Business Spotlight

Business Spotlight


Bricault opens

WESTERLY — Gil Bricault, of Westerly, has announced the opening of, a marketing and public relations consulting business specializing in social media. The new venture is aimed at helping small business owners with the marketing of their goods and services.

“I am truly excited about the opportunity of providing other small business owners with the tools and skills necessary to properly position their companies for future growth. Successfully navigating the various tools available, particularly with the Internet and especially social media and their effect on marketing, can make the difference between success or failure for a small business,” Bricault said. “While most large organizations have the ability to have separate marketing, PR, and advertising functions within their organizations, this is not possible for most small businesses. It is the goal of to be able to provide the same level of marketing services to small business that their larger competitors have.”

Most small businesses, which account for nearly 96 percent of all employers, have their beginnings with an individual or group of individuals with a certain talent in a trade or profession and therefore decide to form their new business. Most quickly find out that the same skills needed in performing the services and trades of their business are radically different than the skills needed to “manage and market” their businesses. That is where comes in — to be their “marketing department.”

Bricault is the former owner of J.W. Riker Real Estate, which at the time of its acquisition in 2000 was the largest independently owned real estate brokerage firm in Rhode Island, having grown from a small brokerage firm to a total of 16 statewide offices at the time of its acquisition. He has developed a website,, which is a local blogging site for area small businesses, and has been integrated with his weekly radio show on WBLQ 1230-AM and a sizable social media presence for Westerly Living members.

For information about and its services, Bricault may be reached at 401-573-8727 or via email at

WCCU’s Pouliot earns financial counselor certification

WESTERLY — Westerly Community Credit Union’s Carlynne Pouliot has completed the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Financial Counseling School, and received the designation of certified financial counselor.

Pouliot is the most recent WCCU employee who has completed the CUNA Financial Counseling Certification self-study program, which covered various topics including taxes, insurance, investments, controlling living expenses, understanding consumer credit, matching values to money, retirement, and special financial circumstances. She has passed qualifying exams and is now certified to assist members through a wide range of financial challenges they may face.

This certification enhances WCCU’s Take the Challenge program, which is a no-cost confidential program that helps members identify their financial priorities and reach their goals. Some priorities have included reducing or eliminating debt, establishing an emergency savings account, purchasing or remodeling a home, and saving or paying for college. Each member’s situation is unique, so the staff will always suggest options to help the member take control of their financial lives.

“We are proud of Carlynne for her commitment in becoming a certified financial counselor,” said Steve White, WCCU CEO and president. “This certification will bring us closer to reaching the credit union’s primary goal of helping our members achieve financial success, and partners very well with our Take the Challenge program, which we currently provide to our members.”

For more information on WCCU’s certified financial counselors or the Take the Challenge program, please visit Westerly Community Credit Union online at or call 401-596-7000.

Precision Fitness trainer earns kettlebell certification

WESTERLY — Ben Carroll, CPT, USTF (certified personal Trainer, United States Track and Field Level 1 and Level 2), of Westerly, has become one of the first certified kettlebell instructors in the SFG (StrongFirst Girya) School of Strength. Carroll spent three days in Philadelphia where he was taught the fundamentals of the StrongFirst system. This certification combined lecture with extensive hands-on practice with heavy kettlebells.

The SFG is a highly demanding certification with a 25-30 percent failure rate. To earn his certification, Carroll had to pass numerous demanding criteria, including demonstrating good judgment concerning safely, showing strong spirit, demonstrating effective teaching skills, passing the pull-up test, passing the kettlebell five-minute snatch test, passing a written exam and exhibiting safe and efficient technique in the foundation kettlebell skills.

NewportFed now a division of Savings Institute Bank & Trust

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. — Thanks a recent merger, the customers of NewportFed, a bank that has been serving the region since 1888, now have access to a far greater array of business banking services, as well as wealth management and trust services, according to Rheo A. Brouillard, president and chief executive officer of Savings Institute Bank & Trust. In addition, those customers may now enjoy the convenience of a branch system that has expanded from six to 26 locations.

“We’re especially pleased that so many NewportFed branch employees have stayed on to provide the exceptional customer service that NewportFed has long been know for,” Brouillard added. NewportFed’s six branch locations will continue to operate under the NewportFed name, but as a division of Savings Institute Bank & Trust.

To mark the occasion of successfully combining the two banks, a high-yield CD is being offered at all NewportFed locations. According to a Savings Institute spokesperson, the CD offer is currently the highest yield available in Rhode Island.

URI launches new Business Engagement Center

KINGSTON — The University of Rhode Island has officially launched its new Business Engagement Center, a central portal for businesses to connect with the university’s vast resources.

The Business Engagement Center is designed to play a vital role in providing businesses with sponsored research opportunities, technology or intellectual property transfer assistance, licensing information, students for internships or careers, and customized workforce training and skill development.

Westerly Hospital seeks ‘comfort touch’ volunteers

WESTERLY — The Westerly Hospital is currently recruiting volunteers who are interested in providing comfort touch complementary therapy to patients. This relaxation technique involves gentle hand and foot touch designed to aid healing and increase well being. Training will be provided at Westerly Hospital on Oct. 6 from noon to 4:30 p.m.

The four-hour training will be provided by Corinne Rossi, LMT, and Christine Gentry, RN, HN-BC. Rossi, owner of Better Body Works in Pawcatuck, is a nationally certified massage therapist licensed in both Rhode Island and Connecticut, a certified personal trainer, and a certified Pilates mat instructor. Her practice includes therapeutic massage, craniosacral therapy, lymphatic drainage, pre/post surgical coaching, private personal training and end-of-life palliative care. Gentry is a board-certified holistic nurse with certifications in whole health education, holistic stress management, integrative aromatherapy, Reiki, and the Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster program.

After successful completion of comfort touch training, volunteers will have to complete a volunteer application, have a health screening, and attend a general orientation.

To register, or for more information, contact Gentry at 401-348-3481 or Heather Ainslie, volunteer manager, at 401-348-3969.

Read to Ride presents plaque to Charter Oak FCU

GROTON — Read to Ride Inc. has presented Charter Oak Federal Credit Union with a plaque to express its gratitude for the credit union’s continued support.

Read to Ride is a voluntary reading incentive program designed specifically for Norwich, Bozrah, Sprague, Baltic and Montville students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade. Benjamin P. Lathrop, former Norwich mayor, and Billy Caron, Montville councilman, established the program in 2009. Today, its board consists of 12 people.

The notion of Read to Ride stemmed from exercising the mind through reading and the body through exercise. Since the program’s inception, more than 400 bicycles have been given away to Norwich and Montville students.

Charter Oak has been a consistent supporter of Read to Ride Inc., and has awarded it more than $4,000 since 2010.

Shrine Asian Kitchen, Lounge & Nightclub recognized by Connecticut Magazine

MASHANTUCKET — Shrine Asian Kitchen, Lounge & Nightclub has been recognized once again as “Best Nightclub” in Connecticut Magazine’s September 2013 “Best Of” issue, honoring the entertainment and dining destination as one of the top-performing businesses across the state. Shrine was previously recognized for the same honor in the magazine’s 2012 “Best Of” issue.

Chosen by the magazine’s editors, Shrine beat out fierce competition to be named in the coveted “Fun: Casinos” category as “Best Nightclub.” Connecticut Magazine also paid homage to the venue earlier this year, naming Shrine as one of their “Best Asian” restaurants in the annual restaurants’ issue. Additionally, Shrine has been chosen as one of Nightclub & Bar Magazine’s “Top 100” nightclubs four out of the five years since opening its doors in 2008, and was Hartford Magazine’s second runner-up for “Best Nightclub” earlier this year.

AHA to present Fit Friendly Worksite Award to South County Hospital

WAKEFIELD — The American Heart Association (AHA) will present its 2013 Fit Friendly Worksite Award to South County Hospital during the Greater Westerly Heart Walk scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 28. South County Hospital was the only hospital in Rhode Island to earn a gold recognition from the association. This marks the second consecutive year the hospital has earned this award.

Fit-Friendly Worksites are recognized by the AHA as employers who “go above and beyond” when it comes to employee health. Criteria for Heart Association distinction include providing walking routes, walking programs and tracking tools, a smoke-free environment, and exercise and yoga classes.

“We are constantly looking for ways to promote healthy lifestyles for our employees,” said Sherri Zinno, South County Hospital cardiopulmonary services manager. “We hope that through our programs, we’ll set an example for the community.”

The Heart Walk is part of a national series of walks organized by the AHA that raise money for heart disease research. More than one million people in 300-plus cities are expected to participate in local Heart Walks this year.

The AHA is the largest voluntary health organization working to prevent, treat, and eliminate heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases, which, combined, kill more than 813,000 people a year in the U.S.

Westerly Hospital to present free program on advances in total joint replacement

WESTERLY — Are you or is someone you know suffering from joint problems, including hips and knees?

Join orthopedic surgeon Paul R. Benoit, MD, for a free community education program on Wednesday, Sept. 25, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Westerly Hospital’s Henry J. Nardone Conference Center. Learn about joint replacements and the various types of treatments available. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation.

This program is free and open to the public. To register, visit or call 401-348-2300, or, from outside Rhode Island, call 800-933-5960, ext. 3423. Please leave a message with your name, phone number, and program for which you are registering. You will automatically be registered in the program.

R.I. Hospitality Association offers food handlers course for only $5

PROVIDENCE — In celebration of Food Safety Month in September, the Rhode Island Hospitality Association (RIHA), in partnership with the Rhode Island Convention Center, will offer a ServSafe food handlers course at a special discounted rate of $5. The course will take place at the Rhode Island Convention Center, 1 Sabin St., on Tuesday, Sept.17, from 9 to 11 a.m.

There is an estimated 76 million food-borne illnesses that occur in the United States each year. This two-hour crash course on basic food safety will help Rhode Island hospitality employees be up to date on the best practices in the work place. It is appropriate for frontline food-service employees such as kitchen staff and servers. The event is also open to the public.

The ServSafe program, a nationally recognized program offered by the National Restaurant Association, is the restaurant and food-service industry’s preeminent food safety training program.

To register, contact RIHA at 401-223-1120 or visit

Aquarion Water announces Walsh as Connecticut VP of operations

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Aquarion Water Company today announced that John Walsh has been named vice president of operations for Connecticut. In this new role, Walsh will be responsible for the operations and management of the company’s water systems in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Walsh has managed Aquarion’s Massachusetts and New Hampshire operations for the past year, and previously had been employed for 12 years by Aquarion Water Company of Connecticut as director of supply operations and manager of engineering.

“We are excited to expand John’s management role to include Connecticut operations, as well as Massachusetts and New Hampshire,” said Charles V. Firlotte, Aquarion president and CEO. “John will bring significant skills and expertise to our Connecticut operations, and we are confident that both Aquarion and our Connecticut customers will benefit.”

Walsh received a bachelor’s in civil engineering from the University of Massachusetts, a master’s in environmental engineering from the University of Massachusetts and an MBA in finance from New York University.

“I look forward to working collaboratively with the communities we serve in Connecticut, in addition to our communities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire,” said Walsh. “I know that working together, leveraging the talent and resources of the company, we’ll be able to continue providing safe, clean water to our customers.”

R.I. Small Business Recovery Program changing name to Prophet Share Inc.

PROVIDENCE — Twenty-four business leaders have recently established a collaborative training network enabling them to share their knowledge and experience with local business owners. This new collaborative network is called Prophet Share Inc.

Prophet Share Inc., formerly known as the R.I. Small Business Recovery Program, is an example of what has become internationally known as “a sharing community.” In simple terms, “a sharing community” removes duplication that doesn’t add value and concentrates on things that do add value.

Through participation in Prophet Share, business owners and trainers (prophets) no longer have to individually own projection, video and recording equipment. Nor do they have to rent expensive classroom or hotel space in order to share their talent and experience with their peers. Instead, they jointly have access to a newly redecorated facility that will seat 42 attendees and has cutting-edge technology, Internet access for up to 40 individuals simultaneously and, a kitchen facility to serve food and beverages. As the result of this “penny-pinching” sharing approach, Prophet Share Inc. will be able to bring high-quality business training to the Rhode Island business community on a meager budget of less than $25,000 annually.

Support Quality Local Journalism

Latest Videos