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Gates Chili Winterguard
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 Our Directors 
Michael Heaney
Michael Heaney

Executive Director/Creative Director and Lead instructor for the IA program

It is with great excitement and enthusiasm that Mike returns to the Gates Chili Organization as their Executive Director. Mike is looking forward to working with the members, staff, parents, and Board of Directors to ensure that Gates Chili Winter Guards continue to be a leading organization in the marching arts in Western NY. Mike has been involved in the marching arts since 1995 when he began his marching career with the Hilton Crimson Cadet Marching Band.

Mike’s greatest passion for the marching arts is sharing his knowledge to members, instructors, and other programs to ensure that the marching arts stay alive in Western NY. He has worked with numerous organizations over his 27 years of being involved in the marching arts including Hilton Crimson Cadet Marching Band, Empire Statesmen Drum & Bugle Corps, Mansfield University Marching band, Patriots Winterguard, Victor Varsity Winterguard, Gates Chili Winterguard, Medina Marching band and Winterguard, and Marcus Whitman Winterguard.

Mike has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Mansfield University and currently works for New York State as a Standard Compliance Analyst II for the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).

When he is not teaching, Mike resides in Greece, NY with his Husband Peter and his 3 very active Australian Shepard’s Aeris, Sadie and Phoebe.

Kerri Palmer
Kerri Palmer

Business Director

We are very excited to have Kerri come in as the Business Director. She is looking forward to working with all of our members and helping our organization to have a successful year.

Kerri began her involvement with the Gates Chili Winterguard in 2003 where she was a marching member from 2003 – 2010. She has also performed with The Empire Statesmen and The Rochester Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps. In 2018 she returned to the Gates Chili Winterguard as an Instructional Staff member and has been teaching with the organization ever since. In addition to teaching Winterguard she has also been teaching yoga in Buffalo since 2014.

Kerri holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Buffalo State College and currently works as a Senior Analyst in Benefits Administration. She also volunteers and fosters for two animal rescues in Buffalo and is active within the local yoga and vegetarian communities. Kerri lives in Buffalo with her 3 chaotic rescue cats Raspberry, Andie and Franklin.