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Advisory Council

Deborah Dunning

Barry Fain

Patricia Gifford

Jay Glasson

Beverly Ledbetter

Lynette Lopes

Marcus Mitchell

Herb Rakatansky

Corrine Carlisle Russo

Dan Siegel

Barbara Sokolof

Bill Twadell

Phil West

Our Board

Eliza Sutton – Village Coordinator

“I first heard about the Providence Village when I saw a flier describing it at a coffee shop in Wayland Square. I was very excited and encouraged to see something like this being organized in Providence.

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As a public health professional and community organizer, I take communities organizing on the basis of mutual support very seriously!”

As Village Coordinator, Eliza coordinates the recruiting, training and support of volunteers as well as the delivery of services to members. 

village.coordinator@providencevillageri.org

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Jim Maxwell, President

College Hill Neighborhood of Providence

I first heard about Providence Village in March 2015 when I attended an informational session about it. I was drawn to the mission of the Village, and based on my professional career prior to retirement,

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I judged I could provide support in a number of areas that would be valuable to the organization. I felt this work would be rewarding to me personally, and it has proven to be so. I was elected to the Providence Village Board in 2015 and elected as an officer in 2017.

I moved to Providence to join the senior staff of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) in September 1984 after having spent 14 years as a professor in the Department of Mathematics at Oklahoma State University. During my time at AMS, I managed the programs and services that the AMS provides to its 30,000 individual members primarily located at colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada and the rest of the developed world. Support of the governing boards and committees of the AMS, also a non-profit organization, was a major part of my responsibility.

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Suzanne Francis, President Elect

East Side Neighborhood of Providence

My first encounter with the Providence Village was at an information session. I lived in Westerly but still joined the first fundraising committee for the Village.

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I was “hooked” on the Village concept and was determined to be an active member when we moved to Providence. I became a Providence Village Board member in 2017 and was elected an Officer in 2018.

My work life started at the Urban Redevelopment Authority in Pittsburgh after college. Later my husband and I moved to Rochester, Minn., where I started and ran two innovative childcare programs. Those experiences led me to study at the Yale School of Management to learn more about managing organizations. I joined Xerox Corporation as part of a new business start-up and later worked for the Xerox Foundation, with responsibility for funding community and women’s programs. In 1986 I joined Schaffer Consulting in Stamford, Conn., and spent nearly 30 years working with clients in large and small organizations to implement complex changes successfully. Now that I have retired, I have the fun of volunteering with Providence Village.

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Pat Mattingly, Past President

College Hill Neighborhood of Providence

I first heard about the Village at a community gathering in late 2014 and joined the steering committee in early 2015. I was elected to the Providence Village Board in 2015 and have been an officer since 2016.

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My wife, Marcia, and I have lived in Providence for 28 years and previously lived in Boston, Seattle and Baltimore. I’m now retired, following 35 years in leadership roles in community health centers, integrated health systems, hospitals, health plans and medical groups. My underlying passion has been health policy and planning to provide universal health coverage and care to everyone, and to support patients in making health care decisions. As we grow older, supporting the Village efforts to stay safe and healthy in our home is a “no-brainer.” 

When I am not out in the community on Village business, you can find me in my gardens near Benefit Street or in the Hudson Valley town of Chatham, N.Y. I have learned that there are no mean people, only kindness and love in the garden.

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Anne Connor, Secretary

Fox Point Neighborhood 

I’ve lived in the Fox Point neighborhood of Providence since 2014. In 1989, I moved from Roosevelt Island in New York City to Barrington, where I raised my two children.

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In 2015, a friend invited me to an information session where I first learned about the village movement. As newcomers to Providence, my husband,Sean,and I met other like-minded adults in this community of mutual support. I was elected Secretary of the Board in 2016. My career varied and includes positions as a children’s librarian, a legal administrator, and a paralegal. I attended college in the Midwest and received my MA at Columbia University.  Community service is part of my family’s DNA so volunteerism has always been important. In addition to being Secretary and Fundraising Committee Co-Chair on the Providence Village Board, I have served as former President of the Prudential Committee at The First Unitarian Church of Providence. I have been a public schoolmentor and library associate. I was elected a 2012 CD1 Delegate to the Democratic Convention.

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Gary Lieb, Treasurer

The Oakhill Neighborhood of Pawtucket 

I first heard about the Village in 2016. I was intrigued with the opportunity to help other people stay in their homes and above all help people lead fun and fulfilled lives.

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In the process, it was a chance to create a social enterprise and work with some delightful people. At the Providence Village, I provide technical support, serve as a driver and help with activities planning. I was elected as the Village Treasurer in 2018. 

Currently, I am also actively working to develop the first co-housing in Providence. 

In 1972, after military service, I began a career in city planning, first in Boston and then in Lowell, Mass. Then for 30 years, I served as Director of Community Development in Bristol, where I was involved in planning, zoning, grants, conservation, affordable housing, and more economic development. Upon retirement, I was CEO of a startup nonprofit that built affordable housing in South County. I was also involved in economic development in Cumberland.

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Bonnie Ryvicker

East Side Neighborhood of Providence 

A friend mentioned to me that she was attending a focus group about the possibility of forming a “Village” in Rhode Island and that it would be something that I might find interesting.

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I attended the meeting with her and became excited about helping to create a new entity that would build community while helping older adults (like me) to remain in their own homes. 

I have a graduate degree in sociology and early childhood. I taught in New York before moving to Providence. I coordinated a volunteer program at the former Jewish Home. After the facility closed, I wrote a proposal for an outreach program to the elderly in RI. That program was funded and I coordinated it for seven years. Then, I worked with Family Services in Fall River marketing a program that found families for disabled individuals to live with. Although challenging, I was a passionate advocate of the program and had success locating families and obtaining referrals to the program. 

After seven years there, I moved on to work with Community VNA in Attleboro. 

During my time there, I did community outreach marketing educational programs for seniors. I also had a monthly newspaper column and a few cable television programs. I found myself teaching at senior centers about issues related to “staying healthy.”

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Deborah Dunning

Downtown Providence 

I first learned about the Village in 2014 when I read an article about a possible village in Providence. When I talked to someone who was involved, it was so compelling that I signed up to be on the Steering Committee.

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I loved the possibility that seniors would help other seniors be healthy and contribute to making their communities become more vibrant. I was elected to the Providence Village Board in 2015. 

Over the past four decades, I have volunteered and worked in organizations focused on contributing to community development and well-being while living in Providence, Boston, New York, and Chapel Hill, N.C. I have contributed professionally as the Executive Director of the Providence Preservation Society and the President of the International Design Center for the Environment. I have contributed as a volunteer for PPS, the National Trust, the US Green Building Council and the Sustainable Product Leadership Council.

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Jane Adler

East Side Neighborhood of Providence 

I learned about the Providence Village from a notice for the very first information session.I went and was attracted by the phrase, “neighbors helping neighbors.”

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That’s what I wanted for myself and what I wanted to do for others. I felt good at the end of the day thinking I may have made someone’s day a little happier as someone has made mine. I have been on the Providence Village Board since 2015. I am a volunteer and a member.  I am a semi-retired internationally syndicated columnist and cartoonist with North American/King Features. Some of the things I have done include being president of a public relations firm and voted a member of the New York art directors club. My first job was art director for Trinity Square Theatre and hostess of a television talk show. I have also done feature spots two to three times a week on the noon news for the ABC network. I am a painter and have shown my work in galleries around the country, including New York, Bostonand California, and am a longtime member of the National Speakers Association. In the past, I was founder and director oftwo non-profit organizations, Earth Care and Advocates for the Arts.

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Joe Fisler

East Side Neighborhood of Providence

I attended several preliminary meetings about the Village. The concept was exciting to me because of my experience with my parents’ need for care as they aged, and my interest in supporting neighbors in my new community.

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I was elected to the Providence Village Board in 2016. Both my wife and I grew up on Staten Island, N.Y., raised our two daughters there, and served in the New York City Public Schools System. My 25 years of service included teaching, administrative roles as high school principal, superintendent and chief of staff of the high school division. After leaving New York, I served for nine years as superintendent of a suburban kindergarten-12th grade district in northern New Jersey. After my retirement, I worked part time for two years for a local college, where I provided grants administration and staff development services. I have been an active volunteer and strong advocate of community service all my life. 

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Laura Young

Barrington 

The Providence Village first came to my attention through Joan Kwiatkowski, CEO of PACE and Carelink. I was immediately interested in this respectful, dignified model for mutual support and

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joined as a member and volunteer in 2016. I was elected to the Providence Village Board in 2017.

My career path began with a volunteer position in Albany, N.Y., supporting a group of blind elders in a workshop program. I obtained my MSW at Boston University with a certification in Gerontology in 1982. I worked in hospitals, community mental health centers and private psychotherapy practices. I have worked for more than 10 years at the PACE Organization of RI, currently working part-time as a behavioral health specialist.

My volunteer roles at Providence Village include service coordination, the membership committee and the health and wellness committee. Additionally, I serve on the Board of Trustees of the Barrington Public Library, am a member of the Senior Advisory Board in the Town of Barrington and have been active in a local grassroots initiative called Age-Friendly Barrington.

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Lenore Piper Bunting

Oakhill Neighborhood of Pawtucket

I learned about the Village concept by reading about it in the Boston Globe several years ago. When I retired almost two years ago, ending my law practice, the Providence

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Village became a wonderful resource for creating a new life. I was elected to the Providence Village Board in 2018.

I have degrees from Syracuse, Harvard and Northeastern Law. Most of my working life I represented disabled children and adults, especially with special education concerns. And as a trial lawyer, I represented children or parents who were involved in the Massachusetts Juvenile Court system as the result of abuse and neglect complaints.

I have a long history of volunteer work; currently in addition to becoming a Providence Village board member, I am a service coordinator, fielding calls one morning a week; and I am on the activities and membership committees.

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Peter C. Viner-Brown

Cumberland

I came across Providence Village via RI Serve. The Village was looking for home helpers. It struck me as a good volunteer opportunity because I enjoy being with and helping older people.

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I was elected to the Providence Village Board in 2018.

My “career” was more a series of jobs that kept me interested for a while. I worked in power engineering and was a health physicist for a few years in the United Kingdom before I immigrated to the United States. My wife is from Rhode Island. 

Once here, I had various jobs within the growing IT field until, rather late in the day, I discovered my real passion was teaching – mathematics of all things! The flexible schedule of an adjunct professor allowed me time to support my in-laws in their declining years and discover how rewarding it was to be able to provide help to older people. Retirement enabled me to volunteer with Dorcas International, Inspiring Minds and now School One and Providence Village. I am so lucky to be able to work with young people and seniors – it really enriches my life.

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H. Philip West Jr.

Oakhill Neighborhood of Pawtucket

A friend suggested that my wife, Anne Grant, and I attend an information session about the Village, and we knew immediately that this was for us. I was elected to the founding Providence Village Board in 2015. 

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I have enjoyed driving people, working on the newsletter, and serving as an ambassador. I helped establish the Advisory Council, and in 2018, Anne and I gathered the neighborhood circle pilot for the Oakhill-Woodlawn area of Pawtucket.

A graduate of Hamilton College and Union Theological Seminary, I did further research at Cambridge University. After two decades as an activist pastor in New York City and Connecticut, I followed my wife to Providence in 1988 and found work as state director for Common Cause. I was in a position to help enact many laws and six constitutional amendments that created the nation’s strongest Ethics Commission, restructured state government, and established separation of powers. In retirement, I taught Ethics to graduate students at the University of Rhode Island and wrote SECRETS & SCANDALS: Reforming Rhode Island, 1986-2006.

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Territa Percelay

Oakhill Neighborhood of Pawtucket 

I first heard about Providence Village three years ago at an introductory meeting held at the Rochambeau Branch library on Hope Street. I was drawn in by the concept of mutual support for seniors who want to remain at home in their neighborhood as they grow older.

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I was elected to the Providence Village Board in 2018.

As a Providence Village volunteer, I reached out to local stores and restaurants to obtain discounts for Providence Village members and volunteers. I have been involved with the fundraising committee and the social events committee.

I worked at advertising agencies in New York City helping to plan and execute campaigns for national brands. I created specialized promotional premium products. My current business interest is Finysh Line, an e-commerce company which offers a line of inspirational and motivational jewelry.

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Tony Allen

East Side Neighborhood of Providence 

I first heard about the Village concept several years ago when Beacon Hill Village was getting a lot of press. The goal was to create an organization in which friends and acquaintances help each other

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with simple but essential services rather than hiring strangers. I think the idea of an intentional Village is important. I was elected to the Providence Village Board in 2018.

My first career was teaching English at the community college in Flint, Mich., and then as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines. I taught at a state college in downtown Manila and later at a fledgling state university in the nation’s Muslim region. My fascination with Manila journalism led to my second career, reporting at The Providence Journal, covering courts and then business. After 21 years at the newspaper, I decided to start my own business and began my third career by opening Barrington Books. I owned and operated the bookstore until retirement 22 years later. I am happy to note that the business I began one summer day 32 years ago still opens its doors every morning. 

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