Governor Lincoln Chafee’s choice to lead the state Economic Development Corporation appears on a fast-track to approval, following his unanimous approval Tuesday by a state Senate committee. Marcel Valois is calling for more support for small innovators and entrepreneurs.
Valois says Rhode Island’s business climate doesn’t have to remain the butt of bad ratings in national surveys. Invoking the state motto of “hope,” he says Rhode Island can prosper by bringing a sharper focus and new approach to economic development.
“We have existing companies and the potential to create new entities that can be dynamic generators of wealth and boundless economic opportunity for Rhode Island. Our message as a state to them should be, we know you’re out there, we want you to succeed, we welcome the opportunity to help if we can or get out of the way if we must.”
Valois led the EDC in the 1990s during Lincoln Almond’s tenure as governor. He was previously chief operating officer of the Penske Automotive Group. A string of business leaders say he has the skills and approach to move the EDC forward.
Valois still faces approval by the full state Senate, possibly later this week.