Washington, D.C. – The State Society of Rhode Island (SSRI), a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan organization, announces the election of a new executive team, as well as the full slate of board of directors for 2018-2019.
After 5 years of unwavering leadership as Chair of SSRI, Chris Simeone will continue to contribute his time, expertise, and enthusiasm on the Board of Directors. Lauren Broccoli will lead the executive team for 2018-2019 as Chairwoman, with Vice Chair Nicole Henry, Treasurer Michael Giblin, and Secretary Francesca D’Andrea. Former Vice Chair Stefan Brathwaite will continue to lead corporate sponsorship and strategic communications initiatives as the new Chair of Communications. Former Secretary Amy Pellegrino will continue to support events planning and coordination as a Board Member.
Lauren Broccoli was born and raised in Rhode Island, where she attended St. Mary’s Academy-Bay View in East Providence. After earning her undergraduate degree at Boston University, Lauren returned to Rhode Island to attend Roger Williams University School of Law, where she earned her J.D. in 2012. After working for Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's 2014 Senate campaign, Lauren relocated to DC and worked for Congressman Jim Langevin.
Currently, Lauren is a lobbyist at Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, a full-service government relations firm based in D.C. specializing in higher education and research policy. Lauren is extremely passionate about preserving the unique traditions of Rhode Island in Washington, DC. and has previously served as SSRI Treasurer for the past 4 years.
Nicole Henry was born and raised in Newport and Middletown Rhode Island. Upon graduating from the University of Rhode Island, Nicole became involved in Rhode Island Politics where she interned with the Rhode Island Democratic Party and worked for Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s 2014 Senate campaign. Currently, Nicole supports the executive team at CTIA, a trade association representing the wireless industry.
In addition to her role as Vice Chair for SSRI, Nicole servers on the leadership committee of GenR DC Metro as the organization’s Communications Chair. Ever the passionate Rhode Islander, Nicole also promotes Narragansett Brewing Company in and around the District as a member of their Promotions Team.
Michael Giblin was born and raised in Rhode Island. Michael is a graduate of Portsmouth High School and the University of Rhode Island, where he earned his B.A. in History and M.A. in Political Science.
Michael has been actively involved in Rhode Island politics, having interned with Senator Jack Reed, worked on numerous campaigns, and served as Treasurer of the Young Democrats of Rhode Island. He moved to DC in 2013 to work in the Political Law Group at Perkins Coie, LLP. He now works in Political Affairs for the American Academy of Dermatology.
Michael has been a state society board member since 2014. He is passionate about Rhode Island's history, culture, food, and the Rhode Island Rams basketball team.
Francesca D’Andrea, a native of Cranston, spent the last three years living on the West End and East sides of Providence before moving to Washington, D.C. to complete a graduate degree in Public Administration.
Prior to moving to D.C., Francesca graduated from Cranston High School East and then pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Spanish at the University of Rhode Island. Upon graduation, Francesca spent two years serving her community as an educator though the AmeriCorps program in the International Charter School and at Save The Bay. Continuing her focus on community service, Francesca spent the last three years working a Case Manager for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Francesca finds civil service and community building crucial elements to her professional life and is excited to foster a sense of community for Rhode Islanders in Washington D.C. through her new role as Secretary of the SSRI Board of Directors.
In addition to the new SSRI Executive Team, several new members have been elected to serve on the Board of Directors for 2018-2019: Colleen Creighton, Emily Brockway, and Vimala Phongsavanh.
Colleen Creighton currently serves as Executive Director of the American Association of Suicidology. Previously, she served as Executive Director of the Alliance for Consumer Education (ACE), a nonprofit foundation dedicated to the safe and responsible use of consumer household products.
Emily Brockway is a program manager at the Outdoor Advertisers Association of America
(OAAA), where she dreams of her childhood summers in Barrington, RI.
Vimala Phongsavanh is the proud daughter of Laotian refugees and is the Public Policy Director at the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) where she advocates and organizes to build power for AAPI women and girls in the country. Vimala was born, raised, and educated in Woonsocket, Rhode Island and is now a new and proud resident of Virginia.
Along with these new faces, SSRI welcomes back the following Board of Directors for 2018 – 2019:
Stefan Brathwaite, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty
Andrew Odgren, U.S. Senate
Andrew Cutler, SSRI
Andrew DiIorio, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Amy Pellegrino, U.S. Senate
Chris Simeone, BGR Group
Jason Soules, Schafer Corporation
Kristen Helmstetter, Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO
The State Society of Rhode Island (SSRI) is a 501(c)(3), nonpartisan organization in Washington, D.C., serving as a the premier resource for Rhode Islanders who live, work, or study in the nation’s capital. Our active Board of Directors provides social, community service, cultural, and educational events to our membership, creating networking opportunities and a strong Ocean State community in Washington.