News Release - Mayor Evans Announces Staffing Changes Among Senior Administration Leaders

Rochester Public Library

News Release

Mayor Names Year-End Appointments to Replace Retiring Deputy Mayor and Corporation Counsel; Announces Hires for Two New Positions

(Tues., Sept. 26, 2023) – In the final months of his second year in office, Mayor Malik D. Evans announced two upcoming staffing changes and two new additions to his administration.

Deputy Mayor Patrick Cunningham and Corporation Counsel Linda Kingsley will retire at the end of December 2023. Both joined the Evans administration on Jan. 1, 2022, with a commitment to serve for 12 months – and both will have served two full years before retiring.

Cunningham became Deputy Mayor after a successful career in financial services and retiring as CEO of Manning & Napier in 2016.

“I have been humbled and honored to work alongside Mayor Evans and the members of his administration,” said Deputy Mayor Cunningham. “I stayed on beyond the time I originally intended to because I felt compelled to complete some of the projects we had begun. Mayor Evans is the right person in the right job at the right time, and he has inspired me and the rest of us in his administration to give our all to this city.”

Kingsley has enjoyed a long and successful career in law, including serving as the City’s Corporation Counsel from 1994 to 2005, and previously as Corporation Counsel in Binghamton, N.Y. Prior to joining Mayor Evans’ team, Kingsley worked in private practice and taught at Albany Law School. This week, she will be presented a Lifetime Achievement in Municipal Law Award from the International Municipal Lawyers Association.

“I want to thank Mayor Evans for giving me the opportunity to conclude my legal career by once again serving the city in the position that first brought me to Rochester over 30 years ago,” Kingsley said. “My time here with Mayor Evans and his team and with our Law Department staff has been rewarding beyond my expectations. I now look forward to spending more time with my family and friends while I continue my life here in Rochester.”

“I deeply appreciate the leadership and expertise Deputy Mayor Cunningham and Corporation Counsel Kingsley have brought to the City over the past two years,” said Mayor Evans. “Their efforts and accomplishments will be felt in City Hall and across Rochester for a long time to come.”

The retiring leaders have helped identify and cultivate talent within City Hall to step into their roles. Starting Jan. 1, 2024, Michael Burns, currently serving as the City’s Budget Director, will become Deputy Mayor, and Patrick Beath, currently serving as Deputy Corporation Counsel, will step into the role of Corporation Counsel.

Burns brings nearly 25 years of leadership experience and has been the City’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget for more than 18 months. He also currently serves as an adjunct professor at St. John Fisher University. Previously, he was Director of Accounting Services for Regional Transit Service and Vice President of Investor Relations and External Reporting for Harris Interactive. He received a Rochester Business Journal 2023 Financial Leaders Award, and was recognized with a Forty Under 40 Award in 2006. Burns earned his CPA in 2000 and has a Bachelor’s Degree in accounting from St. John Fisher College.

“I appreciate Mike’s willingness to step into the role of Deputy Mayor at the end of this year,” said Mayor Evans. “He has spent the last year and a half successfully working across City departments and managing cross-functional teams. He will bring strong and balanced leadership to this critical operational role.”

Patrick Beath has served as the City’s Deputy Corporation Counsel since March 2018 and joined as Municipal Attorney in 2015. Previously, he was Assistant Corporation Counsel in Special Federal Litigation with New York City’s Law Department. He earned his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, and his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and History from Binghamton University. Beath has received multiple professional awards including New York City Law Department Division Chief Award, New York State Bar Association Tiffany Cup for Trial Advocacy, and Isaac Liberman Public Service Award.

“Patrick will bring a wealth of knowledge and legal expertise to the position of Corporation Counsel. He is an innovative thinker with a sharp legal mind, and will represent the City well in all legal matters,” said Mayor Evans. “I look forward to working with him even more closely as he steps into the position of Corporation Counsel.”

In addition to these senior leadership changes, Mayor Evans announced the addition of two new significant appointments that will be crucial to achieving some of his administration priorities in the coming years. Both positions were included in the City’s 2023-24 budget, and both will begin within the next six weeks.

The Mayor has named Frederick Rion as the City’s new Director of Emergency Management. This high-level operational management and administrative position will have the responsibility for overseeing the effective and efficient direction and operation of the City of Rochester’s Emergency Management System, with a goal of anticipating and lessening the impact of emergencies. Rion will work in close collaboration with the City’s Fire, Police, and Emergency Communications Departments, Bureau of Communications, and others to coordinate disaster and emergency preparation and response in the City of Rochester.

Rion most recently served as Emergency Manager for SUNY Brockport, and previously worked for Monroe County, where he served as Emergency Preparedness Administrator and in other emergency management roles. He earned Master’s Degrees in Public Administration from SUNY Brockport and in Social Work from Syracuse University, and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from University of Albany.

In addition, Mayor Evans announced the appointment of Sade McCallan as Emerging Initiatives Manager. McCallan will be responsible for coordinating the City’s efforts around homelessness, cannabis, healthy food accessibility, and other emerging initiatives. She most recently served as Management Analyst in the City Manager’s Office in Waco, Texas, and as Tourism Manager for Missouri City, Texas. She has a Master of Arts Degree in Communication from Dallas Baptist University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Hampton University.

“I am proud of the work my administration has done so far, and am excited to begin the next two years working with these new senior leaders to deliver hope and opportunity for Rochester’s residents,” said Mayor Evans. “There is always more work to be done, and I look forward to continuing to build a safer and more prosperous Rochester for all.”

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The Administration of Mayor Malik D. Evans strives to create a safe, equitable and prosperous Rochester by inspiring hope and delivering opportunity for everyone. Guided by the Administration’s Mission, Vision and Values and the principles of the “Rochester 2034” comprehensive plan, City employees are committed to providing exceptional customer service, transparent stewardship, and collaborative leadership to foster a vibrant community that empowers personal, professional and generational growth for all who live, work or play in the city of Rochester.