Dr. Ricardo Escajadillo

Board Chair

Dr. Ricardo “Rocky” Escajadillo graduated Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee, where he earned a Bachelor of Science: Natural Sciences, with a minor in Psychology. Rocky obtained his Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee.


Jonathan Atkinson

Vice Chairperson

He is certified in Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Depression and Integrative Behavioral Couples Therapy, and additionally has experience providing individual therapy and group therapy services within the field of substance abuse.

Marie A. Wells


Marie A. Wells was born in Woodland, California, and came to Erie, PA in October 2000. In November 2000, Marie worked at the front desk as an Office Clerk II in charge of the front office and secretary to the Intake workers, and did the authorizations of services for the clients at Case Management Support Services. At the end of July 2002, she moved back home to California.

Brandy Cortes


Brandy Cortes has provided various social services and counseling in the City of Erie and throughout Erie County for the past 27 years, specializing in areas including but not limited to mental health, developmental disabilities and substance use disorders.

Tiffany LaVette

Tiffany LaVette, Board Certified Business Coach, currently serves as the Founder of Her P.O.W.E.R. Inc. and is the co-owner of LaVette’s Enterprises.

Sarah Carter, M.D.

Dr. Sarah Carter is a dually board certified General and Trauma/Acute Care Surgeon and is the owner and medical director of iAesthetic Medspa.

Saeedullah Taraky

Saeedullah Taraky was born in a middle-class family in the southern region of Afghanistan in 1990. After the collapse of the Afghan government, he comes from Afghanistan through the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) Program and is residing in the United States since September 2022.

Paul Kokhanevich

Paul Kokhanevich, graduated in 2004 with a high school diploma, from East High School with honors and was able to start from nothing and create a multi-million dollar construction business with his brother. Today Paul provides management and sales services in the construction industry.  

EJay Fyke

Mr. EJay Fyke currently serves as Community Affairs Manager at Vesper Energy where he spearheads the development and execution of community outreach initiatives across five states and over a dozen counties. Mr. Fyke manages substantial budgets for marketing campaigns, focusing on increasing public engagement and awareness of Vesper Energy’s initiatives. He also plays a pivotal role as a founding member of Vesper Energy’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, establishing policies and practices to foster inclusivity within the organization.

Gary Lee

Chief Administrative Officer


Gary N. Lee is the newly appointed Chief Administrative Officer for the Erie County Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission. He leads a team on the design, facilitation and execution of the commission’s vision, mission, and goals.  In working closely with the Board of Commissioners, Mr. Lee promotes and advances the commission’s mission by leading the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion actions and initiatives throughout the region.

Devan Mitchell

Administrative Assistant


Devan Mitchell serves as the Administrative Assistant for the Diverse Erie Commission where she serves a wide range of administrative and office support activities for the commission.

1128 State Street, Suite 300
Erie, PA 16501