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The Chamber is the principal voice of Rhode Island's statewide business community, and I lead those efforts as President.
“You are the best resource you have to create the kind of world you want to live in.” Unknown
The opening of the much anticipated Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University prompted me to recall the Chamber’s initial efforts in championing the movement to grow the state’s knowledge economy. I was thrilled to witness the realization of those collaborative efforts in the designation and development of the Knowledge District in Providence. Our work in leading the discussions to grow our innovation economy continues.
As Senior Vice President of Economic Development and Operations, I oversee the Chamber’s economic and workforce development activities, including the Knowledge Economy initiative. I also coordinate the agendas of a number of Chamber committees including the Federal Affairs Committee, the Transportation Committee and Innovation Providence (IP).
“Success is a journey, not a destination.” Ben Sweetland
After 10 years of advocating on behalf of our membership to promote the expansion of TF Green Airport, to finally have the FAA’s Record of Decision in hand, is quite gratifying. The economic benefits associated with the airport’s pending improvements are enormous; adding to Rhode Island’s unique, diverse infrastructure which includes goods and tourism transportation hubs via the air, rail, land and sea.
I am the Senior Vice President of Finance & Administration, responsible for maintaining our financial records and developing the annual budget. I insure that the Chamber remains in compliance with the latest accounting policies and standards.
“Happiness is positive cash flow.” Unknown
As a member of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce staff for 30 years, I’ve witnessed remarkable milestones achieved for the business community as a result of the Chamber’s advocacy and government relations efforts. Economic initiatives, created years ago, have blossomed into effective, engaging business development programs, providing an expanded knowledge base for our membership. Over the years, the Chamber proudly provided a home office to the Providence/Warwick Convention and Visitor’s Bureau; Leadership RI; RI-CAN; Rhode Island Retail Federation; Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (AICU) and the Providence Foundation.
I am a lobbyist and voice for the small business community at the Rhode Island State House as the Senior Vice President of Government Relations. In this role, I coordinate the activities of the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee and the Chamber’s Ambassadors Council. I am also the Director of the Rhode Island Retail Federation.
“Just show up - be there for the people who depend on you.” Unknown
I have been afforded many wonderful opportunities and exciting encounters through my advocacy work on behalf of small businesses at the Chamber; including one-on-one conversations with former President Bill Clinton and Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy. My greatest sense of accomplishment comes at the end of the legislative session when we tally the “wins” we achieved on behalf of the business community in RI.
I am developing new and enhanced ways to expand Chamber events and products, while at the same time heightening the ability of members to promote their business/organization in the marketplace. As the Vice President of Development & Signature Programs, I served as the Executive Producer of RIBX, the nation’s largest Chamber managed event comprised of close to 200 exhibitors and attracting upwards of 5,000 attendees. I also execute the Chamber’s signature annual events - Annual Meeting, Legislative Luncheon, Congressional Breakfast, Economic Outlook Luncheon - as well a key policy breakfast forums and partnership events.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
The Chamber offers members a variety of timely forums that promote learning directly from our region’s top leaders and decision makers about topics that may impact their businesses. We are known and respected for tackling the tough issues and securing coveted “newsmakers” as headliners for our events.
My role, as Vice President of Member Acquisition & Retention is to understand and assist all types of businesses --interested in furthering their mission, developing a strong brand and being part of a formidable voice in Rhode Island -- by demonstrating the value GPCC membership brings to their organization’s goals. I am in the midst of creating and implementing a comprehensive program for membership development, recruitment and retention.
“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” Vince Lombardi
In a day and age where social media dominates the world, I am demonstrating through my daily efforts, that there is nothing more important than getting in front of someone and telling them your story. The Chamber is the perfect vehicle for building productive networking streams and business-to-business relationships.
As a member of the Chamber team for 24 years, I have had the opportunity to assist in the execution of numerous membership reports, directories, initiatives and events. As the Data Operations Coordinator, I provide support for the Chamber’s computer software and hardware data systems.
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in that knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” Unknown
Recently we upgraded our member data operations with new Membee software so our members can easily update their business profiles on our website and register and pay for events by credit card via www.providencechamber.com (previously our members had to call staff to make these changes and purchases.) Now our members can conveniently update their information anytime, from anywhere! Soon members will be able to post an employee listing, along with product photos and videos as well as links to their Twitter feeds and Facebook pages.
As the “first voice” you hear when calling the GPCC, I field calls from across the State and the country, and direct people to the vast array of resources we provide and are connected to through our diverse membership. As Membership Outreach Coordinator I assist our members in maintaining their Chamber web page presence and keep our member data base current. I also format Member News articles, provided by our membership, for circulation on our website.
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” Albert Einstein
I really enjoy being the conduit between our members and the various resources we have to offer here at the Chamber. It is especially gratifying when I find the answer to a particularly challenging question, or I’m able to assist a member with a pressing issue, or explain a new member benefit. We promote strength in numbers as an advantage for Chamber membership, and I delight in connecting the vast array of goods and services provided by our diverse membership with those who call in.