Pryor Announces New Leadership Team at the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation to Accelerate State’s Economic Development

PROVIDENCE, RI – Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor today announced new leadership at the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. The new staff will work closely with the Secretary of Commerce to strengthen the state’s economic development efforts, and support the Governor’s priority of creating opportunity for all Rhode Islanders.

Pryor is appointing Darin Early as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. Working with Secretary Pryor, Early will be responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations and providing overall direction at the Commerce Corporation. Early joins the Commerce team after more than a decade of experience in commercial real estate development.

Secretary Pryor also announced that he is naming Daniel Jennings as a Senior Economic Development Advisor at the Commerce Corporation. Jennings will work closely with the Secretary and COO to execute real estate and economic development transactions that grow jobs in Rhode Island.

“Today we are strengthening Rhode Island’s economic development team in order to enable the implementation of the Governor’s ambitious economic agenda,” said Pryor. “Darin and Dan bring significant hands-on development experience to the Commerce Corporation. These professionals will help us to support existing businesses, attract new enterprises, and catalyze Rhode Island’s economy.”

In addition to these new hires, Marcel Valois will remain at the Commerce Corporation as a Senior Economic Development Advisor. “Marcel has provided very helpful counsel during the initial period of transition, and I appreciate his continued support in this new role,” said Pryor.

Darin Early

Darin Early worked for eleven years at Jones Lang LaSalle, Inc., one of the nation’s leading commercial real estate firms, culminating as an Executive Vice President specializing in investment and development transactions. He currently consults on real estate and business investments in Los Angeles, California. At JLL, he led a team of investment and development professionals responsible for advising the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on the construction, operation, and financing of key aspects of the World Trade Center redevelopment. Early also worked with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the counterpart to the Commerce Corporation in New Jersey, on criteria and parameters for their programming. Early holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from The George Washington University.

Daniel Jennings

Daniel Jennings worked for four years as Senior Vice President at the Brick City Development Corporation (BCDC), the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation’s counterpart in Newark, New Jersey. At BCDC, Jennings managed real estate development and financing activities on a variety of public/private, mixed-use, retail, and industrial projects. He subsequently served as interim Deputy Mayor and Director of Economic and Housing Development for the City of Newark. As Deputy Mayor, he was responsible for all economic development functions including real estate development, business attraction and retention, and small business assistance.Prior to working in Newark, Jennings was Director of Development at Thor Equities in New York City. Jennings holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from New York University.

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