Mark Cote, President
Affiliations: Community Care Alliance
Mark is currently a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, working as Director of Child Welfare at Community Care Alliance. Originally from rural Maine, he moved to Vermont to obtain his B.A. and M.A. from Saint Michael’s College, a small Liberal Arts College outside Burlington, Vermont. Through his work in Woonsocket at CCA he became familiar with Riverzedge Arts and referred many youth to the program, and then in his desire to become more invested in the program, he decided to join the Board of Directors in 2016. He soon after became Board Chair in the Summer of 2017. His work as a therapist, particularly working with at-risk youth, has contributed to the development as a program working to provide the youth of Woonsocket a safe and stimulating environment that helps to meet several social-emotional needs.
Dennise Kowalczyk, Interim Vice President
Affiliations: CTD Creative Consulting LLC – Owner
I am a multipotentialite who divides my time between growing my consulting business with producing a podcast and convening groups of people to get the most out of life. I got my start in the world of community radio as a volunteer at XPN in Philadelphia, PA and really went to town with my passion at KBOO Community Radio in Portland, OR. Currently, I manage a small business called CTD Creative Consulting and produce content for other small businesses. I host and produce a podcast called Artclectic New England. The podcast is a sharing of my discoveries and includes conversational, curiosity-driven interviews. I am the founder of Dames Who Dine PVD, a monthly dining club for women and also the co-founder of the RI Podcasters Meet Up group. I moved to the New England area from the Pacific Northwest in the summer of 2018 and fell in love with my new home in the Ocean State. Living in Providence, RI has opened up one adventure after the next to explore what the region offers in arts & culture.
James Tierney, Treasurer
Affiliations: Ocean State Business Development 1st Vice President
James joined OSBDA in October 2015, and serves the role of 1st Vice President. Currently, James is responsible for business development, loan packaging, and portfolio management. Prior to joining OSBDA, James worked for Coastway Community Bank as a Commercial Credit Analyst. At Coastway, James was responsible for both SBA and non-SBA loan underwriting and portfolio management. James is a graduate of Bryant University, where he received his Bachelor of Science with a concentration in finance. James has also received a certification from the Mass. Bankers Association.
Somphone Savasit, Member
Somphone is originally from California and moved to Woonsocket, Rhode Island in 1995. Both personally and professionally, she strives “to become the change [she] wants to see in the world”. Somphone is passionate and motivated about improving self and community. She received her Bachelor and Master degrees in Social Work from Rhode Island College and is currently enrolled in a Post-Graduate Trauma Certificate Program at the Boston University School of Social Work. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker working as a Therapeutic Foster Care Clinician at Community Care Alliance. Somphone previously worked at Center for Southeast Asians which she benefits with helping her deepen her expertise with working with multicultural communities. In her spare time, Somphone enjoys volleyball, yoga, chocolate and spicy foods.
Keri Dennison-Leidecker, Member
Keri grew up in Sturbridge, Massachusetts and moved to Rhode Island in 2003. She earned her AFA at The Community College of Rhode Island and her BFA in photography at The University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. She is currently attending The Vermont College of Fine Arts, working towards her MFA in graphic design. For 13 years, Keri worked for URBN Inc. at Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie in various positions, including Visual Manager, Store Manager, and Operations Manager. At Anthropologie, she also opened new stores across the country as a New Store Opening Lead. She currently works at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island as a Digital Channel Manager, helping support members through a variety of digital communications. Her work experience supports knowledge of visual design, store operations, managing small and large teams, and communicating and marketing to consumers. Outside of school and work, Keri does volunteer work and photography for after-school arts programs in Rhode Island. She enjoys spending time with her husband and senior rescue dogs as well as writing, illustrating, researching, and creating lots of artwork!
Mark Sheldon, Member
Mark has spent his career as a creative professional working for large corporate and non-profit businesses. He is currently employed at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island as Lead Multimedia Designer for internal communications. He obtained his B.F.A. from University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in Photography and Electronic Imaging. Mark believes in communication through design. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and strategiesas a mentor to company interns to help them build a creative portfolio within a business environment. Knowing that his interns leave with a portfolio that can help them land a job is his greatest satisfaction. He loves hearing back from them when they share what they’re doing with their career. Mark currently resides on North Attleboro MA with his wife, two children and one giant dog. When he’s not working he enjoys traveling, writing and supporting local theater and restaurants in PVD
Linda Hutchison, Member
Linda currently serves as the Grants Manager for the United Way of Rhode Island, where she is responsible for seeking out and securing funding for programs and research efforts of the organization. Linda has over 20 years of experience in nonprofit management including positions in fundraising, workforce development, formal and informal STEM education at the Museum of Science, Boston, Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board and Bristol Community College. Linda holds a BS in Human Resource Management with a minor in Women’s Studies from UMass-Dartmouth.
Kat Boots, Member
Kat is the Grants and Financial Manager for the Neuroscience Department at Brown University. She has worked and volunteered with numerous Rhode Island nonprofits most of her career focusing on development and grant writing. She received the SUVCW Citizen of the Year Award in 2019 for her preservation work in downtown Providence. Kat is an advocate for public space equity and arts education, and is passionate about all things Rhode Island.
Anna Amoiradaki, Member
Anna is the Front Line Business Development Manager in diversified B2B industries, securing, cultivating and managing new revenue through skilled outbound sales strategy, extensive lead generation, overseeing the whole cycle of the sales process from RFP submission, to proposal writing and finally contract negotiation. She also sits on the Marketing Committee for the Barrington Spring Community Center.
Elizabeth Santana, Member
Liz is a proud resident of Woonsocket and mother of three daughters. One of those three daughters was a long time youth participant at Riveredge where she was involved in a myriad of environmentally focussed projects. Liz a true believer of what the organization stands for and the influence they have to the students. She currently works full-time as a case manager at Community Care Alliance and it is her utmost belief and passion that she works to motivate and help families overcome obstacles to reach their goals.