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Photo via Bowen's Wharf

(Photo of Bowen’s Wharf)

Award-winning New York-based agency Havas PR North America has won the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation account and appointed ‘Team Rhody’ to fulfill its role as one of three firms developing and deploying the state’s $4.5 million tourism campaign.

Havas PR’s Providence office brings together creative and strategic thinkers who represent what makes Rhode Island great: a mix of seasoned and young talent and of Rhode Island natives and recent transplants. From here, Havas PR is working alongside and within the communities of Rhode Island to rebrand the state.

‘Team Rhody’ operates under the direction of CEO Marian Salzman, whose love for the state began with her education at Brown University and continues as a Brown Women in Business mentor.

Located on Broadway in the heart of the city’s West End, the Providence office brings to life Havas PR’s enthusiasm for growth in cities where creative firepower thrives and drives success. This strategy has won top accolades in previously established ‘P’ locations, Pittsburgh and PhoenixProvidence is also now the hub for Havas PR’s practice throughout New England.

Executive Vice President Linda Descano, CFA, is helming the Providence ship. The former Citibank executive has 20-plus years experience in executive leadership, communications strategy and experience branding.

“True to Havas PR’s mission, we will be much more than an agency,” says Descano. “We’ll be an integral part of Rhode Island life, conversations and happenings. We won’t be sitting behind computers looking for how to tell the state’s story. We’ll be out creating experiences alongside our fellow Rhodies.”

Press-relations guru Angela Carrasco is Team Rhody’s media director and multicultural lead. Carrasco is a dynamic storyteller who joins Team Rhody from Phoenix, where her work with Havas PR won her a spot on the 2015 list of PR News’s Rising PR Stars 30 & Under.

Seasoned Rhode Islander Rebecca Keister joins Havas PR as copywriter, after getting her PR feet wet as a writer at Rhode Island College. An adopted Rhode Islander, Keister has authored an upcoming Providence hotspot travel guide.

Hadley Duncan leads the account team as senior account executive, joining the Providence team from Havas PR’s New York base. Duncan’s Rhode Island roots—which include summers spent sailing in Newport—inspired her to bring her go-getter client services skills and design background to Providence.

Rhode Island native Nicole Tutalo joins Havas PR as an account executive. A University of Rhode Island grad, Tutalo contributes a great passion for and knowledge of her home state to the team.

Taylor Jeffrey joins as an account executive and executive assistant. Jeffrey, also a R.I. native and URI grad, looks forward to helping others experience the state’s many attractions.

Alicia Jannitto joins ‘Team Rhody’ as an account executive. Jannitto, a born-and-raised Rhode Islander and a URI alumna, looks forward to using her love of all things Rhode Island to help others discover the state’s stories.

Continuing Havas PR’s tradition of empowering tomorrow’s public relations professionals, its Providence office includes interns from several area schools: Brown UniversityJohnson & Wales University, the Rhode Island School of Design and the University of Rhode Island.

About Havas PR
Our call to action is “Connected,” and our commitment is to the Future First. As the North American earned-media and buzz agency within French holding company Havas, we’re part of the Havas PR Global Collective. Headquartered in New York City with offices in the three P’s—Pittsburgh, Phoenix and Providence—Havas PR North America is one of the most awarded agencies of our size in the U.S. For more information, go to us.havaspr.com.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and 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.

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