EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — In advance of International Women’s Month, Nexstar Media is honoring the Remarkable Women in our lives and their contributions to the community.
People across the country submitted nominations and out of the dozens of local nominees, four finalists have been chosen.
Remarkable Women: Full list of local nominees »
Our fourth finalist is Gail Alofsin, who wears a lot of hats including businesswoman, author, educator, mentor, volunteer, humanitarian, and role model, according to those who nominated her. Here’s what they had to say:
“Gail Alofsin is a high-level executive, an author, a university professor, a local community volunteer and an international volunteer. I cannot think of a woman with more remarkable, personally or professionally, that I could nominate for this award.
“Professionally, Gail is at the top of her career in marketing and sales at one of the fastest-growing companies in New England, working with C-level executives negotiating large marketing and branding contracts for internationally-attended events. She has one of the most expansive professional networks of anyone I know and is quick to help others develop in the same way. She is an unselfish and effective professional with a sterling reputation as someone who is both great to work with and great at what she does.
“As the author of “Your Someday is Now,” she’s created a timeless book of positive energy and thought for others of all ages that has stood the test of time and gives the reader a sense of the connections Gail has made over her life and career and how much she has learned from those interactions, as others should try to do.
“Gail is also a professor at the University of Rhode Island and Salve Regina University, helping the next generation transition from the academic world to the professional world, with some of the most forward-thinking and impactful class structures and thoughtful course content available anywhere. Students leave her class challenged, excited, inspired and confident they can go out and make their mark in the world, which is so important to these your professionals starting their careers.
“Gail also fights against hunger and for basic needs locally as a volunteer and board member for The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Newport. She also takes that fight abroad, participating in annual aid trips to Haiti fighting hunger helping with basic needs and elsewhere around the world. I cannot think of a woman with more professional success, personal achievements, who is making more impact on the next generation while fighting for a better life for others in the U.S. and abroad than Gail Alofsin, whom I proudly nominate!”
“Gail Alofsin is a known businesswoman, educator and humanitarian who has been a developer of strategic enterprises at the Newport Harbor Corporation for nearly 30 years. Teaming with Fortune 500 companies, Ms. Alofsin advances win/win strategies between major corporations while organizations such as Children’s Miracle Network, Boys and Girls Clubs and others receive the benefit. While viewing large business through a philanthropic lens, aspects of marketing, product development and growth techniques are explored.
“Through her personal, professional and unique self-brand, Gail Alofsin cultivates partnerships and develops loyalty, while she enlightens and enriches the lives of those of whom she associates. Her unique skills blend corporate and communal economics with sustainable tactics which aid health, wellness and the diversity of a destination.
“Ms. Alofsin is sought after as an author, public speaker and corporate consultant; she has served as an advisor, board member, and on countless committees throughout Newport, Rhode Island. Gail Alofsin is often hired as a speaker by large-scale companies (such as Marriott International) to conduct motivational seminars, customer advisory symposia, sales and operational trainings.
“As a businesswoman and speaker, she has guided seasoned teams through managing severe change and has helped high-end clients improve their time and organizational skills. As an adjunct professor (for University of Rhode Island) she has served as a mentor, developer, and shaper of careers for more than twenty years. Ms. Alofsin has been a Haitian Health Foundation volunteer since the age of 19.
“Through Gail Alofsin’s teachings her students, clients, friends and family are motivated and inspired to succeed; many will “pay it forward” as her inspirations are contagious. By merging practical business with civic development this “most remarkable woman” ensures that our world is a better place!”
“I first met Gail Alofsin in 1998 when I hired her to teach public relations at URI. During the intervening years, I have seen her give tirelessly and selflessly, both in and out of the classroom, inspiring young people to achieve goals far beyond their highest expectations. Aside from the material she teaches, Gail teaches by example, helping even the most challenged young person how to navigate life, not simply studies.
“As a person who, as my late mother used to say, “gives and gives and gives,” Gail’s most precious gift to students, colleagues, and clients is as a leader, a role model, an example for young women, especially, to follow, both in business and in life.
“Her optimistic spirit, faith in others, and passion for every endeavor she undertakes are both inspiring and motivating. Her philanthropic work has ties to so many Rhode Island charitable causes — the Martin Luther King Center and the Boys Club, among them — but also reaches internationally to the Haiti Foundation she formed with her family, and to which she doesn’t only contribute funds. Gail travels to that poor nation at least once, often twice, a year to assist in the dental and medical caregiving which is the hallmark of her foundation.
“Gail is a person who keeps little for herself, spreading the resources she is blessed to have among friends, colleagues, anyone who needs her or is in need. She is a true life-changer, someone who starts every day before dawn with one goal in mind: to make someone else’s day brighter, more informed, and more connected to the people and the world around them. I have never known someone to give so much and expect so little in return. Her “reward” is in seeing others shine by their own light, not hers. She is extraordinary in every sense of the word.
“Many can teach; few can mentor. Gail mentors. The list of former URI students who she has guided and nurtured toward impressive careers in media, marketing, public relations, and event planning is nothing short of amazing. Interning with Gail at Newport Harbor Corporation was the start for scores of students who have gone to become leaders in their fields, presidents and CEOs of corporations. It’s well known that the connections Gail fosters for her interns are their key to ultimate success in the corporate world.
“With all she has achieved professionally, Gail, rightly, considers her greatest legacy to be that of being an outstanding mother, wife, sister, daughter, an extraordinary employee, a dedicated, dependable friend, and a passionate advocate and fundraiser for those less fortunate. She looks beyond herself to create a better world for those less fortunate.
“Gail Alofsin is truly a “remarkable woman” and, as such, is entirely deserving of an award bearing that title!”
“Gail Lowney Alofsin — a truly Remarkable Woman. When I saw this award promoted by Mel Robbins on WPRI-TV, Gail Alofsin, my friend and colleague for some 30-plus years, immediately came to mind. She is not one to brag about her many accomplishments such as all the local nonprofit charities she serves and/or served on the boards of: Newport Hospital Foundation, Newport Public Library, Dr. Martin Luther King Center, the Newport County Chamber of Commerce, Sovereign Bank Community Board, and the Leukemia Society of RI. She is active outside of Rhode Island, serving on the IFEA (International Festival and Events Association) Presidents Circle and speaking annually at several conferences on leadership, time management, corporate sponsorship and privilege of nonprofits tie-ins.
Growing up in the Lowney family, the eldest of five children, Gail was taught from a young age about giving back to those in need and it continues to be her mantra to this day. Her mother and father started the Haitian Health Foundation, a medical compound in Jeremiah, Haiti, some 30 years ago, and Gail has been part of the foundation from the beginning. Making yearly trips to the compound, raising funds and much-needed clothes, toothbrushes, underwear (that’s what I am responsible for contributing).
She started her career in Newport at the Newport Yachting Center and created and grew the Events Department to include the Taste of RI, Oktoberfest, Irish Fest, Concert Series, Skating Center, and many more events including the ESPN X-Games, Health Magazine Feel Great Festival, and Sports Illustrated 50th Anniversary. She will be the first to tell you that the secret to her success is the nonprofits she welcomed to each event, raising millions of dollars for so many charities over the many decades. I think I have painted you a picture of my remarkable friend, that I nominate for Most Remarkable Woman but in case you need more convincing, here you go:
R: Respected by so many near and far.
E: Energetic justice of the peace (really) mom, wife, daughter, aunt.
M: Motivational speaker locally and throughout the USA.
A: Author of “Your Someday is Now — What are YOU Waiting For?” raised over $42,000 for nonprofit organizations.
R: Radio talk show host monthly here in Newport, featuring local and regional guests.
K: Kind-hearted, the most genuinely grateful person I know.
A: Adjunct professor at the University of RI for over 20 years and Salve Regina for 5 years.
B: Best friend you could ever have. Always putting others first, no matter the situation.
L: Leader in every aspect of her life.
E: Extremely influential in the lives of others.”