Child & Family is thrilled to announce the newest members of our Board of Directors and our new Foster Care Director.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Naffeesatu Massaquoi joined Child & Family as Director of Foster Care in July 2019. Ms. Massaquoi brings a depth of knowledge and experience to her role having served as the Massachusetts’ Branch Director for Bethany Christian Services, a national child welfare agency. She has over 17 years of experience, primarily in New York City, in program areas that include foster care, family preservation, juvenile justice, and residential treatment. Ms. Massaquoi has also worked with diverse immigrant populations. She holds an MSW from Lehman College, a MS in Non-Profit Leadership from Fordham University and is a LCSW in Rhode Island.