Growing up, I was a weird kid, and I never grew out of that. Living in Rhode Island my whole life, except for a few months in Maine & Florida, my love and passion for our state was born on Block Island. My family brought me to the island during the summer to swim in the crystal blue green waters, feed on the sea life, and run free in the woods and beaches of the national parks. It’s beautiful landscape. As an adult, I had the pleasure of living there for 5 years and sustaining my island life, first as the Sous Chef, then Head Chef, of the Harbor Grill. Seeing the beauty of the island instilled a passion to preserve our environment and community. Leaving the culinary career behind, I launched my nonprofit career, teaching environmental education to thousands of children each year at the YMCA of Greater Providence. I thought it was imperative to inspire our children to be excited about preserving our environment, community, and future. The success of that program led to my being recruited by Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State to help plan and manage fundraising events and recruit other passionate like-minded people to be mentors to 200+ boys and girls across Rhode Island and landed me where I am today - a member of the Rhode Island Foundation’s Non-Profit Emerging Leaders Program and Director of Development and Public Relations with House of Hope CDC, whose mission is to end homelessness in Rhode Island.
I’m driven not only by building the community, but also by great food and my family. I can’t imagine a better start to the day than an everything bagel and an iced coffee with a hint of vanilla syrup from North Bakery and a walk with my beloved husband, Hugh Minor, and our rescue pup, Zee. Other favorites include dinner at Pizza J, Salted Slate and Milk Money. Most important to me is good coffee. As a very busy person, I NEED coffee to get up and go and keep up with my schedule. Seven Stars Bakery gets my engine running. Their coffee is one of the best! White Electric’s Hazelnut is a close second and I can’t forget how great the coffee is at New Harvest Coffee & Spirits.
All that caffeine is getting me revved up for my next big project. I've just successfully raised $20,000 for the House of Hope CDC at their Heart Warming Winter Ball and now, I'm working on a food and music festival in partnership with Hope & Main in Warren, Rhode Island to benefit their culinary incubator and House of Hope CDC's continuing mission to end homelessness. Find out more by visiting TheHouseofHopeCDC.org.
Photo Credits: Pics of Pizza J, North, New Harvest, and White Electric courtesy of Ashley Farney. All other photos provided by George Evans Marley.