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.

Bianca Policastro

Board President

Board President

Loraine C. Slaney


Loraine has been a self-employed accountant since 1982 with Marchulchi Associates Inc. She works with organizations and nonprofits. She has been a part of the Employment Factory since its inception providing guidance for non-profit requirements and tax services.

Karen King


Current position: Managing Director of Administration at DiPrete Engineering where I oversee HR, Facility, and the Front Office. I have been with the firm for over 25 years. It's a civil engineering, land planning, and land surveying firm
Currently a Strengths Coach for Leadership RI and the Make RI Stronger Initiative.
Currently a Girl Scout Leader for kindergarten and 1st graders in North Kingstown. I have been active in Girl Scouts for the past 15 years serving on various service unit and council positions.

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.

Wendy Fachon, Director


John Interdonato


Graybar Electric

Kim Denny


Pawtucket Credit Union

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.