Providence, RI – Governor Lincoln D. Chafee announced today his nomination of James Bennett of Narragansett and Michelle R. DeRoche of Providence for the Narragansett Bay Commission. Bennett replaces the late Michael Salvadore; DeRoche takes over for Leo Thompson, who resigned.
"Their proven leadership skills will make Jim and Michelle great additions to this key commission," Governor Chafee said. "I thank Leo for his service to Rhode Island and being a valuable member."
James Bennett is the Director of Economic Development for the City of Providence and is the chairman of the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority. He served as chairman of the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority from 1995 to 2001 and was reappointed to the post by Governor Chafee again in June 2011. He has been credited with the Convention Center's successful efforts to market Providence as a national convention destination and increase convention business and tourism in the capital city. He has created three startup companies, run large corporations and organizations with more than 800 employees, founded publicly traded companies and worked in the highest levels of state government. His financial background includes eight years on Wall Street, with a focus on municipal and corporate debt. Mr. Bennett graduated from Brown University and was a professional hockey player for the Atlanta Flames Organization from 1979 to 1981.
Michelle R. DeRoche is the Chief Operating Officer for New England Medical Billing, Inc., a leading service provider for healthcare organizations throughout New England. As such, Mrs. DeRoche has extensive experience with contact negotiations, business processes, information technologies, data collection, and financial and operations management. She also serves as a board member of Professional Provider Health Plan, an advisory board member of Career Education Institute, and is involved with the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner, the Medical Group Management Association, and the American Academy of Professional Coders. DeRoche graduated cum laude from Rhode Island College.
The Narragansett Bay Commission's mission is to maintain a leadership role in the protection and enhancement of water quality in Narragansett Bay and its tributaries by providing safe and reliable wastewater collection and treatment services to its customers at a reasonable cost.