The life of a U.S. immigrant usually comes with many struggles, trials, and tribulations. Sometimes these struggles turn into great American success stories. That is what businessman and 2018 Gubernatorial candidate Giovanni Feroce just so happens to be.
Feroce is a lifelong member of the Republican Party and will be running against Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and Minority leader of the House of Representatives Patricia Morgan in the 2018 Republican primary.
Feroce grew up in West Warwick, where he explains his childhood as an immigrant, “My life consisted of a traditional Italian family, like right off the boat. We did everything old school Italians did. All the Italians knew each other, we would spend hours and hours together.”
He continued by talking about his and his mother’s jobs growing up. “My mother worked at Royal Mills, and she literally sewed Christmas stockings. I would go there after school and wait for hours for her to finish work. When I was 12 I used to fill up my paper bag, sling one on each side and go door to door and deliver papers all down Providence Street.”
Feroce has taken this hardworking approach with him throughout his notably successful business career and wants to bring this approach with him to 82 Smith Street.
“Your opportunity is to hire the most recent success story which is myself, having been the CEO of Alex and Ani taking it from 23 employees to 1,200. Creating almost 4,000 jobs in the state, creating a business that was doing a few million dollars and taking it to upwards of 250 million dollars and over a billion-dollar evaluation.”
Feroce has innovative ideas that he believes can turn Rhode Island’s economy into a world leader like Alex and Ani has become in the jewelry industry. One of these ideas being blockchain technology.
The former CEO defined blockchain technology by saying, “It’s going to take over the internet. What the blockchain does is it takes information, but it puts it on a distributed ledger, so that information now sits on more than one computer and it’s distributed. Therefore it’s more trustworthy, because to make a change you would have to make that change on all computers.”
Feroce continued, “A simple example will be your license. On the blockchain, it will generate a new code for you every time. The blockchain will produce that unique verifier. It verifies that it is you, and then it disappears. Next time we need it again, it will bring it back up with another code and another identifier.”
Rhode Island is known for being way behind the curve with most things when measured on par with the rest of the country. Feroce wants to make Rhode Island the innovators of this new technology starting with the collegiate generation.
“As governor I can focus everyone on the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, CCRI, but we want the other 8 private schools in the state to really plug in and become the hotbed for the new blockchain economy. You can go to all of the schools that are out there, and everyone is lined up, and get a blockchain education either in the computer science area or the management area, marketing, etc.”
Feroce is always thinking about how we can bring new money into the state, and he sees this as an amazing opportunity for Rhode Island to grow.
“We create a welcoming business climate, meaning that we have businesses incorporate here on the blockchain. I want homegrown companies that are fed by the students we educate and [want to] see massive success by first using Rhode Island and its infrastructure as models for what they can do, and then go around the world and become huge companies. It will literally change Rhode Island forever and that’s going to be a great, great thing.”
As an Army veteran, Feroce often talks about his leadership skills he has gained throughout his life and how he plans to apply them to the Gubernatorial office.
“I was the leader of my family at 7 years old. A lot of that had to do with the fact that my parents didn’t speak English, but they looked at me for guidance, I was born with it.
His military career also added to this leadership and he believes it will carry over into a Feroce led Rhode Island, “Having been put into war situations, in combat zones in Iraq, listen it’s not pleasant to have dead bodies around you but these are real things. There are thing that have the same responsibility and potentially the same consequences. Even though literally no one is going to die.”
The former state Senator believes his Gubernatorial opponents do not have anywhere near the same leadership skills as him.
“They have not been put in certain decision making positions, I don’t know of anything in their backgrounds that meant something shuts down or reopens or does whatever if they’re not doing what they need to do.”
He continued to talk about his fellow candidate’s political pasts, “Gina [Raimondo] has never really made a big decision, and when she did they’ve been wrong. When it came to the General Treasurer position, at the end of the day, she stole people’s money. It’s the greatest theft in RI history. As [for the] minority leader [Patricia Morgan], I don’t know of any accomplishment that has been something discussed. I know she has not managed the office well.
Feroce also spoke about Allan Fung. “You get elected to the mayoral position, but there will be a mayor for a period of time. After him there will be another mayor, and another mayor in Cranston and so on.”
Feroce has calculated a new budget he will use if he becomes Governor, “My initial calculations have the budget more at 7.3 billion [compared to the current 9.8-billion-dollar budget]. We really need to operate effectively as a state. A lot of the other stuff is fluff, a lot of it is optional things. I have a vision for a new RI, the bottom line is we need to have a complete reconstruct of the state. Opportunities are going to be created by a visionary that can see our potential.”
Ferocee believes that Patricia Morgan is not capable of what he can do.
“She’s literally way out there. She just doesn’t understand because she has no experience. She has no clue what she’s talking about. I’m building multi-million dollar and multi-billion dollar companies on a daily basis. She has no concept on what she’s talking about.”
He finished the interview with one last declaration for the voters of Rhode Island.
“When you look at all the candidates for governor, which one of these guys are going to build a new Rhode Island? That is what you have to answer. I want you to select me. I think I have everything that indicates I will do that both from training, the things I have done in life, and the platforms I’m running on. But if you vote on the biggest gimmick or the best negative ad, that’s not me going to be me. I’m not going to win that one."
The Wharton School of Business graduate added, “I think I can make Rhode Island the next generation of Silicon Valley, right here in Rhode Island I am running because I have a vision, and I believe that everyone should be on 1 of 3 paths, either a path of education, a path of employment or a path of retirement, and they have to be in a position so that you are prosperous.”
Giovanni Feroce is confident in his chances and his ability if he is to win the Republican Gubernatorial primary to make Rhode Island change forever.
Twitter, Instagram, Facebook: @Giovanniferoce
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