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 JD from Boston College Law School and a BA 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.
Sandra Smith Secretary
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 MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a BASc in Industrial Engineering with honors and a MASc 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 were 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 ear from Providence Business News. Dr. Bready received an MD and an ScB in physics from Brown University, both as part of Brown's Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME).
Bonnie Nickerson (ex-officio)
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 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 a BA in Urban Studies from Mount Holyoke College.
Stefan Pryor (ex-officio)
Stefan Pryor received his undergraduate and law degrees from Yale University and serves as Rhode Island's firs 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 organization's 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 US 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 the American Infrastructure. He was also on the US 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 the 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 I-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 Island, 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, I-195 Commission member, and Chairman of the RI Black Heritage Society. Mike has receied 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.
Marc Crisafulli serves as Executive Vice President for Twin River Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:TRWH), responsible for directing the company's government and public affairs for all of the TRWH properties nationwide as well as the company's pursuit of strategic initiatives. He also serves as President of Twin River Casino Hotel and Tiverton Casino Hotel, two of the company's Rhode Island properties. Mr. Crisafulli most recently served as the President of the US&C and Global Device Protection for Brightstar Corporation, a Softbank Company, where he was responsible for a $5 billion region, based outside of Chicago, with operations in the United States and Canad as well as a $300 million global division with operations on five continents. Prior to that he was an active member of the Rhode Island business community having served as managing partner of Hinckley, Allen & Snyder as well as a senior executive and general counsel for GTECH Corporation, now IGT. Crisafulli received a BA from Boston University in Economics and Political Science, and a JD from Georgetown University School of Law.
Brendan P. Doherty
Brendan Doherty brings over 28 years of public sector leadership to the organization as he was formerly the Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and the first Commission of Public Safety for the state of Rhode Island. During his tenure in the State Plice, he worked his way through the ranks in the Detective Bureau spending most of his career investigating Organized Crime and Public Corruption. He was involved in the prosecution of some of the state's highest profile cases. Brendan retired in 2011 holding he rank of Colonel. At the time of his retirement, through his leadership, the state of the art Public Safety Headquarters was built on time and under budget. While Superintendent of the State Police, he began a Community Outreach Program and fostered a close police-community relationship that encompassed programs such as Kids, Cops and Christmas; Kids, Cops and Classrooms, as well as volunteer basketball leagues and youth mentoring programs. After retiring from the State Police, Brendan was a candidate for US Congress in 2012. He has lectured at numerous colleges and universities on topics such as 4th Amendment issues, Identity Theft and Ethics. In 2013 he began working as Director of Special Investigations at Blue Cross Blue Shield RI focusing on healthcare fraud. Brendan has been a member of numerous boards throughout New England, including RI Special Olympics, Crossroads RI, Cumberland Lincoln Boys and Girls Club, NE Heart Association, The National Healthcare Anti-Fraud Association Training Committee, Chairman of NE State Police Intelligence Network, Chairman of Wyatt Correctional Facility, and The Beacon Mutual Insurance Company Governance Committee as well as Phoenix House of New England. He is also a member of the RI Police Chiefs Association. Brendan is a graduate of Roger Williams University with a BS in Administration of Justice, and holds a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice from Anna Maria College.