Direct selling may never totally shed the image of Tupperware and restless housewives that make it seem stuck in the 1960s. But the loosely affiliated networks of independent salespeople pitching to friends and acquaintances make up a formidable industry. Timothy J. Brown, president of Jamie Oliver at Home North America, is a longtime champion of direct selling and believes its heyday is now. After leaving Taunton direct-sales firm Princess House in 2006, Brown was looking for his next project when he fell under the spell of British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, whose commercial empire has only begun to reach across the Atlantic. more
Jay Sidhu led Customers Bank to the top spot in Bank Director magazine’s 2014 Growth Leaders Ranking, announced April 29. It is the second year in a row Customers Bank earned the top rating, which is for core performance, the most comprehensive of four categories in the rankings, which also included core deposits, net loans and leases and noninterest income. more
In March, Douglas Sherman, the senior vice president and provost at the New England Institute of Technology, saw his work to introduce an online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program bear fruit when the program was accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. more
Greg Woods has been the heir apparent at West Warwick electronics manufacturer Astro-Med since being hired as chief operating officer in the fall of 2012, as part of the company’s strategic growth plan. Around the same time the Rochester, N.Y. native officially took over as CEO at the end of January, Astro-Med announced the $6.7 million acquisition of competitor Miltope Corp.’s line of aviation printers. It was the first of what Woods hopes will be a series of expansion initiatives and will bring manufacturing now done in Alabama to the Ocean State. The average consumer will likely never come in direct contact with Astro-Med’s specialized printers and data-acquisition devices, but Woods says they have a bright future. more
Adriana Dawson stepped in to deepen the connection between Rhode Island’s educational and business communities on March 31 through a newly created position at Roger Williams University. She will work with companies across the state from the university’s Bristol campus, as well as from a Providence office. more
Born in Tunisia, Hedi BenAicha studied history broadly, with a focus on the Middle East, before turning to library science in the United States in 1984. In mid-2008, he began ramping up Rhode Island College’s online offerings at its school library. more
Homeowners who can’t help checking their address on Internet property value trackers like Zillow’s “zestimate” likely weren’t happy with Stan Humphries, the real estate website’s chief economist, when house prices were plunging in recent years. An architect of the algorithm behind the “zestimate,” Humphries is probably more popular now that home prices on Zillow are rising again. 2013 was a very strong year for real estate across the country and even in the economically challenged Providence area, where Humphries was in town recently to network with local real estate agents who use or are looking at using Zillow’s data platform. more
In 2012, Sandra Potter founded Bryant Ventures – originally called Entrepreneurs on Campus – an entrepreneurial component of the global entrepreneurship program at Bryant University. She became director of the global program in February 2013. more
It’s NCAA tournament time – do you know what conference your favorite team plays in? For New England college basketball fans, the last two years of conference realignment have brought dizzying change, including the breakup of former regional stalwart the Big East. While local schools such as Providence College are pursuing their future in a new regional Catholic league, the organization that was the Big East remains headquartered in Providence, even as it rebrands itself as a national conference. more
Join PBN for the best networking event and party of the winter - January 15, 2015 - the Book of Lists Party at the Providence Public Library. Reserve your spot by December 31st and get a holiday gift from PBN!
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.