The I-195 Redevelopment District Commission was created in late 2011 to serve as the responsible authority for the sale, marketing, and oversight of land made available in downtown Providence, Rhode Island, as a result of the relocation of Interstate 195.
Its mission: “To foster economic development on the I-195 land and beyond and generate job creation opportunities that embrace the city’s demographics by creating an environment that encourages high-value users to build well-designed structures that enhance the value of surrounding neighborhoods and augment the sense of place.”
The I-195 Redevelopment District Commission is led by Executive Director Peter McNally and the board of directors that includes seven individuals nominated by Governor Gina Raimondo (with guidance from Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello) and approved by the Rhode Island Senate. Board members include:
Robert C. Davis Chairman
Robert Davis recently retired as a partner of the Boston law firm of Goulston & Storrs where he represented a wide range of clients in real estate projects over a 35-year career. He has represented colleges, schools, retailers, hotel operators, and developers in all phases of real estate development. He holds a J.D. from Boston College Law School and a B.A. from Brown University. Davis’ previous experience includes working closely with state and city officials as the representative of a developer chosen to redevelop 50 acres of prime real estate within the City of Quincy, Massachusetts. Davis was directly involved in developing a funding mechanism for the necessary infrastructure improvements as well as obtaining special legislation for the project from the state.
Elizabeth "Beppie" Huidekoper Treasurer
Elizabeth Huidekoper has served as the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration at Brown University since 2002 and has retired from Brown in 2016. Upon entering Brown, she played a vital role in planning and executing the growth of the Plan for Academic Enrichment, which called for the addition of 100 new faculty members and the transition to universal need-blind admission. Huidekoper's other responsibilities included workers’ contract negotiations, capital projects, and decisions on raising the cost of tuition. Previously, she was the Vice President for Finance at Harvard University. Huidekoper received an M.B.A. from Boston University and a B.A. from Bowdoin College.
Sandra Smith brings 20 years of experience in strategy consulting and business management from her work at the Boston Consulting Group, Charles Schwab, Catalyst Strategies, and Recon Strategy. Smith is currently a Program Director at Brown University developing a new Executive Master program in Science and Technology Leadership. She holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of Business and a B.A.Sc. in Industrial Engineering with honors and a M.A.Sc. of Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto.
Barrett Bready, M.D., is Founder and CEO at Nabsys. Dr. Bready is an adjunct professor at Brown University where he teaches Biotechnology Management. He serves as a commissioner of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission, a large land redevelopment project in downtown Providence with a focus on life sciences and other high technology sectors. He has received numerous awards including, in 2011, Rhode Island Innovator of the Year from Providence Business News. Dr. Bready received an M.D. and an Sc.B. in physics from Brown University, both as part of Brown’s Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME).
Bonnie Nickerson is the Director of the Department of Planning and Development for the City of Providence. In her role she leads a great team of professionals who oversee the City’s boards and commissions and review development proposals in the City. The Department also leads the City’s efforts in comprehensive and neighborhood planning, redevelopment, and special area plans as well as urban design, GIS, waterfront planning, environmental planning, and transportation and transit planning. Nickerson also oversees the work of the City’s Community Development Division that allocates federal funds to support affordable housing, and comprehensive and lasting neighborhood development. The Department’s work is a partnership with many stakeholders and in her role as Director, Bonnie coordinates planning efforts with local, state, and federal planning partners. She is a trustee of the Providence Foundation and a member of the Rhode Island State Planning Council. Prior to her role as Director, she served the department in other capacities and worked in the nonprofit sector. She is passionate about where smart planning and place making come together to make lasting impacts on communities and quality of life. Nickerson has a Master of Community Planning from the University of Rhode Island and B.A. in Urban Studies from Mount Holyoke College.
Stefan Pryor received his undergraduate and law degrees from Yale University and serves as Rhode Island’s first Secretary of Commerce. He oversees the state agencies and offices responsible for economic development, business regulation, housing, workforce development, and tourism. Pryor was President of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which undertook revitalization initiatives including post-9/11 residential and business grant programs, the development of over a dozen new and renovated parks and open spaces, and grant programs for the rejuvenation of downtown’s tourism industry and arts/cultural community. While in New York, Pryor also served as a Vice President at the Partnership for New York City and led the organizations' public education initiatives, including a program that worked in collaboration with two low-performing, high-poverty NYC school districts. Pryor served as Deputy Mayor and Director of Economic and Housing Development in Newark, New Jersey, and significantly improved the city’s previously underperforming workforce development system and increased the city’s rate of affordable housing production. During his tenure as the Commissioner of Education for the State of Connecticut, the state passed landmark legislation aimed at closing achievement gaps, improving chronically underperforming schools and districts, enhancing educator effectiveness, and increasing rigor and raising expectations for all students.
Michael F. McNally
Michael F. McNally retired as one of the nine members of Skanska's senior executive team responsible for the company's $20 billion global construction and development operations.While he was the president and CEO of Skanska USA, it grew to be one of the largest construction/ development companies in the U.S with annual revenues in excess of $7 billion. Previous to his retirement, Mr. McNally sat on the national board of directors for the ACE Mentoring Program and the Association for the Improvement of American Infrastructure. He was also on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's "Let's Rebuild America" leadership committee, vice chairman of the New York Building Congress, and the co-chair of the YMCA of Greater New York " Strong Kids" campaign. He is currently a member of board of directors at Granite Construction, Terracon Consultants and Limbach Holdings. Mike is also on the URI President's Advisory Council, a member of the 195 Commission, and chairs the US Green Building Council board of directors. Mr. McNally holds a BSCE degree from the university of Notre Dame and a MBA from the University of Rhode Island.
Michael "Mike" Van Leesten
Michael S. Van Leesten presently serves as the CEO of the OIC of Rhode, a non-profit community development corporation that specializes in work force, minority business, and urban policy development. Mike’s relevant experiences include Chairman of the RI Mortgage and Finance Corporation, Executive Director of Providence Planning & Development Department, Director of Fleet Bank, Founding Chairman of the Omni Development Corporation, I95 Commission member, and Chairman of the RI Black Heritage Society. Mike has received honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Rhode Island, Roger Williams University, RI College, and is a member of the RI Heritage Hall of Fame.