R.I. group hands out Boater of the Year award

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Paul Harden, executive director of America's Cup Rhode Island 2012 and a staff member of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp., was named Rhode Island Boater of the Year by the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association at the recent Providence Boat Show.

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Harden received the group’s John H. Chafee Award, which is named after the former Rhode Island governor and senator for his work on behalf of the marine industry when he was in office.

“[Harden] has been a steadfast supporter of the marine industry in our state — as an economic force and job creator — and now is the public face of the state in shaping and executing America’s Cup RI 2012. No one could better represent what the marine industry in Rhode Island is all about,” RIMTA president Andy Tyska, of Bristol Marine, said in a statement.

Harden, a Newport resident and lifelong boater, has more than 18 years at the economic development agency, where he has developed work force training programs and marketing efforts for the marine industry and supported real estate site development for the marine trades.

Harden serves on RIMTA’s Education and Training Committee, is chairman of the Strategic Development Committee of the Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island, is a member of the International Yacht Restoration School’s program advisory committee, and serves on the board of the Rhode Island Manufacturing Extension Service.

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