Laurie-Marie Pisciotta

Laurie-Marie Pisciotta, Executive Director


Laurie comes to the Mental Health Association with 17 years of nonprofit experience and a passion for helping, inspiring and leading. She is driven by the core belief that we are meant to take care of each other, especially our most vulnerable. 


The breadth of Laurie’s experience spans advocacy and human service roles. She has served as a lobbyist and policy analyst for the ACLU; a case manager at AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts; a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in the child welfare system; Treatment Access Program Manager at Project HEAL; and the Director of Strategic Partnerships at NeedyMeds. 


Laurie recovered from anorexia nervosa when she was 17 years old. She has also survived two severe episodes of clinical depression and lives with complex PTSD. 


In her spare time, Laurie enjoys creative writing projects, sewing, hiking, running, reading, yoga and baking vegan treats. Her favorite inspirational quote is: “What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle.” ~ Rumi



H. Reed Cosper, Esq. – President

Sandra Victorino, LCMHC – Vice President

Robert Siminski, Ed.D. – Treasurer

Judith Fox , Esq. – Secretary

Maureen Apperson, RN, LCSW

Terence “Terry” Charles

Peter Chung

David Dove, Ph.D.

Ernestine G. Jennings, Ph.D.

Genevieve Martin, Esq.

Anthony Parente, LMHC



Karen Malcolm – Rhode Island Parity Initiative

Michele Berard, MBA, CFRE – Development Consultant

Karen Weavill, CFRE of Ascent Advisors – Development Consultant

Stephanie Olarte, DEI Program Manager


Stephanie Olarte comes to the Mental Health Association as an advocate for issues like Disability Rights, Reproductive Justice, Women’s Rights, Racial Justice, Immigrant Rights and so many other issues that we are faced with today.  She is passionate about community work and building opportunities for communities that are marginalized and often overlooked. She is an organizer. With over 8 years of experience in event and workshop planning, she has facilitated trainings for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, The Women’s Fund, The Womxn Project, Central Falls School Department, New Leaders Council Rhode Island, and the Hispanic Federation. Stephanie is a woman with a disability. She is aware of her limitations but embraces her disability as an asset because despite what people think, her disability has made her strong and resilient.


Stephaniehe has served in many organizations and boards within the State of Rhode Island. She was getting tired of being the ONLY Latina with a disability in spaces like boards, coalitions, and organizations that were committed to doing progressive work in our communities without doing a good job on intersectional work with communities of color or people with disabilities. She is a changemaker in her community, and that is why she founded Step Forward Strategies to bring her expertise to corporations, non-profits, campaigns and people who seek to create a more inclusive society. She has also helped train women to run for office, run campaigns, and fundraise for organizations and political campaigns. Lastly, Stephanie is a policy wonk and loves to read and help build policies that can help community growth.


In her spare time, Stephanie writes, reads, learns languages, and travels when she can. She is a foodie and loves trying new restaurants and cafés. Her favorite inspirational quote is: “Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals.” – Dorothy Height