A Closer Look at the New Commissioners


Chairman Colin P. Kane
Colin Kane is a principal and founder of Peregrine Group LLC., a multidimensional real estate company that has done projects around the country and is based in Rumford. His office is in the old Rumford Chemical Works, which his group converted into apartments, offices, restaurants and retail. Another of its more well known projects is Ocean House, a five-star hotel located in Watch Hill on the Block Island Sound, which was one of the largest privately funded projects in Rhode Island. The company has also assumed overall development management of the American Locomotive Works for the lender. A former development manager for Gilbane Properties, he is also a former Navy Flag Lieutenant and veteran of Operation Desert Storm. Kane is a graduate of Harvard Business School (MBA), Georgetown University (MA), and the US Naval Academy. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Rhode Island Builder’s Association and was named Admiral of the Rhode Island Commodores, a group of business leaders. He is a resident of Wickford. Nominated by Governor Lincoln Chafee

Barrett Bready, M.D.
Barrett Bready is President and CEO of NABsys, Inc., a startup and advanced DNA sequencing technology company located in the heart of the Knowledge District. Bready has headed NABsys since 2005, and has led the company’s acquisition of GeneSpectrum, as well as the execution of its licensing deal with Brown University. He has been named to the up and coming business lists of many local publications (including ours) and was recently named Providence Business News Innovator of the Year. He teaches Biotechnology Management at Brown, where he holds the position of Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biotechnology. He received his M.D. from Brown Medical School and his Sc.B. in Physics from Brown. He is a Trustee of the Providence Preservation Society and WaterFire. Nominated by Governor Lincoln Chafee

Barbara A. Hunger

Barbara Hunger has been a registered nurse in the Labor and Delivery Unit at Women and Infants Hospital for 25 years. Prior to joining Women and Infants, Hunger worked as a nurse in hospitals throughout New England. She earned a BS from Southern Connecticut State University. Her civic involvement includes volunteerism with CityArts, Elmwood Neighborhood Housing, Community Music Works, the Steel Yard and the Service Employees International Union. Hunger has been a resident of and homeowner in Providence’s Elmwood neighborhood for 25 years and raised two children who attended Providence Public Schools. Nominated by Mayor Angel Taveras

Diana L. Johnson
Diana Johnson is a self-employed art consultant and former banker. She served as Director of Brown University’s David Winton Bell Gallery and as Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, Chief Curator, and Acting Director of the RISD Museum of Art. Additionally, Johnson’s diverse career has included stints as Senior Vice President in the Trust Departments of Fleet Bank, Bank of America and the Providence Group Investment Advisory Company. She has served on the Boards of the Rhode Island Council on the Humanities, Veterans Memorial Auditorium and Trinity Repertory Company, and as Board Chairman of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Travelers Aid Society of RI, and Planned Parenthood of RI. She received a BA in Government from Radcliffe College (Harvard University) and an MA in Art History from Brown. She is a resident of Providence. Nominated by Governor Lincoln Chafee

John M. Kelly
John Kelly has been the President and CEO of Meeting Street School for the last 14 years and in that capacity has overseen the development of Meeting Street’s $25 million South Providence campus, which resulted in over 180 jobs moving to South Providence. An attorney by training, Kelly previously focused his practice in corporate and real estate law as a partner at Tillinghast, Collins and Graham. Kelly subsequently held a leadership position in a nonprofit organization, the Coalition for Community Development, which was created to revitalize downtown Providence. He has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Genesis Center and the Providence Revolving Fund and has chaired several city boards and commissions. He is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College and earned a law degree from Boston College; he is a resident of the city’s South Side. Nominated by Speaker Gordon Fox and Mayor Angel Taveras

Mark T. Ryan
Mark Ryan is a principal at Moses and Afonso, Ltd. where he concentrates his practice in the areas of corporate and business law. Prior to joining Moses and Alfonso, he was with the Providence Journal for nearly 25 years, where he served as Executive Vice President and General Manager, Senior Vice President Legal and Administration, and Vice President Legal and Administration. He has broad legal experience, including labor negotiations. Ryan is active in the community, serving as
a Director and Member of the Nominating and Legislative Committees of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, First Vice Chairman and Trustee of the Providence Performing Arts Center, a member of the Rhode Island Commodores, and a member of the Rhode Island Bar Association. Ryan is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and New England School of Law. Nominated by Mayor Angel Taveras

Michael S. Van Leesten
Michael Van Leesten is CEO of OIC of Rhode Island, a nonprofit community development organization that provides training, employment and minority business development services. He also heads Van Leesten Group, LLC, a community development consulting firm. Van Leesten has over 40 years of community and business development experience, including Director of the Providence Planning and Development Department, Director of Fleet National Bank, Chairman of the RI Home Mortgage and Finance Corporation, Executive Director of the OIC of Rhode Island, public affairs management with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Chairman of the Providence Black Repertory Company. He is a member of the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame and has received honorary doctorate degrees from URI, Roger Williams and RIC, where he earned an undergraduate degree in Education. Nominated by Governor Lincoln Chafee


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