In honor of Women’s History Month, the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce recently announced that it will recognize four honorees with a 2021 Women of Distinction award. The recipients represent countless impressive traits and a long list of accomplishments deserving of recognition, including community involvement, industry impact, and professional success.

The 2021 Women of Distinction are: Mary Beth Daigneault, Administrator, St. Clare Newport, Elizabeth Lynn, Executive Director, van Beuren Charitable Foundation, Nancy Piffard, Show Director, Newport International Boat Show/Newport Exhibition Group, and Debbie Proffitt, Vice President, DoD Operations and Business Development, Purvis Systems.

“Women’s History Month is the perfect time to celebrate women who are making a difference in Greater Newport. We are grateful for all they do for our community.” Erin Donovan-Boyle, Greater Newport Chamber Executive Director in a statement.

Virtual interviews with each honoree will be shared on the Chamber’s social media platforms, online blog, and Youtube channel. The first interview can be viewed here:

The 2021 Women of Distinction awards are sponsored by Greenvale Vineyards.

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 -

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 and 401-662-1653.