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Grow Smart RI Strengthened with Addition of 5 New Board Members

PROVIDENCE, RI — Five individuals who are passionate about Rhode Island’s future and quality of place have been elected to Grow Smart RI’s board of directors. The new board members bring to Grow Smart RI a wide array of experience and expertise — ranging from real estate, banking and finance, architecture, and environmental studies.

In addition to leading the nonprofit’s governance, the new members will help carry out a five-year strategic plan, alongside the rest of Grow Smart RI’s board and staff. Introduced earlier this year, Grow Smart RI’s 2015-2019 Strategic Plan is a bold action plan guiding the local smart growth advocacy organization’s work as it relates to economic development, urban revitalization, expanded transportation options, as well as the state’s agriculture and food system.

The newly elected board members will serve three-year terms:

Jane Long: As Assistant Vice President in Commercial Real Estate at Bank RI, Long is responsible for new business development and portfolio management for commercial real estate loans and compliance for all commercial loans. Long has more than 35 years of experience as a commercial lender and commercial real estate broker, and is a past member of the Real Estate Advisory Committee of the Diocese of Providence, as well as the Finance Board for the Downcity Partnership in Providence. She received her BS in Business Administration from the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Xay Khamsyvoravong: Prior to becoming Head of Government and Institutional Banking for Webster Bank in Providence and Hartford, Khamsyvoravong served as the head of the bank’s financial advisory group, which represented more than 60 cities, towns, and school districts in the public sales of municipal debt (bonds). Additionally, he advised clients on the refinancing, restructuring, and reduction of debt. Khamsyvoravong holds a BA in International Relations and a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from Brown University.

Glenn Gardiner: Gardiner is the principal and founder of Northeast Collaborative Architects (NCA), a Newport-based firm that provides architecture, master planning and sustainable design services. Gardiner possesses more than 30 years of experience and specializes in sustainable design for education, transportation, institutional, and residential clients. Gardiner earned a BS in Architecture from the University of Illinois and a Master of Architecture from Miami University.

Brad R. Weissman: Having held a variety of roles of increasing responsibility within the finance and accounting profession over the past 15 years, Weissman currently provides strategic insights and analytics to Fidelity Investments’ expansive retail channel, which encompasses a network of more than 180 locations. Weissman earned an MBA with a specialization in International Business from the College of Business Administration at Northeastern University, a Graduate Certificate in Forensic Accounting from Northeastern University: College of Professional Studies, as well as a BS with a concentration in Accounting and a minor in C.I.S from Bryant College.

John P. Hartley: Hartley is the New England Regional Operating Officer for GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc., a leading environmental and geotechnical consulting firm with 24 offices in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes regions. He specializes in environmental studies and remedial investigations, the development of environmental clean-up programs, as well as client support related to environmental regulatory issues. Hartley earned a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Rhode Island and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Health from the University of Minnesota.

“With enough supporters rowing in the same direction, Grow Smart RI’s five-year strategic plan can ensure that our policy advocacy, training, and government watchdogging make a big and positive difference in Rhode Island’s future,” stated Grow Smart RI Executive Director Scott Wolf. “We invite Rhode Islanders to explore where we are headed and how we plan to get there, and then to join us in our effort to make Rhode Island a more vibrant and opportunity rich state.”

Established in 1998, Grow Smart RI has become the leading advocate for sustainable economic growth, revitalization, and improved quality of place in the state’s urban, suburban, and rural communities.

According Grow Smart RI, the choice is clear for Rhode Island to act now and work together to unleash the state’s economic potential. This is possible when focus is placed on assets including Rhode Island’s world-renowned collection of historic buildings and neighborhoods, strategically positioned ports and natural harbors, superb urban/rural balance, and accessibility to natural resources and environmental treasures.

Learn more about Grow Smart RI, and access its 2015-2019 Strategic Plan at

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