Updated March 27 at 4:27pm
economic development

Chafee nominates 3 more to EDC board


PROVIDENCE – Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee announced on Thursday three more nominees for the R.I. Economic Development Corporation’s board of directors: Lifespan’s Judith Diaz, Elizabeth Francis of the R.I. Council for the Humanities and Atrion Networking Corp.’s president and CEO Tim Hebert.

The new hopefuls join Chafee’s four recently confirmed nominees – Shannon Brawley, Dr. Nancy Carriuolo, Roland Fiore and George Nee – and Jason Kelly, whose nomination the state Senate is slated to vote on this evening.

“We are in the midst of transforming the RIEDC, and putting together a board that understands Rhode Island’s most important industries is a big part of that,” Chafee said in prepared remarks announcing the nominees.

“I recently nominated proven business leader Marcel Valois to serve as executive director, and together with the board we are going to do all we can to help existing Rhode Island businesses – many of them small businesses – succeed and grow, while working to attract new job creators to our state,” said Chafee. “We are going to continue to improve our economy by building upon Rhode Island’s strengths and assets. This is a new direction for the RIEDC and a more promising path to a stronger economy for Rhode Island.”

Most recently vice president of the private Rhode Island Economic Development Foundation, Valios previously led the EDC under then-Gov. Lincoln Almond in the 1990s.

If confirmed by the Senate, he would take over as EDC chief from Managing Director of Business and Community Development William J. Parsons, who turned down an executive director appointment in February due to health concerns. Parsons has been leading the agency on a temporary basis since former Executive Director Keith W. Stokes resigned last summer in response to the failure of the state’s $75 million loan guarantee to 38 Studios LLC.

According to a release from the Statehouse, the newest nominees reflect Chafee’s “ongoing commitment to having Rhode Island’s key industries represented on the EDC Board – in this case, health care, arts and culture, and information technology.”

Diaz, who has served as director of community health services for Lifespan since 2011, is responsible for overseeing the Community Health Services department staff, managing the department’s strategic planning and program implementation, interfacing with state- and community-based agencies, internal and external collaboration related to community health needs, and coordination of services and events with partnering organizations.

Francis was named executive director of the Rhode Island Council of the Humanities in January. Prior to that, the alumnus of Brown University’s doctoral program served as interim executive director of corporate and foundation relations at Brown.

Hebert, representing the information technology industry, is chairperson, president and CEO of Warwick-based Atrion, a company he joined as vice president and director of client services in 1989. In addition to his work with Atrion, Hebert is president of Caribou Realty LLC and previously served as president and CEO of Access Communication Corp. and vice president of Xtranet Corp., among other positions.


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