Board of Trustees


Christopher MarsellaPresident of the Board. Chair of the Advancement Committee and past Co-chair of the Winter Bash. Chris is the President of Marsella Development Corporation, Providence. He resides in College Hill, on the East Side of Providence.

Warren Jagger Vice President of the Board. Co-chair of the PPS Planning and Architectural Review Committee. Warren is an accomplished architectural photographer, owner, and principal of Warren Jagger Photography, with a studio in Providence’s Jewelry District. He is also a RISD graduate and photographer of the PPS/AIAri Guide to Providence Architecture.  He is a board member of the Sakonnet Preservation Association. Warren and his wife reside on the East Side of Providence and in Little Compton.

Melissa Trapp  – Vice President of the Board. Former Treasurer of the Board, and Chair of the Finance Committee. Co-chaired the 2015 Annual Meeting. Former Chair of the 2010 Festival of Historic Houses Committee. Melissa is a Senior Vice President of Bank Rhode Island, Investment Sales Manager. She lives in Cranston.

Laurel Bowerman –  Treasurer of the Board. Vice President of Commercial Real Estate, Washington Trust Company, Providence. She resides in East Greenwich.

Cait Swanson Secretary of the Board. A longtime PPS volunteer, Cait Swanson has chaired both the Festival of Historic Houses and Winter Bash Committees several times. Cait currently works at Citizens Bank in strategic communications. Prior to joining Citizens, Cait held a variety of community-facing roles in corporate environments. Additionally, Cait provides PPS with valuable advancement support cultivated through her work on two successful stateside bond referendum campaigns as well as through managing Rhode Island College’s Annual Fund.

Rita Danielle SteeleAssistant  Secretary of the Board. Served as Co-chair of the Festival of Historic Houses Committee (2016 & 2017).  Owner and Founder of real estate consulting firm Steele Realty Consultants, Rita Danielle Steele is a licensed attorney in MA and RI, a licensed contractor, and previously served as Principal Managing Broker and remains a Founding Partner of Geo Properties Inc. Rita is a member of many organizations and committees, and while her interests are wide ranging, her longtime passion for Providence’s historic properties has been a primary focus, inspiring her to specialize in historic restoration and real estate development. She was most recently named a 2015 Rhody Award recipient for her restoration of the historic Rumford Library.


Nick Autiello – is a fifth generation Providence resident, and currently resides on Federal Hill.  He has served in Governor Raimondo’s administration in the Rhode Island Executive Office of Commerce and holds degrees from the London School of Economics and Florida International University.  He also serves on the board of the Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization for Women and the Next Generation Committee at Trinity Repertory Theatre.  He is excited to work on continuing to preserve Providence’s architectural heritage, the source of our city’s uniqueness and potential.

Arria Bilodeau –  joined PPS’ staff of two in 1975 and since has been associated with the most effective advocacy organization in Providence for distinguished urban building, space and design, and historic integrity. She served on the Fox Point Neighborhood Association’s board, Mayor’s Neighborhood Organization Coalition, Mayor’s Design Selection Committee for 195 West Side Park, Shakespeare’s Head Association Board Chair, PPS Festival of Historic Houses Co-chair (3x), PPS Annual Meeting Co-chair (2x), PPS Board Chair, Head of the Bay Gateway Co-chair, and observer of 195 Commission since its inception.  Arria is a co-owner of Bilodeau Property Management, Inc. and has been a property owner of multi-family residence in Fox Point since 1974.

Heather Evans – recently moved to Providence from her home town of New York City, where she raised four daughters and was a senior executive at several top Wall Street firms.  She now works with a national practice at Northwestern Mutual that focuses on tax efficient planning for banks and estates.  Heather is an art and antiques collector and has restored several historic houses.  Heather is passionate about preserving beautiful old places and things.

Wendy MacGaw– is a trained artist who currently owns Artpack Services, Inc., an art consultancy and fine arts shipping company based in Detroit.  She and her husband live on the East Side in a 1937 Bauhaus-style home they renovated themselves.  This past year, Wendy curated a PPS Heritage Travel trip to Detroit, where she spent her formative years, including a stint at Cranbrook Academy of Art where she received her Master of Fine Art degree.

Clifford M. “Jack” Renshaw – Former Treasurer of the Board and Former Secretary of the Board. Serves as Chair of the Properties Committee.  Former Chair of the Membership Committee. He also has been appointed as a PPS representative to the Shakespeare’s Head Association, where he served as Treasurer. Jack is a Providence-based architect in private practice, and he previously served as Historical Architect for the RI Historical Preservation Commission. He lives in the Summit Historic District on the East Side of Providence with his husband, Bob Matthews.

Carrie ZaslowEx Officio. Carrie is the Executive Director of the Providence Revolving Fund.  She has an extensive background in community development, finance, and deployment of effective and innovative programs.  Prior to joining the team at the Providence Revolving Fund, she had an 11-year tenure at Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) as well as earlier experience at Randolph Savings Bank and the Housing Network of Rhode Island.

Kathryn J. Cavanaugh – Historic Preservation Consultant and longtime PPS volunteer. She currently lends her expertise as a member of PPS’s Marker Committee and served previously on the PPS Planning and Architectural Review Committee. Kathy resides in Providence’s Mount Hope neighborhood.

JP Couture – Past President and former Vice President of the Board. Former chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. Former Co-chair of the Properties Committee, the 2013 Executive Director Search Committee, the Planning and Architecture Review Committee, The Preservation Awards Ceremony, and Most Endangered Properties Committee. He helped create and co-chaired the first Providence Symposium, “The American Renaissance and Providence: A Golden Age in Architecture and the Arts,” a collaboration with the RISD Museum and The Providence Athenaeum. JP has a B.Arch degree and owns a residential design firm located in Providence that works in many communities in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. A Providence resident of over 20 years, he has worked on the restoration of a 1920s garden by Achille Duchene in Newport and a James Bucklin-designed Federal House in Providence’s Fox Point. JP lives in Fox Point on the East Side of Providence.

Kirsten Kenney – Chair of the Nominating and Board Governance Committees. Kirsten is a Partner in the Real Estate Group of Hinckley Allen, where her practice focuses on real estate development and financing. She is a resident of Barrington.

Dr. Cathy Lund – Cathy is a feline practitioner and owner of City Kitty Veterinary Care for Cats on Hope Street. A 30-year Providence resident, she currently serves on the boards of The Providence Athenaeum, the Providence Historic District Commission, Preserve Rhode Island, the American Association of Feline Practitioners, and the American Veterinary Association. Cathy resides in Providence’s Elmwood neighborhood with her husband, Dr. Peter Karczmar.

Patricia Raub – Chair of the Public Engagement Committee. Patricia teaches courses on the history of Rhode Island and Providence architectural history in the School of Continuing Education at Providence College. She also teaches a course on the history of U.S. documentary photography at Providence College and at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is one of the founders of Providence Community Library, and she serves on PCL’s Board of Trustees. She resides in Elmhurst.

Edmund A. Restivo Jr. – Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Restivo Monacelli LLP, a Providence-based tax, accounting, and business advisory firm and a PPS Partner in Preservation. Ed leverages his expertise and passion for historic preservation to advise clients nationwide on how to maximize historic tax credits for the development of historic properties. His own development projects have included the rehabilitation of Providence’s Conrad Building into the city’s first downtown residential development. Ed resides in Narragansett with his wife, Susan.

Lucie Searle Ex Officio. Lucie is a former President of the Board and Co-chair of the 2014-2015 Providence Symposium Committee. She specializes in the redevelopment of historic properties and for the past 25 years has focused most of her efforts on downtown Providence. Through her work with AS220, a nonprofit community arts organization, and the Providence Preservation Society, Lucie has been responsible for the adaptive reuse of several high-profile downtown buildings. Lucie also serves on the boards of Farm Fresh Rhode Island and Grow Smart Rhode Island. Born and raised on her family’s farm in Exeter, Lucie now resides in Providence.

Barbara SokoloffEx Officio Board member representing the Providence Revolving Fund, where she is on the board. She is president of Barbara Sokoloff Associates, a multifaceted housing, finance, development, and community revitalization consulting firm. BSA has been the development consultant on many notable projects, including the WaterFire Arts Center, more than 2000 affordable housing units, and mixed-use buildings along major thoroughfares. Barbara also serves on the board of the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence, among others. Barbara resides on Providence’s East Side with her husband, Herbert Rakatansky.

Mark Van Noppen – Ex Officio. Past Vice President of the Board and Past President. Currently serves as Co-chair of the Planning and Architectural Review Committee. Mark has served on just about every PPS committee at one time or another. He is the Managing Director at The Armory Revival Company, a 27-year-old development firm located on the West Side of Providence. He lives with his wife Julie in a Second Empire mansard in the Armory District, Providence.

Wm McKenzie “Mack” Woodward – Architectural History Consultant. Former Board member. Among the many publications by Woodward are the 1986 work Providence: A Citywide Survey of Historical Resources, co-written with David Chase and Edward F. Sanderson, and the more recent PPS/AIAri Guide to Providence Architecture, which acts as a historic guidebook to all the structures and sites of architectural significance in the city, granting him a reputation as “the person who knows more about Providence architecture than anyone.” The latter provides 12 self-guided tours covering over 300 buildings, with corresponding maps, photographs, and historical narratives. Woodward recently retired as architectural historian for the Rhode Island Preservation and Heritage Commission.

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