Mayor Joseph Polisena was “holding court,” as the old adage goes, last week inside the state-of-the-art Northwoods Office Park located at 1301 Atwood Ave. in Johnston. Polisena went to the recently completed renovated facility armed with a Town of Johnston Official Commendation and Key to the Town that was nicely wrapped inside a small wooden box.
His mission, meanwhile, included taking part in the official ribbon cutting ceremony at the law firm of Pannone, Lopes, Devereaux & O’Gara LLC that moved its headquarters from Providence to Johnston several months ago.
After exchanging pleasantries with Gary P. Pannone, managing principal of the award-winning law firm as well as William F. O’Gara, principal and Bernard A. “Bernie” Jackvony, of counsel, who once served as Rhode Island’s Lieutenant Governor, Polisena presented Pannone with the commendation saying, “We are extremely happy you decided to make Johnston your new headquarters.”
The mayor put on his reading glasses and began, “Welcome to Johnston! It is small businesses like this that drive our town’s economic engine. On behalf of all the citizens, I am honored to extend to you sincere congratulations upon the opening of your business here in town. I would like to express the hope for success and best wishes, now and in the years to come.”
Once the applause from the firm’s staff that assembled to the traditional ribbon cutting ended, Polisena announced he had another special presentation to make. He took a small wooden box off the counter of the reception desk and took a key to Johnston, saying, “I have a key to our town that is only presented at special occasions. Today is indeed a real special occasion and we are honored that you have made Johnston your choice to relocate your great firm.”
Soon thereafter, many of the firm’s staff greeted the presentation and statement with more applause before Pannone, O’Gara, Jackvony and Tom Lopardo, chairman of the Johnston zoning board and friend of the law firm’s owners, went on a tour of the offices that began operating out of Northwoods on Feb. 21.
“This is truly a beautiful place,” Polisena noted during his tour of the 17,000-square-foot space that Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC now occupies. “This is a beautiful state-of-the-art facility, and again we’re proud you decided to relocate here in Johnston.”
The law firm also has approximately 42 offices and a conference room plus a large boardroom. The unique facility is a LEED Golf Certified building and wired for advanced technology capabilities to better serve its clients and employees.
Meanwhile, the Northwoods Office Park features a full café, gymnasium and shower facilities, outdoor basketball court and soccer field, walking path and pond; multi-purpose room fully wired for broadcast and presentation and a full catering service.