Our Staff

Board of Directors:

Darius Shirzadi, Executive Director/Co-Founder from ProvidenceRI. 
Global Accounts Manager with the Cooley Group in PawtucketRI since 2003.
Darius is the former director of Latino and Cape Verdean Community Affairs with the New England Revolution professional soccer team in FoxboroMassachusetts. A former professional, college soccer player, coach, scout, and general manager, Darius is fluent in Spanish, some Creole, and Portuguese. He has coached soccer in the middle schools and high schools of Providence and Pawtucket and is well known by Rhode Island’s minority communities, as well as by businesses and the media. Darius is responsible for overall management of Project GOAL’s business affairs. He interacts with PG directors, advisors, volunteers and staff, setting strategy on how to best serve PG participants. He also assists in coaching during soccer activities and builds lasting relationships with all Project GOAL families. Darius has been involved with planning and executing the program since 2002.  phone – 401-258-2300, darius@projectgoal.org

Peter Whealton – Chairman of the Board/Co-Founder from WarrenRI
Peter is the CEO and chairman of CORE Business Technologies in East Providence
Former president and COO of Compressent Corporation, a publicly held firm, Peter has been active on many committees including development, finance, consulting in business affairs. Peter continues to bring important governance expertise. He is the chief liaison with area private schools and consults with and offers guidance to Project GOAL board members, staff, and volunteers. Peter is instrumental in promoting Project GOAL with the business community and enlisting support through his networking with RI business executives. Peter is co-founder of Project GOAL and has been involved with planning and executing the program since 2002. phone – 401-258-2300 email – paw@corebt.com

Javier Centeno, Director of Soccer/Co-Founder from Central FallsRI
Javier is a Youth Supervisor with the Central Falls School Department and former professional soccer player.  Recently named RI Boys Youth Soccer Coach of the Year and inducted into the New England Soccer Hall of Fame in 2015 Javier is fluent in Spanish, some Portuguese and Creole, he is a member of the Central Falls Athletic Hall of Fame and is the former assistant men’s soccer coach at Providence College. A native of Colombia, Javier grew up in Central Falls and knows firsthand the difficulties and challenges Project GOAL participants face in going through the public school system. Javier has been involved since 2002 and is a Co-Founder of Project GOAL. Phone – 401-258-2300, email – nombe9@hotmail.com

Alex Mitchell, from BarringtonRI
Alex is Co-Owner of Meridian Custom Homes based in ProvidenceRI.
With more than 25 years’ experience building exceptional custom homes throughout MassachusettsRhode Island and Connecticut, Alex offers business expertise in strategic planning for sustainability and expansion of Project GOAL programming. Being a huge fan of soccer, Alex plays in an adult league and has been assisting in planning and executing our GOAL CUP corporate soccer tournament. Opening his beautiful home to all Project GOAL supporters in 2015 for an unforgettable, and now annual, appreciation party, Alex continues to raise funds and awareness for underserved youth of RI. Alex has been involved with Project GOAL since 2008. email:alex@meridiancustomhomes.com 

Guy Shaffer, Vice President of Business Development at RDW Group. 
Guy is the newest member of our board and has over 30 years of experience at leading NY, Philadelphia and Providence ad agencies. Guy offers valuable market research, strategic planning, brand development, marketing communication and public relations insight. Guy has been involved with Project GOAL since 2012. e-mail: gshaffer@rdwgroup.com

Craig Tornberg 
Craig formally had been the General Manager & Vice President of Business Development for the New England Revolution from 2004-2008, a professional division one soccer team of Major League Soccer. In addition to his marketing and management contributions, Craig’s extensive ties to the community and experience working with youth and other non profit organizations provide great value to Project GOAL. Craig has been involved with Project GOAL since 2006

Board of Advisors
• Brenda C. Nagle, Assistant Vice President, Senior Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch.
• Nelson Rego, Vice President, Quality Services, Taco Inc
• Antone Botelho, Founder of Antone Botelho Photography
• Tom Bigelow, of Bigelow & Fleming
• Nancy Jones, Human Resources at CORE Business Technologies


Vicktoria Barokha, Director of Operations and Grant Administration
Vicktoria is Project GOAL’s first and only full-time employee. She was hired full time in October 2010 and
 assumed responsibility for overall operational and administrative functions including marketing, accounting, human resources, interfacing and coordination with staff, volunteers, schools and parents, managing program events, monitoring and evaluation of programming and its impact, as well as, researching and writing grants. Vicktoria works with the board of directors and advisors on budgeting and strategic planning, as well as, organizes committees for preparation and execution of all fundraising events. Former administrative assistant at CORE Business Technologies, Vicktoria has volunteered time to Project GOAL since it first launched its programming in 2004. Fluent in Russian and some Spanish, Vicktoria spends extra time each year to get to know all Project GOAL kids and even organizes an annual award ceremony in June recognizing achievements of each student with special certificates and prizes.  Phone – 401-301-1000 – vbarokha@projectgoal.org

Dennis Skehan, Teacher of re-direct program and manager of SSAT curriculum
A former college professor, Dennis has a 20-year career with high school age children. Dennis develops, organizes and manages the SSAT preparation program and the re-direct program at Project GOAL. Dennis provides students an interactive educational curriculum including an innovative STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) project, where students invented and tested a SoccerMath board game that has plans to be converted into a phone application. Dennis has been with Project GOAL since 2006. Phone – 401-258-2300, email –dskehan@corebt.com

Javier Gallego, High School Teacher/Coach
Javier is originally from Colombia and has many years of teaching experience as a certified French teacher and soccer coach at the Providence Country Day School. Javier is responsible for Project GOAL’s High School Students who are invited to attend as role models to the younger kids. High School students are given extra responsibilities and have an opportunity to become Jr. Coaches for Project GOAL. Fluent in French, Spanish, and English, Javier has been a teacher and soccer coach with Project GOAL since 2009.

Opal Alves, Monitoring & Evaluation Manager/ Lead Teacher
Opal joined Project GOAL in November 2014 to help with monitoring and evaluations of programming, including data-entry, compiling statistics on household information, grades, attendance and managing our youthservices database. Opal has also assumed responsibility for leading all Project GOAL teachers in classroom curriculum, including developing and managing class presentation projects in order to incorporate a group learning activity in class. With over 15 years of teaching experience, Opal taught at Project GOAL back in 2004 when the program just started with only 20 kids. She then took a position in South Korea as an Elementary School English and a Foreign Language Teacher, where she developed and implemented curriculum for grades 3-6, as well as an afterschool program for grades 1-6. As soon as her overseas project was over,  we were lucky to have Opal back to continue her work with Project GOAL.

Project GOAL Teachers & Coaches
Certified Rhode Island Teachers: Javier Gallego; Kara DeAngelis, Elmer Vargas; Dennis Skehan; Miguel Sagastume, Josh Schatz, Nikhol Bentley, Rosaura Vasquez; Robert Brown
Certified Coaches: Darius Shirzadi and Javier Centeno (board members); Massamba Sow, Miguel Sagastume and Javier Gallego