Our Team

Board of Directors

Monica DeAngelis, Board President ~ Email Monica ~ Monica is performing the critical role of President, leading the Board of Directors and Executive Committee to carry out governance functions and serve as an ambassador of the organization to advocate for its mission and vision. She has a BS in Biology from University of New Hampshire and a MS in Biology from San Diego State University. She is a Marine Mammal Biologist at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center.
Ian Owen, Board Treasurer ~ Email Ian ~ Ian as the 2nd term Treasurer is leading the finance efforts to achieve long term fiscal solvency and to develop an endowment. He has an EEE degree from the Royal Navy (UK) and received a commendation from the UK’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) when he helped set up and run an oiled bird rescue and rehabilitation center in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War. Ian is a program manager at Sonos Inc.
Annie Becker, Board Secretary ~ Email Annie ~ Annie is performing the role of Secretary fostering communication and ensuring proper management and utilization of organizational records, bylaws, policies and procedures, and assisting with fundraising and community events. She has a Bachelor of Science in statistics and finance from Syracuse University. Annie is a realtor on Aquidneck Island and is the President Elect of the Newport County Board of REALTOR©

Tricia Bielinski ~ Email Tricia ~ Tricia, a self-proclaimed beach bum, joined the COA board at the beginning of 2021. She is a C-level HR Director focused on the establishment of a global HR framework and organizational development and strategic initiatives. She has extensive experience in planning and building the people infrastructure to support new projects, talent acquisition and development, leadership development, succession planning, digital enablement and the accompanying change management efforts that go with all of the above. Tricia first came to COA as a volunteer and a member of the composting program, and is excited to contribute to the organizational development of COA.

Ben Tuff ~ Email Ben ~ Ben joined the COA board in January 2021 after supporting the organization for many years. He has spent his whole life in Jamestown enjoying fly fishing, sailing, and swimming. In 2019, he swam around Conanicut Island to raise $55k for COA. This summer, he plans to swim from Block Island to Jamestown to top his previous fundraising goal for COA. He is a lifelong educator and is currently the Director of Admissions at a Junior Boarding School in CT called Rumsey Hall School. His wife Gretchen is an avid Ironman athlete and they have two children: a son, Wyatt, and a daughter, Maisie.


Karen Sheehan, Director of Development~ Email Karen ~ Karen joined the team in August of 2020 as our Director of Development and is responsible to advance the organization’s fundraising efforts and increase philanthropic support. Karen is an experienced relationship-building, community-minded individual who cares deeply about the local environment and has lived her own life always being mindful of the health of our beaches and oceans. Prior to joining the team, she was the Director of Development and Community Engagement at Bethany Community Services in Haverhill, MA.
Olivia Smith , Development Coordinator ~ Email Olivia~ Olivia joined the team in January 2021 as our Development Coordinator.  She is responsible for our relationships with our donors and event partners, fundraising events, and to increase philanthropic support for Clean Ocean Access throughout our community. Olivia received her Bachelor's Degree in Political Science with a focus in environmental policy from The University of Rhode Island in 2017. Prior to joining our team, Olivia was an Event Specialist for a private event company in Newport, RI.
Max Kraimer, Program Manager ~ Email Max ~ Max joined the team as an intern in May of 2017 focusing on Marina Trash Skimmer data collection and research.  Max is responsible to advance the big projects; Southeast New England Marina Trash Skimmers and Shrink Wrap Recycling, and program sponsorship. Max received his Bachelor of Science in marine biology with a minor in sustainability studies from Roger Williams University in 2018.
Egidia Vergano, Shrink Wrap Recycling Coordinator ~ Email Egidia ~ Egidia joined the team in February 2021 to take on the challenges and opportunities of a circular economy for the Shrink Wrap Recycling & Life Cycle Analysis Project. After spending the early part of her career as an engineer in the medical device industry, Egidia was drawn to the environmental challenges of our planet and committed herself to helping others reduce waste and pursue sustainability. Before coming to COA, she spent many years working in recycling and waste management, first for the Town of Narragansett and then with Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University.
Eva Touhey, Program Manager ~ Email Eva ~ Eva joined the team as an intern in October of 2015 working on watershed reporting, and advancing education activities in 2016. As the program manager, she is responsible for core programs, big projects, volunteer management, advocacy, education & outreach, reports, and program revenue. Eva received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 2015, and a Master of Arts degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island in 2019, with a thesis on the influence of plastic bag bans on pro-environmental behaviors in Rhode Island coastal communities.
Zoe Pagliaro ~ Sustainability Coordinator ~ Email Zoe ~ Zoe joined the team as an intern running our environmental education efforts during the summer of 2017. Now, as the Sustainability Coordinator, she is responsible for providing support for and infusing environmental sustainability into the core programs and projects. Zoe received a Bachelor of Arts in environmental science from Skidmore College in 2020.
Merit Shalom ~ Education Outreach Coordinator ~ Email Merit ~ Merit joined the team in March 2021 to advance our new mission statement with a focus on education as our Education Outreach Coordinator. Her most recent role was the Education and Outreach Facilitator at the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, and she graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2011 with a Bachelors in Education and Psychology and a license in teaching.
Marissa Caito ~ Customer Engagement Coordinator ~ Email Marissa ~ Marissa joined the team in March 2021 to advance our Circular Economy Initiate for Healthy Soils Healthy Seas Rhode Island. Her most recent role was the General Manager at Empire Tea and Coffee in Newport County, and attended the Massachusetts College of Art and Design with a focus in jewelry design and metalsmithing.
Dave McLaughlin, Executive Director ~ Email Dave ~ Dave is the Co-Founder of Clean Ocean Access in 2006 and as Executive Director since the inception of the non-profit organization in 2014 he is working on innovative methods and strategic initiatives for transforming the organization into a sustainable non-profit such that the mission lasts forever. He earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in applied mathematics from the Florida Institute of Technology with a concentration in atmospheric science and physical oceanography in 1993 and 1996, respectively. Before this journey, Dave had a career in information technology as an enterprise architect at Hasbro Toy Company from 1996 to 2014.
Emily Conklin, Communications Marketing Coordinator ~ Email Emily ~ Emily joined the team to serve as the Communications Marketing Coordinator in January 2021. Emily is a marine biologist and science communicator with an undergraduate degree from Wheaton College MA and a Master’s degree from Northeastern University. In her position, she is responsible for social media, email marketing, and marketing materials production, among others. She is focused on sharing the story of the organization with our community in support of our programs and overall mission.
Allyson Harple, Bookkeeper Accountant ~ Email Allyson ~ Allyson joined the team in January 2021 to take on the all important role of bookkeeping and accounting. She graduated from Susquehanna University in 2004 with a BA in Psychology. Most recently, Allyson worked in this role at Newport Craft Brewery and Sail to Prevail.  She is mom to two kids, age 10 and 8. Allyson was instrumental in helping Clean Ocean Access put in place composting at Hathaway Elementary School in Portsmouth and we are thrilled to have her on the team!

College Interns

Victoria "Tori" Merrill Tori is currently a Junior at The University of Rhode Island where she is majoring in Marine Affairs with a double minor in Business Administration and Oceanography. Tori is originally from Salisbury, Connecticut and is now living in Rhode Island which has paved the way to her joining the Clean Ocean Access team as the Marine Debris Intern. She is helping with the Clean Program which entails running our twice a month beach clean ups.
Timothy "Tim" Jaeger Tim is currently a senior at Salve Regina University, where he is majoring in Political Science and Philosophy, as well as minoring in Economics. In addition to an interest in politics and philosophy, Tim loves nature and the environment, and wishes to pursue a career in environmental economics. This passion has led him to Clean Ocean Access, where he has volunteered in the past. Our Shoreline Access Internship offered Tim the perfect balance of field work, office work, and policy research.
Olivia Thayer Olivia is a senior at Salve Regina University majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Studio Art with a photography concentration. She has joined the team to assist with the marine trash skimmers program, beach cleanups, and office work. Olivia is very passionate about the environment and hopes to pursue a career in marine biology in the near future.
Amanda is currently a senior at Salve Regina University, where she is majoring in environmental studies and minoring in biology. She has joined to assist with analyzing and collecting water samples in addition to office work. Amanda is very excited to be working with Clean Ocean Access because it has the perfect balance of field work and office work.