Robert Esche is a former NHL goaltender for the Phoenix Coyotes and Philadelphia Flyers. His professional hockey career spanned more than a dozen years and included tending goal for the United States during the Twentieth Winter Olympics in 2006. Throughout his travels, he never lost sight of hometown, and created the “Save of the Day” Foundation with lifelong friend Kevin Lojewski to help youth in the Mohawk Valley. He completed his professional career with teams in Russia, Belarus, and Switzerland. Rob returned home to begin several business ventures including Aqua Vino Restaurant, Esche’s Family Farms, and in the spring of 2013, the Mohawk Valley Garden and Utica Comets AHL team.
Kevin Lojewski is currently employed by the Oneida County Probation Dept. in Rome, N.Y. where he works as a Probation Officer. Kevin graduated from Brockport State University in 1978 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology/Criminal Justice. At the present time he serves as the President of the Save of the Day Foundation and has served in that capacity since the foundation was formed in 2003. Kevin and his wife Debbie currently reside in Whitesboro, N.Y. where they have lived for the past 30 years.
Colleen Cianfrocco is a native of Pittsburgh, but has been in the Utica area most of her adult life, devoting over 25 years to development and philanthropy for non-for-profit organizations in Central New York. Cianfrocco was previously the Vice President of Development for Upstate Cerebral Palsy, and has also worked as the Executive Director of the Rome Hospital Foundation and as the Director of Development with Crouse Health Foundation. Most recently, Cianfrocco spent her time consulting with various non-for-profits in the Utica area.
Alicia Dicks is president and CEO of The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties. In her most recent position as president of the Fort Schuyler Management Corporation, Alicia managed the construction, maintenance and operations of the Computer Chip Commercialization Center at SUNY Poly. Prior to leading the Nano Utica Partnership, Alicia spent more than a decade at National Grid in several managerial and operational positions, including regional executive director, managing National Grid’s business operations for the Mohawk Valley and Northern New York, as well as serving as a director of market strategy. She began a public policy career at the Albany Local Development Corporation and in Albany city government, facilitating urban planning, development, and construction projects as a senior economic developer. Alicia has a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University at Albany and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from SUNY Cortland. She serves on many local boards, including the United Way and Mohawk Valley EDGE, and is a co-chair of the MV500 initiative. Alicia lives in Whitesboro with her husband and two daughters.
Janice Martino joined the staff of the Utica Comets and Save of the Day Foundation in 2015. Starting as a volunteer, her role evolved into a staff position with responsibility for the 50/50 raffles that are conducted at all of the home games. Janice also coordinates the volunteers from the Mohawk Valley Youth Hockey League who assist with ticket sales and processes the many donation requests for Comets merchandise that the Foundation receives from community organizations throughout the year.
Chelsa joined the Utica Comets team in the summer of 2017 after spending the previous season with the Alaska Aces. While in Alaska she focused on developing the team’s interactions with the community and promoting reading initiatives.
Chelsa is a graduate of Wichita State University with a concentration in sports management. She was also an game night intern with the Wichita Thunder.
She is responsible for coordinating events throughout the community with the Utica Comets players, mascot and Comettes and also serves as the coach for the Comettes.