Blues Society Board of Directors

 Blues Society Board of Directors
   Name              Role   e-mail address    About          
Adrienne Thompson


Adrienne speaks publicly and takes considerable pride in telling anyone who will listen about the excellent work the Blues Society of WNY has done over the past 25 years.  She has been an active member of the society for nearly 20 years, received the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2006, and currently serves as the Board President. Adrienne is married with two sons, three stepdaughters and eight grandchildren.  As a breast cancer survivor, in 2010 Adrienne initiated Jammin’ for a Cure which has raised nearly $30,000 for cancer-related programs and research.  She also serves on the Leadership Advisory Council for the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County.  She works full time as an Executive Administrative Assistant at Foit-Albert Associates.

Natalie Neubauer 

 Vice-President Natalie is the mother of four, has over 20 years of experience in the business and non-profit sectors, and has been an active participant in numerous WNY community growth efforts in social justice and the arts.  As a member and volunteer for the Blues Society of WNY, Natalie has strived to grow and support local Blues music through engaging the community in events such as the local Memphis Bound Competition and the Buffalo Niagara Blues Festival.  Through her work with 4Buffalo Music, Natalie hosts a variety of performances throughout the WNY area showcasing local and international music talent.  She also works to promote WNY talent on an international level; as Chair for the Memphis Bound Competition, Natalie created the newly developed “Beale St. Jam” held in Memphis during the International Blues Challenge and the Blues Society of WNY has gained international acknowledgment and support.
Ward Bray

Treasurer Ward has been a longtime Blues Society member and wants to help keep the blues strong in WNY.   He retired from a career in computer technology, a significant part of the time with local banks and health care organizations.  He has a BS in business management from UB , AAS in computer technology  from NCCC. He has been volunteering in the community for thirty years, including: Board Trustee and Vice President, Carousel Society of the Niagara Frontier, Treasurer, Buffalo Chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI), President of the WNY Oracle Users Group (OUG), President for the Association for Systems Management (ASM), and Event Entertainment Coordinator for Computers for Children (CFC) for several years.

Deb Jauch


Debby is an involved mother of 2 adult daughters and 2 grandsons. Retired from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services Business Enterprise Program as district supervisor, she was responsible for over 30 businesses located throughout New York State. Since retirement, she has done volunteer work at Roswell Park and “Pinups for a Cause.” Besides volunteering at Blues Society of WNY events, she has run and worked on many benefits through the years collecting donations and raising money for friends, community and the needy. Deb’s love for the blues has matured over the last 30 years from enjoying listening to live music at the Lafayette Tap Room to taking up jitterbug swing dance as her love for jump blues became extremely important to the lives of her and her husband.  She is currently part of the Education committee as she is passionate about “keeping the blues alive” beyond the 21st century.
 Fran Denk

 Board Member Fran has been an active member of the Blues Society since 2008 when she became involved in the Education Program; Fran accepted the Education Chair position in 2012 and under her direction we have expanded the Blues in the Schools program and incorporated community organizations and outreach programs into the education program.  Fran oversees the education display at the Buffalo Niagara Blues Festival which has been expanded to include a separate stage showcasing youth bands from past Blues in the Schools programs
Chuck Laedke

Board Member Chuck has been a member since 2008 and joined the board in 2013. Raised in a musical family of professional Jazz, Big Band and Marching bands musicians, he has always been exposed to live music.  Unfortunately he didn’t inherit the playing gene. Traveling continuously for 9 years for work he saw countless shows across the USA. Chuck caught the blues bug in 1973 seeing B.B. King in a small theater and as they say the rest is history. As a board member he is proud to say that he has helped develop the Buffalo Niagara Blues Festival since it’s inception. The festival has grown to a real “Gem” of the society and continues to flourish. He has been married for 30 years and has two children. The whole family works the festival with great reverence for the Blues Society and it’s wonderful programs. He will continue dedicating his energies to keeping the blues alive and advancing the mission of the Blues Society of Western New York. Chuck has been a bricklayer for 43 years and a licensed independent Insurance adjuster for 4 years.
 Steven Keon

Board Member Steve is a lifetime member of the Society.  After taking some time off to be a dad, Steve returns as a volunteer for the Society.  His experience includes organizing and promoting the Blues Society of WNY’s 1998 Memphis Bound Competition and the first Super Jam festival, writing a column for the Blues Beat magazine, and producing a compilation CD of Member Bands of the Blues Society of WNY.  In 2002, his band (Certified Groove) took 3rd place in the Memphis Bound Band Competition. In 2005 his solo/duo act (Captain Jack & Rhino) took 1st Place.  In 2005 he was awarded the Blues Society of WNY’s Muddy Award.  Additionally, Steve held the office of Secretary of the Rochester Area Songwriters Association.