If you’ve ever attended AIDS Walk Buffalo or a WNY Pride Week event, chances are you’ve spotted Melvin Martemianov-Roundtree. Melvin is one of Evergreen Health’s most dedicated supporters, giving generously of his time and energy both as an individual and through M&T Bank, where he works as a Business and Planning Analyst. “I first became involved with Evergreen through the Pride Resource Group (PRG),” said Melvin, referring to M&T’s LGBT employee organization. “It was a great way to get involved in the community. Working with Evergreen has been a rewarding experience especially when I see the positive impact Evergreen and the Pride Center have on the community.”
Melvin has been a volunteer at Evergreen events for more than four years and a member of the AIDS Walk steering committee for three years. His community spirit and leadership abilities don’t end there. Melvin is also on PRG’s Leadership Committee and has served as the group’s President and Co-Chair of Community Development & Outreach (a position he holds today). “Over time M&T has built a strong relationship with Evergreen,” said Melvin. “It’s centered on and built around volunteerism.”
M&T has indeed been a loyal community partner with Evergreen and the Pride Center for many years. “Their involvement runs deep,” said Ray Ganoe, Evergreen’s President & CEO. “We’ve had donors, volunteers and even Board members come to us from the ranks of M&T staff.”
M&T has a highly visible role as presenting sponsor of the Buffalo Pride Festival. It’s not an empty gesture. Diversity and inclusion are built into M&T’s corporate culture. The bank has an excellent score of 95 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which rates businesses on their treatment of LGBT employees and customers.
While Evergreen, the Pride Center and the entire community certainly benefit from M&T’s emphasis on civic engagement, Melvin says that he benefits as well. “I think that the most rewarding experience comes from working with the community,” he said. “I’m a strong advocate for volunteerism. I’ve built many strong friendships through volunteering and it’s a great opportunity to learn from others while sharing my own stories and experiences.” Melvin is inspired by the way the community comes together to support common causes. “The highlight for me is seeing the energy in the people that volunteer and the passion they exude. I’ve worked the AIDS Walk in sunny, warm weather and in cold, rainy weather. No matter what the weather has been on the day of the Walk, you can see how much this event means to the community.”
Rachel Voelkle-Kuhlmann is the Volunteer & Event Coordinator at Evergreen. She notes that Melvin brings that same energy and passion that he sees in others to his own volunteer work. “Melvin is an incredible community supporter of Evergreen and the Pride Center,” said Voelkle-Kuhlmann. “He’s always ready to help with a smile on his face, from organizing condom packing parties for his colleagues at M&T to running the AIDS Walk incentives tent or providing valuable input as an AIDS Walk committee member. Melvin’s dedication to Evergreen is a testament to his drive for building a healthier and more inclusive Western New York. He inspires us all.”
Melvin looks forward to expanding his role at Evergreen. “In the future I anticipate being even more involved as a volunteer for Evergreen and the Pride Center,” he said. “I look forward to being a continued advocate for the wonderful presence that these organizations have in our community, and I want to continue to help expand the already outstanding partnership between Evergreen and M&T!”
Keep your eye out for Melvin at this year’s Pride Week events!
To learn about current volunteer opportunities, visit buffalopridefestival.com.