PBN celebrates 35th anniversary with business community

ROGER C. BERGENHEIM, far right, president and publisher of Providence Business News, delivers a speech Thursday to multiple business professionals in attendance at the news publication's 35th Anniversary Gala at Aldrich Mansion in Warwick. / PBN PHOTO/MIKE SKORSKI
ROGER C. BERGENHEIM, far right, president and publisher of Providence Business News, delivers a speech Thursday to multiple business professionals in attendance at the news publication's 35th Anniversary Gala at Aldrich Mansion in Warwick. / PBN PHOTO/MIKE SKORSKI

WARWICK – Providence Business News on Thursday celebrated three and a half decades of providing business journalism to Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts at its 35th Anniversary Gala at the Aldrich Mansion.

PBN, founded by the late Robert C. Bergenheim and his son, current President and Publisher Roger C. Bergenheim, published its first print edition on May 5, 1986. Since then, the news organization has evolved to producing print news, online news, virtual and live events, special awards programs and digital newsletters.

Approximately 200 people attended Thursday’s gala, including local business leaders, government officials and current and former PBN staff members.

Attendees were also given a complimentary copy of PBN’s 104-page 35th Anniversary special commemorative book. The book includes a 35-year timeline of defining news events, a graphical tale of the region’s economy and an in-depth conversation with prominent business community members, among other features. It will be published as part of the Nov. 26 print edition of PBN.

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The event also included a formal awards presentation recognizing 35 “Driving Forces,” local business individuals selected by PBN staff who have made substantial contributions to the business community – and were also highlighted in the 35th Anniversary book.

The Driving Forces are:

  • Kristen Adamo, Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau CEO and president
  • Iftikhar Ahmad, R.I. Airport Corp. CEO and president
  • Dr. Timothy J. Babineau, Lifespan Corp. CEO and president
  • Brian Britson, Amgen Rhode Island vice president of operations
  • Arnold B. Chace Jr., Cornish Associates LP managing partner
  • Christian Cowan, 401 Tech Bridge executive director; University of Rhode Island Research Foundation chief operating officer
  • Marc A. Crisafulli, Bally’s Corp. executive vice president and Rhode Island president of casino operations
  • Anne S. De Groot, EpiVax Inc. founder, CEO and chief science officer
  • Robert A. DiMuccio, Amica Mutual Insurance Co. chairman, CEO and president
  • Barnaby Evans, WaterFire Providence founder and executive artistic director
  • Dr. James E. Fanale, Care New England Health System CEO and president
  • Edward O. Handy III, The Washington Trust Co. chairman and CEO
  • Saul Kaplan, Business Innovation Factory founder and chief catalyst
  • Alan G. Hassenfeld, Hassenfeld Family Foundation director; former Hasbro Inc. chairman and CEO
  • Sally E. Lapides, Residential Properties Ltd. CEO and president
  • Karen S. Lynch, CVS Health Corp. CEO and president
  • Peter Marino, Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island CEO and president
  • Jack Martin, Providence Public Library executive director
  • Mark J. Meiklejohn, Bank Rhode Island CEO and president
  • Cortney Nicolato, United Way of Rhode Island CEO and president
  • Joseph R. Paolino Jr., Paolino Properties LP managing partner
  • Christina H. Paxson, Brown University president
  • Marc Perlman, Ocean State Job Lot CEO
  • James A. Procaccianti, Procaccianti Cos. CEO and president
  • Thomas M. Ryan, philanthropist; former CVS Health Corp. chairman, CEO and president
  • Michael Sabitoni, Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council president; Providence Rises Together Coalition chairman
  • Karen Santilli, Crossroads Rhode Island CEO and president
  • Andrew Schiff, Rhode Island Community Food Bank CEO
  • J.L. “Lynn” Singleton, Providence Performing Arts Center president
  • Thorne Sparkman, Slater Technology Fund managing director
  • Neil D. Steinberg, Rhode Island Foundation CEO and president
  • Bruce Van Saun, Citizens Financial Group Inc. CEO and president
  • Dale Venturini, Rhode Island Hospitality Association CEO and president
  • Karl Wadensten, VIBCO Inc. CEO and president
  • John Hazen White Jr., Taco Inc. owner and executive chairman

Sponsors for PBN’s 35th Anniversary Gala were Gallo|Thomas Insurance, CVS Health Corp., Johnson & Wales University, Lifespan Corp., Navigant Credit Union, Amgen Inc., Amica Mutual Insurance Co., Bank Rhode Island, Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP and Webster Bank N.A.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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