YWCA of RI Announces 2018 Women of Achievement Honorees

Thursday, September 13, 2018


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Karen Santilli

The YWCA of Rhode Island will honor 13 “Women of Achievement” at its 14th annual awards luncheon.

See the Women in the Slideshow Below

The luncheon will take place on Thursday, November 8 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Kirkbrae Country Club.

The public is invited to attend. Tickets are $55 per person or reserve a table of 10 for $550.

Honorees include Karen Santilli, Suzanne Magaziner, Captain Alyssa DeAndrade, Lindsey Brickle and more.

Citizens Bank will be recognized as the “Organization of the Year.”

“Citizens Bank understands that a good bank is at the heart of the community and that investing in our communities enriches us all. ‘Citizens Helping Citizens’ is the bank’s comprehensive community engagement effort that leverages the strengths of our company and the skills of our colleagues to enhance the communities where we do business. “We help create connections between public and private interests so that together we can develop neighborhoods, transform lives and stimulate economic renewal. We strongly believe in investing in organizations that make a positive impact in the communities where we live and work. Our giving focuses on three key areas of impact in our communities: Helping people to manage their money, engaging with partners in the fight against hunger, and strengthening our communities. By investing in these important issues, we strengthen the bond of trust at the heart of our relationship with our customers and our communities.”

YWCA’s Women of Achievement

Since 2005, YWCA has sponsored this statewide recognition of women whose accomplishments span the fields of industry, culture and public service.

For more information, click here.

See the honorees in the slideshow below


Related Slideshow: YWCA Women of Achievement Honorees - 2018

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Tina-Marie Sullivan

Sullivan brings more than 25 years of experience in the affordable housing industry to her position as executive director of the Central Falls Housing Authority, where she has developed and implemented programs to enhance housing and economic empowerment opportunities for residents and the community. 

She has received awards for new and creative programs for the residents of the authority and the community and was recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for her work with the Family Self-Sufficiency Program, a one-of-a-kind program in the United States.

She serves on the board of governors for the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) and is a member of NAHRO’s Professional Development Committee. She also serves as vice president for professional development of the New England Regional Council of NAHRO. She is certified as a public housing manager, a housing quality standards inspector and manager. 

A graduate of Leadership Rhode Island and Leadership Central Falls, she lives in Smithfield with her husband, Keith, and children Patrick and Katie.

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Karen A. Santilli

Santilli s president and CEO of Crossroads Rhode Island, dedicated to helping homeless or at-risk individuals and families secure stable homes. After a 20-year career with Plan USA, she joined Crossroads 2008 as vice president of marketing and development. After leading the change in 2013 that focused the agency on the practice of housing first, she was promoted to chief marketing and strategy officer and, in June 2015, CEO.  

In addition to speaking at national conferences on ending homelessness, Santilli was named by Providence Business News as the 2015 Women in Business Leader for non-profit services and by the Rhode Island Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals as its 2011 Fundraising Professional of the Year. 

A graduate of Leadership Rhode Island, she is treasurer of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, serves on the board of directors for Sophia Academy, is a trustee of the Providence Foundation, and a member of the board of trustees of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.

Santilli earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Rhode Island College. She lives with her husband, three children and their rescue dog in Cranston.

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Suzanne Magaziner

Magaziner made her career in business strategy consulting, first with the Boston Consulting Group and later as an executive in the international consulting firm she co-founded with her husband Ira.

Since retiring, she has worked in a variety of non-profit organizations to expand educational opportunities for all children, particularly the most underserved. She has served for more than a decade on the board of Sophia Academy, a private middle school for girls from low-income homes in Providence, and was a founding board member of Nowell Leadership Academy, an alternative high-school for pregnant, parenting, and at-risk students. She is serving her fifth year as board chair of Trinity Rep, whose mission includes a commitment to arts education, including its nationally recognized Project Discovery.  She also has served on the boards of Roger Williams University, Save the Bay, Save Bristol Harbor, and several schools. She received 2015 Outstanding Philanthropic Citizen Award from the RI Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the 2012 Providence Place Gives Award for her leadership work with Trinity Rep, and the 2012 Citizens Award from Save Bristol Harbor in recognition of her efforts in preservation of our coastal waters.

She is a graduate of Wellesley College, Harvard Law School, Harvard Business School, and earned a master’s degree in history from Brown University.

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Alisha A. Pina 

Pina says she has been a storyteller since elementary school with first book, “How the Cat Got its Tail.” It had characters, magic and a fake copyright seal. Bullying, low self-esteem, and race strain were muses for her early poetry, and the pieces helped land her an internship with the Providence Journal at age 17.

The Race in RI series, which she was a significant contributor to, received national recognition and an award with the National Association of Black Journalists. It was one of many community and journalism awards Alisha has received. That series also amplified her urge to do more for social justice, women empowerment and children with possible dreams. 

She left the newspaper in 2017 to become Chief Public Affairs Officer for the Rhode Island Department of Human Services. She also mentors high school youth via Spike Down Volleyball, sings gospel and is writing her first, real novel. It isn’t about cats.

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Lucy Rios

Rios is the director of prevention and communications for the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, has been in the movement to end domestic violence for more than 15 years. She oversees the RICADV’s public awareness efforts, manages grants, and provides training and technical assistance to organizations in and out of state on understanding the dynamics of domestic violence and creating pathways to prevention. Under her leadership, initiatives such as Ten Men have received statewide and national attention. 

Rios is a founding board member and former board chair of the Segue Institute for Learning Charter School in Central Falls, her hometown. Now a Providence resident, Rios is a member of the Racial and Environmental Justice Committee, a collaborative initiative by that city and communities of color. She also is a member of the advisory board for SISTA FIRE, a network of women of color in Rhode Island, working to build collective power for social, economic and political change. 

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Barbara J. Silvis

Silvis is a retired VP/Engineering at FM Global after a 34-year career, is a long-time community volunteer. She serves on the boards of RI Kids Count, the RI State Council of Churches, and Defiance College in Ohio. A former member and chairperson of the board for the United Way of Rhode Island, she now chairs that agency’s public policy committee and is a founder and member of Women United, a fundraising group that emphasizes early literacy. She sings in RPM Voices of RI and the Central Congregational Church choir. 

She lives in Central Falls where she “celebrates its diversity and vibrancy daily,” and says she is “passionate about advocating for children in our state.”

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Nondas Hurst Voll

Voll is a peace and social justice advocate. Originally from New York, she is a graduate of Marymount College and Fordham University.

While heading public relations and communications at Roger Williams University, she traveled to Nicaragua with Witness for Peace, an experience that inspired her to serve as executive director of the Fund for Community Progress, a network of grassroots agencies dedicated to peace, social justice and democratizing philanthropy. An endowment was established in her honor to support scholarships to lower-income single mothers for studies in higher education.

She served as chair of the board for the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence and helped lead the effort to restore a former convent as its permanent home. She has chaired and served on more than 20 local and national boards and has received several fellowships and awards.  A resident of Providence, She is the mother of four and grandmother of five.

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Sharon D. Conrad-Wells

Conrad-Wells has been in community development work for most of her life, professionally and personally. After working as a Computer Systems Analyst and serving as clerk to the RI Senate Corporations Committee, she became involved with the West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation (WEHDC) and has been the Executive Director since 1991. Under her leadership, WEHDC works to keep pace with the industry to become a successful 21st-century community development corporation. Sharon has a Master of Education degree from Cambridge College and a fellowship from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

She serves on the Board of Directors for; Care New England, the Brain Injury Association of RI, Grow Smart RI, and The Housing Network of RI, she is also on the Integra ACO Council, Santander Bank Community Advisory Board, and the Rockland Trust New Market Tax Credit Advisory Board.  Her passion for empowering others is a gift for all communities.

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Maya Breuer

Breuer is recognized by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of America’s distinguished black yogis. She is a preeminent yoga instructor, practitioner, author, community activist and consultant with a career spanning three decades.  

She is the president and co-founder of the Black Yoga Teachers Alliance, a 501c3 nonprofit.   She is president and co-founder of the national Black Yoga Teachers Alliance as well as founder and director of the Santosha School of Yoga. Her annual Yoga Retreat for Women of Color ™ has been offered for 20 years at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. 

She studied at the Lakulish School in Khayavorahan, Gujarat Province, India, and emphasizes yoga as a method to abate and control chronic illnesses that disproportionately impact people of color.  She is co-author of a National Institutes of Health study “Back to Health: Yoga vs. Physical Therapy for Minorities with Chronic Low Back Pain,” conducted at the Boston Medical Center and published in the Annals of Medicine in July 2017. She co-created an educational outreach program for the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation of RI.  She is one of the featured yogis in, “Will Yoga and Meditation Really Change My Life: Personal Stories from 25 of North Americas Leading Teachers,” by Stephen Cope. 

She now serves as vice president of Cross-Cultural Advancement for the national Yoga Alliance.

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Captain Alyssa DeAndrade

DeAndrade is a 21-year veteran of the Providence Police Department. Appointed patrol woman in May 1997, she advanced through the ranks as a detective, sergeant, lieutenant, and captain. In 

2015 she was appointed the deputy director of the administrative division, where she served for two years, and in 2016 was promoted to captain. Currently, she is the commanding officer of the Office of Professional Responsibility.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, public administration and psychology from Rhode Island College in 1989, a master’s degree in public administration and a juris doctorate from Syracuse University in 1992, and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Boston University in 2018.

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Lindsey Brickle

Brickle is a strategic program and development consultant working with organizations in the non-profit, public and private sectors. She provides guidance and supports implementation of programs in workforce development, STEM education, Water Sanitation, and Hygiene, refugees and migration, monitoring, evaluation and gender mainstreaming. 

She has a master’s degree in sustainable international development from The Heller School at Brandeis University, a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from Northeastern University, and is passionate about human rights, social and environmental justice, and economic empowerment.

She lives in Barrington with her wife and three children. 

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Captain Victoria Tolbert

Tolbert is a full time member of the Rhode Island National Guard where she is the Aide to the Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard, a victim advocate as well as a member of the RI National Guard’s Biathlon Team. With service in both the Indiana and Massachusetts National Guard, she has a total of 12 years of military service.

A Boston native, she, her two sisters and niece were raised by a single mother. She was active in her church and its choir, church school, drama productions, and in Girl Scouts. She attended Boston Latin Academy High School, earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Notre Dame, and master’s degrees in education from the University of Massachusetts and Bridgewater State University.  She is a graduate of Leadership Rhode Island.

She has worked for the Department of Health and Human Services Head Start Program and directed an Early Head Start Program.  She spent 18 years as a teacher and administrator, including at the Gordon School in East Providence, where she also coached middle school girls' basketball, and the Paul Cuffee School in Providence. She served on the board of Buttonhole Golf Course; Youth Pride, Inc.; and is a support member of Bikers Against Child Abuse. 

She lives in Coventry with her son, Josiah, and daughter, Anna Marie.

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Lisa M. Carcifero

Carcifero has worked in the field of behavioral healthcare treatment and prevention for more than 25 years and was executive director of the Woonsocket Prevention Coalition until January 2017 when the regionalized Blackstone Valley Prevention Coalition was created, comprising Burrillville, Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, and Woonsocket.  She now serves as the regional director. Previously, she was grant department manager for a non-profit focused on federal job training and work readiness programs. 

A licensed independent clinical social worker, she has a private therapy practice in Lincoln, Rhode Island. 

She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Stonehill College, a master’s degree in social work from Boston College, and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers.

She is active in the Woonsocket community and serves on boards for the Woonsocket Rotary Club and Charitable Foundation, Woonsocket Senior Services, Landmark Medical Center and the Woonsocket Juvenile Hearing Board. She is chairperson of the board for Connecting for Children and Families and is a past president of the board for Northern Rhode Island Community Services as well as YWCA Rhode Island. 

She lives in East Woonsocket with her husband, Christopher, and daughter Alessandra.


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