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​Mike Ritz, executive director of Leadership Rhode Island,
at the 2012 Leading with Values conference

​School of Business to Host Second Annual Leadership Conference

One hundred and forty students from eight colleges and universities in Rhode Island are expected on campus for the second annual conference on values-based leadership hosted by the Providence College School of Business.

“Leading with Values: The Rhode Island Collegiate Conference for Values-Based Leadership” will be held on Saturday, February 23, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Slavin Center ’64 Hall and the Feinstein Academic Center.

Students will attend from PC, Brown University, Bryant University, Johnson & Wales University, Rhode Island School of Design, Rhode Island College, Roger Williams University, and the University of Rhode Island.

Faculty members from each college were asked to recommend students who would benefit from attending the conference, said the conference coordinator, Dr. Matthew Eriksen, professor of management and department chair.

“We’re presenting this for Rhode Island,” said Eriksen. “The idea is to offer a collegewide, and statewide, discussion across all disciplines. We hear so much about ethical violations in the news today. No one focuses on values, the ‘being’ of it, rather than the ‘doing’ of it.”

The conference will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Slavin Center ’64 Hall with opening remarks by Dr. Sylvia Maxfield, dean of the PC School of Business; Dr. Kristine Goodwin, PC’s vice president for student affairs; Dennis Rebelo, president of the Alex & Ani Professional Development Center, which is co-sponsoring the event; and Eriksen.

The opening address at 10 a.m. will be presented by Giovanni Feroce, CEO of Alex & Ani, the Cranston, R.I.-based jewelry company founded in 2004. It now has retail locations in five states, including New York and Florida, and more than 700 wholesale accounts all over the world.

Interactive workshop sessions will be offered at 11:15 a.m. and at 2:15 p.m. in the Feinstein Academic Center. Students can select from 10 topics, including “Establishing Your Leadership Identity: The Structure of Effective Personal Storytelling,” “Young Leaders Rock (But We All Still Have a Lot to Learn),” and “Reflecting on Your Personal Core Values: The Foundation for Values-Based Leadership.”  

Impressive business presence

The workshop presenters are leaders and ethical thinkers from the Rhode Island business community, along with professors and staff from PC.

In addition to Eriksen and Rebelo, they include Dr. Michael Kraten, assistant professor of accountancy at PC; Elena Yee, director of PC’s Office of Student Multicultural Activities; Jacob Weaver, a graduate student in the same office; Dr. William P. Macaux, a psychologist in East Greenwich, R.I.; Caroline Mailloux, associate director of Common Cause Rhode Island; Anna Haas, an education and nonprofit consultant; Anthony Silbert, a founding partner of Innovation Partners International in Wakefield, R.I.

Also, Robert Vincent, coordinator of leadership development for the Center for Student Leadership Development at the University of Rhode Island; Martha Vinas, director of education and engagement for Cigna’s Sales Effectiveness Team; George Nippo, program and academic director at Year Up Providence; and Heather Tow-Yick, executive director of Teach for America — Rhode Island.

Lunch, between 12:30 and 2 p.m., will feature a presentation by Andy Posner, executive director and co-founder of the Capital Good Fund, which uses microfinance to fight poverty.

The closing address will be presented at 3:30 p.m. by Dean Cycon, founder of Dean’s Beans, an organic, fair trade, and kosher coffee roasting business in Orange, Mass. 

—Vicki-Ann Downing
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