Quonset Business Park is the leading engine of economic development and job creation in Rhode Island, with over 200 companies and nearly 12,000 jobs. This type of success story does not happen overnight. It requires great people as part of a team working to make Quonset the success that it is. Katherine Trapani and Kevin Barry are two such people.
Katherine served as planning manager since 2009, while Kevin has been the director of finance since 2007. Kevin was originally hired as the facility controller in 1996. Both have been integral members of our team as the business park has prospered over the past 15 years.
Katherine marked her last day as planning director last week and Kevin will be retiring in August, so it is the perfect time to reflect on their commitment to Quonset’s success over the years.
Katherine is a native of Maine who earned a master’s degree in Community Planning at the University of Rhode Island. In addition to overseeing all aspects of development and planning for Quonset Business Park, Katherine’s responsibilities include real estate development and review, grant writing and grant administration management. Previously, Katherine served as supervisor of transportation at R.I. Statewide Planning, and prior to that she worked for the R.I. Port Authority during the Davisville “Seabee” base closure and federal property transfer in the 1990s.
Since her arrival in 2009, Katherine has left an indelible mark on the business park. During her tenure, the park has seen $757 million in private investment, an addition of 35 new companies, an increase of 2,639 jobs at the park, and she oversaw nearly 2.5 million s/f of new building construction. These numbers are not just impressive, they tell an economic success story unlike any other in Rhode Island. We are grateful to Katherine for helping to lead Quonset in that direction.
Kevin is a lifelong resident of Pawtucket, who received both his bachelors (Business Administration) and MBA (Accounting) from Bryant University. Kevin’s responsibilities are far reaching and diverse overseeing all financial functions of the Development Corporation. This includes the annual budget, annual audits, lease payments from tenants, PILOT payments to the Town of North Kingstown, Port fees and tariffs. Additionally, Kevin oversees all human resource functions, keeping our team up to date with benefits and building the team through hiring when needed.
In addition, Kevin’s oversight extends to the coordination, billing, and accounting of all utilities provided to the tenants and North Kingstown residents by the QDC, the management of the rail transportation fund between the QDC and Seaview Transportation, and the management of a joint capital fund which the QDC shares with the Town of North Kingstown.
Katherine and Kevin worked closely with our congressional delegation in 2010 to secure more than $22.5 million in federal TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant funding. Following the grant award, Katherine oversaw the implementation of the award, most notably planning for improvements to Pier 2, leading to an increase in car imports. The port’s mobile harbor crane was also purchased with TIGER grant funds, an invaluable tool for handling large cargo.
Throughout the grant’s implementation, Kevin ensured that all construction work met the necessary criteria, contractors stayed on budget, and grant funding was received in a timely manner.
Kevin is known by his colleagues as an approachable and passionate colleague who has worked tirelessly to support our growth. In fact, in 2014 he was named “Chief Financial Officer of the Year” for a state-quasi agency by the Providence Business News.
Through Kevin’s financial stewardship over the years, the QDC was able to meet the changing demands of the marketplace and launch a new office product, the Flex Industrial Campus. The first flex building, which was finished in mid-2018, accommodates three tenants with both office and flexible manufacturing or warehouse space at approximately 10,000 s/f per unit. They are each equipped with offices, restroom facilities, and high bay space for manufacturing, assembly or warehouse use, with ceilings up to 24 feet. Each building has full-service utilities and was designed to allow tenants to customize based on their own unique needs.
Success like Quonset’s doesn’t happen without great teammates. Both Katherine and Kevin filled that role for many, many years. On behalf of the entire Quonset Development Corp., we thank Katherine and Kevin for their diligent leadership at Quonset Business Park, a true service to the State of Rhode Island.
Steven King, PE, is the managing director of the Quonset Development Corp., North Kingstown, R.I.