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Pay Equity Update & Panel Discussion

  • 16 Jun 2022
  • 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
  • Parsons Lecture Hall, NEIT One New England Tech Boulevard East Greenwich, RI


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Pay Equity Update & Panel Discussion
June 16th, 8:30-10:30am


Back in person!! at New England Tech,* Parsons Lecture Hall
One New England Tech Boulevard, East Greenwich, RI
*A zoom link will be provided for guests who prefer to attend virtually

    • Breakfast and networking from 8:30 am – 9:00 am
    • Panel discussion from 9:00 am – 10:30 am

    On Thursday, June 16th, Rhode Island SHRM’s Legislative Affairs Committee will be hosting a panel discussion on Rhode Island’s new pay equity law (effective January 1, 2023).  Our distinguished panel of subject matter experts will share their insight and perspective on the new law as representatives of the business, legal, and non-profit communities and Rhode Island state government.  Our wide-ranging panel discussion will focus on the following topics:

    1. The current state of pay inequality in Rhode Island
    2. How to balance pay equity with performance
    3. The effect of internal equity on external competitiveness and the “war for talent”
    4. Creating an organizational culture that values equity and transparency around employee compensation
    5. The multi-state employer perspective, including challenges and best practices for multi-state pay equity compliance
    6. Tips for employers and employees negotiating compensation under the new law
    7. Tools and resources for employers to conduct proactive pay audits
    8. The important role of attorney-client privilege in identifying and addressing pay equity issues
    9. The Rhode Island Department of Labor & Training’s regulations implementing the new law


    Kelly Nevins, Chief Executive Officer - Women’s Fund of Rhode Island
    Alex Cocolla, Assistant Director of Compensation – Amica Insurance
    Gregory Tumolo, Esq., Partner – Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP
    John Willumsen, Assistant Director, Policy & Governance – Rhode Island DLT
    Beverly Wiley, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Warwick

    Submitted for HRCI and SHRM CE credits


    Kelly Nevins has been a leader in the RI nonprofit sector since 1990, with expertise in strategic development, motivating teams and individuals, workplace equity and community relations tools, program development and public speaking. She holds a Master's degree in Education, as well as in Leadership. 

    The CEO of Women's Fund of Rhode Island since 2016, Nevins often speaks about the status of women and girls, why investing in women pays off, and using a gender lens to create systems change. She has presented at the WomenFunded International Conference, the Bryant University Women’s Summit, Lifting the Voices of Women in Science & Medicine Conference and frequently is featured on local programming and as a speaker to local community groups. She was honored in 2020 as Social Sector Industry Leader by Providence Business News and received the Secretary of State’s Medallion Award. In 2021, she was named as a fellow of Women Leaders of the World and the RI Nonprofit Innovation Lab.

    Nevins serves on the Providence Mayor’s Equal Pay Task Force. She is the Vice Chair for the RI Coalition for Reproductive Freedom, and serves on the boards of the United Way of Rhode Island’s Community Advisory Board, Grant Makers Council of RI, and Women’s Funding Network. She is also an active member of the Providence Chapter of the NAACP.

    Alex Cocolla is the Assistant Director of Compensation at Amica Mutual Insurance company, based in Lincoln, RI. Alex is responsible for the day-to-day oversight and management of the Compensation function at Amica. Amica has approximately 3,400 employees across the U.S. Alex has been with Amica for 13 years has worked in various capacities across the organization. He began his career in the Claims Department where he spent five years of his career. He’s completed rotations in the Talent Development department as well as a role in Employee Relations, introducing him to his current role in Human Resources he assumed six years ago.

    Alex holds a B.S. in Business and Technology from the University of Connecticut and has his Certified Compensation Professional designation from World at Work. Alex is originally from central Connecticut but now resides in Cranston, RI with his wife.

    Beverly Wiley was born and grew up in Warwick, Rhode Island the youngest of six, in a family whose roots go back over 100 years in that city.   One of the few African American families in the city, they all attended the local public schools, graduated from the local high schools and went on to higher education at URI.  

    From playing when few sports were offered to women and girls to becoming a trailblazer for gender equity, she has opened many doors to provide opportunities for girls and women in sports through her involvement in the Women’s Sports Foundation, YWCA, the RI Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, and USA Softball.  A former player, coach and umpire, Wiley was selected Commissioner of USA Softball Rhode Island – the state affiliation of softball’s national governing body – in 1992, becoming one of only 10 women commissioners in the organization out of 99 associations nationwide serving in a leadership role in what was then, a “male-dominated” sport. 

    Softball was strong in the women’s sports arena at the collegiate level and national and international level, yet females were not represented in the leadership positions

    Thirty years later, Bev is the USA Softball’s Northeast Region Vice President with one of 19 seats on the National Board of Directors.  As a member of National Women’s Team Selection Committee, she played a significant role in the selection of the USA Softball’s 2020 Women’s National Team that won the Silver Medal at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo this past summer and she was recently elected as the chair of the Selection Committee for the 2021-2024 term.

    Her diversity and equity efforts go beyond the world of sports as she has been and is still involved in many community organizations.  She has served and chaired  the Boards  of School One, Marathon House, the YWCA and currently serves as Chair of the Board of the Women’s Fund of RI, whose mission is ‘To invest in women and girls through research, advocacy, grant-making and strategic partnerships designed to achieve gender equity through systemic change’ Her other board involvement includes the CCRI Foundation, the Rhode Island Sports Commission, USA Softball Hall of Fame Committee, and Chair of the USA Softball Boys and Men’s Fast Pitch Committee   

    Bev is a graduate of Leadership Rhode Island, The Women’s Coaches Academy, The Women Leaders in College Sports Institute for Administrative Advancement and is a certified Kingian Non-Violence Trainer

    She has been the recipient of many awards including being recognized as one of the 2019 YWCA Woman of Achievement, and in 2013 the Words Unlimited Amby Smith Memorial Award.   She was inducted in the New Agenda Northeast Women’s Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Rhode Island Slow Pitch Softball Hall of Fame in 2018.

    She is currently the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Warwick, with previous positions as Compliance Officer and Softball Coach at CCRI, and  Program Specialist – NCCJ of RI, 

    Gregory Tumolo, Esq. – Partner, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP

    Gregory Tumolo, Esq. is a Partner with the Providence office of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP, one of the nation’s largest law firms.  He serves as a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment and Employment Advice & Counseling practice groups.

    Gregory has substantial experience providing employers with the creative and cost-effective compliance solutions that they need to grow their businesses and effectively manage risk.  He drafts, reviews, and disseminates the documents that they need to recruit and retain a diverse and talented workforce; build a workplace free of unlawful discrimination and harassment; and comply with their obligations under local, state, and federal law. He regularly assists clients with issues arising under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and state anti-discrimination and wage and hour laws.  He also provides education and training to executives, managers, and HR professionals on a wide variety of employment law topics. 

    In his volunteer role as Director of Legislative Affairs for RI SHRM, Gregory played an instrumental role in passage of Rhode Island’s new pay equity bill.  Through his sustained advocacy, the final version of the pay equity bill includes key provisions designed to protect employers and HR professionals acting in good faith, including the safe harbor provision to incentivize employers to conduct good faith fair pay analyses.


    Keep the conversation going, join us at our upcoming programs.


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