Bryan Berard: 14 Who Made a Difference in RI in 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

 

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Berard

Hockey players are known for their strength and tenacity on the ice -- and Rhode Island hockey player Bryan Berard proved they can be just as tough off of it. 

The Woonsocket native, who played in the NHL for 11 years, helped investigators scrutinize bank transfers and payments from a string of investments from former friends that may have bilked up to $100 million from Berard and more than a dozen of his colleagues on the ice.

The accused, Phillip A. Kenner and Tommy C. Constantine, were close to Berard -- but assuming that he was in their "good hands," Berard believed he lost between $3 million and $6 million in forged lines of credit, empty real estate deals and bad investments in a tech startup, a video game company and a shoulder pad company

"Hockey players are trustworthy guys. Most of us come from blue collar families. Teammates learn to trust each other at a young age," Berard said.

"I've closed that angry chapter in my life and moved on. Still, that's why I was at the hearings. I wanted both of those guys to look me in the eye and know I'm one of the guys who helped the government make these guys pay for what they've done."

And Berard is working to help other players with their finances -- in 2013, he joined Providence's Whale Rock Point Partners LLC as director of their sports and entertainment group -- and Berard gave a presentation this year to incoming NHL rookies about the dangers of bad investments and the importance of budgeting sports earnings to last a lifetime.

 

Related Slideshow: 14 Who Made a Difference in RI in 2014

See who made a difference in RI this past year BELOW. 

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Jorge Elorza

Providence's Mayor-elect prevailed in an epic battle of old Providence versus new, when he bested two-time former Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci (and Republican Dr. Daniel Harrop, who ended up voting for him), running on a platform of "One Providence."

Read more HERE.



 

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Clay Rockefeller

With the success of the Steel Yard already an accomplishment for Rockefeller -- and boon for Providence -- the entrepreneur added the Dean Hotel to his list of impactful projects, and accolades soon followed suit.

Read more HERE.


 

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Jim Vincent

The President of the NAACP Providence Branch, Vincent was a constant presence whenever there was call for action in the city during the past year, from seeing the opening of the Davey Lopes pool after the year long effort to reopen it, to calling for support when gang-fueled violence reached a head on multiple occasions. 

Read more HERE.

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Nellie Gorbea

In a year that saw the Rhode Island Democratic Party endorse three statewide candidates that ended up losing (Ralph Mollis, Frank Caprio, and Guillaume de Ramel) and no women, Secretary of State-elect Nellie Gorbea proved that a strong understanding of the office coupled with a populist likability could overcome deeper pockets.

Read more HERE.

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Bryce Cotton

The second-team All-American pick by NBC Sports was one of the main reasons Providence College snagged the Big East mens basketball title last season -- its first since 1994.  After GoLocal dubbed Rhode Island basketball coaches as part of the "13 Who Made a Difference in 2013', Cotton stood out last season for his individual accolades that led the Friars on its successful run.

Read more HERE.

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Gianfranco Marrocco

One of the lightning rods in Rhode Island in 2014, restaurateur Gianfranco Marrocco's decision to open $3 Bar on Atwells Avenue brought Federal Hill back into the spotlight as it hadn't been since the days of Raymond Patriarca. 

Read more HERE.

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Woody Allen

The prolific (and controversial) film director brought big time Hollywood to Rhode Island when reports first had Allen coming to the Ocean State for his latest project early in June, bringing in high-profile stars Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone.

Read more HERE.


 

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Dave Belisle

It was a speech heard around the world, on TV sets and replayed on social media, and part of the reason, among many, that Belisle was nominated for Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year

After coaching the Cumberland Americans into the Little League World Series for the second time in three years, Belisle addressed his team after it was eliminated in heartbreaking fashion, and made a speech that no one will ever forget. 

Read more HERE.


 

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Ben Sukle

In a town known for great restaurants -- and great chefs -- Sukle has raised the bar once again in Providence with Birch.  Tapped as a "Trender" by GoLocal in 2013, Sukle and his wife have garnered the attention not just of local foodies -- Birch was nominated by Bon Appetit magazine for "Best New Restaurant in America" this past year.  

Read more HERE.

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Sandra Cano

The seemingly up-and-comer Cano has been on the radar screen for some time.  Picked as one of 13 to Watch in 2013, Cano, a Shea High School graduate, had just been the first Latina elected to the Pawtucket School Board.  

"Don’t be surprised if the school committee is just the first step in this up-and-comer’s political career," GoLocal wrote on January 1, 2013.  "She has already been chosen to represent the United States at the United Nations Commission of Status of Women—a summit to advocate for women’s rights— has plenty of insiders calling her a rising star in local politics."

Read more HERE.

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Citizens for John Hope

John Hope Settlement House is a community based organization that grew from a vision of public spirited African American leaders to serve their neighbors in the late 1920’s -- and is currently the subject of a movement of concerned citizens to shine the light on issues at the house -- and its future.

Read more HERE.

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Nicholas Mattiello

When former Rhode Island Speaker of the House Gordon Fox's office was raided by the FBI, State Police, and IRS in March, the future of the Rhode Island General Assembly was immediately uncertain. The Speaker of the House is arguably the most powerful position in the state, and Fox, who had been Speaker since 2010, resigned his top post the following day amidst the tumult.  

Read more HERE.

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Trinity

The venerable Providence theater continues to make a huge difference in the lives of audiences with its award-winning productions -- and through its Project Discovery, has introduced the theater to 1.3 million people from ages 5 to 66 since it began in 1966.

This year, more than 7,500 school children will get to see a morning matinee of A Christmas Carol, thanks to Project Discovery.

Read more HERE.

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Bryan Berard

Hockey players are known for their strength and tenacity on the ice -- and Rhode Island hockey player Bryan Berard proved they can be just as tough off of it. 

The Woonsocket native, who played in the NHL for 11 years, helped investigators scrutinize bank transfers and payments from a string of investments that may have bilked up to $100 million from Berard and more than a dozen of his colleagues on the ice.

Read more HERE.

 

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