Innovate Newport already impacting the local economy for large and small businesses alike. Listen in as Governor Gina Raimondo, Former President of the RI Senate Teresa Paiva Weed, Scott Gibbs of The Economic Development Foundation and Mayor Jamie Bova tell Newport Living and Lifestyles the perseverance it took to see this project come to fruition and where it will be leading us in the future.  Reach Tuni Schartner 401-996-7822 for a tour and more information about leasing space in what is being named the offices of the future.
Read the Transcript
Good morning! It’s a great day. It is a great opportunity that we have here.Innovate Newport is up and running and already teaming with entrepreneurs andenergy and to all of you here who played a role in making it happen I want to saythank you. I agree with the Mayor the list is too long for me to read. It tooka lot of hands in the kitchen to make this a reality, and by the way, I thinkthat’s what makes Rhode Island great. We are with Jamie Bova the current mayor of Newport and supporter of Innovate Newport. Jamie tell us how you think that innovative Newport is going to impactthe city of Newport going forward.  This project Innovate Newport is really what I see as the beacon for future development and growth in the city of Newport. You know, we brought together so many different partners from across government and tribal organizations and private businesses and it’s really just the beginning in my opinion and it’s the beacon for the type of innovative economic growth that I think we can really look forward to in the city. I’m a Hoosier and I am really proud of that. If you notice that the basketball net is still up. I made sure that happened. It is really cool that in this space.  I’m from South Bend Indiana originally. I married a woman from Massachusetts which means I was forced to live in New England.  It’s always the other person.. I went to Umass Amherst for grad school, got out, got into business economic development and came to Rhode Island in 1984.  So you have seen a lot of change. Yep, running this organization. So, I’ve been this organization for 33 years.It’s never because of any one person, it’s never because of one organization.I think part of this is really understanding that. Projects like this just takes so much hard work. There’s so many people, and they all have to be committed with the same vision. This is proof. We ran into a couple stumbling blocks with the city. City Manager Joe Nicholsonshowed tremendous persistence. This began as really just an idea with TheNewport Chamber and Keith Stokes at the time. And the unwavering support U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse that made this possible. I remember Joe Nicholson and I saying, do you think we can really make Sheffield School into this. I watched this building lay fallow since the school closed and it was the spark that is important here. It’s symbolic of what can happen in the whole North End of the city. It’s not just this building.  This is a true public-private collaboration. Public at every level, federal, state and city, private, with nonprofits as well as small businesses. I know it took a long time to get here, but I promise you, it was all worth it and to all of you who played a role. Thank you. I can’t wait to come back in a year and two and three and see this place as a beehive of innovation and busting at the seams and all the jobs and energy that it will create. Thank you so much and let’s continue to make it happen.