Thomas Ardito has served as the Executive Director the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission (AIPC) since August, 2015. Prior to joining AIPC, Tom worked in environmental restoration for more than 15 years, developing and managing projects to remove dams, restore rivers and wetlands, and revitalize parks and urban areas throughout the Northeast. Tom is particularly interested in urban environmental restoration and in developing restoration partnerships that improve communities and foster economic development. Tom founded the Center for Ecosystem Restoration and has worked at the University of Rhode Island and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He received an M.A. in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island and, prior to attending graduate school, worked as a boatbuilder, oysterman and aquaculturist.
A self-described technology geek, STEAM booster and proponent of universal internet access, Allison received a B.S. in Management from Salve Regina University and an M.S. in Information Technology Management from the UVA McIntire School of Commerce. Professional IT gigs in global enterprises spanning healthcare, social services, telecommunications, intelligent transportation systems and yes, even beer, have lead her to use her powers for good, diversifying our communications, transportation and transit systems to move people, not just motor vehicles. Allison believes in the exquisite simplicity and beauty of the bicycle to transform our communities and our lives.
An avid cyclist and aspiring transportation planner, Liza Burkin is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications. After more than two years as Bike Newport’s Program Manager, Liza is now bringing her communications and community organizing skills, as well as her passion for Aquidneck Island, to AIPC.
George W. Johnson, AIPC’s part time Consulting Planner since 2015, retired as Assistant Chief of Rhode Island’s Statewide Planning Program in 2008. In his 32 years with Statewide Planning he was involved with the Program’s Natural Resources, Land Use, Transportation and Comprehensive Planning units, and administered the Program’s Planning Challenge Grant program. His interest in working with Aquidneck Planning represents a strong belief that a regional planning perspective is vital to the success of the island community.
Abigail (Abby) Burrows has lived in Newport, RI since 2014. Originally from Michigan, she graduated from Syracuse University in 2002 with a BA in Geography, and holds a Certificate of Education for the Environment and Community from IslandWood and the University of Washington Extension Program in Seattle, WA. Her professional experience includes over seven years as a Senior Project Coordinator at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, DC, supporting science education research initiatives at the national level. Most recently she served as a Researcher in Evaluation at an education research organization in Cambridge, MA, after working independently on projects in informal education and visitor studies research in the mid-Atlantic region. Abby serves as the Secretary of the Board of Directors of Clean Ocean Access and is excited to be a part of the AIPC team.
Richard Adams is a 35-year Middletown resident, a retired naval officer and retired Electric Boat program manager and engineer. He is a former member of the Middletown Town Council and Middletown Planning Board and has served on numerous Middletown Committees. His civic activities and memberships include Middletown Rotary, Aquidneck Land Trust, Save the Bay, Lucy’s Hearth, Potter League for Animals, Norman Bird Sanctuary, Preservation Society of Newport County, Navy League, Naval War College Foundation and Middletown Congregational Church. He's been working with AIPC in different roles since 2005.
Diana Campagna Skaggs has lived on and off the Island since her family arrived in 1959, returning in 2002. Her involvement with Middletown has included becoming a member of the Committee for the Arts, presently sitting on the Juvenile Hearing Board and on the St.Lucy's Community Action Committee. She is currently employed by the James L. Maher Center as the Director of Employment Services.
Linda worked for 16 years in the financial services industry. After starting her family with her husband John, she studied landscape design and then opened her own firm. She served in the RI General Assembly as a State Representative from 2012-2014. Linda is a founding member of the RI Coalition Against Gun Violence and also serves as the Board Chair of BabySteps RI, and was a past President of the Women’s Resource Center.
Peter M. Janaros, P. E. has been the Director of Engineering of RITBA since 2001. Prior to joining RITBA, he was the RIDOT Chief Special Projects Manager for the construction of the new Jamestown Bridge, T. F. Green Airport reconstruction, the Freight Rail Improvement Project and also served as its Chief Of Staff. Before that he was the Division Chief for DEM’s Divisions of Land Resources and Planning & Development. Early in his career, He worked for the Perini Corporation and Bethlehem Steel Corporation on the construction of the Newport Bridge.
He also served in the US Air Force and The RI Air National Guard for more than 30 years, attaining the rank of Colonel as their Engineering Officer.
He is a Registered Professional Engineer who graduated from URI with a BS degree in Civil Engineering and from the University of Arkansas with a Masters degree in Civil Engineering.
Hilary Stevens is a coastal geologist who has worked at URI's Coastal Resources Center and NOAA. Now a Newport resident, she volunteered with the Peace Corps in the Philippines and was previously AIPC's Board Chair.
Ray is a retired Colonel of Artillery from the US Army and a retired financial advisor. He has many years of non-profit experience and brings a wealth of knowledge and candor to AIPC. Having already been on the board for over two years, Ray spearheaded the effort resulting in the current AIPC Strategic Plan.
Sara received her BS in Interpretation and Education from Northwestern University and her JD from the University of San Francisco School of Law. She is presently the District Manager for the Eastern RI Conservation District and Coordinator for the RI State Conservation Committee. She brings her legal, financial, and networking expertise to AIPC.
A veteran of the military, banking and real estate industries, and former board member of many community organizations, Keith brings his broad experience to AIPC. A Portsmouth resident, he is a graduate of Brown University and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking.
Kate Wilson first moved to Rhode Island in 1983 from Canaseraga, NY to work at Raytheon in Portsmouth. She later came to find out she has several great, great, grandfathers such as Thomas Hazard, Joseph Clarke and James Babcock who settled or founded Aquidneck Island. Each grandfather had positions in state, local government – she guesses community service is in the blood.
A civil highway engineer by trade, Kate has worked at the Rhode Island Department of Transportation since 1993. She has an educational background in highway engineering, holding an AAS, BS, MS and PhD, with a minor in planning. She currently sits on the Board of the Governor’s Commission on Women, Portsmouth Planning Board, Office of Local 400, IFPTE, and AIPC.