Advisory Board

Rachel Atlas Venditto, Assistant Curator, Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab, Providence, RI. RISD’s Nature Lab is a unique resource for examining, exploring and understanding the patterns, structures and interactions of design in nature. The collection includes more than 80,000 specimens and other items of natural history.

Lily Benedict is a museum curator and educator whose interests lie at the intersection of art, science and history.  Currently at the RISD Museum, she has worked at institutions including the Museum of Natural History in Providence, the MIT Museum, and the American Museum of Natural History. Lily received her BA in Anthropology from Cornell University and her MA in Public Humanities from Brown.

Eliza Beringhause holds a Masters of Education in Health Promotion and was a faculty member at Bristol Community College where she taught Biology, Anatomy and Physiology and Health classes. Eliza is also on the board of directors for United Neighbors of Fall River, which is a charitable organization dedicated to helping support the under-served in Southern Bristol County, MA.

Kipp Bradford is the Senior Design Engineer and Lecturer at the Brown University School of Engineering, chair of the Rhode Island Entrepreneurship Faculty group, on the technical advisory board of MAKE Magazine and is a Fellow at the College of Design, Engineering and Commerce at Philadelphia University. His current company, KippKitts, LLC, is an open source hardware manufacturer making an array of tools for engineers and designers.

Pamela Crombie has extensive experience in the non-profit sector, having worked as an auditor specializing in performing audits of non-profit entities in Rhode Island, and as Senior Grants Accountant at City Year.  She is currently Senior Accountant at The Grommet – a product launch platform for independent, small scale Makers.

Umberto Crenca, Founder and Artistic Director of AS220, Providence, RI. AS220 provides an unjuried and uncensored forum for the arts.

Katherine Estes, CPA, North Kingstown, RI. She specializes in accounting, tax, audit and financial management consultation for nonprofit organizations.

Barnaby Evans, Executive Artistic Director, WaterFire Providence, Providence, RI. Waterfire, quite possibly the preeminent visitor attraction for the city of Providence, brings over one million people from Rhode Island and beyond each season to watch, wonder at, and enjoy the spectacle.

Michael Friedman, President and CEO of Monarch Industries, Warren, RI. Monarch Industries specializes in architectural millwork, custom wood molding, paneling, cabinets and casework.

Adrienne Gagnon, Founder and Executive Director of DownCity Design, received her MA in Community Arts Education from Rhode Island School of Design. Adrienne has worked as a curator of contemporary art for a number of organizations, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Adrienne is currently the Education Director for Providence CityArts for Youth.

Ulysses Gallman has received numerous accolades for his work as a middle school science teacher, including the 1994 and 2000 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and the prestigious Milken National Educator Award. He is also a professional Disc Jockey and Videographer, who has owned his own company since 1982. He has been an “On-Air” personality for several local Rhode Island radio stations and is currently producing jazz instrumentals.

Ray Gennari is an accomplished musician and craftsman. He is founder, engineer, and producer of the Rockatorium of Love Studio in West Kingston. Ray creates one-of-a-kind fine furniture and his artwork has been shown at the Providence Anthenaeum and Aldrich Contemporary Museum of Art. He also designs and builds many of RIMOSA’s exhibits.

Marc B. Gertsacov, Esq. is an attorney with the Law Offices of Ronald C. Markoff. He primarily concentrates his practice in real estate matters and counsels a wide variety of small corporations. local courses.

Gayle Giffords, Principal at Cause & Effect, Inc., Providence, RI. Cause & Effect offers a wide range of consulting services for non-profits. They advise secular and progressive organizations working to create change in their communities.

Rebekah Greenwald Speck, Executive Director, RiverzEdge Arts Project, Woonsocket, RI.  RiverzEdge Arts Project is a social enterprise that provides talented underserved teens hands-on work experience in graphic design, digital photography, screen-printing and visual arts. Riverzedge won the prestigious National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award in 2010.

Brian Jepson is co-organizer of Providence Geeks and the Rhode Island Mini Maker Faire. He’s also been involved in various ways over the years with AS220, a non-profit arts center in Providence, Rhode Island. 

Ann Kaiser is a STEM Education Consultant and CEO of ProjectEngin LLC, a firm that provides professional and curriculum development services to support the inclusion of engineering in K-12 education.  Ann is a former metallurgical engineer with 16 years of experience in secondary education. Ann was named a Fulbright Distinguished Teacher in 2013, researching the implementation of Engineering Design projects as Performance Tasks in secondary physics classes in Singapore. She has been a presenter, organizer, and keynote speaker at numerous regional, national, and international conferences and is currently leading several middle school STEAM initiatives. Ann can be reached at

Anna Kaziunas France is on the forefront of new technology as the Digital Fabrication Editor for Maker Media, Inc. and Dean of Students at Fab Academy Global.

Amy Lovera is a multimedia artist whose work has been exhibited and published both nationally and internationally.  She has taught at a number of institutions, including the Massachusetts College of Art, the Rhode Island School of Design and Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art in France. Amy is a founding member of the Clever Girls Collaborative, a film-making collective with a handmade, hands-on approach and an emphasis on spontaneity and play.

Ted McGuire is the President of Thames & Kosmos, a publisher and distributor of educational science toys headquartered in Providence, RI. He has authored and edited numerous award-winning science kits and holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering/Product Design from Stanford University. Ted grew up in a science museum where his mother was the Executive Director. It was there he developed an intimate understanding of the promise and praxis of informal science education by participating in all aspects of the field.

Erik Nelson, co-owner of the engineering firm Structures Workshop, Inc. of Providence. Erik has worked on numerous projects that have complex geometries with innovative structural systems, such as the Linked Hybrid project in Beijing. He has also been involved in the design of large dynamic structures for the entertainment industry such as Cirque du Soleil’s show Ka and the Crane Ballet.

Marvin Novogrodski, Performing Artist, Marvelous Marvin, Providence, RI. Marvin has been blending art and science in original works for over 15 years. Using circus arts, magic tricks and engaging visuals to entertain and motivate students to learn about science, Marvin’s shows have delighted audiences all over New England.

Mary Rapien holds a doctorate in Biological Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island and has spent her career bridging the gap between science and education. She has worked extensively in both formal and informal education. She is currently an assistant professor at Bristol Community College in New Bedford, MA.

Jeanine Silversmith, Founder and Director of Rhode Island Families in Nature, Wakefield, RI. Rhode Island Families in Nature is an organization created by and for families who want to spend more time outdoors, explore RI’s natural places, and reconnect with and reap the many benefits of nature.

Valerie Taylor is currently an Exhibit Designer at Big Ring Design in Providence, RI.  She has spent over sixteen years working with museums and other organizations to create engaging and educational experiences for visitors of all ages.  Her clients include the National Museum of Australia, the Boston Children’s Museum and the Audubon Society of Rhode Island. An experienced museum planner, she has helped a number of start-up museums to define their mission and goals.

Karen Triedman  teaches the psychology of color, design, and visual merchandising among other courses in the Certificate Program at Rhode Island School of Design. She is a respected author whose books explore the power of color in graphic design.

Jeff Wallace received his undergraduate degree in Bioengineering from Syracuse University and a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. His successful career as an engineer and technology manager in the medical device sector has involved leading interdisciplinary teams and demonstrating a blend of inquisitive exploration and design creativity that have produced numerous patents and innovations. He is an active volunteer in his community including organizing events for his local elementary school, and assisting at local food banks.

Walter Zesk, Co-Founder of ConForm Lab LLC, Providence, RI. ConFormLab provides computational design and fabrication consulting services. Their obsessively collaborative design process has produced novel furniture systems, innovative architectural interventions, super efficient traditional sailboats, inventive textile products, and highly optimized jewelry production systems.