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2017 Workshop Facilitators

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Bill AllenBill Allen

Adjunct Faculty, Brown University​​

Throughout a career of over forty years, Bill Allen has been an innovative and strategic leader in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. He held senior management positions in three local United Ways, most recently as Executive Vice President of Community Services at the United Way of Rhode Island (1977 to 2004). Bill currently teaches courses in nonprofit policy and practice and social entrepreneurship at the Watson Institute at Brown University. He has responsibility for the Policy in Action consultancy program for MPA students. Bill has also been a member of the adjunct faculties at Providence College and Boston College School of Social Work. ​​
Connect with Bill on LinkedIn and/or Twitter​.

Kevin Cooper

​Strengths Expeditor, Leadership Rhode Island

Originally from Waterford, Ireland, Kevin Cooper moved to Providence in 2009 to begin his academic and athletic careers at Brown University. Following graduation in 2013 with a B.A. in International Relations, Kevin pursued his M.B.A. at Providence College. While at PC, Kevin served as Graduate Assistant for the newly formed Leadership Fellows Program, centered on assisting students in becoming authentic, effective, and ethical leaders. As a graduate student, he also interned at Leadership Rhode Island, where he supported the execution of Make RI Stronger, a multi-year initiative in partnership with Gallup to improve both the RI workplace and psyche through strengths-based training and education. After graduating from PC in 2015, Kevin began working full-time at LRI, and is now​ responsible for oversight and implementation of the Make RI Stronger initiative.
Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn and/or Twitter​.

George Duran

Program Manager, Year Up​​​

George Duran graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in Economics and Political Science. A Rhode Island native, he has lived in Providence for the past 24 years. George began his career at CVS Health, working in supply chain management. He has since changed career paths, transitioning to a Program Manager role in the Admissions department at Year Up. ​

Deidre Fraser​​ 

Global Operations Specialist, ALEX AND ANI​

​​Deidre Fraser is the Global Operations Specialist for the Partnerships & Brand Licensing division at ALEX AND ANI. In this role, she manages international non-profit partnerships on a marketing, communications, and brand strategic level, while developing systems and methods for business development in countries such as Ireland, Canada, and Japan. Deidre, a Jamaican native, is a 2011 graduate of Bryant University with a Master’s in Business Administration, and a 2010 graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management.  ​
Connect with Deidre on LinkedIn and/or Twitter.​

Jessica Grady

​Associate Director of Student Involvement & Leadership, Johnson & Wales University​

​​Jessica Grady, M.S., is the Associate Director of Student Involvement & Leadership for Student Engagement at Johnson & Wales University's Providence Campus. Jessica has been at JWU for 8 years, where she develops leadership programs and initiatives for campus leaders. Jessica has a passion for student development, and works to provide students the opportunity to learn, grow, and challenge themselves to be engaging leaders within their community.​

Todd Iarussi

Performance Coach & Organizational Consultant, Todd Iarussi Consulting​

Todd Iarussi runs a leadership and life coaching practice out of Boston and Providence, and supports clients in clarifying their purpose and taking powerful, generative action. Previously, Todd spent two years working for a former US Olympic team-building and performance consultant, and during that time co-led leadership retreats around the world for clients in education, sports, and business. Todd spent the first decade of his career in investment banking and executive recruiting in New York, and evaluated over 1,000 leaders during that time. In 2012, he left the corporate world to follow his passion for developing values-driven leaders and became a Research Associate with the Contemplative Studies Initiative at Brown University. At Brown, he introduced mindfulness-based approaches to team-building and leadership development to students, coaches and staff members, and was recently named a Community Advisor to the newly created Center for Mindfulness at Brown. ​​​
Connect with Todd on LinkedIn.​

Meagan Pepper

​Assistant Director of Student Involvement & Leadership, Johnson & Wales University​

Meagan Pepper, M.S., is the Assistant Director of Student Involvement & Leadership for Community Engagement at Johnson & Wales University's Providence Campus. In her role, Meagan supports volunteer management for the university; coordinates days of service and blood drives; and leads the local/domestic alternative spring break program. Meagan’s work primarily focuses on helping students explore and realize their passions, integrate more holistically with communities, and lead with purpose. ​
Connect with Meagan on LinkedIn​ and/or Twitter​

Gina Perrotto

Associate Recruiter, Amica Mutal Insurance

Gina Perrotto is an Associate Recruiter in the Learning and Talent Development Department at Amica Mutual Insurance Company. ​​ ​She began her career at Amica as part of the Future Leaders Program in 2015, following her graduation from the University of South Carolina's Moore School of Business. ​
​Connect with Gina on LinkedIn.


​​Andy Posner

Founder & CEO, Capital Good Fund ​

Andy Posner founded Capital Good Fund while getting his Master of Arts in Environmental Studies at Brown University, where he was studying financing mechanisms for clean energy. After reading Banker to the Poor by Dr. Muhammad Yunus​, he quickly realized that equitable financial services could unlock the potential of the poor just as they could do the same for clean energy technologies. At the same time, as the financial crisis of 2008 began to unravel the economy and devastate low-income communities, Andy decided to take action. He created Capital Good Fund with an eye toward using financial services to tackle endemic poverty, first in Rhode Island, and then nationwide.
Connect with Andy on LinkedIn and/or Twitter.​

Tony Silbert

Co-Founder & Partner, Spartina Consulting​​ 

Tony Silbert, MSOD, has over 25 years of experience in business consulting, organizational development, training design and delivery, and positive change leadership development. He brings strengths-based and participatory approaches to strategic planning, innovation, leadership development, and culture building. Tony has supported private and public sector organizations both domestically and abroad. He also serves as faculty on National Training Laboratories Appreciative Inquiry Certificate Program, teaches Strategic Management in Providence College's MBA program, and provides leadership development training with UMass Boston, Center for Collaborative Leadership. Tony co-authored the book Healing Conversations Now: Enhancing Relationships with Elders & Dying Loved Ones (with Joan Chadbourne, ©2011 Taos Institute).  He holds a Master of Science in Organization Development from American University/NTL Institute.
Connect with Tony on LinkedIn and/or Twitter.

Brian Trahan

Managing Director, The Center of Phenomenological Leadership 

Brian Trahan is the Managing Director of CPL, Inc. (The Center of Phenomenological Leadership). In this role, Brian focuses on Organizational Development and business strategy, working with companies and individuals to solve problems centered on effective interpersonal communication. Whether establishing models to understand the roles required to improve departmental flow, or creating leadership teams to work strategically toward a unified company vision, he believes the key component is the ability to consider solutions and have conversations that are uncomfortable.​ 

​​Connect with Brian on LinkedIn.

Robert Vincent

Coordinator for Student Leadership​​ Development​, University of Rhode Island​

Robert Vincent works in the Center for Student Leadership Development at the University of Rhode Island, and teaches a variety of academic courses including Introduction to Leadership, Strengths-Based Personal Leadership Development, Strengths-Based Mentoring and Teaching, Leadership for Social Justice and Social Change, and Leadership Practicums/Internships. He has over 20+ years of experience as a training and development facilitator, and specializes in designing and conducting training programs for small to large groups within organizations on both the national and international stage. Robert has an M.A. degree in Counseling, is a Certified Life Coach, and has Strengths Advocate Certification from the Gallup Organization. 
Connect with Robert on LinkedIn.

​​​​​​​​​​​Contac​t Us


Dr. Matthew Eriksen
​Professor of Management
Co-Director, Leadership Fellows Program
Phone: ​401.865.​​2487​​​