IS BRAYTON POINT’S FUTURE TIED TO NATURAL GAS? PAGE 5
PROVIDENCE BUSINESS NEWS
UPDATED DAILY OCT. 21-27, 2013 VOL. 28, NUMBER 29
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A NEW HOME? Small Business Development Center needs to move.
YOUR LOCAL SOURCE FOR BUSINESS NEWS IN SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND
Signs of optimism in E.P. BY RHONDA J. MILLER MILLER@PBN.COM
PBN PHOTO/KATE WHITNEY LUCEY
HOPE FLOATS: LaserPerformance employee Joel Furtado patches a “flying junior” at the Portsmouth company. The firm is in the process of hiring 15 full-time employees for a new production line.
Boat makers diversify tostay afloat BY PATRICK ANDERSON PANDERSON@PBN.COM
Even if demand for yachts never returns to where it was before the recession, manufacturers and craftsmen will still be making boats in Rhode Island. The centuries-old recreational marine industry centered in the East Bay is smaller than it was a decade ago, but is evolving and diversifying as companies position
themselves for the recovery. With the economy improving, Americans have slowly begun to buy sailboats and powerboats again, and smaller, less-opulent craft appear to be leading the way. That’s helping companies such as LaserPerformance in Portsmouth, which makes fiberglass sailing dinghies and is in the process of moving production of foils (centerSEE BOATS, PAGE 30
Standard & Poor’s recent upgrading of East Providence’s general-obligation debt rating from BB+ to A is giving some members of the local business community reason for optimism after struggling for years with the city’s building fiscal stress. “It’s important because the recognition of the city’s improvement is from the national level,” said Laura McNamara, executive director of the East Providence Area Chamber of Commerce. “The upgrade from Standard & Poor’s is having a great impact on morale among business leaders.” Starting in 2008, McNamara began noticing businesses in the city buckling under national and local financial pressures. “By 2011, it was really shaky. Businesses were closing up,” said McNamara, who has led the Chamber for 16 years. “Membership in the Chamber kept dropping. I’d find out the Chamber members were going out of business, especially the ones with 10 or less employees.” Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee in 2011 appointed Maj. Stephen M. Bannon of the state police as fiscal overseer for the city, which was weighed down with more than $10 million in debt as well as SEE OPTIMISM, PAGE 30
Sabbaticals key part of recruitment BY PATRICK ANDERSON PANDERSON@PBN.COM
Chad Jenkins, an associate professor of computer science at Brown University, waited a few extra years to take his first sabbatical, but made sure when he did take time off, he made it count. After nine years at Brown, Jenkins combined the six months of paid leave due tenure-track professors after six years of teaching with another half
year of work paid for by a Silicon Valley robotics company. Free to spend an entire year in California away from students, Jenkins researched public access to robotics through the Internet – what he describes as the “robot app store.” “It was really an opportunity to experience Sil-
FOCUS ON EDUCATON STORIES START ON PAGE 18
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icon Valley, its strengths and disadvantages, and bring that experience back to Brown,” said Jenkins, now back teaching in Providence, “to build Providence into a stronger hub of innovation and … the next direction we need to go into.” Outside of academia, taking six months or a year away from work to study, conduct research or finish a career-building, personal project is SEE SABBATICALS, PAGE 25
Company cures smartphone ills.
PBN PHOTO/TRACY JENKINS
TIME TO GROW: Chad Jenkins, an associate professor of computer services at Brown University, researched public access to robotics through the Internet on his sabbatical.
INSIDE: Newsmakers BizBest Sales Moves News Briefs Focus Section
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Calendar People in the News Editorials Mackay’s Moral
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ment needs everyone’s support. 12 FOCUS: Education Roger Williams among the institutions holding the
Through the eyes of a child Equipped with disposable cameras, elementary school students taking part in a summer program through Brown University explored the Olneyville neighborhood. Above, artist Lauren Smith is painting an electrical box in Olneyville Square as part of Providence’s Art Transformer Project. The student photos were on display last week at William D’Abate Elementary School in Providence.
line on college tuition costs.
Companies including Facebook meet with RISD students to discuss 18
Katharine Hazard Flynn, executive director of the URI Business Enexperience at EDC and the growth 4
Calendar 26 People in the News
Q&A 27 28
In what areas were you most affected?
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INDEX TO THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COMPANIES AccessPoint RI Amica Mutual Insurance Co. Amtrak AS220 Atrion Networking Corp.
(Energy/Environment, Entrepreneurship, Financial Ser-
Business is worse since the shutdown 15.2%
Editorials 28 Mackay’s Morals
Not affected 62.5%
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How was your business affected by the shutdown? There has been no change 81.8%
COLUMNS & FEATURES
I’m not sure how my staff feels about this 18.2%
gagement Center, talks about her of the center.
(Government, Manufacturing, Real Estate/Development)
Shut down by the shutdown?
LIST: Private Secondary Schools 20
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Tech Collective working to narrow technology skills gap.
6 1 21 30 3, 18, 24
Omni Providence Hotel OrthoCore Physical Therapy
PC Troubleshooters Plum Point Bistro Providence College Providence V.A. Medical Center
21 6 24 13
Quonset Development Corporation 17 Rhode Island College R.I. Community Food Bank R.I. Marine Trades Association Rhode Island School of Design
19, 24 26 30 18
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PROVIDENCE BUSINESS NEWS
OCT. 21-27, 2013
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URI bids to host state biz-development center BY RHONDA J. MILLER MILLER@PBN.COM
The University of Rhode Island is one of the bidders proposing to host the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center when the contract for its current space at Johnson & Wales University expires on Dec. 31. “URI would be the main host,” said Katharine Flynn, executive director of the URI Business Engagement Center, who confirmed the university put in a proposal with the U.S. Small Business Administration in Washington, D.C., by the Oct. 3 deadline. “We would have a hub for the Small Business Development Center at two of our campuses – in [South Kingstown] and Providence,” said Flynn, who declined to say if there would be potential partners or provide more details about the proposal, citing the competitive bidding process. Mark Hayward, Rhode Island district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration, last week said there was no information available on potential bidders. The seven staff members of the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center – employees of Johnson & Wales University under the current contract – know they will be going somewhere when the year ends – perhaps to the state unemployment line. “When the contract ends, there’s no
guarantee the current employees will be transferred over with the program,” said Adriana Dawson, current state director of the small-business development center. She was assistant director of the program when it was housed previously at Bryant University. “The new host has the ability to bring talent onboard where they see a good fit,” she said. “The current employees could resubmit applications to be considered for positions with the new host.” The center needs to move because Johnson & Wales’ notified the SBA in the spring that it would no longer host the center at the end of the contract, said university spokeswoman Lisa Pelosi. “Currently we have some information technology functions there and there’s the expectation that we would use that SBDC space for our IT functions,” said Pelosi. Bryant University was the founding host institution for the small-business development center, which was based at the Smithfield campus from 1983 to 2006, said Bryant University spokeswoman Elizabeth O’Neill. Bryant representatives attended the bidders’ conference for the relocation of the center, but did not submit a bid, said O’Neill. Neither Providence College nor the Community College of Rhode Island submitted bids, according to spokes-
PBN PHOTO/MARTIN GAVIN
DEVELOPING STORY: Adriana Dawson, R.I. Small Business Development Center director, middle, speaks with with Operations Director Diane Fournaris, left, and Central and Southern Rhode Island Director Ardena Lee-Fleming at the center’s JWU home. URI has made a bid to host the center starting next year.
men. Salve Regina University, which is currently the Newport County/East Bay partner for the center, could not be immediately reached for comment on whether it had submitted a bid. New England Institute of Technology in East Greenwich was originally interested in being a satellite site for the center as a partner on the URI proposal, said NEIT spokesman Steve Kitchin, but is not part of the URI bid. The SBA bidders’ conference was held at the Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce in Warwick on June 26. About half the funding for the Rhode Island SBDC, or about $625,000, is from SBA, said Dawson. When fully staffed,
the center had 11 employees, but that dwindled down to seven, Dawson said. Johnson & Wales provided $250,000 annually, in addition to a matching amount of in-kind services, including office space and equipment, Dawson said. The state contribution to the SBDC, through the R.I. Economic Development Corporation, was $42,000 for fiscal 2014, said Dawson. The small-business center counseled 700 clients in 2012, according to Dawson. Seventy percent of those were existing business and 30 percent were startups. Forty-five percent were women-owned businesses, 33 percent minority-owned and 7 percent veteran-owned, said Dawson. n
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URI biz center could one day serve all state colleges BY PAT DADDONA
ily lead to philanthropic dollars or research dollars coming to the university. For instance, a company decides to have a faculty member do research for them, that will end up in dollars for the university. There will be a nice synergy between what I am doing now and what I was doing raising dollars philanthropically for the foundation and the university. It will allow me to lead with partnership as opposed to leading with the tin cup, as in, “Please give.”
Katharine Hazard Flynn has worked for the business community – specifically, the finance industry on Wall Street – and with the business community, through the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. Now, in her new role as executive director of the University of Rhode Island’s Business Engagement Center, she is working for the university as well as for and with business and industry, seeking to connect employers with opportunities that “engage” URI’s resources, faculty and student body for mutual benefit. While carving out this new niche, one that could extend future services well beyond the URI campus, Flynn continues to work in advancement for the university. PBN: After working in the private sector at such companies as Prudential Bache and Societe General, what is it you like and appreciate about the way the business community works? FLYNN: I like the way business leaders and businesses in general think because they tend to be looking forward. They are always looking for new and better ways to do whatever they do and they’re generally looking to innovate around their core competencies, at least the successful businesses do. PBN: You worked seven years for the R.I. Economic Development Corporation. What did you learn when working with business leaders? FLYNN: I had come from working on Wall Street, where most of the conversations were around finances and financing. What
SEEING CLEAR: Katharine Hazard Flynn, executive director of the URI Business Engagement Center, says her time at EDC gave her a “wider lens” for viewing economicdevelopment, business and finance opportunities.
the EDC allowed me to do was open that lens so the discussion became more robust. I did a lot with helping businesses relocate. I learned a lot about lean manufacturing and helping businesses get more energy efficient. It taught me to look at a business more holistically. And when I meet with industry leaders now, I have a wider lens, so it’s not just about their balance sheets or their financial health. PBN: You work now half-time as director of URI’s corporate foundations and relations unit. How will the philanthropic scope of that job inform and affect your role at the Business Engagement Center? FLYNN: The BEC, since it will serve as the front door for industry to come and use the resources of the university, could very eas-
PBN: Who is the first new business you made contact with as the BEC’s executive director? How did that go? FLYNN: Hope Global, a large textile manufacturer in Cumberland, reached out. I knew the CEO anyway but they reached out to connect to our international engineering program because they are expanding in both China and Mexico. So they need interns and permanent career people who understand the language of engineering, which is the goal of our international engineering where program, the student graduates with a double major in a language and in engineering. They came to campus to talk about that. That conversation went well and there’s follow up happening. From that conversation came possibilities for two projects, one of which was being chosen by Hope. When the company comes in for one thing, they end up finding out about other opportunities. They came in looking for students for careers and intern-
ships and they ended up also hiring our engineering students to solve a real-world problem that they have on their factory floor in their senior year. PBN: What do you see as the biggest challenge facing business prospects hoping to work with the university system today and how do you plan to tackle that? FLYNN: The biggest problem is they don’t know where to start. They may think they want to hire, say, someone who’s really good in social media but they have absolutely no idea who to call. They don’t know whether they want an intern or a permanent career person. As a result they don’t call. Now, they have a place to call. And there’s a natural place for me to steer them. PBN: What is your ultimate goal for the BEC? Where do you hope it will be 10 years from now? FLYNN: If you look at the University of Michigan, our original [model], I would love to get to the point where we have a selfsustaining model. It won’t ever be as large as Michigan, [their BEC has] 18 employees. In terms of the student body, we’re about one-third of the size of Michigan. I hope we have six or seven employees to network with businesses. There’s a possibility we take it to the next level, which is also where Michigan lives. They ended up with a statewide BEC. Could we have a BEC that represents … all of the universities in the state? They’re all so different [but] that would be pretty amazing. n
When the company comes in for one thing, they end upfinding out about other opportunities.
INTERVIEW Katharine Hazard Flynn POSITION: Executive director of the URI Business Engagement Center BACKGROUND: In early September, Flynn became executive director of the University of Rhode Island’s new Business Engagement Center. A 1981 graduate of Brown University, she worked for various companies in the finance industry on Wall Street from 1981 until 2002, then took a two-year hiatus to move to Rhode Island. In 2004, she began work as businessdevelopment manager at the R.I. Economic Development Corporation. She became the EDC’s director of business development in 2007. In 2012, she became director of URI Corporate and Foundation Relations, a post she continues to hold while working at the BEC. EDUCATION: A.B. degree in mathematical economics from Brown University in 1981 FIRST JOB: Scooping ice cream at Friendly’s Restaurant RESIDENCE: Providence AGE: 54
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OCT. 21-27, 2013
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Brayton gas conversion considered BY PATRICK ANDERSON PANDERSON@PBN.COM
Coal is on its way out in New England and the future of the region’s largest coal-fired power plant, Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset, is uncertain. Just six months after they purchased Brayton Point in a package deal with two other power plants, new owners Energy Capital Partners recently declared the facility outmoded and announced plans to stop generating electricity there in 2017. Although Brayton Point has been operating far below capacity and cheap natural gas has pushed many coal plants across the country out of business, the decision caught local leaders by surprise. The plant has long been the largest employer and taxpayer in town and New Jersey-based private-equity firm Energy Capital Partners has given little indication of what they intend to do with the 1,530-megawatt facility when it stops burning coal. The jobs of 240 plant workers could be lost when the plant closes its doors. “I have no idea what’s going to happen with it,” said Donald P. Setters Jr., chairman of the Somerset Board of Selectmen. “The new owners really aren’t in the power business per se. They’ve never said what they intend to do, but I am sure they want to keep it as a power plant.” If burning coal under increasingly strict environmental rules is uneconomical, the obvious alternative would be to convert Brayton Point to run on natural gas, the fuel that’s now dominating e l e c t r i c a l DONALD P. SETTERS JR. generation Somerset Board of due to cheap Selectmen chairman domestic supplies. In Salem, Mass., Brayton Point’s former owner Dominion sold another coal-fired plant last year to a separate New Jersey company that plans to convert it to natural gas. And indeed, that’s the scenario most local leaders appear to prefer. Setters said a conversion to gas “would be ideal.” State Sen. Michael Rodrigues, DWestport, who has been named chairman of a task force studying the future of Brayton Point, said the existing utility infrastructure at Brayton Point makes converting it attractive. “It makes a lot of sense that that option is explored.” Rodrigues said. “On that property is all the transmission infrastructure. All the transmission lines are now plugged into the coal-generating plant, but it would make sense to substitute gas.” Energy Capital Partners also acknowledged the option of turning Brayton Point into a gas plant. “We did not buy Brayton Point station for any purpose other than to operate it as it currently exists,” said James A. Ginnetti, senior vice president of EquiPower Resources Corp., the Energy Capital subsidiary controlling the plant. “However, we have initiated a study that will evaluate the possibility of building a new gas power plant on the site or the repowering of the existing
units as options. Brayton Point will evaluate these and a number of other options for the site and will work with the local community, political leaders and other stakeholders, as appropriate.” Of course, there are hurdles to turning Brayton Point into a natural gas plant, chief among them delivering gas to the site. “The problem is there is a bottleneck getting gas into New England,” Setters said. “The only pipeline that feeds that plant is not sufficient in size to carry the amount of gas necessary. That can be replaced and they own the easements to do it.” The kind of investment needed to convert a power plant may be discouraged by low demand for electricity in
the area due to efficiency measures and the still-sluggish economy in Rhode Island and the South Coast, Setters said. As natural gas has become increasingly popular for home heating and electricity generation, securing that gas has become a concern for local power plants and grid operator ISO New England. There are only two pipelines connecting New England to the shale-gasproducing regions to the west and during periods of high demand supply goes first to homes for heating. The increasing reliance on natural gas is perhaps the only thing that could keep Brayton Point operating on coal beyond 2017. Although ISO New England and En-
COURTESY DOMINION RESOURCES
BURNING QUESTION: Brayton Point Power Station owner Energy Capital Partners has given little indication of what they intend to do with the 1,530-megawatt facility when it stops burning coal.
ergy Capital could not reach an agreement on a post-2017 price for power, the grid operator can re-enter negotiations if it finds that closing the facility would put the region in jeopardy of outages. ISO has 90 days from Oct. 6, the date SEE BRAYTON, PAGE 6
‘The problem is there is a bottleneck getting gas into NewEngland.’
9/6/13 4:09 PM
PROVIDENCE BUSINESS NEWS
6 n www.pbn.com
OCT. 21-27, 2013
Reinvented eateries keep dining scene fresh We so often talk about and seek out nesspeople. the newest restaurant in town. And we Ralph Conte has enjoyed a welldo not have very far to look to find an- deserved reputation as one of Proviother new place open- dence’s best-respected chefs and resing its doors to tempt taurant owners. His landmark Italian us. The reviewers bistro, Raphael, is still fondly rememand the bloggers join bered by foodies from throughout the in the quest to be the state. He started out as some will refirst at the newest. member in North Kingstown, then had But the real sustain- a couple of locations in Providence and ing reason why Rhode a location in East Greenwich. I described Raphael Bar Risto as Island is a great dining destination is that “one of the most perfect spots for rolike established culi- mance” and when Ralph closed his Bruce Newbury nary meccas such as doors in 2008, I wrote how New York City, there “he showed us how cool are a number of well- and sophisticated with established favorite spots in the neigh- great food could be done” borhoods as well as in the downtown and called him a “pioneer in the Providence restaudining districts. These familiar eateries have stood rant boom.” the test of time as well as the onslaught In the summer of 2012, of every restaurant-come-lately on the he re-emerged in North Restaurant Row. Kingstown, just across There is another category of depend- the bay from his beloved able eateries that are available to us. Jamestown home. He opened Plum Longtime restaurateurs who have rein- Point Bistro along with his wife, Elivented themselves, combining the best sa, son, Raffi, and daughter, Zoe. The of their original concepts with modern crowds and rave reviews followed. contemporary touches, have opened Ralph and his family have estabnew places. In some cases it marks a lished a menu highlighting ingredients return to a familiar neighborhood, for and creations that are “fresh, all natuothers it is the fulfillment of a longtime ral, organic and locally grown whendesire to work nearer to home, particu- ever possible” – that’s the message on larly when home is a place long sought the menu. While Ralph spends his time after. Two chef-restaurateurs are away from the restaurant out fishing, prime examples of how the familiar can other specials reflect the new preferbe turned into a new experience with ences in dining out. Plum Point Bistro daily1Vegan Board with specials practically none of the uncertainty BusinessRemoteCaptureAd 4/24/13 or 2:55has PM a Page missteps that hamper fledgling busi- that are in keeping with the diet. Next
to the cutting-edge choices, an “oldschool” choice: escargot. “We tried the retirement thing and decided it wasn’t for us,” declared Terry Orlando from the hostess station at her and husband’s (chef Pat Orlando’s) reinvented La Rosa Italian Restaurant and Banquets in Cranston. Pat had opened the original La Rosa and it enjoyed a loyal following for his authentic southern Italian creations. I have fond memories of in-depth talks with Pat about his food philosophy over a great pot of slow-simmering San Marzano tomato sauce in the kitchen of Pat Orlando’s Restaurant in Johnston. Together, Pat, Terry and Sergio Orlando have opened their latest Italian restaurant on busy Atwood Avenue, near the Johnston town line. Pat’s 40-plus years in the restaurant business certainly qualify him as one of the state’s culinary icons. He has remained true to his roots with an extensive menu of made-from-scratch, southern Italian recipes, including house-made pastas. The neighborhood is an interesting evolution. From one of the original retail “strips” in the state, the four-lane state route has seen retailers, supermarkets and even Cranston police headquarters rise up, become landmarks, and then relocate to other sections of the city, only to be supplanted by other retailers, a school of cosmetology and a retirement condominium
It takes a special type of restaurateur to reinvent himself.
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community on a steep hill overlooking the highway. Just north of Atwood Avenue, the older neighborhoods of Knightsville and Dyer are still home to many residents of Cranston old and recently arrived. The Orlandos have found a strong demand for a gathering place for life’s celebrations and commemorations. La Rosa’s banquet facilities are busy nearly every day with functions for families, groups and businesses. Traditional menus for buffets as well as plated, served dinners are offered. In virtually every neighborhood in the state there are examples of restaurants which have stood the test of time and are still crowd-pleasers. But it takes a special type of restaurateur to reinvent himself, stay current with the trends, listen to guests who dine out often and continue to be successful. These culinary personalities are another secret of success of our dining-destination state. n Bruce Newbury’s “Dining Out” food and wine talk radio show is heard on WADKAM 1540, WHJJ-AM 920 and on line and mobile applications. He can be reached by email at email@example.com.
Brayton FROM PAGE 5
Brayton Point submitted its intention to retire, to finish a “reliability assessment” on what the impact of the closure would be. If the assessment finds losing the emergency capacity of the coal plant would be harmful, ISO could restart talks on a price to keep Brayton operational, said ISO spokeswoman Marcia Blomberg. Natural gas accounts for 52 percent of New England’s power generation and coal 3 percent. Brayton Point opened in 1963 and by 1974 expanded to four generating units, three of which burn coal and another that burns either natural gas or oil. Virginia-based Dominion bought Brayton Point in 2005 for $300 million and over the next seven years invested $1.1 billion on equipment to reduce its environmental impact, including the giant cooling towers to prevent dumping hot water into the bay. Energy Capital reached an agreement to buy Brayton Point, along with two other power plants in Illinois, for $650 million in March. Brayton Point sits on 306 acres of waterfront land and environmental groups are now hoping that once the plant stops burning coal, the property is redeveloped for a nonenergy use. N. Jonathan Peress, vice president and director of clean-energy climate change at the Conservation Law Foundation, which has pushed to close coal plants, called expecting the plant to be rebuilt for natural gas “wishful thinking.” “Right now as it stands it is not likely to be profitable because of the way the market is,” Peress said. While local leaders begin the process of planning for a future without coal, another old power plant, the vacant Somerset Station on the Taunton River, was purchased at auction last week by a Boston area real estate developer for $3.95 million. No plans for the property were announced. n
PROVIDENCE BUSINESS NEWS
OCT. 21-27, 2013
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There’s a looming fight on closing-cost rebates The recent government shutdown and the debt limit have dominated the headlines, but a behind-the-scenes fight over federal mortgage policy has been brewing and it could affect your choices the next time you apply for a home loan. The issue concerns differing rules for different types of mortgage sources. Some mortgage brokerage firms have begun advertising that they offer substantial credKenneth R. its to their customers Harney – often in the $2,000 to $5,000 range per loan but sometimes more than $10,000 – that can be used to defray borrowers’ closing costs. A survey of 164 member firms of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers found that these companies provided more than $69 million in closing-cost credits to clients last year, and are on track to pay out the same or more this year. The group estimates that brokers nationwide rebated upward of $2 billion in 2012. To illustrate: Charles W. Berryman, a departmental chairman at Louisiana State University, closed on a $295,900 mortgage to purchase a home earlier this year. It carried a 3 percent fixed rate for 15 years. Essential Mortgage Co., a large brokerage firm in his area, credited him $3,500 to defray his closing costs. In an interview, Berryman said he had shopped at two competing banks before making his choice. They offered the same attractive 3 percent fixed rate, he said, but no credits. The availability and size of the closing-cost money sealed the deal for him, he said. Plus “it really surprised me,” he added, that one mortgage company could offer such a sweetener while competitors apparently would not or could not. Though no one explained it to him at the time, there was an important reason for the difference. The brokerage firm, Essential Mortgage, was required by federal rules to rebate the money to Berryman. The two competing banks were not. This is because under regulations issued by the Federal Reserve, brokers – who do not lend their own money but can shop among multiple creditors on behalf of borrowers – must disclose all their fees upfront to applicants. They are not permitted to earn any more than the disclosed amounts even if the funding source they choose for a buyer at a specific interest rate will pay them a premium for the loan. When brokers do receive premiums, the extra money must be credited to the borrower. The rules are an outgrowth of abuses during the mortgage boom years, when some brokers steered unsuspecting customers to higher-cost loans in order to fatten fees for themselves.
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Banks who lend their own money, by contrast, are under no such requirements on premiums. They have the option to offer an applicant a credit – or not – in connection with a given interest rate. In Berryman’s case, for example, the two banks he shopped quoted identical 3 percent rates even though they may have had the flexibility to sweeten the pot with a closing-cost credit. Like most mortgage customers, Berryman was not aware that they might have some flexibility, and never asked. The brokerage firm that he ultimately selected, on the other hand, actively advertises its credits and makes them a selling point with potential clients. So where’s the controversy and what
should mortgage shoppers do with this information? Here’s the issue: Brokers complain that they are treated unequally under current rules – they are forced to rebate money, thereby limiting their potential income on transactions while competitors are not. Plus they worry that new “qualified mortgage” rules scheduled to take effect in January that set a limit on total allowable fees in home loans will only make matters worse. They have protested to federal regulators and are pushing for congressional legislation that would change the rules, but so far have been unsuccessful. What should you as a mortgage applicant take away from all this? Most im-
portant, be aware that when you shop among competing banks and mortgage companies, you shouldn’t focus solely on interest rate. Ask about the possibility of credits toward closing costs. If a lender is quoting you the “posted” rate at the time of your inquiry, there may be credits toward closing expenses available at that rate or at another rate. Review the full range of rate scenarios, fees, monthly payments and cash needed to close with the loan officer. Like professor Berryman, you just might be surprised. n Ken Harney is a member of The Washington Post Writers Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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FabNewport program creating motivated learners BY HAROLD AMBLER CONTRIBUTING WRITER
In a shared, 600-square-foot room in the East Bay Met School in Newport, the ambitious, business-focused education program known as FabNewport is entering its second year of operation. Founded by Met teacher Steve Heath with grant money from The Rhode Island Foundation, as well as the van Beuren Charitable Foundation, FabNewport pairs technology specialists with tech-hungry students, and gives them real-world experience intended to make them self-motivated learners who can enter the manufacturing sector as viable, possibly even prized, workers. The program grew from Heath’s exposure to a “fab lab” (fabrication laboratory) at AS220 in Providence about four or five years ago. Heath knew as soon as he saw the tools being used that he would return. “I brought students up, and you could see their faces light up instantly,” Heath said. “The first tool that we used was the laser cutter. The kids liked it, and within a couple of hours we were making things that were interesting. We were etching into glass and into cardboard to make signs and to carve decorations into drinking glasses. I made a sign that I thought was pretty cool, and everyone was just like, ‘Wow, can we do that again?’ ” The idea of fab labs originated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, specifically the Center for Bits and Atoms, where the operative ambition is learning “how to turn data into things, and things into data.” For the original fab lab at MIT, that can mean creating beautiful, latticed structures for use in larger engineering projects (among other things). For FabNewport, turning data into things can mean something as simple as producing a vinyl sign. That was just what happened when Ian Manning, owner of OrthoCore Physical Therapy in North Kingstown, admitted the need for a sign. “I’m at a strip mall,” Manning said, “and people walk by my door all the time. Steve … mentioned that they could help me with a sign.” Manning observed that the students
COURTESY CAMERON BLAISDELL
ABSOLUTLEY FABULOUS: Students Kaysa Shea and Kyler Dillon and East Bay Met School teacher Steve Heath work on a 3-D printing project as part of FabNewport’s efforts to promote technical knowledge and passion.
“The people there were definitely working on the project for FabNewport with Heath were shy initially. “They very passionate about bringing an opwere really quiet kids, very reserved. portunity like fab lab to Newport CounThey’re high school students – it’s not ty,” Logler said. “It was a collection of like they’re used to this kind of stuff. people that were unsatisfied that these types of opportunities that But once they were able to fab lab offers didn’t exist get into the work and take in the county.” something that they had Other meetings and done on a virtual level and workshops run by Fabtake it to the final stage, Newport have continued that gave them a sense of a groundswell of supserious accomplishment. port for the group and I get compliments on the its ambitions. A successsign all the time.” ful series of 3D printing Heath, a career educaworkshops at the Internator, is in the process of tional Yacht Restoration handing over direction of School co-hosted by FabFabNewport to Nick LoNewport were attended by gler. If Heath is the visionabout 200 people over the ary, one who is great at STEVE HEATH course of the past summer. building relationships for FabNewport teacher The relationship with his organization all over IYRS is typical of the kind Aquidneck Island and beyond, Logler has a similar skill set of partnerships that FabNewport is but adds a level of technical expertise. building around Aquidneck Island. Logler first witnessed FabNewport at “We want to train community partan open-community session held late ners,” Heath said. “We’ve developed in 2012. Attending were former shop relationships at Newport Public Liteachers, ex-manufacturers, engineers, brary, Boys & Girls Club of Newport educators and artists. County, the Met School (beyond just
‘They all want to run design classes, but they don’t know who’s going to teach those classes.’
myself), and All Saints Academy. They all want to run design classes, but they don’t know who’s going to teach those classes. We want to teach their staff so that they have some of that knowledge and develop their expertise. We see ourselves as a hub for technological knowledge and passion.” The next wave of grants will be required to grow FabNewport to the extent that it can fulfill Heath’s vision fully, but in the meantime there is no slowing down for the group. “We just spent the month of August building a remotely operated, underwater vehicle,” Logler said. “It’s a robot that’s tethered and that you steer around underwater. It was through a microgrant, and we had to have an engineer mentor. It was really myself, working with a couple of students – and when we ran into a major problem, the mentor would come in to troubleshoot.” There are a variety of challenges that such work presents. “One is working with students, so they’re learning,” Logler explained. “They did all the assembly. We had to pull a circuit board from another part to put it in our ROV. They broke it while they were pulling it out. They’re learning how to work with sensitive materials. That learning curve is challenging. And then the other challenging part is just getting the software to work.” Short-term goals for FabNewport are simple. “We’re going to really zero in on 2-D and 3-D designs here with our students this fall,” Heath said. Students “are really focusing on this so that they can get internships and move forward with their careers from an early point.” How will Heath know whether FabNewport has succeeded? “I would say that two years down the road if you were looking at FabNewport, you would look at the relationships that have been cultivated between young people, professionals, community members, volunteers, people in business, and to look at where those relationships had led, particularly the learners, people new with the technology,” he said. “You would want to see how the experience had affected their educational and entrepreneurial trajectory,” added Heath. “That would be our litmus test.” n
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If you want to get ahead, never say … What does it take to get ahead in business today? While the experts may offer such suggestions as having cuttingedge skills and being a good team player, there are other, even more essential, attributes. John Graham Clearly separating the average employee from the superior worker are basic – but often lacking – qualities. The techniques are actually quite simple, but they have one fundamental, common characteristic that makes them so valuable: each one produces positive action. The quickest way to achieve success is to eliminate the negatives. If you want to be considered a “star” performer, here is what you should strive to never say: n “They didn’t get back to me” or, “They’re getting back to me.” Both are equally disastrous excuses. Never wait for anyone to return your telephone call or email. Be reasonable, but take the initiative. n “I thought Joe was taking care of that.” Doing what you told isn’t enough; think about what should be happening. Ask questions to keep things moving. n “No one ever told me.” Let a supervisor hear you talk this way very often and you will have made a very clear statement about the way you work. You operate in a tunnel, oblivious to everything that is going on around you. n “I just assumed …” Making assumptions is the best way to become instantly obsolete.
n “I left a message.” So what? Leaving the message doesn’t mean you have accomplished anything or that the responsibility is now passed to the person you tried to contact. n “I didn’t know you wanted me to do that.” Companies seek entrepreneurial-minded workers who keep things moving and explore new paths. n “I didn’t have time.” And don’t bother with “I was too busy,” either. If you find yourself saying things like this, you are writing your employment obituary. n “I didn’t think to ask about that.” Anticipating what needs to be done is the job. An inability to see down the road may indicate that you lack the ability to understand and grasp relationships. n “But it isn’t due until …” Last-minute performance is out. Managers know that what’s done at the last minute doesn’t leave time for proper evaluation, revision and refinement. Going with second-best doesn’t get the business. n “But they said it would be done on time.” There’s only one problem – it wasn’t. Why? You failed to check to determine progress and possible problems. n “As I understand it …” Stop playing games. You’re hedging and that’s trouble. Using words like this indicates that you’re a bystander, not an active participant. n “I’ll do it as soon as I get it from …” Sorry, not good enough for today’s
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competitive workplace. If you’re just a cog in the process, you’re out of a job. n “I’m going to get on that right away.” Sure you are! Now that someone had to remind you about it. You are communicating the message that you are disorganized and deal only with assignments when they are called to your attention. n “I haven’t been able to contact her.” The barriers are higher than ever. So, get creative: send flowers, a box lunch, or hire a limo. Do whatever it takes to get attention. Waiting and making excuses is a sure sign that you can’t cut the mustard. n “I had computer trouble” or “My email is down.” Even though it may be true, it sends the message that you’re a person who makes excuses instead of taking responsibility. n “Nobody told me how to do that.” As they say in Texas, “That old dog don’t hunt.” Your responsibility is to stay relevant in your job – and to expand it. In fact, your job depends on it. n “That’s not my job.” If your boss hears that, cancel the trip to the Barbados, start updating your resume and your LinkedIn profile. Your future is in doubt. n “I know I sent it to you.” Do it and you’ve earned the wrong reputation. Be smart and just send it again. n “I was working from home that day and missed that.” Now, you know why Yahoo and others are stopping
Making assumptions is the best way to become instantly obsolete.
working from home: too much home and not enough work. n “What was that?” (while removing your earbuds). Like it or not awareness of what’s going on around us is integral to being part of a team. Earbuds on the job say, “Leave me alone; don’t bother me.” Not a good way to get ahead. n “Let’s have a meeting.” Get smart. A current study indicates that “goal-oriented, high achievers” feel meetings get in the way of actually doing work, while “more social, not as self-structured” people view meetings as a time to catch up and talk with colleagues. n “It’s in the works.” Let’s put it this way. It’s payday and the company hasn’t made a deposit to your bank account. When you question why, your boss says, “It’s in the works.” Now you know why never to say it. n “Traffic was awful” or “My train was late.” If you say something like this, you’re announcing to the world that it’s a good idea to leave home a little earlier so you’ll be there on time. n “My dumb dog ate my smartphone.” Enough said! The message in business today is very clear: performance is the only measure for success. Whatever the roadblocks, it’s your job to get past them. If not, you’ll be viewed as one of them. n John Graham of GrahamComm is a marketing and sales consultant and business writer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Going Social? You need a plan Social media has become a vital piece of marketing for small businesses. But many lack a specific strategy for using social media and end up with a scattershot approach that lacks punch. This misses a major opportunity to engage with customers and prospects and manage the business’ online reputation. “Without a social Daniel Kehrer media strategy, how do you know what you’re trying to achieve, what you should be doing, what you should be measuring and what’s the ROI of your social media program,” said Neal Schaffer, a social media strategist and author of a new book called “Maximize Your Social.” If your business intends to enter the social media world, it needs to have a consistent message. You’ll want to know what resources you’ll need and how they will be used. And you’ll also need to define tactics you will and won’t pursue. All of this should be written down so that it can be passed to others when employees leave. Here are essentials that Schaffer says should be in your social media plan: n A consistent brand message. It’s okay to be a little less formal in social media channels. But make sure that when you post in different places all participants speak with a unified voice and message. In the planning process, be sure to designate who represents the voice of your company in social media. n The right channel selections. Don’t try to be everywhere. That’s just not realistic and you don’t have the resources to be active in all channels. Pick a few that are most appropriate for your business. For example, most B2B businesses find LinkedIn to be a fruitful place. Businesses with highly visual products or services can do well on Pinterest. And if you’re adept at creating videos, YouTube should be on your list. And Facebook should probably be in everyone’s plan. Consider Twitter as well. n Post strategically, not constantly. You don’t have to be constantly tweeting and posting to have impact. Well-timed and thoughtful content is what’s important. Research shows that a single daily post on Facebook can be more effective that multiple posts that split the response. n A way to be “follow-worthy.” As part of your plan, think about why customers would want to like or follow you. Look at your business from the perspective of an outside observer and ask yourself, “Is what we say and produce worthy of being followed? Is it something that will draw people back again? Would I follow us?” n
Daniel Kehrer can be reached at email@example.com.
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GOOD RECEPTION: Cellular Medic was born in 2009 in Massachusetts, expanding to a second shop on Atwells Avenue in Providence in March. Pictured above are co-owners Eli Acevedo, left, and Derek Coelho with customer Raylah Philip.
Keeping customers, phones connected Cellular Medic shops specialize in fast smartphone and computer repairs BY RHONDA J. MILLER
ne week after the iPhone 5s came out, the Cellular Medic shop on Atwell’s Avenue in Providence had four calls about repairing the new Apple phone. “People dropped them,” said owner Derek Coelho, whose goal is to minimize that potentially nerve-wracking time of being disconnected from a smartphone. “Our goal is to get people in and out in an hour,” said Coelho. Timing is everything at Cellular Medic – more exactly, part of everything that represents traditional measures of good business. “We provide fair, honest, reliable and fast service. We’re the type of business that if we repair your phone today and you have a problem six months down the road, if you’re in the system with the same phone, we’ll give you a discount because you’re a repeat customer,” said Coelho. “We get a lot of students. They break their phones,” Coelho said. “We have a lot of faculty come in, especially from Johnson & Wales.” Public servants, including police officers and firefighters, also get discounts at Cellular Medic. That could be a tribute to Coelho’s first intended career – when he went to Bridgewater State University, he planned to be a police officer. Many members of family are police officers and it seemed like his natural path. Then he got married and had a child. Having a child made coming home every evening jump to the top of his priority list. Coelho worked in construction for 10 years, until the company he was working for downsized in 2009. “I wanted to do more with my life, but I wasn’t sure what it was,” said Coelho. “So I stayed home for six
COMPANY PROFILE Cellular Medic OWNERS: Derek Coelho and Eli Acevedo TYPE OF BUSINESS: Cellphone and computer repair LOCATION: 123 Atwells Ave., Providence and 1101 North Main St., Randolph, Mass. YEAR ESTABLISHED: 2009 in Massachusetts and March 2013 in Providence EMPLOYEES: 3 full time and 1 part time ANNUAL SALES: WND
months to figure out what I wanted to do.” Not knowing it would be a move that defined his career path, Coelho bought an iPhone off Craigslist. He had a problem with it, so he went back onto Craigslist to find someone to repair it. “I went to the guy’s house on a Friday night and he replaced the battery and the speakers,” said Coelho. “I was in and out in 10 minutes and he charged me $80. I noticed there were four other people in his kitchen waiting to get their phones fixed.” Suddenly, a bolt of entrepreneurial lightning struck. “I want to do that,” Coelho thought. So it was back to Craigslist. He bought an another iPhone that needed repair, so he could see if he could fix it. “I was successful. A few years and two stores later, here I am,” said Coelho, who’s had no formal training in electronics. He could always repair motorcycles, but that was about it. “I can’t fix anything inside my house without breaking something,” said Coelho. “But when it comes to opening an iPhone or a computer, I understand how to take things apart, figure out what’s wrong with them and put them back together.”
He combined the talent he discovered for electronics with a bit of informal market research. He saw that consumers often have unappealing choices when they break a phone. Send it off for repair or be pushed into buying a new phone because they’re locked into a contract – and those new phones come with price tags in the hundreds of dollars. He didn’t see a good choice. “I created this business to fill that void,” said Coelho, who is 40 years old and lives in Brockton, Mass. He launched the first Cellular Medic shop in 2009 in Stoughton, Mass. “I started the business with $2,000 out of my pocket,” said Coelho. He later moved the shop to Randolph, Mass., and business was pretty steady repairing iPhones, iPads and computers. Coelho noticed a common element among many of his customers – they came from Rhode Island. At first, he was a one-man-shop, but as the business grew, he added employees and took on a partner, Eli Acevedo, who’s from Attleboro. “So it just made sense to open a shop in Providence,” said Coelho. The Atwells Avenue shop opened in March and business has been good. There’s a steady stream of items that need repair, from all brands of old cellphones to students’ computers that crash the day before a project is due. Employment is up to a total of three full-time positions and one part-time worker for the two shops. “We’re considering a third location in Framingham or Boston,” said Coelho, who is deepening his roots into what’s proven to be a promising and fulfilling career: “I like the challenge of figuring out a new device.” n
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OCT. 21-27, 2013
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Freelancers spur economy by tapping Web exchanges BLOOMBERG NEWS
“They’re just not reflecting the reality of how many Americans are working.” The jobless rate was 7.3 percent in Two years into his new career writing code for phone apps, Leo Landau August, the lowest since December works for companies as far away as 2008, and labor-force participation was Australia while never leaving his the lowest in 35 years, down to 63.2 perapartment in Eugene, Ore. By year’s cent. Steven Hipple, an economist with end he expects to earn $10,000 more the Bureau of Labor Statistics, said the than inspecting buildings for asbestos, agency stopped tracking contingent a job he lost in 2008. “I’m working from home, setting workers in 2005 because of funding conmy own schedule and making decent straints. Private studies have tried to quanmoney,” Landau said. He doesn’t plan tify how many Americans are turnon moving to California’s Silicon Valing to freelancing for a career. An esley even if he could land higher-paying timated 20 percent to 33 percent of the work there. For now, the self-taught U.S. workforce consists of independent programmer, 31, says he enjoys cobworkers, according to a 2013 study by bling together an income via Elance, Accenture, the world’s second-largest a website where companies and shorttechnology-consulting company. term contractors pair up. Emergent Research LLC, based in Digital freelancers such as Landau Lafayette, Calif., has conducted a narepresent a growing portion of Ameritional survey of independent workers can workers. An Accenture Plc study in each of the last three years. A study included estimates of 20 percent of the that incorporates the results puts their U.S. workforce while the Freelancers numbers at 17.7 million this year comUnion, a New York-based advocacy pared with 16 million in 2011, and foregroup, puts the number at 42 million. casts an increase to more Some of these indepenthan 24 million in 2018. dents are attracted to the “This sector jumped flexible lifestyle, others out as growing rapidly,” because they can’t get a said Steve King, a partner job locally that matches at Emergent Research. their skills. They are reCompanies want to be placing traditional work lean and are “less commit- being employed by a comted to commitment, avoidpany - with a mix of projing fixed costs whenever ects completed over the they can.” Internet. Services such as MounThe recession that tain View, Calif.-based ended in June 2009 helped Elance Inc. are smoothing boost freelancing as a way out the process of finding, for the newly unemployed monitoring and paying adto support themselves, and SARA HOROWITZ junct workers. Members the practice has gained Freelancers Union founder seeking gigs have protraction since. Internet exfiles that showcase their changes allow companies credentials, portfolios and feedback to reduce labor costs by enlisting free- they’ve gotten; they typically compete lancers, who give up a reliable salary for projects by submitting bids on the for discretion over how they work. site. “All major recessions change the Employers using the website “can lens on how we approach work,” said manage and collaborate with their freeAndrew Liakopoulos, a principal in lancers with the same ease as you conChicago at Deloitte Consulting LLP and nect with friends on a social network,” co-author of a report this year called said Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance. “The Open Talent Economy.” People Job hunters on Elance range from “don’t necessarily have to be fully em- graphic designers to lawyers. The ployed, with a number and a badge.” company claims that more than $883 Behind this shift, Liakopoulos said, million has gone to contractors since is the technological ability for compa- the website began listing gigs in 2006. nies to divide their needs into projects Elance takes a cut of transactions and and farm them out to a talent pool re- holds the employers’ payments in esgardless of geography. As companies crow so that freelancers are assured move toward accessing labor, rather of getting paid. Other sites focusing on than acquiring it, they’ll be able to re- knowledge-based work include Hunspond more nimbly to macroeconomic tington, N.Y.-based Work Market and shocks, he said. oDesk in Redwood City, Calif. The CEO The freelancers often are highly of Work Market, Jeff Wald, described skilled and choose that style of work it as a “platform” that handles the lobecause it offers them flexibility and gistics of using freelancers, such as tax variety, Liakopoulos said. compliance. “People used to have a stable 40-hour The struggle for Landau, the app workweek,” said Sara Horowitz, who coder, is balancing projects and knowfounded the Freelancers Union. “What ing when to accept more. The risk, he we’re seeing now is an economy where said, is that he’ll overextend himself, people are going from job to job, put- displease an employer and harm his ting together a series of gigs and calling all-important rating on Elance. that a career.” “I compete with people from India These workers may be excluded and Russia, all over the world,’’ he said. from official employment statistics “They tend to have low prices.” He says as the measures haven’t adapted to he has a competitive advantage in that cover new, more fluid arrangements, “a lot of U.S. contractors like to hire she said. “I think the unemployment someone from the U.S., because I can numbers are wrong,” Horowitz said. communicate a lot better.” n
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Quality management needs everyone’s support In companies that fail, top management views ISO 9001 as a necessary evil to be tolerated, and little more. These companies are typically implementing the benchmark for quality management because of a customer requireJeffrey Hewes ment, not because they see the value it can bring to an organization. Gaining management’s endorsement requires a holistic approach to ISO 9001 as a management system, not just a quality-management system. ISO 9001 is for everyone. Good ISO programs start with a two things: n A letter of commitment from the highest authority to each employee explaining why the company is committed to certification. n Providing authority to the management representative to get the job done. The next step is to educate managers about their roles in the ISO process and involve them in defining the quality objectives and creating the quality policy. Ask each manager to list 10 items that are important to the company’s success and write them on sticky notes. Place these notes on a wall and organize into groups. A pattern will emerge and collectively, you will have identified your quality objectives. The objectives should be SMART, meaning they should be specific as to what you want to accomplish – measurable as in how you will know the objective is achieved – attainable meaning the goal can be accomplished – relevant
as in worthwhile and time-bound with designated ending date. The only criteria are that objectives need to be measurable, but you now have the groundwork for your quality policy. The most important objective that is usually missed is profitability. You can build the best Cadillac-style widget the world has ever seen, but if your company is not profitable you will not be sustainable and ISO will fail. By implementing a management system, you will be documenting processes. During this process is the opportunity to eliminate wasted process steps and documentation. The quality policy should be authored by the highest authority and include the quality objectives proposed by the management team. This can then be made into walletsized cards or banners for your shop floor, and transforms the quality policy from unknown directives to principles by which the company will strive to fulfill. The lack of ownership is another failing. The ISO standard only requires the organization to have six documented procedures (4.2.3 control of documents; 4.2.4 control of records; 8.2.2 internal audit; 8.3 control of nonconforming product; 8.5.2 corrective action; and 8.5.3 preventive action). Companies that are pushed into ISO 9001 compliance by their customers typically rush to a minimalistic approach only documenting what they
are required to. The employees have little ownership in their processes and consider their work instructions as rules that must be followed. Or else. The result? This approach causes a disconnect between the business process and ISO 9001 process with no true ownership. Each document of the quality system should have established process owners. These process owners are charged with developing, maturing and improving their processes, and should have first refusal of any document or change that affects their processes. They should be held accountable for audit findings and corrective actions and praised for preventive actions leading to process improvements. The process owners also should police their own processes so audit findings do not occur. Not understanding the intent of ISO is a concern. The intent of ISO is not to create some big paper monster to be sacrificed at the altar of the quality gods. Instead, ISO 9001 is based on eight fundamental principles: n Customer satisfaction. n Leadership. n Involvement of people. n Process approach. n Systems approach to management. n Continual improvement. n Factual approach to decision-making. n Mutually Beneficial Supplier Relationships. The eight quality-management prin-
Companies forced into quick ISO 9001 compliance typically overlook their intent.
THE WPRO MORNING NEWS WITH
ciples are mostly business-system oriented and go beyond product quality. Companies forced into quick ISO 9001 compliance typically overlook their intent, and this approach is a path to failure of fully gaining value in the ISO 9001 program. When you adopt a process approach to documenting your processes, you will find wasted steps and can streamline them. Continual improvement efforts should involve all levels of employees. An organization and its suppliers are dependent on each other and a mutually beneficial relationship enhances the ability of both to create value. One of the most important suppliers will be your auditor or registrar. The goal of the auditor is not to fail you but to ensure that the management system is in place and showing continual improvement. Your auditor cannot consult with you but good auditors will share best practices. ISO 9001 provides a package of tools … nothing more, nothing less. How you adopt those tools determines their value. If you develop good business processes and create value-added documentation through your ISO 9001 management system, not only will you be certified but you will set your company up for long- term success! n Jeffrey Hewes is quality manager for NOVA Marketing Services, a division of The Matlet Group in Pawtucket. Contact him at email@example.com.
PROVIDENCE BUSINESS NEWS
OCT. 21-27, 2013
www.pbn.com n 13
HEALTH CARE NEWS BRIEFS
Blue Cross opens first R.I. retail location in Warwick WARWICK – At the end of September Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island opened its first retail location, following the lead of Blue Cross & Blue Shield affiliates in other states. The new Blue Advantage Center provides customers help with existing plans and with purchasing new health plans. We think the marketplace is asking for this sort of venue,” said Managing Director of Retail Strategy Anne Brunson. Seventy community members have visited the center since its opening Sept. 23, according to a press release. The center provides “an accessible environment” for consumers to learn about their health insurance options given the changes under health care reform, the press release said. If they qualify for federally subsidized coverage purchased on the state exchange, they will be directed to Health Source RI, Brunson said. The center is a “pilot,” Brunson said, and will close mid-February unless customer response dictates otherwise. At that time, the insurer will also determine whether to open an additional location.
Women & Infants among 50 greenest hospitals PROVIDENCE – Women & Infants Hospital has been named one of the 50 greenest hospitals in America by Becker’s Hospital Review list. The hospital was recognized for its role in forming Hospitals for a Healthy Environment in Rhode Island, along with several other hospitals in the area. The mission of Becker’s is to aid health care providers in the state in implementing environmentally sustainable practices, such as reducing medical devices that contain toxic compounds. Women & Infants was also recognized for its South Pavilion, which opened in 2009 and earned LEED Gold certification in 2010. Women and & Infants was the only hospital in the state to receive this recognition, and one of few hospitals recognized in New England. To determine the greenest hospitals in the country, Becker’s conducted research and analyzed sustainability information from sources such as Health Care Without Harm, Practice Greenhealth, Healthier Hospitals Initiative, the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, the EPA and other health care sustainability organizations and experts, according to a press release.
Workshops scheduled on health care exchange EAST PROVIDENCE – Rep. David N. Cicilline, D-R.I., and HealthSource RI Director Christine C. Ferguson are partnering to host three workshops to help small-business owners, young people and the uninsured in Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District navigate the new health-insurance exchange. The first workshop at the East Providence Public Library on Grove Avenue is scheduled to be held Oct. 26. The next, focusing on young people, will be Nov. 2. The last, for uninsured families, is set for Nov. 9. HealthSource RI staff
and members of Cicilline’s congressional office will be available to answer questions and explain the new healthinsurance options and resources available through the exchange. Since opening Oct. 1, HealthSource RI has received 9,112 phone calls, 544 in-person visits and 53,769 unique website visits. Accounts created on the site total 5,717. HealthSource RI is not releasing any enrollment data until November, according to exchange spokesperson Dara Chadwick.
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BrainGate researchers win $1 million award PROVIDENCE – Brown University researchers who developed BrainGate, a brain-computer interface that could help restore independence to people with paralysis, were awarded the $1 million Moshe Mirilashvili Memorial Fund B.R.A.I.N. Prize. The award was presented at a brain science conference in Israel Oct. 15 by Israeli President Shimon Peres. John Donoghue, co-director of the BrainGate team, a researcher at the Providence V.A. Medical Center and director of the Brown Institute for Brain Science, said the award will enable the team to continue their research into improving the lives of the paralyzed. The BrainGate system involves implanting a tiny device into the brain that picks up signals about movement. A computer translates the signals into commands that move robotic arms and other assistive devices. Users have successfully used the system to perform tasks such as drinking from a bottle, by simply thinking about moving their arms and hands. BrainGate is now being tested in clinical trials. The team is in the midst of developing a wireless version of the brain sensor. The prize is awarded for “breakthrough in the field of brain technology for the betterment of humanity,” according to Israel Brain Technologies, which grants the prize.
Conference planned on neuropsychiatric disease PROVIDENCE – Parents of children suffering from pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with strep (PANDAS), also referred to as pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS), will be gathering here in November for a conference. The newly formed Northeast PANS/ PANDAS Parents Association’s first conference Nov. 9 and Nov. 10 will bring together 400 people from 26 states, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Canada. The Northeast PANS/PANDA Parents Association was founded last May by eight mothers and one clinician, according to Kim Panton, one of the mothers. The group aims to raise awareness of the condition – acute onset of severe anxiety and moodiness along with obsessive compulsive disorder-like behaviors, possibly following infection with strep – and to support the medical community’s effort to treat children suffering from PANS/PANDAS. PANS/PANDAS is a rare disease surrounded by controversy due to inconclusiveness of the proposed connection between streptococcal infection and onset of symptoms. Panton said that the group is currently putting together a survey to determine the number of children affected by this disease in the region. n
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Growing up in the Depression, most of us never had a chance to participate in organized sports because we had to quit school to support our families. Shortly after my 80th birthday, my nephew Robert, who is the Track & Field Coach and Athletic Director at Classical High, introduced me to throwing weights. After months of practicing in my back yard, I competed in the Rhode Island Senior Olympics and finished first. Over the past three years, I have won local, state and regional competitions, culminating with a gold medal at the 2011 National U.S. Masters Track and Field Ultra Weight Pentathlon Championship. My entire career has been defined by hard work - serving in the Marines, working construction, building bridges, and swinging a sledge hammer. I didn’t realize it at the time, but those 75 years of physical labor became my training ground for the ultimate gold medal in my golden years! Antonio Palazzo, 84
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PROVIDENCE BUSINESS NEWS
14 n www.pbn.com
OCT. 21-27, 2013
Looking to get ahead? Get people talking The following is an excerpt of “Law 12: Serve Memorably” from my new book, “21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling”: Think about the most memorable service you have ever received. Ever tell anyone about it? Now think about the service you provide to your customers. How many people are talking about Jeffrey Gitomer you? ANSWER: Not enough. Every time a customer calls it’s an
opportunity. The only question is: how are you taking advantage of it? Don’t answer with a “thank you for the call,” telling me how important my call is while you put me on hold for the next available agent. Or to “serve me better,” ask me to select from among the following eight options. Selecting from among the following eight options is not one of my options – and I have the money – and you want the money – and you need the money – so wise up. The last things employers should cut are sales, service and training. The first thing to cut is executive pay, then management pay, then eliminate middle management as needed. Or make them
salespeople, and have them contribute to the effort. Meanwhile, customers need help, service and answers. Your ability to help them in a timely manner, and serve them memorably, determines your reputation and your fate. What actions are you willing to take? What investment are you willing to make? Do you understand it’s all about customer loyalty (not customer satisfaction)? MAJOR CLUE: Keep in mind that no company ever cut its way to success. REALITY: You cut your way to safety. You have to sell your way to success. How ready are you? If you want to win in this or any
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economy, you must be ready to win – ready with the right attitude, the right information and the right service heart. This is how you break the serve memorably law: If a computer answers your phone, you have broken the law. If you use the word “policy,” you have broken the law. Start there. The penalty for breaking this law is two-fold. Loss of reputation and loss of customer. There are very few laws that have a higher penalty, and very few laws that are easier to fix. You don’t have to worry about monitoring your bad service. Your customers will do it for you, on Facebook and on Twitter. Your job is to fix it and continually improve it. If you follow the serve memorably law, Your business reputation, both online and person-to-person, will soar. You’ll become known for taking ordinary daily business actions and turning them into pleasant customer surprises. The result is not just more business – it’s more loyal customers, more referrals, greater reputation and more profit. Think about that the next time you ask me to “select from among the following eight options.” CAUTION: Ordinary, even polite, service is unacceptable. It will not give you the competitive edge or the business advantage that memorable service will. At the end of any transaction, that’s when the customer starts t a l k i n g about you. They will say one of five things about what transpired: n Something great. n Something good. n Nothing. n Something bad. n Something real bad. And whatever they say leads to the next sale – either at your place, or your competition’s place. The cool part is: you choose. AHA! My “memorable mantra”: Find something personal; do something memorable. AHA! Grow from good to great to memorable. Start with smart, happy people. Then define what is memorable and how everyone can achieve memorability with daily interactions (Southwest Airlines does it with friendly people and humor). Meet with all senior people and staff to create the ideas that wow, and gain the permission to wow at the same time. Then train and empower everyone with specific phrases and actions they can take on behalf of customers. n
Every time a customer calls it’s an opportunity.
Jeffrey Gitomer is author of the “21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling” and owner of Buy Gitomer. He can be reached by visiting www.gitomer.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OCT. 21-27, 2013
PROVIDENCE BUSINESS NEWS
www.pbn.com n 15
RHODE ISLAND & MASSACHUSETTS NEWS BRIEFS
Mass. ‘clean-tech’ firms see $98M in 3Q investments SAN FRANCISCO – Cleantech Group, a market research and consulting company, said that venture investment in Massachusetts “clean-technology” companies totaled $98 million in the third quarter of 2013. According to the company, that amount brings the total year-to-date investment in Massachusetts clean-tech companies to $278 million. According to Cleantech Group, Massachusetts’ top deals in the third quarter included: n Joule, a biofuels and biochemicals company, raising $50 million from flagship Ventures in a growth-equity round. n Rive Technology, an advanced materials company, raising $20 million from Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, Mitsui Global Investment, Blackstone Group, Charles River Ventures, Advanced Technology Ventures and Nth Power in a growth-equity round. n Lucidity Lights, an energy-efficiency company, raised $8.4 million in a Series A round.
Coakley sues businesses in foreclosure-help suit BOSTON – A group of businesses that advertised themselves as nonprofit foreclosure-prevention organizations was sued for allegedly soliciting and spending more than $350,000 in illegal advance fees from distressed homeowners, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced this month. Suffolk Superior Court Judge Frances McIntyre granted a preliminary injunction against the defendants, preventing them from soliciting or advertising for any foreclosure-related services or improperly charging advance fees, Coakley said in a statement. The complaint alleges that since 2009 a group of five individuals operated a series of organizations claiming to offer financial and legal services, including foreclosure-related services, to distressed homeowners in Massachusetts. Organizations named in the lawsuit include the Alliance for Affordable Housing and the Global Advocates Foundation Inc., both located in Everett, as well as the Alliance for Hope Network Inc., in Framingham. Five individual defendants were also named. According to the complaint, the defendants required homeowners to give deposits of up to 25 percent of their gross monthly incomes, claiming the deposits were necessary to be eligible for federal and other mortgage-relief programs. The complaint alleges that between March 2010 and October 2012, the defendants collected and spent more than $350,000 in deposits that they received from homeowners and claimed would be placed in escrow for the homeowners to use to help mitigate their pending foreclosure.
Health officials approve Seven Hills care facility WOONSOCKET – State health officials have approved Seven Hills Rhode Island’s application to run an outpatient ambulatory-care facility, The Woonsocket Call reported last week. The project is part of a multimillion dollar pilot project aimed at keeping
health care costs down for individuals with developmental and physical disabilities, the newspaper said. Seven Hills will operate one of two Living RIte centers under a $15 million grant obtained by the University of Rhode Island, Seven Hills Administrator Christine Gadbois told the Call. AccessPoint RI, a Cranston-based health care provider, will run the other. The program looks to find ways of squeezing greater efficiencies from Medicare and Medicaid for patients with multiple medical issues, according to Gadbois. Such patients typically have regular contact with many doctors but none of the doctors have any contact with each other. The University of Rhode Island’s Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the grant recipient, projects the savings over the life of the grant for the combined caseload of both Living RIte centers to be in excess of $15 million.
Kilmartin, DEA looking for expired prescriptions PROVIDENCE – Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin joined the Drug Enforcement Administration and local and state law-enforcement agencies in announcing the next statewide Prescription Drug Take Back Day, scheduled for Oct. 26th. The public can drop off prescription drugs at one of the more than 28 locations statewide. The event is free and anonymous. In addition to the drop-off locations on Oct. 26, many police departments accept expired prescription medications year-round. The public should contact their local police department to see if this program is available in their city or town. Citing a Center for Disease Control study, Kilmartin said that more Americans now die from painkillers than from heroin and cocaine combined, and since 2008, prescription-drug-induced deaths have outstripped those from automobile accidents. The list of participating locations is attached or can be found by visiting www.riag.ri.gov or www.dea.gov.
Langevin claims he was unaware of scam PROVIDENCE – U.S. Rep. James R. Langevin said he unwittingly made a profit on an investment scheme that preyed on terminally ill people and that he has since donated the money to charity, The Associated Press reported last week. WJAR-TV first reported the investment on Oct. 14. In an interview with the station, Langevin acknowledged his involvement with Joseph Caramadre’s scheme. In a statement, the Democrat said he loaned money in 2007 to a relative, whom he did not identify, to help fund an investment the relative planned to make with Caramadre. According to the AP, Caramadre pleaded guilty in November to one count each of wire fraud and conspiracy. Prosecutors say Caramadre and his employee, Raymour Radhakrishnan, took out variable annuities and socalled death-put bonds that would pay out when a person died. Authorities say they lied to terminally ill people to get personal information that was used to purchase bonds and annuities in their names without consent. The AP said there is no evidence that investors knew about efforts to defraud the terminally ill. n
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PROVIDENCE BUSINESS NEWS
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PBN.COM BREAKING NEWS, OCT. 10-16
Quonset Gateway Offices fully leased; 2nd building planned NORTH KINGSTOWN – The Gateway Offices at Quonset Business Park, officially opened in August, are now fully leased to 16 Rhode Island businesses, the Quonset Development Corporation announced Oct. 11. The Gateway Offices – owned and operated by the QDC – provides office space for startups or other small businesses, the corporation said, with the option of short-term leases, including a month-to-month option. Steven J. King, QDC managing director, said that the corporation is already planning a second office building in the same area as the first, which may include several large suites in addition to smaller offices similar to the spaces offered at the fully leased Gateway Offices. The project is scheduled to go up for approval at a meeting of the corporation’s board of directors on Oct. 22.
Amica ranks highest for customer satisfaction LINCOLN – Amica Mutual Insurance Co. received the highest score among homeowner insurers in the J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Household Insurance and Bundling Study released Sept. 30. Amica’s score of 842 (out of a possible 1,000) was the highest in the homeowners category of the national study, and 55 points higher than the industry average of 787. “As a mutual insurance company, our singular focus on customers continues to be one of our greatest strengths,” said Robert A. DiMuccio, chairman, president and CEO of Amica Insurance. This is the 12th consecutive year that Amica has ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among National Homeowners Insurers.” State Farm (with a score of 813) and Auto-Owners Insurance (with a score of 812) claimed second and third place in the 2013 study, respectively.
Discount club owes $30M to misled customers PROVIDENCE – Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced Oct. 10 that Connecticut-based Affinion, and its subsidiaries Trilegiant and Webloyalty, will pay more than $30 million nationwide to settle allegations that they misled consumers into signing up and paying for discount clubs and memberships. Rhode Island’s share of the settlement is approximately $67,900, according to Emily Martineau, a spokeswoman in Kilmartin’s communications office. In addition, Affinion will establish a $19 million fund to provide refunds for some consumers who may have received unauthorized charges for Affinion’s discount clubs and membership programs. An investigation concluded that several of Affinion’s marketing practices misled consumers, including a lack of clear and conspicuous disclosure about Affinion’s identity and the cost and ongoing nature of the charges, the attorney general’s office said.
Amtrak ridership down in R.I., Northeast PROVIDENCE – Despite a decline in Amtrak ridership in the Northeast Corridor, due in part to service interruptions caused by Hurricane Sandy, the national rail passenger service set a new record for ridership and revenue in fiscal year 2013. In a report released Oct. 14, Amtrak said that total passengers in Rhode Island for the 2013 fiscal year numbered 851,856, a decline of 2.6 percent over the fiscal 2012 figure of 874,436, but exceeding the 2011 figure of 821,567 by 3.7 percent. Ridership for all Northeast Corridor services – which run between Boston and Washington, D.C. – also saw a year-over-year decline, falling slightly to 11.39 million passengers from 11.42 million in fiscal 2012 after Hurricane Sandy disrupted Amtrak service along the East Coast in October of last year. Nationally, Amtrak ferried a record 31.6 million passengers in fiscal year 2013, up from 31.2 million in 2012, the 10th ridership record for Amtrak railways in 11 years.
Home & Hospice board’s Mor wins research award PROVIDENCE – The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization presented its 2013 Distinguished Researcher Award to Vincent Mor, Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island announced Oct. 9. Mor, a member of the Home & Hospice Care board of directors since 2009, is a professor of medical science, health services, policy and practice at Brown University. The Distinguished Researcher Award recognizes an outstanding body of research that has contributed to the enhancement of hospice and palliative care. In the mid-1980s, Mor headed the National Hospice Study on the cost and quality of life outcomes experienced by terminal-care patients. Most recently, Mor and his Brown University colleagues have documented large regional variations in hospitalization rates, including end-of-life transitions and the use of hospice and palliative care.
BIF joins partnership to reduce preterm births PROVIDENCE – The Business Innovation Factory has partnered with the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to improve the health outcomes of low-income infants and children, BIF announced Oct. 10. Many of the current approaches to lowering preterm birth rates aren’t working, said Saul Kaplan, BIF founder and chief catalyst. BIF’s goal is to develop a “human-centered design” focused on the experience of the patient that will be more successful at reducing preterm births. Through the end of this year, BIF staff will interview expecting mothers, mothers who have given birth to preterm babies and other women of reproductive age to understand their health experiences. The goal is to develop a solution over the next several months and begin testing it at the beginning of 2014. n
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PROVIDENCE BUSINESS NEWS
Holding the line on college tuition BY PATRICIA DADDONA DADDONA@PBN.COM
For the second year in a row, tuition at Roger Williams University will remain at $29,976, not including fees, room or board. Undergraduates who enroll in the 2014-15 academic year with that rate and remain continuously enrolled will also be charged that fixed amount for four years at the Bristol university. At only one other private college in Rhode Island is there anything like that offered – the New England Institute of Technology. The school has raised rates on and off for the past 31 years but guarantees that once enrolled and continuously in attendance, students will lock in the tuition rate and fees they
start with for the duration of their associate or bachelor’s degree program. Although tuition and fees rose by 2.9 percent to $21,900 in the 2013-14 academic year, “the tuition is really frozen for the student” going forward, said Bob Theroux, vice president of finance and business administration at the East Greenwich institution. For both schools’ presidents, the chief motivation has been to give students and parents one more reason to commit to a college education, especially in economically trying times. “We’re not trying to sell the campus on the basis of price,” said RWU President Donald J. Farish. “What we’re trying to do is focus on value, and the value comes from the educational outcomes, which are designed to ensure as
best we can that students will be successful when they graduate.” NEIT’s fixed tuition freeze “was created to support the large number of students at NEIT that were first-time college students within their families,” NEIT President Richard Gouse told Providence Business News in an emailed statement. “At the time it was initiated, a large portion of the population was from blue-collar families and [it] provided some financial relief and allowed the students and their families to plan for the cost of their education.” But Farish is the first to also acknowledge that, aside from the influence of demographics, the Great Recession and a slight drop in enrollment in the 2012-13 academic year, the proposition of freezing tuition and locking in
VALUE DRIVEN: Roger Williams University President Donald J. Farish said the school’s tuition freeze is part of its “focus on value.”
that rate for four years is one he’s just as often had to defend as promote. “I get this a lot,” he said, of the question, “Why aren’t more schools doing this?” “The less polite way of saying it is, SEE FREEZE, PAGE 19
Narrowing technology skills gap BY RHONDA J. MILLER MILLER@PBN.COM
The skills gap is an often-told Rhode Island story – jobs open and a shortage of trained workers to fill them, most glaringly in technology. There are signs, however, that a new and more promising chapter is being written in the Ocean State with concentrated efforts by businesses, the Governor’s Workforce Board, educators and tech organizations to narrow the chasm between available jobs and trained workers. It’s a challenging task, considering the breakneck pace of technology and the time required for training. Even experienced IT professionals can fall into the chasm, like lifelong Rhode Island resident Daniel Chaput of Tiverton, an IT instructor for 15 years who suddenly found himself unemployed and underskilled in his own profession. “I was an IT instructor, so I thought I was at the top of the food chain, but once I started looking for a job, I found out I wasn’t,” Chaput said from a training session at the Bryant University Executive Development Center, where he was finishing the second week of a 10-week program called IT on Demand, which began Sept. 16. Chaput is one of 16 unemployed IT SEE TECH, PAGE 21
PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL PERSSON
IN DEMAND: Participants in the Tech Collective’s 10-week IT on Demand program, which is being done in collaboration with the Governor’s Workforce training program.
PBN PHOTO/TRACY JENKINS
HIRE GROUND: More than 60 companies met with 450 RISD students last month at Internship Connect. Pictured above are Facebook designers, from left: Robyn Morris, Andy Chang and Justin Stahl.
Takingthe initiative on internships BY PATRICIA DADDONA DADDONA@PBN.COM
A young man clutched his sketch book and introduced himself as Eric He, even though his resume announces him as Zhong-Xiou He. Behind the table for Pawtucket-based TEN31 Productions, Creative Director Eric Auger and Amy Radis, a principal painter, chatted with him about how the company creates and displays “living art” for special events such as WaterFire Providence. Auger, like the 59 other employers in the cavernous but crowded ballroom at the Omni Providence Hotel, was looking for interns – four, to be exact. As a junior at the Rhode Island School of Design, his meticulous ink renderings of saddles, tanks and imaginary monsters only hint at his love of storytelling, which he correctly sensed is something Auger is looking for. “They told me what their interns do,” He explained when the conversation was over, “and it seems like it’s a start-tofinish process – concepts to costumes to performance. I left a resume. We’ll see how it turns out.” RISD is certainly not the first school to offer fairs to promote internships with employers for students, but the Sept.
25 Internship Connect program, followed on three different days by three employer-led panel discussions for small student groups, put the focus on 450 students taking the initiative in an intentional quest for internships with employers who are actively hiring. That number of students has more than doubled since the fair was first offered two years ago, said Susan Andersen, associate director for employer relations in RISD’s Career Center. She attributed the interest to word-of-mouth promotion from other students and today’s difficult economic climate. At RISD, holding this fair in the fall semester for the third time was intended to give sophomores, juniors and even seniors who may not yet have a complete portfolio ready to present, a way of networking and preparing to compete in a real-world setting. The three-hour session was set up like a job fair, with the emphasis on internships in disciplines ranging from industrial design to illustration. “We really emphasize that they have a plan and a strategy in terms of finding an internship or a job,” Andersen said, “and part of that plan is developing a network, so when you’re trying to make connections for an internship or job, SEE INTERNS, PAGE 24
Freeze FROM PAGE 18
‘If this is such a good idea, why isn’t everybody else doing it?’ I think it is because people are afraid to step away from what they know. [Some] might interpret this as, ‘They’re desperate.’ We’ve already heard from people saying, ‘Their quality will go down because they don’t have the money.’ The challenge is to diversify your revenue stream and not rely entirely on tuition.” RWU and NEIT are part of a select national group of private colleges and universities that have made this type of commitment. According to the National Association Independent Colleges and Universities, of the 29 private schools reporting a tuition freeze this year, only RWU and The Sage Colleges of Troy, N.Y., are offering both a tuition freeze and a guarantee for continuously enrolled students. (NEIT is a member of the association but hadn’t informed it of its fixed tuition guarantees, said Pete Boyle, NAICU’s vice president for public affairs.) Nationally, over the past five academic years, tuition freezes have more than doubled, from 11 in 2009-10 to 29 this year, but that is still a small portion even of the NAICU membership, which numbers 962, Boyle said. “Affordability is top of mind for college and univerDONALD J. FARISH sity presiRWU president dents, so institutions are looking creatively at a number of ways to do this,” said Boyle. “There are a handful making cuts, there are a handful doing freezes. They’re being creative to try and find new revenue streams and avoid passing on large tuition increases.” At Sage, a small university with three graduate schools and 1,500 undergraduates who qualify for the combined freeze and guarantee, the latter was just added this year, said college Vice President Dan Lundquist. His 22-page Power Point presentation to Moody’s illustrates not only increases in enrollment and student retention, but a steady rise in total revenue despite the $28,000 tuition freeze – from $37.8 million in 2008 to $57.3 million in 2012. Like Lundquist, who was able to show full-time undergraduate enrollment increases from 2,124 in the fall of 2008 to 2,521 in the fall of 2012, Farish at RWU said enrollment and retention growth rates have made the tuition freeze and guarantee viable. This year, the freshman-to-sophomore retention rate at RWU reached 84 percent, the highest in the school’s history and 6 percentage points higher than last year’s retention rate of 78 percent. And $1.8 million in added revenue gained from the jump in retention actually exceeded what revenue the university would have generated through a 3 percent tuition increase, Farish said. After hiring consultants Maguire Associates of Boston to investigate when he first began exploring the idea of a
EDUCATION tuition freeze, Farish determined that he would have to “demonstrate” to his board of trustees that revenue would come from other sources. The bump up in retention was a bonus, he said. Other revenue generators included doubling the size of summer school this year; increasing the amount of work the school is doing with continuing studies; and doubling philanthropy. As of this past June, Roger Williams collected $2.5 million in unrestricted giving. Cost savings from future energy contracts for electricity and gas and averting an anticipated large increase in health care costs also helped make the tuition freeze affordable, Farish said. Part of the motivation, too, was an isolated drop in enrollment from 1,171 students in 2011-12 to 999 students in 2012-13. Since then, for this academic
Page 19 OCT. 21-27, 2013 www.pbn.com
year, enrollment has climbed back up to 1,110. That dip “surprised us,” Farish said. “We were not anticipating [being] down 3 percent.” While the enrollment drop didn’t “cause” RWU to offer a tuition freeze, Farish said, “it affirmed the direction we were heading in. Once we had the enrollment numbers, we said, ‘This is no longer a theoretical exercise.’ We had to move forward.” Other Rhode Island colleges and universities say they are trying to hold the line on tuition increases as best they can. “Our administration, finance committee and board are looking carefully at the question of cost in higher education,” said Matt Boxler, spokesman for Salve Regina University, “but we
have not made a decision with regard to next year’s tuition.” Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee and the General Assembly did provide funding to allow the state’s three public schools – the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island – to freeze tuition for the 2013-14 academic year, said Michael Trainor, special assistant to the commissioner of higher education, but continuing that is not yet a given. A spokeswoman for Chafee, who is not seeking re-election, reiterated the governor’s commitment to college affordability, which he considers the key to job growth. “It is his hope to hold the line on tuition,” Chafee spokeswoman Christine Hunsinger said. n
I achieved my dreams
‘The challenge is to diversify your revenue stream and not rely entirely on tuition.’
SANDRA J. PATTIE ’76
President and CEO BankNewport
To learn more about Sandra’s experience at CCRI, visit www.ccri.edu/dreams.
CHANGE YOUR LIFE. ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS.
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Page 20 OCT. 21-27, 2013 www.pbn.com
PROVIDENCE BUSINESS NEWS
Private Secondary Schools (ranked by high school enrollment) 2013 rank
La Salle Academy 612 Academy Ave. Providence, R.I. 02908 (401) 351-7750 Fax: (401) 444-1782
Donald J. Kavanagh, principal, Brother Thomas Gerrow, president www.lasalle-academy.org
Type of school
1,507 1 to 1
12 to 1
Independent Catholic college preparatory school run by De La Salle Christian Brothers
Bishop Feehan High School 70 Holcott Drive Attleboro, Mass. 02703 (508) 226-6223 Fax: (508) 226-7696
George Milot, principal, Christopher Servant, president www.bishopfeehan.com
13 to 1
Co-educational Catholic high school staffed by the Sisters of Mercy
Bishop Hendricken High School 2615 Warwick Ave. Warwick, R.I. 02889 (401) 739-3450 Fax: (401) 732-8261
Joseph T. Brennan www.hendricken.com
941 All male
14 to 1
All-boys Catholic college preparatory high school under the Diocese of 1959 Providence, in the tradition of the Congregation of Christian Brothers
Bishop Stang High School 500 Slocum Road North Dartmouth, Mass. 02747 (508) 996-5602 Fax: (508) 994-6756
Peter Shaughnessy, president/principal www.bishopstang.com
670 1 to 1.2
13 to 1
Catholic college preparatory school
Mount Saint Charles Academy 800 Logee St. Woonsocket, R.I. 02895 (401) 769-0310 Fax: (401) 762-2327
Edwin Burke www.mountsaintcharles.org
650 1 to 1
14 to 1
Private junior-senior high school founded by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart
The Prout School 4640 Tower Hill Road Wakefield, R.I. 02879 (401) 789-9262 Fax: (401) 782-2262
David Carradini www.theproutschool.org
600 1 to 1.5
13 to 1
Catholic coeducational college preparatory high school with a rigorous 1966 curriculum, including an international baccalaureate diploma program
St. Mary Academy - Bay View 3070 Pawtucket Ave. Riverside, R.I. 02915 (401) 434-0113 Fax: (401) 438-5475
Colleen Gribbin, principal, Vittoria DeBenedictis, president www.bayviewacademy.org
431 All female
10 to 1
Independent, Catholic, college preparatory school for girls founded by the Sisters of Mercy
Moses Brown School 250 Lloyd Ave. Providence, R.I. 02906 (401) 831-7350 Fax: (401) 455-0084
Matt Glendinning, head of school, Debbie Phipps, head of upper school www.mosesbrown.org
401 1.1 to 1
8 to 1
College preparatory school rooted in Quaker values, serving girls and boys in nursery through grade 12; one of the oldest private, secondary schools in the country
St. Raphael Academy 123 Walcott St. Pawtucket, R.I. 02860 (401) 723-8100 Fax: (401) 723-8740
Daniel Richard www.SaintRays.org
373 6 to 5
12 to 1
Catholic college preparatory school founded by the De La Salle Christian Brothers
St. George's School 372 Purgatory Road Middletown, R.I. 02842 (401) 847-7565 Fax: NA
Eric F. Peterson, head of school www.stgeorges.edu
365 1 to 1
10 to 1
Independent college preparatory day and boarding school with an Episcopal heritage welcoming students of all faiths
Portsmouth Abbey School 285 Cory's Lane Portsmouth, R.I. 02871 (401) 643-1248 Fax: (401) 643-1355
Dan McDonough, headmaster www.portsmouthabbey.org
360 1 to 1
7 to 1
Boarding and day college preparatory school founded by the English Benedictine community
The Wheeler School 216 Hope St. Providence, R.I. 02906 (401) 421-8100 Fax: (401) 751-7674
Dan Miller, head of school www.wheelerschool.org
342 1 to 1
6 to 1
Coeducational independent day school enrolling students from nursery through grade 12
Bishop Connolly High School 373 Elsbree St. Fall River, Mass. 02720 (508) 676-1071 Fax: (508) 676-8594
Christopher Myron www.bishopconnolly.com
280 1 to 1
12 to 1
Catholic college preparatory high school
St. Andrew's School 63 Federal Road Barrington, R.I. 02806 (401) 246-1230 Fax: (401) 246-0510
John D. Martin, headmaster www.standrews-ri.org
205 2 to 1
5 to 1
St. Andrew's is an independent college preparatory, co-educational day and boarding school. We are dedicated to academic excellence and personal achievement for grades 6 through 12 and post-graduate, with the boarding program starting in ninth grade.
Providence Country Day School 660 Waterman Ave. East Providence, R.I. 02914 (401) 438-5170 Fax: (401) 435-4514
Vince Watchorn, head of school www.providencecountryday.org
200 1.5 to 1
6 to 1
College preparatory school enrolling grades 6 to 12
Lincoln School 301 Butler Ave. Providence, R.I. 02906 (401) 331-9696 Fax: (401) 751-6670
Ann Sullivan, interim head of school F, Peter Brooks, middle and upper school director www.lincolnschool.org
171 All female
6 to 1
Independent college preparatory Quaker school for girls in grade one through 12, with programs for girls and boys in nursery school, prekindergarten and kindergarten.
Rocky Hill School 530 Ives Road East Greenwich, R.I. 02818 (401) 884-9070 Fax: (401) 885-4985
Peter M. Branch, head of school G www.rockyhill.org
144 1 to 1
5 to 1
Independent, coeducational, college preparatory school for students in 1934 preschool through grade 12
School One 220 University Ave. Providence, R.I. 02906 (401) 331-2497 Fax: (401) 421-8869
Jennifer Borman, head of school www.school-one.org
85 1 to 1
5 to 1
Arts-intensive college preparatory high school located on the East Side of Providence
Bishop Keough High School 145 Power Road Pawtucket, R.I. 02860 (401) 726-0335 Fax: (401) 726-0336
Jeanne H. Leclerc www.bishopkeough.org
64 All female
6 to 1
Regional Catholic high school
Apponaug Christian Academy 75 Prospect St. Warwick, R.I. 02886 (401) 739-2499 Fax: (401) 732-1909
Gail Fracassa www.apponaug.org
15 1 to 1
4 to 1
B C D E F G
High school enrollment for grades 9 to 12 B Male/female ratio
Only enrollment for grades 9 to 12 is included, regardless of the range of grades at the school. Enrollment is for the 2012-2013 academic year. Figure represents tuition for day students; Tuition for boarding students is $52,000. $50,800 boarding. For day students; $49,500 for boarding students. Julia Russell Eells, former head of school, departed at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. As of July 1, 2013, Branch was installed as the ninth head of Rocky Hill School.
LIST RESEARCHED BY Barbara Lipsche Some survey recipients may not have responded; information is the best and most complete available as of press time. It is not our intent to endorse the participants. While every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of the top lists, omissions and errors sometimes occur. Please send additions or corrections to: Researcher, Providence Business News, 400 Westminster St., Suite 600, Providence, R.I. 02903. To request a survey or to update contact information, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming Lists: Law Review (deadline Nov. 14), Hospitals (deadline Nov. 21)
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Tech FROM PAGE 18
professionals chosen for the program launched with an Innovative Partnership Grant of $218,000 from the Governor’s Workforce Board and developed by the Tech Collective. Chaput worked at the Braintree, Mass., campus of American Career Institute until January, when the school abruptly shut down its five locations in the Bay State. He has been forced to face the latest realities of the tech world during his job search. “I went to staffing agencies and everywhere I went they asked me, ‘Do you have virtualization?’ The tech world is changing to virtualization,” said Chaput, who doesn’t have that particular training in consolidating hardware and running multiple operating systems and applications on a single computer. “You can become a certified professional in VMware,” Chaput said about a proficiency standard for virtualization. That’s what he’s aiming for after the next phase of IT on Demand, which is two weeks at New Horizons in Providence. The training will give him a foundation in that specialty so he can work toward the national VMware certification. “If you don’t specialize in something like VMware, you’re just another IT guy out there,” said the 51-year-old Chaput, who worked in business for many years, then in 1999 went for IT training at Computer-Ed Business Institute in North Providence, which has since closed. The IT on Demand participants were
EDUCATION chosen competitively, with employers making their hiring needs known to the Tech Collective, training developed based on those needs, employers involved in selecting participants and providing a 10-week work experience with the goal of hiring talented IT professionals who could rise to the next skill level by working in the company. “I feel much more optimistic now than I did three weeks ago because I feel like I’m part of something,” said Chaput. “I’m not just sitting home sending resumes into a big black hole called the Internet.” Companies taking part in IT on Demand include Atrion Networking Corp., Envision Technology Advisors, PC Troubleshooters and NetSense. Businesses pay the participants $200 a week during the 10 weeks of company training and upon participants’ successful completion of the program, they may be hired. Ninety days after the hire, the company will receive a $3,600 stipend from the Governor’s Workforce Board, said Tech Collective spokeswoman Giselle Mahoney. The collaboration among the companies, the Tech Collective and Governor’s Workforce Board for IT on Demand is a unique and efficient way to develop desperately needed tech talent in Rhode Island, said Eric Shorr, president of PC Troubleshooters in Warwick. “IT on Demand is taking people who have the skill sets and starting them on a path toward higher skills,” he said. “We need more people to come in at the mid-level and higher. We need trained engineers in skills like VMware, advanced networking and network secuSEE TECH, PAGE 24
Page 21 OCT. 21-27, 2013 www.pbn.com
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Page 22 OCT. 21-27, 2013 www.pbn.com
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MBA Programs (ranked by 2012-13 enrollment) Dean/director Website Accreditation
Harvard University Harvard Business School 117 Western Ave. Allston, Mass. 02134 (617) 495-6128 Fax: (617) 496-8180
Nitin Nohria, dean www.hbs.edu AACSB, AACSB International, NEASC
Boston University School of Management 595 Commonwealth Ave. Boston, Mass. 02215 (617) 353-2670 Fax: (617) 353-7368
Kenneth W. Freeman, Allen Questrom professor and dean www.management.bu.edu AACSB, AACSB International, NEASC
Johnson & Wales University Graduate Studies at Johnson & Wales University 8 Abbott Park Place Providence, R.I. 02903 (401) 598-1000 Fax: n/a
Avg. GMAT score Avg. starting salary Student-faculty ratio
Avg. student age Tuition
% of applicants accepted
730 B $120,700 7 to 1
682 $93,655 17 to 1
28 $43,970 full time; $1,374 per credit part time
Michael Petrillose, dean, Frank A. Sargent, dean of graduate school, Gary Gray, director of MBA programs www.jwu.edu NEASC
NA NA 27 to 1
27 $1,755 per 4.5 credit MBA course
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management 50 Memorial Drive Cambridge, Mass. 02142 (617) 253-2659 Fax: (617) 253-6405
David Schmittlein, John C. Head III dean and professor of marketing www.mitsloan.mit.edu AACSB, NEASC
710 $118,406 7 to 1
Boston College Carroll School of Management Fulton Hall 140 Commonwealth Ave. Chestnut Hill, Mass. 02467 (617) 552-3920 Fax: (617) 552-8078
Andrew C. Boynton, dean www.bc.edu/carroll AACSB
666 $102,882 4.2 to 1
27 $42,000 full time; $1,430 per credit part time
Babson College F. W. Olin Graduate School of Business 231 Forest St. Babson Park, Mass. 02457 (781) 239-4317 Fax: (781) 239-4194
Dennis Hanno, Murata Dean of the F.W. Olin Graduate School www.babson.edu AACSB, NEASC
610 $89,742 10.25 to 1
28 $58,884.00 C
Yale University Yale School of Management 135 Prospect St. Box 208200 New Haven, Conn. 06520 (203) 432-5932
Edward A. Snyder, dean www.mba.yale.edu AACSB
717 $104,147 NA
Suffolk University Sawyer Business School 8 Ashburton Place Boston, Mass. 02108 (617) 573-8088 Fax: (617) 573-8653
William J. O'Neill Jr., dean, Lillian Hallberg, director of MBA programs www.suffolk.edu AACSB International, NEASC
548 $75,000 14 to 1
Bentley University McCallum Graduate School of Business 175 Forest St. Waltham, Mass. 02452 (800) 442-4723 Fax: (781) 891-2464
Roy A. Wiggins, dean of business and the McCallum Graduate School www.bentley.edu/graduate AACSB, AACSB International, NEASC
596 $75,616 12 to 1
26 $3,800 per 3 credit course
University of Hartford Barney School of Business 200 Bloomfield Ave. West Hartford, Conn. 06117 (860) 768-4444 Fax: (860) 768-4821
Martin Roth, dean , James Fairfield-Sonn, dean www.hartford.edu/barney AACSB, AACSB International, NEASC
539 NA 10 to 1
32 $620 per credit
Quinnipiac University School of Business 275 Mount Carmel Ave. Hamden, Conn. 06518 (203) 582-8029 Fax: (203) 582-8664
Matthew O'Connor, dean www.quinnipiac.edu/mba AACSB, AACSB International
545 NA 16:1
28 $895 per credit
University of Massachusetts Boston College of Management 100 Morrissey Blvd. Boston, Mass. 02125 (617) 287-7720 Fax: (617) 287-7725
Maureen Scully, interim dean, associate professor of management, Philip L. Quaglieri, dean D www.umb.edu/academics/cm AACSB, AACSB International, NEASC
585 $78,000 18 to 1
27 $1,600 per course
University of Rhode Island College of Business Administration Upper College Road 7 Lippitt Road Kingston, R.I. 02881 (401) 874-2337 Fax: (401) 874-4312
Mark Higgins, dean of college of business, Lisa Lancellotta, coordinator of MBA programs www.cba.uri.edu AACSB, AACSB International, NEASC
575 NA 5 to 1
30 $641 per credit instate, $1,311 per credit out of state, $962 per credit regional
Clark University Graduate School of Management 950 Main St. Worcester, Mass. 01610 (508) 793-7406 Fax: (508) 421-3825
Catherine Usoff, dean, Graduate School of Management www.clarku.edu/gsom AACSB, AACSB International, NEASC
594 $49,000 10 to 1
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Charlton College of Business 285 Old Westport Road North Dartmouth, Mass. 02747 (508) 999-8000 Fax: (508) 999-8901
Dr. Angappa Gunasekaran, Dean, Charlton College of Business, Dr. Richard Pegnetter, interim dean, Charlton College of Business www.umassd.edu/charlton AACSB International, NEASC
473 $49,529 3 to 1
29 $13,624 indtate; $24,156 out of state
Simmons College School of Management 300 The Fenway Boston, Mass. 02115 (617) 521-3840 Fax: (617) 521-3880
Cathy Minehan, dean www.simmons.edu/som AACSB
560 $79,145 7 to 1
31 $1,280 per credit hour
Sacred Heart University John F. Welch College of Business 5151 Park Ave. Fairfield, Conn. 06825 (203) 365-7619 Fax: (203) 365-4732
John Chalykoff, dean , Anthony Macari, executive director, MBA program www.sacredheart.edu/mba.cfm AACSB, AACSB International, NEASC
490 NA 5 to 1
Bryant University Graduate School of Business 1150 Douglas Pike Smithfield, R.I. 02917 (401) 232-6000 Fax: (401) 232-6494
V.K. Unni, dean, College of Business www.bryant.edu AACSB International, NEASC
483 NA 26 to 1
Salve Regina University Graduate School/Business Studies 100 Ochre Point Ave. Newport, R.I. 02840 (401) 847-6650 Fax: (401) 341-2925
Arlene Nicholas, MBA program director www.salve.edu IACBE, NEASC
NA NA 9 to 1
30 $8,280 full time
NA = Not available/not applicable. NL = Not listed last year. Sources: Peterson's MBA guide; Princeton Review; AACSB International datadirect; survey of listed schools; PBN research. AACSB = American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business. NEASC = New England Association of Schools and Colleges. IACBE = International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. B C D E
Represents a median GMAT score, not average. Figure represents cost for first-year students. Second year's tuition is calculated on a per-credit basis. Philip L. Quaglieri, stepped down as dean of the College of Management in August 2013. Figure represent percentage of part time students accepted. Percentage of full time students accepted is not available.
LIST RESEARCHED BY Barbara Lipsche Some survey recipients may not have responded; information is the best and most complete available as of press time. It is not our intent to endorse the participants. While every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of the top lists, omissions and errors sometimes occur. Please send additions or corrections to: Researcher, Providence Business News, 400 Westminster St., Suite 600, Providence, R.I. 02903. To request a survey or to update contact information, write to email@example.com.
Upcoming Lists: Law Review (deadline Nov. 14), Hospitals (deadline Nov. 21) www.mba.uri.edu
in Strategic Innovation
Flexible Evening Program & Blue MBA Offered in Providence
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Interns FROM PAGE 18
you can go back to your network.” Later discussions included panels led by representatives of AS220, Samsung and Facebook. Students working the floor during the internship fair said they valued the opportunity to meet employers face to face and sell themselves and their work. Anneka Bjorkeson, 20, a junior from Sweden whose parents are based in New York, touted her industrial design expertise to five different employers in the first hour. “I wanted to know what types of opportunities they have for the summer, things for industrial design, paid internships,” she said. Both she and Shannon Crawford, 20, a junior from Rocky Hill, Conn., majoring in illustration, said they plan to stay in touch with the employers they spoke with and follow up on the visits. And like many students, they did their homework before showing up. “They’re hiring,” Crawford said, referring to TEN31 Productions. “I’ve dabbled in costume creation and [learned about the firm] when I went to Career Services. They just interested me. They said they’d keep in touch, but I plan on contacting them within the week.” Employers said they connected individually with students but also were pleased to see such a big crowd. Paula Foley, special assistant to the creative director at New York City-based Ippolita, said the handmade jewelry maker was devising internships that paid be-
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tween $15 and $20 an hour depending development, uses a two-pronged approach: a required, for-credit seminar on the student’s skill set. “We’ve been getting a variety of stu- and working one-on-one to help students, primarily in industrial design, dents get internships. “Our kids mostly are first-genergraphic design and sculpture,” said Foley. “It’s interesting that they’ve ation students to go to college,” Wildone their homework and that they re- son said. “They’re working their way alize there’s an artistic foundation to through school and they’re out there the brand.” already, but the jobs are away from Students who take advantage of ca- their academic interests.” reer services are coached to present Roger Williams University set up not only the skills of their craft but a job and internship fair last March attheir problem-solving and critical- tended by more than 80 corporations, thinking skills, and how they can be a nonprofits, government agencies and good all-around fit for a position, said grad schools, but instead of a separate Andersen. Foley said the internship fair, which guidance was evident. the school used to do, the university holds smaller Hiring “is not so much events specific to certain based on the beauty of types of majors and segtheir portfolio,” Foley said. “We want to see the mind ments of industry, said behind the portfolio.” Robbin Beauchamp, Career Center director. Other Rhode Island colleges and universities “Every student, no matoffer a wide array of proter what their major is, gramming to match up needs to get multiple inemployers and students, ternships before they graduate,” Beauchamp said. but most focus on job fairs that mix job, internAt the University of PAULA FOLEY ship and graduate school Rhode Island, fairs focus Ippolita special assistant opportunities, school on internships as well as to the creative director careers, said Kim Washrepresentatives said. One or, director of Experienprogram that is similar to RISD’s but with a twist is an Intern- tial Learning and Community Engageship Showcase offered Oct. 2 by Rhode ment. “Each year you figure out what Island College in which students who students need and how majors complehave worked as interns coach their ment industry,” she said. After the RISD program ended, peers about what the experience is like, said Linda Kent Davis, director of with lines snaking around booths for RIC’s Career Development Center. large employers like Hallmark, even Providence College uses this ap- smaller employers like Auger found proach, too, said Patti Goff, director of the meetings overwhelming – but in a good way. the school’s career education center. “We spoke to 32 kids,” he said. “It Within RIC’s School of Management, Lawrence E. Wilson, executive was amazing. I’m definitely going to director for economic and leadership take more than four [interns]. n
FROM PAGE 21
rity.” PC Troubleshooting has 16 employees and, like other tech companies in Rhode Island, is finding it difficult to find highly skilled employees. “The biggest thing that keeps me from growing my business is not finding clients, but finding talented and trained engineers who are trained in the skill sets we need,” said Shorr. The U.S. tech industry added 103,000 new jobs in the first half of 2013, according to a midyear analysis by the TechAmerica Foundation. Overall employment in the tech industry grew by 1.7 percent from January 2013 to June 2013, according to the study. In 2012, Rhode Island had more than 5 percent of the state workforce employed by tech firms, according to Matthew Kazmierczak, vice president of research and reports for TechAmerica. The average wage of an employee in the technology sector was about $75,000 in 2012, compared to an average of about $43,000 in private sector jobs. Rhode Island educators and business leaders are working together to increase the number of skilled technology workers in the state, said Patricia Blakemore, New England Institute of Technology director of career services. The shift in corporate perspective is helping to narrow the skills gap, she said. “Companies used to be looking more for experienced, job-ready workers,” said Blakemore. “Now I think they’re getting smarter about hiring talented students and training them.” n
‘They’ve done their homework and … realize there’s an artisticfoundation to the brand.’
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Sabbaticals FROM PAGE ONE
virtually unheard of. But at American colleges and universities, the sabbatical is an integral part of achieving most institutions’ twin missions of teaching and research. And as Jenkins attests, most sabbaticals are far from faculty vacations. While working in California, he kept in touch with students and colleagues in Providence using a Beam “remotepresence machine,” a computer monitor on wheels allowing him to teleconference, roam the halls and even conduct job interviews. As elite American research universities have expanded over the last few decades and competition for star faculty has intensified, the sabbatical has become one more tool schools can use in their recruitment pitch. In Rhode Island, most schools have maintained fairly traditional sabbatical policies: six months away from the classroom for tenure-track professors after their sixth year on the job. But in the Ivy League, sabbaticals go beyond the industry standard, and Brown in recent years has been enhancing its sabbatical policy to stay competitive. “Our sabbatical policy is sort of in line with our peer group, the Ivy-plus group that also includes schools like the University of Chicago, Stanford and Duke,” said Kevin McLoughlin, Brown’s dean of faculty. “But it is maybe a little less generous than some, the wealthiest ones with the largest endowments.” That super-wealthy group includes
EDUCATION heavyweights such as Harvard and six semesters, instead of 75 percent pay. Brown President Christina H. Paxson’s “In the social sciences and humanities there is little opportunity for exformer employer, Princeton. In 2003, Harvard introduced eligibil- ternal funding, and that means faculty ity for six-month sabbaticals after only in those areas cannot afford to take 75 percent of a semester’s pay,” McLoughsix semesters of teaching. With this in mind, Brown six years lin said. “We also think they are at a ago beefed up its sabbatical policy and moment when they have just gotten began offering six-month sabbaticals through tenure review, and they usuafter six semesters, instead of the usu- ally have research they could complete al 12, although professors using that if they had a free semester.” In preparation for looking at the sabshortened time-frame would only rebatical policy, McLoughlin researched ceive 75 percent of their salary. the history of the practice The 75 percent-pay saband looked at what Brown baticals have met with professors have done on modest interest from factheir sabbaticals. ulty members, McLoughThe American sabbatilin said, and now Brown cal as we know it began is looking to improve its time-away-from-teaching at Harvard in the 1880s, McLoughlin said, and policy again. spread quickly to other top In its draft strategic schools. plan released last month, Originally, the purpose Brown singled out the sabbatical policy for improveof time away from teaching was to give professors ment. a chance to visit Euro“Although improved from a decade ago, it is still pean, and especially GerANDREW WORKMAN man, universities held as not competitive with our Roger Williams University peers,” the plan said. “In models for American eduprovost the coming decade we will cation. strengthen support for The expectation was sabbaticals and consider changes in the professors would return to this country scheduling of courses and the structure enlightened and better teachers, benof the academic calendar to provide fac- efiting the entire university more than ulty with concentrated blocks of time to their own careers. enhance their scholarship, experiment Brown was the eighth American uniwith different teaching formats and en- versity to offer sabbaticals. gage with students outside of the classIt was with the rise of the research room.” university that the importance of sabMcLoughlin, who was chairman of baticals started tilting toward the proa committee looking at the sabbatical fessors, who now use them to complete policy for the strategic plan, said his the projects that can elevate their cacommittee proposed offering full pay to reer. The importance of sabbaticals for reprofessors who take a sabbatical after
‘We have very robust applications … and we don’t see a need for more frequent sabbaticals.’
Page 25 OCT. 21-27, 2013 www.pbn.com
search is another reason large research universities generally have more generous sabbatical policies than smaller schools. At Rhode Island’s non-Ivy colleges, sabbatical policies track closely with the six months after six years of teaching standard. Sabbaticals for University of Rhode Island professors are part of their union contract and come out roughly along the lines of the typical policy – after six years of tenure-track service, one month off for every year of service. That would equal one six-month semester if they take it immediately. At Roger Williams University, the sabbatical is also part of a collectivebargaining agreement, and the first paid six-months off comes after seven years teaching. Roger Williams Provost and Senior Vice President Andrew Workman said the sabbatical policy hasn’t changed in recent years, and there isn’t much push for it to now. “What we find is we have very robust applications to all our positions, and we don’t see a need for more frequent sabbaticals,” Workman said. Salve Regina University has kept the frequency and duration of sabbaticals constant in recent years – a semester after six years – but increased the number of professors who can be away from teaching at any given time from three to five. Salve Dean and Provost Dean de la Motte said having competitive sabbaticals are useful in recruiting but their primary purpose at Salve is for faculty professional development. n
The Internship Advantage at Rhode Island College BUSINESSES HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO • Contribute to the integration of academic and hands-on learning • Select and develop future talent • Screen potential employees • Hire employees with higher retention rates WHY RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE?
• Interns from diverse backgrounds who are bright, creative, and eager to learn and share new ideas
• Faculty who are supportive of student success on and off campus and allow flexibility without compromising the rigor of the classroom • Nearly 90 academic programs providing a diverse pool of talent covering business, the sciences, the health professions, the arts and more To post an internship directly, go to the “Destinations” link at www.ric.edu/careerdevelopment. For more information, call Demetria Moran at (401) 456-8031, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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26 n www.pbn.com
FIVE PERCENT of City Dining Card sales will be donated to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank next fall. From left: Brett Mikoll, regional sales manager, City Dining Cards and Lisa Roth Blackman, chief philanthropy officer, Rhode Island Community Food Bank.
OCT. 21-27, 2013
THE BRISOL BLOOMS beautification project kicked off in March 2013. The committee, from left: Nancy Stratton, Susan O’Donnell (with Summer), Jackie Cranwell, Stan Dimock, Susan Maloney, Martha Fitting, Melinda Birs and Barbara McGarry
City Dining Cards gives Bristol Blooms closer to goal to Community Food Bank for beautification project City Dining Cards, a marketing company that encourages pleople to visit local restaurants, recently presented a $730 check to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank to help the nonprofit organization continue its work to promote long-term solutions for hunger. The donation was raised from sales of the 2012-13 deck of City Dining Cards: Providence, which contains 50 $10 discount cards with savings to locally owned restaurants. The deck retails for $20, and 5 percent of all sales were donated to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. “We’re excited about the continuing
relationship with City Dining Cards,” said Andrew Schiff, CEO of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. “It’s great to be part of a project that encourages people to visit our great local restaurants, while also contributing valuable funds to the Food Bank at a time of historically high need for food assistance.” The food bank also raised $1,700 through in-house sales of the cards. The food bank receives 55 percent of the deck’s retail price when sold directly from the organization. The 2013–2014 decks are now available for sale at City Dining Card’s website. n
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
CONSTRUCTION-BUSINESS WORKSHOP Prophet Share will host a small business workshop, “Starting and Running a Construction Co.” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Centerville Road, Building 2, Suite 5, Warwick. The workshop will be presented by David J. Lucier, an entrepreneur, certified public accountant and real estate investor. The two-hour workshop will cover all aspects of starting a construction company as well as how to increase profits in an existing one. Topics will include: niche marketing; strategy and profits; project management; finance; planning; personnel and operations. Free. For more information and to register, call (401) 273-4446 or visit prophetshareri.com.
MONDAY, OCT. 21 EVENT FOR NETWORKING The Cranston Greater Chamber of Commerce will host an event for networking from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Bonefish Grill, 2000 Chapel View Blvd., Cranston. The event, which is part of the chamber’s “Making Contacts and a Contribution” series, will give professionals the opportunity to build business relationships while enjoying food from Bonefish Grill. Raffle prizes will be given away. Bring business cards and a nonperishable food item to benefit the Cranston Community Action Food Bank. For more information and to register, call Stephen C. Boyle at (401) 785-3780 or email email@example.com.
TUESDAY, OCT. 22 MANAGEMENT SEMINAR Prophet Share will host a management seminar from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Centerville Seminar Center, 875 Centerville Road, Building 2, Suite 5, Warwick. Bob Sloane from XcelHR will provide an in-depth explanation of time and labor management systems including; how they save you and your company substantial revenue; how they generate substantial revenue from many view points and also keep you and your company compliant with mandatory federal and state business guidelines. Other topics to be discussed include: tracking workerscompensation class codes and rates; tracking different job descriptions for employees; keeping the U.S. Department of Labor out of your back office; keeping the wage and hour out of your back office; using time and management to eliminate frivolous lawsuits. Free. For more information, call (401) 2734446 or visit prophetshareri.com.
THURSDAY, OCT. 24 EGGS & ISSUES The Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce will host an “Eggs and Issues Breakfast” at 8 a.m. at the Kirkbrae Country Club, 197 Old River Road, Lincoln. The event will feature guest speaker, Mark Gray, coordinator of the Health Insurance Small Employer Taskforce at the Providence Plan. Gray will provide those interested in employer/employee health insurance costs, coverage or mandates with explanations of the new health insurance exchange. Cost: $20 members pre-registered; $30 member walk-ins; $40 nonmembers. For more information and to register, call (401) 334-1000 or visit www.nrichamber.com.
FRIDAY, OCT. 25 EVENT FOR NETWORKING Uncle Jay’s Network will host an event for networking from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at Servpro, 231 High St., Westerly. The event, which is part of the Traveling Breakfast series, will give professionals the opportunity to build relationships with other business professionals in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. Bring a friend and plenty of business cards.
Bristol Blooms, a committee of Bristol residents and gardeners, recently hosted its first “Bloomraising” event, which earned more than $4,000 towards its annual goal of $30,000 to support downtown beautification efforts in Bristol. Approximately 100 guests attended the event to support the group’s goal to hang blooming flower baskets on street lanterns throughout Bristol’s historic downtown. The event also recognized honorary chairs: Joan Brito, Ann DeLeo, Ed Castro and Don Fales “I think the most important thing is to thank people for all the cooperaDoor prizes will be offered. Cost: $5. For more information and to RSVP, call (401) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MONDAY, OCT. 28 UNCLE JAY’S NETWORKING Uncle Jay’s Network will host an event for networking from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Regency Cigar Emporium, 752 Main St., East Greenwich. Participants will have the opportunity to meet and renew relationships with business contacts while exploring Regency’s huge display of fine cigars. The event will feature complimentary beer, wine and hors d’ouvres. Cost: $10. All attendees receive a premium cigar ($10 value). For more information and to register, call Mike Correira at (401) 884-7665, email michael@ regencycigar.com or Jay White at (401) 2655373, email email@example.com, or Phil Geaber, (401) 261-0885, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
TUESDAY, OCT. 29 USGBC MEMBERSHIP The U.S. Green Building Council Rhode Island chapter will host a membership meeting from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Fidelity Investments, 900 Salem St., North Smithfield. The event will feature Janet Coit, director of R.I. Department of Environmental Management and others who are dedicated toward going green. Coit, has been a champion for the environment throughout her decades of environmental and legal service, including stints at the Department of the Interior, Department of Justice, and working for three U.S. Senators from New England. Cost: free for members; $10 nonmembers. For more information and to register, call Lorraine Nik at (401) 780-4337, email email@example.com or visit www.usgbcri.org. THE GARAGE The Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce will host a business forum and event for networking from 2 to 7:30 p.m. at the Rhode Island School of Design, Chace
tion they gave us. The first goal was to get the hanging baskets organized and implemented and the next goal was to honor local gardeners who deserved recognition. They continually added to the community spirit of beautification in the town of Bristol,” said Jackie Cranwell, who leads the group. “The next thing is to ask people for more support.” Eight baskets were hung on the corners of State and Hope streets in the downtown business area of Bristol earlier this year. Approximately $11,500 has been raised so far. The group hopes to hang 120 baskets for the 2014 season. n Center, 20 North Main St., Providence. The event will encourage Rhode Island growth companies to share their success stories and best practices in an effort to inspire, cross-pollinate and grow key economic sectors. Cost: $20 for programs & networking reception; $10 for networking reception only. Registration deadline: Oct. 25. For more information and to register, call (401) 5215000 or visit providencechamber.com. PUBLIC-SPEAKING WORKSHOP The Southern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce will host a public-speaking workshop from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the chamber’s conference room, 230 Old Tower Hill Road, Wakefield. The workshop will be presented by Christopher J. Simpson, artistic director of the Contemporary Theater Company in Wakefield. Simpson will bring his years of theater training to help professionals build business relationships by introducing elements for a strong elevator pitch and improving the presentational skills of each attendee. Workshop is 90 minutes. Enrollment limited. Cost: $30. For more information and to register, call (401) 783-2801 or visit www.skchamber.com.
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 30 COMMUNICATION WORKSHOP The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network will host “Reclaim Your Power to Communicate” from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at HarborOne U, 131 Copeland Drive, Mansfield. The workshop, presented by Donna Mac, owner of DMacVoice & Media and corporate communications trainer, will train participants to become more influential and impactful when speaking. The workshop will cover ways to: determine communication strengths and vulnerabilities; better represent yourself and your business; and outline your next important presentation. Free. For more information and to register, call (508) 895-1300 or visit www.harboroneu.com.
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PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
Gritzo awarded society ‘medal’ for insurance research Louis A. Gritzo, vice president, manager of research at FM Global, was recently awarded the 75th Anniversary Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Heat Transfer Division for his dedicated service to the heat transfer community and contributions to the field. Gritzo currently leads a group of scientists, engineers and technicians that solve challenging loss prevention problems for FM Global’s clients and oversees the company’s 1,600acre research campus in Glocester. He currently serves as chair of both the research leadership team for the Industrial Research Institute and Fire Protection Engineering Advisory Board at the University of Maryland. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, with a minor in mathematics, from Texas Tech University. PBN: How have recent findings/research in the heat transfer process been applied to property loss prevention? GRITZO: The completion of the first phase of the open source computational fire model is a big tool to provide better, faster solutions to our clients. As an insurance company, we took a very innovative approach. We have a team of scientists that do physical research on topics needed to protect our clients’ business.
Anything Mother Nature can throwat a business we can replicate.
PBN: Tell me about the toys. What interesting tools does FM Global’s research team use to advance property-loss-prevention techniques? GRITZO: [We have] two 80-foot square movable ceilings (10 to 60 feet) that replicate industrial facilities. We have a calorimeter that [makes] measurements on the heat and smoke and products that are developed when large-scale fires burn. [To replicate] wind [we have a] series of uplift mechanisms that put pressure on roofs (like you see in severe wind storms) to develop roofing solutions to protect a spectrum of buildings under a hurricane or wind storm. … Anything Mother Nature can throw at a business we can replicate. PBN: So do you consider yourself in any way a tinkerer? GRITZO: When I was young I raced motorcycles and figured out how to fix them and make them run a little faster. That’s the same kind of thing that all the great people I have the opportunity to work with are doing now. They’re constantly figuring out ways to solve problems and make things better. n
Colin Gadoury has been promoted to job captain at Vision 3 Architects, where he is currently working on the design for the renovation of an existing gymnasium into a 300-seat performing arts center for St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket. Gadoury holds an M.A. in architecture from Roger Williams University.
Dr. Thomas F. Tracy Jr. has been named chief medical officer and senior vice president of medical affairs at The Miriam Hospital. In the role, Tracy will serve as the liaison between the medical staff and administration at the hospital, and will oversee medical affairs. He holds an M.A. in anatomy from Albany Medical College and an M.D. from Tel Aviv University.
FINANCIAL SERVICES Ron Carlstrom has been named vice president marketing manager at Bank Rhode Island, where he will be responsible for the bank’s brand while overseeing all advertising, communications and product development. Previously, Carlstrom was the president and CEO of Reel Big Media. He holds a B.A. in communications from the University of Tampa. Timothy C. Moynihan has been appointed senior vice president and director of risk appraisal at Brokers’ Service Marketing Group, where he will oversee all underwriting/risk selection operations and business development opportunities. Previously, he served as president of CBIZ Special Risk. Moynihan holds a B.A. in English from Amherst College.
HIGHER EDUCATION Kerry Condon has been appointed to serve a second year of service at AmeriCorpsVISTA, where she will work to leverage the educational assets of Rhode Island’s institutions of higher education to enhance PK16 school-based partnerships. She holds a B.A. in English and political science with minors in social and economic justice from the University of North Carolina. Adam Leonard has joined the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Rhode Island as a communications coordinator, where he will promote the organization’s initiatives and policy development research for sector-related issues. He holds a B.S. in neuroscience from Brown University.
Patricia Mulcahey has been promoted to director of administration at the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Rhode Island. Previously, she served as associate director of the organization. She also comanages Partnerships for Success. Mulcahey holds a B.S. in business management from Johnson & Wales University.
NONPROFIT Kevin Curtin has been appointed to the board of directors at Rhode Islanders Sponsoring Education. Curtin currently serves as the vice president of IT services at Fidelity Investments, where he is responsible for all mid-tier Web services for Fidelity’s leading 401(k) platform. He holds an A.B. in economics from Harvard College and an MBA from Boston College. Daniel A. Murphy has been appointed to the board of directors at Rhode Islanders Sponsoring Education. Murphy currently serves as the principal/co-founder of Hatch Entrepreneurial Center and vice president of sales and marketing at Home Loan Investment Bank. He holds a B.A. in business economics and organizational behavior and management from Brown University.
Page 27 OCT. 21-27, 2013 www.pbn.com
Jocelyn Murta has been appointed to the board of directors at Rhode Islanders Sponsoring Education. Murta is a tax manager at Ernst & Young LLP, where she provides tax accounting, advisory and compliance services to public and nonpublic clients. She holds a B.S. in business administration and an M.S. in taxation from Bryant University. Jennifer A. Sabatini been appointed to the board of directors at Rhode Islanders Sponsoring Education. Sabatini currently serves as the senior regional development director at Brown University. She has 15 years’ experience in her field. Sabatini holds a B.A. in English from Gettysburg College and an MBA with a concentration in marketing from Villanova University.
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Linda Rogers has joined Poyant as a designer. In this role, she will develop creative design/ branding concepts and fabrication construction details. Previously, she served as art department manager at Beaumont Sign Co. She holds an architectural CAD certificate from Bristol Community College and a certificate in sign design/ lettering from Butera School of Art. n
Discover “The Starkweather Difference.”
BUSINESS INSURANCE | EMPLOYEE BENEFITS | PERSONAL INSURANCE | SURETY BONDING
Page 28 OCT. 21-27, 2013 www.pbn.com
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R.I.’s SBDC needs vibrant, new home News that Johnson & Wales University was not bidding to retain its contract to operate the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center was not shocking. After all, it was when the SBDC contract with Bryant University ended that JWU took over the joint venture with the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2006. Thankfully, at least one local university has acknowledged putting in a bid to run the center, which counseled 700 clients in 2012 and is credited with creating or retaining 994 jobs last year. The school publicly stepping up to the plate is the University of Rhode Island, which recently announced the creation of the URI Business Engagement Center and which moved its MBA program to Providence a year ago so that its students could be more directly engaged with the business community. (Due to the federalgovernment shutdown, there may be other local applicants whose bids may not have been processed yet, although at least five schools confirmed they have not bid on the contract, including Johnson & Wales.) The SBDC may not be the sexy job-creation engine that startup-accelerator Betaspring or the quasi-public Slater Technology Fund are. But its work with the state’s small-business community, especially in its urban core, is key to developing and maintaining vibrant Main Street commercial districts, a very important piece in the puzzle that is Rhode Island’s economy.
Changing with times yielding new success From 2005 to 2012, the number of boats built and sold in the United States fell by half, not a good sign for the Ocean State’s maritime industry. But thanks to a healthy dose of entrepreneurial spirit and data-driven decision-making, many Rhode Island shipbuilders and related companies are enjoying strong sales, some strong enough to put them in a position to hire new workers or bring some of the work they had moved offshore back to U.S. locales. Expertise gained in modern, compositebased shipbuilding is readily transferred to other industries, including renewable energy (wind-turbine molds and blades), defense (lightweight ship and aerospace components) and high-tech (component manufacturing), among others. All it takes is the business acumen to recognize the opportunity and take advantage of it. But even in the shipbuilding industry itself, the products of innovative processes that were developed here, then moved overseas with the promise of lower manufacturing costs, are now being brought back. It seems that the innovations are of such high value that a commodity approach to them is not necessarily the best one. The maritime industry will never be what it once was here, but what it is becoming is not such a bad thing. n
Sharpen your techniques In the “Peanuts” comic strip drawn by Charles products you can’t deliver right away. Sell what’s Schulz, the scene is a classroom on the first day of on the truck, and your customers will be well school. The students have been asked to write an served with the quality products you can deliver to them right now. essay about their feelings on returning to school. n Get in front of prospects. Every sale starts In her essay, Lucy wrote: “Vacations are nice, but it’s good to get back to school. There is nothing with a prospect – a potential customer with an inmore satisfying or challenging than education, and terest in what you’ve got to sell. Identify those who need what you’re offering. Find out where they are I look forward to a year of expanding knowledge.” The teacher compliments Lucy on her fine essay. so you can target your sales efforts effectively. n Profile your buyers. Your product should Leaning over to Charlie Brown, Lucy whispers, fill a defined need. Analyze the kind of people who “After a while, you learn what sells.” Sales is the lifeblood that drives business. As might benefit from what you’ve got to offer so you I always say, there are no jobs unless someone can tailor your pitch to them. Do they already use something similar? Do they need to be edubrings the business through the front door. cated about what you can do for them? Career success often depends on your abiln Get into the customer’s mind. You ity to sell a product, a service or an idea. have to tailor your approach to match No matter what field you’re in, you’ll sell individual buyers. Once you’ve targeted better by remembering these key pieces of specific prospects, spend some time getsales wisdom: ting to know their personal priorities and n Satisfy the customer. There’s a meat professional preferences, and what they’re counter in the supermarket in my neighlooking for when they consider products borhood. There are always three or four like yours. You’ll do a better job of selling clerks waiting on customers. But one of to them if you focus on satisfying their rethe clerks always has customers waiting quirements instead of your own. for him even if one of the other clerks isn’t n Know when and how to ask for the busy. sale. Author Murray Raphel offers these One day I asked him the reason for his Harvey Mackay words of wisdom: “A ‘closing’ ... defeats popularity. He said: “The other clerks always put more meat on the scale and then take your primary goal in selling: the lifetime value of some away to arrive at what the customer ordered. the customer. You don’t ‘close’ the sale. You ‘open’ I always put less on the scale and then add to it. It relationships. Isn’t the end of the first sale really the beginning of the next sale to the same custommakes all the difference.” er?” n Show, don’t just tell. A salesperson tells, a n Ask for the order. I can’t believe how many good salesperson explains and a great salesperson demonstrates. A company was selling unbreakable salespeople do everything right, but then they fail mirror glass and had a sales contest. At the awards to ask for the order. Often that’s the most important banquet, they asked the no. 1 sales rep what his part of the process. An insurance agent, a longtime friend of Henry secret was. He explained that he had the factory cut him several 4-by-4 squares of the mirror glass. Ford’s, once asked automobile pioneer why he nevWhen he went out on calls, he would put one of the er got any of Ford’s business. “You never asked me,” Ford replied. n squares on the customer’s desk and then take out a hammer and try to smash it. It wouldn’t break – Mackay’s Moral: The hardest part of the sale is and the impressed customer was sold. selling yourself to your customer. n Sell what’s on the truck. Years ago in New York City, an Italian fruit vendor was teaching his son the basics of salesmanship. Harvey Mackay is the author of The New York “Don’t tell people we are out of peaches,” the fa- Times best-seller “Swim With the Sharks Without ther said patiently. “Ask them to buy some of our Being Eaten Alive.” He can be reached through very fresh plums. Sell what’s on the truck.” his website, www.harveymackay.com, by emailing Many of today’s salespeople could take the same firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing him at advice. Don’t spend a lot of time complaining about MackayMitchell Envelope Co., 2100 Elm St. SE, the current state of the product line, or describing Minneapolis, MN 55414.
PROVIDENCE BUSINESS NEWS
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Funding HealthSource RI may be easier than it seems So HealthSource RI is up and running. At least comparatively speaking, it seems quite successful at this early stage, too, managing encourTed Almon agingly high traffic, facilitating registration, and even enrolling new subscribers. In the first week of operation, the site enrolled about as many new subscribers as neighboring Connecticut, which draws from a much larger population. It would seem that Director Christine Ferguson and her small but intrepid staff deserve at least preliminary kudos for the frenetic effort needed to get the massive project off the ground on time. Reform advocates see the exchange as a powerful tool in the struggle to rein in future health costs, and as a result, the escalation of health premiums that have bedeviled the business community for years, spiraling upward at double the rate of inflation for more than two decades. But of course there are always detractors, the glass halfempty folks who raise questions and issues about what
could go wrong. They also serve an important purpose of course, keeping the effort focused not only on what has been accomplished, but what remains to be done. They point out that as neither an insurer nor provider, the exchange is another intermediary. It must prove that its value to the system exceeds the cost of operation. At the recent Publick Occurrences event on Obamacare at Rhode Island College, a spokesperson for the broker community was sharply critical of the exchange, pointing out that it will cost the state about $25 million annually to run after federal funding runs out in 2015. To date, no self-sustaining funding source for the exchange has been identified. Of course there are ideas, the most obvious being a fee or tax of some sort on the premiums of policies purchased, or a charge on claims made under those plans. Since both of these functions already occur in the present system, the fees to the exchange would add to current costs. Since the savings benefit of streamlining and the group-purchasing effects of the exchange are yet to be quantified, this leaves the question of
the exchange’s value proposition open. An important piece of the mission of the Affordable Care Act from which the exchange was created is to expand health-insurance coverage in order to reduce the enormous burden of uncompensated care in our system today. In Rhode Island we know that our hospitals spent more than $160 million at their cost (not charges) last fiscal year providing this care. Presumably other health providers suffer proportionately from treating patients that can’t or don’t pay. Interestingly though, the cost of providing care to the uninsured is only about two-thirds of this staggering sum. The remainder, or roughly one-third, results from uncollected copays and deductibles of insured people. As the use of copays and deductibles have increased, either to control premiums for employers or to influence utilization by subscribers, the cost of bad debt in the system
has tracked right along. Insurers imposed the burden of collecting these fees from the patients at the point of treatment, a cumbersome, inefficient, and often futile process that has added considerable administrative complexity as well as write-offs to the already-struggling provider community. It was an unfair deal in the first place. If insurers want to use this technique to control their costs, they should collect the copays and deductibles themselves and pay the providers in full. Needless to say, they have resisted this argument from providers successfully for years. Since the exchange will be collecting premiums from its subscribers, it could also collect copays and deductible payments that are incurred at the same time. Subscribers would have to pay to maintain coverage, now required by law. The exchange would get the billing information from its claims-processing contractors, the insurers, and then simply bill copays and
Hospitals alone have more than $50 million in write-offs of copays and deductibles.
deductibles incurred as part of the routine billing relationship with customers. It’s a much simpler and more-efficient process than having every hospital, doctor’s office, clinic, etc. trying to collect them at the point of service or chasing them afterward. Providers would then get paid in full for their services on every claim, minus a nominal fee to cover the operating cost of the exchange. If the hospitals alone have more than $50 million in write-offs of copays and deductibles, and the operating costs of the exchange are half that amount – this seems like a no-brainer. It will be far cheaper for the exchange to perform this service than the cost of how it is done now. This provides a savings opportunity clearly sufficient to fund the exchange operation and streamlines the current process at the same time. It would require no new taxes or fees. n Ted Almon is president and CEO of the Claflin Co. and cochair of the executive committee of HealthRIght, as well as a member of the Expert Advisory Panel of HealthSource RI.
RhodeMap RI is just one step down road to state progress Rhode Island state government is taking a proactive approach, giving every citizen the opportunity to shape our state’s special quality of life by becoming involved in RhodeMap RI. This strategy plan, focused on growing Olon Reeder where we live, work, play and travel, will determine a state vision for the next decade and beyond. Already, RhodeMap RI is concentrating on developing broad-based agendas addressing specific areas, including land use, housing, infrastructure and local community zoning, tied to what we must have to attract new business, keep jobs and grow existing industries. These sectors include: agriculture, arts and culture, financial services, life sciences, manufacturing, technology, transportation and travel and tourism.
However, I strongly feel there are some critical areas in which RhodeMap RI must challenge that thinking in order to make our state and communities vibrant for economic development. Emphasizing education, empowerment, enlightenment and entrepreneurship, the state is more likely to remain relevant to the business community for at least the next decade by taking the following steps: n Grow Rhode Island’s freelance workforce. According to the federal government, 73,000 Rhode Island residents (myself included) work for themselves, representing every profession and trade. Because of the lasting impacts of the Great Recession, with less need for traditional employees, and with effects of Obamacare influencing future hiring, more people must work the freelance route out of necessity. We need to put resources into making
Rhode Island a national model for developing freelance opportunities. n Invest in healthy communities. The increasing number of people each year needing help with lifelong learning, social assistance and preventive health care to get ahead in their lives is one reason why our state, cities and towns are under such fiscal stress. RhodeMap RI must sketch a balanced approach to protect human needs and provide everyone with the tools needed to create a self-sufficient lifestyle. n Refocus economic development to meet demand-driven expectations. Global interconnectivity has made local and worldwide markets far more sensitive to quickly shifting demand patterns. An example of our demanddriven economy is the “requirement” that everyone must have an electronic presence to live our daily lives, compete in business, educate our children
and do everyday transactions. However, even though Rhode Island became the first state to have total access to the Internet, 38 percent of our residents are not connected because of digital illiteracy, not to mention the high cost of purchasing and maintaining access. Efforts must be made to give everyone free or low-cost Internet access necessary to support our ever-changing 21stcentury livelihoods. Working to solve these issues can make a real difference. As citizens, we must help to determine what kind of commitment is needed today and in the future. RhodeMap RI won’t have all the answers. But together we can use it to improve our economy, revitalize our quality of life and start to fulfill the Ocean State’s great potential. n Olon Reeder is an independent public relations counselor based in Rhode Island.
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Boats FROM PAGE ONE
boards and rudders) from China back to the Ocean State. LaserPerformance is hiring 15 new full-time employees, plus six part time, by the end of the year to operate the new production line, said company Chairman Bill Crane. Next year the company plans to bring production of racks for its boats in-house, which could add another four workers. Formerly known as Vanguard, LaserPerformance makes sailboat types such as the Laser, Optimist, 420 and Sunfish, and is in the process of transitioning the method for making their hulls from an open-mold system to an “infusion,” closed-mold system similar to how the foils are made. “We started a factory in China and realized it is so valuable we closed it and moved it to Portsmouth,” Crane said. “We wanted to make a state-of-theart manufacturing facility for foils for our boats and for those of our competition. Strategically, we think this technology is really valuable and we should integrate it to what we are doing in the Rhode Island facility.” In Newport, sailboat designer J/ Boats Inc. has seen strong demand for its 23-foot J/70 sailboat, which is manufactured at C&C Fiberglass in Bristol, another company that has bounced back well from the recession. C&C also makes the hulls for Hunt
Optimism FROM PAGE ONE
tens of millions of dollars in unfunded long-term liabilities. In December of that year, the state appointed a fivemember budget commission to help the city achieve fiscal stability. Standard & Poor’s earlier this month credited the commission for adopting stronger fiscal-management practices. Many members of the city’s business community welcomed the commission as a necessary step toward improving the local business climate. The commission was dissolved last month following the state’s determination that the city’s fiscal health had improved. Improvement in the business community, however, is still a slow process, McNamara said. “I didn’t hear of anyone expanding in the last four or five years. It was more about just trying to keep operating on a daily basis – ‘I got through today, now let me get through tomorrow,’ ” said McNamara. “Now I think we’re on the upswing. “I’m hoping that with this increase in the bond rating, it shows the city is being more responsible and it will bring more confidence to business owners so they will stay and expand,” she said, pointing to promising developments in the city that include Tockwotton On the Waterfront, a senior-living community that opened in January, the residential and retail Village on the Waterfront and a vision of creating a waterfront arts and culture district. A major development for East Providence was the arrival this year of Eaton Corp., a manufacturer of components for the aerospace industry, which has approximately 200 employees in the city, said East Providence Planning Director Jean Boyle. Eaton moved its operations to East Providence from a Warwick facility that was damaged in the March 2010
PROVIDENCE BUSINESS NEWS Yachts, a Portsmouth company that nonmarine division focused on the enwas recently acquired by the New York ergy, aerospace, architectural and deinvestment firm that owns luxury-boat fense industries. maker The Hinckley Co. Also in Bristol, Core Composites “It is a different industry in the Inc. has worked on everything from the sense it is not the size it was,” said country’s first all-composite fast ferry Wendy Mackie, CEO of the Rhode Is- to lightweight land vehicles, military land Marine Trades Association. shelters and wind-turbine blades. “They are running businesses looking “A market outside the marine trades for multiple revenue streams instead of that is a promising area is building a singular one.” with modern materials, composites and For many marine-industry compa- carbon fiber,” said Terry Nathan, presinies, diversification has been central dent of the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport. to surviving the recession “A lot of people learning to and now holds the keys to repair with modern magrowth. terials are highly desirIn some cases, that has able outside of the marine meant looking away from trades. But in the marine the water for revenue. industry you are dealing Goetz Composites, in with very challenging Bristol, whose boats have shapes and that gives you included 10 America’s Cup an edge at applying those vessels, is using its skill modern materials.” with carbon fiber to make At IYRS, Composites architectural pieces rangTERRY NATHAN ing from outdoor staircasTechnology is one of three IYRS president es to a 40-foot-wide, spherischools – along with the cal Christmas ornament School of Boatbuilding for a customer in Oklahoma. and Marine Restoration and School of “Our market has changed radically, Marine Systems – designed to teach the and while we are building marine stuff, skills necessary for work in the industhe majority is now outside marine,” try. Yet while composites might be the said Eric Goetz, chief technology officer at Goetz Composites. “It doesn’t mean newest market opportunity, Nathan we are neglecting marine, but for us said employers in the marine trades the opportunities are architectural and are looking less for specialist skills and commercial. There is a broad spectrum more general versatility. Nationally, boat sales began falling of people who can make use of our talents.” in 2006, even before the housing bubble This year Hall Spars and Rigging burst and the country slipped into rein Bristol formed Hall Composites, a cession.
‘People learning to repair with modern materials are highly desirable.’
floods. The relocation was spurred by a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to the East Providence Special Waterfront Development District Commission. “We’re very pleased to have Eaton. These are high-wage, manufacturing jobs,” said Boyle. “We worked with them for a couple of years to get them to come to East Providence.” Other substantial developments in the city are in progress, she said. Kettle Point, a 400-unit residential development on a former oil distribution site, is in the final phases of getting permits, with construction expected to begin in the spring, she said. Village on the Waterfront, a 600unit residential development with 45,000 square feet of retail space, is expected to begin the first phase of construction in late 2014, said Boyle Not all businesses are sharing in the improved view of development in the city or noticing a positive reflection from the S&P rating. “I don’t think it’s affected me at all,” said Dean Malatesta, owner of PrintMD, a business he started four years ago that sells toner for printers and does printer repairs and fine-art reproductions. After owning several other successful businesses, including a music store in Cambridge’s Harvard Square, an apartment building in Haverhill, Mass., and a software company, Malatesta worked in the printing industry until he started Print-MD in 2008. “I haven’t lost customers, they’re just buying less. Companies are cutting their budgets,” he said. The small company is working to expand its offerings and services because products such as toner for printers meet with stiff competition from large companies. Competition from multistate companies is also cutting into business at Dial Battery Paint & Auto Supply, which has been in East Providence for more than 30 years.
OCT. 21-27, 2013
In 2005, there were just under 400,000 boats of all types sold in the United States, according to figures from Statistical Surveys Inc. of Grand Rapids, Mich., published by Bloomberg News. Last year, there were 196,000 vessels sold and as of July, sales of boats less than 30 feet long had rebounded 13 percent from 2010, with larger boat sales increasing 9 percent, Bloomberg said. According to statistics from the National Marine Manufacturers Association, there are 323 Rhode Island companies in boat building, component supply and dealerships, generating $508.3 million in annual sales. At New England Boatworks in Portsmouth, which makes high-end, custom racing sailboats and luxury powerboats, partner Tom Rich said demand is still way down from where it was in 2006, and his company has had to win a higher percentage of the big jobs out there to stay busy. “In the high-end race and powerboat market, it just seems there are a lot fewer players,” Rich said. “Places like C&C Fiberglass and J/Boats have hit a home run in smaller boats, but we have to hope our reputation and product is strong enough that we get the jobs that require our skills.” Rich said one positive helping American boat builders is the relative weakness of the dollar compared to where it was in the boom years. “With the dollar not as strong, the people who do want to spend money are staying home,” Rich said. “The American buyer is less likely to go overseas.” n
PBN PHOTO/DAVID LEVESQUE
SETTING THE STANDARD: Phil Tirrell, owner of Weichert Realtors – Tirrell Realty in East Providence, also serves as chairman of the economic-development committee of the East Providence Area Chamber of Commerce. He sees an S&P debt upgrade for the city as having positive reverberations.
The company’s major focus has become selling specialty paints and supplies to auto-body shops. “I’m in and out of the body shops all the time. They get a little work and it dies out,” said Dick Acciardo, co-owner of the business. “It’s been up and down for a long time. Everybody seems to be complaining. They want to know where the recovery is, because it’s not here, it’s not in Rhode Island. “We had six-and-a-half employees. Our peak year was 2006,” said Acciardo. “Now we’re down to four employees, including the two owners.” Even though many local businesses continue to struggle with the impact of changes in their own sectors and the slow national and state economic recovery, others such as Phil Tirrell, owner of Weichert Realtors – Tirrell Realty in East Providence, are optimistic. “I think the upgrade in the S&P bond
rating has a very positive impact,” said Tirrell, chairman of the economic-development committee of the East Providence Area Chamber of Commerce. “The ‘A’ rating brings more confidence to make a decision to locate in East Providence,” said Tirrell. Tirrell has put his own money where he suggests his clients put it – into East Providence. “For seven years, I was leasing an office in a shopping center about a mile from where I am now,” said Tirrell. “Then I bought this building on Willett Avenue. It used to be a vacant Bank of America. It was an eyesore. I bought it before Thanksgiving 2012 and did fullspeed renovating. I gutted it and did some landscaping. I painted it yellow. I moved in at the end of January.” His purchase speaks for itself, said Tirrell. “I have skin in the game,” he said. n
OCT. 21-27, 2013
PROVIDENCE BUSINESS NEWS
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