RSSAll Entries in the "Corporate" Category


SENEDIA 2018 -2019 STEM Scholarship
SENEDIA will be awarding two $1500 scholarships to students who are pursuing studies related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) career paths. These areas of study are the backbone of the skills and experiences that are important elements in supporting the future national security and defense sector workforce.
Student applicants must be a U.S. citizen and a resident of Southeastern New England (RI, MA, CT); entering their 4th semester of study (or later equivalent) in the 2018-2019 academic year; and a matriculating student enrolled in a STEM-related field at an accredited college or university located in the U.S.
Recognition will be awarded to any student related to a SENEDIA member or who is working for a SENEDIA member company.
Scholarship applications are available on the SENEDIA website, The deadline for applications is Friday, 25 May 2018.
SENEDIA Member News
Congratulations to SENEDIA members recently announced as 2018 Rhode Island Small Business Award winners by the U.S. Small Business Administration!

  • Kelly Mendell, MIKEL: RI Small Business Person of the Year
  • Evans Capacitor Co.: National Subcontractor of the Year
  • Jade Manufacturing Co.: Small Business Manufacturer
  • Veteran Assembled Electronics: New England Veteran-Owned Small Business
  • The SBA also awarded Cheryl Watkins Snead, founder, and former president and CEO of Banneker Industries Inc., the Rhode Island District Director Award posthumously.
New SENEDIA Members
HCH Enterprises, LLC (HCH) is an IT Consulting, Engineering and Technical Services Company certified as an 8(a), Small Disadvantaged Business. Founded in 1986, HCH was incorporated in Rhode Island in 2001. HCH specializes in: Enterprise Architecture; Network Infrastructure Support; System Security; Software and Database Services; and COOP and Disaster Recovery.

NeQter Labs, LLC provides adaptive, cost-efficient cybersecurity solutions to address the NIST SP 800-171 compliance orders. NeQter Labs’ cybersecurity, IT, and engineering professionals have developed an approach that is beneficial to companies of all sizes; combining dedicated hardware, custom software, and knowledgeable support services.

Upcoming Events
Tech Talk: Cyber Espionage Against Maritime Targets

Thursday, 26 April 2018, 7:30-10:00 AM
The Atlantic Resort, Middletown, RI

Presented by Brandon Catalan, CISSP, CCE; Security Principal, Cyber Espionage Intelligence Engineer, with iDEFENSE, part of Accenture Security, this discussion will dive into recent cyber espionage activity against maritime-related targets across multiple verticals, including engineering firms, shipping and transportation, manufacturing, defense, government offices, and research universities. Register here

RI Women in Science & Engineering Networking

Wednesday, 2 May 2018, 4-6 PM

The Atlantic Resort, Middletown, RI
Holly Ridgeway, the Executive Vice President and Chief Security Officer of Citizens Financial Group, will be the guest speaker.  Light hors d’oeuvres and cash bar; cost is $15. Register here for RIWISE Networking

Tech Talk: U.S. Army Research Lab
Thursday, 24 May 2018
The Pell Center Salve Regina University
Details and registration coming soon.
SENEDIA Annual Golf Tournament
Monday, 18 June 2018, 1 PM Shotgun Start
Wanumetonomy Golf & Country Club, Middletown RI

Join SENEDIA members and staff for a relaxing afternoon of golf along the Narragansett Bay’s East Passage. 1:00 PM (Shotgun Start), scramble format with prizes, plus raffle prizes! More information and register now for SENEDIA golf tournament.

Defense Innovation Days

Monday-Wednesday, 27-29 August 2018
Newport Marriott, Newport, RI

Platinum Sponsors

Silver Sponsor

The application for the 2018 Wavemaker Fellowship is now live!
The Wavemaker Fellowship program is an incentive that provides student loan debt relief (up to $6k/year!) to professionals who work for companies in RI, in a STEM or commercially relevant design function. Applications for the Fellowship program will be accepted until Friday, June 15, 2018.

The Wavemaker Fellowship program website containing all info, and the link to apply, is:


Any questions about the program should be directed to

McKee Launches Lt. Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge

PROVIDENCE, RI – Lt. Governor Dan McKee is launching Rhode Island’s first Lt. Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge, a business pitch competition that encourages entrepreneurial-minded high school students to compete for thousands of dollars in post-secondary scholarships.

The Challenge begins with participants creating written business plans that will be scored by members of the local business community. The top five scorers advance to a live Shark Tank-like pitch competition in August 2018. During the live competition, students present their business pitches to a panel of judges and receive scholarships based on their pitch scores.

The Challenge is sponsored by the Credit Unions of Rhode Island and hosted in partnership with Millennial RI.

“We want the Lt. Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge to send a strong message to young business-minded students in our state—we believe in you, we realize your potential and we want you to have the tools to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams right here in Rhode Island,” said McKee. “I am thrilled to be partnering with Millennial RI and the Credit Unions of Rhode Island whose missions speak to the heart of this program.”

“Our organization was created to help support and retain young professionals living in this state,” said AiyahJosiah-Faeduwor, Executive Director, Millennial RI. “That starts before graduation—we want to support students’ dreams in Rhode Island and invest their energy and passion here. Through this scholarship opportunity, we hope to elevate eager entrepreneurial-minded students on their journey to success.”

“The Credit Unions of Rhode Island are excited to be part of this important initiative to get young people engaged in the exciting realm of entrepreneurship,” said Paul Gentile, President/CEO, Cooperative Credit Union Association. “Credit unions believe in educating our youth in all sorts of areas, whether it be financial literacy or the business world. It’s important to get them thinking about the future and we want them to have the confidence to pursue their dreams. This program will help do just that.”

McKee modeled this program after the Kentucky Lt. Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge, an initiative he learned about during his time as Chair of the National Lieutenant Governors Association.

The deadline to apply for the Challenge is Friday, May 25, 2018. Rhode Island high school students from public, private and homeschool settings are eligible to participate. Detailed information about the program can be found at

Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara and Starkweather & Shepley Team Up to Help Organizations Prevent Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Rhode Island – April 9, 2018 – Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC (PLDO) and Starkweather & Shepley Insurance Brokerage Inc. (S&S) are teaming up to help organizations better address, prevent and manage workplace sexual harassment. In collaboration, PLDO’s Employment Law Team and S&S, have scheduled a free seminar, entitled “Sexual Harassment: Learn What You Should Know for Your Business in the #MeToo Era,” for Wednesday, May 23, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza Grand Ballroom in Warwick, RI. Business owners, nonprofit executives and HR managers are encouraged to attend. Registration is required and sign-in begins at 8 a.m. Complimentary breakfast will be served. To register, visit seminar registration.

“Employers are dealing with complicated employee issues today,” said PLDO Principal William E. O’Gara, who leads the firm’s Employment Law and Litigation teams. “The explosion of headline news alleging sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement has caused employers to seek out more information to understand the legal standards of sexual harassment claims, how to develop organizational policies that are meaningful to employees and in compliance with the law, and most importantly, how to build a culture of respect in the workplace that encourages zero tolerance of sexual harassment. This seminar intends to help business owners, nonprofit executives and HR managers to do just that.”

Joining Attorney O’Gara on the seminar panel are Sean Cottrell, SVP, Human Services Leader at Starkweather & Shepley Insurance Brokerage, Inc., and Aimée DuVall Phelps, Ph.D., Director of the University of Rhode Island Schmidt Labor Research Center and Teaching Professor in the College of Business Administration. Topics to be covered include current trends and the law, filing and managing claims, policies and best practices, and investigating and reporting.

According to the recent study How Organizational Policies Influence Bystander Likelihood of Reporting Moderate and Severe Sexual Harassment at Work, zero-tolerance polices within an organization increase a bystander’s willingness to report sexual harassment. This is the first study to show the influence that a zero-tolerance policy versus a standard policy statement can have on a person’s willingness to report sexual harassment incidents that they witness. It further found that when a zero-tolerance policy is an organization’s top priority, employees are more effective in reporting the most common forms of sexual harassment, both moderate and severe.

These research findings, and others such as those reported by the American Psychological Association (APA), found that organizational culture and zero-tolerance policies can be predictors of employee productivity and, therefore, an organization’s bottom line. In Sexual Harassment: Have We Made Any Progress?, published in the APA Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, researchers found that employees who report being victims of sexual harassment can manifest into anxiety and eating disorders, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, post-traumatic stress and lower levels of overall happiness. “Sexual harassment in the workplace is a pervasive, chronic problem that can cause enduring psychological harm,” according to the APA president.

For further information about the May 23 seminar, please contact Attorney O’Gara at 401-824- 5100 or email To register for the event, please visit seminar registration at

About Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC

Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara (“PLDO”) attorneys are highly skilled with a proven track record of achievement representing clients with respect to complex matters in a wide range of disciplines and industries. The founders of PLDO were formerly partners in an international law firm and are trained in multiple disciplines. The primary areas of practice for the firm include business law, special masterships, government relations and legislative strategies, civil litigation, real estate development, commercial lending, municipal law, nonprofit law, health care, white collar defense, estate planning, probate administration and trust litigation. The core values of respect, integrity, quality service and responsiveness are stressed each day at PLDO and the firm is committed to supporting the community in a meaningful way. The firm is headquartered at 1301 Atwood Avenue in Johnston, RI with offices in Massachusetts and Florida. For more information, visit

About Starkweather & Shepley Insurance Brokerage, Inc.

Established in 1879, Starkweather & Shepley is presently the largest independent agency in Rhode Island and the 68th largest Insurance brokerage firm in the U.S. Starkweather & Shepley, held in Trust since 1935, insures the firm will remain privately- held in perpetuity, providing certainty to clients and associates alike. The firm provides commercial and personal insurance, health and employee benefits, surety bonding and risk management services. These services are provided nationally and internationally, through its partnership with Assurex Global. Headquartered in East Providence, RI, Starkweather has additional branch offices in Westerly, RI; Bristol and Shelton, CT; Westwood, Sturbridge, and Martha’s Vineyard, MA; Brattleboro, VT and Tampa and Ft. Myers, FL and Brattleboro, VT.

Kevin Kiernan, CPA, MST Joins DiSanto, Priest & Co.

(Warwick, Rhode Island) – March 15, 2018 – Kevin Kiernan, CPA, MST, a veteran of public accounting and global taxation, joined DiSanto, Priest & Co. earlier this month to serve as the firm’s Director of International Tax.

With over 30 years of experience in international taxation and transfer pricing, the addition of Kevin to the DiSanto, Priest & Co. team expands and strengthens the firm’s international tax and business advisory capabilities. “We are truly excited to welcome Kevin to our team,” commented Emilio Colapietro, Managing Partner of DiSanto, Priest & Co. “We look forward to leveraging his extensive industry experience to serve our clients’ growing needs for international tax and cross-border business advisory services.”

Prior to joining DiSanto, Priest & Co., Kevin led the international tax function for two U.S.-based, multi-billion-dollar multinationals where he was responsible for international tax and transfer pricing planning, compliance, financial reporting, and tax controversy. In addition to his many years in the industry, he has also worked with the international accounting firm KPMG.

Kevin has extensive experience with U.S. international tax compliance matters and brings practical experience and understanding of U.S. and foreign transfer pricing rules. He has led numerous transfer pricing design and implementation projects focusing on integration and alignment of business and tax objectives while limiting tax controversy risk. Kevin also has significant experience managing and directing U.S. and foreign country tax and transfer pricing audits, appeals and litigation proceedings, and has achieved favorable resolutions for numerous Mutual Agreement Procedure cases.

Kevin received his undergraduate degree with a concentration in accounting from Western New England University as well as a Master of Science in Taxation from Bryant University, graduating from both programs summa cum laude. He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants (RISCPA).

In his new role, Kevin will provide DiSanto, Priest & Co. clients with a variety of international taxation and advisory services.

DiSanto, Priest & Co. serves as business advisors for today’s leading privately-held companies, with teams dedicated to serving the manufacturing, distribution, retail, real estate, construction, professional services, and technology industries. As a firm purposely built to serve privately-held businesses, it provides the full array of tax planning, tax compliance, and wealth advisory services to the owner-operators of those closely-held entities. Learn more at

previous arrow
next arrow