Civic Leadership

Tune in to 'Pioneers'

As the state’s community foundation, it is our privilege to lift up Rhode Islanders who are ‘pioneers’ in their own right, on behalf of the communities they serve, and in their chosen profession.

Over the past year we’ve partnered with five such Rhode Islanders to host a series of live podcasts – intimate, one-on-one conversations about their life, work, and commitment to civic leadership.

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If you missed the live events, now is your chance to hear what these inspiring leaders have to say. Thanks to our partnership with The Public’s Radio, each podcast is available now on their website, you’ll also hear snippets of the episodes over the next five weeks on 89.3FM, and the series is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify.

The five-part series, Pioneers, is hosted by local artist and author Mary-Kim Arnold and features Alan Hassenfeld, Julie Nora, Rabbi Leslie Gutterman, Amanda Milkovits, and Angel Taveras – more on each Pioneer below.

We hope you’ll listen in!

Alan Hassenfeld is former chairman and CEO of Hasbro, Inc., a multi-billion-dollar international toy company and worldwide leader in children’s and family entertainment. He also is a children’s health advocate and global philanthropist. His philanthropy work in the United States and abroad has been recognized by a range of educational and civic institutions.

Julie Nora, Ph.D., is the director of the International Charter School, a two-way immersive, bilingual charter school serving students in grades K through 5 in Rhode Island. Before her appointment to lead ICS in 2003, Julie was an applied researcher at the Education Alliance at Brown University. She has published widely about bilingual education, including the 2016 book, “No More Low Expectations for English Language Learners.”

Rabbi Leslie Gutterman served Temple Beth-El for 45 years until his retirement in 2015. For 20 years, Rabbi Gutterman wrote a monthly column for the religion page of The Providence Journal. He has served on the executive board of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and on the boards of many local and national civic and cultural organizations. He received a public service award from the City of Providence on its 350th anniversary and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhode Island Council of Churches.

For nearly 20 years, Amanda Milkovits covered crime and justice for The Providence Journal. In 2019, she moved to the Boston Globe to cover Rhode Island. Amanda has won recognition and awards for her articles about high profile issues including organized crime, sex trafficking, and gun violence.

Angel Taveras served as the 37th mayor of the City of Providence from 2011 to 2015. He was the first Latino mayor for the city, and the fourth Dominican-American mayor in the nation. As Mayor, Taveras is credited with rescuing the city from the brink of bankruptcy and confronting a $110 million structural deficit.