Our People


Nick Scappaticci, Managing Director and Founder, BIG DREAMS – President

Manan Narang, Founder, Indo-made – Treasurer

Jo Lee, Founder, Pop-Up Rhody – Secretary 

Sara Ossana, Founder, Studio MO

Deborah McDonough, VP of Marketing, Bradford Soap Works Inc

Sophie Weston Chien, Designer-Activist, Harvard GSD MLA ‘23

Amy Devers, Host + Producer, Clever Podcast

Kirtley Fisher, Assistant Teaching Professor, College of Business, University of Rhode Island

Yemi Sekoni, President of Donahue Models & Talent, LLC

Wendy MoMa Michel, NeuroArts specialist, Founder of MINDART, Creative Wellness Research Lab

Moises Valcarcel Gonzalez, Job Captain at DBVW Architects, Co-founder of Rhode Island Minorities in Architecture & Design (RIMIAD)

Jill Rasmussen, Cybersecurity and Privacy Expert Panelist and Contributor – EDUCAUSE

Scott Lyons, AVP of Global Leadership Development Advisor – FM Global

Sasha Azbel, Founder, Sashoonya


Berit Lavender
Director of Internal Relations

Berit Lavender (she/her) is a design enthusiast/nerd with interests ranging from jello molds to accessible design. Previous to joining DESIGNxRI Berit spent 8 years as director of exhibitions and programs at the Center for Architecture in NYC where she oversaw the execution of projects that sought to expose the wider public to design and built environment concerns through topics that included affordable housing, Hip-Hop Architecture, and scaffolding.

Rue Sakayama
Director of External Relations

Rue Sakayama (she/her) is a photographer, artist, and all-around plant enthusiast. When she’s not working with the team at DESIGNxRI or capturing moments behind the lens, you can catch her concocting potions with medicinal plants, gliding gracefully on roller skates through the streets of Providence, and embarking on gluten-free food adventures in the scrumptious food oasis that is Rhode Island.

Rikki Davis
Development Manager

Rikki Davis (they/them) is a singer, a ceramicist, an organizer, and an educator living and working in Providence, RI. Fun Rikki Facts include: 1) They’re fluent in IPA (the international phonetic alphabet) /ɑ͡ɪbɛtjɔ͡ɚd͡ʒɛləs/, 2) They never outgrew their horse girl phase 3) They’re in training to specialize in gender-affirming voice therapy  and 4) Their favorite foods are brussel sprouts and grocery store vanilla cake.

Photo of Reba Mitchell

Reba Mitchell
Programs and Events Manager

Reba Mitchell (she/her) is a musician, midwesterner, and gender theory aficionado. Prior to joining DESIGNxRI Reba designed events with Machines With Magnets, The Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy, and multitudinous artists. Recipient of a coveted Earphones Award, she has narrated over 300 audiobooks. A former resident of the Dirt Palace and longtime board member of RIOT RI (née Girls Rock! Rhode Island), Reba spends her down time practicing rudiments on her electronic drum kit, opening tabs from Bon Appetit, pursuing an MA in English, and composing vocal music. 

Anna Brinkhuis
Marketing and Operations Associate

Anna Brinkhuis (she/her) is a graphic designer, wanna-be interior decorator, and recent Brown graduate in Religious Studies and International and Public Affairs. At college, she served as Design Editor for the Indy and Design Chair for the Muslim Students’ Association. When she’s not starting a new crafting project for the third time this month, Anna can be found in the pool, at Nostalgia buying more mugs for her already excessive collection, or scouring estate sales for mid-century modern aquisitions that her friends still fail to appreciate. Her very practical talents include driving stick and still fitting into kids’ shoe sizes.

Devanshi Ved
Programs Associate

Devanshi Ved is a lover of nature, community spaces, art, and big ideas. She loves to travel, go on adventures, and learn new things!

Prior to joining DESIGNxRI, Devanshi has worked in events and public programming for 7 years with 195 District Park, WaterFire Providence, and many other local event projects, after getting a specialized degree in Sports, Entertainment, and Event Management from Johnson & Wales University.

Devanshi is so excited to learn more about the Design Community in Rhode Island, and continue engaging in her love for creating community spaces!


Lisa Carnevale, Co-Founder, DESIGNxRI

Emily Hall, Charrette Venture Group

Libby Slader, Libby Slader Interior Design

Kelly Taylor, Kelly Taylor Interior Design