Meet the new HDC leadership team

At our last meeting on September 18th, the Henrietta Democratic Committee voted to elect new officers. Our new leadership team brings together a wide range of talent and experience to continue growing the committee, building our party and electing Democrats to key races in Henrietta.

Simeon Banister, Town Leader

Simeon Banister recognizes the impact that government must have to create the conditions that empower communities. His current efforts are the natural evolution of a decade long career in government and community service. He is an accomplished veteran of government and politics having worked in the NYS Senate, the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance, the State University of New York, the NYC Council, and the Office of the NYC Public Advocate. He has also worked on dozens of campaigns in capacities ranging from campaign manager to volunteer coordinator.

Simeon is now the Principal and Owner of Legacy Advisory Services, LLC, a consulting firm that offers strategic planning, fundraising, and digital design services for non-profit clients. Most recently, he led the rollout of the Save for Success program, an innovative partnership between Monroe Community College, ESL Federal Credit Union, and the PathStone Corporation that provided resources for underserved students to attend MCC with a track to career opportunities. He also serves as the President of the Greater Rochester Martin Luther King Jr. Commission.

Mike Kennerknecht, Chairman

Mike Kennerknecht is a PR and public affairs professional at Tipping Point Communications in Rochester, where he successfully managed two award-winning referendum campaigns for the Irondequoit Public Library. He is an active volunteer and board member for both the Ad Council of Rochester and SUNY Cortland Alumni Association.

Mike has more than a decade of experience in public service, advocacy and political campaigns. Before moving to Henrietta, Mike was the Chief of Staff to New York Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo in Binghamton, where he helped found the Broome County Young Democrats chapter and was elected to leadership positions with the Broome County Democratic Committee and New York State Young Democrats.

Ethan Banister, Treasurer

Ethan Banister is a youth advocate in the Greater Rochester community and works for the Hillside Family of Agencies providing employment skills development for high school students across the county. He previously worked for the Center for Youth as a youth workforce development specialist.

Ethan believes the Democratic Party has an important role to play fighting on behalf of effective education in our communities. He's excited to contribute his time and expertise to the Henrietta Democratic Committee.

Gaynelle Wethers, Secretary

Gaynelle Wethers has had an expansive and celebrated career as an executive administrator, educator, diversity/inclusion expert, and community volunteer. She retired from Nazareth College in May 2013, after serving more than 20 years as its founding director of Multicultural Affairs.

Gaynelle’s current volunteerism in greater Rochester includes her service as president of the board at Baden Street Settlement, secretary of the Jordan Health Center corporate board, vice president of programs at Association of American University Women/Greater Rochester Area (NY), and past-president at Rochester Women’s Network. Her most recent accomplishment was as strategist and campaign manager for Rochester, New York’s new mayor, Lovely Warren.