economic development

Chafee chooses EDC official to head agency

LONG-TIME economic development official William J. Parsons is Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee's nominee to succeed Keith W. Stokes as executive director of the R.I. Economic Development Corporation.
Posted 11/29/12

PROVIDENCE – Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee plans to nominate William J. Parsons to be the next executive director of the R.I. Economic Development Corporation.

Parsons is currently managing director of community and business development at the EDC, and has been a state economic development official for 37 years, even serving as acting director of the agency in 1997 and 2002.

Chafee lauded Parsons’ experience as well as his recent contributions.

“Working with Paul McGreevy, Bill has steadied the ship and fixed a number of lingering issues,” Chafee said. “Bill’s extensive knowledge, experience and relationships, combined with the EDC’s new focus on serving existing Rhode Island businesses, will help the agency enter a new era without having to start from square one.”

In a release put out by the governor’s office, Parsons is credited with “playing a pivotal role” in attracting Toray Plastics (America) Inc., Amgen, Fidelity Investments, Alexion Pharmaceuticals and most recently, Tunstall to Rhode Island.

“I want to thank Governor Chafee for the trust he has placed in me and for recognizing the value of experience and institutional knowledge,” said Parsons, adding that he looks “forward to working with the Chafee Administration to continue to transform the EDC, making it more strategic, more efficient, and more effective for the benefit all Rhode Islanders.”

The graduate of Roger Williams University and North Providence resident will remain in his current role at the EDC until the R.I. Senate confirms his nomination.

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