Chafee nominates 5 for EDC board

GOV. LINCOLN D. CHAFEE has nominated five Rhode Island business leaders to the R.I. Economic Development Corporation board of directors.
Posted 3/7/13

PROVIDENCE – Shannon Brawley, Nancy Carriuolo, Roland Fiore, Jason Kelly and George Nee are the latest to be nominated by Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee for the R.I. Economic Development Corporation board of directors, Chafee announced Thursday afternoon.

The board, which oversees the state’s quasi-government business development arm, has seen its membership drop from the maximum 13 directors down to eight, plus the governor as ex-officio chairman.

Of those eight members, three had asked to be replaced as soon as possible and a fourth, whose term has expired and had asked not to be reappointed, has not attended a meeting in many months.

After five members resigned or were forced out in the wake of the 38 Studios collapse last year, Chafee nominated six new directors, but they were never confirmed by the R.I. Senate.

This newest round of nominees represents “a number of Rhode Island’s key industries,” according to a release from the governor’s office.

“These nominees reflect my commitment to changing the focus and priorities of the EDC,” Chafee said in a statement. “We are going to do all we can to help existing Rhode Island businesses – many of them small businesses – succeed and grow. And we are going to continue to improve our economy by building upon Rhode Island’s strengths and assets and investing in the fundamentals, such as education.

“These nominees bring with them valuable experience in a number of our state’s key industries. This is a new direction for the RIEDC and, I believe, a more promising path to a stronger economy for Rhode Island,” added the governor.

Brawley has been executive director of the R.I. Nursery and Landscape Association since 2010. During her tenure, she has initiated, developed and implemented the nonprofit R.I. Nursery and Landscape Institute. She also serves on the board of directors of the R.I. Agricultural Partnership and is a member of the R.I. Department of Environmental Management’s Green Economy Working Group.

Carriuolo has been president of Rhode Island College since 2008. Prior to that, she served as interim vice president for academic affairs at the college and held positions at the R.I. Office of Higher Education, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and Connecticut’s University of New Haven, among others.

Fiore has been president of South Kingstown-based construction material manufacturer South County Sand & Gravel Co. Inc. since 1998. The University of Rhode Island alumnus also serves as secretary of the Rhode Island Builders Association.

Chafee originally nominated Fiore for the board in June, but he was never confirmed by the General Assembly.

Kelly is the executive vice president of Moran Shipping Agencies. He originally joined Moran in 1994, prior to which he worked for the Puerto Rican government in the area of economic development. The Providence resident is a board member of Growsmart Rhode Island, a Providence Foundation Trustee and a member of the Narragansett Bay Propeller Club.

The fifth nomination is actually a reappointment of current EDC board member George H. Nee. After the 38 Studios fallout in the summer, Chafee tried to remove Nee from the board, but the replacement was never confirmed by the General Assembly.

Nee, who has been a “leader in the Rhode Island labor movement for 35 years,” currently serves as president of Rhode Island AFL-CIO, said the release. He also serves on the boards of the R.I. Convention Center Authority, the Providence Performing Arts Center, the Human Resource Investment Council and The United Way of Rhode Island. Nee is chairman of the board of the Institute of Labor Studies and Research.

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