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Executive Directors

Cathy Doyle

Executive Director at Year Up Rhode Island

Cathy Doyle joined the Year Up Providence Team in 2012 after having spent most of her career in Sales and Business Strategy for General Mills. A founding committee member of the Network of Executive Women (NEW), a national non-profit focused on empowering women, Doyle was recognized for developing and leading NEW’s first College Outreach and Mentoring programs. She also served as an Executive in Residence focusing on career education at Bryant University, and as a marketing and communication consultant for Serve Rhode Island working on urban education projects.

Doyle currently serves as Executive Director and Senior Director of Corporate Engagement for Providence. “I’ve found my passion and heart at Year Up. Not a day goes by that I’m not grateful for this work and for our young adults.”

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Rhode Island Local Advisory Board

Ted Fischer

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ageless Innovation

Ted Fischer has spent his career working with, building and leading collaborative teams that drive meaningful business relationships resulting in profitable sustainable growth. He joined Hasbro in early 2015 as Vice President of Business Development to help lead the identification and execution of new growth platforms, primarily focused in the Health/Wellness and Education/Learning areas. Ted also co-leads M&A activity for the company.


Prior to joining Hasbro he was founder and president of Fischer Consulting Group, LLC, a strategy consultancy working with industry, education and nonprofit leaders to create sustainable revenue, operating and funding strategies. He gained critical education industry experience as the president and COO of ConnectEDU (CDU) from 2009 to 2013. CDU was a leading provider of education technology solutions and services connecting learners to postsecondary and career opportunities.


Prior to joining ConnectEDU, Fischer was a partner at Providence’s Bay Capital Advisors, a boutique investment banking firm specializing in assisting small to midsized companies raise capital. During his tenure at Bay Capital the firm was awarded a SBIC license from the SBA, raised private capital and successfully launched BCA Mezzanine Fund 1. The firm subsequently raised and is investing BCA Mezzanine Fund 2. He currently serves on the advisory board of the firm.


Fischer was cofounder and vice president of OneNeck IT Services Corporation, co-leading a management buyout of the firm in 1999 and successful private equity recapitalization and exit in 2005. Fischer spent the first twelve years of his career at Duro Industries, ultimately as COO having P&L responsibility for the nearly $300M business.


Fischer is a founding board member and current chair of Year Up Providence. He serves on the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute Advisory Council, the BCA Mezzanine Fund, LLC Advisory Board and serves on the Board of Trustees at Moses Brown School. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College double majoring in Economics and Philosophy and is a graduate of the Program for Management Development at

Harvard Business School. Fischer served on the Harvard Business School Global Alumni Board for 10 years including 2 years as president.

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Lisa Abbott

Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Community Affairs, Legal at Lifespan

Lisa M. Abbott was appointed Lifespan’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources, in 2016. She came to Lifespan from Penn State Hershey Medical Center, where she was associate vice president for health affairs for HR and chief human resources officer. She holds a master’s degree in business administration from Binghamton University and a bachelor of arts degree in biology from the State University of New York at Cortland.

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Jill Andy

Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Amica

Jill Holton Andy began her career with Amica Mutual Insurance Company as an Associate Adjuster in the Claims Division in 1988, assigned to the Baltimore, Maryland office.  Over the course of the next 13 years she received 7 promotions culminating in the promotion to Manager, Rhode Island Claims, the Company’s flagship claims operation. A number of these promotions resulted in relocations to several of Amica’s branch operations across the nation.


Ms. Andy joined the Human Resources department in February 2006 as an Assistant Vice President; was promoted to Vice President in February 2008 as the Senior HR Officer of the Company and further promoted to Senior Vice President in February 2010.


Ms. Andy serves on the Board of Trustees for Meeting Street in Providence, RI; is a Corporate member of Delta Dental of RI and serves on the Advisory Board of AWE (Advancing Women’s Excellence in Business).  She has served as a panelist in a number of areas including the 2009 discussion of H1N1 business continuity issues for the Annual RI Supply Chain Management Summit at Bryant University, the RI Business Group on Health Wellness Seminar on building A Business Case for Wellness (2010), Bryant Women’s Summit Developing Excellence Within Your Team (2011) and Leading Women’s Advancing Women’s Excellence in Business Conference Success Starts with You’re A-Game (2012). Ms. Andy was selected for the Providence Business News Women Industry Leaders Professional Services Award in 2011 and chaired the American Heart Association’s 2014 Go Red for Women luncheon.


Ms. Andy has earned the insurance industry’s prestigious Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) educational designation and is a member of the local Rhode Island CPCU Chapter.  She is a member of the national Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) organization, the Northeast Human Resources Association, the Human Resource Leadership Forum (HRLF) as well as the Diversity and Inclusion Professionals of RI (DAIP).


Jill graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Affairs.


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Mark Cousineau

Vice President of Middle Market Commercial Banking at Wells Fargo

Mark Cousineau currently serves as Vice President of Middle Market Commercial Banking at Wells Fargo. Drawing on more than 20 years of experience with Bank of America, Mark offers proactive strategies and integrated financials solutions to profit and not-for profits to ensure they achieve their long-term goals. He leads a team of financial specialists who work with his clients to understand their business.


Mark is a graduate of Rhode Island College and received Bachelor’s Degree in English & Business Management. Mark currently is a board member of the Special Olympics, board member of the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association, board member and Treasurer of Times2 Academy, Treasurer of St. Edward’s Food & Wellness Center, and Community Advisory board member of United Way of RI. Mark is a mentor at Year Up.

Mark enjoys spending time with his wife Margaret and his three children Clare, William, and Lillian. He is an avid Martial Artist and has earned his 1st degree Black Belt. Mark also coaches his son’s basketball team.

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Barbara Goldner

Licensed Independent Social Worker at HAWK & hummingbird Holistic Healing

Barbara Goldner is a privately practicing psychotherapist (LICSW) in Providence, Rhode Island with over twenty years of experience in the field of mental health, working with individuals, couples and families. Barbara also has an extensive background in leading and coordinating employee assistance programs for prominent corporations, non-profits, and athletic teams.


Barbara currently serves on the advisory board of the HUB, a children’s television network available in 72 million homes. She has served on the board of Bradley Hospital, the largest free-standing Psychiatric Children’s Hospital and part of the Life Span Hospitals of Rhode Island. Barbara led Bradley’s capital campaign, which successfully raised significant funds to support the future of the hospital.


Barbara is a graduate of Seton Hall University and has a Master’s degree from Adelphi University. In addition, Barbara has completed postgraduate studies at the Gestalt Institute of Chicago.

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Katharine Hazard Flynn

Executive Director at URI Business Engagement Center,University of Rhode Island

Katharine Flynn is the Director of Corporate and Foundation relations at University of Rhode Island. Prior to her work at URI, she was Director of Business Development at RI Economic Development Corporation.


Katharine joined RIEDC in 2004 as a Business Development Manager specializing in Consumer Goods and Design and was promoted to the Director position in 2006. At RIEDC, she was responsible for a team of Business Development specialists who help businesses large and small in Rhode Island as they grow. Prior to joining RIEDC, Katharine worked in Investment Banking in New York City for over twenty years. She currently serves as Treasurer of the Board of Moses Brown School, as well as on the Board for Year Up Providence.


Katharine has a Bachelor’s Degree from Brown University in Mathematical Economics.

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Meghan Hughes

President at Community College of Rhode Island

Meghan Hughes served as the Executive Director of Year Up Providence from 2009 – 2015. Prior to Year Up, Meghan spent the previous seven years at Tufts University. While there she received the school’s Excellence in Teaching Award, led new curriculum development, and helped build a partnership with Northeastern University. Meghan graduated magna cum laude from Yale and holds a PhD from New York University. A resident of Providence since 1999, Meghan was recognized by the Rhode Island Foundation with its Community Leader award in 2015 and was named “Outstanding Woman of the Year” by Congressman David Cicilline in 2014. She completed Harvard Business School’s “Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management” in 2013, was a fellow at the Rhode Island Foundation in 2012, and currently serves on the Year Up Providence board.


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Alberto Irizarry

Level II Support Center Associate at Vetikal6
(Year Up Alumnus)

Alberto Irizarry is from Rhode Island and attended Year Up located in downtown Providence. During his studies at Year Up, Alberto excelled in the Information and Technology track. He joined Year Up to learn more about the IT field and meet lifelong friends. While attending the program, Alberto was paired with Ted Fischer who was an excellent mentor to him. Alberto interned at IGT and shadowed Network Engineers. Alberto Irizarry is currently an Engineer in the SMB Department at Envision Technology Advisors. His primary roles are to support over 40 business’s technology needs ranging from building and configuring servers, supporting and configuring firewalls, configuring network switches and consulting with various companies bringing them cutting edge technology into their current computer environments. Alberto got married in June 18th, 2017 and had the honor to have his mentor, Ted, as his best man. He continues to excel in his role at Envision and is constantly working towards helping other people succeed.

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Dolph Johnson

Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer at Hasbro

Dolph Johnson is Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for Hasbro, Inc., a worldwide leader in children’s and family leisure time entertainment products and services.


Dolph’s career at Hasbro spans 18 years during which time he has held responsibility for a variety of different aspects encompassing global human resources, organizational and leadership development, succession planning, compensation, benefits, employee relations, performance management, employee engagement and communications and HR information systems.


Prior to Hasbro, Dolph’s career included service with Frito Lay, based in Dallas, Texas, and Ecolab based in Minneapolis, MN.


Dolph serves on the Board of Visitors Executive Committee for the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University and is also on the Board of Directors for The Pawtucket Foundation, United Way of Rhode Island, Bruno United FC, a non-profit youth soccer club and sits on the Board of Trustees at Rhode Island Hospital Foundation. He has also served as Chairperson of the Hasbro Children’s Hospital Gala Committee from 2010 to 2014.


Dolph holds a PhD in Organizational Psychology from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.  He holds a BA in Psychology and a MA in Psychology from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA.

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Jeff Lackey

Vice President of Talent Acquisition at CVS

Jeff is the Vice-President of Talent Acquisition for CVS Health.  The TA functions purpose is to help CVS Leaders hire great people!  Over his career he has led the global recruitment for Roll-Royce, launching TA capability in more than 70 countries as well as starting up an HR Shared Services capability in North America.  His leadership in the TA space has been transformative – leading several Fortune 500 companies to the development of world-class people, processes, and technology. His experience not only spans geographies, but has led award-winning branding and marketing campaigns, university/graduate recruitment, contingent labor, executive recruitment, social media, and technology.  He has had the privilege of working with and lead great teams to build this one of a kind TA capability.  He sees it as a great opportunity to lead Talent Acquisition for a purpose-driven company – helping people on their path to better health!

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Sally Lapides (Board Chair)

President and Chief Executive Officer at Residential Properties LTD

Sally Lapides is President and Chief Executive Officer of Residential Properties Ltd., Rhode Island’s premier residential real estate firm which she co-founded in 1981. Sally provides energetic leadership and vision for the company, overseeing operations that encompass five offices, a relocation division, a commercial real estate division, over 180 agents, and a large support staff. An early pioneer in the use of the Internet, the company has always strived to be a leader in technology while increasing the success of the buying and selling process. RPL was a founding member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, the country’s largest network of leading independent residential real estate firms.

A nationally recognized expert in the local market, Sally is frequently quoted as a real estate specialist by such leading news organizations as The Providence Journal, Providence Business News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, NBC10 TV, WPRI TV, WRNI radio, and 920 AM radio. She has been recognized as a leading woman in business by Providence Business News and Rhode Island Monthly magazine.

Sally has served as the Vice Chair of the Board of Governors at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum and has been a Trustee on the boards of Roger Williams University, Smith Hill Center, Trinity Repertory Company, and Providence Country Day School. She was the former Chair of the Board at The Gordon School, the Newport International Film Festival, GAIA (Global Alliance to Immunize Against Aids) and The Rhode Island Foundation’s Equity Action Campaign Committee which raised $1 million for the Fund for the LGBT community.

She grew up in Barrington, Rhode Island and is a graduate of Boston University with a B.A. in Art History. She is married to Arthur Solomon and has two sons, Emmett Barnacle and Ian Barnacle who manages the company’s Barrington Office.



Sally serves or has served as a Trustee on the boards of Roger Williams University, Trinity Repertory Company, the Newport International Film Festival, GAIA (Global Alliance to Immunize Against Aids) and Providence Country Day School. She was the former Chair of the Board at The Gordon School.

She serves on the Ethics and Arbitration Committees for the Greater Providence Board of Realtors.

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Jessica Nunez

Officer Manager at Ageless Innovation
(Alumna of Year Up Rhode Island 2013)

Jessica Nunez is from Rhode Island and graduated from Year Up Rhode Island July of 2013. During her studies at Year Up, Jessica was placed as an intern at Embrace Home Loans. Jessica spent her six month at Embrace Home Loans in a Loan Processor position. After completing her internship Jessica was offered a position at Residential Properties as a Marketing and Desktop support coordinator. After 2 years, Jessica received a call from Embrace Homes Loans asking for her to come back. In March, Jessica will complete 3 years with Embrace Home Loans as a Loan Processor. Jessica is one of the founding members of the Year Up alumni board. She has served as a mentor, support and partner. On October 20th 2017 Jessica closed on her first home, a Duplex in Providence RI. Jessica now strives to invest in real estate and own more than one property.

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Sandra Powell

Health Policy Director at Rhode Island Department of Health

Sandra M. Powell is Health Policy Director for the Rhode Island Department of Health. Prior to her role as Health Policy Director, Ms. Powell served as the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Human Services, which is responsible for administering the State’s major economic support programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Low Income Child Care, Child Support Services, Eligibility for Medicaid, Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP), General Public Assistance, the State Program for the Supplemental SSI Payment, Temporary Aid to Needy Families (called RI Works), and federal grants for the homeless, emergency food assistance, domestic violence programs, refugee re-settlement, and Community Action Programs.


Prior to her Human Services appointment in January 2011, Ms. Powell served for three years as director of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, overseeing workforce development, workforce safety and regulation, labor market information, unemployment insurance, temporary disability insurance and workers’ compensation programs for the state. Ms. Powell has worked in progressively senior positions in RI state government for over twenty years, where she has focused on delivering both workforce and social services to Rhode Islanders in need.


Ms. Powell serves as a Year Up mentor and guest speaker. She is also on the board of the Providence Plan, and Home and Hospice Care of RI. She has served on the board of directors for the Beacon Mutual Insurance Company and the Governor’s Workforce Board. A lifelong Rhode Island resident, Ms. Powell was born in Providence and graduated from Classical High School. A Princeton University graduate, Ms. Powell holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. In 2011 she was awarded an honorary doctorate degree, Doctor of Public Service, from Rhode Island College for her years of commitment to serving Rhode Islanders.

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Paul Salem

Co-Founder and Senior Managing Director at Providence Equity Partners

Paul Salem is a co-founder and a Senior Managing Director based in the Providence office. Mr. Salem is currently a director of Grupo TorreSur, NEW Asurion and NFL/PEP Ventures. Mr. Salem previously served as a director of Eircom, PanAmSat, Tele1 Europe, Verio, Wired Magazine and several other Providence investments. Mr. Salem established the London office in 1999 and returned to Providence in 2001. Before joining Providence, Mr. Salem worked for Morgan Stanley in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to Morgan Stanley, he spent four years with Prudential Investment Corporation, an affiliate of Prudential Insurance, where his responsibilities included private placement financings, leveraged buyout transactions and helping establish Prudential’s European office. Mr. Salem received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University. Mr. Salem is chairman of non-profit Year Up and a board member of Edesia Global Nutrition.

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Donna Sams (Vice Chair)

Partner at Spencer Consulting Group and Co-Founder Center Change

After leaving her executive/officer positions in Fortune 50 companies, Donna became one of the founding partners of Centered Change, LLC; a Providence based consulting practice. Centered Change partners with organizations, teams, and individuals to  remove internal and external barriers that prevent the elevation of women to roles with impact. This is done through business consulting, workshops,  education, and coaching.


Donna also joined Spencer Consulting Group as a Partner and Senior Consultant. She is consulting with organizations in Fortune 500 companies, assisting them with the organizational strategies required to achieve intended outcomes; such as change management, organization/team development, and leadership development.


Donna has over 20 years of executive leadership and organization transformation experience in health care, retail, technology, and non-profit organizations. For 15+ years she has held officer level positions in Fortune 100 companies where constant change and the achievement of measurable results were paramount. Donna has a solid track record of achieving results, while developing organization, team, and individual confidence and competence. Because of her passion for people and their immense capabilities, Donna has been recognized for effectively coaching and developing individual talent. She also dedicates a great deal of her personal time seeking to impact compelling issues such as: diabetes, childhood literacy, heart disease, and women representation in the field of technology, to name a few. She has been a requested speaker at numerous conferences and meetings. She has served on several non-profit boards and is currently a member of the YearUp Advisory Board, the Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way of RI and the State of RI Commerce Board. She has received several recognitions and awards; she was a 2010 Rhode Island Commission on Women, Women of the Year for Leadership in Technology, a 2011 Women Helping Women award recipient in recognition for her advocacy and mentoring of women, and a 2012 Volunteer of the Year for her work with urban, young adults.


Ms. Sams has a BA in Sociology and an MS in Human Services.

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Don Stanford


Don began working for GTECH’s founders in 1979 as Manager of Software Development. In over 30 years at GTECH, he has held every technical leadership position, including Vice President of Advanced Development and Chief Technology Officer. Stanford guided the growth of GTECH’s technology organization from a software staff of four in 1979 to its current worldwide deployment of over 1000 technology professionals. From 1986 until 1989, Don served on the GTECH Corporation Board. Under Don’s leadership, GTECH advanced the state of the art in both transaction processing and wireless communications which enabled it to dominate its industry worldwide and install systems on six continents. Stanford earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations in 1972 and a Master’s in Computer Science/Applied Mathematics in 1977 from Brown University. Don serves on several boards including Times Squared Academy Charter School, Spectra Systems and the Business Innovation Factory. Don is a member of the R.I. Science and Technology Advisory Council.


In 2001 Don was appointed Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brown University and has been teaching undergraduates since 2002. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Engineering and is an instructor in the Program in Innovation, Management and Entrepreneurship (PRIME). He serves on the Brown advisory councils to the President and the School of Engineering.


In 1999, Don received both the Black Engineer of the Year Award for Professional Achievement as well as the Honorable Thurgood Marshall award for community service from the NAACP. In 2002, he received the Brown Graduate School’s Distinguished Graduate award and the R.I. Professional Engineer’s Award for Community Service.


Don and his wife, Jane, live in Pawtucket, Rhode Island and St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.

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William Wray

Senior Vice President of Risk Management at Washington Trust

Bill Wray is Senior Vice President of Risk Management at Washington Trust. Prior to this he was the Chief Operating Officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBSRI) of Rhode Island. This followed 15 years at Citizens Financial Group, where he was Vice Chairman and Chief Information Officer. In each instance he has been a sponsor of Year Up internships which ended up in permanent hires.


Bill is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, and has a Master’s degree from Stanford University. In addition to Year Up Bill serves on the Boards of Providence Performing Arts Center, the Business Development Company of Rhode Island, and the Finance Council of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence. Bill and his wife Nancy have 3 children and a growing number of grandchildren. His hobbies include music, reading, and sarcasm.


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Rhode Island Leadership Council

Marilyn Dimson-Doyle (Chair)

Organizational Consultant & Personal Development Coach

Lindsay Ciavattone

Partner Relations Manager at Year Up Providence

Rob Crain

Vice President of Sales at Pawsox Baseball

Shaun Crank

Associate Director of Employment Placement at Year Up Providence

Davy Dy-Nak

IT Strategy & Planning Specialist at Citizens Financial Group

Kevin Gallagher

Deputy Chief of Staff for the Office of the Governor in the State of Rhode Island

Tim Groves

Director of Development & Partnerships at Coalition for Access, Affordability, & Success

Brendan Meenan

IT Deployment Analyst at Fidelity Investments

Jodie Neville

Realtor at RE/MAX

Aimee Oliveira

Senior Director of Enterprise Sourcing and Pharmacists Talent Acquistion at CVS

Bobby Rodriguez

Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer & Facilities at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island

Brenda Williams

Human Resources Director at Tunstall Americas

Kasim Yarn

Director at Rhode Island Office of Veteran Affairs