Skip to main content
Gates Chili Winterguard
2024 WGI IA Finalists
our facebook page youtubeinstagram
 Our Directors 
Michael Heaney
Michael Heaney

Executive Director

It is with great pride that Mike returns to the Gates Chili Organization as their Executive Director for the 2024-2025 season. Mike is looking forward to working with the amazing 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. Over the past 2 years after his return to the Gates Chili organization as their Executive Director the organization has doubled in size, made new and lasting friendships/partnerships with other organizations and continues to be a safe space for members to learn and grow. Mike has been involved in the marching arts for 29 years 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 29 years of being involved in the marching arts including High School programs, Drum Corps and Winter guards in NY, PA and NJ.

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 4 very active Australian Shepard’s Aeris, Sadie, Phoebe and Apollo.

Becky DiMaria
Becky DiMaria

Business Director

It is with much enthusiasm that Becky returns to the Gates Chili Organization as their Business Director for the 2024-2025 Winter Season. Serving on the Board of Directors for 7 years, with that last 5 1/2 years of her term as the Treasurer, Becky brings a lot of knowledge and experience to her 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.  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 happy to return to the organization for the 2024-2025 Winter season as Creative Director, and excited to take on a new role as the lead instructor of the IA program.

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.

As Creative Director, she is looking forward to continuing to work with the amazing instructional staff to create a fun and safe space for all members. 

Stepping into the position of lead instructor of the IA program, she is eager to provide members with a unique and challenging experience this upcoming season as the organization continues to grow within the greater WGI community.

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.