Three more EDC board members to step down

THREE MORE MEMBERS of the R.I. Economic Development Corporation's Board of Directors - (from left) Cheryl W. Snead, Jack Templin and David M. Dooley - have announced their intention to step down from the board of the quasi-state agency.
Posted 2/26/13

(Updated, Feb. 28, 11:45 a.m.)

PROVIDENCE – Three more members of the R.I. Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors have announced their intention to step down, bringing to eight the number who have left or asked off the board since last spring.

Banneker Industries President and CEO Cheryl W. Snead, Providence digital entrepreneur Jack Templin and University of Rhode Island President David M. Dooley have all asked Gov, Lincoln D. Chafee to replace them on the EDC board as soon as possible.

Given the dwindling number of active board members, all three have agreed to serve for at least one more month to allow the state’s quasi-government economic development arm to keep functioning.

Snead said she needed more time to execute Banneker’s new three-year strategic plan and would attend EDC meetings no later than March in a letter to Chafee dated Jan. 7.

Templin, a partner at startup accelerator Betaspring, said he needed to dedicate more time to online security startup Lockify and would serve no later than April in a resignation letter received Monday, EDC officials said.

Dooley, whose term expired this month, said in a Feb. 8 letter that he would serve on the board until a replacement from the education community can replace him.

The new EDC departures come after five members of the board resigned, asked not to be reappointed or were forced out last year after the collapse of 38 Studios, the video game company that had been granted a $75 million state loan guarantee.

The law establishing the board requires a majority of active members to be present to function, but does not count vacant positions against the number needed for a quorum. Chafee serves as the ex-officio chairman of the board and counts toward a quorum but only votes when there is a tie between the other members.

Currently, there are nine members on the board and five members are needed, including Chafee, are needed to form a quorum, according to an interpretation of state law by EDC legal counsel Tom Carlotto. Collette Vacations President Daniel Sullivan, whose term on the board expired in February 2012 and asked not to be reappointed in June, is still technically on the board, according to the EDC.

EDC Board members need to be confirmed by the state Senate and six people nominated by Chafee last year to replace departed members never received hearings.

Chafee spokeswoman Christine Hunsinger today said the governor expected to make another round of nominations this week. The nominees could include a mix of those previously nominated and new candidates, she said.

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I would throw my hat in the ring, but I'm not a political hack or crony. I've just run a small business in this state for 25 years so what would I know about the needs of RI small businesses. That would make way too much sense. Let's have University Presidents and Regional or National Bank top managers or what are some of the other hacks that have served on this debacle of an organization.

That board should represent the exact nature of the make up of the companies that exist in the RI economy. So if 95% of the state economy is made up of companies with 10 or fewer employees then 95% of the board members should come from the management or ownership of those types of companies.

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