Governor Chafee has found a new Director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.
Chafee announced that he has nominated Marcel Valois, a former Executive Director of the Rhode Island EDC to lead the corporation.
"We have been working hard to transform the RIEDC into an organization that is focused on helping existing Rhode Island businesses – particularly small businesses – succeed and grow," Chafee said. "Marcel Valois is a proven business leader. He understands economic development, he understands Rhode Island, and he shares my commitment to taking advantage of Rhode Island's assets to strengthen our economy. I look forward to working with Marcel to build a sustainable Rhode Island economy that benefits all the people of our state."
Valois was the Executive Director of the EDC from 1995 to 1997 under Governor Lincoln Almond. He more recently served as the Vice President of the Economic Development Foundation. Prior to that he served as the Chief Operating Officer and Area Vice President of Penske Automotive Group. The company employed over 500 people and grossed over $400 million in annual sales.
"I began my career in public service, and I am honored to have the opportunity to once again serve the people of Rhode Island," Valois said. "I truly believe that, under Governor Chafee's leadership, Rhode Island is creating a new economic development culture, one that embraces information, transparency, collaboration, and continuous innovation. We have our challenges, but we also have tremendous opportunity to rebuild economic development in our state."
Valois takes over after former Executive Director Keith stokes resigned amidst the 38 Studios debacle.
Chafee has been working to fill several vacancies on the EDC board after the failure of Curt Schilling's video game company.