Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo Announces Three New Board Members

Buffalo, N.Y. — The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo is pleased to announce that three local leaders have joined its Board of Directors. New members include: Amy Habib Rittling, Esq., Partner with Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP; Owen Herne, Esq., owner of Herne Law PLLC; and Jeffrey Katz, Esq., Partner with Katz and Baehre.

With extensive community leadership backgrounds, Ms. Habib Rittling, Mr. Katz and Mr. Herne all bring unique expertise to the Board of Directors to assist the Community Foundation with its mission of connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York.

Newly Appointed Community Foundation Board Members:

Amy Habib Rittling, Esq. serves as leader of the Employment Practice Team with Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP. She counsels on all aspects of employment relationships and employment practices and defends employers against claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination, as well as wage and hour and leave law claims among others. Ms. Habib Rittling resides in Eggertsville with her husband and four children, and proudly serves the community on the Board of Directors of Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Foundation, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and several other community organizations.

Owen Herne, Esq. is an experienced Indian Law and Corporate Attorney, and an enrolled member of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe. He has provided advice and counsel on the most complex issues facing Indian nations today; not limited to the establishment of multiple wholly owned companies on behalf of Indian nations, drafting extensive pieces of Tribal legislation and providing legal support for multiple Tribally owned business development companies. Mr. Herne is also past Chairman of USET CDFI and past President of the Board of Directors of the Native American Community Services. He also previously served as Vice Chair of the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative (CGLI).

Jeffrey Katz, Esq. is Partner with Katz and Baehre, which he co-founded in 1992. For his entire legal career he has focused his practice in the areas of estate planning, estate tax planning, elder law, trusts and Probate. Mr. Katz is a founding member of the National Network of Estate Planning Trust Attorneys and is active in the community, having served on many Community Boards, including as President of the Williamsville Education Foundation, the Kadimah School and Vice President of the Jewish Federation of Buffalo.

In addition to the appointment of three new Board Members, officers were elected for the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors:

  • Melissa G. Baumgart – Chair
  • Alex Montante – Vice Chair
  • Rose H. Sconiers, Vice Chair
  • Lawrence C. Franco, Esq. – Secretary
  • Jim Biltekoff – Treasurer

Other members of the Community Foundation Board of Directors include: Tamara O. Alsace, Ph.D , Jennifer Balbach, Gary Crosby, Bonita R. Durand, Ph.D., Steve Finch, Dottie Gallagher, Allen “Pete” Grum, Alice Jacobs, J.D., Cheryl A. Jankowski, William Joyce, Hal D. Payne, John. F. Somers and John N. Walsh, III.


For more than a century, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo has enhanced and encouraged long-term philanthropy in the Western New York community. A 501 (c)(3) organization, the Community Foundation’s mission is: Connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York. Established in 1919, the Community Foundation has made the most of the generosity of individuals, families, foundations and organizations who entrust charitable assets to the Community Foundation’s care. Learn more at