CVS Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers

** We understand these are times of uncertainty due to COVID-19, however, please be assured we are closely monitoring and implementing the RI State Department of Health (DOH) Guidelines. The Program will be offered virtually with the exception of the month of October 2021 which will be in person should guidelines allow.**

Are you looking to take your business to the next level? Learn how to grow your business with training and mentoring provided in partnership with one of the nation's top companies, CVS Health.

This training series will provide you with a wide variety of skills in preparation for pitching and landing expanded retail distribution of your products and services, all based on the competences and practices of CVS Heath. You will also develop personal and professional relationships with other diverse suppliers and have the opportunity to create new partnerships. 

Business executives will gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities to flourish within their industry. We are requesting submissions from diverse suppliers who are looking for an opportunity to showcase their company and who wish to develop a relationship with a Fortune company.

This program is a combination of virtual and in-person sessions at our Providence RI campus along with flexible online training. Applicants have the opportunity to receive their tuition fully sponsored by CVS Health.

You will also have the opportunity to engage in Individualized Executive Coaching with one of your instructors on a business need that you identify. 

The curriculum of the CVS Health Executive Learning Series will address the following topics:

  • Budgeting, Capital, & Finance
  • Leadership, Management, & Business Innovation
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Best practices for RFPs

To learn more about past participants please click below:

Cyril Cohen - President - Cyril FoodsCyril Cohen
president, Cyril's Foods

Established in 1983, Cyril's Foods is a food company that supplies food products to major retailers, airlines, and food distributors nationwide. Cyril graduated from Florida International University with a  bachelor in Business Administration.  Cyril recently became an Alumni of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program.


Melanie J. Haga, president and CEO
Back Thru The Future Computer Recycling, Inc.

Haga founded BTTF was founded in 1990. Back Thru The Future Computer Recycling, Inc. provides secure and compliant IT Asset Disposal. Services include IT Asset auditing, removal, destruction, reporting and recycling. BTTF also provides plant-based shred destruction, mobile shred destruction, data center relocation, leased equipment sanitization & preparation for return shipment to a leasing company. ISO14001, R2 Certified and NJ DEP Licensed.

Lori M. HarringtonLori M. Harrington
president and COO, Capaccio Environmental Engineering, Inc.

As President and COO, Lori recently celebrated her 20-year anniversary at CAPACCIO.   With her unique skill set and drive to innovate, she has proven to be a strong asset to the company and the Environmental, Health & Safety (EH&S) industry itself. Lori’s technical background in information technology and systems have been instrumental in identifying and developing unique and customized tools for clients and the industry as a whole.

In her role, Lori is intricately involved with the day to day operations at CAPACCIO, which keeps her closely connected to employees, clients and the exciting solutions CAPACCIO offers the EH&S industry.  She has oversight of resource management and project execution across the company, with a focus of delivering impactful strategic solutions to clients across a variety of industrial sectors.   She is driven in cultivating a profitable culture that provides employees opportunities to do exciting work across the EH&S industry.

Lori holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematical Sciences from the University of California and enjoys attending concerts and spending time at the ocean with her husband and young children.


KateKate McAleer
owner, founder, Bixby & Co.

 Kate McAleer is an owner and founder of Bixby &   Co.,   an artisan confectionary producer located in the   historic   working waterfront of Rockland, Maine.  Bixby   & Co. was founded in 2011 to produce and sell unique   natural and   organic chocolate products.  Kate earned   her honors BA from New York University and holds   diplomas in pastry arts   and culinary management from   the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. The first Bixby products were   developed after experimentation and trial and error in the family kitchen and are currently sold across the country in over   a 3000 specialty and natural food stores.  Kate is the 2014 Gorham Savings Bank LaunchPad Winner, MaineBiz 2014   “Nexter” of the top 10 people impacting Maine’s economy, and the 2015 Small Business Administration’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Maine and 2016 Tory Burch Foundation Fellow and Tory Burch Foundation Grand pitch prize winner of $100,000.

In 2017 Kate and Bixby & Co. launched the first Bean to Bar chocolate production in the State of Maine, souring cacao directly from farmers and processing a complete chocolate product from the bean through to the end chocolate.

Mercedita Roxas Murray

Mercedita Roxas-Murray
founder, CEO, Montage Marketing Group, LLC

  Mercedita Roxas-Murray is founder and CEO of Montage Marketing Group, LLC a certified woman and minority owned marketing services agency focused on marketing outreach and engagement. With over 25 years in the marketing industry, Mercedita is a recognized leader in the integrated marketing space. Montage serves federal, state and commercial clients.

Montage was nominated as Minority Supplier of the Year in 2017, Top 100 Minority Business Enterprise in 2018 and was named 2018 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner. Mercedita is a member of USPAAC, WBENC, and CRMSDC where she sits on the Board of the Input Committee and the interim board of the Montgomery County Local Small Business Association.

Mercedita has a passion to provide minority business owners and women, an opportunity for entrepreneurship and she spearheads the initiative 50 in 50 to advance professional development, growth and capacity for success of 50 aspiring professionals. Through the 50 by 50 Project, Mercedita will host a series of physical and virtual meetups and offer one-to-one mentorship to those who seek it. 

image of Nish Parikh

Nish Parikh
co-founder, CEO, Rangam

Nish Parikh is the Co-founder and CEO of Rangam, a New Jersey- based company specializing in developing a range of innovative solutions for special needs education, vocational skills  training, and inclusive employment. He is also the founder and executive director of LetUsConnectTM, an employment research park designed to identify and implement sustainable self- and community employment practices for individuals with disabilities in Princeton, NJ. Nish serves on the external executive board of the Undergraduate Research and Innovation (URI) programs at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), and is a member of the Forbes Human Resources Council.

Jessica Pinette

Jessica M. Pinette
founder, president, Plantasia Design, Inc.

After attending Massachusetts  College of Art,  Jessica went to work for a Boston based Interior Plant Service Company designing and selling interior plants,  containers and holiday décor to Boston area businesses. When the Plant Service Company that Jessica worked for was purchased by a multi-national corporation out of Britain, Jessica  decided it was time to strike out on her own. Armed with a small family loan and one client, she  vowed to build a company that focused on design, impeccable  customer service and employee happiness. That was over 20 years ago and since then, Plantasia Design has grown their monthly client base to over 200 clients throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island and their team to over 16 employees.

Jessica is actively involved in the national plantscaping industry, enjoys supporting local nonprofit organizations and has built lasting partnerships in the design and property management community. For the last four years Plantasia Design lead by Jessica has been giving back to the Special Olympics RI through the POT-A-PLANT horticultural therapy program at the State Games and has also designed and installed countless event rentals for Adoption RI fundraisers. Jessica acts as one of the interior landscape liaisons for American Hort Association, bringing horticultural and sales training to the local interiorscape community. As an organization, Plantasia stays up to date on the latest trends through their involvement in the design community, industry specific continuing education and the National Interiorscape Network Membership which benchmarks similar national organizations and administers focused training

Eddy Rodriguez

Eddy Rodriguez
director of Finance, information systems, Penmar Industries, Inc.

Eddy Rodriguez is the Director of Finance and Information Systems at Penmar Industries, Inc., where he is responsible for all Merger and Acquisition activities. He is also charged with upgrading all information systems used by the company along with their related processes.

Eddy obtained his CPA while working in Audit at Deloitte & Touche and has used what he had learned at the firm to hold senior Internal Audit/Finance positions at large corporations including Sikorsky Aircraft, Homeserve USA and Amphenol Corp.

Eddy earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy at the University of Connecticut and his Master’s of Business Administration from the Kelley School of Business (Indiana University).  Eddy has held a number of board position for the non-profit organization Prospanica (formerly National Society of Hispanic NBA’s) and is currently an executive board member/Treasurer for Sterling House in Stratford, CT.

Eddy lives in Monroe, CT with his wife, two sons and two dogs and is an avid reader and outdoor griller.

Yvette Robinson

Yvette Robinson
president, co-owner, Robinson General Contractors, Inc.

Robinson established the company alongside husband, Kurt Robinson, in June of 2010. Yvette’s diverse construction background sprouted as a little girl helping her father on weekends and after school at the family business, Paisano Home Builders, a residential construction company. There she grew from helping clean up jobsites after school to the company’s marketing director and sales coordinator after graduation.

Yvette has extended Robinson General Contractors area of service beyond San Antonio with successfully completing several ground up and remodel projects in all areas of Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma market. She has also expanded Robinson General Contractor’s customer base to include several large retail companies as well as local, state and federal government departments. She has gained 6 certifications for Robinson General Contractors with SCTRCA including, Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Emerging Small Business Enterprise (ESBE), Hispanic American Business Enterprise (HABE), and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) as well as certified with the State of Texas as Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) and in May of 2016 she obtained SBA 8(a) Certification.

Yvette is constantly working to further the growth that she has started at Robinson General Contractors all the while she devotedly works with the community. She is a proud Executive Board member of the Hispanic Contractors Association de San Antonio, Volunteer for The San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo BBQ Cookoff, member and past Embajadora of the 2015 year for the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, ABLDP Class of 2016, Leadership San Antonio Class 43 (LSA300) as well as donating to the DePelchin Children's Center.

Elizabeth Shanley

Elizabeth Shanley
impact advisor, The Fehlig Group

Elizabeth Shanley is an impact advisor at The Fehlig Group. She grew up watching her mother (the Founder and President of The Fehlig Group) help organizations combine their good works with good business strategy.

Elizabeth joined The Fehlig Group after spending most of her career in the hospitality industry. She identified the same problem at seven of the hotels she had worked for: the corporate level was doing a lot of “good” for the environment and for their community, but it wasn’t getting communicated to the hotel employees. Now Elizabeth helps companies communicate their social impact and sustainability initiatives throughout their organization to give everyone a chance to share in these experiences. Elizabeth is skilled at taking the ideas and values of leadership and helping engage the rest of the company. Her mission is to help organizations tackle the tight labor market by focusing on what their employees want more of: purpose and pride.

Elizabeth moved from the DC area to Rhode Island in 2014 and now lives in Providence with her husband and two children Whitman (3) and Larkin (1).

Christine Walsh - President & CEO - Alpha Graphics, Inc.

Christine Walsh
president, CEO, Alpha Graphics, Inc.

I have owned Alpha Graphics (not affiliated with the franchise) for 12 years and have grown the company from low six figures to 1.1M and counting. Alpha Graphics is a custom printing, design, and graphics boutique located in Baltimore, Maryland. We work on large state government projects as well as Federal contracts. We work with local, national and international businesses creating not only digitally printed products but our own version of color transfers that are used as product mockups and have been included in the production on the sets of House of Cards, 13 Reasons, Castle Rock and more. I am also the founder of Baltimore Cake & Whiskey, a curated women's networking group since 2014. Cake & Whiskey is attended by over 250 women each quarter. I am a huge advocate for local women in business and currently mentor 2-3 women a quarter. I advocate for the local artistic community and have sponsored over 10 events for local makers and artists. 

In 2011, I completed the E200 program sponsored by the Small Business Administration. The e200 Initiative is an intensive executive – level training initiative for high potential small business owners in Baltimore City and Baltimore County as well as the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business program in 2018. Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a program for small businesses that links learning to action. Through the program, participants gain practical skills in topics such as negotiation, marketing, and employee management that can immediately be put into action.

I am married with 2 children and 4 step children and live in Baltimore, Maryland.

April Pollock

April Pollock
president, co-founder, C-3 Group

C-3 Group IS an advertising and marketing firm in the Oregon District. April is also co-founder of Tempagenix, LLC. Both are WBENC certified woman-owned businesses. A creative problem solver and strategic thinker, April graduated with a BS in Marketing and has over 17 years of extensive experience in interactive marketing, including brand development, thought leadership, web design, SEM, strategy and more. She is a member of the local organizing committee for the First Four NCAA Basketball Tournament in Dayton and her passion lies in working with women-owned businesses and non-profit organizations.  

Tempagenix, LLC was founded in 2016 by partners Shelly Heller and April Pollock. The co-founders began discussing an issue about promoting an inventory of thermometers that had previously only been sold wholesale to hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. They saw an opportunity to market directly to consumers and furthered that by identifying a need for a more eco-friendly solution than the disposable thermometers currently available on the market. With the support and encouragement of our WBENC contacts, Shelly and April took a chance on launching the new start-up now have national distribution through Target and