Sidewalk Shovelers

Steve Fortunato

Founder and President
Direct: 716-465-5131

It takes a true artist to connect with another individual. My mom, an amazing watercolor artist, connects on an emotional level with so many people through skill, vision and an acceptance of vulnerability. A great artist like my mom realizes art isn’t created for those that don’t like it, only for those that do.

I took that philosophy with me, from my early days as a sportscaster, to what eventually became my passion, building brands. Every brand, personal or business, won’t connect with everyone, and that’s okay. What’s your art? Who likes it? Who doesn’t? I started Shovel The Sidewalk with the idea of helping people and companies answer those questions. Ultimately, the answers help to create a brand that resonates with those that will appreciate it, while ignoring those that won’t.

Second-favorite quote: “Consistency is the hallmark of greatness” – Jim Tressel, President, Youngstown State University 

Favorite quote: “Consistency is the hallmark of greatness, unless you’re consistently bad.” – Cherisse Fortunato, Wife, Mother, Event Coordinator, Social Media Expert, Realist

Random facts about me: Bat left, throw right… two idols, Don Mattingly and Rick Jeanneret…top priority is my family, wife, Cherisse and two daughters, Ellie and Jules…Mike Tyson once saved me from getting beat up.


Mark Kuligowski

Operations Manager
Direct: 716-256-8300

The only thing more important than the customer.. is the customer.  

Outstanding customer service is the backbone to everything we do for our customers, here at Shovel the Sidewalk.  We utilize a genuine and emotional approach to creating, growing, and protecting the brand(s) with the same commitment to our engagement and processes.

I strive for the perfect union between the client’s needs and desires, and the operational machine that does the evolutionary fulfillment.  Twenty-five-plus years in foodservice sales, marketing, and operations of equipment and supply, coupled with my many years as a head coach, have always been about preserving the forward momentum of the clients/people I serve through the best system(s) of execution.  I go all in!  Because I’m passionate about it—yes!  But, honestly—that’s just how it should be done, always.

“I leave an impression, your impression, because it’s what I love to do.” – Mark Kuligowski

Favorite Quote:  “…armed with will and determination, and grace, too.” – Tragically Hip

Random facts about me: I can throw down in a kitchen, I am a music obsessive, I have a passion for words and how they can inspire, my wife and two daughters keep me grounded, and when the NHL Playoffs begin–I’m the fan praying for triple overtime every game.


Maria D. Batt

Account Executive
Direct: 716-909-2032

In the non-profit world there is a mantra, “no mission, no money…know mission, know money.” If you are in love with your mission, we can help others fall in love with it too. The money will follow.I started my career working for non-profits in Western New York. The most valuable lesson I learned was the importance of building relationships and connecting with people on an emotional level. That doesn’t always mean tugging at someone’s heart strings. If you dig deep enough, you can find a way to connect with anybody. That is what I love to do—strip away the fluff, connect with your mission, and create a way for others to catch on.

Second-favorite quote: “While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” -Jack Kerouac

Favorite quote: “If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to sleep with a mosquito in the room.” -Anita Roddick


Random facts about me:  I view chefs the way many view professional athletes. Eric Ripert would be my Michael Jordan. My favorite thing to do is to eat around Buffalo with my husband Jeremy. I have two kids, Teagan and Rocco, and live with the best “boxer” in the universe, Mr. Louie Valloucche. Favorite cocktail: The East Ender at Buffalo Proper.