Meet Our Board

Grace Dugan

Founder/President

A few of my favorite things: Mint chocolate chip ice cream (green) cooking, tulips and peonies, Mary Poppins, kindness, shoes, musicals, traveling, my bike & bunnies. By day I am a self employed business owner, a custom jeweler located in Providence, RI. My work has been featured on project runway, Brides magazine, Newport wedding, the knot, style me pretty. We create heirlooms. My home and greatest joy is time with my husband and newly minted 8 year old daughter. We paint and bake, hike and bike. Travel as often as possible, now restricted by school calendar, giggles. I am also the President of DAMES mentoring which in infancy was reading to the children of St Mary’s  on Saturdays some 18 years ago. Time flies.... I am a trustee for the Miriam Hospital board. Currently serving as a finance board memberat St Sebastian’s church.  I met my fellow DAMES founders volunteering at St Mary’s with The Junior League of Rhode Island.Children’s books I adore: The day the crayons came home, Dragons love tacos, A place in my heart ️ (adoption).

Tracy Baran

Founder/Vice President

Tracy Baran is General Counsel of Ocean State Job Lot, a regional retailer that sells brand name, first quality products at closeout prices.  Prior to joining Ocean State Job Lot in 2011, Tracy was a partner at Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP, a Providence, Rhode Island based business law firm, at which she focused on commercial real estate and commercial lending.  She was recently named in In-House Leader, Leaders in the Law by Massachusetts Lawyer’s Weekly.

Tracy has volunteered with St. Mary’s Home for Children since 2000 and has served as a Member of the Corporation.  

Tracy is the immediate Past President of The Junior League of Rhode Island, Inc. and also served as Presdent of the JLRI in 2006-2007..  Tracy served as President of the Board of The Chaplaincy Center. She also serves as a mentor to a 15-year old boy in foster care, has served on the Board of Directors of Amos House, has Chaired the annual Gored for Good fundraiser for Amos House and volunteers regularly with Amos House, and is active on several committees within her church, Central Congregational Church.  

In her spare time, Tracy enjoys reading, scrapbooking, golfing, traveling and spending time with her friends and family.  Tracy lives in Providence, Rhode Island with her husband, Jeff and her two sons, Jonathan (14) and Christopher (12).

Mary Catharine "MC" Miller

Founder/Secretary

Mary Catharine “MC” H. Miller has a passion for philanthropy and voluntarism and has been a community and civic volunteer for over 30 years. She has been involved with numerous non-profits and grass-roots campaigns on both the east and west coasts. Since arriving in Rhode Island in 2003, she has sat on the Board of Directors for Amos House, where she remains a monthly volunteer in the Soup Kitchen; on the Board of Directors for Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum, where she co-chaired Blithewold’s 100th Anniversary Gala, which Bill Cunningham of The New York Times’ Social Scene called one of “The Best of 2008.”

Currently, MC serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors for the East Bay Food Pantry and Thrift Shop, which supports over 1,500 families in the East Bay of Rhode Island; she serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors and is one of the co-founders of The DAMES Mentoring, Inc., a community-based non-profit which seeks to stimulate the curiosity of teenagers by nourishing the mind and inspiring the heart. MC is also Co-Chair of the 100th Anniversary Committee for The Junior League of Rhode Island; and as an entrepreneur, she is the co-founder of J/M Key Connections, specializing in board-leadership development, training, and facilitation for small non-profits in the New England region.

Additionally, MC served on the 2017 Miriam Hospital Gala Committee, which raised a record-breaking $865k. She served as Coordinator/Facilitator of Small Leagues Big Impact (SLBI) Affinity Group, under The Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI); she has served on the Governance Committee for AJLI; is a former Board Member of The Junior League of San Francisco and is a Past President of The Junior League of Rhode Island.  Some of her other board and leadership experiences include: St. Mary’s Home for Children, North Providence, RI, Past President of the Bristol Landing Home Owners Association, RI, Encore! San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco, CA, Larkin Street Youth Center, San Francisco, CA, Our Lady of Good Counsel Women’s Shelter, New York, NY, Hoboken Clergy Coalition Shelter, Hoboken, NJ.

Professionally, her 25+ year career includes experience in both the non-profit and private sectors in the fields of sales, event management, development and fundraising, training and facilitation, marketing and communications, corporate finance, and toxic-tort litigation.  Currently, MC is the Development Officer at St. Mary’s Home for Children in North Providence, Rhode Island.

MC holds a Master of Arts in Government and Politics from St. John’s University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Niagara University.

MC’s favorite childhood books were The Aristocats, Charlotte’s Web and The Velveteen Rabbit.

Jacquelyn H. Tracy

Founder/Treasurer

Jacquelyn H. Tracy is a certified public accountant licensed in the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island with almost 30 years of public accounting experience. Ms. Tracy holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Stonehill College and a master of science in taxation from Bryant University. Before founding Mandel & Tracy, she was a senior manager at KPMG working in their Boston, MA; Providence, RI; and Montvale, NJ offices for numerous tax clients while facilitating various national-level training sessions.

Ms. Tracy is currently a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), chairs its Women’s Initiatives Executive Committee, and instructs at their various conferences. She has served on the AICPA's Governing Council and the AICPA's Private Company Practice Section Executive Committee. She is serving as current President of the Galilee Beach Club Board of Directors and Treasurer of the Stonehill Alumni Council.  She is a past-Chair of the Stonehill College Annual Fund and continues to participate in the fundraising efforts as a Class Agent. Ms. Tracy is also a member of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank’s Women Ending Hunger and 100+ Women Who Care in Rhode Island.

 

She is a past-president of the Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants. As part of her involvement with the Society, she chairs its Women’s Council and Newsletter Committee.  Ms. Tracy is also involved in the organization’s Tax Committee and appears on its annual televised tax forums, and serves on the Small Firms and the Social Committees (which holds an annual charitable golf tournament).  Ms. Tracy is also a past-president of The Junior League of Rhode Island from which she has received the Bronze Level President's Volunteer Service Award for her hours of service and continues to participate in volunteer projects. In addition, Ms. Tracy formerly volunteered as a catechism teacher for St. Mary's Star of the Sea in Narragansett, RI.

When she is not working Ms. Tracy can be found sitting on the beach in her hometown of Narragansett. She also loves to travel and spend time with her husband and family.

Jackie can be reached at (401) 521-3702 or at jtracy@mt-cpas.com.

Carole McLaughlin

Founder

Carole L. McLaughlin is criminal prosecutor in the Public Integrity Unit of the Rhode Island Office of Attorney General, specializing in white collar cases. She has worked as a prosecutor for thirteen years and prior to joining the Office of Attorney General she worked as a civil litigator in a local law firm. Carole has volunteered and mentored girls at St. Mary’s Home for Children since 2001. She has been a member and volunteer with the Junior League of Rhode Island for 17 years. Carole served on the Board of Directors of the Junior League from 2008-2010 and was just re-elected to the Board for its upcoming 2019-2020 term. Carole also served on the Board of the Shakespeare’s Head Association from 2009-2011. Carole is also the chair of the Central Congregational Church Mission and Action Committee. She volunteers with other Rhode Island non-profits including the RI Food Bank, AMOS House and Crossroads. In her spare time Carole enjoys reading, travel and spending time with her friends and family. 

Her favorite children’s books were Madeline and Babar and her father always said it was no surprise that she went on to study French in college!

Debra Gerhard

Founder

Debra Gerhard is a former Environmental Engineer who consulted in the petroleum, industrial and transportation sectors.  She is currently self-employed as a Technical Editor and Knitwear Designer. She is a member of the Junior League of Rhode Island and is active in her church.  In addition to spending time with her husband and son, she also enjoys gardening, cooking, hiking and playing the piano.

Vittoria Monte

Founder

My days vary greatly from being a full time student at the University of Rhode Island where I study Psychology and Music, being a nanny in the afternoon and  being a music teacher at the newly opened “The Blooming Lotus” that was created with my best friend, Katie Nowak. The Blooming Lotus is a growing center that will eventually be offering music, art, counseling, and yoga all catered to children and young adults. I also love volunteering to be able to spread my mission, spreading joy. I founded “Joy group” with Katie Nowak as well. Joy Group is a community group in Providence with ages 3-18 that has a goal to spread joy to the community and to one another in the group. I’m on the board of Dames and couldn’t be happier being able to use my creative energy and passion for spreading joy by creating fun activities to do at St. Mary’s. When I’m not studying playing music, or volunteering I enjoy cooking and baking (I was very inspired by Julia Child’s and have a goal to make every recipe in her cookbook one day), I have a love for animals especially dogs. I have two little furry friends that keep me active taking walks and hikes. I found my love for yoga when I was younger and years later I still enjoy yoga whether it’s in a studio, on the beach or in my home. I’m working on getting my teacher certification as a yoga teacher. Lastly, I’m in a endless search of finding cozy cafes with tea and coffee and of course yummy desserts!

My favorite books through my childhood (and even now!)

Charlotte's Web, Dear Mrs. LaRue, Three Little Pigs

Dana Berntsen

Founder

Camera Shy!

© 2019 by Helene Mayne

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