Northern RI Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner Captivates Who’s Who of Northern RI Business Community

Lincoln, RI – “Misconceptions about manufacturing abound” were words spoken by David Chavern Chief Operating Officer of the US Chamber of Commerce who delivered  the keynote address “Manufacturing: Driving Growth at Home and Competition Abroad” at the Northern RI Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner held  on February 12 at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln.

According to Chavern, “this country can and should economically win in the world” and “the manufacturing sector is the ‘keystone species’ of our economic eco-system – the species on which everything else in the system relies – and we need it to expand and grow and show the world that rumors of America’s decline have been greatly exaggerated.”

Chavern also presented the NRI Chamber with a certificate and medalion of achievement in recognition of one of its predecessor organizations the Pawtucket Businessmen’s Association as a founding member of the US Chamber 100 years ago.

The event, presided over by NRI Chamber President and CEO, John C. Gregory, IOM, honored Senator Roger Picard with the Barbara C. Burlingame award which was established in 2003 to recognize a Rhode Island elected official who has made outstanding contributions to the business community. The award recognizes individuals who exhibit the highest standards of excellence, dedication, and accomplishment in the public service arena.

Robert P. Andrade, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Pawtucket Credit Union was recipient of the Ben G. Mondor award, presented by Mike Tamburro of the Pawtucket Red Sox Baseball Club. The Mondor award was established in 2010 to honor the former owner of the Pawtucket Red Sox. This philanthropic award is given to an individual who goes above and beyond philanthropically, within the community.

More than 400 business professionals, legislators and distinguished guests gathered at the Chamber’s premier event as Gregory remarked about the Chamber’s role in leading the Coalition of Chamber’s advocacy efforts on behalf of eleven area chambers of commerce, 7,500 businesses and more than 70,000 Rhode Island employees.

The Chamber acknowledged Immediate Past Chair, Leslie Taito of the Rhode Island Office of Management and Budget for her service to the Chamber and her Charity of Choice: As is their tradition, the Board of Directors donated $1000 to the Wounded Warrior Project in recognition of Taito’s efforts. Brian Hunter of Hunter Insurance was also recognized and formally accepted his position as Board Chair for the NRI Chamber for 2013.

The Chamber also proudly displayed the Governor’s Cup won by the Pawtucket Red sox as the International League Baseball champions, which represents the first time they have won the cup in 28 years, at their signature event.

The NRI Chamber plays a key role in the northern RI business community through its proactive advocacy efforts, opportunities for learning and education, access to resources, diverse networking events and targeted marketing opportunities.

About the NRI Chamber:

The Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of businesses in the communities of Burrillville, Central Falls, Cumberland, Glocester, Lincoln, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, Smithfield and Woonsocket. The NRI Chamber leads the Chamber of Commerce Coalition, representing 11 area chambers of commerce. The Coalition is the largest business advocate in the State of RI representing more than 7,500 businesses and 70,000 employees statewide.  For more information about the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce, call (401)-334-1000 or visit

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