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  Tavares, Paul J.
NamePaul J. Tavares
, Rhode Island , United States
Born January 19, 1952 (68 years)
ContributorBarack O-blame-a
Last ModifedBarack O-blame-a
Jul 04, 2004 11:43pm
InfoRhode Island General Treasurer Paul J. Tavares

In 1998, Rhode Islanders elected Paul J. Tavares to serve as their general treasurer. The treasurer, employed in banking for 27 years, most recently as a vice president at Bank Rhode Island, brings to the office a thorough knowledge of the banking industry and a record of dedication to Rhode Island. His top priorities include providing Rhode Island families a smart and easy way to save for higher education through the state's CollegeBoundfund, modernizing the office's technology, providing victims with much-needed compensation, teaching our younger and older generations smart money management, reuniting unclaimed property with its rightful owners.

Priorities and Accomplishments

One of Paul's most notable accomplishments was ensuring our state had one of the best 529 college savings programs in the nation. Paul has been a strong and outspoken advocate, traveling around the state speaking to various groups about the importance of saving early for a child's higher education. As chair of the State Investment Commission, Paul was instrumental in ensuring Rhode Islanders had low fees, myriad investment options, competitive tax advantages and first class management of their program. He has also encouraged numerous Rhode Island businesses to offer the plan as a payroll deduction option, helping hundreds of employees easily save for college.

When Paul entered office, he made it a priority of his administration to revamp the state's Crime Victim Compensation Program that was failing to provide victims with much-needed compensation and to enhance the record-keeping and access practices of the Employees Retirement System of Rhode Island (ERSRI). By working tirelessly with state officials, law enforcement professionals and victim advocates, Paul turned the Crime Victim Compensation program around and ensured that RI victims receive the compensation they deserve. Paul is also leading the implementation of a state-of-the-art computer system in ERSRI. As a result, the staff will be better equipped to answer members' questions expeditiously and backup will be provided for all ERSRI records, which were once kept in paper files.

To help combat America's high debt/low savings rates, Paul developed educational programs on financial health targeting both our younger and older generations. The treasurer brings his "Money & Me" program to schools around the state to teach young children the ABCs of money management and his regionally focused "Saving & Investing Over 55" program provides financial tips on saving and investing for Rhode Islanders in or nearing retirement.

To work on his priorities on the national level, Paul serves as the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) president of the Northeast Region. He was also appointed by NAST to serve as chair of the Unclaimed Property Committee and as a member of the College Savings Plans Committee.

Experience and Background

Paul Tavares has an outstanding record of public service. He was first appointed to the East Providence School Committee in 1979 and later elected to the City Council, where he served from 1986-1992. In 1992, Paul was elected as a state senator from East Providence (D-42). During his tenure, he served as the first deputy majority leader, the vice-chairman of the Committee on Corporations and as a member of the Committee on Special Legislation. Paul also used his expertise in banking as a senator, serving on both the Rhode Island State Investment Commission (SIC) and the Rhode Island Public Finance Management Board (PMFB).

Paul has often been recognized for his dedicated community service. In June 2001, the Ambassador of Portugal Joao da Rocha Paris conferred upon Paul the honor of Comendador of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator. In 1997, he received the "John E. Fogarty Memorial Award" recognizing his efforts on behalf of Rhode Islanders with disabilities. Paul was also the recipient of the 1992 Shawmut National Corporation "Community-Minded Banker Award." Paul currently serves on the Catholic Diocese of Providence Finance Council, the Portuguese American Scholarship Foundation and is a trustee of the Portuguese Cultural Foundation. Paul was also a founder of the East Providence Children's Portuguese School.

Educated in the East Providence public school system, Paul graduated from East Providence High School in 1970. To further his studies, Paul has also taken additional courses at various area colleges.

Paul Tavares was born in Providence on January 19, 1952. He is the son of the late Anibal and Laurentina Tavares who migrated to the United States from the Azores, Portugal in the 1930s. Paul and his wife, Lee (Maciel) Tavares, are the parents of five children and reside in East Providence, Rhode Island.


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