Speaker biographies

Heather Singleton, chief operating officer, Rhode Island Hospitality Education Foundation

Heather Singleton manages all operations of the enterprise including staff management, endorsed programs, educational partners and training programs. She also writes and manages grants for the organization. Singleton is a former adjunct faculty member of both the Community College of Rhode Island and Johnson & Wales University. She holds a master's in international business from Johnson & Wales University.

Molly Donohue Magee, executive director, SENEDIA

SENEDIA is a startup, woman-owned and -managed small business supporting the defense industry. Molly Donohue Magee is a leader in nonprofit, for-profit business and government for the defense industry and cybersecurity. She is the former CFO and director of corporate operations for Naval Undersea Warfare Center Newport and holds a master's degree from the University of Rhode Island.

Wendy Mackie, CEO, Rhode Island Marine Trades Association

Under Wendy Mackie's leadership, the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association has expanded its staff, acquired a new property, the Providence Boat Show and deepened its impact on the state's marine trades. She also has worked to the launch the Rhode Island Composites Alliance organization. Mackie has prior experience in workforce development and served as executive director of MY TURN Rhode Island, which helps youth develop skills, goals and self-confidence through education, career exploration and employment training. She holds a bachelor's degree in public health and sociology from Southern Connecticut State University.

Chris Matteson, executive director, Stepping Up

Chris Matteson has been working in the nonprofit industry for the past 10 years. While working at Rhode Island Manufacturers Association as vice president, Matteson oversaw daily operations and programs of the organization's strategic mission and goals, working with local manufacturers regarding their workforce challenges and needs. He also serves on a number of academic advisory boards in both secondary and postsecondary institutions. Matteson holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice/political science from Rhode Island College.

Andrew Cortes, director/founder, Building Futures and Apprenticeship Rhode Island

Building Futures is a sector-based initiative designed to meet the construction industry's need for skilled workers through the Registered Apprenticeship system, while providing career opportunities for low-income urban residents of Rhode Island within the building and construction trades. Andrew Cortes is chairman of the State Apprenticeship Council and advisory board member of Consortium America. He has over 20 years of experience as a former superintendent, carpenter and cabinet maker in the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Cortes has received numerous honors and awards in his career including Special Recognition of Service from Gov. Gina Raimondo in 2015, Providence Monthly Top 10 to Watch in 2010 and Apprenticeship Trailblazer and Innovator Award from U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis in 2013.

Giselle Mahoney, director of industry and advocacy, Tech Collective

Giselle Mahoney has been with Tech Collective since 2007 performing roles in marketing and branding, public relations, social media, grant writing and industry and community relations. As a writer, Mahoney has been published in Providence Business News, Rhode Island Small Business Journal, Employment Relations Today and many more. She serves on the board of directors for the Public Relations Society of America Southeastern New England Chapter. Mahoney holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Rhode Island.

Bill McCourt, president and CEO, Rhode Island Manufacturer's Association

Bill McCourt is a vocal advocate for the manufacturing industry. His primary focus is ensuring the public has the proper understanding of 21st century manufacturing – the economic and social contributions it makes; the prosperity it can generate; and the tremendous career opportunities available. He is a graduate of Bryant University with a bachelor's degree in business administration and is a certified public accountant.

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Last Updated: 9/27/17