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Matthew Vargas Joins Rhode Island Commerce Corporation as Vice President, Business Assistance

Doris Blanchard promoted to Assistant Director, Supply RI

PROVIDENCE Today the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation announced the hire of Matthew Vargas as Vice President, Business Assistance. In this role, he will help lead and manage the Corporation's business consultancy services, providing companies access to technical assistance and services.

Matt is a Rhode Island native from Coventry, R.I. He recently worked as Chief Operating Officer of Veterans Assembled Electronics, a locally-based veteran training and employment start-up company. Matt is a combat veteran of the conflict in Afghanistan and a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He completed his MBA at the University of Rhode Island in 2017.

"Matt's skills and experience will be valuable not only to the Rhode Island Commerce team but also to Rhode Island businesses," said Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor. "Matt's work will be instrumental to our continuing business outreach and support efforts with a particular focus upon small businesses."

In other personnel news, Doris Blanchard has been promoted to Assistant Director, Supply RI. In her new role, Doris will manage and oversee the Supply RI program. Supply RI is a collaboration of Rhode Island-based institutions and corporations aimed at increasing local procurement.

"We are pleased to announce these exciting new changes to the organization," said Rhode Island Commerce Corporation President Jesse Saglio. "Both Matt and Doris are talented professionals who will represent our organization well as we continue to grow Rhode Island's economy across the state."

Doris has been at the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation since 2015, previously working as Client Services Advisor. Doris will continue to oversee portions of the client services position, including the Small Business Assistance Program and several special projects. The Small Business Assistance Program has made more than $5 million available to be leveraged for loans ranging from the nano- and micro-loan category up to larger loans. More than 60 small business loans have been awarded to date.

Additionally it was announced that Dan Jennings, Senior Economic Development Advisor, is leaving the Commerce Corporation to take a position in East Orange, New Jersey. Dan may continue to advise the Corporation on matters related to small business.

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