Staff / Board
Board of Directors:
Lorne A. Adrain, Co-Founder, Chairman
Lorne Adrain, is Managing Director of Ballentine Partners, LLC, a national wealth advisory firm. Lorne is an avid adventurer, author of inspirational books, philanthropist and volunteer leader, who works to foster innovative approaches that merge the interests of business with benefits to society, as well as a sense of civic duty and responsibility to one’s neighbors. Lorne served as chairman of Special Olympics – Rhode Island, president of URI’s Alumni Association, and serves or served on the boards of The Rhode Island Foundation, Big Picture Learning, Business Innovation Factory, Harvard Business School Alumni Board and The Genesis Center. Lorne is the founder of National Neighborhood Day, a nationwide effort seeking to build neighborhood connections and to increase civic, social and service engagement. He also co-founded Social Venture Partners Rhode Island. He has received numerous awards including The Rhode Island Foundation’s Inspiring Partner Award; the Leadership Rhode Island David E. Sweet Leadership Award; the Jefferson Award for Public Service and Northwestern Mutual Life named him Most Exceptional Volunteer in the nation. In February, 2011, Governor Chafee appointed Lorne Adrain as Chairman of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education. Lorne lives in Providence with his wife, novelist Ann Hood. They have four children – Ariane, Sam, Grace and Annabelle
Meredith Pearson, Co-Founder
Meredith has over 20 years experience working on a wide range of domestic and international policy issues. Most recently she worked with a major private consulting firm to develop their government accountability strategy. Previously, Meredith has worked on improving global child labor standards for the International Labour Organization (ILO), on challenges related to children, education and economic competitiveness in the Dominican Republic, on fundraising and organizational development strategies for a Boston-based home ownership non-profit, and on human rights and police reform issues in Central America and Mexico for the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). She is the author of a number of reports and case studies dealing with questions of education, social enterprise, child labor standards, government accountability, privatization, and corporate-nonprofit partnerships. Meredith has a Master in Public Policy, with a focus on social enterprise and political and economic development, from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Tufts University. Meredith lives in Providence with her husband Geoffrey Kirkman and their three young children.
Damian is the Director of High School Initiatives & The Hub at the Providence After School Alliance (PASA). The Hub is a citywide approach to building sustainable, high-quality out-of-school time opportunities for high school-aged youth. Damian previously worked at Big Picture Learning where he managed the development and communications strategies while working directly with the founders on all strategic initiatives. Damian’s education career began in the classroom where he taught for 7 years in all grades from 6th through 12th. He holds an MA in Education from Stanford University and a BS in Economics from Santa Clara University. A native of Providence, Rhode Island, Damian is also an avid surfer, local DJ and events producer. He lives in Providence with his wife, photographer Stephanie Alvarez Ewens, and their daughter.
Karina Holyoak Wood, Executive Director
Karina is an experienced community and campaigns organizer and communications professional. In 2010, she coordinated the Rhode Island is Ready campaign which played a key role in passing – for the first time in fifteen years – legislation establishing an equitable education funding formula for Rhode Island. A partner at Cutler & Company, a Providence-based communications design firm, she also served on Angel Taveras’ Campaign Education Advisory Team and his Education Transition Team. Karina was Sponsorship Manager for the Providence Sound Session music festival in ’07 and ‘08. She was Providence Coordinator for the 2006 National Congress for the New Urbanism; Co-Chair of the Million Mom March (for gun safety) of RI, 2000-2006; and U.S. Organizer for the international Hague Appeal for Peace, Netherlands, 1999, the largest-ever international peace conference, attracting 10,000 participants. She was Campaign Manager for Cliff Wood’s successful campaign for Providence City Council in 2006. Karina serves on the boards of the East Side Public Education Coalition and the Vartan Gregorian Elementary School PTO. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Sheffield University in her native England, and a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Clark University, Massachusetts. Karina has lived in Providence for 14 years, and has two daughters ages 11 and 9 who attend Providence public schools.