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Index of the Board of Directors
    Scott M. Schmidt
    Robert J. Bready
    Joan M. Burke
    Robert E. Cole
    Margaret E. Luck

    Douglas D. McKane
    Gregory S. Oakes
    John C. Prindle
    Jennifer J Prutsman-Pfeiffer
    Michael J. Speer
    Richard J. Tesoriero
    Dianne R. Vertes
    Robert F. Waltman

   Francis W. Whitelaw


Scott M. Schmidt, CFSP, D-ABMDI - President

Scott became a licensed NY State Funeral Director in 1984 and soon after took a part-time job as a Pathologist Assistant with Dr. Ruth Barrett at the former Arnold Gregory Memorial Hospital in Albion, NY.  Eventually he also started assisting Dr. Okay at Medina Memorial Hospital until choosing to run in 1989 for the Office of Orleans County Coroner.  Scott was appointed by the County Legislature in 1997 to Chief Coroner and has held that post ever since.  He joined NYSACCME shortly after being sworn into Office in January of 2000.  He has been active in NYSACCME, and has attended virtually every Educational Conference with the exception of when his grandmother died, after the events of 9/11/01, following a serious illness in 2017 and as a result of a scheduling conflict in 2018.  He has served as the longest serving President of NYSACCME and was instrumental in the passage of the Minimum Training for Newly Elected or Appointed County Coroners legislation in 2017.  He is a member of the Region 2 DMORT Team under the U.S. Dept. of HHS and served as a Federal Training Officer from 2003-2018.  He transferred to the DMORT VIC, a specialty team in the National Disaster Medical System which interview the families of victims of a Mass Fatality Incident.  Scott has served as a Subject Matter Expert on a NYS Dept. of Emergency Management Office Working Group and assisted in writing the Mass Fatality Planning Guidance Document for use across the State for Counties writing such documents to include in the County Emergency Plan of Operation.  He still continues to work full-time as a Funeral Director with Mitchell Family Funeral Homes based in Albion, NY and is manager of Bates, Wallace & Heath Funeral Home in Middleport, NY.  In his spare time, Scott serves as Organist and Music Minister at Barre Center Presbyterian Church and Albion First Presbyterian Church.  He lives in Medina, NY and is married to Rev. Aleka Schmidt, has two daughters, Hayley and Danielle, as well as a Bernese Mountain Dog, Newfoundland, Chihuahua, cat and two chinchillas.



Robert J. Bready - Special Director

Robert is currently the Chief Investigator with the Dutchess County Office of the Medical Examiner.  Robert has been an MLI since 1991.  He earned a Master of Forensic Science Degree from the University of New Haven, CT in 1996 and a Bachelor of Science from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.  He has been a member of NYSACCME since 1997 and serving on the board since 2000 representing the death investigation members.  He also retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the New York Army National Guard.

In addition to his Master’s Degree, Bob is Certified by the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators, and professional associations include membership in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, The Military Officers Association of America, and many other organizations.  Bob has presented locally and nationally and has numerous professional publications.

Bob credits this organization with increasing his knowledge, awareness and in particular dealing with grieving families.  Bob’s mantra is his first responsibility is to the deceased and assisting the doctor in determining Cause and Manner of Death, but his second priority, which often takes far more time and can be more important, is dealing with and assisting the families at one of the worst times in their lives..



Joan M. Burke, LFD, CTBS - Special Director

·        State University of New York, Canton – Mortuary Science,
      Graduated 1987
o   Advisory Board Member - Mortuary Science, 2010 -

    NYS Licensed Funeral Director, 1987 – Present
·    Manager of Cleveland-Spink Funeral Homes, Watertown,
      Sackets Harbor, Chaumont, NY, 1987 – 1989
·    Funeral Director - Whelan Brothers Funeral Home, Camillus NY,
·    Pathology Assistant / Autopsy Assistant, Crouse Hospital, 1993-
·    MTF Biologics (Tissue Donation), 1996 – Present
o   Certified Tissue Banking Specialist
 o   Associate Director of Birth Tissue Donation
o   Funeral Director Liaison for Organ / Tissue Donation
o   Medical Examiner / Coroner Liaison for Organ / Tissue
·   NYSACCME since 1996
·   NYSACCME Board Member representing Organ / Tissue
     Donation since 2009

Home is Onondaga Hill, Syracuse, NY, has three grown children and one grandchild and growing.        



Robert E. Cole, MD - 1st Vice President

I am a retired general surgeon (2016) into my fifth term as a Steuben County Coroner.  I am involved with other county endeavors, including the Board of the Steuben ARC Foundation, Steuben County Community Services Board, and a director of the John G. Ullman and Associates, Inc., located in Corning, New York.  That company is a financial advisory corporation with close to a billion dollars of assets under management.  My wife, Jo Ann and I have three children each and between us, ten grandchildren.  We live on Keuka Lake in the Town of Wayne, but our mailing address is Hammondsport.



Margaret E. Luck, D-ABMDI/Coroner

Resides in Gloversville NY, Fulton County.
Education: Graduated Johnstown High School 1978. Graduated with an Associate in Arts Degree from Fulton Montgomery Community College.

? Elected, Fulton County Coroner 1981-present
? Nathan Littauer Hospital Lifeline Manager 1980-present
? Autopsy Assistant 2000-present
? Diplomat American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigations – 
   (St. Lewis University School of Medicine) 2005-present
? Board Member of NYSACCME 2005–present
? Board Member of International Association Coroners & Medical
   Examiners (IAC&ME) 2016-present
? NYSACCME Member 1982-present
? Fulton County Traffic Safety Board 1995-present, Acting Chair
? Fulton County Emergency Medical Service Board 1999-present
? Fulton County Child Abuse Investigation Team 1999-present
? Hamilton, Fulton, Montgomery County Critical Incident Debriefing
   Team 1999-present



Douglas D. McKane, MD

Doug was born in Brooklyn, NY, and grew up in Garden City, Long Island.  He attended Adelphi University then graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University.  After an internship and residency in general surgery at St. Luke's Hospital Center on Manhattan, he joined the US Army in 1972 as a major.  On leaving the Army in 1974, he moved with his family to Elmira, NY, and initially worked as an emergency department physician at the Arnot Ogden Medical Center for a year before resuming his career in general surgery.

 In the early 1980's, he became interested in bariatric surgery and learned how to do vertical banded gastroplasties then later gastric bypasses.  He did these with Dr. Robert Cole, and later with Dr. Cole formed the Bariatric Surgical Associates who did over 2000 bariatric procedures.

He was appointed a Chemung County coroner in the late 1970's and has been so employed ever since.

He has been a member of NYSACCME for about 20 years and was elected to the Board in 2012.

He retired from surgery in 2010, but still continues as a Chemung County coroner.



Gregory S. Oakes, Esq.

Gregory S. Oakes is the District Attorney and Coroner for Oswego County, a position to which he was first elected in 2011.  Oakes has served as a full-time prosecutor since 2001, and he has prosecuted numerous homicides and special victims cases in his career.  He is a graduate of Boston College Law School and Elmira College.



John C. Prindle, MD - At-Large

·   Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, Graduated 1966
·   Wilson Memorial Hospital, Johnson City, NY, Rotating Intern

·   U.S. Army Medical Corp., Vietnam 8th Field Hospital, ER
   Physician in   Charge 4th Artillery Group, Group Surgeon Fort
   Bragg, NC, General Medical Officer, Captain, 1967-1969

Lisle Medical Office, Lisle, NY, Family Practice, 1969-1972
·   Wilson Memorial Hospital, Johnson City, NY, Emergency
    Medicine, 1972-1978

·   Chenango Bridge Medical Group, Binghamton, NY, Family
    Practice 1978-1997, Medical Director / Chair of Medical Group,
   1995-1997. Practice was purchased by Guthrie Medical.

·   Guthrie Clinic Inc., Binghamton, NY, Family Practice & Regional
    Medical Director, 1997-2000.  Change in ownership, operated by
    UHS of Johnson City then Lourdes Hospital of Binghamton.

·   United Medical Assoc., UHS of Johnson City, NY, and Lourdes
    Hospital, Binghamton, NY, Family Practice, 2000-2009

·   Broome County, Coroner, 1985-Present
·   N.Y.S. Medical Society, Broome County Medical Society,
    Member, 1966-Present

·   MedNet Ltd, Binghamton, NY, Member & CEO, 1992-1999
·   DMORT (Disaster Response Team under NDMS), Physician /
    Member, 1995-2005

Retired from practice in 2009 and enjoying semi-retirement by
    running a small sawmill and cutting occasional timber.



Jennifer J Prutsman-Pfeiffer, PhD

Jennifer grew up with an early interest in forensic and anatomical sciences and graduated salutatorian from Cattaraugus Central School. She pursued a Bachelor’s degree at Wells College in Aurora, NY with specialization in Anthropology, Environmental Science, and Economics. An internship in her senior year with then Cayuga County Coroner-Forensic Pathologist-Auburn Memorial Hospital Laboratory Director - Dr. Janice (Pat) Ross allowed Jennifer to observe her first autopsy and career possibilities in a pathology laboratory – a pivotal point, since Jennifer had been accepted to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville to pursue a Master’s Degree in forensic anthropology. Eventually roads led her back to Buffalo, NY to work at Roswell Park Cancer Institute as a Pathologists’ Assistant, a job title she still holds at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Jennifer obtained her PhD in Anthropology from the State University of New York at Buffalo, serving as the Director of the Comparative Primate Anatomy Laboratory while taking classes and researching the environmental uptake of trace elements in modern human bone from hip replacement surgery patients.

Jennifer has worked far and wide in New York State as a Forensic Anthropologist since 2000, ranging from working on recent cases and cold cases to lecturing and teaching professional development workshops for law enforcement, coroners/medical examiners, and attorneys. She is a former member of the Disaster Mortuary Operations Response Team assisting with identification of victims in New York City after 11 September 2001. She has taught criminal justice, death investigation, forensic science and forensic anthropology at many institutions of higher learning in western New York, and teaches forensic pathology for the Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute at Syracuse University. Jennifer is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and American Association of Pathologists’ Assistants (American Society of Clinical Pathology board-certified), a Lifetime Member of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, and a Member of the Society of Forensic Anthropologists. In 2014 she was appointed to Wyoming County Coroner and was subsequently elected.



Michael J. Speer - At-Large

·   Resides: White Sulphur Springs, NY
·   Married 44 yrs. to Debbie Morelli Speer
·   Son, Ryan and daughter, Carly
·   Graduated from Monticello High School, class of 1972,
     Currently working for The Resnick Group as Controller and
     Safety & Compliance Officer

·   Former 1st Vice President of First Nationwide Bank, former
     Chief Financial Officer of a bottled Spring Water Company

·   Coroner of Sullivan County since 1997
·   Past Chief, White Sulphur Springs Fire Department
·   Past Exalted Ruler of Monticello Elks Lodge #1544 & Life

·   Past Treasurer of the White Sulphur Springs Fire District
·   Past Treasurer of the Monticello Fire Department
·   Honorary Member of the Monticello Fire Department &
     Life Member




Richard J. Tesoriero, DC

Richard received his B.S. degree from Upper Iowa University in 1977 and attended Palmer College of Chiropractic graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1980.

He received several post graduates degrees - Diplomate of  American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedics and a Diplomate of the American  College of Forensic Professionals.

He has been in practice in Oswego, New York for the past 39 years.

He has been a Deputy Coroner in Oswego County for 23 years and Senior Deputy Coroner for the past year.

He and his wife Angela live on Black Sheep Farm in the Town of Oswego.



Dianne R. Vertes, PhD, MD

Dr. Vertes, a board-certified forensic pathologist, is the Deputy Chief Medical Examiner at the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office (ECMEO) in Buffalo, New York. The ECMEO offers its services to coroners in adjacent Niagara, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. Dr. Vertes is a relative newcomer to New York state, moving to Buffalo in 2003 from the Bay area in California where she practiced in both coroner's and medical examiner's offices. Here in New York, Dr. Vertes quickly became involved with NYSACCME and is happy to serve as the Executive Secretary; she has also hosted a meeting and spoken at several conferences. Dr. Vertes is an active participant of numerous committees and organizations at the county and regional level involved with mass fatality preparedness, forensics and ethics and child death review. She collaborates with Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania in forensic anthropology projects. Dr. Vertes is an adjunct faculty member at the University of New York at Buffalo and enjoys teaching in the classroom and around the autopsy 'table'.



Robert F. Waltman, D-ABMDI - 2nd Vice President

Robert is lifelong resident of Dansville, NY, a graduate of Dansville Central School, Herkimer County Community College with an A.A.S. Degree, and Simmons School of Mortuary Science in Syracuse, NY. Rob has been a licensed Funeral Director since October 1983.  In 1993 he sought the position of Livingston County Coroner and has been serving since January 1, 1994.  Rob joined NYSACCME in 1995 and was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2000, where he has continued to serve.  He is also an accredited Medico-Legal Death Investigator.

Rob is a self-employed Funeral Director working in numerous funeral homes in the area.  He is very active in the community. He has been an active member of the Union Hose Co No. 1 of the Dansville Fire Department for 40 years, having served in numerous positions including Department Fire Chief, in 2003-2005, and as a former Emergency Medical Technician He is a member and has served as Deacon for the Dansville Presbyterian Church. Rob served as commander of the Sons of the American squadron #87 of the Daniel Goho American Legion Post #87. He is active in the past commanders club where he also serves as chaplain.



Francis W. Whitelaw, D-ABMDI, C-MDI, Coroner

Frank Whitelaw is a lifelong resident of the Adirondacks. Frank served as a Trooper and Crime Scene Investigator in the Troop B Forensic Identification Unit for ten years. He retired in 2012 after 24 years of service and was then appointed as Essex County Coroner. He served Essex County until April 2020 and now serves as an independent contractor as a Medico-Legal Death Investigator for Clinton County. Frank is accredited by the New York State Association of County Coroners and Medical Examiners, Board Certified as a Medico-Legal Death Investigator by the American Board of Medico-Legal Death Investigators and The Death Investigation Training Academy. Frank is a strong advocate for training and continuing education for coroners. He believes applied knowledge, integrity and compassion are the concrete in the foundation of death investigation. Frank lives in Bloomingdale with his wife Donna and his deputy K-9 Coroner, Lolly. Frank also plays in the hard rock band Sonic Boom and is a rabid bowler.


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