Optima Benefits & Payroll in Rochester, NY proudly serves businesses of all sizes throughout Upstate New York and the United States.

Our Leadership Team

Brandon Dicesare

President of Benefits

Delivering positive financial solutions has been core to Brandon’s professional career. His career began by helping individuals as a financial advisor while working in the New York City area with Citi Smith Barney. With Optima since 2008, Brandon has utilized his financial background to serve large and small companies by helping them analyze their costs and benefits to ensure the companies' needs and objectives are met. Brandon has built a strong reputation in the field of employee benefits due to his strong work ethic and attention to detail. Brandon is looking forward to his future with Optima and its continued success through strong relationships and service to the clients.

Brandon, a resident of Rochester, NY, is a graduate of the University of Buffalo where he was the captain of the Division 1 baseball team and a 4-year starter. Brandon went on to play professional baseball in Italy before he began his career in New York City. He is a graduate of McQuaid Jesuit High School, a member of Oak Hill Country Club, and lives with his wife and four children in Pittsford.

Jason Dicesare

President of Payroll

The newest member of the Optima leadership team, Jason brings with him over 10 years of experience in the payroll field. His prior success at Paychex and USA Payroll has helped him to develop sound knowledge in creating payroll services solutions targeted to small business owners. Jason consistently led his sales teams with his leadership skills and knowledge of both inside and outside sales. He has experience working in many varied markets and geographic locations, having sold payroll in the Hudson Valley and New York City area, Northwest Pennsylvania, and Western New York. Most recently working in the Rochester area allows Jason to provide competitive pricing and comprehensive solutions for payroll services, human resource compliance, benefits administration, and outsourcing meeting all your business needs.

Jason earned his bachelor's degree from Ithaca College. He is also a graduate of McQuaid Jesuit High School. He was a Section V champion wrestler and is still active in volunteering and coaching with local high school wrestling programs. Jason is married to his wife Emily and they have 2 sons.

Frank J. Dicesare


Frank was a lifetime Rochestarian who passed away on November 15, 2019. He strived to provide exceptional service and results for ALL his clients throughout his entire career. Frank devoted his life to building a business that he could pass down to his family and he was able to live out that dream. Although the road to success was not an easy one, (and never is for those charting their own path) Frank was a true entrepreneur with an unending drive to be successful; never giving up regardless of the obstacles. He tried many different fields, starting several successful businesses before finding his passion in helping others with insurance in early 2000. Frank started out selling Life and Long Term Care Insurance to individuals. Then a long-time friend asked if he could help with his company’s rising health insurance costs, and Frank entered the group benefits business. That opportunity catapulted his business into the group arena. It was here that Frank thrived and made a name for both himself and his company, Optima Benefits, in the insurance industry.

In 2008 Frank secured a large national association; this acquisition brought Optima to a new level and required additional resources. It was then that his son Brandon joined the company. Frank continued to guide the business and saw the additional opportunities as the uncertainty surrounding benefits and the Affordable Care Act loomed.

He loved the idea of having both his sons in the business and being able to deliver even more to his clients. In 2011 his oldest son, Jason joined the company. He added a second arm to the company with the payroll division. Thus, Optima Benefits and Payroll was formed.

Frank instilled that servicing the client is the most important part of the job; this tenet remains the backbone of the company today. Optima prides itself on helping the client and trying to provide them with the best experience possible.

Frank was a true family man who wanted only to provide the best life he could for his loved ones. He was married to his wife Kathy for 45 years and together they built an amazing family. His legacy lives on throughout the fabric of the company he started and will continue its success through the hard work and care that he instilled in both his sons.

Our Employees

Alyssa Ulmer

Highly adept in customer service, Alyssa has been working in the finance industry for nearly sixteen years, and she brings a high level of dedication and organization to every client she works with. Her years of experience and attention to detail help to ensure that every member of her portfolio receives the same care and quality of service that is expected when doing business with Optima. Alyssa continues to be recognized by her clients for providing outstanding support since joining Optima in 2014.

Alyssa is a graduate of Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women and later went on to graduate from Duquesne University (Communications and Journalism) where she played lacrosse and was a member of the Gamma Phi Beta international sorority. Alyssa moved back to her hometown of Rochester, NY in 2000. She is lucky enough to be a work-at-home Mom and currently resides in Farmington with her family & Boston Terrier.

Barbara Gaston

Barbara Gaston has been an integral part of Optima’s success serving as Executive Service Administrator since 2009. She is a team player that is always willing to help, not only her clients but her co-workers. Her goal is to provide swift and accurate resolutions to any issue or task she encounters.

Barbara is a graduate of Katharine Gibbs Business College with an associate degree in business administration and business management and North Eastern University with a Bachelor’s degree in law as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Theology from The Way College of Biblical Research in Indiana. She has been well educated and trained to be a teacher and leader in whatever she sets her mind to.

Being a parent has been the highlight of her life and was a very involved parent with her son. For instance, Barbara is still involved as an Assistance Scout Master in Boy Scouts even after her son became an Eagle Scout and graduated from the program. It was there where she began to form her love for the outdoors and now takes every opportunity to be outside enjoying nature. Most of her free time she will be hiking, camping, kayaking, skiing, etc.

Dan Alsheimer

Dan joined the Optima team in 2019. After years in the industry, he now serves as the Head of Payroll Operations, managing the payroll and tax departments, working with existing clients, and helping new clients transition to partnering with Optima. Dan also carries a strong conviction for making sure his team is set up to be confident and successful. He takes pride in being approachable and will drop everything to help others put a mark in the win column. Ideas and operations strategies that go beyond the norm have made Dan a top up-and-coming name in the Rochester market.

Dan is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he developed a love of illustration and design. In his free time, he has designed and illustrated work for magazines, podcasts, Hollywood stars, and professional athletes. If he’s not in the office, you’ll usually find him drawing or on the golf course. He lives in Chili, NY with his wife Christy, and their dog, Roux.

“The two things in life you are in total control over are your attitude and your effort.”

Joe Fiannaca

Taking care of clients has always been the most important aspect of Joe’s MO. Joe began his professional career at Paychex working in the customer service and sales areas for the company. After 5 years he became the Operations Manager and then the Vice President of Operations for USA Payroll, which was a start-up company when he first joined but was a multi-million dollar company when he left after 23 years. Since joining Optima as an Independent Consultant in 2019, Joe has been able to help develop relationships and new business opportunities for Optima.

Joe graduated from the University of Rochester with a degree in Organizational Behavior and a minor in Management studies. Joe also played football and hockey at the U of R and is also a member of the Batavia High School Athletic Hall of Fame where he graduated from High School. Joe is a long-time member of Ridgemont Country Club and resides in Rochester with his wife of 25 years, Kristin along with their 3 children.

Sheril Damelio

Over the past 25 years, Sheril has been solely focused on providing solutions to her clients. Sheril began her career in the banking industry as a Business Development Officer, responsible for educating and attracting new commercial businesses. She later moved into the securities industry as a Financial Planner, understanding the importance of providing her clients with an increased platform of services. Her knowledge and dedication to quality of service have gained her the respect and admiration of her clients and peers receiving the Small Business Excellence Award. Sheril plays a key role in new business development, client service, and retention for our team. Her passion to be a consistent resource for our clients enhances the experience Employers feel when coming on board with Optima.

Sheril received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Nazareth College. She was the recipient of the Outstanding Young Women of America Award and the first recipient of the Nazareth College Service Award. As a proud Naz alum, she remains continually active in the Nazareth Community. Her biggest accomplishment, and the one most proud of, is raising two wonderful, successful daughters, Ashley and Alyssa.

Tania Bonin

Making sure that all of the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed is Tania’s strength. Because of her strong organizational skills and detail-oriented nature, she has been able to handle a multitude of financial transactions at Optima since 2015. These include, but are not limited to, processing invoices and payments for benefits customers; completing monthly, quarterly, and annual audits; reconciling insurance, bank, and benefit policies and statements; as well as processing many other financial transactions.

Tania has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Brockport as well as two associate’s degrees in both accounting and nutrition from The Rochester Business Institute & Monroe Community Colleges. Born and raised in the Rochester area, Tania’s hobbies and interests include traveling, health and fitness, cooking, and wine pairing. She utilizes this knowledge in her free time by working as a Private Chef and a Brand Ambassador for several companies. Tania also believes in giving back to her community by volunteering at Foodlink and organizing charity events for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Victoria Steinmetz

Victoria has been in the payroll business in the Rochester and Finger Lakes area for 30 years. She is known for her personal service, timeliness in responding to her clients, and accuracy of her work. Her expertise in this field enables her to address any unique payroll situation that you may encounter. Victoria’s extensive experience provides Optima and its clients with an expert in the payroll field who can handle any situation.

Victoria is a lifelong Rochesterian who enjoys all things outdoors, especially riding her Harley. She is a graduate of Marcus Whitman High School and has 6 grandchildren.

Join the multitude of businesses in Rochester, NY and beyond that trust Optima Benefits Group for their employee benefits and payroll needs.

Call us at 585-506-4000 or email us through our secure contact page to learn how we can help your business grow and succeed.