Board of Trustees
Christopher Marsella – President 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 –President-Elect 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/AIA 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.
Laurel Bowerman – Treasurer of the Board. Vice President of Commercial Real Estate, Washington Trust Company, Providence. Resides in East Greenwich.
Cait Swanson – Vice President of the Board. A long-time PPS volunteer, Cait Swanson has chaired both the Festival of Historic Houses and Winter Bash committees several times. She served as Secretary of the Board (2018 & 2019). Cait currently works at Citizens Bank in strategic communications where she focuses on keeping colleagues informed and engaged. 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 Steele – Vice President of the Board. Served as Assistant Secretary of the Board (2018 & 2019). 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 long-time passion for Providence’s historic properties has served as 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.
Carrie Zaslow – Ex Officio, Secretary of the Board. 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.
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 a multi-family residence in Fox Point since 1974.
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.
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.
Barry Fain – A native of Providence, Barry and his wife Elaine have lived in an 1820 house on the East Side for the past three and a half decades. Currently the president of Providence Media, a chain of six local newspapers, Barry is proud to have served on the Boards of United Way, Moses Brown School, the Providence Rotary and Waterfire. This appointment marks his second participation on the PPS board.
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.
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.
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.
Elizabeth Warburton Rochefort – Ex Officio. Principal Architectural Historian at the RI Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission (RIHPHC). Liz applies her expertise as an architectural historian at the RIHPHC to National Register of Historic Places work, as well as statewide preservation policy and planning issues. Liz serves on the PPS Historic Property Marker Committee and the boards of the New England chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians and the Rhode Island College Alumni Association.
Shideh Shafie – Physician and Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Warren Alpert School of Medicine. Shideh has a passion for Providence and the beauty and energy of the city. She also serves as a board member at the Rhode Island Economic Progress Institute, a non-profit group that advocates for policies that improve economic security and opportunity for working-class Rhode Islanders.
Barbara Sokoloff – Ex 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.
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 historical 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 an architectural historian for the Rhode Island Preservation and Heritage Commission.