Board of Directors

President

Lauren Yabut
Term ends 2023

lyabut@charlesgateapts.net

Lauren Yabut

Lauren J Yabut, LICSW, NASW member since 2014 and recipient of the 2017 Social Worker of the Year award in aging, is thrilled to begin her term as president of the NASW-RI chapter. Lauren has served the elderly and disabled populations of RI via the provision of stable housing, social services, assisted living, and long term care since 1999 at Charlesgate in Providence. She has served as the administrator of Charlesgate Nursing Center and currently serves as the administrator of Charlesgate Senior Living Center. She believes that provision of stable housing and quality health care services are the keys to maintaining success in community living for marginalized and under-served populations.

When not working, Lauren enjoys gardening, outdoor living, and spending time with her husband of 24 years and their two teenage children.

Vice President

Nicole O’Brien
Term ends 2023


Nicole O'Brien

Nicole O’Brien, LICSW – BSW from Providence College; MSW from Boston College. Clinical Social Worker for Lifespan (Rhode Island Hospital/Hasbro Children’s Hospital) from 2011-2020. Mrs. O’Brien currently serves on the Board of the NASW-RI Chapter as Vice President, and previously served as Secretary and Board-at-Large Member. She was previously chair of the Health Care Settings Committee. Member of NASW since 2011.





Secretary

Maria Friedman
Term ends 2024

Maria Friedman

Maria Friedman, MSW. Maria has a Bachelor's of Individualized Studies in Cultural Studies, Leadership, and Psychology with a Minor in Spanish from University of Minnesota and a MSW from Rhode Island College. Maria currently serves on the Board of the NASW-RI Chapter as Secretary, and previously served as the MSW student representative. Maria has been involved with the NASW Policy and Advocacy Committee and the Student Leaders Committee, helping to organize a virtual Environmental Justice and Social Work panel event in April 2021. Maria has worked on both micro and macro levels, ranging from providing counseling and case management to clients at RI Free Clinic, fostering youth development at Boys and Girls Club, supporting survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence as a Law Enforcement Advocate with Day One, and now working in the field of non-profit leadership at the RI Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (RIHCC). As the Organizational Development and Intern Coordinator at RIHCC, she works to ensure that the organization is adapting its programs, services, protocols, and vision to meet the complex needs of Hispanic entrepreneurs and businesses throughout RI. In addition, she has the pleasure of recruiting, training, and supervising student interns and volunteers working on various projects from colleges around RI. Maria's true passion lies in macro level work, helping groups, organizations, and communities reach their full capacity through increased partnership, team cohesion, and innovation while working to address economic, environmental, and racial injustice.

Board Members


Matthew Gunnip
Term ends 2024

Matthew Gunnip

Matthew Gunnip, LCSW, has worked with children and families involved in the child welfare system since 2004. Matt's mother, a career Social Caseworker at DCYF, influenced him to pursue a career in human services. Upon Matthew obtaining a bachelor's degree, his mother tried to convince him not to go to DCYF due to secondary trauma associated with the work. Like a good, obedient son, Matthew did the opposite.

Matthew has been a Social Caseworker at DCYF since 2005. In 2012, Matthew obtained his MSW at Rhode Island College. He learned that the profession of social work requires a commitment to address the policies that create the social problems that impact the populations we are honored to serve.

As a result, Matthew organized a campaign to run for union president of the Rhode Island Association of Social Service Employees to be a voice at the statehouse, by educating policy makers and advocating for policy changes. Matthew is interested in bringing his experience, strength and hope to the Board to help build capacity within NASW-RI to increase member legislative engagement and improve policies.


Donald Laliberte
Term ends 2023

Donald Laliberte

Don has been a member of NASW since 1996, and is pleased to be able to serve on the Board as an At-Large member. He is currently the Assistant Director for Lifespan Pediatric Behavioral Health Emergency Services and Director of the Access Center at Bradley Hospital. He serves as an Adjunct Faculty for Social Work at Rhode Island College, where he earned his MSW in 1999. He has extensive experience in mental health with children, adolescents, and adults, and has worked in clinical and administrative roles at Crossroads Rhode Island, The Miriam Hospital, Gateway Healthcare, and The Providence Center. He also enjoys volunteering at various community organizations including the Wilbury Theater Group and WaterFire Providence.



Alyssia Ramos
Term ends 2023

Alyssia Ramos

Alyssia Ramos, LICSW, LBA, BCBA is a Providence native. She received her BSW from Rhode Island College, MSW from Boston University, and MA in Applied Behavior Analysis from Salve Regina University. She is pursuing her Doctorate of Social Work from Simmons University. She has worked with youth and families, since the start of her career, with a focus on working with individuals with autism, intellectual & developmental disabilities, and behavioral health needs. She enjoys program development and creation, and finding ways to evolve current practices. She has served in clinical supervisory & director level positions, since getting her Master's degree in 2015. She currently works as Director of Clinical Services at a nonprofit in Massachusetts & operates her own private practice, Pivotal Beginnings, in Lincoln, RI. As a multicultural woman navigating the professional world & being in supervisory positions, diversity, equity, & inclusion are paramount to her professionally and personally. She believes the field can improve its practices when it comes to leadership and promoting just work environments.



Heidi Ross
Term ends 2025

Heidi Ross

Heidi Ross, BSW, MA has been an NASW member since 2011. She received her BSW from Washington State University and MA in Counseling from Saint Mary's College. She started out as a Candy Striper and quickly found a field of work and passion. Originally from the West Coast, she has found her way to Rhode Island with work and volunteer experience in senior centers, nursing homes, retirement and assisted living communities, hospital geriatric services, Medicare/SHIP and extensive personal family caregiving.

Advocacy has become a natural path to take, because once we see and experience holes in "the system," it becomes a mission to find others with like-minded solutions. She is currently doing advocacy and outreach work with AARP RI, the Alzheimer's Association, and other long-term care and disability entities. With a background in Montessori education, Heidi believes that with resource-sharing, reaching out to elected officials and overall networking, it is important to realize where the person "is at" before we can expect and effect change.



MSW Student Representative 

Cameron Landry

Term ends 2023

Cameron Landry

Cameron joins the Board as the MSW graduate student seat. He is currently attending his alma mater, Rhode Island College. In 2020 he graduated with a BA in Psychology, and a BS in Addiction Studies. Cameron is a queer man who is pursuing his education in counseling and policy work, to one day be a clinician and advocate for queer and trans* folks.




BSW Student Representative

Eleni Glodowski

Term ends 2023

Eleni Glodowski

My name is Eleni Glodowski and I am an incoming senior at Providence College. I am a Social Work and Psychology double major. I am most interested in helping our local homeless community, as well as working with the elderly population. I have interned at Crossroads Family Shelter and will be interning at St Antoine’s Nursing Facility in the fall. I am excited to be a BSW student representative and help create change in our community together.

Nominate Yourself or a fellow Social Worker for our Board of Directors

Fill out the nomination form here