[Backup] Our Organization

We’re a collective of citizens, changemakers and advocates building a New England where love, belonging, wellbeing, and hope thrive despite life’s challenges.

Meet Our Leadership Team

Ashish Cowlagi

Ashish Cowlagi is the Board Secretary. He has a passion for using technology to drive socially responsible innovation. Throughout his career as an innovator, entrepreneur and as an expert in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things, Mr. Cowlagi has been helping find ways to achieve societal impact through technology. He currently serves as Vice President of Strategy for Pragya Systems, an AI-based ed tech startup based in Cambridge, MA, and as an advisor to startups. Previously, Mr. Cowlagi spent several years in product management and strategy roles at IBM Corporation where he was responsible for building important products including Watson for Oncology & Clinical trial matching, which were among the first AI products in clinical use in the entire industry. Earlier he also helped incubate the Smarter Cities business at IBM, helping cities across the world leverage technology to innovate in areas ranging from public safety, social programs, and transportation. Mr. Cowlagi is a passionate community volunteer. He serves on the Community Advisory Board for the Center for Clinical and Translational Science at the UMass Medical School, Governance Committee of the India Society of Worcester, as a Corporator for Greater Worcester Community Foundation and as Secretary for the Worcester Free Care Coalition. He lives with his wife and two children in Shrewsbury, MA.

Peter Schmidt​

Peter Schmidt joined the Ascentria board in 2017. Co-founder and COO of Transcend Air Corporation, Peter is an aerobatic pilot, aviation professional and serial entrepreneur. He has co-founded 13 companies and nonprofits, and has been a board member, an advisor, or a lead investor in 25 additional aviation and high tech startups. In addition, Peter has held executive positions with Ipanema Technologies, Teradyne, and the National Aviation Academy. He also has served in leadership roles in various nonprofit and community organizations continuously since he was in high school. In the area of community service, Mr. Schmidt serves as an MIT Alumni Career mentor, an MIT Sloan School of Business alumni mentor, and an MIT $100K Business Plan Contest mentor. His advisees include a winner of the Harvard Business School Business Plan Contest and a finalist in the MIT $50K Contest. He is a long-time advisor to the Accelerated Cure Project, a non-profit dedicated to alleviating Multiple Sclerosis by accelerating the determination of its cause and cure, where he also served as interim CEO.

Barbara Ruhe​

Barbara Ruhe, attorney and adoptive parent, is an expert in family and juvenile law with over 36 years in the field. She is a champion for men and women who are victims of domestic violence, and children who are physically, emotionally or sexually abused. Much of her time is spent in court litigating, and working with clients to obtain needed services. Barbara provided legal counsel to Lutheran Child and Family Services of Connecticut from 1988 to 1993. She is a graduate of Valparaiso University Law School in Valparaiso, IN, and a member of the Connecticut Bar since 1976.

Keith Robertson​

Keith joined the Ascentria Board in 2019. Professionally, Keith has spent his 25-year career working with not for profit senior living organizations, providing both investment banking and development services. Currently, Keith is the northeast team leader of Ziegler’s not-for-profit senior living investment banking practice. Ziegler is the national leader in providing financing solutions to not-for-profit senior living organizations. While at Ziegler, Keith has raised nearly $3.0 billion of capital for his senior living clients. Prior to joining Ziegler, Keith was a vice president with a nationally recognized full service development firm specializing in providing development, financial, marketing, and management services to not-for-profit continuing care retirement communities. Keith has a Bachelor of Science in political science from Southern Connecticut State University and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Hartford’s Barney School of Business.

William Mayo​

Bill’s background spans Consumer Products, Business Services, Life Sciences, Consulting, and Social Service sectors. He has broad international experience and a strong strategic orientation. He has led projects, teams and business reviews in over 25 countries, including multiple acquisitions and divestitures, product and drug launches, and organizational changes. Since 2016 Bill has been the Chief Information Officer for The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge MA. He has served on the governing board of Ascentria Care Alliance since 2013 and board chair for the past several years. He leads a small consulting practice working with startup biotech companies, is an advisor to a startup technology company, and a mentor within Northeastern University’s Venture Mentoring Network. Bill is also on the advisory board for BostonCIO. In prior roles Bill has worked closely on major drug and product launches with Biogen and spent nearly 20 years with Gillette/Procter & Gamble leading a wide range of global teams and projects. He has been recognized by CIO magazine as a Premier 100 IT leader and has many nominations for Boston CIO of the year. He received both a BS in Computer and Information Science and an MBA from Northeastern University in Boston.

The Reverend Dr. Debora Jackson​

The Reverend Dr. Debora Jackson is Professor of Practice and Dean of The Business School at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Previously, as a non-profit leader, Dr. Jackson served as Director of Operations of All Girls Allowed; Director of Lifelong Learning at Yale Divinity School; Executive Director of the Ministers Council of the American Baptist Churches, USA, and Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Needham, MA. Prior to that, she spent 20 years in business, with an emphasis on IT and software engineering. Dr. Jackson received her Doctorate in Ministry and Master of Divinity degree, both with honors, from Andover Newton Theological School. She holds a Master of Engineering degree in Manufacturing Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Management from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Indiana University.

Angela Bovill

Angela Bovill is president and CEO of Ascentria Care Alliance. She joined the organization in 2008 as chief financial officer, was named chief operating officer in 2011, and became president and CEO in January, 2013. Before joining Ascentria, Angela was general manager of Digital Services for IDEXX Laboratories, where she worked for 17 years in business development, mergers and acquisitions, and turnarounds. While at IDEXX, she created and launched two new service lines, and turned around a new business acquisition from a major loss to the most profitable in the company. 

Angela graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern Maine, majoring in Economics, and earned an MBA with honors from Boston University. She has completed multiple executive education programs, including at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza School of Business and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

As president and CEO of Ascentria, Angela has led a transformation of the nonprofit – streamlining, rebranding and changing the model of care to be more human-centered and partnership-focused. With a new vision, name, strategy and leadership team, Ascentria is leading the human services sector in innovation and holistic care.

Kristine Hanscom

Kristine joined Ascentria in September of 2023 as Chief Financial Officer. She brings to Ascentria an impressive wealth of experience ensuring the financial health of large, complex organizations. Most recently, she held the position of Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer at South Shore Health System where she set finance, investment and debt strategy overseeing the financial well-being of this not-for-profit, charitable health system.

Previously to that, in her role as Senior Vice President at Tufts Medicine Health System, Kristine served as the senior local finance leader providing strategic advisory and analysis services to Tufts Medical Center.

Kristine’s excellence was recognized when named in Becker’s Hospital Review as One of the Top Hospital and Health System CFO’s to Know 2016- 2023.

Kristine’s impressive history of making a substantial impact in her previous roles is a clear indicator of the positive influence she will have on Ascentria’s financial health and overall success as we continue to grow and prosper in the years ahead.

Graduating from Bentley University, Kristine holds an Associate of Science in Management, a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, and a Master of Science in Taxation.

April Kelly

April Kelly joined Ascentria in August of 2021 as chief of staff. As past owner of a consulting firm, she brings to the organization a proven skillset in team leadership, project management and owner representation working with various non-profit organizations as well as both public and private entities for the successful management and completion of simultaneous capital development projects, while minimizing risk to the organizations.

She also holds real estate licensure in multiple states in addition to business educator and educational administration licensing in the area of secondary education in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

April holds a Master of Science in Business Administration (MBA) from Clark University, a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management from Wentworth Institute of Technology, and an Associate of Science in Architectural Engineering from Wentworth Institute.

Nancy Meegan

Nancy Meegan joined Ascentria in May 2016 and is chief human resources officer, serving Ascentria’s 1,700 employees throughout New England. Before joining Ascentria, Nancy held leadership positions in human resources, organizational effectiveness and quality management at area nonprofits. She also worked for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. Nancy has focused her career in the nonprofit sector supporting mission driven organizations dedicated to disadvantaged and marginalized populations. She is a champion for the dedicated and outstanding staff working in nonprofits and has led initiatives focused on employee engagement, learning management and professional development.

Nancy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Boston University and a Masters of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Boston College. She also attended the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the London School of Economics.

Christine Tappan

Christine Tappan joined Ascentria Care Alliance in February 2023 as chief of community-based services and advancement.

In her position, Christine plays a large role in strategic planning and development. She is responsible for advancing the strategic priorities for fundraising, communications, advocacy and marketing and is responsible for representing Ascentria to the media, stakeholders, funders, and government officials.

Christine came to Ascentria as a proven leader who has created meaningful change and impact across the health and human services spectrum. In her over 25 years in this sector, she has successfully held a range of executive leadership, management, policy, and technical roles in government, non-profit, for-profit and higher education environments across the U.S. and abroad.

Before joining our organization, she held the position of Principle Associate at Abt Associates where she led domestic U.S. strategy for technical assistance and capacity building across health, social, and economic policy. Prior to Abt, as Associate Commissioner of New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, she was responsible for overseeing all Human Services and Behavioral Health programs, policymaking, operations, staffing, and budgets.

Throughout her career, Christine has had a record of accomplishment generating highly effective learning environments, engaging key staff and stakeholders in complex, collaborative partnerships, and defining system accountability measures that drive quality and equity.

Christine has a Bachelors Degree from University of New Hampshire, and earned an MSW from the University of Michigan.

 

Gary O’Neil

Gary joined Ascentria in March as the Senior Vice President of Human Development and is creating a new division of the organization designed to break down barriers by offering social supports and a professional growth infrastructure capacity that puts staff and clients on a path to sustainability and thriving.

He is a mission-focused executive with a career history of building and leading transformational programs that support individuals, families, and youth and create pathways to opportunity for all.

Most recently, Gary served in a dual role as President and Board Chair of the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children and SVP, Employee Engagement for Bright Horizons. On behalf of the Foundation, he steered operations, financial management, partnerships, and volunteer engagement to create play spaces for underserved populations in a range of settings including homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, and other community agencies. As SVP, Employee Engagement, he led the creation of a research-focused, employee-centric approach to building a supportive, inclusive work culture across the company. The company was regularly recognized as a Best Place to Work nationally and locally during his tenure.

Prior to his time at Bright Horizons, Gary helped shape the growth of Work/Family Directions, an organization that pioneered the concept of employee services and supports that extended beyond their professional lives. Gary has also held youth-focused roles including as a teacher, advisor, coach, and mental health counselor.

Gary holds an ED.M. in Counseling Psychology from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, along with a B.A. in Economics from Hamilton College.

Meet Our Board

Officers

Fred Jenoure

Frederick Jenoure, is the Board Chair and serves as director of TANGO’s  Board Diversity Initiative and Consulting Practice.  Fred has more than 30 years of experience in leadership positions with several prestigious institutions and community organizations, focusing on management and organizational structures, diversity and inclusion, supervisory training, property management, conflict resolution, and union negotiations. Fred worked at the University of Hartford from 1993 to 2010, where he served in numerous leadership positions ranging from director of operations to university ombudsman to senior advisor to the president. Fred was named Volunteer of the Year by the Urban League of Greater Hartford, and the Adult of the Year Award from the YMCA of Central Mass.  He served as Chairman of the board of the YMCA of Central Massachusetts,  Vice President of the Connecticut Council for the Advancement of Diversity,  Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Urban League of Greater Hartford, and in similar senior positions on several nonprofit organizations in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

 

Pastor Ross Goodman

Pastor Ross Goodman is the Vice Chair and served Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in North Quincy, MA for ten years before being called to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Arlington, MA in 1996. He also consults with Children’s Hospital Chaplaincy, assists the New England Synod with various projects, maintains standing as a Fellow with the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, and serves on the board of Bethany House of Prayer. Pastor Goodman and his wife have provided a loving home to six children through the Ascentria Unaccompanied Refugee Minors program. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University, Princeton Theological Seminary and the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He received a Doctor of Ministry from Andover Newton Theological School in 1995.

 

Ashish Cowlagi

Ashish Cowlagi is the Board Secretary. He has a passion for using technology to drive socially responsible innovation. Throughout his career as an innovator, entrepreneur and as an expert in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things, Mr. Cowlagi has been helping find ways to achieve societal impact through technology.

He currently serves as Vice President of Strategy for Pragya Systems, an AI-based ed tech startup based in Cambridge, MA, and as an advisor to startups.
Previously, Mr. Cowlagi spent several years in product management and strategy roles at IBM Corporation where he was responsible for building important products including Watson for Oncology & Clinical trial matching, which were among the first AI products in clinical use in the entire industry. Earlier he also helped incubate the Smarter Cities business at IBM, helping cities across the world leverage technology to innovate in areas ranging from public safety, social programs, and transportation.

Mr. Cowlagi is a passionate community volunteer. He serves on the Community Advisory Board for the Center for Clinical and Translational Science at the UMass Medical School, Governance Committee of the India Society of Worcester, as a Corporator for Greater Worcester Community Foundation and as Secretary for the Worcester Free Care Coalition.

He lives with his wife and two children in Shrewsbury, MA.

Alex Bartholomew

Alex is the Board Financial Secretary. He was born and raised in Worcester County and has spent his entire professional career at Bartholomew & Company, Inc where he is currently Sr. Vice President and Chief Investment Officer overseeing the internal investment management team.

He was educated at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI where he studied History and Actuarial Mathematics, graduating with a degree in Liberal Arts and then immediately moving on to receive his MBA in Finance. He has stayed connected with his alma mater by being a valued member of the Advisory Council to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University.

As an active member of the Worcester community, Alex is a corporator of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, member of the Endangered Structures Committee at Preservation Worcester, and a member of the American Antiquarian Society.

Alex lives with his wife, Kelly, and their three young children in Holden, MA.

Directors

Angela Bovill

Angela Bovill is president and CEO of Ascentria Care Alliance. She joined the organization in 2008 as chief financial officer, was named chief operating officer in 2011, and became president and CEO in January 2013.

Before joining Ascentria, Angela was general manager of digital services for IDEXX Laboratories, where she worked for 17 years in business development, mergers and acquisitions, and turnarounds. While at IDEXX, she created and launched two new service lines, and turned around a new business acquisition from a major loss to the most profitable in the company.

Angela graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern Maine, majoring in economics, and earned an MBA with honors from Boston University. She has completed multiple executive education programs, including at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza School of Business and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

As president and CEO of Ascentria, Angela has led a transformation of the nonprofit – streamlining, rebranding and changing the model of care to be more human-centered and partnership-focused. With a new vision, name, strategy and leadership team, Ascentria is leading the human services sector in innovation and holistic care.

Marybeth Campbell

Marybeth Campbell is the Executive Director of the Worcester Community Action Council, a Central MA organization focused on stabilizing individuals and households through safety net programs and partnering with people to help them thrive. Marybeth has more than 20 years’ experience in public policy, public education, and project management in the areas of clean energy, education, economic and workforce development. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Providence College and attended Suffolk University Law School.

Charran Fisher

Charran Fisher is founder and CEO of Fisher Contracting in Worcester. In 2011, Charran was recognized by the Small Business Administration as the Minority Business Person of the Year for the entire New England Region. She earned her BA in English and Journalism with a minor in African American studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She started Fisher Contracting in 1998 after working part-time in the field with different trades where she recognized a need for women and minorities in construction.

Dr. Brian K. Gibbs

Dr. Brian K. Gibbs is the inaugural Vice President and Chief Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer for UMass Memorial Health System. Dr. Gibbs will establish educational, training programs and systems for monitoring culture change leading to improved, more equitable delivery of health care for all patients, especially those who are from historically disadvantaged communities. His career spans the fields of academic medicine and health professions, which includes public health and occupational therapy. He received his Ph.D. from Brandeis University where he was a Pew Health Policy Fellow.

The Reverend Dr. Debora Jackson

The Reverend Dr. Debora Jackson is Professor of Practice and Dean of The Business School at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Previously, as a non-profit leader, Dr. Jackson served as Director of Operations of All Girls Allowed; Director of Lifelong Learning at Yale Divinity School; Executive Director of the Ministers Council of the American Baptist Churches, USA, and Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Needham, MA. Prior to that, she spent 20 years in business, with an emphasis on IT and software engineering. Dr. Jackson received her Doctorate in Ministry and Master of Divinity degree, both with honors, from Andover Newton Theological School. She holds a Master of Engineering degree in Manufacturing Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Management from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Indiana University.

William Mayo

Bill’s background spans Consumer Products, Business Services, Life Sciences, Consulting, and Social Service sectors. He has broad international experience and a strong strategic orientation. He has led projects, teams and business reviews in over 25 countries, including multiple acquisitions and divestitures, product and drug launches, and organizational changes.

Since 2016 Bill has been the Chief Information Officer for The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge MA. He has served on the governing board of Ascentria Care Alliance since 2013 and board chair for the past several years. He leads a small consulting practice working with startup biotech companies, is an advisor to a startup technology company, and a mentor within Northeastern University’s Venture Mentoring Network. Bill is also on the advisory board for BostonCIO.

In prior roles Bill has worked closely on major drug and product launches with Biogen and spent nearly 20 years with Gillette/Procter & Gamble leading a wide range of global teams and projects. He has been recognized by CIO magazine as a Premier 100 IT leader and has many nominations for Boston CIO of the year. He received both a BS in Computer and Information Science and an MBA from Northeastern University in Boston.

Keith Robertson

Keith joined the Ascentria Board in 2019. Professionally, Keith has spent his 25-year career working with not for profit senior living organizations, providing both investment banking and development services. Currently, Keith is the northeast team leader of Ziegler’s not-for-profit senior living investment banking practice. Ziegler is the national leader in providing financing solutions to not-for-profit senior living organizations.


While at Ziegler, Keith has raised nearly $3.0 billion of capital for his senior living clients. Prior to joining Ziegler, Keith was a vice president with a nationally recognized full service development firm specializing in providing development, financial, marketing, and management services to not-for-profit continuing care retirement communities. Keith has a Bachelor of Science in political science from Southern Connecticut State University and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Hartford’s Barney School of Business.

Barbara Ruhe

Barbara Ruhe, attorney and adoptive parent, is an expert in family and juvenile law with over 36 years in the field. She is a champion for men and women who are victims of domestic violence, and children who are physically, emotionally or sexually abused. Much of her time is spent in court litigating, and working with clients to obtain needed services.

Barbara provided legal counsel to Lutheran Child and Family Services of Connecticut from 1988 to 1993. She is a graduate of Valparaiso University Law School in Valparaiso, IN, and a member of the Connecticut Bar since 1976.

Peter Schmidt

Peter Schmidt joined the Ascentria board in 2017. Co-founder and COO of Transcend Air Corporation, Peter is an aerobatic pilot, aviation professional and serial entrepreneur. He has co-founded 13 companies and nonprofits, and has been a board member, an advisor, or a lead investor in 25 additional aviation and high tech startups. In addition, Peter has held executive positions with Ipanema Technologies, Teradyne, and the National Aviation Academy. He also has served in leadership roles in various nonprofit and community organizations continuously since he was in high school.

In the area of community service, Mr. Schmidt serves as an MIT Alumni Career mentor, an MIT Sloan School of Business alumni mentor, and an MIT $100K Business Plan Contest mentor. His advisees include a winner of the Harvard Business School Business Plan Contest and a finalist in the MIT $50K Contest. He is a long-time advisor to the Accelerated Cure Project, a non-profit dedicated to alleviating Multiple Sclerosis by accelerating the determination of its cause and cure, where he also served as interim CEO.

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