the official websites, mobile apps, statistical integration, live audio and video streaming, and e-commerce platforms for collegiate athletic partners across the nation.
Tim loves to travel, try new recipes in the kitchen, and spend time with his family, including his six nieces and nephews.  He also enjoys interior design and is a Certified Interior Decorator.  Tim and his husband Mike, a high school history teacher, reside in Baldwinsville.      

Zachary Snyder