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Gates Chili Winterguard
2024 WGI IA Finalists
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 Our Directors 
Michael Heaney
Michael Heaney

Executive Director

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.

Becky DiMaria
Becky DiMaria

Business Director

It is with much enthusiasm that Becky joins the Gates Chili Organization as their Business Director for the 2023-2024 Winter Season. Seving on the Board of Directors for 7 years, with that last 5 1/2 years as the Treasurer, Becky brings a lot of knowledge and experience to her new role. Becky is looking forward to seeing how much more the organization can grow. Her favorite part of being involved is watching the shows our amazing staff will create and how much our current/future kids will continue to fall further in love and grow with this sport.

Becky loves how much the organization is involved in and give back to the community, not only the ones we live in, but the whole marching arts community as well. In Becky's words: "Without those communities, the kids wouldn't have a space to share their amazing talent, to grow or to share their passion with others."

Becky is a Financial Accountant II for a local payroll company, a wife, and mom to 2 human kids and 2 dogs. Her oldest, Olivia, was a spinning member in the organization for 9 years before moving away for college. She fell in love durning a Summer Spin Fest and begged to join the organization, where she spend time in all the guards the organization offers. Becky has had the pleasure of watchingt no only her daughter, but many other kids and young adults, grow up, learn valuable life lessons, and master some super awesome spinning skills with various pieces of equipment in her 9 years with the organization. Becky is so grateful to have found this organization and for it providing an activity that her daughter loves and has found her "place" in. Her whole family has made some super amazing friends that are now like family.

Kelly Barnard
Kelly Barnard

Creative Director

Kelly is excited to return to the organization for the 2023-2024 Winter season as the RA guard’s lead instructor, as well as taking on the position of Creative Director.

Kelly has been spinning since 2005, finishing her time as a marching member of Gates Chili in 2007 before moving on to the Patriots winterguard for 4 seasons. She also spent 2 seasons with the Rochester Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps, and several years performing with the Patriots dance ensemble.

Kelly is eager to start her new role as the Creative Director. She is looking forward to working with the instructional staff and sharing her knowledge to create a fun and safe space for all members.

Aside from the Gates Independent winterguards, Kelly has also worked with the East Irondequoit Lancer Marching band, the Patriots RA and cadet winterguards, and is currently colorguard director for the Gates Chili school district marching band.

Kelly is a Scorpio vegetarian and when she’s not teaching twirls you can find her drinking coffee or gardening with her husband and their zoo.