NP’s Catucci named new president of NRI Chamber

NP’s Catucci named new president of NRI Chamber

NORTH PROVIDENCE – The Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce this week announced the selection of Elizabeth “Liz” Catucci as its next president and CEO.

A leader in business development, marketing, and sales, Catucci, of North Providence, will be responsible for overseeing the Chamber’s operations, cultivating relationships with members, and advocating for businesses in the community. Her tenure officially begins Sept. 30.

Catucci, 37, was a Providence Business News 40 Under Forty winner in 2018. She and her family moved to their current home in June of this year.

“The work the Chamber performs is invaluable for local businesses on various levels, and I am humbled to be given the opportunity to serve the community in this new capacity,” Catucci said in a statement. “Chamber members can be assured that I will continue to advocate on their behalf, and will work to help grow their business through networking and marketing opportunities.”

One of her first priorities, Catucci told The Breeze, will be to spend time with staff and current members doing a lot of the work she does now as a board member in creating value propositions, going beyond marketing and networking. The focus, she said, will be on people and developing a strategic plan going forward, aligning goals to make sure everyone is on the same page. Her approach is to bite off one task at a time.

One goal is to explore the idea of a women’s initiative, a particular area for growth, she said, and she has other ideas she'd like to roll out as they become more developed.

A comprehensive search for the organization’s next president resulted in more than 60 applicants from a variety of industry backgrounds. The Board of Directors Executive Committee screened applicants for more than six months to find a candidate with the experience, skills, and knowledge that could provide an orderly transition and build on the foundation and reputation of the Chamber, states a release.

“Liz demonstrates the values of the Chamber and represents the future of the organization, and we feel confident in her ability to navigate the economic climate and deliver results for our members,” said Craig Sculos, chairman of the NRI Chamber Board of Directors and vice president and general manager of Twin River Casino Hotel.

Catucci has served in a variety of leadership roles in the region. Most recently, she served as director of marketing and business development at PKF O’Connor Davies, formerly Batchelor, Frechette, McCrory, Michael & Co. In that role, she led the firm’s business development, guided initiatives to achieve strategic goals, and oversaw marketing efforts. She also worked in marketing and managerial roles for The Capital Grille, Shula’s 347 Grill and Legal Sea Foods.

“Having worked with Liz as a board member, I understand and appreciate the passion and commitment she has for the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce. It is exciting to know that she will be leading the Chamber and helping take it to the next level,” said John Gregory, the current president and CEO of the organization. He announced his retirement in February, and is leaving after a 35-year career advocating for the business community including 27 years as president and CEO of the Chamber. During the transitional period, Gregory has made a commitment to continue on in an advisory role.

For the last four years, Catucci has served on the NRI Chamber’s Board of Directors and on its executive committee for the previous two years. She is a regular supporter of the community through her volunteer roles as a board member and development chairwoman of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rhode Island and as vice president of the Greater Providence Chapter of the Providence College Alumni Association. Her volunteer work was cited in her winning the 40 Under Forty honors last year.

A self-described people person with a background working with all types of people in the hospitality industry, Catucci said she learned so much from Gregory as a mentor, and they’ve really become quite close. She said she could see herself being in this job for many years. No one has brought up her young age, she said, but she’s intent on proving herself and that she’s up to the job of following Gregory.

“That’s what I’ve been doing all along,” she said, noting that Gregory wasn't much older than she is now when he started.

Gregory has an amazing reputation, she said, and while following in his shoes is unnerving, she’s confident based on the foundation he's built.

One of her greatest strengths, said Catucci, is the energy she brings to her work every day.

She remembers sitting down with Gregory some time ago to talk about her career path and recalls him asking what she ultimately wanted to do.

“I want to do what you do,” she responded. He immediately encouraged her to go for it.

After living in Providence, Catucci now lives in North Providence with her husband, Paolo, and their three daughters, Francesca, Natalie, and Gabriella.

She said she sees a lot of opportunity for growth in membership in North Providence, particularly because she’s here every day and supporting local businesses. Her brother-in-law, Carlo Catucci, is owner of White Dog Distilling in Pawtucket.

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