LRI creates and supports a legacy of leaders.

Our Mission

We engage and connect people through shared experiences that positively transform individuals, organizations and communities.

Our Vision

We see a Rhode Island that is flourishing — economically, civically, culturally — built on a foundation of ever-improving human capital whose strengths and potential we spend each day revealing and igniting.

And we see the lessons of this lively leadership experiment being shared and amplified around the country and the world to nurture the kind of fully-engaged societies that create lasting, positive change.

Our Beliefs and Values

  • Recognizing leaders and investing in their personal and professional growth and connections with one another will result in individual, collective and statewide transformation.
  • It is vital to bring everyone to the table to collectively identify and solve challenges facing our state.
  • Experiencing transformative experiences in a cohort creates an environment for bridging across differences.
  • Large-scale change requires a broad network of individuals, with deep and personal connections based on trust and respect, who are able to have frank discussions.
  • With each class, long-term relationships are created which continuously generate new energy through contributions and exchange of ideas amongst the broader LRI network.
  • We believe in the power of shared best practices and shared learning to enable our state to go further, faster.
  • We are open to anyone seeking to move the needle of tough challenges within our state.
  • We value contributions over formal credentials.
  • We embrace diversity and divergence.

Our Impact

From "weaving back the civil fabric" of RI cities/towns to "outstanding leadership innovations" to moving the needle for statewide workplace engagement, Leadership Rhode Island's impact has been honored locally, regionally and nationally with five awards in the past five years from Common Cause RI, Association of Leadership Programs, GoLocal, and the Rhode Island Press Association.

"The most outstanding combination of networking and education available in the state today."

Michael Friedman (LRI '16), Clubhouse Capital

"You'll never be the same after you've been through this experience."

Nondas Voll (LRI '85), Executive Director (retired), Fund for Community Progress

"I have watched LRI cross lines and broaden and expand its definition of leadership while becoming much more visible in the social and cultural landscape."

Donald King (LRI '02), Creative Director, King Saint Germain

"I am amazed and impressed with the enormous positive impact LRI has had on our state."

Richard Staples (LRI '90), Retired, Fannie Mae

"I was able to step outside my day-to-day comfort zone, engaging in thoughtful, action-oriented interactions with a diverse cast of characters."

Dana Borrelli-Murray (LRI '12), Executive Director, Highlander Institute

"It's a life-changer. There are few places left where you can quite freely discuss your ideas with so many others."

Gary St. Peter (LRI '92), Principal (retired), SP&K

"Apply if you wish to expand your thinking, want to be a part of an extraordinary group having a positive impact on Rhode Island, and are looking for adventure."

Claudia Cardozo (LRI '11), Community Development Manager, Coastway Community Bank

"The intended consequence is very simple - sustainable relationships are built that have a positive impact on our state."

Steven O'Donnell (LRI '04), CEO, YMCA of Greater Providence

"Participation in LRI was a gift that continues to pay dividends 25 years after graduation."

Martha Conn Hultzman (LRI '91), Director, Citrin Cooperman

"It was the most gratifying and 'out of the box' professional and personal 'Rhode Island-centric' development experience I have ever been a part of."

Captain Vincent McAteer (LRI '15), Office of Community Outreach, Cranston Police Department

"Seldom, if ever, will you be able to share ideas with such a diverse community of leaders, as you will in LRI."

Jane Fusco, (LRI '03), Marketing Manager, University of Rhode Island

"It is a truly transformational experience."

Bill Allen (LRI '87), Adjunct Lecturer, Brown University

"It's incredibly informative, a truly unique experience. The people involved make this time so worth it."

Jennifer Luxmoore (LRI '10), Owner, Sin Desserts

"What you experience during your session day and the leaders you will interact with can not be replicated."

Ed D'Arezzo (LRI '08), Retired, Assistant Director of Health, RI Dept of Health

"LRI affords a space for conflicting ideologies to meet and evolve, which is key to community progress in a time with so much partisanship and division."

Ray Two Hawks Watson (LRI '15), Founder/CEO, Providence Cultural Equity Initiative

"LRI opened my eyes to the many facets of complex issues in our state, far beyond what reading papers and listening to news outlets did. "

Kelly Nevins (LRI '06), Executive Director, The Women's Fund

"LRI helped me to develop the ability to extract the individual capabilities of diverse leadership styles while engaging and empowering those in my community."

Sixcia Devine (LRI '07), Founder of Caritas Smile and CEO of Sixcia Business

"LRI isn't going to tell you how to do it, but it will connect you with people who will help you achieve it, because they want it, too."

Jacob Brier (LRI '14), Co-Founder & Chairman, LIFEcycle Inc.

"One of the best things I've ever done!"

Ruth Clegg (LRI '98), Artist & Owner, Angell Fine Arts


Leadership Rhode Island has been a recognized leader among organizations of its type from the beginning in 1981. At that time, there were only a scattering of community leadership programs across the United States, while today there are hundreds. LRI has been an innovative pioneer, serving as a model and mentor for many of the groups that have followed.

Board of Governors

The Board of Governors serves as LRI’s primary governing body. Responsible for the current state of the organization as well as for its future, the LRI Board leads in the development and execution of effective strategies consistent with LRI’s mission and vision. It also provides financial management and directs all fundraising to ensure adequate resources for the organization. The Board also oversees and supports all LRI programs and services. Board members are widely respected Rhode Island leaders from a cross-section of community sectors, including business, finance, education, and community nonprofits.


Mike Ritz

Executive Director,  LRI '07

401.273.1574 x103

Contact Mike about governance, sponsorship, programs, and alumni relations.

Michelle Carr

Deputy Director,  LRI '14

401.273.1574 x107

Contact Michelle about LRI's programs, training, strategic initiatives and performance measurement

Jane E. Nugent, Ed.D.

Project Advisor,  LRI '95


Contact Jane about the LRI Advisory Council.

Kristin Zosa Puleo

Director of Development & Alumni Engagement

401.273.1574 x112

Contact Kristin about sponsorships and alumni relations

Joanne Gallogly

Office Manager

401.273.1574 x100

Contact Joanne about LRI operations

Teresa DeFlitch

Programs Manager

Contact Teresa about LRI's Core and College programs, and Leadership in Action projects

Abby Burnep

Training Administrator

401-273-1574 x111

Training and consulting services, including Make RI Stronger

Chris Donovan

Events & Communications Specialist

401.273.1574 x101

Contact Chris about LRI events and communications

Kimberly Ramirez

Senior Programs Coordinator

401.273.1574 x105

Contact Kim about LRI's program logistics.

Samantha Bergbauer

College Program & Alumni Coordinator

401.273.1574 x104

Contact Samantha about the college program and alumni

Alicia Monnes

Accountant,  LRI '18


Contact Alicia about all matters of finance, including accounts payable and receivable.

Carol Young

Resident Editor,  LRI '92


Contact Carol about LRI's newsletter.

Christine McDermott

Layout Editor,  LRI '11


Contact Christine about LRI's newsletter and other publications.

Partners and Sponsors

Many of LRI's major funders and supporters begin as employer sponsors. These are organizations who give their employees the time off, and usually the funding, to participate in the LRI Core Program. Over 500 organizations in Rhode Island have been employer sponsors, and the benefits of the employee's interaction in the community and newfound perspective are incalculable. The program develops the organizational, leadership and problem-solving skills of its participants. In addition, it offers new insights into the community, helping participants identify where strategic alliances might be forged, and providing a unique perspective on the behind-the-scenes workings of our state.

Opportunities and Jobs

LRI believes in leveraging each person’s strengths as we continue our mission of providing leaders and emerging leaders with knowledge and access to resources while enabling them to positively affect their communities. The staff is passionate about Rhode Island and dedicated to nurturing relationships with more than 2,500 alumni.

The ideal staff member is willing to invest energy into a fast-paced, performance-driven environment. If you’re ambitious about goals, but like to have fun collaborating as a team to reach them, you’ll be in good company. It’s not rare for us to spend a few late nights at the office working on programs or brainstorming ideas, but you’ll also find us kicking back at monthly social hours getting to know our neighbors around the state.