Evans named to CMO role at Commerce RI

PROVIDENCE — Heather Evans was appointed the new chief marketing officer of the R.I. Commerce Corp., effective immediately, Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor announced Tuesday.

Evans most recently worked at Northwestern Mutual in Providence. She succeeds Lara Salamano, who left the administration to return to the private sector in mid-January. Commerce spokesman Matt Sheaff had served as interim chief marking officer following Salamano’s departure.

“There are many reasons that make Rhode Island a great place to visit, live and do business — from the beauty of Narragansett Bay to the charm of its historic architecture; from the active music and culinary scenes to the vibrant design and entrepreneurial communities,” said Evans in a statement. “I can’t wait to begin working with the team at Commerce, the tourism regions and the small businesses that make up our tourism industry so that we can continue telling Rhode Island’s story.”

Evans is a trustee of the Providence Preservation Society and the Rhode Island Historical Society. She was chosen from a field of 100 applicants. Evans has previously served as chief marketing officer at Investment Technology Group and J.P. Morgan, founded a small  independent hotel on an island in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and has taught at Harvard, New York University and Pratt Institute.

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The role will have Evans overseeing coordinated and data-driven statewide efforts to attract tourism and business to the Ocean State, Commerce said.

“Tourism is the sixth-largest industry in Rhode Island, and it supports hundreds of small businesses across the state,” stated Pryor. “Attracting tourists and businesses is essential to our mission of strengthening the Ocean State’s economy. Heather’s impressive expertise in the marketing field — along with her previous experience running a small, independent hotel — will help our state further build our economic momentum.”

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor. You may reach him at Bergenheim@PBN.com.