Board approves new members and leadership

Four new San Miguel Board Members were approved at the final Board meeting of fiscal year 2015 on June 8. San Miguel welcomed Bert Cooper, Paul Mahoney, Jack Walsh, and Jason Pelkey to its Board of Directors effective July 1, 2015. 

The Board also approved its new leadership on June 8. Polly Chatterton Handy was appointed as Chair of the Board, effective July 1. Kate Motte and Paul Mahoney will serve as Vice Chairs, Michael Costello will serve as Treasurer, and Dennis Leamy will continue as Board Secretary.


With a strong non-profit, community development background, Bert Cooper has served as Executive Director at Community Works RI, Senior Project Officer at Green and Healthy Homes Initiative Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, Director of Pathways to Opportunity in the office of Mayor Cicilline, and Director of Making Connections Providence’s Family Economic Success programs. Bert’s skillset fits well with San Miguel’s Strategic Imperative of “Partnering with Community.” A Rhode Island transplant via California and Washington state, Bert lives in Edgewood with his wife and two children.

This will be the second Board tenure for Paul Mahoney, Jr., who served as Board Chair from 2005-2008. Since leaving the Board, Paul has continued his involvement as an Adult Mentor and as a member of the Development Committee.  A Partner at the law firm of Locke Lord, Paul focuses on transactional and corporate work, and brings to the Board his legal expertise as well as a long-standing commitment to the San Miguel mission. Paul lives in Providence with his wife Eloise—the art teacher at San Miguel—and their two daughters.

Jack Walsh, a graduate of La Salle Academy and the University of Rhode Island, was introduced to San Miguel shortly after his retirement from a successful career in sales. Jack quickly became one of the school’s most engaged and active volunteers, ambassadors, and donors. Also a supporter of Button Hole, Jack helped to launch our San Miguel Golf Team and continues to help coach the team. Jack has also served as an Adult Mentor to two San Miguel students, has been an active member of the Development Committee, and has led the Golf Tournament Steering Committee as Co-Chair for the past four years. Jack lives in Providence with his wife Betsy.

Jason Pelkey is the Chief Information Officer at the Gilbane Building Company in Providence. Until recently, Jason served on the St. Luke’s School Board of Directors, specifically helping them in the area of technology. Described by colleagues as pragmatic, sensible, and realistic with an eye towards progress, Jason brings to the Board a unique perspective which will help San Miguel develop effective technology strategy. Jason lives in Barrington with his wife and two young children.