Chamber Connections BLOG
Chamber Connections BLOG
by Brian Barrett
Tavdi Company, Inc is a very interesting business on the East Bay with a strong international presence. Ismail Saltuk, Ph.D. Eng and his wife Leyla Saltuk have been making their mark in a niche market within the chemical engineering/manufacturing field. Both were born in Turkey and Ismail was educated at Robert College. Robert College is located in Istanbul, Turkey and is the oldest American school in existence outside of the United States. Work originally brought them to the Ocean State and after some research it was clear to them that the East Bay was the best place to plant their family’s roots in America.
The Tavdi Company has a patent on a unique rubber testing device, the Advanced Yerzley Oscillograph (AYO-IV). This product helps manufacturing companies test the parts within their machines. The Tavdi Company also designs rubber related products. They are very active in the import/export relationship between the United States and Turkey and provide consulting advice to companies looking to expand internationally or international companies looking to get into business in the United States. Ismail and Leyla have been active member of the Chamber of Commerce for years and are a great example of the diversity within all the incredible businesses/people that make up the East Bay Chamber of Commerce.
Studio Rios is an architectural firm servicing Rhode Island, Southern Massachusetts, and Eastern Connecticut. It is locally owned & operated out of Barrington, RI by Hector Rios. Hector came to East Bay RI 27 years ago to attend Roger Williams University, fell in love with the area and never left.
Hector is passionate about providing highly customized service.
“I sit down with all my clients and have a free one-on-one consultation to determine what their needs are.”
He takes time to collect photos, magazine clippings, or pictures of family heirlooms to get a feel for his clients style so he can make sure his designs match their personal aesthetic.
When he is not busy designing, Hector & his wife Gail (a "feisty red-head from upstate NY") regularly go ballroom dancing. Married for 30 years, Hector notes the secret to a successful marriage is to always have a date night. He describes their relationship as "The Ricky & Lucy of the new millennium."
Most people think architects are too expensive and their work is unattainable. Because of this Hector makes sure to lay out a clear scope of work & pricing schedule in the first consultation with a client. He realizes sometimes the process can be overwhelming and often people need some help and guidance along the way.
Hector finds joy in the personal connection with his clients. Some of his favorite moments he shared with me were attending a clients open house after a project is complete, or getting Christmas cards from families he's worked with.
“If I get invited back for dinner or a housewarming party, I know I've done my job well”.
Hector also finds joy in being outdoors. He regularly cycles 60-80 miles enjoying the scenic East Bay region. And you can often find him & Gail out and about in town eating and drinking at local restaurants.
By Dena Davis
PR & Marketing Team
The Bayside Family YMCA is a charity committed to strengthening the health and wellness and transforming lives in the communities of Barrington, Bristol, Riverside and Warren. For over 50 years, the Y has responded to community needs with programs and activities focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. YMCA members are able to participate in health and wellness programs, utilize child care and be part of a community of diverse and engaged individuals working together to support each other. Our goal is simple- to strengthen the health and wellness and transform the lives of people in the communities we serve.
Bayside’s Focus on Youth Development
The Y has long been known for programs that keep kids safe and engaged. At the Bayside Family Y- we offer a variety of youth programs that teach skills
• Swim Lessons- The Y is the nationally-recognized leader in aquatic safety. We provide over 100 swim lessons each week for ages 6 months- 90! These lessons are focused first on preventing drowning and then on skill development.
• Child Care
• Summer Camp
• Teen JOIN (for families who have a child with excess weight) are all evidence-based programs designed to help individuals and families meet pressing health needs.
• Camp iAm (in partnership with The BAY Team – East Bay’s Prevention Coalition)
The Bayside Y is proud to be a strong community partner. Working together with local school departments, municipalities, businesses and non-profits leverages our resources and strengthens our communities.
Some examples of groups the Bayside Family Y partners with are:
• As part of our commitment to social responsibility, we believe that membership in the YMCA should be open to all individuals and families regardless of their ability to pay. In order to fulfill this commitment, we conduct an Annual Support Campaign to raise awareness and money for the YMCA Financial Assistance (YFA) program. This program subsidizes membership and program fees for YMCA members, and is at the core of our mission.
An Update from the State House
Unless you were on vacation last week, you probably have heard that the legislature ended on an abrupt note Friday. The Senate amended Article 11 of the budget (Car Tax Phase Out) to require a freeze of the phase out of the tax if at any time the reduction in tax caused the State to dip into the rainy day fund. When the House discovered the amendment was going to be offered, the Speaker closed the House desk, meaning no new business could be transmitted to the House from the Senate or from any House Committee as well. The budget remains in the Senate awaiting transmission to the House. Because it technically remains in the Senate, the Senate could reconsider the vote on the budget, amend it back to reflect the way it was drafted prior to the amendment and then wait for the House to open the desk to receive it. Alternatively, the House could decide to open the desk, accept the amended budget and vote on it.
If no budget is passed, the state will continue to operate. Under law, in the event no budget is passed, spending will continue at a level equal to the last fiscal year budget. Rhode Island is not alone. 9 states have failed to pass a budget as of July 1, 2017 (Illinois has been without a budget for two years). Two more states passed a budget and are awaiting signatures from their Governors.
Until the impasse is bridged, bills will remain in limbo – creating a positive and a negative outcome depending upon your position on the many bills that began moving the last couple days of session. Bills are not dead, because the legislature could decide to come back into session at which point all bills would be alive. Should the legislature choose not to return, then all bills would die on December 31st.
Future issues of Under the Dome will only be written when there is news to report. Until then, please have a safe and enjoyable summer!
Two of the major bills in play were the paid leave bills – S.290 and H.5413. On June 29th, the House passed its version of paid leave (H.5413 SubA). For the business community, this bill was more palatable, although still not without its challenges. The House bill contained a state preemption of municipal ordinances so that the State of Rhode Island would have one set of paid leave rules for all businesses. The Senate version specifically stated that each city or town could adopt ordinances calling for more generous paid leave benefits for employees of companies located within their borders. The House version more clearly stated that employees must provide notice to employers when they wish to take paid leave, provided the employer has a written policy concerning how such notice must be given. Both versions still contained language addressing paid leave for seasonal employees that utilized a municipal statute in state law. The use of that statute appeared to bring seasonal municipal employees under the requirements of paid leave while other municipal employees were exempt. Lastly, the House version exempted union construction companies from the paid leave act.
On June 30th, the House Labor Committee amended the senate version to mirror its House version, thus creating S.290 SubB. The Senate amended H.5413 SubA later that evening on the Senate floor by reinstating most of the language from S.290 SubA. So where are the bills now? S.290 SubB is in the House Labor Committee waiting for the House desk to be opened for transmittal. H.5413 is in the Senate awaiting the opening of the House desk for transmittal. The bills are very different.
Bills Transmitted to the Governor
A couple bills of interest were transmitted to the Governor prior to the suspension of legislative activities.
S.350 SubB, An Act Relating to Labor and Labor Relations – Payment of Wages, bars employers from deducting from any employee’s wages, amounts for “spoilage or breakage, shortages or losses, and fines or penalties for tardiness, misconduct or quitting.” Federal law already prohibits deducting from wages for these items from many employees. The original version of S.350 would have barred the deduction of any amount of wages unless specifically allowed under federal or state law. The original language would have barred the deduction for health insurance premiums, gym memberships, charitable deductions, etc.
H.5397 SubA and S.388 SubA, Acts Relating to Property – Mortgage Foreclosure, increase the penalty on financial institutions for failure to file a foreclosure deed within the required 45 days of the purchase of the property at foreclosure sale. The penalty increases from $40 per month to $300 per month up to an aggregate of $2000.00. This is meant to provide municipalities with the ability to determine who owns properties for tax purposes and upkeep.