GPCC Member News

Covering every aspect of GPCC member activities via business features, news stories, event notifications, interviews and reports.

Share your professional news. Submit announcements about recent product developments, ribbon-cuttings, awards, appointments, business achievements, community outreach and other professional news for publication to blaurino@provchamber.com 

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Mount St. Charles Delivers Christmas Baskets to 46 Needy Families in Woonsocket

This year, Mount Saint Charles Academy made Christmas food baskets for 46 needy Woonsocket families whose names were on a list sent from the Community Care Alliance. Throughout the Christmas season, the entire Mount community brings in food donations to fill each basket.

Anyone can also take a child's name (whose family is receiving a food basket) off the MSC Giving Tree and fill the baskets with toys as well. As the toys are wrapped, they fill up Mr. Edwin Burke’s office, principal of Mount Saint Charles, until the baskets are assembled. This year, Mount students, parents, faculty, and staff delivered baskets to 46 families.

​Deacon Anthony Gagliani, Director of Campus Ministry at Mount, said, “This is a wonderful opportunity for Mount students and their families to remain mindful of those in need within our local community. By gathering food items and gifts for the children for each basket, students are called to a greater awareness of how as people of faith we have been commissioned to share and care for our neighbors."  The deliveries took place after school on Friday, December 19th.

To see pictures of the entire process, please visit Mount’s Media Gallery on the MSC website: https://mountsaintcharles.myschoolapp.com/podium/default.aspx?t=52562&a=250916

 

Shamrock Financial One of 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For

Shamrock Financial Corporation has won one of the coveted National Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™ award.

This competition recognizes those businesses in different regions of the country that demonstrate a dedication to excellence in both their human resource policies and employee betterment programs. Nominees are assessed in areas such as communication, diversity, work-life balance, recognition, employee education, recognition, retention, among others.

Shalimar Albanese, Director of Marketing and Client Delight at Shamrock Financial, stated, "I was so excited to hear that we won this award. I think it really speaks to the authenticity of our culture here. We are dedicated to growing our employees and business. We are proud to have created an infrastructure and environment that has attracted many of the top mortgage professionals in our region – doubling the size of our team in the past year.”

The recipients of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™ 2014 were selected based on a variety of criteria, such as an Employee Engagement survey regarding the workplace environment, as well as a Human Resources survey to determine how well business policies align with the employee experience.

At Shamrock Financial, the dedication towards employees and clients is immediately evident. Throughout the year, they offer continuing education seminars, webinars, and workshops to educate and motivate employees in different industry-related topics such as personal finance, loan programs, credit scoring, and ways to improve business using social media strategies. Their web site offers eBooks, buying guides, and other information to keep clients and employees alike well informed and current about all facets of home buying. They believe in the client experience every step of the way. Company compliance training ensures that Shamrock’s superior professional standards are maintained. Finally, by providing donations to many local charities and organizations, Shamrock Financial strongly believes in giving back to the community, knowing that building and maintaining relationships is the key to both a successful business, but also a thriving community.

The results of the awards are intended to help employers in evaluating both the strengths and weaknesses in all areas of their business, such as Human Resources, employee engagement levels, as well as identify and remove potential areas of concern.

Winning businesses are invited to celebrate in one of the many event regions. All participating businesses will receive a complimentary basic assessment report that indicates your company's overall ranking in each category. Note that all results are presented with a confidential and objective summary.

For a full list of the 2014 award winners in the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™ competition, please visit: http://www.101bestandbrightest.com/home.

BBBSOS Raises over $5,000 on #GivingTuesday

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State announced that it has received a $2,000 grant from the CVS Health Foundation in recognition of #GivingTuesday.  This generous grant contributed to a total of $5,495 raised by BBBSOS on Giving Tuesday, a national day of giving that follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  This amount was generously matched dollar for dollar by an anonymous donor allowing BBBSOS to exceed their fundraising goal of $10,000.  This was BBBSOS’ first year hosting a Giving Tuesday Give-A-Thon event.  Additional generous donations were made by Providence Performing Arts Center, Festival Ballet Providence, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt East Greenwich, Paul and Betsey Oberg, Lynne & Dominic Camillo, Michael & Patti Hubbard and many giving members of the community.

In addition to monetary donations, BBBSOS had 494 donors make donations by passing along their unwanted used clothing, shoes and small housewares to our Donations Centers

The gifts made to BBBSOS will continue to bring success, safety, free activities and continued training to the mentors and the children in their mentoring program.  

  • Little Sister Karen, age 17, was paired with her Big Sister, Kim Hayes when she was only 12 years old. Having lost her mother at age 7, Karen's grandmother thought that she could benefit from making a connection with a caring adult.  "Kim has taught me a lot about being independent and how to stay focused on school" said Little Sister, Karen. She is just one example of how donations and community support for BBBSOS can make a positive influence in the life of a child right here in Rhode Island. 
  • BBBSOS works with Hire Image LLC which allows us to have each mentor be screened through a three tiered background check process ensuring the safety and longevity of each mentoring relationship. 
  • Each month, BBBSOS provides 2 - 4 Free Activities to our matches such as arts & crafts, ice skating, movie vouchers, theater tickets, Pawsox tickets, bowling and more.  
  • Becoming the world's best mentor doesn’t happen overnight.  BBBSOS provides a comprehensive orientation and training to all mentors as well as continued support throughout the life of the mentoring relationship.  This necessary support is essential to the success of the relationship. 

#GivingTuesday is a national movement where charities, individuals, schools, businesses and other community organizations come together on one day to create a national day of giving back. For the second year in a row, as part of its #GivingTuesday campaign, CVS Health invited colleagues to nominate a charity in their local community which they volunteer with to receive a grant from the CVS Health Foundation.   BBBSOS was nominated by Big Sister Kerri Schiff.

Providence Performing Arts Center generously donated 94 tickets to matinees of The Illusionists on Saturday and Sunday for Big Brother/Big Sister mentors, to take the children enrolled in the program to the theater.  Festival Ballet Providence generously gave 50 tickets to Saturday matinee of The Nutcracker in late December. Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt East Greenwich donated coupons for a free 6 oz cup of frozen yogurt to anyone who makes a donation to BBBSOS for #GivingTuesday along with two $15 gift certificates to be raffled off at the Give-A-Thon.

Cranston Mayor Alan Fung, Central Falls Mayor James Diossa, Representative Art Handy of Cranston, Mary Duff Messier of Pawtucket and Mia Ackerman were on hand to commemorate the Dedication of December 2nd at #GivingTuesday.  Mayor Fung had this to say “This is a celebration of philanthropy and volunteerism where people share whatever is in their means to give and where citizens work together to share commitments, rally for favorite causes, build stronger community and think about the needs of other people”

BBBSOS also spearheaded a campaign initiative to have December 2, 2014 Proclaimed as #GivingTuesday in the State of Rhode Island.  BBBSOS received Proclamations, Congressional Recognitions, Resolutions and Citations from the following dignitaries in commemorating #GivingTuesday:  Governor of Rhode Island Lincoln Chafee, Town of North Providence, City of Cranston, City of Pawtucket, City of Warwick, City of Central Falls, The Rhode Island Senate, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Town of Cumberland,  Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nicholas A. Mattiello, Senator Dominick J. Ruggerio, Senator Frank A. Ciccone, III, Representative Marvin L. Abney, Representative Joseph S. Almeida, Representative K. Joseph Shekarchi, Senate President M. Theresa Paiva Weed, The House of Representatives. 

“#GivingTuesday is an important time to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday season and the importance of giving back to the local community,” said Deb Saunders, Executive Director of BBBSOS “We are honored to receive this grant from the CVS Health Foundation and are grateful to Big Sister Kerri Schiff for nominating BBBSOS and for her commitment to supporting our mission and making such a positive impact in the lives of the people we serve.”

For more information about #GivingTuesday, please visit http://www.givingtuesday.org/.  To continue the giving please visit www.firstgiving.com/fundrasier/bbbsos

 

(add)ventures Adds Depth with Three New Team Members

 New hires enhance firm’s strategic and creative capabilities

Providence-based multidisciplinary brand culture and communications firm (add)ventures is expanding with the addition of three new team members. Sara Hawley, of Warren, joins (add)ventures as manager, marketing/branding. Kayla Farrands joins as specialist, pr/strategy and Kiera Vanasse as specialist, branding/design; both live in East Providence.

As manager, marketing/branding, Hawley will leverage her background in retail merchandising and marketing to help client partners create brand experiences in a variety of retail settings. Prior to joining (add)ventures, Hawley worked at Citizens Bank, where she focused on sponsorships and sweepstakes. She also spent more than five years at branded play company Hasbro, Inc., where she managed the design and execution of point-of-purchase displays across a diverse portfolio of retailers. Hawley holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Boston University.

In her role as specialist, pr/strategy, Farrands supports the development and execution of strategic communications in the areas of public relations, social media and marketing. Prior to joining (add)ventures, Farrands served as an AmeriCorps VISTA* at Serve Rhode Island, where she managed the organization’s web/social media presence and print communications efforts. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Connecticut.

As a specialist, branding/design, Vanasse is responsible for the conceptual design and layout of client brand communications. Previously, Vanasse worked as a packaging and layout designer for Rhode Island Novelty where she created toy packaging and catalogs. Vanasse holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in illustration from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and a certificate of graphic design from the Rhode Island School of Design.

“Sara, Kayla and Keira bring experiences that add to the depth of the (add)ventures team,” said Mary Sadlier, evp and chief strategy officer of (add)ventures. “They will help our firm continue to provide a level of strategic and creative thinking that
our client partners demand.”

With the firm in its 10th year on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing U.S. companies, (add)ventures is positioned to continue its path of growth through 2015 and beyond.



NCAA Tournament Returns to Providence for the First Time Since 2010.

It has been announced by the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee that the Dunkin’ Donuts Center will serve as one of the sites for the First and Second Rounds of the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Providence College will serve as the host institution for the First and Second Rounds, which will be played on March 17 and 19, 2016.  It will mark the first time the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has been held at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center since 2010.

“We are excited to once again be hosting the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in Providence at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center,” Providence College Athletics Director Bob Driscoll said.  “Providence College has a rich tradition of hosting NCAA events in the City and takes great pride in the fact that we will again serve as the host institution when this incredible event returns to the Ocean State in 2016.”

The Dunkin’ Donuts Center has a long history of hosting NCAA men’s basketball tournament action. In addition to hosting the 2010 First and Second Round games, the Dunkin’ Donuts Center hosted the East Regionals in 1975, 1978 and 1985. The First and Second Rounds of the 1986 and 1989 NCAA Men’s Tournament also were played at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

The Rhode Island Convention Center Authority purchased the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in December 2005 and immediately embarked on a $62 million renovation of the facility, which was completed in 2008. The renovation included the addition of luxury suites, locker room improvements, an expanded lobby and concourse, all new seats in the bowl, a pedestrian link to the Convention Center and a new video scoreboard.

Providence College has long been active in pursuing NCAA Tournament action. Providence College has served as the host school each time NCAA men’s basketball tournament has been played in Providence. The College also has served as the host for three Frozen Fours (1986, 1995 and 2000) and two men’s ice hockey Regionals (1992 and 2003) at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

“Having the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament back at the Dunk is a true testament to the City of Providence, Providence College and our staff’s ability to create an extraordinary event,” James Bennett, chairman of the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority, said. “Our team worked closely with the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitor’s Bureau and Providence College to make this happen and we couldn’t be more pleased.”

“In addition to being a tremendous honor for Rhode Island, this is also an extremely lucrative and prestigious event,” John Gibbons, executive director of the Rhode Island Sports Commission, said.  “When we last hosted this event in 2010, local hotels, restaurants and other businesses close to the Dunk saw a tremendous increase in business.  We also received the kind of extraordinary national media exposure that is invaluable.”

 

Bankers Life Career Opportunity - Sales Management and Entry Level Sales

Bankers Life is Growing!

Own your career, have unlimited earnings potential, positively impact the lives of others and maintain a work/life balance. Does that sound like something you want? Bankers Life may just have the opportunity you’re looking for!

Bankers Life is growing and recruiting intelligent, dedicated, passionate, outgoing sales/sales management professionals to meet the needs of our exploding market. With an average of 11,000 Baby Boomers aging into retirement every day the opportunity is tremendous*.

As your career with Bankers Life grows you may have the opportunity, and desire, to move into sales management. These positions focus on driving the results of a team of agents and are employee positions that provide benefits. Here are the levels of management within the branch office structure. 

  • Unit Field Trainer (UFT)- first step into sales management focused on personal sales and new Agent training
  • Unit Sales Supervisor (USV) – responsible for growth and production of team of UFTs and Agents
  • Unit Sales Manager - manage and develop team(s) of USVs, UFTs, and Agen 

And Bankers Life is focused on the continual development and support of its field force, giving you what you need to be successful. Here are just a few reasons you’ll love working for Bankers Life: 

  • Opportunity for Six Figure Income- we have Agents earning $100K+ and veterans earning $300K+
  • Leads!- company-sponsored lead programs
  • Award-Winning Training- Bankers Life and Casualty Company was ranked #52 training program in the world in 2014 by Training Magazine
  • Trips and Incentives- Opportunity to earn numerous production-based award trips and incentives
  • Technology Support-Quick and easy access to pertinent information available anytime, anywhere 

What we’re looking for

Our insurance agent field force comes from diverse professional backgrounds but we find that our top performers all share some or all of the following:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Customer service or retail sales skills/experience
  • Experience prospecting, networking and new business development
  • Ability to close a sale
  • Experience in Life, Health, or other personal lines of insurance

Contact us to see where YOU fit in.

Jane Flowers

Insurance Agent

Bankers Life 

401-732-5213 x178

19636– Bankers Life and Casualty Company is an Equal Opportunity Company M/F/D/H

* Source: Ready or Not, First Baby Boomers Turn 65 This Year. Fox Business, 1/28/11.

Bankers Life is the marketing brand of Bankers Life and Casualty Company, select policies sold by Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company and select policies sold in New York by Bankers Conseco Life

Insurance Company (BCLIC). BCLIC is authorized to sell insurance in New York.

 

 

Cape Air Announces New Service to Block Island
Cape Air, one of the nation’s largest regional airlines, will begin seasonal service to Block Island, RI. Beginning on May 22, the Thursday before the start of Memorial Day Weekend, Cape Air will offer daily flights between Block Island Airport (BID) and T.F. Green Airport (PVD).

The addition of service to Block Island complements Cape Air’s current schedules, which include seasonal, daily flights to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard from T.F. Green. 

“After several years of collaboration with the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, we are thrilled to be able to start seasonal, scheduled service to Block Island. Cape Air specializes in connecting passengers to some of the most desirable destinations in the U.S. and Caribbean – Block Island fits our model perfectly,” said Linda Markham, President, Cape Air. 

Block Island has a short runway, which limits the type of aircraft that can land at BID. Cape Air has acquired Britten‐Norman Islanders that are specifically suited to the needs of this market. The Britten‐Norman Islander is a nine passenger, high‐wing, twin-engine aircraft with the capability to land on short runways.

“Flights from T.F. Green Airport to Block Island will soon become a reality. Block Island passengers on Cape Air will have access to connecting service on other carriers and commuter rail service to Providence and Boston via the convenience of T. F. Green Airport. Cape Air is a valued travel partner, offering seasonal service to the Cape and Islands for over 15 years. This additional service is, hopefully, an indication of future growth,” said Kelly Fredericks, President and CEO of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC).


Passengers can book their flights to Block Island now by visiting capeair.com, or by calling 800‐CAPE‐AIR.



Reusable Water Bottles and Freeze Pop Drive

The Center for Dynamic Learning is asking for your help in their Freeze Pop and Reusable Water Bottle Drive for summer camp.  This summer CDL programs will see approximately 500 youth a day. Unfortunately, their programs do not run in air conditioned facilities and it can get pretty uncomfortable in warm classrooms and community centers.  There is nothing better than a cold bottle of water or a freeze pop to take the edge off the heat wave for young camper.

Camp will run from July 7th - August 15th and will be serving youth from the communities of Providence, Cranston and Central Falls. Whatever you can do would be fantastic and they will be happy to come and get them from you or feel free to drop them off Mon - Fri 9-5 at:

THE CENTER FOR DYNAMIC LEARNING

1 Louisa Street

Providence, RI 02905

For further information please contact Elizabeth C. Cunha, MFA, Executive  Director at (401) 461-1813 or beth@cdlri.org    

Thank you for your generosity! Its greatly appreciated.

More than 70 RI Businesses Celebrated at 20th Annual Worksite Health Awards

May 28, 2014

PROVIDENCE, RI – In recognition of Rhode Island employers’ successful efforts to advance employee wellness and build a healthier Rhode Island, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) together with the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce (GPCC) distributed Worksite Health Awards to more than 70 local businesses. At the 20th Annual Worksite Health Awards ceremony, over 300 members of the business community were joined by firefighter turned health activist Rip Esselstyn to celebrate efforts to support thousands of local employees and their families in making healthier decisions. Learn more about the companies highlighted at the event in this month’s Rhode Island Monthly Worksite Health Award Special Insert.

“For the last twenty years, our Worksite Health Award winners have shown that health and fitness are essential components of a stronger workforce,” said Peter Andruszkiewicz, president & CEO of BCBSRI. “BCBSRI commends these organizations for finding smart, creative ways to implement wellness programs. They serve as bright examples of health and productivity for our entire community.”


“Twenty years after launching the Worksite Health Awards, we remain awed by the hard work and commitment of those who go through this process. We continue to see proof of the positive impact worksite wellness can have on employees and employers. By increasing morale and production, and decreasing healthcare costs and sick leave, worksite health programs are a win for all involved. We are once again delighted to partner with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island to recognize more than 70 local businesses and hopefully inspire even more Rhode Island companies to join the program next year,” said Laurie White, president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.

“I’ve seen firsthand the life-changing impact that a supportive work community can have on people's health,” said Rip Esselstyn, keynote speaker and author of The Engine 2 Diet. “We should commend today’s honorees for taking real steps to support their employees’ wellness, and I hope this celebration prompts us all think more about lifestyle changes we can make at work and at home.”

All Rhode Island businesses are eligible to apply for Worksite Health Awards, which are awarded annually. Winners were selected based on the scale and impact of their health and wellness programs and health-oriented workplace policies after submitting proof of those programs. Some of the most impactful worksite offerings included smoking cessation programming, flu immunization clinics, blood pressure screenings and walking programs.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state’s leading health insurer and covers more than 600,000 members. The company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit www.bcbsri.com and follow us on Twitter @BCBSRI.

About the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce
The mission of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce is to foster the development of a positive and productive business climate for our community through economic development, business-to-business relationship building and effective public policies and government.


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Is there any such thing as too much capital?

The BDC Actively Looking To Make New Loans

 

The Business Development Company announced today plans to selectively reduce interest rates to jump start the process of booking new loans.  The BDC has provided capital to hundreds of companies when their funding needs exceeded available bank debt and equity and helped them to become stronger marketplace competitors.  Many members of the local banking community are lending partners.

BDC President Peter C. Dorsey, Jr. puts it succinctly. "A business owner's borrowing decision is predicated on whether the value the loan creates exceeds its cost.  We hope that successful business people will find it easier to get off the fence on investing money in their company's future when our interest rate is more attractive.”

Loans from The Business Development Company finance borrower needs outside bank parameters, and individual pricing will continue to reflect the breadth of risk factors that definition encompasses. Referrals to and from Chamber members are among the best source for qualified leads. 

If you know someone with a local small business who needs funding beyond what a traditional bank can provide, contact the BDC. A more aggressive risk profile and flexibility just might be the key to meeting their funding requirements.

 

Lisa Mattiello Wins RI 2014 SBA Small Business Person of Year


Lisa Mattiello, owner and CEO of Pranzi Catering and Events has won the prestigious title of “Small Business Person of the Year” given annually by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

A resident of Johnston RI, Lisa began her own business in 1997 in a small café storefront in Seekonk, MA. Now in her third location (10 Rosario Drive, Providence) Mattiello has grown her organization to one of the top leading and family owned catering and event planning companies in Southern New England.

Lisa Mattiello along with her husband Nick, who serves as the CFO, own and operate Pranzi Catering and Events. They service weddings, corporate and social functions, party rentals and full service event planning.  Their main commissary is located in Providence and their second office and showroom location is in Newport. (Freebody Sreet)

They recently moved to their new state-of-the-art facility in the Silver Lake Section of Providence. The facility is a showcase of Mattiello’s vision to grow and expand the strong business demands today. Mattiello is considered one of the top wedding and event planners in the State and is pleased to be recognized in receiving the SBA’s award. She will represent Rhode Island in the National Conference in Washington, DC in May where she will compete for the US Small Business Person of the Year.

 

Kubica LaForest One of Top 10 Small Consultants for Leadership Development

Kubica LaForest Consulting Selected as one of the Top 10 Small Consultants for Leadership Development in the U.S. by Leadership Excellence for 2013.

Every year, Leadership Excellence identifies and recognizes the top 500 leadership development programs.  For the second year in a row, Kubica LaForest Consulting has been named to this list. In 2012 they were among the top 40 in their category. This year, they will be honored next month at the Global Leadership Forum in Vail, Colorado, as one of the Top 10 Small Consulting firms in the U.S. in leadership development.

Leadership Excellence has been recognizing the Top 500 leadership development programs for the past 30 years. Organizations are grouped into eight categories, and the top 10 in each category are recognized at the Global Leadership Conference. Leadership Excellence uses six criteria and client feedback to determine their final selection. The criteria are: vision/mission, involvement/participation, accountability/measurement, content/curriculum, take-home value/results for clients, and Impact and outreach programs and products.

Tony Kubica said “this is a such a great honor for us as we would not have attained this level of recognition without the support of our clients.”

Tony Kubica and Sara LaForest are Founding Partners of Kubica LaForest Consulting (www.kubicalaforestconsulting.com). They are management consultants, authors, speakers, and executive coaches, focusing on leadership development and growth. They are the authors of Organizational Gravity: A Guide to Strategically Growing Your Company’s Brand, Culture and Talent, and the Leadership focused blog www.yourbusinessgyroscope.com

Leadership Excellence, wholly owned by HR.com, publishes a monthly magazine, and promotes leadership development, managerial effectiveness and organizational productivity.

The Center for Excellence & Advocacy – Brief Community Survey


The Center for Excellence and Advocacy (CEA) is dedicated to developing effective transition to adulthood, community based jobs, and ultimately full inclusion for people with development and intellectual disabilities.  Hearing from you, members of the RI community and stakeholders invested in integrated employment, is  foundational to us as we begin our work.  As such,  we are hoping you will take a few minutes to respond to a 5 question survey designed to help us set our priorities and strategies based in part by your feedback. 

After each question you will  be able to view the results in real time, meaning you will be able to see the most current responses including your own!    Please click on the link below to begin the survey.

http://ceasurvey.fedcap.org/userrole

When you are done don’t forget to subscribe to the CEA website.  You can do so by clicking on http://cea.fedcap.org and searching for the Subscribe icon on the right side of the main page.  By being a subscriber you will have access to the CEA newsletter, announcements, training events and so much more! 

In Manufacturing, Gap is as Much Interest as Skills

DYNAMIC RESULTS: Christian Rijos (Left), 15, a student at the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center in Providence, has participated in Center for Dynamic Learning classes and hopes to pursue a long-term career in manufacturing.

Christian, from Woonsocket, is the type of student that employers like Rhode Island Carbide Tool Co. President John Lombardi are looking for. Both manufacturing and college are on his radar. Fascinated by math and engineering, he hopes to attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and forge a career designing manufacturing tools that save companies money.

Rijos has participated in Center for Dynamic Learning classes, been inspired, he says, by Cunha, and hopes to develop a long-term manufacturing career.

Read entire article here.

Center for Dynamic Learning chosen as Champion in Action

You can hear the sounds of learning at an organization whose name says it all: the Center for Dynamic Learning in Providence.

"The purpose is to inspire them to look into what type of field they could pursue: manufacturing, engineering, being a technician," said co-founder and executive director Beth Cunha.

"Getting them the skills to be able to at least have a career path that will give them a viable income when they get out," said co-founder and chief operating officer Kevin Cunha.

The program is STEAMM-based, which stands for science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics and manufacturing.

The students benefit from hands-on learning.

"Basic machine work, or they can create solar-electric go-carts and drag race them at the end of the semester. They learn about solid works, 3-D modeling," Beth Cunha said.

"They're building something they want to complete, and in the process of it they have learn those mathematics skills to be able to complete it," Kevin Cunha said.

The Center for Dynamic Learning serves students from all grade levels across the state, and it also has a strong performing arts program for students of all ages.

"They can pick a class, which is just an exploratory option, or they can pick a full-scale production, which is lights, costumes, sound, stage," Beth Cunha said.

She said seeing students' growth is rewarding.

"Not only the physical change in their self-confidence, but you watch their grades change, things start to improve," she said.

Those are reasons why the Center for Dynamic Learning is a Champion in Action for youth programming.

A $35,000 grant for mentoring and promotional support will go a long way, but the visibility is priceless.

"To be able to share our work with the community and show the amazing things our children do on a regular basis. It's incredible," Beth Cunha said.

Kevin Cunha said the organization gives children the tools they need to build a better life.

"Somebody did it for me once, I just wanted to give it back," he said.

The Dorrance Named Top 25

The Dorrance in downtown Providence was recently named one of the “25 Best Restaurants in America” by GearPatrol.com.  The restaurant, located at 60 Dorrance St., was recognized for its gorgeous interior, mix of classic and contemporary cuisine, and a cocktail menu that would “make it tier one in any city”. 

The focus of the article was “One city, one suggestion, one good meal”, and sought to recommend one great restaurant per city in 25 major destinations around the country.  Gear Patrol, established in 2007 and based in New York, is a modern men’s magazine, focusing on products, style, travel and adventure.

The Dorrance opened in October 2011 and is owned and operated by Jean and Regina Lester.  In its first year, The Dorrance was a James Beard semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant, and was also featured in Bon Appetit’s “Top 50 Best New Restaurants of 2012”.  It’s open for dinner Tuesday-Saturday, beginning at 5pm.

The full article can be read here: http://gearpatrol.com/2013/11/26/25-best-restaurants-united-states/

For more information or to make reservations, go to www.thedorrance.com or call 401-521-6000.

Kubica and LaForest, to Speak at Bryant University’s 2014 Women’s Summit

Sara LaForest and Tony Kubica will be speaking on ”What Leaders Need to Know to Grow Their Businesses” at the 2014 Bryant University Women’s Summit in Smithfield, Rhode Island. Their talk is based on their extensive work in leadership development and business performance and growth.

The presentation will challenge each member of the audience to think about why she wants to start and run a business, as the speakers inform and entertain the audience about the personal characteristics needed to be an entrepreneurial leader.

Kubica and LaForest will draw from their book, Organizational Gravity, to illustrate not only how to attract customers, but also how to attract and nurture talent. They will explain how strategy, brand, culture, and talent are not four separate issues, but are interrelated and critical factors for business growth.

Tony Kubica and Sara LaForest are Founding Partners of Kubica LaForest Consulting (www.kubicalaforestconsulting.com). As management consultants, authors, speakers, and executive coaches, they focus on leadership development and growth. They are the authors of Organizational Gravity: A Guide to Strategically Growing Your Company’s Brand, Culture and Talent, which can be purchased at  http://www.amazon.com/Organizational-Gravity-Strategically-Growing-Companys/dp/0615670482/

The Bryant University’s Women’s Summit in its 17th year is the largest and longest running educational conference for women in New England.

Bylaw Review Can Boost Firm’s Efficiency

Every corporation, whether for-profit or nonprofit, should have a living, breathing set of bylaws.

Bylaws are the DNA of a corporation. While articles of incorporation can set out important, basic parameters and while state corporation laws provide boundaries and certain default provisions on many issues, bylaws speak to the day-to-day functioning of the organization – as well as to potentially momentous, life-changing decision-making regarding the organization’s future.

Some practical questions that bylaws can answer or pre-empt are:

• Who runs the place – day to day? What officer roles exist and what responsibilities are within each officer’s purview? Is there a president, a CEO or both? Which does what? Who has authority to sign contracts on behalf of the corporation, to sign checks over a set threshold amount? Is there a vice president? Is there an assistant treasurer? … What does each do?

• Who makes the life-changing decisions? When it comes time to merge or sell, who is entitled to vote? Must there be a shareholder meeting with a supermajority winning the day? Can the directors decide on a simple majority? Are there classes of stock entitling some to vote, but not others? Is the nonprofit a membership organization with all members entitled to receive notice and vote?

• What formalities are to be met? Is an annual meeting of shareholders and or directors to be held at the headquarters of the corporation each April 1? Who can call a special meeting? Who should receive notice of the meeting? What constitutes a quorum at a meeting? Who can vote? Are proxies to be used? Who is tasked with updating and filing the annual report of the corporation with the secretary of state? Are out-of-the-ordinary-course matters to be handled with written consents of directors or shareholders? Is this a closely held corporation operating without a board?

• Who will look at the big picture? Will there be a large and diverse board of directors? Is each board member intended to represent a stakeholder/interest? Must a board member have been a member of the nonprofit for a number of years before being board eligible? Will a detailed permanent committee structure be needed? Committees are often the real workhorses of an organization.

• Will the organization indemnify officers and directors? Liability is always a concern. Even for nonprofits in Rhode Island, generally well-served statutorily, director and officer liability is rightfully a concern. One way for a corporation to give comfort to wanted directors and officers is to explicitly hold them harmless for all acts made on behalf of the organization, but for those made with gross negligence, in malfeasance or with criminal intent.

• How does the capital structure function? Applicable only to for-profit corporations and more commonly set out in articles of incorporation, certain mechanics regarding shareholder classes and transferability of shares may be addressed in bylaws.

• Can the corporate structure change? This question goes to the critical point. Bylaws should be amended when the corporation changes or needs to change. As a best practice, an organization should formally revisit its bylaws every five years.

This seventh point is the crux. Many nonprofit and for-profit corporations are working with limited resources of people, time and money. Dedicating an ad hoc board committee or permanent/standing committee with a six-month project of reviewing and revising bylaws, while initially seeming to add to the burden of these constraints, can very readily result in making use of those resources much more efficiently.

Efficiencies will likely result from what we will often call the “Amended and Restated Bylaws” that are the tangible, finished product of the project; including, elimination of unused officer roles, replacement or modification of standing board or membership committees, changed channels of reporting and communication, and greater awareness of mission and organizational structure and operation.

In addition to such efficiencies, a bylaws-review project is very likely to re-energize an organization, or help the organization realize that it has serious challenges that may require more devoted attention, or outside help. The process itself is of great value, as it forces officers or members to engage the constituent parts of the corporation and assess the reality of how the corporation’s structure is actually working. Chances are, it is significantly different from five years ago and may be significantly different from how it should be working.

In my experience, corporations have benefited greatly from the bylaws-review process; by realizing, for example, that a smaller board will be much more efficient, that new committee structures are needed to meet changed national standards in the industry, or that stock-transfer restrictions should only apply to a particular class of stock, not all.

Consider a bylaws-review project akin to a strategic-planning task force, and calendar it for every five years. It is a best practice well worth the investment of resources and should lead to a healthier corporation. •

Guest Column: Thomas Madden of Madden | Brockmann LLC for Providence Business News.

CRMC Subcommittee Approves Deepwater Wind Plan

Chamber Applauds Beginning of Supply Chain 

A subcommittee of the Coastal Resources Management Council has given unanimous approval to Deepwater Wind to launch a demonstration projects in waters off the coast of Block Island. The eagerly awaited ruling comes at the same time that DWW took delivery in Denmark of the massive turbines that will spin high above the ocean chop. The Chamber is a strong supporter of the windfarm project and believes the supply chain potential for assembly of the component parts locally and at Quonset will be a major boon to the economy. 

The agreement with Alstom – one of the world’s leading technology firms – represents a pivotal point in the development of the 30MW Block Island Wind Farm and further establishes Deepwater Wind at the forefront of the U.S. offshore wind industry.

“This agreement represents a giant leap forward for the Block Island Wind Farm, and the start of turbine construction just last month marked a major project milestone,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski. “We’re thrilled to have a company as renowned as Alstom as our turbine partner.”

“We are pleased to be able to provide Deepwater Wind an efficient and powerful turbine that is an ideal match for their exciting project,” said Andy Geissbuehler, General Manager, Alstom Wind North America. “We look forward to continuing to participate in the development of the offshore wind industry in the U.S. by working with visionary companies like Deepwater Wind.”

Alstom will supply the five 6MW turbines, including tower sections, for the 30-megawatt Block Island Wind Farm, located about three miles off the coast of Block Island, R.I. In addition, under a separate agreement, Alstom will provide long-term service and maintenance responsibilities for the turbines.

Under the turbine supply contract, Deepwater Wind made an initial multi-million dollar payment to Alstom in December 2013 that allowed Alstom to begin the manufacturing process for the turbines. Specifically, Alstom has begun procurement of all 15 blades for the wind farm, which will be delivered to Deepwater Wind in Europe in April 2014.

“Deepwater Wind’s multi-million dollar payment to begin manufacturing our project’s 15 blades ensures that our project will qualify for the federal Investment Tax Credit,” Grybowski said. “When combined with engineering and permitting work we already completed, we’re confident this payment puts us significantly over the required 5 percent ‘safe harbor’ for the ITC.”

New Jobs for Rhode Island

The Deepwater Wind-Alstom partnership will create a number of local jobs and boost economic activity in Rhode Island. In addition to operations and management positions Deepwater Wind will fill to support the project, Alstom intends to base its long-term service operations in Rhode Island and to perform pre-installation work in a Rhode Island harbor. Furthermore, Alstom will investigate opportunities to execute assembly activities in Rhode Island.

The Technology

Alstom’s 6-megawatt Haliade 150 direct-drive offshore wind turbine is the world’s most advanced and most efficient offshore wind turbine. Deepwater Wind’s selection of Alstom as its turbine supplier will benefit the project in several ways:

•More efficient: Alstom’s technology will provide a significantly greater energy output than earlier anticipated. Alstom and Deepwater Wind anticipate the project’s capacity factor to exceed 47 percent, compared to initial projections of 40 percent.

•More powerful – but smaller: In addition, the turbines will provide for a reduced visual impact than earlier anticipated. The Haliade’s efficient design means that, at 589 feet tall, the turbines will be about 10 percent – or roughly 70 feet – shorter than Deepwater Wind’s maximum height allowance provided for in the company’s permit filings. Moreover, the rotors and nacelles of the turbines will be smaller than the permitted maximums.

Alstom has 2.3 gigawatts of offshore wind farm substations delivered or under construction, and has more than 30 years of expertise with wind turbines and 100 years of experience building utility-size power projects. The company has contracts to supply 1,500 MW of the Haliade 150 turbines at offshore wind farms off the French coast, and one of the turbines is currently deployed in Belgium’s Belwind 1 offshore wind farm.

About Deepwater Wind

Deepwater Wind is a Providence, Rhode Island-based offshore wind developer. The Company is led by a veteran management team with extensive experience in developing renewable-energy projects in the northeastern United States. The Company is actively planning offshore wind projects to serve multiple East Coast markets located 15 to 25 miles offshore, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. For its projects serving New Jersey, Deepwater Wind has formed Garden State Offshore Energy in partnership with PSEG Global, a wholly owned subsidiary of PSEG (NYSE: PEG). The Block Island Wind Farm, one of two Rhode Island offshore wind farms being developed by Deepwater Wind, is on target to become the nation’s first offshore wind farm. Visit www.dwwind.com for more info.

About Alstom

Alstom is a global leader in the world of power generation, power transmission and rail infrastructure, setting the benchmark for innovative and environmentally friendly technologies. Alstom builds the fastest train and the highest capacity automated metro in the world, provides turnkey integrated power plant solutions and associated services for a wide variety of energy sources, including hydro, nuclear, gas, coal and wind, and it offers a wide range of solutions for power transmission, with a focus on smart grids. The Group employs 93,000 people in around 100 countries. It had sales of over €20 billion and booked close to €24 billion in orders in 2012/13

Goodwill Industries LEEP (Learn to Earn Employment) Program

Goodwill Industries of RI’s LEEP program is designed to provide training to adults who are currently receiving assistance in addition to having other barriers to employment. 

When enrolled in the LEEP training, individuals learn to make informed decisions regarding his/her career direction and employability.  Additionally, the program assists the individuals to develop more independence, positive work behaviors, and provide more structure and high work expectations.

The program is 4 weeks long and includes workshops on work readiness, building a resume, job searches, interview skills, and boosting self-esteem. 

Graduates of the LEEP program are more prepared to re-enter the local Rhode Island work force with the skills employers’ desire. .

Here is a quote from one of our recent graduates:   “I love this program.  It has been the most complete and helpful out of all the programs I have experienced that the state has to offer.  It is very clear, understandable, and the information provided is useful for our lives in the future.  Loved LEEP!  Thank you!”

For information on the LEEP training program or any of our training programs contact Goodwill Industries of RI at 401-861-2080 or visit our web site at www.goodwillri.org

Meals on Wheels Senior Restaurant Program Expanding

Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island has announced that the Senior Restaurant Program will be expanding into other areas of the State.  While the program has historically been available at three locations in Providence, now Seniors will be able to visit restaurants in other cities throughout Rhode Island.

“Seniors outside of Providence have told us they wanted options in their cities” said Pauline Asprinio, Nutrition Director.  “I am so happy to be able to offer them their choice of great restaurants”.

Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island’s Restaurant Program is open to seniors, aged 60 and older, in the State of RI.  The Congregate Nutrition Program began the initiative in 2007 and its popularity continues to grow with many seniors enjoying the delicious, quality restaurant meals while socializing with their friends and loved ones.

For a suggested donation of $5.00, the senior obtains a voucher to take to the participating restaurant of their choice.  The restaurant will offer a variety of meal options that meet healthy nutrition standards.  The participating restaurants include Newport Creamery locations excluding Barrington, Middletown and Newport; the IHOP Restaurants in both Warwick and Providence; and the Friendship Café located at 500 Broad St. in Providence.

To learn more or to obtain a voucher, visit the Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island office located at 70 Bath Street, Providence or contact Pauline Asprinio at 401-351-6700 or pasprinio@rimeals.org.

Please join us...

School Vacation FUN! at Providence Children’s Museum

Providence Children’s Museum is the BEST place for school vacation fun!  The Museum is open during vacation, Friday, December 26 - Friday, January 2, from 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM.  Families explore Water Ways, an imaginative new water play environment, and join special activities all week long:

Imagination Playground
Friday, December 26  •  10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Kids invent their own ways to play as they stack and build with huge blue foam blocks of all shapes and sizes.  Using blocks, wheels, spools, tubes and a variety of loose parts, construct castles and forts, invent interesting sculptures and more!

Sparky's Puppets
Saturday, December 27  •  1:00 & 2:00 PM

Sparky’s Puppets dramatize favorite children’s stories with colorful hand puppets, playful humor and plenty of audience participation.  See a snowman come to life and meet a shoemaker and an ice fishing bear in the puppets’ playful winter tales.  Shows at 1:00 & 2:00 PM; recommended for ages 4 and up. 

Rigamajig
Sunday, December 28  •  11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Invent creative contraptions with an imaginative large-scale building kit featuring wooden planks, wheels, pulleys, rope, and nuts and bolts.

The Rhythm Room
Monday, December 29  •  1:00 & 2:00 PM

Kids feel the beat as they join the band to explore rhythms and try out different percussion instruments.  Shows at 1:00 & 2:00 PM; recommended for ages 4 and up.

Rolie Polie Guacamole
Tuesday, December 30  •  1:00 & 2:00 PM

This spirited group from Brooklyn, NY entertains audiences with high-energy interactive shows that mix funk, rock and folk music with humorous original tunes about natural living, eating healthy and staying active.  Shows at 1:00 & 2:00 PM; recommended for ages 4 and up.

Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 31  •  11:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Families create noisemakers from 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM and join a parade followed by a ball drop to ring in 2015 at 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM!

All school vacation activities are free with Museum admission of $9.00 per person; admission is always free for Museum members.  For more information, visit www.ChildrenMuseum.org.

Program sponsors: Imagination Playground underwritten by Dominion Foundation; Sparky’s Puppets, The Rhythm Room and Rolie Polie Guacamolie underwritten by Providence Tourism Council; Rigamajig underwritten by National Grid.


The Preserve at Boulder Hills Sunday Champagne Brunch

Give the Gift of Flowers This Christmas

The Rhode Island Spring Flower & Garden Show "Great Adventures" Opens at The Rhode Island Convention Center February, 19-22, 2015

Looking for a stocking stuffer for your gardening enthusiast? How about a fun filled day at The Rhode Island Spring Flower & Garden Show February 19-22, 2015 at TheRhode Island Convention Center. Purchase tickets at the Dunkin' Donuts Box office, by calling 1-800-745-3000 or at www.ticketmaster.com and www.flowershow.com.

Leave winter behind and give the garden lover in your family tickets to The 2015 Flower Show, themed "Garden Adventures," which promises to be awe inspiring for the entire family. No need to worry about curious kids because the interactive displays encourage them to Touch!

Children will love digging in the soil at interactive nature activities, including live animal presentations, puppet shows, nature scavenger hunts and more at the RIEEA Kid's Adventure Zone. Roger Williams Park Zoo Zoomobile and Save the Bay's marine touch tank will also be on hand.

For adults, the glorious gardens and marketplace offer countless ideas for wonderful outdoor living spaces. Guest speakers and demonstrations will provide valuable, cutting edge information so you can have your own spectacular garden.

Guest Speakers include Kevin O'Conner, Host of PBS Series This Old House and Ask This Old House, Melinda Myers, nationally known garden expert and columnist, Chris Fletcher, Bartlett Tree Expert, author Barbra Damrosch and many more.

For information about the flower show, go to www.flowershow.com. Tickets are available at ticketmaster outlets, Dunkin’ Donuts Center Box office, by calling 1-800-745-3000 or 401-253-0246 and at www.ticketmaster.com or www flowershow.com.

 

 

JA of Rhode Island Announces 31st Annual Achieve-A-Bowl Dates

Junior Achievement of Rhode Island (JA) has announced that this year’s 31st Annual Achieve-A-Bowl will be held on March 21 – 22 and 28 – 29, 2015. Partnering once again with Lang’s Bowlarama in Cranston, Achieve-A-Bowl is JA’s oldest and largest community event, raising over $127,000 last year.

This year, JA expects nearly 1,000 participants from more than 50 local companies to raise money and hit the lanes to support JA’s mission. The funds raised help Junior Achievement provide their programs that focus on financial literacy, workforce readiness, and entrepreneurship to Rhode Island’s K-12 students.

“Achieve-A-Bowl provides a great opportunity to show off your bowling skills, or lack thereof, network and have lots of fun all while supporting a great cause: Rhode Island students,” said Jimmy Burchfield, Jr. of D’Amico - Burchfield LLP and a member of the Junior Achievement Board of Directors. “My teammates and I can’t wait to participate again this March in what we hope will be the biggest and best event to date.”

One hundred percent of dollars fundraised by bowlers will support JA’s programs that are delivered to students in grades K through 12 by community volunteers throughout the state of Rhode Island. These programs offer youth the opportunity to bridge the gap between what they learn in the classroom and the skills they need to be successful in the workplace.

“This event is extremely important to JA as it allows our programs to reach 140 classrooms, or over 3,000 Rhode Island students per year,” explained Lee Lewis, president of Junior Achievement of Rhode Island. “Without the support from our sponsors and bowlers, we would not be able to provide as many young people with essential skills they need to own their future economic success.”

Every year at Achieve-A-Bowl, local companies in the same industry compete against each other in a friendly competition known as The Industry Challenge. The winner is determined by combining the top ten bowling scores with the average dollar amount raised per bowler from each company. Last year’s Industry Challenge winners included Amica Insurance, BankRI, The Bentley Foundation, CVS Health, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, Providence Marriott, Province Mortgage Associates, and Tech Collective.

For more information on Achieve-A-Bowl or to register your team, please visit http://jarhodeisland.org/achieve-a-bowl.html or contact Mary Babbitt, development and events coordinator, at (401) 331-3850. 

Ocean State Theatre Company Presents Meet Me in St. Louis

Based on the heartwarming 1944 MGM classic, which starred Judy Garland, Meet Me in St. Louis is a wonderful classic from the golden age of musical comedy. Join the Smith family at the 1904 World’s Fair and see how their love and respect for each other is tempered with the genuine humor that can only be generated by such a close family. Memorable musical numbers include “The Boy Next Door, “The Trolley Song,” “Under the Bamboo Tree,” and 
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

Meet Me in St. Louis is the perfect way to celebrate the holidays with the entire family!

Click here for more information

Gamm Gala: Put it on Your Calendar!

Providence Rotary Weekly Lunch Meetings

When: Mondays from 12:15 - 1:30 with a long established speaker series.  (Tuesdays if Monday is a Holiday)

Where: Providence Marriott 

              One Orms Street, Providence (parking available).

Cost:     $20 meal fee.

For further information visit: http://www.providencerotary.org/

 

Guidelines for submitting to GPCC Member News: Submissions must be emailed to blaurino@provchamber.com by noon on Friday to be considered for the following week (submissions will be placed on this page and run for seven – fourteen days).

Please keep copy to less than 100 words, in paragraph format. You may submit a web-friendly company logo with a print size no larger than 3" X 3". Photo images may accompany your copy, but need to be forwarded in a separate attachment and not be embedded into the copy.