Our "Shapers" of Soul at Work, act as a sounding board and provide advice and know-how to the process and programming of Soul at Work.  Our members are selected for profile and contacts that will lend credibility to the Soul at Work initiative. Our members are diverse and extraordinary women who believe that the next economy is one that is a caring economy, that supports women in leadership roles, as entrepreneurs, in business, government and not-for-profit sector.  

Each Shaper gets an honorary Angel Membership, is showcased on our website, and in our promotions as an adviser. Women we are seeking for the advisory board have a passion for entrepreneurship, developing other women in their aspirations, and know that women in leadership can change the world for the better. They also are a creative bunch, knowing that there is no road map or "10 easy steps" to soul-work, but that it takes experimentation, receptivity to what comes next, and intuition to strive for success in life.

Michelle Girasole, The Sassy Ladies



Michelle is an online marketing services expert. She has helped her clients, which range from female-owned start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, market their products and services online, using tools such as permission-based e-mail, podcasting, blogging, social media and search engine sites.

Michelle regularly teaches workshops and seminars to entrepreneurs, businesspeople, and business school students. She helped launch a peer-to-peer business advisory board program for the Entrepreneurship Forum of New England.

She received her master’s in business administration and marketing degrees from the University of Rhode Island. She is the mother of two young children and three old cats, and the wife of one handsome husband

Michelle Gonzalez, New Commons and Soul at Work convener



Michelle has been a partner, consultant, and managing maven at New Commons for the past 8+ years.  In 2006 we launch “Soul at Work: Women leading in their own terms” to offer a platform for women to engage in collective leadership practices to counter the prevailing traditional leadership practices of domination and position authority. Okay that sounds like jargon- basically we want to show how we can lead with Soul, be successful, and make a difference in our social context.

My specialty is in the arena of facilitation, behavior change, and policy & practice development.  Michelle spent 14 years working in public health, wellness, and organizational development fields.

Presently, at New Commons, she develops and implements projects around innovative organizational structures, group facilitation, and organizational change. Currently, she is researching unique leadership practices in action at organizations in flux; specifically, to codify those practices of women in a variety of leadership roles.  "I often wondered how to best link cultural mythos, artistic inspiration and modern structures to create fuller economic and social interactions. Soul at Work is an extension of this inquiry."

Valerie English, EFT Providence




Valerie is a licensed registered nurse,  EFT practitioner, reiki master, and certified hypnotherapist. She blends the principles of each of these healing modalities in the delivery a well rounded and uniquely perceptive EFT presentation.

Kate Nagle

Kate Nagel



Kate likes empowering families with educational options as Executive Director of the Rhode Island Scholarship Alliance, hanging out with her "Little Sister" and getting to act 11 again, furthering mentoring in the state on the Board of the Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership, and connecting with Kappa Alpha Theta sorority sisters through the newly established RI Chapter.  

Kate enjoys trying new gluten and dairy free recipes, and is extremely active in running, yoga, and playing bocce ball.

 Stephanie Nitka



Stephanie has dedicated her career to creatively engaging youth and communities, helping to give voice to the issues that are important to them.She is a strong advocate for the importance of arts-in-learning, and has specific experience in using theatre as a tool for empowerment.

Stephanie has a passion for building strong community partnerships and bringing together organizations to collaborate on unique projects. She is her most alive when the programs she develops encourage growth and foster success.


Amanda Suzzi, funkEpunkEmonkE



Amanda is a homemaker, providence roller derby dame, independent consultant, indie crafter, wife and mother of two girls, professional writer, online marketing maven and a bon vivant on a budget.

I’ve been creating websites for over 10 years. I believe in empowering small business owners with a system that enables you to edit content and build pages without having to know coding. I teach them how to optimize their website through compelling, professionally-written, keyword-enriched text and authentic link building.

She designed this website as well as New Commons!

Anisa RaoofKidoinfo is a new hip guide for parents and kids, designed and run by Anisa. We are based in Providence, Rhode Island, and reaching out to the world. This independent weblog is brimming with information, creative ideas, things to do, places to go and links to family resources. Visit regularly – to see what’s new in books, music, food, schools and more. Search the calendar for ongoing and special events and read the A-List to find the best cookie, pizza, playground, etc.

Anisa lives in Providence with her husband and 8-year-old twin boys. She works on finding ways to make parenting easier, still fun and even a little cool. Being a parent means not staying put and being open to new adventures. Anisa created Kidoinfo in early 2007 to be the central source for everything about kids in the Providence area. But Kidoinfo also goes beyond the city borders – wherever our kids will travel. This essential online guide is for parents, caregivers, and families living in the area or just visiting.


 Former Shapers of the Soul at Work Initiative:

Maureen Umbera, WCSWANS 

Maureen Umehara


Maureen has a MA in Counseling and Expressive Therapy and has seen individuals and lead groups in verbal and expressive therapy for over a decade.  She has in last several years found her passion of supporting women through Women’s Club SWANS (a social club and networking group).


 Terry Wildemann, Winds of Change

As a certified coach, author,  trainer, workshop facilitator, and holistic practitioner, Terry  assists entrepreneurs, professionals and those seeking a career change, to shift from anxiety and insecurity to focused and confident.   Terry’s approach to business building, leadership and communications combines her  30 years of entrepreneurship with her holistic background as a Reiki Master, EFT practitioner, stress coach and intuitive.  This creates an integrated platform allowing her the opportunity to work with her clients on all levels: career, financial, physical, relationships, spiritual.