Paola Fernandez
Paola Fernandez
Board Member
SVP, Community Development Officer, Centreville Bank

"Because United Way is about community first, leveraging its resources and partners to do everything possible to advance justice and guide positive change."

Chris Sabitoni
Chris Sabitoni
Board Member
International Representative, Laborers' International Union of North America, New England Regional Office

"The mission of this strategic plan aligns with everything that our Union stands for. As in our motto, Justice, Honor & Strength for all individuals."

Board of Directors

Alden Anderson, SVP/Partner
CBRE/New England | Brokerage
Vice Chair, Board Governance, Ethics & Nominating Committee 

Marcela Betancur,** Executive Director
Latino Policy Institute

David Bonenberger,* President
Rhode Island Energy

Anthony Botelho,* SVP Commercial Banking
The Washington Trust Company

Brian Carroll,** Senior Managing Counsel & SVP
Citizens Capital Markets  

Barbara Chernow, Retired EVP, Finance & Administration
Brown University

Wes Cotter, Director, Corporate Communications
Gilbane Inc.

Joanne Daly, SVP, Financial Advisor
Morgan Stanley 

Jayne Donegan,** Executive Counsel
Textron, Inc.
Vice Chair, Audit Committee 

Paola Fernandez, SVP, Community Development Officer
Centreville Bank
Vice Chair, Community Impact Committee

James Galloway, EVP, EMEA/AP Operations & AFM
FM Global

Courtney Hawkins,* Chief Operating Officer
City of Providence

Junior Jabbie, President & CEO
Banneker Supply Chain Solutions, Inc.
Vice Co-Chair, Strategic Planning Committee

Dolph L. Johnson, Jr., Retired EVP & Chief Human
Resources Officer
Hasbro, Inc.
Board Chair

Wendy Kagan,** EVP, Chief Engagement Officer BankNewport
Vice Chair, Compensation & Benefits Committee 

Cortney Nicolato, President & CEO
United Way of Rhode Island

Gregg Perry, President
The Perry Group
Vice Chair, Resource & Engagement Committee

Yahaira “Jay” Placencia, SVP, Private Client Advisor
Bank of America Private Bank

Betsey Purinton, CFP, Managing Partner & Co-CIO
StrategicPoint Investment Advisors
Vice Co-Chair, Strategic Planning Committee

Ramona Royal, Assistant VP, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Christopher Sabitoni, International Representative
Laborers’ International Union of North America,
New England Regional Office

Rena Sheehan, VP, Clinical Integration
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island

Suresh Swaminathan, President
Teknor Apex Company

*New member
**Re-elected member

Community Advisory Board

Tomás Ávila, Associate Director, Office of Diversity
Rhode Island Department of Administration 

Jillian Balzano,* Community Relations Officer
The Washington Trust Company 

Denise Barge, Business Assistance Advisor
Commerce RI 

Kathleen Burke,* Executive Director
Newport Partnership for Families 

Elizabeth Burke-Bryant, Executive Director
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT 

The Honorable Sandra Cano
Senate Committee on Finance 

Ainsley Morisseau Cantoral, Co-Owner
Rancho de las Tres Potrancas

Michelle Carr,** Executive Director
Leadership Rhode Island 

Elizabeth Catucci, President & CEO
Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce

Patrick Crowley, Secretary/Treasurer
Rhode Island AFL-CIO 

Rilwan Feyisitan,* President & CEO
Community Action Partnership of Providence County 

Lisa Guillette, Executive Director
Foster Forward  

Robert Hughes,* Retired CEO
Missouri Foundation for Health 

Maryclaire Knight
Knight Consulting 

Linda Lulli, Strategic HR Consultant & Leadership Coach (SHRM member) 

Kerci Marcello Stroud,* Chief Marketing & Communications Officer
Rhode Island School of Design 

The Honorable Sabina Matos, Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor

Margaret A. Holland McDuff, Executive Director
Family Service of Rhode Island 

Kelly Nevins, Chief Executive Officer
Women’s Fund of Rhode Island 

Ray Nuñez, Partner & Community Director
Nuñez, The People’s Agency 

Ashley Gingerella O’Shea, Director, Community Investments
Executive Office of Health and Human Services 

Nina Pande, Executive Director
Skills for Rhode Island’s Future 

Dorca Paulino,* Director, Office of Equal Opportunity
University of Rhode Island 

Alexandra Pezzello, Esq.**
Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP 

Yahaira “Jay” Placencia, SVP, Private Client Advisor
Bank of America Private Bank
Community Advisory Board Chair 

Kelly Ramirez, Director
Donald Ryan Incubator for Entrepreneurship in the Arts & Sciences, Providence College

Lisa Ranglin,** Founder and President
Rhode Island Black Business Association

Lucy Rose,** Chief of Talent & Learning
Children’s Friend 

Genevieve Schultz,** Principal
Paul Cuffee Charter School 

Rena Sheehan, VP, Clinical Integration
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island
Vice Chair, Community Advisory Board 

John Silvia, III,** President, CHB
International Manufacturing Services, Inc. 

Susan Stenhouse, Chief of Staff, Rhode Island House of Representatives Republican Office 

Edward Tavarez, VP/Team Manager, System Engineering
Bank of America 

Rev. Chontell N. Washington, Interim Executive Minister
Rhode Island State Council of Churches 

Juan Wilson, Jr.,* Founder & CEO
MUSE Foundation of Rhode Island 

Kasim Yarn,** Director
Rhode Island Office of Veterans Affairs 

*New Community Advisory Board member
**Re-elected Community Advisory Board member

All Board of Directors members are Ex-Officio members of the Community Advisory Board.

ANTHONY BOTELHO serves as senior vice president of commercial banking and team leader for the commercial and industrial group at The Washington Trust Co. / COURTESY THE WASHINGTON TRUST CO.

Five Qs With: Anthony Botelho

Providence Business News

Anthony Botelho serves as senior vice president of commercial banking and team leader for the commercial and industrial group at The Washington Trust Co. He was recently appointed to lead the bank’s commercial lending growth in Connecticut, where the company recently opened a New Haven commercial lending office. Anthony also serves on United Way of Rhode Island's Board of Directors.



Rethinking how one of R.I.’s largest nonprofits can grow

The Boston Globe

In October, [Idrees "Lanre"] Ajakaiye was appointed the new chief development officer at... United Way of Rhode Island where he'll be in charge of helping... United Way achieve its current strategic plan, which outlines the nonprofit's investment of $100 million over five years to help achieve racial equity.


THE PROVIDENCE CITY COUNCIL gave the second and final approval on Wednesday to a $10 million spending plan for racial reparations. / PBN FILE PHOTO/CHRIS BERGENHEIM

City Council gives final approval to $10M reparations budget

Providence Business News

A two-yearslong effort to bring racial reparations to Providence achieved a milestone Wednesday... The approved funding largely mirrors recommendations set forth by a city panel based on community input, but with one major change that shifts some money into a COVID-19 Equity Fund to be managed by United Way of Rhode Island.


401Gives Returns in Just Two Weeks

Not only has United Way of Rhode Island set the effort’s most ambitious goal yet, aiming to raise $4.01 million. 401Gives also will enjoy its first ever “Weekend Edition” and take over the Ocean State beginning at 6 a.m. on Friday, March 31.

United Way Hosts 11th Children’s Book Drive

United Way of Rhode Island’s Children’s Book Drive is back! From April 1 – May 24, we’re teaming up with Women United and Books Are Wings to help Rhode Island children build their own libraries at home. Join us by buying and shipping books, dropping off books at one of our collection sites, or hosting a drive.

RI House of Representatives Housing Package

Contact: Michael J. Cerio | | (401) 743-8269 United Way of Rhode Island Statement on RI House of Representatives Housing Package From Cortney Nicolato, President and CEO, United Way of Rhode Island:  “Progress toward addressing Rhode Island’s housing crisis is what our state needs now, and we are grateful to Speaker Shekarchi and the […]


Children’s Book Drive 2023

United Way of Rhode Island's Children's Book Drive is back! From April 1 - May 24, we're teaming up with Women United and Books Are Wings to help Rhode Island children build their own libraries at home. Want to donate books or host a drive with your family, friends, or coworkers? View our Children's Book Drive 2023 drop-off locations and Frequently Asked Questions at the link below.


Power of the Purse

United Way of Rhode Island's Women United invites you to join the fight for childhood literacy at our 8th annual Power of the Purse fundraiser.

Wednesday, May 24 | 5:30 to 8 p.m.Squantum Association, RiversideSpend an evening with dynamic women making a difference in Rhode Island, bidding on designer purses, and enjoying signature cocktails, appetizers, surprise raffles, and a wine wall.Tickets are $100. Don't miss this opportunity to support a good cause.