Providence board of directors
Local community and business leaders work together to advance our mission to ensure public schools are places all students can thrive.
Michael Baer is Managing Partner at NuGen Go. He is leading and growing all aspects of the firm’s investment activities and building industry partnerships. Prior to joining NuGen Go, Michael served as Managing Director at Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank where he oversaw business development and strategic growth efforts leading to $1BN in public and private infrastructure financing. In addition, Michael served as senior advisor to the New York State Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery and special assistant to the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Michael Started his career at JPMorgan Asset Management.
Michael Baer received his B.S. in Business Administration from Babson College and his M.S. in International Relations from New York University. He is a CFA Charterholder. Michael currently serves as Chairman of the Board at City Year Providence and was formerly the Chair of Rhode Island’s Science and Technical Advisory Board of the State’s Climate Change Coordinating Council.
Prior to joining RIIB, Michael spent three years working in New York for the Governor Cuomo Administration, as a special assistant to the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation and as a Senior Advisor at the New York State Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery. Michael started his career at JPMorgan Asset Management where he spent eight years as the Chief Financial Officer for JP Morgan Asset Management’s US Equity, Global Multi-Asset Group, Private Equity, and Hedge Fund of Funds investment platforms. Michael earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Babson College and a Master of Science of Global Affairs at New York University. Michael is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Guillaume Bagal leads Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island’s diversity, equity, and inclusion programming, training, and education. Guillaume, whose diversity and inclusion practitioner experience spans corporate and government settings, leads BCBSRI’s Diversity Council and the company’s numerous employee business resource groups. He also oversees BCBSRI LGBTQ Safe Zone Program, and supports government affairs in monitoring relevant legislative efforts. Guillaume joined BCBSRI after serving most recently as the associate director of policy for Whitman-Walker Health, a legal and healthcare institute, in Washington, D.C. In that role, he monitored national and local policy issues impacting health and wellness of racial, ethnic, and sexual minority populations, and advocated on a range of LGBTQ and HIV-related policy issues in the District of Columbia. Guillaume was also director of policy at the Center for Global Health & Diplomacy, and held roles at Avalere Health, and Indiggo Associates, all based in the Washington, D.C. area. Guillaume is a strong advocate for community service and serves on a number of Boards including the Rhode Island Public Health Institute and Amos House. He previously served on the National Institute of Health Community Advisory Board, the Washington, D.C. Mayor’s Office LGBTQ Data Taskforce, and was elected president of the Gay and Lesbian Activist Alliance (GLAA), the nation’s oldest continuously active gay and lesbian civil rights organization. In addition, Guillaume is a member of the National Association of Health Services Executives, and the National Capital Healthcare Executives. Guillaume, who is fluent in French, English, and two African dialects, earned two master’s degrees – one in healthcare administration and policy from George Mason University and the second in organization sociology from East Carolina University, both with high honors. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology and French literature from East Carolina University. Guillaume resides in Providence, R.I. with his husband Bobby Gondola, Jr.
Christa currently serves as the Director of Alliance Management at Year Up. Year Up is a workforce development not for profit organization whose mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by ensuring that young adults gain the skills, experiences, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through careers and higher education. Her work with Year Up is focused on post program employment for Year Up graduates across the country. Christa’s career is anchored in the world of work, she has worked extensively over the past two decades to understand job markets, trends and connect people to opportunity, with a focus on hiring, employability and implications of culture on business results. Her focus on the talent ecosystem with emphasis on sourcing and talent acquisition, talent management and retention couples well with her experience in team development, project management and planning, Christa has also led more traditional human resource functions including; employee relations, benefits and succession planning. In addition, Christa is a business leader with experience managing P&L's of upwards of 50Mil for both private and publicly traded companies, she has led several highly successful, award winning, technical talent acquisition and strategic sales teams. Christa received a BA in Psychology from the University of New Haven, studied organizational design at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and holds credentials in Human Centered Design from +Acumen and IDEO.org. Christa lives in Warwick with her son Corey and husband Jayson.
Kyle L. Bennett, a native of Brooklyn, New York, grew up in Providence, Rhode Island. He has devoted his personal and professional life to lending his time and talents in service the Rhode Island community. Kyle attended North Carolina A&T State University and Rhode Island College where he studied Secondary Education, Mathematics. Kyle is married to his lovely wife, Eneida Bennett, a corporate paralegal with Hinckley Allen. He is the proud father of a beautiful daughter, Jenneya Bennett, a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and a Program Coordinator with Diversity Talks. He is currently the Director of the Public Policy and Research for United Way of Rhode Island. In this role, Kyle manages a team of people with a focus on defining challenges for our community and moving policy that addresses the unmet need. It is Kyle’s goal to create systems that serve the greater good while helping people with immediate needs. Previously at United Way, he served as the Director of Annual Campaign. He and his team worked with more than 600 Rhode Island based companies to secure annual campaign contributions in excess of $13 million. Additionally, Kyle has served as a liaison to the Olneyville Community. In this capacity he co-managed one of the organization’s largest volunteer opportunities in The Back To School Celebration of Rhode Island. His role, designed to engage neighborhood residents, small and large businesses and visitors in helping the children of Olneyville head back to school prepared for success and armed with the proper supplies. Prior to working for United Way, Kyle held several community based positions including Director of Black Affairs for the City of Providence and Communications Specialist for the RI Air National Guard.
Carrie Bridges Feliz, MPH, is the Vice President of Community Health and Equity at Lifespan, Rhode Island’s largest health system. In this role, Carrie manages the Lifespan Community Health Institute, a department that aims to improve population health and wellbeing by ensuring that all people have the opportunity to achieve their optimal state of health through healthy behaviors, healthy relationships, and healthy environments. Carrie has an extensive background in public health, beginning her career as a public health prevention specialist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where she concentrated on refugee health, tuberculosis program evaluation, and the prevention of healthcare acquired infections. She also served as the team lead for Health Disparities and Access to Care in the R.I. Department of Health. In that role, she supervised the offices of Minority Health, Women’s Health, Special Health Care Needs, and Primary Care & Rural Health. In addition to her public health experience, Carrie also has experience in education. Most recently, she was the director of strategic partnerships for the Providence Public School Department where she built collaborative relationships between schools, the district, community-based organizations, and national partners to improve students’ academic performance and wellbeing. Earlier in her career, Carrie was a classroom teacher in Phoenix, AZ and charter school administrator in Boston, MA. Carrie has earned numerous awards, including the Woman of Achievement Award from the YWCA of Rhode Island, the Women of Excellence Community Award from the Women’s Center of Rhode Island, and a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Service Award. More importantly, she volunteers by serving on local boards. In addition to City Year Providence, Carrie also serves on the Rhode Island Foundation board of directors, Paul Cuffee School board of trustees, and Rhode Island Free Clinic board of directors. Along with her career choices, these service opportunities reflect Carrie’s stated purpose, which is to help create the conditions that allow all people to thrive.
David Colli is Vice President of Field Operations for Cox Communications. He is responsible for every aspect of field service operations across the country. In his role he develops strategies to support high quality customer experience and new product deployments. He has been with Cox Communications since 1993. David has a lifelong commitment to service, he credits scouting, his schooling at Norwich University, and military service, (where he earned the rank of captain) for allowing him opportunities to serve his community and his country. David has been a volunteer firefighter his entire adult life. He joined the City Year Providence board in 2014-15.
Michelle Couture is a Vice President and Private Client Manager for U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. In her role she acts as a trusted financial advisor and advocate for clients in all aspects of their wealth management needs. She specializes in strategic credit solutions for residential, commercial, aircraft, yacht, fine art and unsecured loans and lines of credit. Michelle has 30+ years of experience in the financial services industry. Her most recent experience before joining U.S. Trust was as a Wealth Management Banking Advisor with Merrill Lynch the full service brokerage division of Bank of America, N.A. in Providence , RI . Her volunteer efforts past and present have focused on both children and community outreach and support. She currently serves as the Vice President on the board for the Boston Coastal Women’s Exchange where she has led women’s development efforts, philanthropic support, and community volunteer events. She has also served as a volunteer for Swim Across America for the last 5 years. Friends Way organization holds a special place in her heart and she trained to become a facilitator for children from ages 10-13 to assist them in dealing with grief and loss. She still serves on an annual basis to chair a picnic for the children and their families which is sponsored by the Boston Coastal Women’s Exchange, Merrill Lynch. She is also a board member of Young Voices and was appointed as part of the development committee in March of 2018. Michelle attended Johnson & Wales University and studied Financial Services Management. She holds her series 7 NASD license and a series 6, 63, & 66. Michelle has a daughter and a grandson and lives in Riverside, RI.
Maureen Dizon is a proud City Year alumna (CYDC ’10-’11). She currently works at the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) as a Transformation Specialist in the Office of School Improvement. She previously worked at the Rhode Island Office of Innovation as a project manager supporting the scale of personalized learning throughout the state, and as a Commissioner’s Fellow at RIDE focusing on public engagement for state implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Maureen was a founding staff member at Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., where she held both instructional and administrative roles. She is passionate about public service - apart from AmeriCorps, Maureen is also a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer whose project work included youth development and English instruction in Guatemala. In addition to her service on the City Year Providence Board, she chairs the City Year Providence Alumni Association Board. Maureen was a 2016-2017 Urban Education Fellow at Brown University. She holds an A.M. in Urban Education Policy from Brown and a bachelor’s in linguistics from the University of Rochester.
Alan Harlam has been the Director of the Social Innovation Initiative (SII) at Brown’s Swearer Center for Public Service since 2007. He teaches a Social Entrepreneurship course that introduces students to the transformative impact that social entrepreneurs have in society through extensive case analysis and independent projects. He envisioned and created the Social Innovation Fellowship that has supported more than 125 students with the funding, skill development, mentoring and peer community to hone an entrepreneurial idea and test their business model through an immersive summer experience. In addition to these programs, he has served as a key designer for recent strategic initiatives at Brown, including TRI-Lab, a social innovation platform for teaching, research, and impact that brings together students, faculty, and community leaders to study a critical social issue and develop new solutions; and the Program in Engaged Scholarship, which recognizes students who design their studies to fully integrate their learning inside and outside their classroom. Alan has been on the Advisory Board for City Year RI since 2004. He remains inspired by City Year’s leadership around National Service and has witnessed the transformative impact of service on our Corps members. Our current model has made great strides to prove that our unique combination of near peer, students centered, and relationship based supports is having a profound impact on the success of students in Providence and holds great promise as an important ingredient in assuring that the next generation of children can enjoy their rights to an excellent education and a life of opportunity and success. Each time he sees this work in action, he is inspired and recommitted to assure the success of this organization to realize its potential for impact.
Andy Horwitz is a law school professor at Roger Williams University School of Law, where he serves as the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education and the Director of the Criminal Defense Clinic. In the Criminal Defense Clinic third year law students represent indigent criminal defendants in Rhode Island District Court and the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal under Andy’s direct supervision. In addition to his clinic duties, Andy has taught criminal law, criminal procedure, advanced criminal procedure, interviewing and counseling, and trial advocacy. Prior to joining the RWU faculty, Andy served as a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society of New York City. There, he represented indigent defendants in all areas of criminal litigation including jury trials, suppression hearings, parole and probation violation hearings, and plea negotiations. Andy has provided pro bono legal services to a number of local organizations, including the ACLU, the NAACP, DARE, and Operation Stand Down. He presently serves on the Executive Committee of the Rhode Island Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, on the Boards of Directors at Open Doors Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Center for Justice, and on the Advisory Boards of the Transcending Through Education Foundation and City Year Rhode Island. Andy’s service on the Board of Advisors at City Year Rhode Island dates back to 2011, but his connection to City Year dates back to its founding, including attending the very first service day held in Boston. Andy earned his B.A. from Haverford College and his J.D. from New York University School of Law. He lives in Pawtucket with his wife, Alexandra Callam. His son, Daniel, served as a Corps Member at City Year New York and as a Team Leader at City Year Boston.
As Senior Vice President of Global Business at Collette, Christian Leibl-Cote is responsible for strategic global partnerships, new business development and a dedicated customer care center tasked with delivering exceptional service to Collette’s guests and travel partners. He is also responsible for leading the business and growth efforts in our international offices located in Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada. Christian joined Collette in 2007. He holds an MBA from Babson College and a Bachelor’s degree in business from the University of New Hampshire. Active in the local community, Christian serves on the board of City Year Providence. He is an avid sports fan and is passionate about team sports, especially youth activities. In his free time, Christian can be found spending time with his wife and three children.
Melissa Long is an accomplished attorney who has devoted a 20-year legal career to public service and public interest law. A member of the bar in Rhode Island and Virginia, Melissa has advised and counseled leaders and decision-makers on a variety of complex issues, including rights and responsibilities under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act and other civil rights laws. Melissa began her career in the Virginia courts: she served first as law clerk to the Honorable Marcus D. Williams of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit of Virginia, and later as a civil litigator for Fairfax County, practicing primarily in the Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court. After relocating to Providence in 1999, Melissa represented indigent parents in their appeals to the Rhode Island Supreme Court from orders terminating their parental rights. Committed to justice, public service and strong communities, Melissa is a proven leader who has managed teams, programs and budgets with solid results and positive public outcomes. Throughout her career she has worked with diverse individuals and groups to build consensus and solve problems. A Washington, D.C., native, Melissa is the daughter of two U.S. Army veterans who married six months before the Supreme Court decided Loving v. Virginia, the landmark case that struck down Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage. Ms. Long grew up on and near military bases in El Paso, Texas; Alexandria, Virginia; Schweinfurt, Germany; and Seoul, South Korea. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia and earned her law degree at the George Mason University School of Law. She and her family reside in Providence, RI.
Randy Martinez has been with CVS Health for 13 years. He serves the company as Director of Strategic Diversity Management where he is responsible for researching, recommending and executing the company’s enterprise Strategic Diversity Management strategy in support of all business operations, which include CVS Caremark, CVS Pharmacy, CVS MinuteClinic, CVS Specialty and CVS Omnicare. He serves as the primary advisor to the VP of Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer and provides strategic advice and counsel to the company’s leadership on diversity management goals and strategies into all business and planning processes and practices. Prior, he worked in Community Relations overseeing its activities within the company's central and eastern retail divisions. In his Community Relations role, he supported a five-year, $25 Million philanthropic initiative designed to support programs for children with disabilities, along with supporting other areas of philanthropic focus, such as programs for the uninsured and underprivileged. He and his former team were responsible for awarding up to $75M annually in philanthropic and corporate contributions through community grants, disaster relief, product donations, two chain-wide annual campaigns (ALS and St. Jude), and an end-of-the year Employee Giving Campaign. Prior to coming to CVS Health, he led and managed national advocacy organizations out of Washington, DC where he started his career. Randy holds a Master of Business Administration from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College and a Bachelor of Arts in English from George Mason University.
Neil Parrott is a Senior Risk Specialist, Officer at Citizens Bank. He works within front line risk management to provide risk and compliance support for a consumer banking operations team. Prior to this position, he worked within the AML operations group focusing on specialized projects, training framework, and process improvement. Outside of his current job, Neil is an advocate of personal and professional development; the subject of a book that he is currently working on. He is a life-long resident of Rhode Island, which is where he lives with his family.
Brenda Seagrave-Whittle joined Neighborhood Health Plan of RI in 2001. She is currently the and is responsible for leading Marketing, Communications, Government Affairs and Community Relations. Additionally, she oversees Neighborhood’s commercial insurance plans offered through HealthSource RI. As part of her work, she served as the Principal Investor of Hablamos Juntos a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant to improve language services for the Latino population in Rhode Island. Prior to joining Neighborhood, Brenda served as the Covering Kids Hospital Coordinator at St. Joseph Hospital in Providence, RI and the Manager of Social Services at Thundermist in Woonsocket, RI. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Rhode Island College and has been an active member of many organizations and boards. Brenda and her husband Shelly have two children, Sarah and Sean, and a grandson Jack.
Andy joined Bain Capital in 2005. He is a Managing Director, Chairman of the Risk & Oversight Committee, and a Valuation Committee member. In his capacity as the Global Head of Operations, Andy is responsible for leading the strategy and infrastructure supporting trade allocation and settlement, data management, reconciliation, document management, valuation and investor relations operations functions for the firm’s Credit, Public Equity and Partnership Strategies businesses. Previously, Andy was the Director of Treasury Operations at Investors Bank & Trust where he was responsible for all operations activities related to securities lending, foreign exchange, cash management and MBS portfolio functions. Andy received his B.A. in Economics from Assumption College. Andy and his wife Suzanne reside in Dover, MA with their son Riley and daughters Reagan and Rowan.