56 Rhode Island leaders have been selected to participate in the Gamma II Class of Leadership Rhode Island’s Core Program, a ten-month community leadership program now in its 27th year. The class convened for their orientation retreat on January 4 and 5 at the W. Alton Jones Campus of URI in West Greenwich.

Leadership Rhode Island (LRI) selected these leaders for the program based on a multi-part application and interview process which is based on demonstrated personal qualities such as passion for the state, commitment to community, and capacity for leadership. In addition, LRI’s selection committee seeks a class that is representative of the cultural diversity of the state, as well as balanced by various industries, sectors, regions of the state, age and experience, gender and other factors.

Throughout 2007, the Gamma II Class will participate in a series of day-long sessions dedicated to topics of statewide concern, such as healthcare, housing, education, government, the environment, the arts, and criminal justice. Rhode Island’s top leaders will be invited to address the class and to present a balanced look at current and pressing issues.

In addition, the class will have the opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes look at these issues through enhancement activities. These may include police ride-alongs, a mock-legislative session at the State House, school and hospital visits, and others. The Gamma II Class also completes a small group project to support a need in the community.

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The Core Program experience encompasses many multi-faceted learning experences. A graduate of last year’s class, Richard Smith of Sovereign Bank, articulated his reaction to the leadership program as follows: “Leadership Rhode Island has been a great experience for me as the program has helped broaden my understanding of leadership and the issues that face our community. Additionally, I have been able to forge many strong relationships with individuals in my class which will be of tremendous value to me personally and professionally.”

A full list of the Gamma II Class members follows:

Michele Berard of Butler Hospital, North Providence resident

Maryanne Bessette of Sovereign Bank, Lincoln resident

Craig M. Bilodeau of Sansiveri, Kimball & McNamee, Cranston resident

Laura Jean Bottaro of Little Medeiros Kinder Bulman & Whitney, Warren resident

Annette Mann Bourne of Rhode Island Housing, Cranston resident

Lt. Paul Campbell of Providence Police Department, Wakefield resident

Deanna Casey of AARP-RI, Newport resident

Vijay Chandrasekaran of CVS Corporation, Foxboro, MA resident

Luciano Cozzi of Grace Family Church of Rhode Island, Coventry resident

Patrick M. Crowley of National Education Association of RI, Lincoln resident

Liane Czirjak of Opportunity ID Inc., Cumberland resident

Lisa C. D’Agostino of RI Department of Labor, E. Greenwich resident

Sixcia Devine of Small Business Development Center of RI, Providence resident

Linda DiPalma of Family Service of RI, Bristol resident

Anthony DiPietro of Leadership Rhode Island, Providence resident

Marie Esposito of The Wolf School, Rumford resident

Michael Fantom of Providence Ronald McDonald House, Duxbury, MA resident

James Ferrara of Fidelity Investment Company, W. Greenwich resident

Karen Fifer Ferry of Neigborhood Health Plan of RI, Providence resident

Glenn Gardiner of Newport Collaborative Architects, Newport resident

Peter T. Ginaitt of Lifespan, Warwick resident

Maura Goodwin of Gateway Healthcare, Wakefield resident

Akhil Gupta of Johnson & Wales University, Pawtucket resident

Elisa Heath of Jewish Federation of RI, Pawtucket resident

Robert Howley of Cox Communications, Glastonbury, CT resident

William Hurley of EBS Econotel Business Systems Inc., Riverside resident

Kimberly E. Jalette of MetLife, Lincoln resident

Maria N. Janes of The Washington Trust Company, Westerly resident

Richard A. Jardin of Gilbane Building Company, Walpole, MA resident

Mary “Midge” Kahn of South Kingstown CARES, Wakefield resident

Melissa N. Kollitdes of CVS/Pharmacy, Charlestown resident

Thomas E. Lisi of Yarlas, Kaplan, Santilli & Moran, Lincoln resident

Rosanne Lowe, Ph.D. of Lowe Psychological Associates, E. Greenwich resident

Linda Maaia of Full Channel TV Inc., Rumford resident

Molly “Mary” Donohue Magee of Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport, Portsmouth resident

Augustine “Gus” Manocchia of Blue Cross Blue Shield of RI, N. Kingstown resident

Carol Martin of The Miriam Hospital, Bridgewater, MA resident

Norman Marzano Jr. of RI Department of Transportation, N. Scituate resident

Darlene Masse of Hasbro Inc., Rumford resident

Edward A. Mastriano of WJAR NBC 10, Pawtucket resident

Edith F. McGuire of Care New England, East Greenwich resident

Sonia Millsom of United Healthcare, E. Greenwich resident

Paul Oliveira of Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co., Seekonk, MA resident

Amy M. Quinn of Cox Communications, South Kingstown resident

Mike Ritz of The Genesis Center, Providence resident

Lt. LeRoy V. Rose, Jr. of RI State Police, Lincoln resident

Brian Schattle of Rhode Island Airport Corp., Cranston resident

Kristen M. Sherman of Adler Pollock & Sheehan, Wrentham, MA resident

Jennifer Shimkus of RISE (Rhode Islanders Sponsoring Education), Providence resident

Sharon L. Terreault of Meeting Street, Cranston resident

Maria J. Tocco of Providence Public School District, Warwick resident

Katherine R. Trapani of RI Statewide Planning, E. Greenwich resident

Patricia A. Trinque of Rhode Island Housing, Chepachet resident

Linda N. Ward of Opportunities Unlimited, INC., Cranston resident

H. Brad Weaver of Blue Cross Blue Shield of RI, W. Greenwich resident

James Will of Amica Mutual Insurance Company, Hope resident

Leadership Rhode Island is an educational foundation whose mission is to provide leaders and emerging leaders with knowledge and access to resources which will enable them to positively affect their communities. In support of this mission, Leadership Rhode Island now oversees several educational programs for community leaders and aspiring leaders, including programs for college students and women. For more information about Leadership Rhode Island, its programs, and its community involvement, please call 401/273-1574 or visit www.leadershipri.org.