Chamber Connections BLOG
Chamber Connections BLOG
Founders Honored as Citizens of the Year
In 2009, Lisa Raiola and Waterman Brown approached the Warren Economic Development Board with the idea for a community-based incubator for food businesses located at the Main Street School (then owned by the Town of Warren). They asked the EDB what hopes they had for the school, and the EDB stated that they wanted a place that spurred new businesses and job growth in Warren, engaged the local community and created a destination to encourage others to visit Warren and the East Bay.
Their hard work and dedication are paying huge dividends for Rhode Island. Since opening its doors in October 2014, Hope & Main now houses 59 active businesses, or nearly 40% of all active Rhode Island-based food processing businesses and about 16% of all food processors operating in the state overall. The impacts from these businesses reach beyond food entrepreneurs to food producers, packaging companies, designers, etc. and represents exciting, new economic development for the state.
Beth Carter, owner of Beth Carter Enterprises, was named the 2016 Chamber Member of the Year. Since joining the Chamber in 2014, Beth has joined the Board of Directors and also chairs the Public Relations Committee. With her extensive marketing background and a “members first” motto, Beth oversees the member spotlight stories and the chairman’s message, as well as being a standout leader in our women’s group, WEBOND.
The Annual Awards Dinner also serves as our installation of new board members, and the election of new officers. Bette Walpole, Chamber Membership Director, will serve as the new board chairperson for a two-year term; and Lou Victorino, owner of East Bay Manufacturing, will serve as chair-elect. Other new board members include Joe Hozempa of Round Two; Luca Carnevale of Hope & Main; and Jessica Pflaumer, Economic Development Coordinator for the Town of Bristol. Mark DeVine of DeVine and Associates, will assume the role of secretary/treasurer, relieving Joe Farmer.
All Chamber members are encouraged to celebration our honorees at the Annual Awards Dinner, to be held on Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Ramada Banquet and Conference Center, 213 Taunton Ave., in Seekonk. The event starts at 5:30 p.m., with dinner served promptly at 6:30. Tickets are $50 per person. As this is a seated dinner, reservations are required, and can be made by calling the office, 401-245-0750; or emailing Suzanne Munroe. Deadline for reservations is Oct. 7.
The Chamber is also accepting sponsorships for this event. For details and to take advantage of this highly publicized dinner, email Suzanne Munroe.