Governor Lincoln D. Chafee today announced three nominees for the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) Board of Directors: Judith Diaz, RN, MPH, Director of Community Health for Lifespan; Elizabeth Francis, PhD, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities; and Oscar T. "Tim" Hebert, Chairperson, President, and CEO of Atrion Networking Corporation. Today's nominees join Governor Chafee's four recently confirmed nominees, Shannon Brawley, Dr. Nancy Carriuolo, Roland Fiore, and George Nee. Jason Kelly has also been nominated, and his nomination will be voted on by the Senate this evening.
Diaz, Francis and Hebert reflect Governor Chafee's ongoing commitment to having Rhode Island's key industries represented on the EDC Board – in this case, health care, arts and culture, and information technology.
"We are in the midst of transforming the RIEDC, and putting together a Board that understands Rhode Island's most important industries is a big part of that," Governor Chafee said. "I recently nominated proven business leader Marcel Valois to serve as Executive Director, and together with the Board we are going to do all we can to help existing Rhode Island businesses – many of them small businesses – succeed and grow, while working to attract new job-creators to our state. We are going to continue to improve our economy by building upon Rhode Island's strengths and assets. This is a new direction for the RIEDC and a more promising path to a stronger economy for Rhode Island. "
Since 2011, Judith Diaz, RN, MPH, has served as Director of Community Health Services for Lifespan, a comprehensive, academic health system affiliated with the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Rhode Island's first health system, Lifespan includes Rhode Island Hospital, the Miriam Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital's pediatric division, Hasbro Children's Hospital, Bradley Hospital, and Newport Hospital, and, as of FY2011, employed 12,430.
At Lifespan, Diaz's responsibilities include: oversight of the Community Health Services department staff; management of the department's strategic planning and program implementation; interfacing with multiple state- and community-based agencies to support strong, relevant, and timely health services; internal and external collaboration related to community health needs assessments to address the community needs of surrounding hospital affiliates; and coordination of services and events with partnering organizations to promote improved health status of community members and provision of expert health information to community stakeholders.
Prior to joining Lifespan, Diaz was Director of Clinical Operations for Blackstone Valley Community Health Care and Nurse Clinic Coordinator for the Rhode Island Free Clinic. Earlier in her career, Diaz was a registered nurse (RN) at Women & Infants Hospital, Providence, and a Spanish teacher at All Saints Academy in Middletown.
A former secretary and vice-president of the Ocean State Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Diaz volunteers her time as a community health nurse preceptor for senior-level Rhode Island College nursing students during clinical rotation. She previously served in the same role at the University of Rhode Island, and has participated in volunteer intercultural nursing, providing care to patients in rural areas of the Dominican Republic.
Diaz, a former member of the Board of Directors of the Central Rhode Island Area Health Education Center, earned a Nursing degree, with a minor in Spanish, from Rhode Island College, a Master of Public Health in Health Services Management from Columbia University, and has pursued continuing education in Leadership Strategies for Evolving Health Care Executives at Harvard University's School of Public Health. Since 2011, she has served as a member of the Board of the Rhode Island Free Clinic. She resides in Providence.
Elizabeth Francis, PhD, was named Executive Director of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities in January of this year. There, she is charged with leading the Council's promotion of the humanities in citizen engagement and economic and cultural development in Rhode Island; manages the public-private partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities, including communications with Rhode Island's Congressional delegation; works with a 20-member Board of Directors; oversees the Council's grantmaking program; and facilitates strategic partnerships.
From 2007-2012, Francis served as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for Brown University's Office of Biomedical Advancement. In that position, Francis connected university thought leaders with institutional partners to support people and projects, many of which have contributed to the vitality of Rhode Island. Her specific accomplishments and responsibilities in the role include: attracting and securing funding to support biomedical research, public health, medical training, and infrastructure, including the location of Alpert Medical School in Providence's Jewelry District; launching collaborative events such as the Life Sciences Technology Showcase; and communicating the impact of research, education, and community involvement in Rhode Island's Knowledge Economy.
Francis previously served as Interim Executive Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Brown, where she contributed to the successful Campaign for Academic Enrichment and partnered with the Vice President for Research to build corporate relations and a coordinated, strategic approach to funding.
Francis studied women's history and cultural history at Brown, earning her doctorate in American Studies in 1994. She completed her bachelor's degree at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. Francis taught at Brown and the University of Rhode Island for several years, has been a member of the Board of the International Charter School in Pawtucket and chaired the Grants Committee as a member of the Board of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities.
Oscar T. "Tim" Hebert is Chairperson, President, and CEO of Warwick-based Atrion Networking Corporation, a leading information technology service provider. Atrion designs, implements, and supports a wide variety of applications and information solutions which solve challenges around the presentation, access, flow, and management of information in an organization, including: portals and content collaboration; enterprise content management and workflow; business intelligence and analytics; and application development and integration.
Hebert joined Atrion in 1989 as Vice President and Director of Client Services. Since that time, he has risen through the ranks at Atrion, serving as: Director of Sales; CIO; CTO; President and CEO; and Chairperson, President, and CEO, his current position.
In addition to his extensive work with Atrion, Hebert is President of Caribou Realty, LLC, and has previously served as: President and CEO of Access Communication Corporation; Vice President of Xtranet Corporation; Vice President and CTO of MVPN Corporation; Director of Customer Service, Test Engineer Manager, and Test Engineer for Avanti Communications Corporation; Technical Training Manager for Charles River Data Systems, Inc.; and Technical Training Instructor for Codex Corporation. Hebert also served as a Senior Technical Instructor for advanced avionics on the F-15 aircraft for the U.S. Air Force.
Hebert studied Business Administration at Bryant University, Marketing at the University of Rhode Island, Electrical Engineering at Colorado Technical College, Computer Science at the Community College of Denver, and Mathematics at the University of Colorado. He is President and Chairman of the Board of the Rhode Island Technology Industries Association (Tech Collective) and a member of the Rhode Island Economic Policy Council and the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council (RIPEC). Hebert is also a Year Up Providence mentor, a member of the Vistage CEO Group, and a Leadership Workshop Challenge instructor.