Governor Lincoln D. Chafee today announced his nomination of Marcel A. Valois, a business and community leader with decades of management experience in the private, public, and non-profit sectors, to serve as Executive Director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC).
"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," Governor 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."
"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 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 served, most recently, as Vice President of the Economic Development Foundation of Rhode Island, Inc (EDFRI). He previously served as Chief Operating Officer and Area Vice President of Penske Automotive Group, a publicly traded company, where he was responsible for overseeing total operations of the Inskip dealer group with more than 500 employees and over $400 million in annual sales.
Valois previously served, under Governor Lincoln Almond, as Executive Director of the RIEDC. In that role, he spearheaded the development of a master plan for the 3,000-acre former Quonset / Davisville Navy Base and led the marketing efforts for the passage of a $72-million bond issue for investment in the facility; led the state's negotiating team for the development of the Providence Place Mall; and successfully recruited Fidelity Investments to Rhode Island, representing over $500 million in new investment and the creation of 3,000 jobs, an achievement that was cited by Site Selection magazine as one of the top ten development deals in the United States in 1996.
Prior to that Valois served as Executive Vice President of the Blackstone Valley Development Foundation, Inc., and Director of Planning & Development, as well as City Planner & Planning Analyst, for the City of Woonsocket.
Valois received his B.A., in Liberal Arts, and his M.A., in Urban & Economic Geography, from the University of Rhode Island.