REI: RENEW Energy Initiative

Our Members


RENEW Energy Initiative prides itself on the strength of the personal relationships that are built through this network. We work together and we bring strength from those relationships. This is a network composed of people who trust one another, both for integrity and competence. Each of us has a story to tell. The links below take you to brief written biographies which tells a little bit about his/her story and why he/she is engaged in this network.

Douglas Jobling Douglas Jobling: Founding Member

Doug Jobling is the Regional Director for the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center (RISBDC) in northern Rhode Island, working in partnership with the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce. He has served the northern Rhode Island area since 1998.Jobling was the original State Director of the RISBDC, launching the program in 1983. In addition to other degrees, Jobling received his MBA from Bryant University.

Miriam A. Ross Miriam A. Ross: Founding Member Member,

MIRIAM A. ROSS is an attorney, business mediator and community leader with extensive experience in industry, business law and ethics/compliance. Miriam started her own law firm to provide business-focused legal advice to small and medium-sized businesses, entrepreneurs and business owners. She serves as key legal advisor to a variety of for-profit and not-for-profit companies and organizations. Miriam also has a private mediation practice for impartial resolution of commercial and business disputes. Miriam is also an adjunct professor at Roger Williams University, School of Law. Prior to opening her private law practice, Miriam was in-house corporate counsel at Dayco Corporation, Textron Inc. and GTECH Corporation handling domestic and international business transactions and global business ethics and compliance matters.

Michael Woody Michael Woody: Founding Member

Michael M. Woody is President of International Marketing Advantages, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in marketing, international business, and mergers and acquisitions. He was formerly Executive VP of promoOrder, a technology service provider based in Austin, TX, and VP International Sales and Marketing for The Quill Co., Inc. Mr. Woody received his MBA from Providence College in 1983, and his Bachelor of Arts, Summa Cum Laude, from Providence in1977.

Diane Guillemette Diane Guillemette:


Diane Guillemette, currently a Chief Financial Officer of a manufacturing company, has extensive general management experience with in-depth, hands-on involvement in direct sales, sales management, marketing, CRM, cash flow management, finance strategy, IT/ERP systems implementation, HR management, workforce development grants and ISO 9001.

An adjunct faculty member at RIC and NEIT, Diane teaches Operations Management, Marketing and Supply Chain Management. She is a founding board member of Music Dolce and a RI Chamber Music board member, maintaining mailing databases and developing organizational strategies.

Diane holds a Master’s in Management with a concentration in Finance from Harvard. She was a Northeast Semifinalist in the CleanTech2010 Business Competition with Quixote Wind. Building CRM databases, pro-forma statements and strategic planning are her favorite business building activities.

Howard L. Weldon Howard L. Weldon:


Howard L. Weldon was the President of Winthrop Financial Solutions, LLC. for the last 23 years until he retired in May of 2014. He is now the Vice President of Development for OneFi Consultation & Development, a business consultation & development firm that paves the way for innovations attained through their experts in multi-diversified industries.

Winthrop Financial Solutions is a nationwide,full-service loan brokerage company, specializing in Alternative Energy Financing from$250,000 to $500 Million and conforming and non-conforming Commercial Real EstateFinancing.

Mr. Weldon is a graduate of the National Commercial Lending Graduate School of Banking at the University of Oklahoma where he received the designation of CCL,Certified Commercial Lender. He completed coursework at Williams College, Wharton School of Business, Duke University, advanced real estate at Harvard University and has been a guest lecturer at Carlson School of Business at the University of Minnesota.

Mr. Weldon served as President of Valley National Bank in Apple Valley, MN and as Vice President and COO of Fidelity Bank and Trust Co. in Burnsville, MN. He was also a Vice President with First Bank Edina in Edina, MN, where he headed various lending departments as well as being charged with Strategic Planning for the bank. He spent four years as a Commissioner on the Planning Commission for the City of Apple Valley, MN.

Mr. Weldon served in Branch Administration for Peoples Bank in Rhode Island for over ten years. Locations included Providence Main Office, Wayland Square, Barrington and Johnston.

Foster Knight Foster Knight:


Foster Knight is an environmental attorney and strategic environmental and energy management consultant. He has over 35 years of experience in the environmental field.  He specializes in corporate environmental, health, safety and energy management systems and sustainability programs in the U.S. and Latin America.  He is fluent in Spanish.  His management systems expertise includes ISO 14001 environmental and ISO 50001 energy management systems (EnMS), OHSAS 18001, ISO 22000 (food safety management) and the integration of quality management, cleaner production, pollution prevention and energy/water conservation measures in environmental management systems (EMS).   During the past 16 years, Mr. Knight has led or participated in environmental management systems training (including energy conservation improvement) and auditing over 250 small and medium businesses in the US as well as in Mexico, Peru and the Central American (CAFTA-DR) countries.

Jerry Schiano Jerry Schiano:

Gerald is the President and CEO of East Coast Biofuel LLC. They use mature off the shelf patented technology for taking trash out of the waste stream and creating 94 Octane Gasoline. Each off the shelf build handles 1000 tons per day of municipal waste and creates 19 million gallons of gasoline per year, all while harvesting renewable energy credits.

He is also the Director of Energy Scholars Inc. Which is a Rhode Island
Non Profit entity financing cutting edge educational products, and scholarships, with energy savings initiatives.

Rob Rollins:


Rob Rollins is Vice President of Sales and Operations for Aerostar Wind Turbines. Aerostar is a local manufacturer of turbines and towers and a proud participant in the renewable energy industry, offering wind systems that are “Made in the USA”. Aerostar is an established firm, with a long history in wind energy manufacturing and installation. The company is in expansion mode, experiencing a welcomed increase in business, due to the introduction of the Independence 32. The Independence is a state of the art wind system that is designed to produce clean affordable power for farms and small businesses. The company also has plans to develop larger wind turbine systems that will be suitable for municipal, commercial and community wind applications.

Mark Treat:


Mark is the Founder of Nalari Health, an online healthcare company focused on delivering improved health outcomes, quality of life and cost savings using innovative health IT technology (

Mark is also a professional at SCIENCE APPLICATIONS INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION (SAIC): having worked on a variety of programs related to renewable energy, cyber security, information technology and healthcare innovation solutions.

John E. Surrette John E. Surrette:


Mr. Surrette began his career in public accounting in 1999 and joined Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co., Ltd. in 2001. He provides consulting, auditing and accounting services to a variety of clients over many industries such as renewable energy, private equity, casino gaming, manufacturing, distribution, auto dealerships, and employee benefit plans. He has worked on numerous renewable energy projects, including feasibility analysis, cost certification studies and grant application assistance. John has spent a significant amount of time assisting clients in complying with the provisions of Sarbanes Oxley and assisting in the evaluation of internal controls and has also spent a significant amount of time working on fraud examination and forensic accounting engagements.

Richard Ferro Richard Ferro:


Richard Ferro is Principal and owner of RLF Management Services, specializing in government contract and export compliance advisory services and training. He retired from the U.S. Air Force as a Colonel and received the Veteran Small Business Advocate of the Year Award in 2012. His professional business experience includes leadership positions in Operations, Government Acquisition Programs, Contracts and Compliance, Export, and Internal Controls Management.

Richard Lallo Richard Lallo:


Richard Lallo Richard has served as Chair of the Training Committee and currently is working on the Marketing Committee. Employed with Colonial Printing, he has been in the commercial printing industry for 35 years.

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