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NEW: Chafee’s Top Pick Withdraws From Hunt for New RIEDC Director

Thursday, February 14, 2013


William Parsons has declined Governor Lincoln Chafee's request to lead the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.

Governor Chafee’s plan to fix the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) just took a major hit as Chafee’s pick to lead the agency, William J. Parsons, has just withdrawn his name from consideration.

In a letter to the governor, Parsons said that a recent serious health issue has led him to believe that he could not accept the Executive Director position and the high stress and high demand that comes with it.

Parsons will stay on with the agency in his current role as the Managing Director of Community and Business Development.

“After reflecting on the duties and responsibilities of the Executive Director and in consultation with my family, I have determined that my recent health concerns will not allow me to adequately serve in this demanding role,”

Parsons said in his letter. “In the interest of stability and continuity for the RIEDC, I feel it is important for the next Executive Director to be in a position to make an extended commitment to the agency. Due to my recent health issues, I do not believe that I can make such a commitment to serving as Executive Director at this time.”

“I understand Bill’s request, and I can certainly appreciate his reevaluation in light of facing a potentially serious health issue,” Chafee said. “Bill has given many years to the EDC and I want to genuinely thank him for his ongoing service to our state.”

Parsons said he takes “tremendous pride” in Rhode Island and in his time helping “businesses grow and succeed."

“It has been a pleasure to work collaboratively with businesses, government, and other economic development partners to meet the needs of companies as they have expanded and relocated jobs in the state,” he said. “I am especially proud of being part of the ongoing turnaround taking place at the RIEDC over the last nine months.”


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