REI: RENEW Energy Initiative

Our Members

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RENEW Energy Initiative prides itself on the strength of the personal relationships that are built through this network. We work together and we bring strength from those relationships. This is a network composed of people who trust one another, both for integrity and competence. Each of us has a story to tell. The links below take you to brief written biographies which tells a little bit about his/her story and why he/she is engaged in this network.

Paul Fournier Paul Fournier: Chair of the Board, Founding Member

Paul Fournier is current chair of the board of directors. He is a founding member of REI. Paul used to own 3 car dealerships in New England. And one of the dealership was one of the top 20 in the USA at its time. He was president of the National Jeep Dealer Council under Lee Iaccoca. At 65, he retired from his car business and worked for RIEDC as Chamber Ambassador for 8 years. Paul founded REI with other REI founders while he works in the commercial real estate industry.

Dennis McCarthy Dennis McCarthy: President/CEO,Founding Member

Dennis McCarthy, founder and Managing Director of MGD & Associates, has, since 2006, focused his consultation and development efforts on renewable energy and energy efficiency. He has worked with a team of professionals in assisting municipalities with energy management, including developing photo voltaic solar and wind projects, sourcing federal and state funding for energy retrofits, managing performance contracts with Energy Service Companies, reporting performance outcomes and managing internal and external relationships with clients, vendors, attorneys and government officials.

John Corrigan John Corrigan: Vice President/General Counsel,Founding Member,

John Corrigan is a business, commercial and corporate lawyer with over 30 years of experience at the highest levels. In addition to his service to very large business clients, John has also served as an advisor and general counsel to many small and medium size business which make up so much of the economy of southeastern New England.

John Cronin John Cronin: Past President, Founding Member

John Cronin has been the COO, Business Coach and Lean Project Manager for Global Transformation Strategies, LLC (GTS) since May of 2012. GTS enables businesses and organizations to thrive in challenging environments, through the implementation mentoring, teaching, and coaching of Lean systems, methodologies, and philosophies.

“My passion for connecting people to business and career opportunities has developed my core strengths in business development.”

John was the State Director of the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center at Johnson & Wales University. He helped young entrepreneurs create and grow their businesses by providing them with no-fee counseling services, low cost training programs and linkages to a best-fit resource network.

Working with more than 5,000 entrepreneurs over the past three years has produced significant results: $166.8M in total client sales; $17.7M in total capital assets; 1,664 total jobs and an estimated $5.79M in tax payments.

Prior to his current leadership role, he was the CEO of RIMES (RI Manufacturing Extension Services), Executive Director of the Greater RI Regional Employment and Training Board, and the Director of Operations for the Economic Innovation Center in Newport.

He is a graduate of Brown University with a BA degree in Economics and also holds a Masters in Community Planning from the University of Rhode Island.

Paul H. Fredette Paul H. Fredette: Treasurer, Founding Member

Paul H. Fredette is the President and Chief Technology Officer of Promptus Communications, Inc. and Promptus InfoCrypt, Inc. in Portsmouth, RI. Promptus designs, resells and maintains telecommunications and encryption solutions for video conferencing, and other communications networks. Paul has over 40 years experience in the design and manufacturing of electronic communications systems and has been a technology leader and founder of three RI companies. He was a civilian design engineer for the Navy at NUSC doing advanced research for submarine combat systems, worked at Bell Laboratories and was in the communications group of the RI Air National Guard.

In addition to design, he managed each of the companies’ worldwide telecom and safety regulatory aspects. He has managed and mentored a number of product design teams in excess of 40 engineers.

Paul maintains a broad background in a number of software and hardware technologies and been involved in designing a site planning and monitoring system for wind powered energy systems. He enjoys mentoring other engineers to remain current with rapidly changing technologies. Paul is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth (1971) with a BSEE degree and holds a Masters in Electrical Engineering from MIT(1975). He is also a member of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society.

Larry Girouard Larry Girouard: Past Vice President, Past Secretary, Founding Member

"My experience is centered around strategic planning, market penetration planning, business modeling, and helping companies optimize the "customer experience" they provide."

Lawrence A. Girouard is currently the CEO of The Business Avionix Company, LLC, a business consulting firm established in 2003. In 2013 he became the president of the Rhode Island Taxpayers Organization and still holds this position only as a part time volunteer. The goal of the organization is to advocate on behalf of the Rhode Island taxpayers for honest, effective and fiscally sound government.

He has over 40 years of experience in engineering, sales/marketing, and senior management positions with a proven track record for results over a broad range of manufacturing and manufacturing support disciplines from Fortune 500 companies to entrepreneurial start-ups.

He is a strong believer in the importance of establishing a culture within the corporate structure that transcends the barriers to communication that often exist between organizational functions. This remains one of the keys to a strong market penetration strategy for any corporate product offering.

Eric Ross: Vice President/Energy Systems, Founding Member

Eric Ross is the Chief Operating Officer of New England Renewable Energy Systems / Mercury Mechanical Services, a Massachusetts-based renewable energy and HVAC systems installer and service company. Previously, he was employed by Comprehensive Power Inc., also of Massachusetts, where he served as Vice President and General Manager, TeraTorq® Systems. He is an industrial operations leader and general manager, with multiple industry experience and a track record of growing profit by building operational excellence. A former USAF officer, he has held senior level and leadership positions in manufacturing, technology, and service industries, including large and small organizations. Prior to joining Comprehensive Power, Eric served as Vice President of Operations and Engineering with EarthSource Energy Solutions, a manufacturer of renewable energy / reduced energy use systems. Eric holds a B.S. and an M.S., both in engineering, from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the State University of New York, respectively.

Michael Sokoll Michael Sokoll: Vice President/Outreach Founding Member

Michael Sokoll is the president of Atlantic Business Finance a company formed with his son in 2006. The business began with a focus on equipment lease brokerage, however, from its start the alternative energy sector has been a focus. Atlantic has worked with clients in many fields outside of energy as well. The back ground that Mike brings to his clients is over twenty years working in industrial sales and inventory management working with small and large companies. Understanding the needs of a client by listening is how Atlantic has achieved success, just as in his past career. Financing any project for a client is what takes from a “good idea” to a functioning enterprise. We can broker deals in North American and outside as well. Mike is also Senior Pastor of Providence Baptist Church a responsibility he accepts with joy to serve others.

Huiting Zhuang Huiting Zhuang: Founding Member

Huiting Zhuang is an economist by trade and current president at Crebbers, a business Merger/Acquisition & international consulting firm. He specializes in helping international investors/business owners,especially those from China, to acquire business in the Unites States of America. Huiting got background in international trade,commercial real estate,economics,information technology. He had doctoral education from University of Rhode Island, graduate education in management from China Ocean University and engineering/international trade education from Hongzhou Dianzi University. Huiting designed/developed and currently maintains the REI website.

Don Saracen Don Saracen: Founding Member,Member

Don Saracen is well-known marketing expert and business speaker. He is president and founder of SARACEN Sales & Marketing Advisors, a speaking, training and consulting firm specializing in Building Stronger Business Relationships.He collaborates with businesses, non-profits and trade associations to improve their interpersonal communication skills for bottom line results.

Douglas Jobling Douglas Jobling: Founding Member

Doug Jobling is the Regional Director for the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center (RISBDC) in northern Rhode Island, working in partnership with the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce. He has served the northern Rhode Island area since 1998.Jobling was the original State Director of the RISBDC, launching the program in 1983. In addition to other degrees, Jobling received his MBA from Bryant University.

Miriam A. Ross Miriam A. Ross: Founding Member Member,

MIRIAM A. ROSS is an attorney, business mediator and community leader with extensive experience in industry, business law and ethics/compliance. Miriam started her own law firm to provide business-focused legal advice to small and medium-sized businesses, entrepreneurs and business owners. She serves as key legal advisor to a variety of for-profit and not-for-profit companies and organizations. Miriam also has a private mediation practice for impartial resolution of commercial and business disputes. Miriam is also an adjunct professor at Roger Williams University, School of Law. Prior to opening her private law practice, Miriam was in-house corporate counsel at Dayco Corporation, Textron Inc. and GTECH Corporation handling domestic and international business transactions and global business ethics and compliance matters.

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