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Feroce, Rafaelian to Receive Honorary Doctorates From Univ. of Rhode Island

Apr 24, 2013 2:25 PM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... The University of Rhode Island will recognize five distinguished citizens, including jewelry retailer Alex and Ani's top executives, at its 127th commencement exercises on May 18 and 19, 2013. The university will confer honorary doctorate degrees upon Alex and Ani's founder, Carolyn Rafaelian, and CEO, Giovanni Feroce.
Additionally, Feroce, who graduated from the University of Rhode Island in the class 1991 with a bachelor's degree in political science,  will address the graduating class. Rafealian is expected to share a few words with the graduates as wellalex ani

As Alex and Ani's CEO, Feroce (pictured) is known for his entrepreneurial style and innovative leadership, the campus noted. A retired, highly honored U.S. Army Major who served two tours in Iraq and as an operations officer at U.S. Central Command, Feroce also has had more than 20 years of experience in the retail and consumer products industries. Before taking the helm at Alex and Ani in 2010, he was the chairman and CEO of Retail Eyewear Inc., and the developer of software for use by eye care professionals and suppliers.

Feroce has also led national efforts to  reinvigorate U.S. manufacturing, using Alex and Ani as the model of success. Following his graduation from the university,  Feroce served as one of the nation's youngest state senators. He later attended The United States John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School; the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, advanced management program, and other academic institutions and leadership programs. The University of Rhode Island will award him with the Doctorate of Business, Honoris Causa.

alex aniRafaelian (pictured left) is the founder and creative director of  Alex and Ani and is described as an innovative designer and trendsetter. She studied at the university for two years before transferring to  American College in London. She launched Alex and Ani in 2004, developed patented signature bangles, rings and necklaces and opened her first store in Newport in 2010. In recognition of her entrepreneurial spirit, vision and commitment to sharing her creative energy with the people of Rhode Island, the university will award her the Doctorate of Business, Honoris Causa.

Other honorary doctorate degrees will be conferred upon Mary Kennard, the vice president and general counsel of American University;  Robert A. DiMuccio, the chairman, president and CEO of Amica Mutual Insurance Company, and Franklin Wallace Simon, the president of The Simon Companies.

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Tags: alex and ani, Jeff Miller, recognition, university of rhode island
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