Networking event brings people together for OneCranston


OneCranston, an initiative through CCAP to bring social cohesion to the city of Cranston as part of the Working Cities Challenge, hosted its first event Friday night, a three-hour business card networking gathering, held at the Artists’ Exchange. Food was served, provided by Big Cheese of Cranston, while residents, business owners, faith-based community leaders, state leaders, representatives from non-profit organizations, school programs and more, mixed and mingled, while also listening carefully to see if their business cards were pulled for the various donated raffle prizes available throughout the night.

Approximately 50 guests had the opportunity to stop at tables where they could meet and greet representatives from places such as Roger Williams University, Texas Roadhouse, Cranston Community Action Program (CCAP), Citizens Bank, Bain and Neighborhood Health.

Additionally, the opportunity to connect with and meet new people was plentiful. OneCranston Initiatives Director Ayana Crichton was on hand to help make connections, and CCAP President and Chief Executive Officer Joanne McGunagle was circulating as well. Other familiar faces included Working Cities Challenge Rhode Island Director Ines Palmarin, Chief of Staff, Rhode Island Department of State, Gonzalo Cuervo, President of Rhode Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Oscar Mejias, and Special Projects Manager, Office of Lieutenant Governor, State of Rhode Island, Rosa DeCastillo, and among others.

Those taking part in the event had the opportunity to help provide feedback to OneCranston as to what their needs might be as a resident and/or as a business in the city, writing their feedback on a large chart-paper pad, as well as to write about what they loved most about Cranston.

 “I think this event was a great starter to many more for Cranston,” said Crichton. “It was a wealth of knowledge, diverse people and businesses, and overall fun. I can’t wait for the next event because this one helped people meet and make real connections. Cranston has so much good to offer.”

Working Cities Challenge Rhode Island Director Ines Palmarin was pleased to see the turnout for OneCranston’s first event.

“I’m so proud of the work that Cranston is doing,” she said. “This great turnout is a sign of where things are going for Cranston.”

For more information about the OneCranston initiative, visit their newly launched Facebook page at


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