Providence Public Library Holds 2014 Annual Meeting

New Trustees and Corporation Members Announced

Providence Public Library (PPL) held its 2014 Annual Meeting of the Corporation on November 20.   In formal proceedings, the Library voted in the following officers of the Board:  Robert K. Taylor, Chair; William S. Simmons, Vice Chair; Elizabeth Debs, Secretary; Joan M. Caine, Treasurer; Howard E. Walker, Assistant Treasurer.  The following individuals were newly elected to the PPL Board of Trustees:

Dr. Kathleen C. Hittner

Dr. Hittner is current Chair of the PPL Foundation Board. Professionally, Dr. Hittner is the RI Health Insurance Commissioner. After earning her MD from Tufts University School of Medicine, she went on to a long career in Anesthesiology culminating in her being Chief of Anesthesiology at both Roger Williams Medical Center and The Miriam Hospital. She also served as President of The Miriam Hospital Foundation. Dr. Hittner has been on the faculty of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University since 1979, where she is currently Clinical Professor of Surgery in Anesthesiology. In 2004, Senator Jack Reed recognized her as a Local Legend in Rhode Island for her accomplishments as a woman physician. Dr. Hittner is current Chair of the PPL Foundation Board.

Sally P. McDonald

Sally P. McDonald is an attorney with Pannone Lopes Devereaux & West LLC and a member of the Litigation, Employment, Estate Litigation, Corporate & Business, and Health Care Law Teams. In 2013 and 2014, Attorney McDonald was named a Rhode Island Super Lawyers Rising Star by Thomson Reuters, a distinction that recognizes the top 2.5 percent of Rhode Island lawyers under the age of 40 or those in practice for 10 years or less. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for Rhode Island Legal Services. Sally also serves on the committee for the newly formed Lumiere Society.

Brent Runyon

Brent is the current Executive Director of the Providence Preservation Society. Brent holds a Masters degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Georgia and a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His honors and awards include a National Preservation Medal from the Daughters of the American Revolution and a Preservation Achievement Award from the Georgia State Historic Preservation Office.

Mak A. Falaye

Mak was elected to the Corporation in 2012.  He currently serves on the Finance Committee. Mak is currently the Principal at Platinum Tax & Accounting Services, LLC- a tax and accounting firm for high net-worth individuals and small and medium scale enterprises located in Providence.  Mak is a member of both the Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants (RISCPA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). 

Robert W. Edwards, Jr., Esq.

Rob was elected to the PPL Corporation in 1997. He currently serves as the Chair of the Pension Committee. Rob is a Principal ESOP attorney at Steiker, Fischer, Edwards & Greenapple P.C. He is a leading advisor to a number of public and private companies that have adopted or considered adopting an employee stock ownership plan. His related practice areas include equity-based compensation, business acquisitions and divestitures and employee benefit matters. Rob lectures and writes frequently on the uses of ESOPs in ownership transition planning for privately held companies. He is a member of The ESOP Association and the National Center for Employee Ownership, and a trustee of the Employee Ownership Foundation.

The following were elected to the PPL Board as Trustee Emeritus:

Mary B. Olenn

Mary was elected to the PPL Corporation and became a Trustee in 1982.  She has since served on multiple committees and chaired multiple special events at the Library. She has also served as an officer on the Board of Trustees for the PPL and PPLF. In 2004, she had the distinction of being the first woman to hold the position of Board Chair in the Library’s 125 year history. Most staff can’t remember a time that Mary was not involved in some way with the Library. A long time supporter and Conservator, Mary is now retired from profession as a nurse.  While working, Mary helped to implement public health programs statewide.  She was instrumental in making RI College the first post-secondary school in RI to institute a smoke-free policy. Mary continues to volunteer for the PPL.

Joel S. Stark

Joel was elected to the PPL Corporation in 1988 and as a Trustee in 1996. He has served on multiple committees and was an officer on the Board in many positions.  Joel was elected Board Chair in 2000 and served through 2004.  During his career with the Library, Joel kept the Library steady and helped steer us in a forward direction through trying times. A long time supporter and Conservator, he is now retired from the Providence Journal where he was Sr. V.P. Marketing and Development.

The following were elected to the PPL Corporation:

Joe Pari

Joe is Co-Founder of TEN31 Productions.  A business owner, visual artist and costume designer residing in Providence, he graduated from Rhode Island College in 1994 with a degree in Psychology he followed his interest in mental healthcare working for nearly a decade as a social worker. In 2000, along with Eric Auger, co-founder of TEN31, Joe began performing as a living Gargoyle statue at Waterfire.  It was from these early performances that an idea for a company and new career path into the arts was realized. Currently, Joe is enjoying speaking engagements and guest lecturer opportunities at businesses and academic institutions to share his experience with others. Through his talks on the creative process, he hopes to encourage and inspire others into explore various interests as well as their own creative talents. Joe has used his talents and his company to make a lasting impression at many PPL special events.

John S. Renza, III

John currently works at The Washington Trust Company as Vice President and Wealth Management Planning Officer. He is responsible for developing relationships for the corporation'’s wealth management division in Providence, R.I. John has more than 14 years of financial advising experience. John is currently an elected member of the University of Massachusetts Law Board of Alumni Association, chair of the Lumiere Society at the Providence Public Library and a member of the Estate Planning Council of Rhode Island. John also serves an adjunct faculty member at the Community College of Rhode Island where he teaches Personal Finance.


PHOTO captions:

The latest PPL Trustee Emeriti, voted in at PPL’s 2014 Annual Meeting. Pictured with PPL Board Chair Robert Taylor (left) and Secretary Elizabeth Debs is former PPL Board Chair Joel Stark (2000-2004).

The Board also voted in long-time Trustee and former PPL Board Chair Mary Olenn (2005-2006), pictured here with her son Adam Olenn.

New PPL Trustees and Corporation members include: (l-r) Brent Runyon, Executive Director, Providence Preservation Society; Dr. Kathleen C. Hittner, RI Health Insurance Commissioner and current PPL Foundation Board Chair; Sally McDonald, Esq., Pannone Lopes Devereaux & West LLC; John S. Renza, III, (corporation) Vice President and Wealth Management Planning Officer, The Washington Trust Company and PPL Lumiere Society Chair; Mak Falaye, Principal at Platinum Tax & Accounting Services, LLC and a member of PPL’s Finance Committee; Joe Pari (corporation), Co-owner and founder of TEN31 Productions; and Robert W. Edwards, Esq., Principal ESOP attorney at Steiker, Pischer, Edwards & Greenapple P.C. and PPL Foundation Trustee and Chair of PPL’s Pension Committee.