About Adoption Rhode Island

Meet the Staff

Alex DeRita, BSW

Youth Transition Services Program Manager

Allison Forte, AGS

Adoption & Permanency Services Program, Adoption & Permanency Specialist

Amanda Choiniere, BA

Adoption & Permanency Services Program, Family Engagement Specialist

Angela Gomes, BSW

Child & Family Support Program, Preserving Families Case Manager

Angela Norrman, BA

Wendy's Wonderful Kids Recruiter

Anissa Latifi, LICSW

Child & Family Support Clinical Social Worker

Bernie Hicks

Special Projects Coordinator/Office Asst.

Beth Capron, LCSW, MSW

Adoption & Permanency Services Program Manager

Breeanna Thornton, BA

Making KINnections Recruiter

Bridget Gieseke, BS

Development & Community Relations Coordinator

Brooke Wynn, BSW

Teen Focus, Education Specialist

Catherine Allard, LMHC, MA, CAGS

Child & Family Support Program, Senior Clinician

Claudia DeFaria, BA

Adoption & Permanency Services Program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter

Darlene Allen, MS

CEO & Executive Director

Donna Rivera, BA

Marketing Communications Director

Emily Lyon, LICSW, MS, MSW

Chief Operating Officer

Esther Robbins, LICSW, MSW

Child & Family Support Department Coordinator

Gabriel Toro, BA

Adoption & Permanency Services Program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter

Heather Sillins, BA

Communications and Fundraising Associate

Jan Dion Roy, LICSW, MSW

Child & FamilySupport Program Clinician

Jennifer Foster, BS

Development & Community Relations Director

Katheryn Tavares, MSW, LCSW

Data, Impact, and Resource Development Manager

Kristen Linnell Gower, BA

Development & Community Relations Assistant

Lenka Trahan

Accounting Manager

Lesley Lopez, BA

Teen Focus Program, Permanency Specialist

Louie Stravato, ABA

Adoption & Permanency Services Program, Extreme Family Finding Investigator

Marcie Baker-Hinds, BSW

Youth Transitions Project Coordinator

Meaghan Menard, BS

Adoption & Permanency Services Program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter

Sara Gianopoulos, BA

Teen Focus Permanency Specialist

Shannon Doherty, BA

Adoption & Permanency Services Program, Extreme Family Finding Coordinator

Stacie Belizaire, BA

Office Manager

Stephanie Pezzone, LMHC

Child & Family Support Program Clinician

Sydney Grant, BA

Permanency Specialist, Teen Focus

Yolonda Washburn-Smith, BA

Teen Focus Program, Education Specialist

Adoption Rhode Island is fortunate to have a dedicated Board of Directors committed to our mission and helping to make a difference.


Steven Parente

Executive Vice President and Director of Retail Banking, BankRI

Vice President

Howard Dulude

Human Resources Professional

Board Secretary

Julie Navarro

Owner, Mod Mama


Todd Costa

Finance and Accounting Professional

Patricia Bennett

Principal, The Paradigm Group

The Honorable Judge Frank Caprio

Chief Judge, Providence Municipal Court

Elizabeth Caraballo-Wesley

Human Resources Executive, Retired

Frank Carpano

Sports Anchor/Reporter, WJAR (NBC10)

Frances DiFiore

Vice President of Marketing, Pawtucket Credit Union

Christopher DePalo

Managing Attorney, Lepizzera & Laprocina

Dolph Johnson

Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, Hasbro, Inc.

Charrel Maxwell

Owner, Antiques Business, Retired

Dr. Marion Orr

Professor of Political Science and Urban Studies at Brown University

John Ottaviani

Partner, Partridge Snow & Hahn, LLP

Bret Williams


Honorary Members

Ray Arruda

Northeast Division Marketing Manager, Wendy’s International

Betty Jo Greene

Marketing/Communications, University of Rhode Island

Congressman Jim Langevin

U.S. Representative, RI’s 2nd Congressional District

Chief Justice Paul A. Suttell

Rhode Island Supreme Court