Board of Directors

The Aurora House Board of Directors guides the organization and ensures the fulfillment of our Mission.

Marj Smith

Board President
Marj began her Social Work career in Mental Health after obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management and her Master’s Degree in Social Work, both from Roberts Wesleyan College.  After experiencing Hospice Care with a family member in 2008, she shifted her career focus to Hospice Social Work.  She was the Hospice Agency Social Worker for Aurora House from the time the House opened, and then served as Executive Director from 2019 to 2021.  She is now a Behavioral Health Care Manager for the Excellus BC/BS Medicare population.  Marj returned to Aurora House in December 2021 as a Board member and has taken on the role of Board President for 2022.  Feel free to contact Marj with any questions at

Tony Pisa

Board Vice President
Since beginning his professional career thirty-six years ago, Tony has strived to develop a strong leadership skill set in his industry. Over his twenty-six years at Wegmans Food Markets, and in his current position as Manager of the Maintenance Department, he has honed those leadership skills by being focused on building a strong organization with caring, empowerment, and respect for others, and on making a difference in our community.  Tony has utilized these same values in his personal life, volunteering with Spencerport Jr. Baseball & Softball for the past ten years.  He was excited to join The Aurora House Board of Directors in 2019.  He has brought his professional knowledge to the Facility needs of the organization and currently serves as VP of the Board.  Tony welcomes any questions about Aurora House at

Kathy Gleason

Kathy Gleason is relatively new to Aurora House but comes with over six years experience in comfort care and over 20 years in healthcare administration. She has gained insight into the administration and operations of comfort care homes and has been Treasurer for Aurora House for the past two years. Kathy is well aware of the challenges faced by small nonprofits, and most especially by our comfort care homes, and knows how fortunate our area is to have Aurora House serving the community. Her vision for Aurora House is to grow the number of supporters, both private and commercial, to become more known within our community, and to sustain the invaluable services we continue to offer the terminally ill. Kathy welcomes questions about Aurora House and invites interested parties to contact her at

Sandy Eichas


Sandy became involved with the organization as an Aurora House volunteer at fundraising events and has continued offering her time in this capacity for many years.  In January 2018, she joined the board and offered her IT experience to the organization adding the role of Secretary to her responsibilities in September 2020.  Sandy retired from her position as an IT Support Analyst at Nazareth College in 2019. She can be reached at

Jean Deryuther

Board Member

Jean joined Aurora House when the organization was in its infancy.  She served on the Advisory Board during the development and house construction phases and has been a Board member for several years.  Her oversight of fundraising for the organization has allowed her to use her creativity and skills in this vital area.  Jean completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Management from RIT, and recently retired from Kodak Alaris as Production Manager.  She can be reached at

Susan Sullivan

Board Member

From her first position at Eastman Kodak, Susan built her career, gaining experience and formal education in marketing, fundraising and higher ed. With a 20+ year tenure at Roberts Wesleyan College in marketing and recruitment roles, she continued to broaden her expertise in marketing and fundraising at The Charles Finney School, Rochester Regional Health and Lifespan. Susan has been an adjunct faculty member at Roberts Wesleyan College since 2008 and is currently employed there as a full-time faculty member in the School of Business. Susan’s mom ended her life’s journey in the serenity and care of Aurora House in 2021.  Susan can be reached at

Mary Ellen Kaiser

Board Member

Mela retired in 2019 from the Livonia School District after teaching for 28 years as a middle school special educator. She attended SUNY Geneseo where she earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in education.  In addition to teaching full time, she also spent many years working for Livingston/Wyoming ARC and Heritage Christian Services.  Mela served as Livonia Teacher’s Association’s vice president and building representative for over 15 years.  After being involved with hospice care for multiple family members, she knew that, upon retirement, hospice work was something she wanted to pursue.  Mela was introduced to Aurora House after visiting a resident of the house many years ago.  She has been volunteering as a caregiver at Aurora House for the past year and decided that she wanted to do more: she joined the board of directors in January 2023. One of the areas Mela will focus on is increasing the volunteer base which is the pulse of Aurora House. She looks forward to working with the existing board members and help Aurora House grow and continue to serve the community.  Mela would love to answer any questions related to Aurora House and can be contacted at

Dr. Adam Herman

Medical Consult

Dr. Herman began volunteering his time to Aurora House in a medical consulting role shortly after the House opened, joined the Board shortly thereafter, and stepped down from the Board in 2022.   He agreed to remain connected with the organization to offer medical support, guidance, and education going forward.  Dr. Herman is currently the Director of Palliative & Hospice Care for Rochester Regional Health System.  His dedication to End of Life care is invaluable to the organization.