Chamber putting out a full spread for festive installation

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After decades of Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce installation ceremonies, some at top restaurants or private clubs, others at places of business, aboard party boats and even at the Green Airport terminal, Lauren Slocum was ready to try something different at an event to bring the community together.

“It’s down home and who is right here,” Slocum, president and CEO of the Chamber, said Tuesday of “A Taste of Fall.”

A Taste of Fall is being billed as a celebration of community with the installation of the Chamber board and ambassadors as part of the event. The focus of the evening from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16 at the Radisson is on food and Chamber members. Slocum said there would be a brief respite – maybe 10 minutes – from the mingling and eating for introductions and the installation.

Past installation ceremonies have carried high price tags and have generally been attended board members and their spouses. A Taste of Fall featuring samplings from 20 area eateries is modestly priced at $25 with the purpose of making the evening affordable to the community.

Slocum said the evening seeks to highlight the restaurants, all members of the chamber.

“The food is the entertainment,” she said.

Slocum is hopeful of a turnout of 200, but she said she has no way of knowing what will happen. She urged those planning to attend to visit the chamber website and sign up as that would help in giving participating restaurants an idea of what they need to prepare. Participating restaurants include Harbor Lights, Sweet Dee’s, Udder Delights, Libations, Tavolo, Warwick Ice Cream, A&J Bakery, Sam’s Inn, Cozy Caterers, Bertucci’s, Iron Works, Papa Gino’s, D’Angelo, Twisted, Cork and Rye, County Cork, Poppy’s Kettle Corn, Black Oak, PB&J’s and Fresh Eats. Also taking part in the event are AAA Northeast, Cute As A Button Designs, Ocean State Charity Events, People’s Liquor Warehouse and Staples.

Being sworn in as new board members are Christopher Brook of Brook Insurance Associates, Michael Geoghegan Jr. of The Washington Trust Co., Linda Jose of Navigant Credit Union, Carrie Pepler of Raymour & Flanigan and Kamil Sarji of Support Visions Inc. Returning to the board are Maryanne Bevans, Esq. of Petrarca and McGair, Gregory Gould of Webster Bank, James Hagan of Bald Hill Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM Kia, Alice Hourihan of National Grid, William McCaffrey of the Warwick Area Career and Technical Center and Corinne Riley of Riley Plumbing and Heating.

Officers being installed are Joseph Lajoie, chair from Greenwood Credit Union; Bob Ayers, chair-elect from the Radisson Hotel; Brent Wyrostek, secretary from Arrest-A-Pest; Jo-Ann Schofield, past-chair, Mentor RI and Joseph McGair, legal counsel from Petrarca and McGair.

Ambassadors being sworn in include Kevin Burns of Pool & Patio Center, Chris Chappell of Library Mutual, Carmine DeLuca of Lynch’s Cleaning and Restoration Service, Jennie Ellis of Navigant Credit Union, Michael Feiler of Keller Williams Realty Leading Edge, Ryan Giviens of Homewood Suites by Hilton, Keri Newman of COX Media, Zach Padula of Hilb Group, John Savoia of PSE Agency and Carol Shibley of WRIK Entertainment.

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