Chamber dinner highlights state's college students

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The Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce (NRICC) held its 26th Annual Dinner Wednesday, February 8 at Twin River Casino. The dinner is the Chamber’s largest signature event, and was attended by over 500 people. Opening remarks were made by John Taylor, Chairman of Twin River Casino, and Governor Gina Raimondo.

The Chamber honored two deserving individuals for their dedication and service to the State of Rhode Island. Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed was awarded the Barbara Burlingame Award for her years of public service in the Rhode Island State Senate, and was presented by NRICC’s Chairman, Ernie Almonte. Owner and publisher of Rhode Island Monthly John J. Palumbo was awarded the Ben Mondor Award for his philanthropic efforts to improve the community, with vice president of sponsorships for the Pawtucket Red Sox, Michael Gwynn, presenting the award.

The Chamber’s Board of Directors also presented a check to the United Way of Rhode Island Women’s Leadership Council on behalf of immediate past chair, Mary Ann Shallcross Smith.

President of CCRI, Dr. Meghan Hughes, helped end the evening with an engaging and energetic keynote speech. Hughes spoke of the school’s efforts to help prepare students by offering programs that will help them transfer to four year schools, or enter the workforce with good jobs, and considerable knowledge in their chosen fields. Hughes also told the attendees of CCRI’s efforts to create employer partnerships. To end her speech, she called businesses to action, and asked that employers believe in the graduates of the Community College of Rhode Island and hire them.

NRICC represents the interests of businesses in the communities of Burrillville, Central Falls, Cumberland, Foster, Glocester, Johnston, Lincoln, North Providence, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, Scituate, Smithfield, and Woonsocket. The chamber leads the Chamber of Commerce Coalition, representing nine area chambers of commerce. The Coalition is one of the largest business advocates in the state, representing more than 6,500 businesses and 70,000 employees. For more information about NRICC, call 334-1000 or visit www.nrichamber.com. PICTURE: Chamber Annual Dinner

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