REI: RENEW Energy Initiative

John Cronin

In 2012, John became the Chief Operating Officer of Global Transformation Strategies. 

"I have teamed-up again with Paul Cary, CEO of Global Transformation Strategies (GTS). Back at RIMES, we worked together as transformation agents, project managers and business coaches for over 100 companies. Paul has earned national notoriety as a “Lean Sensei” and transformation facilitator. My strengths as an executive coach, strategist, and leadership developer will support our vision of a GTS populated by a staff of world class mentors, teachers, and coaches capable of totally transforming organizations from the top down and bottom up. We enable businesses and organizations to thrive in challenging environments, through the implementation mentoring, teaching, and coaching of TPS/Lean systems, methodologies, and philosophies. As we facilitate continuous improvement on the shop floor, we also facilitate development of Strategy Deployment and servant leadership at the CEO/President and Sr. Management levels."

Leadership and Management

  • Experienced leadership of six 501c-3 corporations, a 501c-6 business association and a for profit corporation.
  • Transformed RIMES from federal probationary status to world-class recognition in high performance.
  • Aligned RI with 5 New England states and elected Consortium President to procure $12M of federal investments.
  • Launched venture from idea, to plan, to patent approval, to capital development and to sustained profitable growth.
  • Grew training board from start-up with $100K to industry leader within 3 years generating $1.5M in annual revenue.
  • Negotiated successfully with Teamsters and UPS to secure first-time health care benefits for part-time workers.
  • Coached RI state championship soccer teams and captained NY metropolitan area championship football team.
  • Created development partnerships to raise over $30M in support of local economic development activities.

Economic Development Key Result Areas

  • Executed 603 contracts generating over $4M in client fees and over $6M in grant revenue over 8 year operation.
  • RIMES clients consistently report the highest customer satisfaction rate in New England.
  • Annual impacts reported by 3rd party survey include $34M sales, $3M cost savings, $23M investments and 644 jobs.
  • Generated $12M in new defense business awards to RI clients.  Captured 73% of New England sales impacts.
  • Enabled region to double its business participation in state’s Competitiveness Improvement Initiative.
  • Served 58 companies and 245 workers reporting 98% satisfaction in various skill upgrade training programs.
  • Revitalized machine trades connecting 21 firms & 60 workers to 10 trainers. Tripled participation within 2 years.
  • Co-created RI Higher Education Workforce Development Council linking business & industry with 11 universities.
  • Managed career transition center for 168 dislocated professionals attaining 88% job placement success.
  • Facilitated entrepreneurial training programs improving 21 existing businesses and start-up of 80 businesses.
  • Innovated effective training programs including:  CEO Upgrade, CAD/CAM, Selling to QVC, Aquaponics, Public Benefit Aquaculture, ISO, Mfg Industry Partnership, Fiberglass Fabrication, Hospitality, Supplier-Mentor, Lean Manufacturing, Lean Office, Making $ense of Defense, SBIR, Workplace Skills and Grassroots Leadership.

Community Planning and Development Key Result Areas

  • Protected municipal water supplies through completion of EPA Sole Source Aquifer Petition, the NK Watershed Protection Plan, the Aquidneck Island Watershed Protection Plan, and creation of a volunteer monitoring program.
  • Wrote municipal recreation, conservation and open space plan and followed through with procurement of $2.84M in state grants to preserve open space and to develop the North Kingstown parks system.

Organizational Development Key Result Areas

RIMES: Transformed fledgling technical assistance provider to thriving enterprise-wide service supported by loyal clientele of over 600 manufacturers and the sustained alliance of federal, regional, state and local funding partners.

Greater RI RETB, Inc. : Organized 15 industry training consortia, facilitated over 105 business training programs, administered 3 regional school-to-career partnerships and planned the development of a one-stop career center system known as NetWorkRI.   The organization’s excellent service to its 29 municipality region enabled it to become the focal point for public/private partnership development in Rhode Island.

Economic Innovation Center :   Built Aquidneck Island, Newport County land use planning and economic development infrastructure enabling 3 communities to manage growth and coordinate economic development.  Managed international technology transfer operation, entrepreneurial training program, career transition center, and business opportunities network.

Employment History



Global Transformation Strategies, LLC


  • STATE DIRECTOR   (2006-2011)

RI Small Business Development Center @ Johnson & Wales University



RI Manufacturing Extension Services (RIMES), Davisville, RI


  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR  (1994-1998)

Greater RI Regional Employment & Training Board (RETB), Quonset, RI



Economic Innovation Center, Middletown, RI


  • PRESIDENT   (1992-1994)

RGP, Inc., Bristol, RI


  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR     (1989-1990)

Aquidneck Foundation, Middletown, RI



Newport County Chamber of Commerce, Middletown, RI


  • PRINCIPAL PLANNER     (1987-1989)

Town of North Kingstown, North Kingstown, RI


  • TRUCK LOADER / UNION STEWARD    (1974-1987)

United Parcel Service, Warwick, RI


  • Masters of Community Planning, 1981, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
  • B.A. Economics, 1976, Brown University, Providence, RI

Community Service

  • Director, Progresso Latino, 2009 – present
  • Director, South Eastern Economic Development (SEED) Corporation
  • Director, Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership, 2006 – 2008
  • Director, Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance (SENEDIA), 2002 – Present
  • Director, Literacy Volunteers of America, Rhode Island and South County, 1999 – 2002
  • Director, North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce, 1996 – 1997
  • Mentor, North Kingstown Business Education Partnership, RI Children’s Crusade, 1995 – 2001
  • Vice-Chairman, Greater Rhode Island Private Industry Council, 1991 – 1994
  • Commissioner, Town of North Kingstown Planning Commission, 1990 – 1993
  • Coach, East Greenwich HS, 1985-1987; NK Soccer, 1978-1988; NK Basketball, 1988 - 2006