Gail Ahlers

Executive Director

Gail Ahlers is an award-winning designer, artist, and educator. Born in the New York area, Gail moved to Providence to attend Rhode Island School of Design, graduating in 1985 with a BFA in light metals. She has studied art history in Paris and sculpture in Mexico. She has since become certified in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. She also studied Expressive Arts at Salve Regina University. Gail’s focus on empowering people led her to establish the non-profit “The Empowerment Factory” in 2014. Her diverse background allows her to develop and curate innovative programming and teachers that help guide people of all ages to live a happier, healthier more empowered lives.

Karen King


Karen is currently the Managing Director of Administration at DiPrete Engineering where she oversees HR, Facility, and the Front Office. She has been with the firm for over 25 years. Diprete Engineering is a civil engineering, land planning, and land surveying firm. Karen is also a Strengths Coach for Leadership RI and the Make RI Stronger Initiative. Karen has been active in Girl Scouts for the past 15 years serving on various service unit and council positions and is currently a Girl Scout Leader for kindergarten and 1st graders in North Kingstown.

Kim Denny

Vice President

Kim has over eighteen years working for Pawtucket Credit Union as Vice President of Employee Development and Training, designing training programs to encompass areas across all departments including leadership programs, sales training classes, new employee training, systems training and compliance. Kim develops mentoring programs as well as corporate recognition programs and produces the quarterly employee newsletter. Prior to her current job at PCU, she was Vice President and Manager at Bank of Petaluma in Petaluma California. Kim has ten years in bank retail operations management. Kim has served on the board of Young Voices and currently holds board positions at PACE Rhode Island and The Empowerment Factory. She has previously mentored for women offenders as part of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections mentoring program for offenders soon to be released. Kim loves mentoring young people who are willing to learn from her mistakes and successes and discovering all the marvels of and wonderful contributions from all people on the autism spectrum.

Kim is a dog lover and mom to two rescues. She is also an avid reader. Kim has been a runner for 40 years who’s done countless races and three marathons, and she's happy that she's taken all of those steps during her lifetime, to travel roads and paths to experience nature as well as city streets up close and personal.

John Interdonato


Graybar Electric

Maureen Cary


Maureen Cary, owner and publisher of RI Natural Awakenings magazine, has been bringing cutting edge information on natural health, fitness and green living to the RI community since 2008. By connecting readers to the information, products and services that support a healthy lifestyle, Natural Awakenings has become a valuable resource. With a BS in Business Administration and a 20-year career in local banking, she is in a unique position to bridge the holistic and business communities.

Rob Panoff


Rob Panoff spent a long career in the information and communications technology industries, from mainframe computers right through to the Internet and broadband wireless networks – including 20 years, running his own marketing and strategy consulting company. Rob particularly focused on developing and implementing successful strategies for new products and new markets, also successfully implementing statewide and regional community broadband networks.
Rob has been active in the leadership of number of industry organizations, and for the last 10 years has been very actively serving on several nonprofit boards, spanning healthcare, social entrepreneurship, and the arts.

Rob currently serves on the Boards of Maternova, FirstWorks, Hands In Harmony, and The Empowerment Factory here in Rhode Island. Rob holds a BA (Cum Laude) from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, and resides with his wife in Saunderstown, RI.