Gina Raimondo '13
State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
Courageous Thinking & Action
Early in Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s term she began talking about fundamental pension reform. Many people discouraged her from working toward reform by saying the politics were too difficult and the problem was too complex. She decided however that it was time to approach this old problem in a new way. Her leadership demonstrated that comprehensive pension reform was achievable and that the seemingly intractable challenges that have surrounded the issue for years, could be overcome. In November 2011, the Rhode Island Retirement Security Act passed the General Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support and is set to save Rhode Islanders about $4 billion over the next 20 years and provide public employees with peace of mind that their retirement is secure.
Vision & Innovation
Gina’s focus is on how to make Rhode Island stronger. Finding innovative ways to help us better manage our finances can play a role in our economic recovery. Her financial empowerment initiative, Empower RI, is designed to highlight the importance of understanding how to make your money work. She has introduced an online financial literacy tool for high school students, and has formed a unique community-based partnership to match volunteers with money-management skills and know-how with Rhode Islanders looking to learn how to better manage their finances. Additionally, Gina has been working to end payday lending in our state.
Solving Rhode Island’s challenges is not a one person job. Working together with the community to gather input, support, and expertise is the key to success in solving our state’s challenges. She believes success happens when everyone works together includinggovernment, constituents, business and non-profits. Each of Treasury’s accomplishments occurred because people engaged at every level with their ideas and their expertise. From a volunteer with expertise in LEAN management strategies to community crime victim advocates, to local credit unions and a micro-lending non-profit, Gina makes it a priority to reach out to learn how to strengthen and build the best programs possible.
Throughout her career, Gina has worked to make Rhode Island a better place. She serves on the Board of Directors of Crossroads Rhode Island, the state’s largest homeless services organization, where she played a key role in launching a new shelter for women. She was also a trustee at Women and Infants Hospital and former Chair of its Quality Committee. She previously served on the boards of LaSalle Academy and Family Service of Rhode Island. Recently, Gina, a former Brownie, was named the Honorary Cookie Chair for the Girl Scouts of Rhode Island. This is an opportunity to help promote the importance of learning essential life skills, along with empowering girls and young women with financial literacy skills.
JA Mission Moment
Visiting the Carl Lauro Elementary School was a wonderful reminder of the excellent work happening daily in our public schools. From the moment I met my enthusiastic fifth grade student escort, to entering Mrs. DiRobbio’s energetic third grade class with my co-teacher, Kristin, I knew Carl Lauro was a special place to learn. My daughter is also a third grader at a Providence public school, so I did have an idea of what to expect from the morning activities. Whether they were demonstrating how to make right and obtuse triangles with their elbows or showcasing their creative sides by designing their dream classroom, what I saw were engaging and thoughtful students who were combining their learning with imagination. This simple assignment helped students think bigger, and learn about the importance of design when it comes to building neighborhoods and entire cities. This is the power of JA. It brings together educators and business people to demonstrate the power of working together, thinking together and ultimately, making a stronger community, together.