On Thursday February 21, the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation hosted a workshop and conference on Opportunity Zones at the Omni Providence. We welcomed national experts and local leaders to discuss this important topic. 


Agenda and presentations

8:30 a.m.

Welcome and Kick-Off from Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor, Treasurer Seth Magaziner, and Director of Business Regulation Liz Tanner


9:00 a.m.

Plenary Session: Let’s Get Started

An overview of program fundamentals, an update on federal regulations, and advice for moving forward from national experts including Marc Schultz, Stephanie Copeland, Bruce Katz, and Evan Weiss


The audience us is invited to submit questions to our local and national experts, including

  • Kristin A. DeKuiper, Holland & Knight
  • Eric Rietveld, Darrow Everett LLP
  • Mary Thompson, Bank of America

Presentation by Marc Schultz (pdf)


Presentation by Stephanie Copeland (pdf)


Presentation by Bruce Katz (pdf)


Presentation by Evan Weiss 

10:30 a.m.

Networking Break


11:00 a.m.

Plenary Session: Rhode Island on the Move

  • Remarks from Secretary Pryor
  • Instructive Projects, presented by Jesse Saglio
  • Overview of Zones, presented by Hannah Moore

Remarks by Secretary Pryor (pdf)


Presentation by Jesse Saglio 


Presentation by Hannah Moore (pdf)

12:00 p.m.

Lunch Session: Rhode Island Perspectives Panel

• Panel moderated by Doris Blanchard

• Panelists:

• Ron Hadar, Procaccianti Companies

• Wayne Kezirian, Paolino Properties

• Chris Satti, Audax Private Equity

• Jessica David, Rhode Island Foundation

• Richard Manson, Local Initiatives Support Corporation


1:15 p.m.

Workshop Breakouts

A. Anchor Institutions

• Bruce Katz and Evan Weiss will discuss how anchor institutions can drive investments that will spur revitalization in communities


B. Businesses

• Marc Schultz will dive deeper into examples of making Opportunity Zones work for businesses and commercial real estate


C. Cities, Towns & Developers

• Stephanie Copeland, Colin Higgins and Jesse Saglio will lead the discussion on state and local tools and resources











Presentation by Stephanie Copeland (pdf)

2:20 p.m.

Conference Closing Thoughts