Meet our Staff

Dr. Robert Billington


Serves as President and CEO of the Council and for over thirty years has led the charge to bring the Valley communities together to create outstanding tourism in the Blackstone Valley through pride of place, education, development along the Blackstone River, community development, and job creation.

Natalie Carter

Director of Operations

Serves as Director of Operations, Business Manager, and grant writer. Co-chairs the Blackstone Valley and Amber Valley Compact, an international relationship with the Amber Valley in England.

Amanda Wood

Office Manager

Serves as Office Manager as well as coordinates the Rhode Island Chinese Dragon Boat Races & Taiwan Day Festival and Blackstone Valley Heritage Golf Tournament, and serves as our Portuguese and Spanish translator.

James Toomey

Director of Marketing

Oversees general tourism promotion of RI's Blackstone Valley as well as the branding and messaging of the Tourism Council's programs, social media management, web development and graphic design

Marina Flannery

Director of Environmental Education

Manages Explorer River Tours and our youth education program - RiverClassroom.

Paul Palange

Director of Fundraising

Oversees fundraising and sponsorships of Blackstone Valley Tourism Council events and programs

Donna Kaehler

Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful Coordinator

Oversees our beautification projects, litter clean-ups, and recycling education

Joan Loos

Tour Development

Oversees group tour development as well as manages Blackstone Valley Culinaria Food Tours, our rack card distribution program, and maintains office database.

Wendy Jencks

Visitor Center Manager

Serves as Manager of the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center and coordinator of visitor center projects.

Patti McAlpine

Programs Coordinator

Assists with Blackstone Valley Tourism Council marketing and river programs as well as manages Blackstone Valley Visitor Center rentals and Blackstone River State Park Visitor Center volunteers

Donna Houle

Special Projects Manager

Serves as coordinator of the Train Excursion through the Blackstone Valley and assists our visual library and archive.

Michael P. Martin

Program Director

Manages logistics and development of Blackstone Valley Tourism Council events and programs