Chamber Connections BLOG
Chamber Connections BLOG
By Beth Russell
The Children’s Workshop prides itself on providing children and their families with high quality care and learning. The Warren location is just one of their 19 early learning centers. Their main objective is to ensure excellent programs, dedicated caregivers and classrooms that are warm and inviting.
The Warren location is very proud to be a NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accredited center. Their experienced team of early childhood professionals is committed to the unique and individual development of every child in their care. Each of their teachers is a professional in the field of early childhood education and has been carefully selected through an extensive interview and orientation process. In addition, all of the teachers receive ongoing classroom support, supervision, continuing education, and extensive opportunities for professional development. A research and evidence based curriculum created by their bright and talented education team, provides enough flexibility to be tailored to each child’s interests and the needs of the families. Their mission is based on the belief that ‘family always comes first’.
The Children’s Workshop is actively engaged in the community. They have partnered with RI Mentoring Partnership to form their own Mentoring Program. Mentors spend 1 hour a week mentoring children on-on-one in the local schools. They have also partnered with Head Start to provide additional resources to children and their families. The Children’s Workshop has also collaborated with other local organizations to help those in need in the community.
In addition to their many year-round program, the Warren location offers an exciting summer camp program that includes weekly themes, multiple field trips and a variety of activities for every child. Did you know that they have a swimming pool? They have a certified lifeguard on duty every day and they offer weekly swim lessons to the campers, which are also open to the public.
Local Bristol resident, Abbie-Jo Francis is the Director of the Warren Center. She has an Associate’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. She is a RI certified teacher and has 20 years of experience teaching and working with children. She has been with The Children’s Workshop since 2002. Abbie invites you to “stop by and visit, so we can show you the newly renovated school and introduce you to their fantastic teachers”.
The Highlander Charter School: Building a Better Rhode Island--One Child at a Time
By Dena Davis
Americans have always viewed education as our bridge to the future and as the means to create a better society peopled by responsible, productive citizens. For our state truly to succeed and progress, we must improve the education we provide to all Rhode Island children.
Highlander offers school choice for families who do not have the means to afford a private school education for their children and often live in communities with failing public schools. Its values include education, accessibility, empowerment, and excellence.
Jeanne D'Agostino (Development Director) says: "As an independent charter public school, Highlander is its own district. Our charter requires that 75% of our student come from Providence and the rest throughout the state. This is helpful for poor families who may move frequently, allowing for consistency for their children. Students are enrolled through a blind lottery that takes place the first week in March. We had over 2000 applications for 73 opening throughout the school."
Named after the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee, the focus of our organization is social justice. The circumstances of living in poverty create obstacles that affect students' ability to come to school each day ready to learn. The lack of basic necessities and often living in dangerous environments create a condition of chronic stress for our youngest learners. A lack of early exposure to language skills and pre-school further hampers many students' readiness to learn. "Students living in poverty need more from their schools, not less."
What Has The Highlander Charter School Accomplished?
"Despite the challenges that many of our student and their families face, our educational successes have been considerable. By 7th and 8th grade, Highlander students not only outperform their peers at other urban schools, but also score at or above the statewide average in reading, math and writing."
Highlander is able to meets the needs of students by providing them with small class sizes, differentiated learning and support for all students, and a mixed method approach to teaching styles. Highlander creates a learning environment based on the best practices set by elite Rhode Island private schools. Highlander creates structures that reinvigorate those disenfranchised by the mainstream educational system.
The Barrington Christian Academy Theatre is pleased to announce their latest production, "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's court." The musical is directed by Jenna Tremblay along with our Musical Director, Pamela Poniatowski. Be sure to see one of the four shows being presented at the Reynolds School, 235 High St. in Bristol, RI . This family friendly comedy will delight audiences as they travel back in time to King Arthur's court!
Chamber members get in FREE!
Thursday, May 5th: 7pm
Friday, May 6th: 7pm
Saturday, May 7th: 2pm & 7pm
Chamber members and #BigBlueScissors were eager to help Stephanie Osborn celebrate the start of her new business venture, Bliss More, Stress Less on April 19.
Bliss More, Stress Less was created for over-achieving women who are exhausted trying to meet the needs of their family and the demands of their career while staying sane and healthy. Stephanie helps them to create more energy and bliss in their lives. As a result, her clients are able to balance work and family effectively and enjoy life more.
View the video here. For more information, email Stephanie Osborn.
A local Warren firefighter-turned entrepreneur is gaining national attention for his pet hair removal product. Jim Rimoshytus' Furrfighters gloves were included in gift bags given to Hollywood celebs at the annual MTV Movie Awards April 9, 2016.
"It was very exciting," said Jim, who flew out to LA to staff a Furrfighters table at the MTV Movie Awards Swag and Gifting Suites. "Everyone was impressed with the product's simplicity. By just wearing the gloves when you pet your dog, you can brush out the animal's lose hair. Then clap your hands and the fur falls off."
In his signature black leather vest, and sunglasses, Jim welcomed celebs like Oscar Nunez and Cooper Barnes to his table, and using that opportunity to snap photos as they donned the gloves.
Huffington Post writer Philip Morton picked up on Furrfighters' remarkable product, mentioning it in a post-event article April 11, 2016.
"It's been a whirl-wind how fast the business has just exploded in the market," Jim said.
Furrfighters also won the 2016 Editor's Choice Award from Pet Business Magazine, the pet industry's leading resource magazine. Jim is also expanding his Furrfighters' reach with a small distribution company, with locations in Florida and Texas.
"Next, we're headed to New York City for the NYC Re-Tails & Sales Expo," said Jim of the event, which is only open to retailers and distributors in New York and surrounding areas. "It's a big opportunity for us in Manhattan, with some other big New York companies."
He's also exploring a partnership with a pet business in Hollywood, Calif.
Follow Jim's success on Facebook, www.Facebook.com/Furrfighters; or learn more about the product at www.furrfighters.com.
The East Bay Chamber of Commerce understands the importance of helping Chamber members grow their businesses. Beginning in May, we will be launching a new and exciting web advertising program that will help your business reach out to a new market you may have thought unattainable.
A 2014 local search behavior study by Google revealed that 50% of consumers who conducted a search on their smartphone visited a store within 1 day; and 34% who searched on a computer or tablet did the same. In that same study, more than two-thirds of consumers preferred ads that were customized to their location.
The East Bay Chamber website is your web advertising catalyst. Build on the Chamber’s brand and get noticed! We are pleased to bring you the opportunity to advertise with us on the web. Join us Thursday, April 28, at 10 a.m., at the Chamber office for a complimentary light brunch, to discuss how you can take advantage of this advertising opportunity.
For more information and to RSVP, please email Christine O’Connor, Marketing & Communications Manager: Christine@EastBayChamberRI.org.
John Freer is on a mission. He's the newly appointed training coordinator for the Community College of Rhode Island's Workforce Training & Corporate Education Center. His goal is to educate employers and business owners about CCRI's new programs, hopefully assisting them in their growth.
John stopped by the Chamber for a Lunch N Learn presentation recently. For those who missed it, you can download his power point below.
About the Workforce Training & Corporate Education Center:
CCRI's Center for Workforce Training & Corporate Education (WTCE) is a comprehensive resource addressing the training and workforce development needs of public, non-profit, and private sector organizations throughout Rhode Island. They offer customized assessment and training programs that can be taught on-site or at one of their four college campuses. Class schedules can be designed to meet individual company needs.
By Dena Davis
Chamber PR Team
Meet Lisa Griffith: Certified Professional Organizer, productivity coach, speaker and teacher, Lisa brings a unique perspective to her work with clients, both in individual and group settings, offering clarity, compassion and expert guidance.
When you talk to Lisa, the first thing that resonates is Passion and Commitment!
Lisa had a career change 9 years ago when she moved from being a full time middle school music teacher, to being a professional organizer. “Even when I was a teacher, people would always come to me to help them get organized!”
When Lisa hit the age of 50 she decided she was ready for a new challenge, and went to a career counsellor to help her find a new direction. She was asked a particular question which set her off on her new path: If you had a day off with no commitments and you could do whatever you wanted, what would that be? Lisa, answered “I’d probably organize my closet!” It was then, that the possibility of becoming a professional organizer came about.
Lisa joined NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers), got her board certification and set up her business, THE ORGANIZED WAY in 2008. She started with residential organizing, and now specializes in office organization (both home office and businesses), focusing on creating paper flow, office systems and time management skills. Lisa is also a professional speaker/trainer and loves the energy of sharing her passion with others.
I asked Lisa what her biggest challenge was, as a business owner and she stated that by far, it is finding balance in her life. “When you work for yourself, you are never really off the clock. I find that I have to force myself to create boundaries which allow myself time to enjoys some things for pleasure (a book or exercise) and to spend uninterrupted time with my family”. Great advice for any business owner!
Something interesting that people may not know about Lisa is that she is a musician and a singer! Her background in performance and as a teacher have given her many of the skills she now uses in her public speaking and interacting with clients. Lisa’s favorite thing to do is to go and see a Broadway Musical.
When asked what Lisa loves most about owning a business in the East Bay, she said that by far it is the community, character, support and local charm. “The East Bay will always be my home base.”
dj horton: firm on nerium
By Bette Walpole
Chamber PR Team
Debbi-Jo "DJ" Horton has been an entrepreneur her entire life. She started selling painted rocks at the age of fours year old that started her career as a serial entrepreneur. DJ comes from a family of self-starters. Her grandfather founded a water pump and filtration company that she and her father both worked at. At 13 years old, DJ had found some accounting errors and so from that day on, she was responsible for handling all the company's accounting, including the corporate tax return, bookkeeping, payroll, and the personal tax returns of the family.
In 1995, DJ passed her CPA exam and her accounting business took off. Although she was highly successful, her life changed in November 2012. Her friend had asked her to try a Nerium International Anti-Aging product and DJ was quite skeptical. The company had only been started in August 2011 and DJ thought that she would prove to her friend that the product did not work. How wrong she was and on top of it, when her friend asked DJ to prepare her tax return, DJ realized this was not just another start-up but one that had significant potential.
DJ started marketing Nerium products three years ago. The products include Firming Body Contouring Cream, Age Defying Night Cream, and EHT Enhancement Formula Supplements. Within 62 days from when she started she earned her initial investment back and now works with almost 30 brand partners.
DJ could not imagine working for anyone besides herself. She likes the freedom to set her own schedule so she can attend to the needs of her family and enjoy her outside interests. She feels very supported from Nerium and learns a lot from the many conferences and seminars they hold year round. Her passion is to make men and women feel wonderful - both inside and out.