Pawtucket Foundation announces honorees, appointments

Pawtucket Foundation announces honorees, appointments

PAWTUCKET - Co-chairmen of the Pawtucket Foundation, Daniel Sullivan and Kevin Tracy, welcomed a crowd of more than 60 business and community leaders to the organization's 13th annual meeting at the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center on Jan. 13.

Those in attendance got an update on the work of the Pawtucket Foundation and heard who won this year's awards.

This year's Persons of the Year are Lou Schwechheimer and Mike Tamburro, of the Pawtucket Red Sox.

"Together they have led the remarkable transformation that raised the PawSox from bankruptcy to one of the most successful franchises in professional baseball, bringing (more than) 16 million fans to McCoy Stadium," states a news release from the Pawtucket Foundation. The PawSox had back-to-back appearances in the Governors' Cup, winning in 2012, and helped stock the World Series winning Red Sox with homegrown talent in 2013.

This year's Heritage Award went to Dana Newbrook, of ai designs ltd. Newbrook created ai designs ltd. in Pawtucket in 1983. With more than 31 years of experience, he maintains a broad project archive, including old mill fit-ups, historic restoration, educational, municipal, and commercial.

Newbrook's historic designs in Pawtucket include the restoration of the Pawtucket library dome, the Hope Artiste Village, the Pawtucket Family YMCA, and Roosevelt Avenue Community Housing.

"Dana has been a dynamic part of the community, serving in leadership roles in two Chambers of Commerce, zoning and permitting task forces, and on numerous state, local and nonprofit boards," states the release.

This year's Special Distinction awards went to Ricardo Pitts-Wiley and Bernadet Pitts-Wiley, of Mixed Magic Theatre. The couple formed Mixed Magic Theatre & Cultural Events in 2000. In 2005, they moved the theater to Pawtucket, with Ricardo serving as the company's artistic director until 2010 when his son Jonathan took over the role. The nonprofit arts organization is dedicated to bringing diversity, cultural, and ethnic images and ideas to life on stage.

The Pawtucket Foundation governance committee included an ex-officio appointment of Central Falls Mayor James A. Diossa to their list of new board members. Jim Hoyt, chairman of the committee, stated that the inclusion of Diossa reflected increased interest in partnerships between Pawtucket and Central Falls in the riverfront corridor, commuter rail planning and economic development. Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien already serves on the board in an ex-officio capacity.

Also appointed to the board at the meeting were Michael Hogan of TD Wealth, Ryan Sawyer of Partridge Snow & Hahn, Lori Urso of the Slater Mill, Matt White of the Pawtucket Red Sox, and Louis Yip of Tai-O.

Outgoing board members Ann-Marie Harrington, Richard Leclerc, Greg Scown and Mike Tamburro were all thanked for their commitment. Existing board and executive committee member Mark House was appointed vice chairman of the organization, replacing Karl Kozak, who will remain on the board and executive committee. Donna Brady, also a board and executive committee member, was appointed to fill the role of assistant treasurer vacated by Scown. Sawyer was appointed assistant secretary.

Christine Sullivan, development director at the Pawtucket Foundation, announced that the organization had achieved its goal to match a $10,000 pledge to its endowment fund. The anonymous donation was offered as a one-to-one match of pledges received before the end of 2013. In total, the campaign raised $20,002.

Sullivan thanked those who had contributed, noting that 33 donors had participated. She stated that the challenge not only offered the opportunity to increase revenue, but also to raise public awareness about the existence of the endowment fund.

Held each spring, the annual awards celebration is an opportunity to recognize individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to Pawtucket. The recipients embody civic leadership and entrepreneurship representative of the Pawtucket Foundation's core values, including collaboration, vision, sustainability, quality of place and excellence.

Aaron Hertzberg, executive director of the Pawtucket Foundation, summarized the organization's work over the last year, much of it highlighted in the recently released 2013 annual report. He also previewed upcoming projects including working to implement portions of the recently released River Corridor Development Plan, gateway improvements in the Armory Arts District and a grant opportunity to fund overpass art installations along I-95.

For more on the Pawtucket Foundation, visit www.pawtucketfoundation.org .