Our Team

The board provides direction and leadership to ensure Opening Doors for Westerly’s Children’s long- term viability overseeing organizational structure, strategic direction and annual goals and objectives. Members represent all areas of the Town of Westerly, demonstrate commitment to Opening Doors’ mission and bring a range of skills and experience to their role on the board.

Executive Committee

Sergio Cherenzia

President

I first became involved with Opening Doors through my Young Professionals Network leadership. We wanted to give back to the community by supporting young people through scholarship toward our mission. We recognized that a solid education foundation in literacy is key to developing into a successful young adult, so we felt it appropriate to contribute to primary education. I became more involved with Opening Doors when joining their Board, and now I am excited to take a leadership role as President of the Board. I am looking forward to continue to work with a group that is enthusiastically dedicated to making a difference in the lives of local children; many of who will be the next generation to work and live in the community and continue to make a great place to live.

Jeff Knisley

Vice President

Although we don’t live in Westerly, I grew up in Westerly and will always have strong feelings for the town. Improving childhood literacy makes Westerly a better town for everyone.

Tracy Regan

Secretary

Opening Doors co-founder Nancy Loney made me aware of the link between book ownership and literacy development. How could I say no when she asked me to get involved? Reading with the children and helping them choose their “forever” books has been so rewarding.

Dan Makin

Treasurer

For me, it’s all about Westerly. I love it here and I want to see the town thrive and grow. Starting with the kids, to help them grow into active members of our community is what it’s all about.

Board Members

Donna Simmons

Co-Founder

I am passionate about the education of our community’s children and when Nancy Loney mentioned the idea of helping fill the gap with books, then backpacks and now with after school and summer scholarships, I jumped at the chance to help her found this great organization!!

Harriet Crane

How could I resist joining a program that lets me read to kids and give them their own books and backpacks? As a retired high school history teacher, I had time. I love kids and can’t bear that they should be without opportunity to realize their unique potential. It was a “no-brainer!”

Janice Yanni

I have worked in the public school system for over ten years. As a classroom teacher and literacy specialist, I have a passion for teaching children to become lifelong readers. This summer marks my third year with Opening Doors, helping to bring new books and backpacks into the homes of all of Westerly’s children.

Caitlin Rayner-Russell

ODWC is a powerful program making a tremendous difference for the children in the Town of Westerly and I am proud to be a part of it. I am looking forward to what the future holds.

Deborah Lamm

I have been excited to to work with ODWC as I want to share the joy of a good book with as many local children as possible. The joy of reading makes life much richer. The Summer Learning Program is a passion of mine; combining summer fun with learning opportunities, what could be better?

Georgia Felber

It’s important to me to reach out and help further our community. The more children we reach, the better the future of Westerly will be.

Jenn Ansay

As a member of the community, I have always felt it is my civic responsibility to give back. Some of my favorite childhood memories involve reading books and trips to the library. ODWC has given me a way to enrich the lives of the next generation, one book at a time. “Today a reader. Tomorrow a leader.” – Margaret Fuller

Robin Knisley

I was interested in helping the children in Westerly, and in educating others about their situations. So many people are unaware of how many families in Westerly are struggling, and that they can make an incredible impact on the lives of so many, with so little effort. It has been rewarding to see the accomplishments that Opening Doors has made in just a short time.

Victoria Myshka

Dr. Seuss wrote, “You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back, relax, all you need is a book.” Opening Doors for Westerly’s Children creates this same magic by providing the community’s children with the tools they need to thrive academically. Imagination and creativity through literacy are the foundational learning blocks to educational success and are the essence of my involvement with ODFWC. As a community, it is so important that we work together to ensure that each child in Westerly has access to the tools to prepare them to be future leaders.

Executive Director

Jen Carr

Development Assistant

There is a vast supply of great books out there waiting to inspire and charm young readers. All children should have access to these books and I'm very fortunate to be part of a great organization that is working towards making a difference one child at a time.