Aram Garabedian, co-managing partner of Warwick Mall, is throwing a spotlight on Rhode Island positives.
Joined by Raymond Fogarty of the Chafee Center at Bryant University and Michael Lyons of the Pawtucket Red Sox, Garabedian announced yesterday the “What’s RIght about Rhode Island” campaign that will kickoff this Saturday and Sunday at the mall from noon to 5 p.m. The event will include displays and a video that will be shown in the food court.
“Most media focuses on the bad news,” Garabedian said before yesterday’s press conference. “It always seems to exceed the good news.”
Garabedian said the idea to highlight the good things about the state came from a visit to Byrant and learning that’s just what students there were looking at. Compiling all those positives has taken a lot of work, he said, not because there are so few good things but, rather, because there are so many. In order to make it manageable, the good things have been separated into categories in a study making up more than 200 pages.
Portions of that study have been condensed to produce a four-fold sheet that will be available at the mall and Garabedian aims to distribute through schools. He said 10,000 of the flyers have been printed. The campaign has also bought advertisements promoting “What’s RIght.”
Fogarty said the campaign is aimed at Rhode Islanders and to get them to think what’s right about the state.
To that, Lyons added, “We can’t just say that everything is right.” He pointed out there is room for improvement, yet questioned, “Why can’t we be the best of everything?”
Under the category of business, the “What’s RIght” flyer points out the state is home to many successful companies, including Washington Trust Company, Taco, Amica, Alex & Ani and IGT. Other highlights include CVS Health, Citizens Bank, Hasbro and Textron.
CVS, American’s leading retail pharmacy, has more than 9,600 pharmacy locations and 1,100 MinuteClinic locations. CVS ranked 10th in the 2015 Fortune 500 and 35th in the 2015 Global 500. Citizens Bank was named one of the “Best Banks in America” in Money Magazine’s 2014 list. Hasbro is the world’s largest maker of board games and second-largest maker of toys. It was named seventh on CR Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens list. Textron, one of the world’s best-known multi-industry companies, boasts $13.9 billion in revenues and ranks 219th on the Fortune 500 list.
The state ranks impressively in terms of health and safety. It ranks in the Top 10 for Emergency Medicine, on the National List of Healthiest Eyes, and in oral health. Providence’s tap water ranks among the nation’s best, and Rhode Island has among the fewest gun-related deaths. Overall, Rhode Island is the 13th healthiest state in the nation and has the seventh-highest percentage of citizens with health insurance.
In terms of transportation, Rhode Island ranks among the most accessible states. T.F. Green is third in the Best Airports in the U.S.A., Best for On Time Arrivals and Departures, and the Most Stress Free Airport. Quonset is the seventh-busiest port on the Continent for Auto Imports, and the Port of Davisville is the Biggest Small Port in the U.S.A.
Rhode Island’s education is well renowned. Its high schools rank ninth Best in the U.S.A. Providence ranks 14th in the nation in workers with advanced degrees and holds the second-highest increase in this category from 2005-13.
The Ocean State is also full of fun.
Providence ranked first overall in America’s Top Cities and ranked in the top five in categories including theater, architecture and buildings, bakeries, diners, bars, brunch and coffee. It also is called the best city for burgers, second for pizza, second for dining and amenities, fifth for high-end cuisine, fifth-best place for summer travel, and third-best place to visit in the fall.
Newport Cliff was named one of the 10 Great Public Spaces in 2014. The Pawtucket Red Sox were Governors’ Cup Champions in 2012 and 2014, and were in the Top 10 attended franchises in all of Minor League Sports in the U.S.A. Rhode Island is one of the safest states for walking and biking.
The quality of life in Rhode Island is high – the state ranks third in percentage of area water, fourth in the 2015 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, and in the top four for Internet speeds with an increase of 35 percent year-over-year. Barrington ranks fourth for “Best Schools for Your Real Estate Buck.” The state also has the greatest amount of shore access per square mile with 384 miles of tidal shoreline and 411 miles of coastline.