William J. Parsons, the longtime Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) official whom Governor Chafee had nominated to lead the agency, today asked the Governor to be withdrawn from consideration for that position. The Governor accepted Parsons' request.
In a letter to Governor Chafee, Parsons cited a recent serious health issue, explaining that he did not feel he could accept the high-stress, high-demand post of Executive Director. He will continue to serve at the agency in his current role of Managing Director of Community and Business Development.
"I understand Bill's request, and I can certainly appreciate his reevaluation in light of facing a potentially serious health issue," Governor Chafee said. "Bill has given many years to the EDC and I want to genuinely thank him for his ongoing service to our state."
"After reflecting on the duties and responsibilities of the Executive Director and in consultation with my family, I have determined that my recent health concerns will not allow me to adequately serve in this demanding role," Parsons wrote. "In the interest of stability and continuity for the RIEDC, I feel it is important for the next Executive Director to be in a position to make an extended commitment to the agency. Due to my recent health issues, I do not believe that I can make such a commitment to serving as Executive Director at this time."
"I take tremendous pride in our state and in my 37 years of helping businesses grow and succeed in Rhode Island," Parsons continued. "It has been a pleasure to work collaboratively with businesses, government, and other economic development partners to meet the needs of companies as they have expanded and relocated jobs in the state. I am especially proud of being part of the ongoing turnaround taking place at the RIEDC over the last nine months."