2nd senior executive leaves RI Commerce Corp.

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – One of R.I. Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor’s top deputies is leaving the agency after only about six months on the job, Eyewitness News has confirmed.

Deputy Secretary Thomas Callahan told Pryor earlier this month that he’d decided to leave his six-figure job at the quasi-public R.I. Commerce Corporation “for personal reasons,” spokesman Matt Sheaff confirmed Tuesday.

Callahan, a University of Rhode Island graduate who previously worked at the University of Connecticut, was hired in June. His last day is Friday. “We wish him very well,” Sheaff said.

Commerce plans to replace Callahan as deputy secretary and has begun a search for his successor, Sheaff said.

Callhan’s departure follows the exit of another top Commerce executive, Marcel Valois, who left the agency in September. Valois had led Commerce during the latter part of former Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s term but was shifted to a senior advisor role by Gov. Gina Raimondo when she tapped Pryor as commerce secretary.

Valois is now executive director of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Rhode Island (ACEC-RI), a professional association formerly known as the Rhode Island Consulting Engineers.

Asked whether any other top agency officials are leaving, Sheaff said that “no additional changes in the Commerce team are taking place at this time.”

“We are proud of our evolving Commerce team and our potent economic development program which, under our governor’s leadership, is generating momentum and producing wins for Rhode Islanders,” he added.Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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