Born at Newport Hospital, Barbara Ann is the daughter of Liana, a special education teacher, and Mike, an electrical engineer for the Navy. Growing up on Aquidneck Island, BA was a state, regional, and national champion gymnast, and was known for her bold personality.
BA attended Northeastern University, and became valedictorian at their Bouve College of Health Sciences. On her way to earning her first Master's degree in Physical Therapy, she studied at Edinburgh University in Scotland & the University of Sydney in Australia. Barbara Ann's physical therapy career has run the spectrum, seeing her care for premature babies in early intervention, all the way through to a 106 year-old on hospice. Currently, she works at Rhode Island Hospital.
In addition, Barbara Ann was a lecturer & lab instructor at Northeastern University teaching courses ranging from neuroanatomy to prosthetics.
The late State Senator June Gibbs, an extremely close friend of BA's mother, would often teach BA about the master lever and the inner workings of Smith Hill while driving her back and forth to college. Only weeks before her death in 2012, Senator Gibbs urged Barbara Ann to run as a delegate for the presidential convention. Later that year, BA would be elected, and infamously meet her future husband at that convention when her wayward umbrella smacked him in the head.
As the Mayor's wife, she is constantly at her husband's side at events in Cranston, enjoying the city's enormous renaissance under his leadership. Barbara Ann is passionate about confronting many of our area's pressing healthcare issues, including opioid abuse, and serves on the board of the Cranston Substance Abuse Task Force.
In September of 2019, she was named Chairwoman of the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations, an organization focusing on international affairs. She has also helped to fundraise for Mentor RI as part of their "Dancing with the Stars" event.
Politically, BA has brought her brand of moderate republicanism to the party structure, being elected Chairwoman of the Rhode Island Young Republicans for four years, and serving as the national Executive Director for the YR organization.
On November 3rd, 2020, BA became the first person in 114 years to defeat a sitting speaker of the house, in her very first race for office. She is also the first woman to ever represent District 15 in the state house.
In December of 2020, she earned her second Master's degree, this time in digital media management, from Arkansas State University. Last year, she earned a Certificate in Emergency Management from Auburn University.
Barbara Ann was named one of Providence Business News' "40 Under 40" award winners in 2019, and one of GoLocalProv's "20 to Watch in 2020."