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Governor Lincoln D. Chafee Nominates Five for the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority Board of Commissioners

Providence, RI – Governor Lincoln D. Chafee announced today that he has nominated five outstanding Rhode Islanders to the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority (RICCA) Board of Commissioners.

The Governor’s nominees for appointment are: James S. Bennett, of Narragansett, and Scott Gunn, of Providence. His nominees for reappointment are: Letitia Carter, of Providence; George H. Nee, of Cranston; and Dale J. Venturini, of Cranston.

“These five Rhode Islanders, who have each distinguished themselves in their given field, understand what our state needs to create jobs and grow our economy,” Governor Chafee said. “The facilities managed by the Authority help attract visitors to our state and are a key source of job-generating revenue for Providence and Rhode Island. The Convention Center Authority is important to the economic life of our state and I am confident that these talented individuals will provide excellent input, insight, and guidance.”

***Located in the heart of downtown Providence, the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority (RICCA) operates the Rhode Island Convention & Entertainment Complex, which includes the Rhode Island Convention Center (RICC), two parking garages, Dunkin’ Donuts Center-Providence (DDC), and Veterans Memorial Auditorium (The Vets). The Authority, governed by an eleven-member board of commissioners, works with several marketing partners to book its facilities, including SMG, which manages the DDC and RICC, Professional Facilities Management (PFM), which manages The Vets, and the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau (PWCVB).

The Authority and its staff strives to provide the community with world-class entertainment, superb and convenient service for event planners and promoters, while also maintaining a safe, clean and professional environment.***

-James S. Bennett

James Bennett is the Owner and President of Madison Components, LLC, a global source for electronics, premier distributor of electronic components, and independent reseller of networking hardware.

From 1994 to 2007, he was the President of Mitkem Corporation, which he founded. For his work with Mitkem, Bennett was twice nominated for RI Small Businessman of the Year. He also served as Chief Operating Officer of Cost-to-Coast Analytical and as President of Ceimic Corporation, which he also founded.

Bennett was a candidate for Rhode Island State Treasurer in 1998 and for Governor in 2002.

He is a graduate of Brown University, and was inducted into Brown’s Athletic Hall of Fame for ice hockey in 2000. He also was the hockey coach at the University of Rhode Island and Providence Country Day School.

-Letitia Carter

Letitia Carter is the President of the Veterans Memorial Auditorium Foundation. She is also a Trustee of the Carter Family Charitable Trust.

For over ten years, she held various positions at Community Prepatory School, ultimately serving as Chair.

Carter has served as Director of Education for Slater Mill Museum. She has also served as a Board Member for numerous organizations including Brown University’s International House, Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, The Music School, Sakonnet Preservation Association, and Rhode Island Public Radio.

-Scott Gunn

Scott Gunn is the Senior Vice President of Global Government Relations and U.S. Business Development for GTECH Corporation, where he is responsible for worldwide government relations leadership and strategy. He guides GTECH’s global network of government relations resources and leads its U.S. Business Development organization.

Since joining GTECH in 1994, Gunn has assumed positions of increasing responsibility, gaining substantial experience in sales, business development, public affairs, and global operations. He served most recently as Vice President, Western Region Operations.

Gunn began his career at the public affairs firm of Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly, and later worked for National Media Inc. and William D. Harris and Associates. He has held various positions within national and state political parties and been involved in several presidential campaigns.

A graduate of Tulane University, he now lives in Providence with his wife and four children.

-George H. Nee

George H. Nee was elected President of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO in September 2009, after serving 18 years as Secretary-Treasurer. He originally joined the organization in 1983 to serve as Executive Director.

Earlier in his career, Nee was the full-time President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 76. As an organizer, he was actively involved with the United Farm Workers of America.

Nee is a member of the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority, Code Commission for Occupational Safety and Health, Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC), and Human Resource Investment Council. He chairs the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council and the Board of the Institute for Labor Studies and Research. He is also an Executive Board Member of the United Way of Rhode Island and a Member of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation’s Board of Directors.

He is a graduate of Rhode Island College.

-Dale J. Venturini

Dale J. Venturini is President and CEO of the Rhode Island Hospitality Association and the Rhode Island Hospitality Education Foundation. She currently serves as Commissioner of the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority and on the Board of Directors of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. She is on the Board of the Providence/Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Council of State Restaurant Associations, and the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. She is also on the Board of the Providence Economic Development Partnership Inc and on the Advisory Board at the Johnson & Whales Alan Shawn Feinstein Graduate School. She is a Commodore for the State of Rhode Island.

Venturini has previously served as President of the International Society of Restaurant Association Executives and on the Board of Directors of the National Restaurant Association. She has served on the Board of Trustees for the William M. Davies Jr. Career and Technical High School and as a Board Member of the 100 Club of Rhode Island. She has also served on the Board of the Cranston Redevelopment Agency and the Dean’s Board of Distinguished Counselors for Johnson & Wales Alan Shawn Feinstein Graduate School.

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