Executive Director: Felicity Pickett came to Rowe in 1991 and quickly showed us she knew how to work and knew how to make organizations work. Prior to coming to Rowe, she was a social worker and directed a large child care system for Catholic Charities. She began at Rowe as the Office and Finance Manager and held the positions of Camp & Conference Center Manager and Director of Operations before becoming Director in 1996.
She is the one who cares for Rowe on a daily basis, keeping her eye on the day-to-day, month-to-month, year-to-year details and rhythms. She is creative and resourceful and has kept Rowe on solid financial footing. She is an idealist and visionary. A central figure in fostering the community that lives at Rowe, she created the work-study internship program and initiated the Woodside Diversity Program. In recognition of her work, she was named Executive Director in 2012. Rowe is a better place for her commitment and her skills.
Director of Programming: Arthur Samuelson joined the staff on May 1, 2012 in the new position of Director of Programming. Arthur brings substantial experiences, skills, and connections developed over thirty years of connecting people to and through ideas in a variety of ways, from publishing, teaching, marketing, and fundraising.
He was the Editorial Director for Schocken Books, Random House and Paragon Books, and a Senior Editor for Harper Collins and Summit Books, Simon and Schuster. His specialty as a publisher was finding ways to turn books into other people’s programs so as to build an audience for his products.
Arthur has lived a life based on curiosity, transformational learning, and community. He spent many years working in the men’s movement in N.Y. and lived in Israel for five years, two of them on a kibbutz. He spent two years living in an intentional community in NY City and the last year as a volunteer at Kripalu.
Arthur told us, “What I am looking for at this point in my life is a way to bring all these aspects together—learning, creating meaning for others, and community—to create not just a meaningful life for me, but for others as well.” We are really happy he has chosen to do that at Rowe.
Director of Operations: Paulette Roccio began as Facilities Manager in November of 2009. Paulette is not a newcomer to Rowe. She worked in the office in 1995 and has visited numerous times, as she is Felicity’s daughter. During the beginning of her work here, Paulette lived at Rowe with her two daughters Madison and Morgan, making them our first three-generation family at The Rowe Center.
Paulette has a background in business management and worked as a sales representative before taking this position. She was also part of a family business, Wicked Good Builders. She was ready for a change. Living and working at Rowe was a dream come true.
“How I came to live and work at Rowe is nothing short of a miracle. One midsummer day, in my Outlook inbox was an email from Felicity. The email spoke of a very powerful upcoming lunar eclipse that would assist in manifesting what you truly desired in life. I spent several hours in meditation and prayer in preparation for the ritual I would perform the night of the eclipse.
At the time I had never even considered living and working at Rowe, but from that day forward I felt I was being carried on Angels’ wings. Daily I prayed, and thanked the Universe in advance for bringing me what it was I desired and magically everything fell into place. Within a month of my ritual a job opened up at Rowe.”
Director of Youth Programming: Cara Downey is a long-time member of the Rowe community and has been coming to Rowe since 1995. As a youth, she attended Young People’s Camp, Transitions Camp, Junior High and Senior High Camps, and later worked as a staff member of Transitions Camp from 2005-2014. In 2015, she was hired as the Interim Co-Director for Transitions Camp. For the last seven years, Cara has worked at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer in New York City. During that time, she completed a master’s degree in mental health counseling and as an intern facilitated group therapy with adolescent and adult populations. In August 2016 she was welcomed onto the Rowe staff as the Director of Youth Programming. Cara is passionate about community building and creating a space where children can safely explore their individuality. She appreciates the Rowe community, its mission, and its ability to empower and enrich young people.
Head of Maintenance: Jannelle Codianni‘s To-Do list often has the words “Learn To…” before a task, which is pretty exciting. Working at Rowe keeps her mind sharp, her curiosity piqued, her heart open and her head thrown back in laughter. The journey to Rowe’s maintenance department has included stops at the Massachusetts College of Art, where she earned her BFA in The Studio for Interrelated Media, a small suburb in Eastern Massachusetts where she home- schooled her two daughters, and various venues around New England where she performs as a story teller. She is a writer, artist, and devoted servant to the spirit of the human virtues of compassion, truth, and connection. Jannelle feels honored to be part of the long and loving legacy of Rowe, adores living in a cabin, and gets a kick out of always smelling like wood smoke–even when she’s dressed up for a night out.
Marketing & Development Coordinator: Molly Guest joins the Development & Marketing team after earning her Master’s in Business from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. When Molly isn’t assisting the board with much-needed fundraising efforts, she can be found supporting the website, all of Rowe’s social media and their marketing initiatives. Molly’s experience in higher education, along with her business background, makes her a great fit for Rowe. She remains active on MCLA’s advisory board to continue her commitment to the MBA program. When she’s not at work Molly loves to spend time with her family, travel as much as possible and watch her kids play sports, all of which she is very passionate about.
Registration and Office Coordinator: Harmony Kuhl became the Rowe Registrar in June of 2017, but was first drawn to Rowe in 2012 as a participant in Rowe’s WomanSoul program. She immediately fell in love with the land, energy, people and mission of The Rowe Center. Harmony served as a Rowe intern three times: Fall 2014, Spring 2016 and Winter 2017. Additionally she was chosen as Rowe’s Artist in Residence in the Fall of 2016– and enchanted many with her whimsical and detailed Fairy House creations, which she continues to make. Harmony has had many teaching jobs, and has a Master’s degree in Education. Before she came to live at Rowe from upstate NY, she worked as both a Peer Counselor at a Women’s Center, and as an assistant at a Law Office. Harmony loves interacting with people – and is grateful to be the friendly, knowledgeable and calm presence that greets you when you call or come to stay with us at the Rowe Center.
Executive Editor & Spiritual Guidance Faculty Member: Steve Kanji Ruhl brings workshop programming expertise, a news media background, and promotional experience to his role of serving as production editor for the catalog and executive editor for The Center Post. Kanji formerly served as the program director for youth and adult education in the lifelong learning department in Amherst, MA, supervising and marketing a broad range of programs. He also worked for many years as the arts reporter and later as arts editor for Amherst’s newspaper, and ultimately as a freelance journalist whose work appeared in The Boston Globe and elsewhere.
Additionally, Kanji serves as a core faculty member in Rowe’s Certificate Program in Spiritual Guidance. Reverend Kanji is a formally ordained Zen Buddhist minister and an authorized lay Zen teacher who is employed as a Buddhist Advisor at Yale University and as a meditation instructor at Deerfield Academy. In 2008, Reverend Kanji received his Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University; in 2005 he graduated with high honors in Religious Studies from Pennsylvania State University, focusing on world religions. He is a contributor to the book The Arts of Contemplative Care: Pioneering Voices in Buddhist Chaplaincy and Pastoral Work (Wisdom Publications).