Women’s Resource Center (WRC), a domestic violence intervention and prevention services nonprofit organization with offices in Newport and Warren, R.I., announces its “Wild Women” honorees for 2017.

The following seven women will be recognized at a luncheon in their honor on Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. at the Rhode Island Country Club (Barrington, RI) for being inspiring role models who are active and involved in business, civic and community organizations throughout Rhode Island:

  1. Victoria Almeida, Esq., shareholder at Adler Pollock & Sheehan, Providence (Providence resident)
  2. Suzanne Harrington-Steppen, Associate Director of Pro Bono Programs, Roger Williams University School of Law, Bristol (Newport resident)
  3. Diane Mederos, vice chairwoman, Rhode Island State Board of Elections, Providence (Bristol resident)
  4. Barbara Stamp, realtor, Residential Properties, Ltd., Barrington (Bristol resident)
  5. Maureen Taylor, historic photo researcher and family historian, Providence (Providence resident)
  6. Maria Ursini, executive director, Bristol Senior Center, Bristol and Coordinator, Bristol Substance Abuse Coalition, Bristol (Bristol resident)
  7. Cecily Ziegler, staff attorney, Immigrant Victims’ Rights Project, Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island, Providence (Providence resident)

“Every year, I never cease to be amazed and inspired by the Wild Women in our communities,“ says Lori DiPersio, executive director of the Women’s Resource Center.

“Women have such a powerful influence on the people around them on so many professional and personal levels that often goes unnoticed or unappreciated. With the Wild Women Award it’s an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate women who set high goals for themselves, and lead by example, as we raise funds to provide the tools for other women to do the same,” she adds.


Sara Cabral, a Bristol native, has been chosen as keynote speaker for this year’s luncheon. She is a domestic abuse survivor who will be sharing her inspiring personal story of a journey to self-empowerment. Ms. Cabral is an avid world traveler, fluent in two languages, received her Master’s degree in multicultural, bilingual and ESL education, and is an elementary school K-5 ESL specialist. She is also a certified Pure Barre fitness instructor and head coach for Girls on the Run Organization.


This year’s distinguished Wild Women Luncheon emcee is an honoree from 2016’s class of Wild Women, Dr. Joan Johnson-Freese. She is a professor and former chair of the National Security Affairs Department at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Dr. Johnson-Freese also teaches classes on leadership, globalization and national security at Harvard, and has written eight books and dozens of articles on outer space issues. As a woman working in a non-traditional field, Joan is committed to supporting women’s issues, and blogs about challenges faced in the workplace.

Tickets for the luncheon cost $75 per person and may be purchased online at www.wrcnbc.org or by contacting Sarah Mascarello at smascarello@wrcnbc.org or 401-846-5263.

Winner of ‘$1,000 AAA Pre-paid Vacation to Anywhere in the World,’ to be Announced at Wild Women Luncheon

Separately, the Women’s Resource Center is also currently selling tickets to win a dazzling ‘$1,000 AAA Pre-paid Vacation to Anywhere in the World,’ and the winner will be announced at the end of the Wild Women Luncheon.  Tickets are 1 for $25.00 and 2 for $40.00. and can be purchased online at www.wrcnbc.org or by contacting Sarah Mascarello at smascarello@wrcnbc.org or 401-846-5263.

All proceeds from both the Wild Women Luncheon and the AAA Vacation tickets will benefit the Women’s Resource Center of Newport and Bristol Counties, a member of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).