Scott A. Gibbs, 25 Over Fifty-five

GRAND PLAN: Scott A. Gibbs’ career in economic development has spanned nearly four decades. He leans on the experience as president of the self-funded, nonprofit Economic Development Foundation of Rhode Island.
PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY / PBN PHOTO/DAVE HANSEN
GRAND PLAN: Scott A. Gibbs’ career in economic development has spanned nearly four decades. He leans on the experience as president of the self-funded, nonprofit Economic Development Foundation of Rhode Island.
PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY / PBN PHOTO/DAVE HANSEN

25 Over Fifty-Five 2019 Award Winner
SCOTT A. GIBBS | President, Economic Development Foundation of Rhode Island


AS A SOPHOMORE at Wabash College, Scott A. Gibbs wrote a paper on regional development for an urban government course he was taking. That paper would serve as the launching point for Gibbs’ career in planning and economic development, a career path he values to this very day.

“I am fortunate to be in a profession that constantly challenges me every day and that offers a variety of experiences,” said Gibbs, president of the Economic Development Foundation of Rhode Island. “These qualities allow for my continued growth as a professional and a person. Most importantly, my profession offers the opportunity to leave a positive mark in the communities I work. This sense of purpose and value is a luxury.”

Gibbs plays an active role for the nonprofit, which focuses on real estate-based economic-development projects and strategies for Rhode Island communities – including as developer for the Innovate Newport project, a collaboration with Newport and the Newport County Development Council on an $8 million remodeling of an empty school into a technology and cowork facility.

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In addition to working closely with the nonprofit’s volunteer leadership, Gibbs also partnered with attorney Karen Grande to come up with recommended modifications to Rhode Island’s tax-increment financing statute so it could be more widely used by cities and towns. The changes were signed into law by Gov. Gina M. Raimondo in 2018.

Faced with a challenging commercial real estate market, Gibbs leans heavily on his nearly 40 years of experience and relationships.

“For me, leadership means a fundamental commitment to leading change while demonstrating uncompromised honesty, integrity and professionalism,” Gibbs said. “I have been blessed to work with a great board of directors and professionals from both the private and public sectors. Every one of these relationships [has] contributed to my leadership style.”

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