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Harter Secrest wins Brain Game trophy

The winners of this year’s Literacy Volunteers of Rochester Brain Game were the Harter Secrest & Emery team, shown here with the Brain Game trophy. From left are Steve Corletta, Dave Archer, Christine O’Connor and Laura Smith.

Literacy Volunteers of Rochester held its 12th annual Brain Game competition on Oct. 11. With 15 teams signed up to participate in the live trivia competition, the event generated a net profit of $22,000 to support LVR’s one-on-one tutoring program that helps hundreds of adults gain literacy skills each year. 

Harter Secrest & Emery LLP supported the event as a gold sponsor, and had a team of four attorneys participate in the competition. In round one, the HS&E team prevailed over the Harris Beach PLLC team. In rounds 2 and 3, D4 LLC and Underberg & Kessler LLP succumbed to the Harter Secrest panel of four. The final round put Chamberlain D’Amanda (three-time winner of Brain Game in prior years) against the Harter Secrest team. In the end, it was a strategic wager by Harter Secrest that gave them the victory, after both teams selected the incorrect answer from a multiple choice question.

The Wolford Law Firm participated in the competition for the first time this year, and they were pitted against Insero & Co., whose team was defeated in the next round by Boylan Code LLP. Other teams participating included Lacy Katzen LLP; Brighton Securities; Thomson Reuters; St. John Fisher College; Nixon Peabody LLP; and Bond Schoeneck & King.

Questions for the contest are created in advance by a dedicated team of volunteers, and trivia categories this year included: crackers, Rochester culture, Olympics, RBJ, Rochester movie people, cars, public market, up river/down river, social media, Rochester authors, mythology and astronomy. WHEC’s news team Rebecca Leclair and Rich Caniglia served as emcees, while WHEC General Manager Derek Dalton was the official timekeeper. Brighton Town Court Judge Karen Morris served as honorary judge and helped to clarify a moment of uncertainty after a tie-breaker.

LVR’s Executive Director Bob Mahar said he was pleased with the turnout for the event. 

— Photos by Soudan Photography

The Wolford Law Firm participated in the Brain Game trivia competition for the first time this year. Their team was composed of Mike Wolford, Victoria Gleason, Jim Wolford and Claire Howe.

Officiating for the Brain Game tournament were, from left, Judge Karen Morris (honorary judge); Derek Dalton, general manager of WHEC (timekeeper); and Dick Barrett, former LVR board member (head of the questions team).

With a record of three wins from prior years, the Chamberlain D’Amanda team made it to the final round, but didn’t get the trophy this year. From left are Leonard Florescue, Jack Schuppenhauer, Natella Reinstein and Hank Ippolito.

Boylan Code’s team was comprised of Jeff Kowalski, Paul Fusco, David Hou and Scott Mooney.

St. John Fisher College was represented by Angela Amoia, Dougie Bicket, Cara Welch and Jeff Liles.

Helping with raffle ticket transactions were Jennifer Eaton, Philip Gigliotti and Colleen Holland. Raffle prizes included 2 tickets on JetBlue; a $1,000 Wegmans certificate; a $500 Apple Store certificate; and a suite for a Red Wings game in 2013.

A perennial participant in the Brain Game, Bond Schoeneck & King PLLC sent Kristy Frame, Dave Pieterse, Louis Jim and Jim Pergolizzi.

The team from D4 LLC consisted of Amir Karahasanovic, John Hennessy, Ashley Romano and Steve Huber.

Mandy Carden Agins, Robert Bowes and Eric Bach represented Harris Beach PLLC at this year’s Brain Game.

Thomson Reuters won in 2011, but didn’t make it to the finals this year. From left are Tim Thomas, Cory Steckler, Colleen Courtade and Elena Renner.


The Nixon Peabody team consisted of Joe Noto, Stephanie Monastra, Erik Goergen and Peter Durant.

The winning moment: The Harter Secrest & Emery team reacts to their win.

Underberg & Kessler LLP made it to round 3. Players included Jillian Farrar, Rita Nischal, Jennifer Rossi and Leah Tarantino

The Brighton Securities team included Charles Wade, Laura Geyer, Gary Michaels and Brennan Redmond.

Representing Lacy Katzen LLP were Michael Wegman, Timothy Muck, John Wells and Jennifer Chadwick.

Nearly 200 people attended the 2012 Brain Game event at the Radisson Riverside Hotel.