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Governor Chafee Nominates Chris Fierro to Chair the Rhode Island Board of Review

Fierro Has Extensive Government, Labor Relations Experience

Providence, RI - Governor Lincoln Chafee today announced his nomination of Chris Fierro to serve as Chairman of the three-member Rhode Island Board of Review, occupying the seat representing the public.

"Chris will bring a great deal of valuable experience in both government and labor relations to this important Board," Governor Chafee said. "His background is particularly well suited to this position: he has served as District Director for Congressman Cicilline, Rhode Island State Representative, and an employee of the New England Carpenters Labor Management Program and Service Employees International Union. Chris understands both the needs of the public and the perspective and values of the labor community, and he will bring that understanding to the Board."

The Rhode Island Board of Review is an autonomous, quasi-judicial agency created by Rhode Island General Law. Its primary function is to hear and render decisions on appeals arising from the Department of Labor & Training (DLT), Unemployment Compensation and Temporary Disability Insurance divisions, and from employers on certain contested tax status issues. The Board of Review is statutorily independent from the Department of Labor and Training.

When an individual is separated from employment, DLT makes an initial determination of eligibility for benefits through a fact-finding interview with the employee (claimant) and the employer. An appeal can be made by the claimant when the benefits have been denied, or by the employer when benefits have been awarded to the claimant. Once an appeal is made, the case enters the jurisdiction of the Board of Review and a hearing is scheduled before a hearing officer (Referee).

Chris Fierro

Since 2011, Chris Fierro has served as the District Director for Congressman David Cicilline. In that role, Chris manages the day-to-day and strategic long-term operations of the Congressman's Rhode Island offices – including a staff of ten and the representation of over 500,000 constituents. He is responsible for developing and implementing the Congressman's policy objectives, strategies and operating plans for the district office, serves as the Congressman's representative at events and meetings, and acts as the Congressman's chief liaison for state and local officials, as well as federal and state agencies.

Prior to joining Congressman Cicilline's staff, Chris was a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, representing District 51 (Woonsocket). He served on the House Committee on Corporations, the House Committee on Municipal Government, and the House Committee on Finance, which shares responsibility for shaping the budget of the State of Rhode Island.

From 2006 to 2011, Chris was a Research Specialist with the New England Carpenters Labor Management Program, and from 2004 to 2006 was a Servicing Representative with the Service Employees International Union, District 1199.

Chris holds a B.A. in Social Thought and Political Economy and an M.S. in Labor Studies, both from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He resides in Woonsocket, where he served as Chairman of the Charter Review Commission, with his wife, Kristina Lambert, and their children Hannah, Annabelle and Vincenzo.

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