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Now in our second decade of honoring individuals and companies that stand out above the rest in Rhode Island and Bristol County, Mass., Providence Business News’ Business Excellence Awards is a refresher course in why a sense of place matters.
Chosen by a panel of their peers, this year’s winners are not just business successes, although that is something always to be celebrated. They are also dedicated to their community in significant ways.
For instance, the winner of the Business Leadership award, Arnold “Buff” Chace Jr., is being recognized for his success as the developer of large swaths of downtown Providence. One could argue that without Chace and his development company Cornish Associates, the Capital City would be just another hollowed-out urban core instead of a magnet for young people and businesses looking to capitalize on the energy and potential that only a vibrant city can generate.
And by definition, the winner for corporate citizenship, Washington Trust Bancorp Inc. Chairman, President and CEO Joseph MarcAurele, is being honored for his involvement in community service. MarcAurele has been a fixture in the nonprofit world for years, and makes no bones about how important that part of his career is to him.
In both these cases, as well as in the categories that celebrate organizations, commitment to people – be they customers, employees or neighbors – is the hallmark of enterprises worth celebrating.
The Business Excellence Awards would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Presenting sponsor is Bank Rhode Island, while partner sponsors are Bryant University, Cox Business, Lefkowitz, Garfinkel, Champi & DeRienzo P.C., Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP, Tufts Health Plan, University Medicine and USI Insurance. The media sponsor is WPRV-AM 790. The awards ceremony was held Nov. 17 at the Providence Marriott Downtown.
Roger C. Bergenheim