Incoming Governor Daniel McKee today announced the first round of his transition team members with the following statement:  

“I will bring a grassroots, community-oriented philosophy to the Governor’s office because I believe state policies and programs should have the active input of our community leaders and citizens. I believe Rhode Islanders deserve a leader who will listen to and engage them, and I will reach out to all 39 of our cities and towns to ensure they are heard. Our citizens want results that flow from their values and priorities – my transition has been built around this idea. 

My transition team will be a map of Rhode Island. Every single one of our 39 cities and towns will be represented, and its membership will reflect Rhode Island’s diversity. I believe that every voice counts and that everyone can make a contribution to defeat COVID-19, reopen our economy, and get our children back in the classroom safely. I will value every single transition member’s unique perspective and I look forward to working with them. 

Everyone involved in this transition knows the stakes are high, and we won’t let Rhode Islanders down. The COVID-19 pandemic has closed schools, devastated small business, caused record unemployment, and created a significant budget shortfall. This team and my administration are ready to tackle those challenges from our first day in office. We all look forward to getting to work.” 

The Incoming Governor will announce additional transition advisors in the coming weeks. This week, he will meet virtually with a grassroots group of over 150 Rhode Islanders representing all 39 cities and towns to identify issues that are important to them and discuss ways to engage them in the transition.


Initial members:
Transition Chairperson Joseph Rodio, Jr. 

Transition Organizing Directors 

Paulette Hamilton, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Lt. Governor Anthony Silva, Chief of Staff, Office of the Lt. Governor Elizabeth Tanner, Director, RI Department of Business Regulation   

Transition Communications TeamBrian Jencunas, VolunteerAndrea Palagi, Communications Director, Office of the Lt. Governor Michael Trainor, Volunteer  

Transition Staff Cheyenne Cazeault, Special Projects Manager, Office of the Lt. Governor  Craig Dwyer, Senior Policy Advisory, Office of the Lt. Governor Rosa DeCastillo, Policy Analyst, Office of the Lt. Governor Tabatha Dube, Executive Secretary, Office of the Lt. Governor   

Senior AdvisorsRepresentative Mia Ackerman, Deputy Majority WhipLincoln Town Administrator T. Joseph Almond Rev. Dr. Chris Abhulime, King’s Tabernacle ChurchFormer Lieutenant Governor Roger Begin Channavy Chhay, Executive Director, Center for Southeast Asians  William Conley, Jr. Esq.  Caswell Cooke, Executive Director, Misquamicut Business Association Senator Louis DiPalma, Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules, Gov. Ethics & OversightDr. Ashish Jha, Dean, Brown University School of Public HealthCorey Jones, Executive Director, Black Lives Matter New England PACNorth Providence Mayor Lombardi Ana Bess Moyer Bell, Founder, Creating Outreach About Addiction SupportRepresentative Robert Phillips, Deputy Majority LeaderJennifer Ortiz, Owner, Executive CutsChris Parisi, Founder/CEO, Trailblaze Marketing  Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena Senator Ana Quezada, Deputy Majority WhipArmand E. Sabitoni, LIUNA General Secretary-Treasurer & New England Regional ManagerChief Brian Sullivan, Lincoln Police Department  James Vincent, President, NAACP Providence Branch  

Inauguration Co-Chairs 

Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien Cumberland Mayor Jeff Mutter 

Members of Incoming Governor McKee’s transition team and past government officials have been meeting with state department leaders to discuss departmental operations, time sensitive short-term initiatives that may be impacted by the transition, and agency budgets. Participants include: Tony Afonso, Esq.Lisa Andoscia, President, Rosewood Consulting  Scott Avedisian, CEO, Rhode Island Public Transit AuthorityLt. General Centracchio (Retired)Channavy Chhay, Executive Director, Center for Southeast Asians  William J. Conley Jr., Esq. Rosa DeCastillo, Policy Analyst, Lt. Governor’s Office  Colonel Brendan Doherty (Retired)Erin Donovan Boyle, Executive Director, Greater Newport Chamber of CommercePaulette Hamilton, Deputy Chief of Staff, Lt. Governor’s OfficeFormer Lieutenant Governor Richard LichtCharles Roberts, Founder/Executive Director, Rhode Island Slave History MedallionsAnthony Silva, Chief of Staff, Lt. Governor’s Office 

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).