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By Lindsay Lorenz
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE – Marcel A. Valois, Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee’s nominee to lead the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, was unanimously confirmed by the R.I. Senate Tuesday.
Valois is the former vice president of the Economic Development Foundation of Rhode Island, and the co-author of “Reboot the RIEDC,” the EDC report that suggested breaking the agency down into parts. According to the governor’s office, Valois has decades of management experience in the private, public and nonprofit sectors.
“Marcel Valois is a proven business leader,” Chafee said. “He understands economic development, he understands Rhode Island, and he shares my commitment to taking advantage of Rhode Island’s assets to strengthen our economy. I look forward to working with Marcel to build a sustainable Rhode Island economy that benefits all the people of our state.”
In addition to his time with the Economic Development Foundation of Rhode Island, Valois previously served, under Gov. Lincoln Almond, as executive director of the RIEDC. In that role, Valois spearheaded the redevelopment of a master plan for the 3,000-acre former Quonset/Davisville Navy Base and led the marketing efforts for the passage of a $72 million bond issue for investment in the facility. He is also credited with leading the state’s negotiating team for the development of Providence Place and recruiting Fidelity Investments to Rhode Island.
Valois also has served as chief operating officer and area vice president of Penske Automotive Group, executive vice president of the Blackstone Valley Development Foundation Inc. and director of planning and development, and city planner and planning analyst for the city of Woonsocket.
Valois holds a B.A. in liberal arts and an M.A. in urban and economic geography from the University of Rhode Island.