EXECUTIVE TEAM

Keith Cooper, Executive Director

Keith enjoys working at the intersection of food, business, community renewal, and storytelling. He worked in refugee education before helping start the granola company that became Beautiful Day. Since 2012 he's been guiding our growth into an ESE (Employment Social Enterprise) that connects refugees and their host communities.

Rebecca Garland, Director of Strategic Partnerships

Rebecca taught literacy and ESOL to adults before starting work at Beautiful Day in 2018. She is responsible for developing partnerships with donors and foundations as well as with individuals and community groups. She gives talks, both in person and virtually, to groups interested in learning more about refugees. Please contact her if you’d like a speaker for your group, either in person or virtually.

Laura Sadovnikoff, Administrative Manager

Laura came to Beautiful Day in 2021 after 20 years at Brown University's Watson Institute, where she managed international visiting scholar programs. Before her time at Brown, Laura was dean of students at a school in Vermont, lived and worked in São Paulo, Brazil, and spent several years in the field of US-Soviet cultural exchange, leading over 20 trips to Russia and bordering countries. Laura feels at home at Beautiful Day, enjoying an administrative job that is all about people.

Meggean Ward, Director of Operations and Training

Meggean came to Beautiful Day with a background in both the music business and refugee job development. She says she has had multiple professional 'lives', and is used to multitasking/wearing many hats.  She feels she has found her niche in the ever-changing and rewarding world of BD and working with refugees. She oversees operations, including production, fulfillment, farmers' markets, plus training program oversight, trainee onboarding, and case management.

PRODUCTION

Saad Awad, Production and Training Manager

Saad, originally from Syria, has worked in the food industry for his entire adult life. From 2006 to 2018, he owned and operated his own restaurant and catering business in southern Rhode Island and sold Mediterranean products in local markets. Saad enjoys working with various cuisines and is excited to be a part of Beautiful Day's operations.

Iman Diriye, Kitchen Assistant

Iman, originally from Somalia, went through our kitchen training program in 2016. Iman has become an experienced granola chef, and helps organize every shift, tutoring each new trainee to master a new set of skills.

Evon Nano, Granola Chef

Evon, born in Baghdad, Iraq, has been with Beautiful Day from the very beginning when we were perfecting our recipes and slapping home-printed labels on tin-tie bags. She has coached nearly every trainee in our kitchen. If you think our granola is perfect--well you can bet it's because of her.

MARKETING, SALES, & GROWTH

Paula Cunanan, Visual Content and Digital Marketing Consultant

Paula, born in the Philippines, moved to Providence when she was 8. She has worked with local nonprofits and businesses including Beautiful Day doing graphic design, photography, and videography for the past five years. In her free time, you will see Paula cooking Filipino food or training Muay Thai at her martial arts studio.

Joan McLaughlin, Sales and Growth

After traveling nationally and internationally during her sales career, Joan is dedicated to spreading the word about Beautiful Day's flavors of the world, locally, regionally, and nationally. You will find her engaging buyers, sharing our story, listening to our customers, sampling products, and contributing to helping new Rhode Islanders thrive.

Rose Ntirampeba, Operations Associate

Rose, born in Burundi, came to Rhode Island in 2015. A mother of five, Rose manages one of our farmers’ markets, drives our van to make deliveries, assists with inventory, measures for production, and is central to our growing services for corporate clients. 

Isaac Nzayume, Farmers' Market Sales

Isaac, born in Democratic Republic of Congo, resettled in Providence after 18 years in a camp in Rwanda. He holds a full time job at another company, but continues to work at Beautiful Day because he is committed to helping refugee youth learn how to take on their first job.

Antoine Nzeyimana, Operations Assistant

Antoine, born in Burundi, worked with Jesuit Refugee Services doing research in Chad on child soldiers. Antoine came to Rhode Island in 2010. He discovered Beautiful Day while providing interpreting services for refugees interviewing for our job training program. He has three children and a full time job, but still assists Beautiful Day with youth training and operations support.

Marie Clemence Shabani, Farmers' Market Sales

Marie, born in Democratic republic of Congo, was one of the first to participate in our youth training program. She has helped grow our services for youth from an idea into a program. Marie is a proud activist for feminism, equal rights, and assisting refugees through trauma and resettlement.

Zaid Wadia, Shipping Manager

Zaid, born in Baghdad, Iraq, started in the kitchen, then took over our first farmers’ market, and now oversees all of our shipping and fulfillment. Zaid keeps busy with another full time job along with four kids, including a pair of rambunctious twins.

TRAINING

Maliss Men Coletta, Youth Program Coordinator

Born in Cambodia during the war, Maliss spent her childhood in various refugee camps before settling in Providence in 1987. With her experience in community work and teaching, Maliss piloted our youth program in 2019 and is now the program coordinator. When she is not working with the youth or sharing healthy produce with the staff, she is busy raising her adventurous and nature-loving twins.

Scott Yi, Youth Program Teacher

Scott Yi first came to Providence for college and then stayed as he became involved in urban renewal efforts, ranging from youth entrepreneurship to refugee outreach to adult education. Scott enjoys living in a small city brimming with so much cultural diversity. He was first introduced to the Beautiful Day community through his wife Amber, who was one of BD's very first interns.