Board of Directors
ANNE BERMAN, Chair
Ms. Berman lives in Newport and is a graduate of Connecticut College with a concentration in Urban Studies. She serves as Assistant Director of Development for Rhode Island Housing. Prior to joining Rhode Island Housing, Anne worked with non-profit organizations in Rhode Island and Florida engaged in housing development and neighborhood revitalization. She is a board member of Temple Shalom & has been involved with Church Community Housing Corporation and the Aquidneck Island Land Trust. Ms. Berman has been on the Child & Family Board for several years and was Vice Chair in 2018.
SARA HIEBNER, Vice Chair
Ms. Hiebner is currently serving as Vice President, Commercial Lender for Centreville Bank. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Rhode Island. She is a prior member of the Ft. Adams Trust board of directors and has extensive fundraising experience having raised over $200,000 for a charitable research organization. Sara recently moved to Providence’s East Side and loves to walk, read, go to the beach, and enjoy her favorite Newport restaurants- Stoneacre Brasserie and Fluke.
JULIA TECHENTIN, Secretary
Ms. Techentin is Assistant General Counsel at IGT and is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law. A longtime and dedicated supporter of the mission of Child & Family, Julia is the sister of current board member, Sara Hiebner. She and her husband Jeffrey lives in North Kingstown and have three adult children ages 23-26.
DON MCCALL, Treasurer
Longtime Child & Family supporter, Don McCall, is also no stranger to our Board of Directors, having previously served several stints on the board over years, including several years as Board Chair. Don is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento, and is Chief Financial Officer of The Newport Hotel Group. Don and his wife Lynn are residents of Saunderstown.
Following a successful career in sales management for the hotel industry, Sharon Alemany of Newport now leverages her professional experience and diverse talents volunteering for organizations which strengthen families and communities. A graduate of University of Massachusetts Amherst, Sharon is also a watercolor artist. She and her husband, Scott, have three adult children and just welcomed their second granddaughter.
MICHAEL BROWNER, JR.
Dr. Michael Browner, Jr. joined the Child & Family Board of Directors at the start of 2020 and is a native of Newport, Rhode Island. Dr. Browner attended the public schools of Newport. He earned an undergraduate degree in Secondary Education/History from Rhode Island College, and earned a graduate degree in School Administration from Rhode Island College. Dr. Browner earned a PhD in Education from the joint program with The University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College. He is employed with Newport Public Schools as a teacher of 7th grade social studies/history at Frank E. Thompson Middle School. Dr. Browner resides in East Providence and is a member of the Ebenezer Baptist Church where he serves as a musician and director of the Inspirational Choir.
A Rhode Islander for ten years, Jean Burditt of Jamestown is a retired librarian and educator with a Masters in Library Science from Emory University. Jeannie has been an active and energetic volunteer for Child & Family, most recently on the 34th and 35th Annual Taste of Newport event committees. She and her husband Fred have four children and two grandchildren.
STEVEN F. FREEDMAN, MD
Dr. Freedman earned his medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine Department of Head and Neck Surgery in June of 1992 and became board certified in Otolaryngology in 1993. He joined Dr. Dobbin and the Ear Nose and Throat Medicine and Surgery Group in 1992 and is a member of the medical staff at Newport Hospital. His practice covers all areas of general ENT medicine and surgery. Dr. Freedman is currently on the Board of Directors of the ENT Center of Rhode Island. In his free time, Steve enjoys golf, skiing, and tennis. He and his wife Linn have two wonderful children and make their home in Portsmouth, RI.
Mr. Galvin lives in Middletown with his wife and two beautiful daughters. He is a 2003 graduate of Fairfield University. He is a first vice president and partner with CBRE/New England. Andrew is actively involved in the community, having been a past president and board member of the Newport County YMCA, and chairing the 2015 CEO search for that organization; and serves as a current board member of the John P. Burke Memorial Fund.
Kristine Hendrickson joined the Child & Family Board of Directors in November 2019. Ms. Hendrickson is the Associate Vice President, University Relations and Chief Communications Officer for Salve Regina University in Newport, RI. Ms. Hendrickson received a bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College and a master’s degree from Universiteit van Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Her professional background includes work in broadcast production and reporting, conferences and special events, sponsorships and promotions. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at both Salve Regina University and the University of Rhode Island and is the advisor to Salve Regina’s student dance organization, SRU Dance. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and PRSA Southeastern New England, and also volunteers her time with the Newport Gulls, a member of the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL), and other local organizations. She was inducted into the Newport Gulls Hall of Fame in 2019.
KATE HOEPFNER KARLE
Ms. Hoepfner-Karle started her career(s) in Public Education working with children and young adults in residential and vocational settings, who were unable to adapt and learn in traditional school settings in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, MD, and Scotch Plains, NJ. She then pursued a change in career to become an Organizational Psychologist in the public companies AT&T, Merck, AstraZeneca, Invensys, and Covidien. Kate received a Bachelor of Science degree from Emerson College in Speech and Language Therapy, a Masters of Education degree from The University of Maryland and a Master of Arts degree in Organization Psychology from Columbia University. She holds Board experience with Healthcare Without Walls and the Rhode Island Lighthouse Foundation. Kate is married to Ed Karle and together they love Newport, going to the movies, and spending time with friends.
Jess Kennedy joined the Child & Family Board of Directors at the start of 2020. Ms. Kennedy and her husband, Nate, live in Portsmouth and enjoy trying to keep up with their sons, Ben and Harry. They enjoy staying active and cooking good food. Jess is a graduate of the University of Florida and earned her law degree at Florida State University. She is currently General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of Beeline Loans, she has also held a number of senior leadership and committee positions in private practice and the business community. Past volunteer experience includes guardian ad litem work for children under state care in Florida.
Mr. Medeiros is Vice President and Assistant Controller at BankNewport and has an MBA from Bryant University. He and his wife Priscilla live in Bristol and are proud parents of a 2-year old son. Justin’s other volunteer interests include the United Way “Young Leaders Circle,” where he is a member of its professional development committee.
Donna Valletta joined the Child & Family Board of Directors in October 2019. Ms. Valletta graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. She has been employed with the Rhode Island Department of Health since November 1999 and is an active volunteer in her parish, schools, scouting, and the community. Ms. Valletta and her husband, Michael, and son, Matthew, recently moved to Newport and enjoy all Newport has to offer. Ms. Valletta wanted to become involved with a local non-profit organization and is pleased to join and support the mission of Child & Family.
Ms. Werther, Vice President of Human Resources for Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston, is also a professional coach and mediator who works with individuals, families and organizations in transition. She authored a chapter of the book Coaching for Powerful Change: The Keys to Unlocking Personal and Professional Transformation. In addition to her role as Board Member for Child & Family Rhode Island, Heidi serves as board member for Boston Cancer Support. Ms. Werther volunteers as a coach through the Coaching for Leadership and Teamwork Program at Babson College where she earned her Bachelor of Science, Marketing and Management. She obtained her Master of Science, Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies degree from Champlain College, and is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach through the Coaches Training Institute (CTI). She is the proud mother of two young men and lives in Portsmouth, RI.