Brett Smiley: 15 to Watch in RI in 2015
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
man with the plan" during the 2014 Providence Mayoral campaign is now the man behind the man -- Brett Smiley, who was once Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza's staunch adversary, is now his Chief Operating Officer.
While Smiley and Elorza denied cutting a deal two weeks prior to the Democratic primary, when Smiley bowed out of the race in order to defeat Council President Michael Solomon -- and ultimately former Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci, former lobbyist and business owner Smiley will assume a key role in the Elorza administration.
Heading up a senior leadership team that includes Deputy Chiefs of Staff Marisa O'Gara and Theresa Agonia, Director of Policy Sheila Dormody, and Director of Communications David Ortiz, Smiley will no doubt be instrumental in the day-to-day operations of the Providence Mayor-elect Elorza's office, whose inauguration festivies start this weekend.
Related Slideshow: 15 to Watch in RI in 2015
Take a look at the 15 for 2015.
The "man with the plan" during the 2014 Providence Mayoral campaign is now the man behind the man -- Brett Smiley, who was once Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza's staunch adversary, is now his Chief Operating Officer.
Arc Iris is a Rhode Island band poised to break out in 2015. In fact, as far as critics are concerned, they may have actually broken out in 2014 -- and GoLocal's music reviewer Ken Abrams has the low-down.
This past January, Foulkes became President of CVS/pharmacy -- and promptly found herself launched to the #26 spot on Fortune Magazine's Most Powerful Women in Business for 2014.
Ogie's Trailer Park
The new addition to the West Side drinking-and-dining scene will be one to watch in the coming year.
The bar slash restaurant slash beer garden, which just opened (with a clean inspection bill from the Department of Health) will feature late night fare into the wee hours, for those looking for a midnight snack -- or brew or two.
The Providence City Council veteran has represented Ward 10 since 1998, and appears poised to have the votes to assume the role of City Council President in January, taking the place of previous president -- and mayoral candidate - Michael Solomon.
The Mt. Hope community leader already had a busy 2014, touting a new business in the neighborhood (Moroccan Hair Design) and receiving the NAACP Providence Branch Joseph LeCount Award for his work.
Can PC's star guard shake off injuries -- and turnovers -- to lead the Friars to a repeat Big East title?
The head of the Wolf School in East Providence, Anna Johnson is a product -- and success story -- of the best Rhode Island's colleges have to offer. After getting her BA in Psychology from Brown, Johnson went on to get her Master's in Elementary Education at Brown, followed by a Master's in School Administration from Providence College.
Nominated by Governor Chafee to head up the Rhode Island Airport Corporation board in February 2014, Providence-lawyer Savage replaced Dr. Kathleen Hittner as the new chair.
Carolyn Thomas-Davis, who heads up OneVoice RI (which bills itself as "mobilizing, empowering and engaging communities throughout the State of Rhode Island...encouraging political awareness and involvement, on all levels of government") was an active force in Providence in 2014, and will no doubt be at the forefront of community issues in 2015.
After losing in 2012 to incumbent Representative William San Bento, Tobon emerged victorious this past election cycle in Pawtucket, besting independent opponent Jonathan Vallecilla with over 80% of the vote to represent the 58th House District in the General Assembly.
There are a lot of changes taking place at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, as it is currently undergoing a major renovation and expansion -- and 2015 will mark the first full year with its new CEO, former world #4 Todd Martin, at the helm.
Individually, they would take up four out of the 15 to Watch list, but we're keeping an eye on the group as a whole. On November 6, the number of women on the Providence City Council increased by 100%. In the span of 24 hours, women on the City Council went from 2 out of 15 members last term, to four of the 15 members this term.
The Hassenfeld Institute for Public leadership at Bryant University provides public officials and others involved in the development, management, and execution of public policy with the "tools and skills needed to make informed decisions and manage responsive organizations in order to govern and lead public sector and non-profit organizations effectively" -- and according to Founder and Director (and GoLocal MINDSETTER) Gary Sasse, is about to step up its presence advising in policy matters in the state.
Since being elected Rhode Island's first female Governor in November, Governor-elect Gina Raimondo has made a number of key staffing announcements leading up to her inauguration on January 6 -- including two staffers from Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's Administration.
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