Newport, RI Fall In Love

Governor Gina M. Raimondo has announced a three-firm marketing team to design and execute a top-notch statewide tourism and business attraction campaign. Engaging this team will build on efforts ongoing across state government to revitalize the state’s economy and put Rhode Islanders back to work.

The Commerce Corporation Board voted to allow the Commerce Corporation to enter into agreements with the following entities: • Milton Glaser, to develop a compelling statewide brand; • HAVAS PR, to deploy this brand through advertising and public relations; and • Epic Decade, to execute events to engage residents in telling an authentic Rhode Island story.

Epic Decade is a Jamestown, RI-based design think tank that helps major clients such as Apple and American Express design engaging customer and citizen experiences that support authentic, compelling brands and identities. Epic Decade will lead an effort to create significant public events that distinguish Rhode Island as a world-class destination.

“We’re focused every day on putting people back to work,” Raimondo said. “Marketing Rhode Island effectively will attract both businesses and tourists — both are important parts of growing our economy and creating more jobs.” “We’re pleased to introduce this dynamic and experienced team today,” said Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. “Havas and Milton Glaser have the creative and media firepower to build a compelling brand and propel it to the forefront of Americans’ consciousness, while the talented professionals at Epic Decade will help produce a campaign that is authentically Rhode Island. This is the team Rhode Island needs to compete effectively for tourists and businesses.”

The project’s total budget, as set forth in the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget, is $4.5 million.

The teams are prepared to begin working on the project immediately so that the new state brand can debut in early 2016 with rollout across multiple media.


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Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.