Our Staff

In March 2020 City Roots Community Land Trust hired our first Full-Time Executive Director Joe Di Fiore! In August 2020 City Roots brought on two more full-time staff members as well as an Americorps VISTA fellow!

Joe Di Fiore

Executive Director

After more than three years of being a volunteer organization, Joe became our first staff member & Executive Director. Active in the Rochester community, Joe volunteers with the Beechwood Neighborhood Coalition on the board of directors as well as with the boards of Peace Village, and the Urban League of Rochester Economic Development Corporation. He's also vice-president of the School 33 PTA, runs the Beechwood repair clinic for R Community Bikes, and is a founding member of the Little Flower Community. Joe's hobbies include judo, brazilian jiu-jitsu, bike riding, historic preservation, and spending time with his amazing family.


Graham Hughes

Special Projects Manager

Graham grew up in the Syracuse area and moved to Rochester after he graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 2017 to work for RMAPI. Before joining City Roots as a staff member, Graham completed his Master's Degree in Adult Education & Community Development at the University of Toronto. He has been a member of City Roots since November 2017.

Anastajah Haynes

Community Engagement Coordinator

Anastajah grew up on the southside of Syracuse, and graduated with a B.S. in Sociology & Political Science from SUNY Brockport in 2019. Anastajah has a strong passion for advocacy & social justice, and seeks to empower marginalized groups through action and community building.  Anastajah is thoughtful and analytical in her approach to social change. She seeks to first understand the systems that perpetuate injustice in order to determine the strategies that will make a tangible impact.

James Dietz

Rochester Youth Year Americorps VISTA

Originally from Buffalo, James graduated from University of Rochester in 2019 with a B.A. in Political Science and will be working with City Roots Community Land Trust and Taproot Collective for the 2020-2021 Rochester Youth Americorps VISTA service year.

Elected Board of Directors

Our board reflects that of a traditional community land trust with a tri-partite board consisting of 1) Lessee Representatives, 2) General Community Representatives, and 3) Public Representatives. Control of the CLT’s board is balanced to ensure that the community as a whole considers and determines the priorities of the organization and all interests are heard but no interest is predominant.

Lessee Representatives

Individuals that are Land Trust residents and live in City Roots CLT housing. These representatives bring knowledge and real-life stories that are valuable to the CLT.

Ryan Acuff

City-Wide Tenant Union, term ending first quarter 2022

Dorian Hall

term ending first quarter 2021

Dr. Cynthia Cole, Secretary

Term ending first quarter 2022

Elizabeth McGriff, Vice President

City-Wide Tenant Union, Term ending first quarter 2021

General Community Representatives

Individuals that live in the communities where City Roots CLT works. These individuals bring valuable knowledge of the community at large.

Wallace Smith

Term ending first quarter 2021

Doreen Young

term ending first quarter 2021

Muhhamed Gazeli

Term ending first quarter 2022

Burt Betchart, Treasurer

Term ending first quarter 2022

Public Representatives

Most of these individuals are professionally employed with prior board experience. They often provide valuable knowledge of resources that can be utilized by the CLT.

Melissa Marquez, President

Genesee Co-Op Federal Credit Union, Term ending first quarter 2022

Shane Wiegand

4th Grade Teacher, term ending first quarter 2021

Stanley Martin

Center for Community Alternatives, Term ending first quarter 2022

Victor Sanchez

Term ending first quarter 2021