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WaterFire Providence Announces New Leadership on Board of Directors

Visitors sitting enjoying the fires at WaterFire. Photograph by Erin Cuddigan.
Visitors sitting enjoying the fires at WaterFire. Photograph by Erin Cuddigan.

Charles Newton, a partner with Newton & Newton LLC, was elected chair of the WaterFire Providence board of directors. Barbara Mullen, Ph.D., assistant superintendent of Student Services at Cambridge Public Schools, and outgoing board chair James Prescott were elected vice-chairs. Michael Brostek, market vice president at Cox Media, was elected Secretary of the WaterFire Providence, and Erica Guatieri, CPA has been re-elected treasurer.

“We are excited about the depth and breadth of experience these amazing volunteer leaders bring to our organization,” said Peter A. Mello, managing director, and coCEO, WaterFire Providence. “With their collective leadership and support, WaterFire Providence is well-positioned to enter the next exciting phase of our organization’s development.”

Mr. Newton, who retired from the State of Rhode Island where he served for 26 years as the administrator for Rhode Island’s Minority Business Compliance Office, helping women and minority-owned businesses successfully compete for state procurement opportunities, is currently a partner with Newton & Newton LLC, a community relations and diversity consulting business. He also serves as vice-chair of the Providence Board of Licenses and volunteers on many non-profit boards including The Center for Women and Enterprise, Local Initiative Support Corporation, and The Rhode Island Joint Reinsurance Agents Association. Mr. Newton is also a member of the Providence College Black Alumni Association, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated, the Providence Chapter of the NAACP, Diversity & Inclusion Professionals, and Leadership RI. Known for his commitment to the community, Mr. Newton was a CYO coordinator for the Diocese of Providence, served as a board member of the Catholic School Collaborative, coached CYO basketball for 20 years, and chaired the board of the East Side YMCA, the RI Black Heritage Society, and the Minority Investment Development Corporation. He has also served as the board treasurer of the Civic Center Authority and a member of the City of Providence Zoning Board. A resident of Providence, Mr. Newton is married to Linda Newton and has two adult children, Marc Newton, and Lorraine Newton Lalli.

As assistant superintendent of Student Services at Cambridge Public Schools, Dr. Mullen is responsible for ensuring that equitable practices are at the core of each system throughout the district in order to address and redress long-standing inequities and opportunities in student outcomes. Previously as the chief equity officer at Providence Schools and the director of the Learning Leader Network for the Center for Leadership and Educational Equity, Dr. Mullen supported Rhode Island School Districts with continuous improvement toward equitable outcomes. She is the author of Secure Your Oxygen Mask First: Strategies to Prevent Burnout in Special Education Practitioners and numerous publications both digital and print. She currently lives in North Providence, RI with her family.

Mr. Brostek has been a people leader in the radio, broadcast, cable, and digital media universe. A lifelong student of learning, he recently completed Stanford’s Graduate School of Business Leadership Program and holds an IAB certification. Although most of his time has been spent in New England markets such as Boston, Hartford, and Providence, he has led organizations in the Midwest as well as the Pacific Northwest. Mr. Brostek joined Cox Media as the market vice president in 2017 and his career has focused on developing talent in all aspects of media sales and management. Raised in Southeastern Connecticut, Mr. Brostek is proudly affiliated with Norwich Free Academy and Connecticut State University. Personally, he enjoys boating, reading, golf, and spending time with his wife & son (Bishop Hendricken ’16), friends, and family dog Sophie.

Mr. Prescott, a retired CPA, served four years as the chair of the WaterFire board of directors and resides with his wife, Mary, in Barrington, RI.

Erica Guatieri, CPA, MST, was re-elected as treasurer of the WaterFire Providence board of directors. Ms. Guatieri is the owner of Erica Hope Guatieri, CPA, LLC, and serves as the chair of the RI Society of CPAs and treasurer of Festival Ballet Providence.

See our full board roster for a complete listing of WaterFire Providence board members.

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Peter joined the WaterFire Providence team in March 2011 to co-lead the organization with Barnaby Evans, founder and executive artistic director. Previously, Peter served as executive director, ceo and board member of the American Sail Training Association (Tall Ships America). In 2006, he founded Sea-Fever Consulting LLC, a management consulting firm focused on strategy, communications and leadership development and launched the Weekly Leader blog and podcast. Prior to that he had a 20 year career in financial services working in New York, Boston, San Francisco and London. Life long mariner, photographer, hockey player and art fan, he lives in Fall River, MA with his dog Zane. Peter proudly serves as a board member of the Fall River Museum of Contemporary Art.

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