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 

What's going on?

3 Rhode Island Organizations are Finalists for U.S. Government’s Top Honor

30 Top Employers Recognized Among 2,960 Nominations Nationwide

Cranston Public Schools, CVS Health and Hope Valley Industries are finalists for the 2015 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The Freedom Award, granted by the Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve (ESGR), is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their support of their employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.

"Despite growing support by Rhode Island civilian employers for Guard and Reserve members and their families, it's been nearly a decade since our state has won the award at the national level" said Mike Ritz, Rhode Island State Chairman of ESGR. "The competition is fierce."

Rhode Island is one of only two states to have three employers, one from each category, in the final round at national. Cranston Public Schools is a finalist in the "Public Employer" category, CVS is a finalist in the "Large Employer" (more than 500 employees) and Hope Valley Industries is the "Small Employer" (fewer than 500 employees) category. The other state with three finalists is Arizona. The last Freedom Award winner from Rhode Island was Cardi's Furniture in 2006.

ESGR received 2960 nominations nationwide this year. To make it to the final 30, Rhode Island organizations demonstrated extraordinary actions in support of military personnel and their families when called for duty, as expressed by the service member who nominated them. While the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA) ensures certain rights and protections for men and women in uniform, Freedom Award nominees go beyond the minimum protections of the law by providing additional extended benefits to their service member employees.

A board including Senior DoD and other officials and representatives of prior recipient organizations will now select up to 15 Freedom Award recipients to be honored at the 20th Annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award ceremony inside the Pentagon in Washington D.C. in late summer.

"These employers are serving our military and our Nation proudly through their support of our citizen warriors," said ESGR National Chair Paul E. Mock. "They are helping to keep America strong, and we are grateful for the important role they play in maintaining the wellbeing of our Guard and Reserve members and families."

$37,000 Raised for Local MDA Chapter at Executive Lock Up

Select business leaders, appropriately nicknamed “Honorary Jailbird,”’ served a voluntary 60-minute sentence at Legal Sea Foods to raise funds for MDA. Between enjoying a delicious lunch and networking with other participants, MDA Jailbirds called friends and family to bail them out of jail. The $37,000 that was raised at Wednesday’s Lock Up will help fund MDA’s clinic at Rhode Island Hospital, summer camp tuition, essential equipment repairs, support groups and worldwide research.

Among those who participated was Attorney Rob Levine, the infamous ‘Heavy Hitter’, who raised more than $10,000 and became Rhode Island’s top raising Honorary Jailbird ever! An incredible achievement that “could not have been accomplished without the help of all the dedicated and giving friends, vendors, and employees who I have been so fortunate to surround myself with,” says Levine, “thank you to everyone for all of your support and help.”

Attorney Levine’s commitment to his community began at the age of 16 when he joined the local emergency response team as a medical technician. Levine later served in the Rhode Island National Guard as a military police officer and continued on to join the Central Falls Police Department. Working as a public servant inspired Levine to pursue a career in law. “I became a lawyer so that I could have an impact on the community in a more global sense, and reach more people suffering from injuries and disabilities,” he says. 

While proud to have made history for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in Rhode Island, Levine humbly insists, “Every dollar raised- by every person- for MDA makes a difference.” 

MDA runs more than 80 summer camps across the nation, giving children with muscle disease the opportunity to experience a week without barriers. “We’re very happy and very proud,” says Traci Fulford, of Ocean State Behavioral, “to have supported these wonderful kids in their quest to go to camp.”

MDA is the world’s leading nonprofit health organization sponsoring research seeking the causes of and effective treatments for neuromuscular diseases. MDA research grants currently are supporting more than 250 projects worldwide. MDA covers 43 diseases including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

Junior Achievement of RI Receives Grant from Travelers Foundation

Junior Achievement of Rhode Island (JA) announced it has received a $14,575 grant from the Travelers Foundation, the charitable arm of Travelers. The grant will support JA’s education programs in thirteen classrooms (grades 5-12), impacting more than 350 students.

JA programs foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, and use experiential learning to inspire students to dream big and reach their potential. With the help of more than 625 volunteers, JA students develop the skills they need to experience the realities and opportunities of work and entrepreneurship in the 21st century global marketplace.

"With the help of partners like Travelers, we can expand our reach with our life-changing programs," said Lee Lewis, president of Junior Achievement of Rhode Island. “Not only does Travelers provide funding to support our programs, they also provide classroom volunteers. Last year, 24 Travelers employees taught in 15 classrooms, impacting an additional 303 students.”

JA's unique approach allows volunteers from the community to deliver the curriculum while sharing their experiences with students. Embodying the heart of JA, these classroom volunteers transform the key concepts of the lessons into a message that inspires and empowers students to believe in themselves, showing them they can make a difference in the world. Programs supported through this grant will take place in Rhode Island’s urban and urban-ring school districts – reaching those students who need it most.

Travelers is ensuring opportunity by contributing to efforts that create strong, vibrant communities and offer pathways to success. Through corporate funding and the Travelers Foundation, Travelers targets its giving to three key outcomes: academic & career success, thriving neighborhoods and arts & culture. With the primary focus of educating underrepresented students to lead tomorrow’s workforce, Travelers also contributes to organizations that aid in developing communities through small business support and neighborhood revitalization, and enriching lives and learning through arts & culture. Travelers committed nearly $22 million in 2014 to these initiatives. 

Girl Scouts Leading Women Awards


Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England hosts Leading Women Awards

Five leading women honored during ceremony and fundraising event.

Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England (GSSNE) held the inaugural Leading Women Awards on April 9.

Honorees at the event were:

  • The Honorable Gina Raimondo, Governor of Rhode Island, received the Leading Women Political Pioneer Award
  • Laurie White, President of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, received the Champion for the Business Community Award
  • Judy Sansone, Senior Vice President of Front Store Business and Chief Merchant at CVS Health, received the Business Innovator Award
  • Daynia La-Force, Head Women’s Basketball Coach at the University of Rhode Island, received the Advocate and Resource for Student Athlete Development Award
  • Elizabeth “Betty” Cugini, GSSNE Honorary Board Member, received the Lifetime Achievement Award

All five honorees are Girl Scout alumnae, and reminisced not only about craft projects, building fires and selling cookies, but also the lessons they learned while in Girl Scouting. Ms. White noted that what she likes most about Girl Scouts is “the way we are teaching and encouraging our young girls today to be strong, independent minded, and confident.”

Ms. La-Force credited her Girl Scout Leader, Maureen Cranston Werting, who was also in attendance, with her success. “It is amazing how Girl Scouts has shaped the lives of young women all across America, including myself. My first lessons in team work, work ethic, leadership and love came from Girl Scouts,” she said.

Referencing a statistic about the number of United States Congresswomen and Senators who are alumnae, and referring to herself and Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, Raimondo said “One hundred percent of female state-wide elected officials in Rhode Island are former Girl Scouts!”

Barbara Morse Silva, Health Check 10 reporter on NBC 10 WJAR and a former Girl Scout, was the master of ceremonies. During the event, which was held at Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown, RI, more than 150 attendees explored displays about GSSNE Council history, dating back to 1914, bid on exclusive auction items, and viewed a video presentation featuring local Girl Scouts and volunteers. The event raised over $20,000, and the funds will support the Girl Leadership Experience Center at GSSNE headquarters in Warwick, RI. In addition, the money raised at the event will be part of a matching challenge grant from the Champlin Foundations. Donations are still be accepted and can be made by visiting www.gssne.org/donate.

Sponsors of the event included CVS Health, Laurie White and Jim Taricani, Essex Newbury North Contracting Corporation, Kempenaar Real Estates, Inc., KPMG, URI Athletics and the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. A complete list of sponsors can be found at www.gssne.org.


Christian Jenner of Providence Joins Duffy & Sweeney as Senior Associate

Attorney Christian Jenner Joins Duffy & Sweeney Litigation Team

The law firm of Duffy & Sweeney is proud to announce that Christian Jenner has joined the litigation team as a Senior Associate. Jenner has a multifaceted litigation practice focusing on complex commercial disputes.  He is admitted to practice in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Jenner has represented clients in defending against claims asserting violations of state and federal securities laws, litigation arising out of mergers and acquisitions, shareholder derivative actions, state law unfair trade practices cases, and insurance coverage disputes. He has advised clients in responding to government investigations, threatened litigation, and corporate transactions. 

Jenner is a strong advocate and frequent speaker on issues of e-discovery protocols and workflows designed to create a cost-effective approach to clients’ e-discovery challenges.

Prior to joining Duffy & Sweeney, Jenner was an associate at a leading global law firm for four and a half years where he represented U.S. and international clients in state and federal courts in litigation matters including complex commercial and multijurisdictional disputes. He was an associate at a Providence law firm for three years and legal counsel for the State of Rhode Island in the office of the Governor for one year.

He is a 2003 graduate of Georgetown University, where he received a BS, summa cum laude, in mathematics and philosophy. He is a 2007 graduate of Harvard Law School, cum laude, where he was senior editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy.  He is a resident of Providence’s East Side.

JA Receives Grant from TD Charitable Foundation

TD Charitable Foundation Supports Junior Achievement of Rhode Island with $3,363 Grant for Financial Literacy Programs

Junior Achievement of Rhode Island (JA), which provides programs on workforce readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy, announced it has received a $3,363 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, as part of the Foundations commitment to giving back to the community. The grant will support Junior Achievement’s financial literacy programs.

With programs such as JA Personal Finance, JA Economics for Success, and JA Finance Park among others, Junior Achievement’s financial literacy programs help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace.

"We are pleased to have the support of the TD Charitable Foundation, particularly because they have been strong supporters of our organization and do so much for the community," said Lee Lewis, president of Junior Achievement of Rhode Island. "This grant will help JA continue providing youth in Rhode Island with the financial literacy skills they need to survive, thrive and contribute to our state's economy."

JA's unique approach allows volunteers from the community to deliver the curriculum while sharing their experiences with students. Embodying the heart of JA, these classroom volunteers transform the key concepts of the lessons into a message that inspires and empowers students to believe in themselves, showing them they can make a difference in the world. Programs supported through this grant will take place in Rhode Island’s urban and urban-ring school districts – reaching those students who need it most.

A staunch commitment to active involvement in the local community is a vital element of the TD Bank philosophy. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank® and the TD Charitable Foundation provide financial and other support to affordable housing initiatives, financial literacy and education and the environment, many of which focus on improving the welfare of children and families.

Mount Saint Charles Academy Seeks Host Families for International Students Program

Mount Saint Charles Academy is seeking host families for international students for the upcoming 2015-2016 school year. This is an unparalleled experience for not only the international students coming here, but for the host family as well. Currently, Mount has, but is not limited to, students from China and South Korea enrolled. 

By participating and hosting a student, families are getting direct exposure to a different culture.  In return, host families are providing a life experience that these students might never have the opportunity to be exposed to again. Once the students are matriculating through Mount, they can become involved in sports, after school activities, and an academic program that, in the Mount tradition, will form them as a whole person and give them extraordinary college opportunities.

Rae Ann Barrette, Mount’s coordinator for international students, said, “Mount’s program offers a unique opportunity for students and host families to build long-lasting relationships because, unlike a typical short-term exchange program, many students remain at Mount for the duration of their high school careers and attend American colleges and universities.”   During the 2014 commencement ceremony in June, 11 international students graduated from the Academy, which makes it the largest group in a Mount graduating class to date.

​This is an F-1 visa program that provides a monthly stipend to help participating households with expenses. If interested in being a host family, please contact Ms. Rae Ann Barrette at barretter@faculty.mountsaintcharles.org.

Goodwill Industries and City of Providence Partner to Recycle Used Textiles

The City of Providence has partnered with Goodwill Industries to collect used textiles for recycling and reuse at ten locations around the city. The donation collection bins help divert clothing and other textiles from the city's trash and recycling collection program.  A portion of the proceeds from the collected materials will help to fund recreation programs in Providence parks.

The revenue Goodwill Industries of Rhode Island generates from your donations is reinvested in training programs for Rhode Islanders with disabilities and other barriers to employment as well as at risk youth in the State.

Please make sure clothes, sheets, towels, and other textiles are clean, dry, and odorless. Don't worry if they are still stained after you wash them. Never put clothing or textiles in your curbside recycling bin.

Find Providence Goodwill donation bins at the following locations:

Davis Park                                                           Chalkstone Ave.

Delsesto Middle School                                          152 Springfield St.

The B. Jae Clanton Educational Complex                    674 Prairie Ave.          

Nathan Bishop Middle School                                   101 Sessions St.

Neutaconkanut Park                                               Plainfield St. parking lot

West End Community Center                                   109 Bucklin St.

Classical High School                                             770 Westminster St.

Hope High School                                                 324 Hope St.

Robert F. Kennedy Elementary School                       195 Nelson St.

Mt. Pleasant High School                                        434 Mt. Pleasant Ave.

 

 

AIDS Project RI Names Three Dining Out For Life® Co-Chairs

For the first time in memory, AIDS Project Rhode Island’s “Dining Out for Life” event will feature three co-chairs.

The 11th annual Dining Out for Life takes place this year on Thursday, April 30 at participating restaurants across the Rhode Island area.  Funds raised benefit AIDS Project Rhode Island.

“Once again, we are honored to have NBC 10’s Mario Hilario join us,” said AIDS Project Rhode Island’s development director Julie Casimiro.  “His involvement has been critical to helping us raise awareness of the event and HIV/AIDS,” she said. Mr. Hilario has been anchoring NBC 10 Weekend Sunrise since 1997, is an Associated Press award winner, and is a five-time Emmy award nominee. 

“The snow and ice should be but a memory on April 30th, as AIDS Project Rhode Island holds the 11th annual Dining Out for Life,” said Mr. Hilario.  “It has become a celebration of spring, as people across the state support the fight against HIV and AIDS by visiting a participating restaurant and enjoying a meal.   Let’s hope we won’t be still shoveling snow!”

Two other event chairs have been added to this year’s Dining Out for Life: David Dadekian, founder and president of Eat Drink RI, a leading local culinary media, marketing and event production company; and Jamie Coelho, an associate editor at Rhode Island Monthly and the producer of the food and restaurant email newsletter “The Dish.”

“We are so excited to kick off the four-day Eat Drink RI Festival by participating in Dining Out for Life on April 30th,” he said.  “Our opening event is the Dinner by Dames Farmers Feast at the Casino at Roger Williams Park, and we are pleased to support AIDS Project RI by donating a portion of our proceeds from the dinner to the organization.”

“Restaurants should show their support for fighting HIV and AIDS through Dining Out for Life,” said Ms. Coelho. People across Rhode Island will dine out to raise money for a great cause, and restaurants that participate will be applauded.”

On Thursday, April 30th participating restaurants will donate a portion of their proceeds to AIDS Project Rhode Island.  “We work to fill their restaurants with patrons, so they have a great business day and add to their base of regular customers,” she said. 

Currently she is recruiting restaurants to participate.  Already signed up are:

--in Newport: SpeakEasy Bar & Grill;

--in Pawtucket: Hose Company No. 6, and Rasoi;

--in Providence: Blaze Eastside, Gracie’s, India, Rosalina  and Eat Drink RI’s “Dinner by Dames Farmer Feast” at Roger Williams Casino.

Interested restaurants should contact her at 401-519-2289 or Julie@aidsprojectri.org. Restaurants donate 25 to 50% from each dinner check—or   checks from all meals on that day—or donate a flat amount.  In 2014, 30 restaurants participated. 

For more than 30 years, AIDS Project Rhode Island has provided HIV/AIDS prevention and education services, as well as assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS.   AIDS Project RI is a division of Family Service of RI.  More information is available at www.aidsprojectri.org.

Junior Achievement Announces Recipients of Morris J.W. Gaebe Award

Junior Achievement Announces Recipients of The Morris J.W. Gaebe Profile in Excellence Award

Junior Achievement of Rhode Island has announced the 2015 recipients of the Morris J.W. Gaebe Profile in Excellence Award.  The award, JARI’s highest honor, is named after Morris J.W. Gaebe, Chancellor Emeritus of Johnson & Wales University, and recognizes leaders who demonstrate excellence in the Rhode Island community. These leaders have demonstrated courageous thinking and actions, vision and innovation, inspiring leadership, and community mindedness.


This year’s honorees are:

Mr. John Hazen White, Jr., Chief Executive Officer, Taco, Inc., Resident of Barrington

Schneider Electric, represented by Hal Grant, Executive Vice President, IT Business

Ms. Lauren Slocum, President/CEO of the Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce, Resident of Warwick

Ms. Dale Venturini, President/CEO, Rhode Island Hospitality Association, Resident of Cranston

"JA is honored to acknowledge four leaders who have been selected to receive this award by their peers, including past honorees” said Lee Lewis, president of Junior Achievement. “These individuals have demonstrated a high level of commitment to the Rhode Island community and the JA mission – to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy."

Past Profile in Excellence honorees have included Gina Raimondo, Governor of the State of Rhode Island; Deborah Gist, Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education; William Hatfield, Rhode Island Market President at Bank of America; Martha Sheridan, President & CEO of the Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau; and John Yena, Chairman of the Board at BankRI and former University President and Chairman of the Board at Johnson & Wales University.

This year’s recipients will be honored at an awards dinner on May 7th at the Providence Marriott Downtown.  The honorary event chairman and host for the evening will be Lt. General (ret.) Reginald Centracchio, former Adjutant General of Rhode Island.

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.


-###-

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...

An Evening of Grapes & Grain at URI

Adoption Rhode Island’s Annual Spring Gala

A Fundraiser to Benefit Children in Foster Care Waiting for Families


AOEC Boston Presents What Makes Up a High Performing Team?

What Makes Up a High Performing Team?

Joachim Löw, the German national soccer coach who led Germany to victory at the 2014 world cup in Brazil, says that both individual coaching and team coaching are critical elements that help lift team performance. Translated roughly from an article in the German newspaper “Bild”, Löw says that individual coaching can have a tremendous positive effect on individual performance, but when the individual becomes part of a team, things become more complicated as each individual must help lift the performance of the team, and only when the team performs, it can win.

When we think of sports, it is very easy for us to visualize both individual and team performance, but very often, we do not think this way when we think about our companies. Kimberli J. Lewis, an international C level executive and author of “Ponytale Talk, Winning Career Strategies for Women” and John Leary-Joyce, renowned Gestalt physiologist and author of “Fertile Void: Gestalt Coaching at Work”, spend much of their time working with individuals and teams to help them lift performance.

In this 2-hour workshop, Kim and John will give you an overview of executive and systemic team coaching and how it differs from mentoring, life coaching, team building and other development programs. They will share their experiences with some do’s and don’ts, and share with you what they believe are the key elements of high performing teams.

John is proud to be the Founder and president of the Academy, having worked with his team to rapidly develop the organization into a prestigious brand with international accreditation and University recognition. Prior to that, he was MD of Gestalt Centre Ltd growing the business fourfold in eight years and receiving a Company Director diploma with the Institute of Directors.


Kimberli J. Lewis has over 20 years C level management experience across multiple industries. She is a certified executive coach and systematic team coach. She also brings with her 20 years of international management experience working and/or living in over 18 countries. She has degrees from Webster University, George Washington University, and Harvard University, studied executive coaching at Henley Business School in London and has completed the Master’s program in Systemic Team Coaching at the Academy of Executive Coaching.

 

 

Time: 8.30-10.30

Date: May 13th, 2015

The Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce

30 Exchange Terrace, Providence, Rhode Island 02903

Click here to register.


 

Groden Network’s 35th Annual John Trimble Fund Golf Tournament

Please join us for THE GRODEN NETWORK’s 35th Annual John Trimble Fund Golf Tournament for Autism on July 13 at the world-class Wannamoisett Country Club. This very special tournament commemorates the 35th Anniversary of the creation of this tournament by Joe Trimble!

For over 38 years THE GRODEN NETWORK “Your Autism Experts” has been the leading nonprofit in the field of educating youth and adults with Autism and developmental disabilities, providing research based clinical educational methods.

All funds raised through your generosity supports the Groden Network’s critical services. 100% of the proceeds raised go directly to our programs to provide equipment, transportation, recreational and other needed services.

We look forward to seeing you at Wannamoisett.

 

Circus Discount Offer for Chamber Members

Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce Members save 20% off select ticket prices now through 4/27/15 for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents CIRCUS XTREME coming to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center April 30 – May 3, 2015. Use code: CHAMBER

Offer valid on all performances. Ticket limit of 6. Valid online and in person at the box office.

Click here for tickets.

Dining Out for Life® Thursday, April 30

Dining Out for Life® on Thursday, April 30 Raises Awareness, Funds to Fight AIDS and Prevent HIV Infection

The recent public health emergency due to HIV infections in Indiana is a reminder that HIV and AIDS are still a threat.

“HIV cases have been rising in Rhode Island, we must remember,” said AIDS Project RI executive director Stephen Hourahan.  “We’re not facing what Indiana is facing, but we need to be vigilant.  People need to get tested for HIV, practice safe sex, and take other steps to help the state reach its goal of zero new HIV infections.”  HIV is the virus that can lead to AIDS.

Funding testing programs and services is also key, and one way to do that is through participating in “Dining Out for Life” at many restaurants in the Rhode Island area on Thursday, April 30.  Part of breakfast, lunch or dinner bills will be directed to AIDS Project RI.

“We’re asking people to visit our website to get the complete list of restaurants, which will continue to grow up to the day of the event,” said AIDS Project RI development director Julie Casimiro.  The website address is www.aidsprojectri.org.   Restaurants, food trucks, cafeterias and the like interested in participating should call her at 401-519-2289 or email her at Julie@aidsprojectri.org.  “We’re pleased to partner with the EatDrinkRI Festival, which is kicking off the same day with ‘Dinner by Dames to benefit AIDS Project RI’ at Roger Williams Park Casino in Providence.  Visit eatdrinkri.com for more information.”

As of this writing, the following restaurants/food events are participating: in Cranston: Bistro 22; East Greenwich, Grille on Main and Tió Mateo’s; Newport, Despina’s Café and SpeakEasy; North Kingstown, the Carriage Inn and Bravo Wood Fired Pizza; North Smithfield, Cafe900;  Pawtucket, Hose Company #6 and Rasoi; in Providence, Blaze East Side, CAV, Easy Entertaining,  EatDrinkRI’s “Dinner by Dames,” GPub, Gracie’s, India, Kitchen Bar, Los Andes, the Melting Pot, New Rivers, Parkside, Pizzico,  Rosalina, and Three Sisters; in Warren, Federal Hill Pizza and Simone’s; and in Woonsocket,  the Burrito Company.  The event is sponsored by Rustigian Rugs in Providence.

“We work to fill these restaurants, even introducing their establishment to new customers, so they have a great business day and end up sending a sizeable check to AIDS Project RI,” she said. Restaurants donate 25 to 50% from each dinner check—or   checks from all meals on that day—or donate a flat amount. 

This year’s honorary co-chairs for the event are: NBC 10’s Mario Hilario; David Dadekian, founder and president of Eat Drink RI, a leading local culinary media, marketing and event production company; and Jamie Coelho, an associate editor at Rhode Island Monthly and the producer of the food and restaurant email newsletter “The Dish.”

For more than 30 years, AIDS Project RI has provided HIV/AIDS prevention and education services, as well as assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS.  AIDS Project RI is a division of Family Service of RI.  More information is available at www.aidsprojectri.org.

Chamber Day 2015 at Six Flags New England

BBBSOS to host The Big Night Out

Each year, at their annual gala, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State (BBBSOS) honors community leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to sustain the measurable impacts mentoring has on Rhode Island’s youth. This year’s gala will be held on May 2nd at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Goat Island in Newport. The event, themed Kentucky Derby, from 6:00 pm – midnight, will be a night to remember with southern fare and signature cocktails while guests in fabulous Derby hats and bow ties support youth mentoring.  Mario Hilario Host of WJAR NBC10’s Weekend Sunrise Show will be Emceeing the Event.

The 2015 honorees are Michael O’Connell, General Manager of Balise Toyota of Warwick who will receive the  

Champion of Mentoring Award and the late Rick Fox, Regional Supply Chain Manager for the US East Region for Savers, whose family will accept the Legacy Award on his behalf.

BBBSOS gratefully acknowledges the support of our Diamond Level Sponsor: MetLife Auto & Home and Gold Level Sponsors: GTECH and SAVERS in making this event a success.

Entertainment provided by the Bit Players, “RI's most award winning comedy troupe.”  The night will also include live music by Nancy Paolino and the Black Tie Band and both a live and silent auction.  The event’s Online Auction is set to launch on April 3, 2015.  Anyone interested in bidding on fabulous items from across the country to benefit the mentoring programs of BBBSOS can visit www.BiddingforGood.com/BBBSOS.

Tickets and more information about the event are available on the event’s website: www.TheBigNightOut.org

Proceeds from The Big Night Out: Kentucky Derby will be used to support mentoring relationships for over 500 children throughout Rhode Island.  Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State is Rhode Island’s leading mentoring organization and has been serving boys and girls in Rhode Island for over 45 years. Anyone interested in mentoring a child or donating to support the program can visit the agency’s website www.BBBSOS.org or call (401) 921-2434.

RISBDC Presents Owning Your Business for Real

Walk MS comes to RI and nearby MA in April & May

Run MS 5K Rhode Race at Bristol’s Colt State Park May 3

Walk MS, presented by Biogen, is coming to Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts in April and May and thousands of walkers and volunteers are expected to turn out for this annual fundraiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Walk MS is a fundraising event that fuels the movement to create a world free of multiple sclerosis.  Everyone who raises at least $100 receives a souvenir t-shirt, and there are prizes for higher fundraising amounts.  Visit www.walkMSgne.org to register in advance, which is recommended.

Walk MS dates and locations include:

  • April 11    Easton, Mass., Oliver Ames High School
  • April 12    Dartmouth, Mass., James M. Quinn Elementary School, and Plymouth, Mass., Plymouth North High School
  • April 19    Narragansett, R.I., Narragansett Pier School, and Providence, R.I., Providence Career and Technical Academy
  • May 3      Bristol, R.I., Mt. Hope High School, and Hyannis, Mass., West Elementary School

 In all locations, registration opens at 8:30 a.m., with a mass walk start at 10 a.m. Walkers are encouraged to register early and fundraise to help New Englanders with MS and raise money to fund research to find a cure!

 For runners, Run MS 5K Rhode Race will be in Bristol, R.I., on May 3. Run MS is on a certified course through beautiful Colt State Park and trophies will be awarded immediately following the race. To register, visit www.runMSgne.org

RHODE ISLAND:

Walk MS, presented by Biogen; with additional sponsorship from Novartis, ABC6 and Centreville Bank.

MASSACHUSETTS:

Walk MS, presented by Biogen; with additional sponsorship from Novartis.

Participation in these 2015 Walk MS events provides help for today and hope for tomorrow through education, support, advocacy, and research funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater New England Chapter. And that makes a huge difference to the more than 21,000 people and their families in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont who must live with MS every day of their lives.

Find us on Facebook! Search for National MS Society, Rhode Island and National MS Society, Greater New England Chapter and “like” us so you can see the latest news and developments!

The more connections we make, the closer we move toward creating a world free of MS.  Walk MS Boston creates connections that can overcome the broken connections caused by multiple sclerosis.  The funds raised for Walk MS support life-changing programs and cutting-edge research for everyone affected by multiple sclerosis.  Every connection counts!   Find a Walk MS site near you.

WALK TO CREATE A WORLD FREE OF MS

www.walkMSgne.org
www.facebook.com/walkMSgne

PawSox will Host Seven Post-Game Firework Shows in 2015!!!

Dick Lupino April Performance Schedule

Dick Lupino April 2015 Music Schedule


Sardella’s, 30 Memorial Blvd, Newport, RI, 849-6312, 7:30 to 10 pm

Wed    4/8   -  **OLDIES NIGHT** Dance hits from 50's thru 90's  

                         Dick Lupino, bass/vocal, Mary Andrews, vocal,

                         Pat Cardeiro, guitar/vocal, Jeff Fountain, drums

Wed    4/15  -  Dick Lupino, bass/vocal, Lori Colombo, vocal, Chris Taylor, piano

Wed    4/22  -  Dick Lupino, bass/vocal, Joe Esposito, sax, Kent Hewitt, piano

Wed    4/29 -  TBA

 

The Chanler, 117 Memorial Blvd; Newport, RI, 847-1300, 6 to 10 pm                            

Fri    4/10  -  Dick Lupino, bass/vocal, Linda Calise, vocal, Steve Heck, piano/vocal

Fri    4/17  -  Dick Lupino, bass/vocal, Sharon Zeffiro, vocal, Steve Heck, piano/vocal

Fri    4/24  -  Dick Lupino, bass/vocal, Dennis Cook, sax, Barry DeRossi, piano

 

OceanCliff, 65 Ridge Rd, Newport, RI, 841- 8868, 6 to 9 pm

Thu    4/9  -  **7th Annual FOOD & WINE EXPO**

                       Benefits Aquidneck Is. High Schools' music programs

                       Limited tickets available @ $30 ea.

                       Email Pat Golden: patrick@marinacafepub.com

                       or call him:  401 855-3475

                   Dick Lupino, bass/vocal, Yvonne Monnett, puiano/vocal,

                   Dennis Cook, sax, Jeff Fountain, drums




401 683-6565 office

401 837-9665 cell

dicklupino@gmail.com

www.DickLupinoMusic.com


American Cancer Society 2015 Rhode Island Events

Click here for a list of American Cancer Society 2015 opportunities. 

Unos Pizzeria and Grill Rhode Race Challenge

On May 3rd, Unos Pizzeria and Grill at 82 Providence Place Mall, is feeding the entire Cox Rhode race.  We are attempting to break our Store / Company, volume record.   We are asking all of our friends, family, and local associates to help us with this quest.  Encouraging take-out; there is no item that is too small.  You can indulge in our special take-out pizza offer -Buy any pizza get any second pizza for just $5.  Please like our facebook event, share with others, or accept an invite to this event . Most of all show up and help us achieve.

https://www.facebook.com/events/743656119084614/

Thank you for any support you can offer,

Chance Hurley

RI Small Business Development Center Marketing Series

                         

Rhode Island Small Business Development Center

The Marketing Series

All programs will be held in the Conference Room at the Northern RI Chamber of Commerce, 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite 402, Lincoln, RI.  Registration, coffee, and Danish will be at 8:00 a.m. and the program will run from 8:30 to 10:30.  

The presenter for all three programs will be John Horton, a local Rhode Islander whose extensive experience includes Managing Partner of Horton, Ahern, Bosquet among other roles.  Mr. Horton has provided scores of consulting hours to small businesses through the RI Small Business Development Center over a period of at least fifteen years.  He is currently Partner of H&J, LLC, a full-service marketing and public relations firm based in Jamestown.

April 8, 2015                                  Marketing 101 – Getting to Know Your Customer: Market Research

Knowing your target customer is of critical importance in developing a marketing strategy.  On this knowledge depends your entire marketing plan.  Who is your target market?  Are they buying similar products or services now?  Who are they buying them from?  What are the demographics of this target?  In this workshop you will learn how to identify the characteristics and behaviors of your best customer and how to learn about the competitive market in which you will compete.

Wednesday, April 29                      Marketing 102 – Reaching Your Customer: Advertising and Promotion

Communicating the value of your product or service to your customer is probably the first thing people think of when they hear the word “marketing.”  It is only one aspect of the broad marketing discipline but it is a critical one.  And it now extends far beyond traditional advertising in print media, now including everything from newspaper ads to the latest in social media communications.  But regardless of the technique, getting your messages to the largest number of your target customers for the lowest cost is the goal.  This workshop will describe a variety of techniques for doing so.

Wednesday, May 20                       Marketing 103 – Making the Sale: The Sales Process

In certain industries, direct communications between sales person and customer is imperative.  These include high value items (automobiles, custom machinery) and new products that require an element of educating the customer.  This workshop will describe the various communications strategies for “closing the sale,” while building a long-lasting relationship with potential repeat customers.

To Register:  Contact Doug Jobling 401-575-7407 or email djobling@uri.edu


AIDS Project RI Names Three Dining Out For Life® Co-Chairs

For the first time in memory, AIDS Project Rhode Island’s “Dining Out for Life” event will feature three co-chairs.

The 11th annual Dining Out for Life takes place this year on Thursday, April 30 at participating restaurants across the Rhode Island area.  Funds raised benefit AIDS Project Rhode Island.

“Once again, we are honored to have NBC 10’s Mario Hilario join us,” said AIDS Project Rhode Island’s development director Julie Casimiro.  “His involvement has been critical to helping us raise awareness of the event and HIV/AIDS,” she said. Mr. Hilario has been anchoring NBC 10 Weekend Sunrise since 1997, is an Associated Press award winner, and is a five-time Emmy award nominee. 

“The snow and ice should be but a memory on April 30th, as AIDS Project Rhode Island holds the 11th annual Dining Out for Life,” said Mr. Hilario.  “It has become a celebration of spring, as people across the state support the fight against HIV and AIDS by visiting a participating restaurant and enjoying a meal.   Let’s hope we won’t be still shoveling snow!”

Two other event chairs have been added to this year’s Dining Out for Life: David Dadekian, founder and president of Eat Drink RI, a leading local culinary media, marketing and event production company; and Jamie Coelho, an associate editor at Rhode Island Monthly and the producer of the food and restaurant email newsletter “The Dish.”

“We are so excited to kick off the four-day Eat Drink RI Festival by participating in Dining Out for Life on April 30th,” he said.  “Our opening event is the Dinner by Dames Farmers Feast at the Casino at Roger Williams Park, and we are pleased to support AIDS Project RI by donating a portion of our proceeds from the dinner to the organization.”

“Restaurants should show their support for fighting HIV and AIDS through Dining Out for Life,” said Ms. Coelho. People across Rhode Island will dine out to raise money for a great cause, and restaurants that participate will be applauded.”

On Thursday, April 30th participating restaurants will donate a portion of their proceeds to AIDS Project Rhode Island.  “We work to fill their restaurants with patrons, so they have a great business day and add to their base of regular customers,” she said. 

Currently she is recruiting restaurants to participate.  Already signed up are:

--in Newport: SpeakEasy Bar & Grill;

--in Pawtucket: Hose Company No. 6, and Rasoi;

--in Providence: Blaze Eastside, Gracie’s, India, Rosalina  and Eat Drink RI’s “Dinner by Dames Farmer Feast” at Roger Williams Casino.

Interested restaurants should contact her at 401-519-2289 or Julie@aidsprojectri.org. Restaurants donate 25 to 50% from each dinner check—or   checks from all meals on that day—or donate a flat amount.  In 2014, 30 restaurants participated. 

For more than 30 years, AIDS Project Rhode Island has provided HIV/AIDS prevention and education services, as well as assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS.   AIDS Project RI is a division of Family Service of RI.  More information is available at www.aidsprojectri.org.

Display of Metal Miniatures On View at Providence Children’s Museum

Providence Children’s Museum announces the opening of Metal Miniatures!, a charming collection of intricate miniatures handcrafted by Cambridge, MA metal artist Abraham Megerdichian (1923-1983).

From an elegant violin to an impressive set of trains, Metal Miniatures! showcases a delightful collection of astonishingly intricate miniatures created from solid blocks of metal. The exhibit occupies 17 “window boxes” in the Museum’s atrium walkway, inviting visitors of all ages to take a peek at the objects as they pass by and enjoy their maker’s skill and creativity.

The Megerdichian family is proud to share Abraham’s wonderful miniatures in museums around New England and loaned the collection for this display. “The miniatures made by my father are a tribute to the skill of a trained machinist combined with an artist’s eye and a generous man’s heart,” said his son, Robert Megerdichian.

Born in Franklin, MA to Armenian immigrants, Abraham lived and worked as a machinist for most of his life in Cambridge, MA. During the early 1960s, he began his first venture into the art of creative metal making by constructing functional, metal objects for use at home – pans, knives, candleholders and more. Over time, he shifted his focus towards creating intricately detailed everyday objects and trinkets. He often used his 20-minute lunch breaks to craft precious keepsakes as gifts for family and friends, including replicas of things that were special to kids – like his son Robert’s wagon. As his skills flourished, his creations became more complex, imaginative and humorous. Each of Abraham’s pieces is a unique and is an inspiring example of creativity and inventiveness.

Abraham’s intricate metal creations will be on display at Providence Children’s Museum through April 27, 2015. Museum visitors can meet the Megerdichian family and learn more about the collection on Sunday, March 1 from 3:00 - 5:00 PM.

Mother’s Day Dinner Buffet at The Preserve at Boulder Hills

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.