Page 1

volume eight issue four


Ocean State Buying

Shopping Local

What’s Happening Page 7

In Little Rhody

Flood Ford Page 11

Ranger Test Drive

Retro Blast Page 15





Whether you’re moving across the street or across the state. CALL 401-942-0200 TODAY For more information visit www.williamsandstuart.com BUY LOCAL, SHOP LOCAL




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Tourister Mill | 91 Main Street, Warren RI This beautifully restored mill is now home to a stunning, state-of-the-art mixed use community with ample parking, incredible waterfront views and a variety of versatile floor plans to meet the needs of your unique business.

*APY means Annual Percentage Yield. 2.05% APY on balances $10,000 or greater. Balances below $10,000 will receive .15% APY. Minimum balance required to open account is $2,500.00. Fees may reduce earnings. This is a variable interest rate. Rate is guaranteed for 12 months and rate may change at any time thereafter. Interest credited monthly. Offer subject to change and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Rate effective as of the date of this publication. Active checking account required and new and existing members are eligible when new money is added. Member NCUA.


to your new

Waterfront Workspace!

Formerly known as the landmark headquarters of the “American Tourister Luggage Company”, Tourister Mill now features 85,000 sf of commercial space along with the re-development and new construction of 290 state-of-the-art residential units, including parking for up to 750 cars. This newly renovated premier business address is conveniently located on Main Street at the northern end of Warren, just over the bridge from the affluent community of Barrington.

For additional information please contact Charles Panasis | 603.945.8081 cpanasis@bradysullivan.com


RISBJ_1.8.19 Tourister.indd 1


1/8/2019 10:26:42 AM

What’s Happening in Little Rhody A P R I L / M AY

2 019

Local Mother/Daugheter Team

Put Best Feet Forward For Suicide Prevention Awareness Too often, people go through problems that are neither seen nor discussed. They are reluctant, afraid or scared to talk about them. Whatever they are dealing with, some people may not have someplace to go or someone to talk with to sort things out. In some cases, sadly, some people dealing with this situation often conclude that nobody wants to help them and thus, decide to end their troubles permanently. Suicide is an issue that plagues all races, genders, ages and socio-economic statuses. It does not offer any rhyme or reason, just a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Suicide can affect anyone without warning and leaves no clues for the reasons why someone would choose to take their own lives. That is why the mother/daughter team of Kelly and Abigail White of North Kingstown are being proactive. They will take part in the Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk in Boston this June. They currently have a four-person team that will spend the night with other people walking the streets of “The Hub of the Universe” to raise mental health and suicide awareness. The event is sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. For the White family, it’s a subject that hits too close to home. White said she is currently accepting donations and sponsorships for her team. Sponsorships run in various tiers and have corresponding benefits, such as name and company logo on event program, back of walkers, T-shirts and projected during event. White said she hopes the team raises $10,000 to be donated to AFSP.

Newport Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival 2019 Fort Adams State Park Newport, RI Food Truck Festivals of America is heading to Fort Adams State Park for the Newport Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival! Featuring some of the area’s most popular food trucks, dishing out fan favorites. Along with dozens of regional and national craft breweries, FTFA will be bringing the ultimate food truck experience to Fort Adams on Saturday, May 18th from 12pm to 5pm. *Beer will be served from 11:30am to 4:30pm per Rhode Island state law.

Visit online at eatdrinkri.com/events

They are hosting a fundraiser to further raise awareness and funds. The event happens Saturday, May 4, 6:00 PM--10:00 PM., Quonset O Club, 200 Lt. James Brown Rd., North Kingstown. The event will feature food, live music, dancing, amazing raffle prizes and a silent auction to benefit the AFSP. More information may be found by contacting Kelly White at Kelly.white@cruiseplanners.com or 401-932-9066. Additional details can be found by visiting their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/overnightwalk/. BUY LOCAL, SHOP LOCAL


SMALL BUSINESS | Need To Raise Capital

A Creative Safe Space

W H E N T H I N G S G O A S K E W, G O O D T H I N G S H A P P E N

ASKEW The story of

Bistro & Entertainment Venue


PBUY hotography Provided By David Findlay LOCAL, SHOP LOCAL

A Creative Safe Space | BUY LOCAL, SHOP LOCAL

Everybody needs a place to cultivate and refuel and get out of their minds for one moment. I’ve never allowed discrimination of any kind. A bar only gets as crazy as you let it. Windsong Hadley was about to sign a 71-page lease document with plans of opening a bistro and then things went a little … Askew.

explaining that this can only be achieved if people do not feel judged. “I’ve never allowed discrimination of any kind. A bar only gets as crazy as you let it.”

“I always loved the history and the design of the room,” Hadley said standing in Askew, an event space which brings a fresh feel to what was once the Century Lounge in Providence. “A huge amount of the music history of Providence began in this room, so that to me was very important in incorporating it in our current business venture.” Teaming up with her husband, John Difruscio, former owner of Club Hell, the two bring over 20 years of experience in entertainment to this unique venue. Askew is home to events ranging from live music and stand-up comedy to poetry readings and performances of magic. She went on to explain that the space contains a unique ability to be compartmentalized in order to accommodate every type of live performance.

Creativity and art are not limited to event space, but instead reach back into the kitchen. “You eat with your eyes,” she said. “I don’t think you should sacrifice art in the kitchen.”

“I don’t think there’s anything typical about our audience,” Hadley said. She describes Askew as a place where patrons can witness a man with tattoos on his head enjoying a show next to someone in a business suit along side a college professor and students. Hadley and Difruscio are striving to mold Askew into a place that accepts all forms of creativity while barring any hint of discrimination and bigotry. “Everybody needs a place to cultivate and refuel and get out of their minds for one moment,” she said

Askew’s menu features Cajun style comfort foot, all impaled with stick for handheld eating, designed to make patrons happy during a show. When asked what criteria she has for the food, Hadley said, “It’s got to be on skewers and it’s got to be pretty.” She reveled in the compliment she received from her regulars who referred to Askew as fancy. “The only thing that everybody has in common is that everybody is open minded and supportive of the art and music scene in Providence,” Hadley said of her patrons. “We’re all just cool people,” she said. For more information, or if you just want to stop by, visit Askew Bistro & Entertainment Venue, located at 150 Chestnut Street in Providence. You can also call (774) 526-9736, or explore their website, www.askewprov.com. Don’t forget to check out their event schedule to see what is coming soon to Askew!



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Flood Ford Invited Us To Drive The

2019 Ford Ranger Lariat

Test Drive and Article by Mike Casale

When the Ford Ranger was first introduced in 1983, Ford made it clear that they wanted an alternative option to the higher priced, full-sized truck offerings. They also wanted a truck that would be practical and fun to drive. The Ranger kept in this mindset, and it lasted for three generations until Ford decided to halt production on the Ranger in 2012. During this time, Ford began to realize that the mid-size truck segment was growing rapidly. While many other automakers rushed to join the mid-size truck segment over the last 5 years, either through new model offerings, or complete redesigns, Ford did the opposite. They took their time, knowing that this truck would be willing to do things a little differently than the rest of the competition. After learning of the new features that the Ranger has to offer, I decided to take a journey down to Flood Ford of East Greenwich, and test one out for myself. As a previous Ford Ranger owner, I was aware of the history that this truck name would have to live up to. From the moment that I arrived at the dealership, I could see the enthusiasm that the Flood Ford team had for this all new truck. Sales Manager David Cathey introduced me to Robert Bell, a long-time Sales Consultant and Ford Enthusiast. Before I was even able to gather camera, Robert already had picked out a black Crew Cab Lariat, with the tan leather interior and the optional FX4 OffRoad Package. This was a night and day difference from any Ranger that I had ever seen in my past, and Robert certainly came prepared to explain to me the significant features about this truck, and what separates it from the competition. For starters, it is available with two cab configurations: extended cab with a 6-foot bed or a crew cab with a 5-foot bed. There are also three trim levels: XL, XLT and Lariat. All Rangers are equipped with an EcoBoost (turbocharged) 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine (270 hp, 310 pound-feet of torque) paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Now, for those of you that hear 4-cylinder in a mid-size truck, hang on for a moment. This is not your typical 4-cylinder engine. From the muscular grunt, to the pushback in your seat power, this truck feels like a motor that should be double its actual liter size. Even better, this Ranger is one of the segment leaders in towing capacity, at right around 7500 pounds. In terms of technology and features, the Lariat that I drove also included all of the XLT’s equipment plus 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and taillights, power-adjustable and heated front seats, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch center touchscreen with Ford’s Sync 3 interface, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and a sound system by Bang & Olufsen, which by the way, was as loud and crisp as any high end luxury car system that I have listed to in a long time. As far as handling and overall driving experience, this new Ranger was more than capable of on-road or off-road demands, but yet, always felt comfortable and easy to drive. If you are looking for a mid-size truck, and would like to look at a new innovative design, come check out the new 2019 Ranger at Flood Ford of East Greenwich BUY or Narragansett. LOCAL, SHOP LOCAL 11

Your Local Jewelry Experts Featuring the desired brands Sarah Yo, Dora Rings and BlackJack.

We are here for all of your Jewelry and Watch needs including repairs. Also featuring an Expert Watchmaker on site. Open Tuesday thru Saturday 10am to 5pm. Stop in to see our inventory.

1395 Atwood Avenue Suite 101, Johnston, RI Call (401) 751-8105

FROM MAIN STREET TO YOUR STREET | Call 401-310-0630 Sal Savastano - Executive Vice President, Ext. 101, NMLS# 201878 John Savastano - Area Manager, Ext. 102, NMLS# 202774 David Travers - Branch Sales Manager, Ext. 103, NMLS# 41681 Vivian Garcia - Branch Ops Manager, Ext. 106 David Campagnone - Branch Manager, Ext. 116, NMLS# 202619 Jennifer Richetelli - Loan Officer, Ext. 107, NMLS# 1721491 Patricia Vargas - Loan officer, Ext. 109, NMLS# 1433663 Waldy Ripoll - Loan Officer, Ext. 113, NMLS# 1450474 Mike Plummer - Loan Officer, Ext. 114, NMLS# 1606301 Ramon Feliz - Loan Officer, Ext. 117, NMLS# 721887 John Caliri - Underwriter, Ext. 108 Brianna Cunningham - Processor, Ext. 104 Caitlin Barone - Processor Lucy Togher - Processor, Ext. 105 Chacety Lezcano - Processor, Ext. 110 Seana Petrangelo - Closer, Ext. 115 Cristina Costa - Closer

Located At: 400 Reservoir Avenue Providence, RI This is not a guarantee to extend consumer credit. Main Street Home Loans NMLS ID #2893 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org). MA Mortgage Lender and Broker. RI Licensed Lender and Broker.



Licensed in RI, CT, NH and NJ

Knead Doughnuts Knead Doughnuts has expanded their donut production into a 5,000-square-foot commercial kitchen previously operated by the food incubator Pilotworks, now called Providence Kitchen Collaborative. With the capacity to handcraft even more gourmet doughnuts, Knead will be at more farmers markets, serve more weddings, and craft more special seasonal flavors. A third donut shop is slated to open at their new production space this spring. With a significantly larger commercial kitchen, Knead is now able to give back and support several budding food businesses by leasing them commercial kitchen space. “We are humbled to be able to support Providence’s dynamic food scene” said Knead co-founder Adam Lastrina. “All these businesses were right where we were two years ago.” The new location at Providence Kitchen Collaborative is already home to all of Knead’s doughnut production, as well as seven food entrepreneurs leasing commercial kitchen access from Knead, including Brown Paper Bounty, Vic’s Handcrafted Ice Cream, and Long Live Beerworks, which will operate a brewery and bar just steps from Knead. Inquire about leasing kitchen space here.



Knead plans a grand opening of its new donut shop at Providence Kitchen Collaborative, which will be open on weekends and select evenings, in May 2019. Follow updates on Knead’s lively Facebook and Instagram pages. The award-winning gourmet doughnut shop opened its first Providence location, at 32 Custom House, in December 2016. A second Providence storefront opened in April 2018 at 135 Elmgrove Avenue. To learn more about Knead Doughnuts, visit kneaddoughnuts.com.

ABOUT KNEAD DOUGHNUTS Opened in 2016, Knead Doughnuts crafts homemade donuts with locally-sourced, wholesome ingredients. Since its inception, Knead has gained critical acclaim, widespread support throughout the Rhode Island community, and quite a few fans. Knead is founded by local residents Adam Lastrina, Todd Mackey, and Bryan Gibb, all of whom attribute the success of Knead to their team’s commitment to making and serving gourmet, traditional donuts that are unrivaled in terms of quality, flavor, and execution.



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Providence Location

Swansea Location

271 S Main Street

1010 Grand Army of the Republic Hwy






t s a l B

Twin Oaks Restaurant 100 Sabra Street, Cranston, Rhode Island William DeAngelus Sr., founded Twin Oaks in 1933. In 1928 during prohibition, William began distilling whiskey to sell to his friends and his basement became a “speakeasy” and locals called it Moonshining. Moonshining was later destroyed and within that year Twin Oaks was born. The restaurant had two small private dining rooms that held 16 people maximum, the main dining

room accommodated up to forty people. The restaurant grew quickly due to the “labor of love,” Eva DeAngelus, William’s wife prepared all the food, while William cooked it. The reasonable prices also helped with business. In 1979 William passed away, and William Jr, took over the management of the restaurant. In 1980, the restaurant was destroyed by a fire, so while Twin Oaks was being constructed, William Jr. decided to rent out the former Gregory’s Restaurant on Oaklawn Avenue in Cranston. The customers were very excited and happy with the decision because they couldn’t do without the fabulous food. In 1981 Twin Oaks re-opened in their present building Under the direction of our father, William DeAngelus Jr., Twin Oaks became the largest independent operation in Rhode Island, and is ranked number 66 in the United States. We now have six dining rooms that seat 650 people, and have 180 employees. For more Information about Twin Oaks Restaurant, call (401) 781-9693 or visit twinoaksrest.com BUY LOCAL, SHOP LOCAL


641 Armistice Blvd, Pawtucket, RI 02861




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Step inside this completely renovated property. Absolute open space living and dining rooms. Spotless hardwood flooring underneath your feet. Pellet stove in living room provides additional comfort during the winter months. Ductless air-conditioning. Huge kitchen converted from 2 bedrooms gives an indicator of the size. $329,900


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M EET T HE LO CALS Some Details About Jim:

It is tremendously fulfilling to help my borrowers make good decisions for their specific needs and goals. I judge my success through the accomplishments of all my borrowers. I am fortunate to have been successfully helping thousands for over 20 years.

Business Name and Info: ENVOY Mortgage Jim Delprete, Loan Originator, NMLS#4361 535 Centerville Road, Suite 204-B, Warwick RI Direct Line: 401-932-1878 Email: delprete@envoymortgage.com Web: https://jdelprete-envoy.mortgagewebcenter.com/ Number of years in Business: 25

What Drives Jim: My current clients and past borrowers are always surprised at the clarity and thoroughness of my mortgage planning approach. In my experience, the real challenge lies in seeing the big picture and analyzing all the working parts of what is a complicated and sometimes challenging process. By delivering an approachable and through plan of action I help my clients and professional partners manage expectations and clarify the path to their goals, no matter if its first-time home ownership, a second home or investment purchase. Sometimes it’s a simple refinance of an existing home to lower a rate and payment or cash out for home improvements, debt consolidation, or a divorce situation.

If you could use an experienced mortgage professional guide you, contact me today for a no cost, no obligation meeting, just to get acquainted.

Jim’s Favorites: What is your favorite place to eat in RI: Anywhere Kids eat for free! What is your favorite vacation destination: Narragansett Town Beach What is your favorite time of the year: Fall Who is your favorite celebrity: Any loud Punk/Pop Band. What is your favorite movie: American Sniper What’s one thing you couldn’t live without: Coffee

If you would like to be featured in our “Meet the Locals” section, please email info@shoplocalrhody.com.



Meet The Envoy Team!

Jim Delprete

Loan Originator | NMLS ID #4361

Doug Iannuccilli Branch Manager | NMLS ID #19741

Jamieson S. Toulan

Phone: (401) 932-1878

Phone: (401) 499-3684

Phone: (401) 474-4760



Building Customers For Life

Operations Manager | NMLS ID #1624089


• Purchases and Refinance • Conventional Loans • Rhode Island Housing • First Time Home Buyer • Renovations Loans & More Copyright © 2018. This is not an offer to enter into an agreement. Information, rates, & programs are subject to change without prior notice and may not be available in all states. All products are subject to credit & property approval. Envoy Mortgage, L.P. – Rhode Island Licensed Lender – License # 20092627LL; Rhode Island Licensed Loan Broker – License # 20122861LB; Third Party Loan Servicer License# 20163198LS

Visit our location at 535 Centerville Road, Suite 204-B, Warwick, RI

Call Today to Get Started! (401) 499-3684 | envoymortgage.com



Local Rhode Island Supreme Dairy Farms Founded in Rhode Island in 1932 by Thomas Bruzzese, an Italian immigrant from one of the cheese making centers of the world, Calabria, Italy. For many years, the Bruzzese family developed a cheese making tradition in Rhode Island meticulously following old world recipes and techniques. For over 85 years Supreme Dairy Farms has been a part of family meals for generations, providing the best, freshest ingredients to your family’s table. www.supremedairyfarms.com | (401) 739-8180

Aquidneck Honey Founded in 1996 by Jeff Beeman, in Newport, Rhode Island. Jeff was inspired by his grandfather who was an immigrant from Portugal and an incredible gardner. Growing up Jeff spent weekends and afternoons landscaping and gardening. Now there are more than 300 Aquidneck Honey hives, all still hand-built, placed in farm locations around Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Each hive colony has approximately 80,000 bees. With a little attention to making sure they have enough space and good flowering plants around, those are 80,000 happy worker bees. www.aquidneckhoney.com | (401) 862-2171

Tito’s Cantina Salsa Founded in Rhode Island in 1989 by partners Rich Reavis and Vince Arcello, and opened Tito’s in Middletown, RI. Over the years Tito’s has become famous for its home style chips, salsa and other specialty products. Tito’s Brands has been the sole distribution company of Tito’s Specialty products. Tito’s Brands distributes all natural specialty Mexican products made with organic corn, and other fine ingredients. Their products are kosher, gluten free, NON GMO verified, certified vegan, and a good source of fiber and whole grains. www.titosbrands.com | (401) 965-8975



d Products Del’s Frozen Lemonade Founded in Rhode Island in 1840 by Franco DeLucia, who brought the recipe to Cranston, RI from Naples, Italy. Grandfather Franco DeLucia brought his father’s frozen lemonade recipe to America at the turn of the century. Angelo DeLucia, his son, began work on a machine to produce the frozen lemonade, and on a method of making it a consistently excellent product. In 1948, Del’s Frozen Lemonade acquired its name and became the sole product sold at a little stand in Cranston, Rhode Island. Soon, Angelo had designed the first mobile units in order to serve anywhere in the state. www.dels.com | (401) 463-6190

Kenyon’s Johnny Cake Corn Meal Founded in Rhode Island, along the banks of the Queen’s River in the village of Usquepaugh. the oldest manufacturing business in Rhode Island, and the second oldest continuously operating business in the state. C.D. Kenyon, who purchased the mill in 1909, saw the potential for selling the ground meal. He began to brand it in sacks with the Kenyon name and made it available to everyone. The grain was transported as far away as Providence by horse and buggy, and delivered to various markets throughout the state. In 1916, the company bought a Model T truck, which made deliveries easier. This made it possible to satisfy the growing demand for Johnny Cake Meal, which then extended to the entire state of Rhode Island, and parts of Connecticut and Massachusetts. www.kenyonsgristmill.com | (401)783-4054

Autocraft Coffee Syrup Founded in the 1930s, and in 1991, the firm acquired Eclipse, a coffee syrup manufacturer, after which is become the sole manufacturer of coffee syrup in the United States. Coffee milk has become part of Rhode Island folklore and has received local, regional, and national media attention as a uniquely Rhode Island taste “sensation.” On July 13, 1993 coffee milk earned more than just the title of “hometown brew” when the State Legislature voted to make coffee milk the Official State Drink of Rhode Island. BUY LOCAL, SHOP LOCAL


SECRETARY OF STATE | Nellie M. Gorbea What Clams Me About SMALL Manage A Remote Worker or Office SMALL BUSINESS BUSINESS || How Dear To Mom: A Taught Letter Home From ALeadership One Day Warrior


e c r e t a r y




t a t e

Nellie M. Gorbea


As your Secretary of State, I want to make sure you know of any updates to Rhode Island laws that can help you run your business. One big change this year is in our public notary law. Notaries are important because they serve as impartial witnesses and deter fraud. Prior to this year, Rhode Island’s notary law had not seen substantive changes in nearly a decade. During the 2018 General Assembly session, we were able to modernize our laws in ways that help Rhode Islanders by providing clear procedures and rules, access to modern tools like e-notarization, and greater protections for notaries and their customers. Title 42, Chapter 30.1 “Uniform Law on Notarial Acts” was added to the Rhode Island General Laws, taking effect on January 1st this year. Below are some highlights of the exciting changes this law brings to the notary process and a list of the free educational tools the Rhode Island Department of State provides.

Electronic Notarization

E-notarization is one of the biggest improvements in the notary law. New and existing notaries are now allowed to perform notary acts electronically, just like in 30 other states. This will speed up commerce by offering a much more convenient way to sign documents. Consumers will benefit from a process that is less complex and more secure. Businesses will also be able to “go green” by printing and storing fewer documents. Notaries must select approved tamper evident technology and notify our office that they will be performing electronic notary acts. Information about approved technology solutions and filing requirements are posted at sos.ri.gov/ divisions/notarypublic.



Notary Stamp

Every Rhode Island notary is now required to have a notary stamp. The stamp should produce a sharp, legible printed image that reproduces under photographic methods. Embossing seals do not photo copy and will no longer be an acceptable notary stamp on their own. Notaries who continue to use the embosser must do so in conjunction with a pre-inked seal highlighter to render the impression inked. Stamps should also include the notary’s name as it appears on their commission, as well as the words “notary public” and “Rhode Island,” along with an edge border.

Qualification Statement

Every new or renewal applicant is now required to complete a qualification statement and disclose any criminal convictions. The state’s commissioning officer will determine whether to deny, refuse to renew, revoke, suspend or condition the commission.

Prohibited Use of the Term “Notario Público”

Notaries may not use the term “notario público” unless they are an attorney

licensed to practice law in Rhode Island. A notary public commission does not authorize individuals to give legal advice or act as an immigration consultant or expert.

Notaries Can Refuse to Perform a Notarial Act

If a notary is asked to perform a notarial act but is not satisfied that the participant is competent, understands what they are signing, or is not willing to freely sign the document, that notary can refuse to perform the notarial act.

Evaluation Tool

Prior to receiving a commission, all new notaries should take a knowledge assessment to demonstrate they have sufficient knowledge of the powers and duties of a Rhode Island notary public.

Free Educational Resources

In addition to free notary training sessions in our office, the Department of State proudly offers the following notary resources on our website: • Notary public manual and toolkit • Video tutorials • Notary state law • Notary standards of conduct • Electronic notarization standards of conduct If you have any questions or want to learn more about our most recent updates, please contact the Notary Program Manager Johanna Petrarca, at notaries@sos.ri.gov.

We’re here for you - Contact us!

Please feel free to contact me directly with any thoughts or suggestions you have on this or any other topics at secretarygorbea@sos.ri.gov or visit our website sos.ri.gov. We look forward to working with you to grow your business or non-profit in Rhode Island.

Before there’s better health,

there’s a bigger idea. Fighting America’s health crisis:

19nationwide. % lower opioid use


Offering access to more treatment centers in Rhode Island than any other insurer. 2

For more than 25 years, we’ve focused our innovation on the issues that matter most to Rhode Island. And it’s that kind of big thinking that has helped us build award-winning strategies to fight long-term opioid use -- from offering access to more treatment centers to connecting members with certified peer support specialists.3 Because learning what works from serving thousands of health purchasers across the country means it’s easier to help make an impact right here. UnitedHealthcare. Working for Rhode Island.

To learn how UnitedHealthcare is working for Rhode Island, visit

uhc.com/rhodeisland 1

UnitedHealthcare internal data: commercial member population, Jan. 1, 2017 – Feb. 2, 2018.


UnitedHealthcare and Optum Behavioral Health internal data (M. Moore). Rhode Island behavioral health medication-assisted treatment prescribers via www.samhsa.gov and Zelis competitor data as of Feb. 2019.


UnitedHealth Group (parent company of UnitedHealthcare) recognized by the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions with the 2018 eValue8™ Innovation Award for its Opioid Use/Risk Management program, nationalalliancehealth.org/news-press-releases/ evalue8-awards, Dec. 5, 2018.

Administrative services provided by United HealthCare Services, Inc. or their affiliates. Insurance coverage provided by or through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or its affiliates. Health Plan coverage provided by or through UnitedHealthcare of New England, Inc. 8638866.0 3/19 ©2019 United HealthCare Services, Inc. 19-11373



BUY LOCAL, SHOP LOCAL | Keeping Their Customers Moving

Keeping Their Customers Moving Owner Mike McAlister’s 45 years in fixing autos and jets is the driving force

With the seasons changing from the winter to spring, cars need to operate efficiently. Challenges ranging from potholes and salt to dead batteries often test drivers’ nerves. They want their vehicle to run smoothly when they get into the driver’s seat. At North Smithfield Auto Center, a family-owned, AAA-approved business located on 106 North Greenville Road, the five mechanics and service staff is ready to address those needs. Owner Michael McAlister, Sr. purchased the building in 2005 after owning a similar shop in Bellingham, MA. Their mission is completing all types of vehicle repairs, including RI State Inspections, correctly and affordably while getting motorists back on the road quickly. “How do I run a good business? In 21 years, I have been able to figure it out,” said McAlister. “I love doing what I am doing because each day is different. The people who come in become our friends. They are greeted with a friendly smile from either (Service Writer) Karen Ernst, my wife, Mary Anne, and/or



me. The business has grown over the years primarily because of word-of-mouth and networking. Why would I consider retiring when I love coming into work every day?” McAlister is no stranger to fixing things. He noted being interested in mechanics when he was young. He joined the U.S. Air Force and served during the Vietnam War. While serving overseas, he was named Crew Chief to fix jet engines. After leaving the Air Force, McAlister attended the Franklin Institute in Boston, MA to become an Automotive Technician. He not only left there with a degree in that field but also with the MacTavish Award as Class Valedictorian. He went on to work for Wellesley Volkswagen for two decades as a Technician. In 1998, he opened Mike McAlister Auto Repairs in Bellingham, where he stayed until moving to North Smithfield in 2006. McAlister said one of his proudest professional distinctions is being an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certified Technician. He originally received the honor in 1979—two years

Keeping Their Customers Moving | BUY LOCAL, SHOP LOCAL

There is so much to learn, and with cars constantly changing and evolving, why would someone in the field not want to keep up with what’s happening

A. OLAES ADJUSTING, ESTIMATING & CONSULTING in dep en den t in s ur a nc e a d jus te r

after the program begin. McAlister said he may be one of the first technicians to earn the certification. He added that he recertifies every five years to maintain his status. It is something that he takes a lot of pride in having. “Many technicians take the test, pass, and never return to recertify,” he said. “There is so much to learn, and with cars constantly changing and evolving, why would someone in the field not want to keep up with what’s happening? I have maintained this certification for 40 years, and I intend on keeping it active for a long time.”


His shop also prides themselves on repairing what must be fixed. McAlister said he hates the practice of “up charging” customers for unnecessary services and parts. He sees this when vehicles are close to their warranties expiring. He said those facilities look to sell the customers on parts that either are not broken or need repairs. He noted one example at the 15,000-mile check-up. While some places might tell customers the oil change is free, there might be other “services” that are extra once the car is on the lift. That usually leads to an unexpected and high repair bill, McAlister said.

Homeowner Services | Condo & Realty Services Business & Commercial Services

“A customer might need an oil change, air filter and fluids topped off. That service usually ranges between $50-80. However, another place might sell those same services for $180 by adding unnecessary parts and services (to boost the price). Some places might charge $300 or more at the 30,000mile checkup, when it should cost a fraction of that.


“The best thing to do is ask questions and become more educated on your car so that you do not get ripped off,” McAlister added. “Most times, it could be a simple solution to a problem or there’s no problem at all. Trusting your auto repair shop and technicians is the key to keeping your vehicle running well. “We do not quote or diagnose problems over the telephone; that leaves room for a misdiagnosis. The best thing to do when there might be issues is making an appointment. We will inspect your vehicle at no charge to determine the problem is and how to proceed.” With spring arriving, McAlister said drivers should watch out for wear and tear on tires, having fuel injectors cleaned out, ensure belts and hoses are tightened and the air conditioner works. He said cleaning the fuel injector, along with changing the oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, will help improve gas mileage and prevent the car from having major problems. When the McAlisters are not working, they enjoy bowling and spending time with the family. They enjoy watching their grandchildren in their sports activities, going on cruises and family get-togethers.

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by Dr. Ronald G. Shapiro

Dawn encourages parents to support their children’s reading by: •

Visit Steven and Dawn Porter, co-owners of the Rhode Island-based independent book publisher Stillwater River Publications, at their bookstore (175 Main Street in Pawtucket, RI; (401) 475-1979; info@stillwaterpress.com): • •

• • •

Browse their collection of over ten thousand new and gently-used books, with over 300 written by local authors. Get some free tips and questions answered on what you need to do to publish your own book. Stillwater River Publications has published over 160 titles to date. Arrange to have your book sold at their store. Purchase a great book or two! Both Steven and Dawn are native Rhode Islanders and graduates of URI. Steve founded the non-profit Association of Rhode Island Authors (ARIA) where he currently serves as its president. Dawn studied book design in college, published her own children’s book and is a high school special education teacher.

Stillwater River Publications

• •

Visiting bookstores and libraries often, making books an important part of their childhood. Encouraging them to write creatively, improving their vocabulary and English skills. Making sure there is always time in their busy daily schedules for pleasure reading.

Steven and Dawn will be pleased to help you publish your story as: • • •

A Memoir: Tell your story and pass it down to the next generation in your family. A Professional Book: Become an authority in your chosen field. Fiction or Poetry: Write the next Great American Novel and get it off your bucket list.

I would like to thank Industrial Consultant Dr. Margarita Posada Cossuto for helpful comments.

Dr. Ronald G. Shapiro Independent Consultant in Human Factors, Learning and Human Resources





Seaside Success Found at Charlestown A Shore Thing is a beautiful, cozy spot right by Charlestown Beach with a unique shop behind the bed and breakfast with gifts and furniture repurposed right on site. Jen Messina had fallen in love with Charlestown after many years of visiting her aunt and uncle’s property where they ran an art gallery. She had a dream of turning the home into a bed and breakfast to share the kind of peaceful joy she’d experienced there with others. Having run her B&B successfully for a couple of years, she came to the RISBDC for help getting a loan to buy the property. With the help of the RISBDC, she was able to do just that and continue to grow her business and her dream. She quotes, “RISBDC… was a very helpful and resourceful breath of fresh air with hope and options. Josh, my RISBDC counselor, helped me understand and work towards a solution to continue on my journey.” Through the RISBDC, Jen also connected with a social media marketing class at URI. She looks forward to implementing the recommendations made by the students. She also sees herself working toward a possible annex to the current



Beach BnB

location. “The RISBDC enabled me to continue and find a way to keep my dream business going.” Learn more about A Shore Thing by visiting their website at AShoreThingRI.com. If you’re ready to start writing your success story, attend one of our upcoming workshops or set up a free one-on-one counseling session today. Register at RISBDC.org today.

The Rhode Island Small Business Development Center at URI is part of a national network of nearly 1,000 business assistance centers that provide counseling and training to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. Partially funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, we help businesses to succeed from start-up to maturity.

Need help with your existing business? The Rhode Island Small Business Development Center can help out. They offer no-cost, individual counseling that can address financial planning, business plan development, market research, loan application development, branding, licensing and permits, and more.

Success Stories Are Writ Assistant State Director of the Rhode Isla



A Cup of Success at Latte Love Coffee House Tony Phouaykoumpha learned the essence of hard work, struggle, perseverance, and work ethics at an early age. His parents sacrificed a good living in Laos to give him and his sister a shot at the American Dream when Tony was just seven years old. He has always admired his parents’ hard work, zeal, integrity, and high work ethics. He picked up his first job at a restaurant at the age of 14 to help his parents with bills and never looked back. He worked for the same restaurant for 23 years in varying capacities and learned a lot about restaurant business-the dos, the don’ts and everything in between! After my many years of service and realizing he wasn’t going anywhere with the company, the quintessential entrepreneurial bug bit him. Alas, he could be his own boss. Well, he needed to be his own boss. He always had a talent for creating unique dishes with a flare and his fiancé Elizabeth Paul always wanted to own a coffee shop. And thus their labor of love--Latte Love Coffee House was born on December 2018. It’s a modern rustic Café with an artistic ambiance. Their Slogan is “Sometimes the perfect day starts with a great cup of coffee, and we’re here to help. Let’s fight the daily grind together, one cup at a time… or two.” Latte Love Coffee

tten By Diane Fournaris, and Small Business Development Center

House serves 100% organic and above Fair Trade coffee with a food menu. Their coffee comes from all over the world and thus helping farmers grow a sustainable business. The beans are locally roasted-proudly caffeinating Rhode Islanders. In many ways, the road to Latte Love Coffee House reflects Tony and his family’s personal story-challenging but rewarding. Tony understood the need for professional business planning support early on. That’s when he connected with RISBDC. Amit Basnet of RISBDC has been working with Tony from the early market research & due diligence to meticulous execution of the current business plan. Tony opines, “Amit was amazing at helping us search for answers every step of the way. Without his knowledge, I don’t think our Café would have been possible. He has invested as much time as Elizabeth, and I have to get the café going.” Visit Latte Love Coffee House at 11 Comstock Parkway in Cranston, Rhode Island, or visit latteloveri.com. If you’re ready to start writing your success story, attend one of our upcoming workshops or set up a free one on one counseling session today. Register at RISBDC.org today.



BUY LOCAL, SHOP LOCAL | A Challenging Business Turnaround





by Bryan B Mason

I want to tell you about a client that did a lot really well and a lot really poorly. The company manufactured custom furniture for people of means. In fact, eight of the world’s wealthiest one hundred people have some of the company’s furniture. The owner was easily able to point out his furniture in customer’s homes on the pages of Architectural Digest. The company had over 400 kinds of wood not available in the world today in addition to access to all of the wood that is available. This treasure trove of wood was amassed over half a lifetime by buying the wood inventory from craftsmen who were retiring and companies that were closing. The company also had some world class wood carvers, truly master craftsmen. The company produced some of the most amazing furniture I have ever seen.

Revenues Did Not Cover Costs

The company sought me out because they were often short of cash to make payroll and as a result, the staff was on the verge of striking. I began my work analyzing the revenue and costs from past orders. I interviewed some of the staff to get a good idea of the work flow and what their suggestions were to improve the company. The first thing I discovered was that the company was not charging enough to recover their full costs. This was very hard to determine because each order was unique and had different costs. The company’s accounting system did not track the costs for each specific order and standard cost accounting would have been useless. I also discovered that most orders were not delivered on the date promised. Of course, the company was losing money and the cash flow was erratic at best.



When I confronted the owner with these facts he told me I was wrong. After all, he did the estimating himself. He told me that he was formally a master craftsman and was fully aware of the costs of materials and the amount and type of labor needed for each order. He also told me he would not be able to retain customers if he increased prices. So we made a deal. We would go through the current book of in progress orders and he would tell me how much labor was needed to complete each order and the date that each order would be complete. For my part, I organized a simple way to collect and track time by order. At the end of the month we met again. Almost none of the orders had been completed on time. All of the orders had used more hours than he thought. I then developed a formal estimating process using a set of templates for him to use. He used the templates. However when I showed the estimates to his staff, they told me there was no way they could build the furniture within the estimated hours. I got the staff to estimate the hours they thought it would take. We went on for another month. I went back to the owner and showed him the actual hours. As you guessed, the workers were vastly better estimators. So I got an agreement from the owner whereby he would do the initial estimates and would have the final say, but he would meet with some of the staff for their input before sending estimates to customers.

Most Orders Were Late – Defects Were High

The next problem was on time delivery. Orders were never completed by the promise date. I developed a project scheduling process and got the client to hire someone to manage this process. Of course, this did not work smoothly

A Challenging Business Turnaround | BUY LOCAL, SHOP LOCAL

Often, the designer would pencil on a napkin with the customer at dinner what he was proposing and then pass it on to my client at first because the owner would interrupt the process by inserting priority orders during the production cycle. He would also accept change orders from customers in mid-production. As you could imagine, there was mass confusion on the shop floor which led to product defects as well as the wrong things being produced. All of this was driving up costs and the orders were still not produced by the promise date. So I got the owner to implement a formal change order process where all change orders would be written down and would require signoffs from the customer. Slowly but surely defects went down and on time delivery improved.

Win Back Lost Customers

Most orders would come through designers. Often, the designer would pencil on a napkin with the customer at dinner what he was proposing and then pass it on to my client. My client was brilliant at being able to take that and design a workable product. I analyzed what went wrong with many designers that had not placed an order recently. I discussed this with the owner and we came to a joint understanding that he had lost most of these customers because he had consistently made mistakes and/or not delivered on time.

The designer’s clients were furious and my client’s inability to deliver made those designers look bad. We also determined that the only designers that were still giving him orders were doing so because of his very low price. No wonder these customers would not accept a price increase. Now that we had reduced the defects and could deliver on time, I convinced him to slowly raise prices on new orders and to work hard to win back the lost designer clients. I also got him to charge a significant premium on rush orders and leave some time in the production schedule to accommodate them without disrupting the whole schedule. This way, if he had some rush orders, he would make more money and if he did not, some customers’ orders would be done before the promised date. A win-win for all. As you can tell, this client was very hard to work with. However, at the end of the day these changes made the company profitable and kept it in business. And that result is what I really enjoy about what I do. Mr. Mason founded the Apollo Consulting Group in 2008 to help small and mid-sized companies in solving their challenges. Mr. Mason brings over thirty years of corporate, consulting and entrepreneurial experience in a variety of industries. He possesses skills in general business management, analysis, strategy development, marketing, finance/budgeting, operations, pricing optimization, workflow optimization, process reengineering, project management, and information technology. Mr. Mason has two degrees in Economics and was a Volunteer Mentor for the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RI-CIE). He writes a weekly blog on his company website at www.apollogr.com/blog.

Bryan B Mason

Principal | (401) 862-6339 The Apollo Consulting Group LLC

DO YOU WANT TO INCREASE PROFITABILITY BY 20-40% AT YOUR COMPANY? Please join us for a free seminar presented by Bryan Mason Tuesday, May 7th from 7:30 AM – 8:45AM Providence Chamber of Commerce 30 Exchange Terrace, Providence, RI 02903



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Join Us May 7th 2019! Winners of the 2019 Rhode Island Business Competition will be announced Winners & finalists will share prizes valued at more than $185,000

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We’re building the next generation of companies in Rhode Island Since 2001, the Rhode Island Business Competition has awarded more than $2.6 million in prizes to help entrepreneurs build growing businesses in Rhode Island, and today is the largest community-supported business plan competition in the Northeast. Our sponsors include private companies, professional service providers, foundations, colleges and universities, public agencies, investors, banks – and previous participants. Full details at www.ri-business.com BUY LOCAL, SHOP LOCAL


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