Five Questions With Debra Moretti

5Q: Debra Moretti | President, the Squantum Association

1. You are the first woman president in the 146-year history of the East Providence association. Is this a sign the club is becoming more inclusive? Since I joined in 2005, there has never been a time when I felt the club was not inclusive, but I am cognizant of the fact that the public perception of Squantum is very different from what we members experience. Our recent inquiries into membership are reflective of our changing community. I am particularly excited with how many young people have been making membership inquiries.

2. Is there anything in particular that you hope to focus on or accomplish during your term as president? My main goals for my presidency are to enhance the Squantum experience and expand its membership. The board of governors … [has] improved our current buildings. One of our smaller buildings, known as the Captain’s Cottage, will … offer a more-casual dining experience.

3. What sort of ties does the association have to the local business community? Is the club involved in advocacy for state and local businesses? One of my dreams, which is now coming to fruition, was the creation of “Squantum Serves,” which supports charitable and community organizations in our state. One way we do this is by each year offering a local nonprofit organization the opportunity to have an event or fundraiser at our club at reduced costs and in which our members participate. This year is House of Hope and next year we will partner with Day One. … We have [also] joined forces with the Good Night Lights for the children at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

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4. How do you think your particular business skills in real estate and related law will serve you as head of the club? The fast-paced real estate industry and the need for staying on the cutting edge of innovation and customer service easily transition to my desire for making Squantum the place to be in private dining clubs. While many private clubs have closed in recent years, Squantum continues to be a premiere dining facility.

5. You’ve been a member of the association for more than 10 years. How has public perception of the club changed? We are still somewhat of a hidden gem, but once someone comes out to an event at Squantum, they are surprised by how welcoming the membership is. As membership is no longer a requirement to have an event at Squantum, we are host to conferences, meetings and glorious wedding celebrations.

Elizabeth Graham is a PBN staff writer. Contact her at Graham@PBN.com.

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