We engage and connect people through shared experiences that positively transform individuals, organizations and communities.
We see a Rhode Island that is flourishing — economically, civically, culturally — built on a foundation of ever-improving human capital whose strengths and potential we spend each day revealing and igniting.
And we see the lessons of this lively leadership experiment being shared and amplified around the country and the world to nurture the kind of fully-engaged societies that create lasting, positive change.
Our Beliefs and Values
- Recognizing leaders and investing in their personal and professional growth and connections with one another will result in individual, collective and statewide transformation.
- It is vital to bring everyone to the table to collectively identify and solve challenges facing our state.
- Experiencing transformative experiences in a cohort creates an environment for bridging across differences.
- Large-scale change requires a broad network of individuals, with deep and personal connections based on trust and respect, who are able to have frank discussions.
- With each class, long-term relationships are created which continuously generate new energy through contributions and exchange of ideas amongst the broader LRI network.
- We believe in the power of shared best practices and shared learning to enable our state to go further, faster.
- We are open to anyone seeking to move the needle of tough challenges within our state.
- We value contributions over formal credentials.
- We embrace diversity and divergence.
From "weaving back the civil fabric" of RI cities/towns to "outstanding leadership innovations" to moving the needle for statewide workplace engagement, Leadership Rhode Island's impact has been honored locally, regionally and nationally with five awards in the past five years from Common Cause RI, Association of Leadership Programs, GoLocal, and the Rhode Island Press Association.
"The most outstanding combination of networking and education available in the state today."
Michael Friedman (LRI '16), Clubhouse Capital
"My Leadership Rhode Island journey made me better and inspired my continuing commitment to making everything around me better."
Will Bundy (LRI '02), Director, Gravely Research Group, Naval War College
"You'll never be the same after you've been through this experience."
Nondas Voll (LRI '85), Executive Director (retired), Fund for Community Progress
"I am amazed and impressed with the enormous positive impact LRI has had on our state."
Richard Staples (LRI '90), Retired, Fannie Mae
"I was able to step outside my day-to-day comfort zone, engaging in thoughtful, action-oriented interactions with a diverse cast of characters."
Dana Borrelli-Murray (LRI '12), Executive Director, Highlander Institute
"It's a life-changer. There are few places left where you can quite freely discuss your ideas with so many others."
Gary St. Peter (LRI '92), Principal (retired), SP&K
"Apply if you wish to expand your thinking, want to be a part of an extraordinary group having a positive impact on Rhode Island, and are looking for adventure."
Claudia Cardozo (LRI '11), Community Development Manager, Coastway Community Bank
"The intended consequence is very simple - sustainable relationships are built that have a positive impact on our state."
Steven O'Donnell (LRI '04), CEO, YMCA of Greater Providence
"Participation in LRI was a gift that continues to pay dividends 25 years after graduation."
Martha Conn Hultzman (LRI '91), Director, Citrin Cooperman
"I have watched LRI cross lines and broaden and expand its definition of leadership while becoming much more visible in the social and cultural landscape."
Donald King (LRI '02), Creative Director, King Saint Germain
"It was the most gratifying and 'out of the box' professional and personal 'Rhode Island-centric' development experience I have ever been a part of."
Captain Vincent McAteer (LRI '15), Office of Community Outreach, Cranston Police Department
"Seldom, if ever, will you be able to share ideas with such a diverse community of leaders, as you will in LRI."
Jane Fusco, (LRI '03), Marketing Manager, University of Rhode Island
"It is a truly transformational experience."
Bill Allen (LRI '87), Adjunct Lecturer, Brown University
"It's incredibly informative, a truly unique experience. The people involved make this time so worth it."
Jennifer Luxmoore (LRI '10), Owner, Sin Desserts
"What you experience during your session day and the leaders you will interact with can not be replicated."
Ed D'Arezzo (LRI '08), Retired, Assistant Director of Health, RI Dept of Health
"LRI opened my eyes to the many facets of complex issues in our state, far beyond what reading papers and listening to news outlets did. "
Kelly Nevins (LRI '06), Executive Director, The Women's Fund
"LRI helped me to develop the ability to extract the individual capabilities of diverse leadership styles while engaging and empowering those in my community."
Sixcia Devine (LRI '07), Founder of Caritas Smile and CEO of Sixcia Business
"LRI isn't going to tell you how to do it, but it will connect you with people who will help you achieve it, because they want it, too."
Jacob Brier (LRI '14), Co-Founder & Chairman, LIFEcycle Inc.
"One of the best things I've ever done!"
Ruth Clegg (LRI '98), Artist & Owner, Angell Fine Arts
"LRI affords a space for conflicting ideologies to meet and evolve, which is key to community progress in a time with so much partisanship and division."
Ray Two Hawks Watson (LRI '15), Founder/CEO, Providence Cultural Equity Initiative
Leadership Rhode Island has been a recognized leader among organizations of its type from the beginning in 1981. At that time, there were only a scattering of community leadership programs across the United States, while today there are hundreds. LRI has been an innovative pioneer, serving as a model and mentor for many of the groups that have followed.
Board of Governors
The Board of Governors serves as LRI’s primary governing body. Responsible for the current state of the organization as well as for its future, the LRI Board leads in the development and execution of effective strategies consistent with LRI’s mission and vision. It also provides financial management and directs all fundraising to ensure adequate resources for the organization. The Board also oversees and supports all LRI programs and services. Board members are widely respected Rhode Island leaders from a cross-section of community sectors, including business, finance, education, and community nonprofits.
Chair, LRI '07
Shareholder, Director of Tax Services, Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co., Ltd
Vice Chair, LRI '11
Senior Vice President & General Manager, Amica Mutual Insurance Company
Treasurer, LRI '12
Vice President, Rhode Island District Operations Manager, Gilbane Building Company
Secretary, LRI '13
Shareholder, Adler Pollock & Sheehan P.C
Member-At-Large, LRI '14
Co-Director, Health Equity Institute, Rhode Island Department of Health
Member-At-Large, LRI '13
Strategic Account Director, CVS Health
Past Chair, LRI '05
HR Vice President, The Beacon Mutual Insurance Company
Member, LRI '11
Creative Director, NAIL Communications
Member, LRI '11
Partner, Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP
Member, LRI '11
Assistant Vice President Alumni Relations, Providence College
Member, LRI '15
Implementation Director, Upserve
Member, LRI '05
Anchor/Reporter, NBC 10/WJAR-TV
Member, LRI '16
Director of RI Strategy and Performance Management, National Grid
Member, CLRI '06
STEP Project Director, Boston Public Schools
Consultant and Author of “Organizational Turnarounds with a Human Touch” and "Seizing Success"
Executive Director, LRI '07
Contact Mike about governance, sponsorship, programs, and alumni relations.
Deputy Director, LRI '14
Contact Michelle about LRI's programs.
Jane E. Nugent, Ed.D.
Project Advisor, LRI '95
Contact Jane about the LRI Advisory Council.
Contact Joanne about LRI operations
Kristin Zosa Puleo
Contact Kristin about the Core Program and College Leadership Rhode Island.
Contact Kevin about LRI's "Make RI Stronger" Initiative.
Alumni & Community Engagement Liaison, CLRI '12
Contact Matt about LRI's alumni initiatives.
Programs and Events Coordinator
Contact Kim about LRI's programs and events.
Program Coordinator, CLRI '15
Contact Ray about College Leadership Rhode Island.
Contact Alicia about all matters of finance, including accounts payable and receivable.
Resident Editor, LRI '92
Contact Carol about LRI's newsletter.
Layout Editor, LRI '11
Contact Christine about LRI's newsletter and other publications.
Resident Photographer, LRI '90
Contact Richard about LRI photographs.
Partners and Sponsors
Many of LRI's major funders and supporters begin as employer sponsors. These are organizations who give their employees the time off, and usually the funding, to participate in the LRI Core Program. Over 500 organizations in Rhode Island have been employer sponsors, and the benefits of the employee's interaction in the community and newfound perspective are incalculable. The program develops the organizational, leadership and problem-solving skills of its participants. In addition, it offers new insights into the community, helping participants identify where strategic alliances might be forged, and providing a unique perspective on the behind-the-scenes workings of our state.
Opportunities and Jobs
LRI believes in leveraging each person’s strengths as we continue our mission of providing leaders and emerging leaders with knowledge and access to resources while enabling them to positively affect their communities. The staff is passionate about Rhode Island and dedicated to nurturing relationships with more than 2,000 alumni.
The ideal staff member is willing to invest energy into a fast-paced, performance-driven environment. If you’re ambitious about goals, but like to have fun collaborating as a team to reach them, you’ll be in good company. It’s not rare for us to spend a few late nights at the office working on programs or brainstorming ideas, but you’ll also find us kicking back at monthly social hours getting to know our neighbors around the state.