Lisa Ranglin Named President & CEO of Rhode Island Black Business Association

Providence, RI – March 31, 2022 – The Rhode Island Black Business Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing business opportunities and vitality of Black-owned and minority businesses and professionals in RI, today announced that Lisa Ranglin has been named President and CEO of the organization effective immediately. Lisa founded the organization in 2011 and has served as the Interim Executive Director since January of 2021.

Lisa has over twenty years of experience in the banking industries at Citizen’s Bank and Bank of America where she led large complex multi-year, multi-million-dollar projects with emphasis on technology, regulatory compliance, process improvement and organizational change management initiative. Ranglin approaches leadership from through a solution-focused lens by creating and developing teams of staff and volunteers with passion, energy, and vision. She is an alumnus of Leadership Rhode Island, holds a master’s degree from Johnston & Wales University, and is a bachelor’s degree from New England Technical College.

“Lisa Ranglin is a tremendous asset to Rhode Island and to underserved communities in the region and beyond, said Robin Peterson Gibbs, RIBBA Board Member and Senior Regional Director of Office of International Advancement at Brown University. “She has a profound understanding of the positive impact economic development has on individuals, families and communities. Thanks to Lisa’s vision, leadership and determination, RIBBA has become a powerful vehicle for social change. During the pandemic, Lisa summoned a “call to action” that was answered by local leaders from government and business and has resulted in support that will position RIBBA to have a more significant footprint and even greater impact in the future. Congratulations to Lisa on her appointment as CEO of RIBBA!”

”In the mold of Shirley Chisholm, RIBBA President & CEO, Lisa Ranglin is a powerhouse of a leader,” said Casby Harrison, Board of Director member and litigation attorney at Harrison Law Associates. “Eloquent as a public speaker, fearless as an advocate for the underserved, Lisa is a prolific fundraiser and value added business consultant, collaborator and partner. If that’s not enough, add mentor to dozens of emerging leaders, savvy business woman and advisor to elected officials. Lisa Ranglin’s torch lights the path for so many to follow to a better place.”

In 2010, Lisa Ranglin mobilized community and local leaders to come together to look at issues affecting small businesses in underserved cities. This group, led by Lisa, conducted brainstorming sessions, and did a random sampling of both individuals and businesses to help determine the priorities for effectively fostering minority small business efforts. After a detailed analysis was completed, the group recommended that the Rhode Island Black Business Association (RIBBA) be established.

Since founding the organization, Lisa has spent much of her career helping business leaders, and small businesses improve performance and increase profitability. Having knowledge of the leadership gap, she works to ensure RIBBA becomes a model for what intentional work, paired with impactful, and persistent leadership can accomplish as we work towards greater social equity and economic advancement.

The Rhode Island Black Business Association (RIBBA) is a non-profit organization droppable-1648673443652dedicated to advancing the business opportunities and vitality of Black-owned and minority businesses in Rhode Island through access to capital, contracting, business development resources, entrepreneur training, business advocacy, meaningful investor services, and workforce development. Learn More, call 401-383-1179 or e-Mail:



Leading with Intention: It Starts from Within


by Stephanie Mireku: RIBBA Content Writer and Emerging Leader


The story of how the face and depth of leadership within Rhode Island is changing is far from just beginning but the pace just intensified. That is because of the work of a few key intentional organizations, a few determined business leaders, a few passionate emerging leaders, a woman on fire for economic and social transformation, and some transformative and impactful alignment through partnership. These elements comprise the powerhouse of people and organizations that made the first cohort of the Rhode Island Black Business Association (RIBBA) Emerging Leaders Development Program (ELDP), a program created by and for professionals of color with the intention of helping prepare and propel dedicated local emerging leaders for the next step in their vocational trajectories. I sat down for a candid conversation and reflection on the program with Lisa Ranglin, MS, PMP, CSSGB, the Founder and President of Rhode Island Black Business Association, upon the completion of this first cohort, and the conversation was just as energetic and vibrant as the program itself.   

The controversial and questionable sentiment that there are not enough leaders and emerging leaders of color positioned for growth in the state of Rhode Island has been crushed by the weight of achievement and drive demonstrated by the participants of the program’s inaugural cohort and the impact of their stories is amplified by data. According to the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Rhode Island as quoted by Ruth McCambridge for the Nonprofit Quarterly, as recently as 2020, “even though people of color make up 30 percent of the state’s (Rhode Island) population, only three percent of the chief executive officers of that state’s nonprofits are led by people of color, and only 10 percent of board members are of color”(Nonprofit Quarterly). Lisa Ranglin specifically addressed this issue when she spoke about the program and described what it means to her, sharing that the impact is in the output, which is 25 leaders of color who have all successfully emerged from the program inspired, prepared, confident and motivated to not only excel and take their space but also uplift others and pay it forward for future generations of leaders to come. 

The journey to this program for Lisa began in 2016 when she was blatantly overlooked for an opportunity that she was an ideal and well positioned candidate for. She flipped this negative experience into a launching pad for her own opportunity and as a platform to create space for other Black leaders and leaders of color by trailblazing the challenging yet critical path toward what is now the RIBBA Emerging Leaders Development Program. While she was declined funding, partnership, and support opportunities for this program, she persisted in pursuing her vision and ultimately sought and gained resounding key and foundational support from the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island for a proofing concept, a partnership from the University of Rhode Island, and funding from the Department of Labor and Training, among other enthusiastic partners and supporters. It is clear that this investment will go a long way in creating and sustaining opportunities for leaders of color. According to McKinsey and Company, organizations in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity on executive teams were 33% more likely to have industry leading profitability in 2017 (McKinsey & Company). Lisa spoke to the value and impact of creating these intentional opportunities for leaders of color like the inaugural ELDP cohort participants, which starts with increases in earning potential, access to sponsors and mentors, career mobility and translates into increased opportunity and access for families, organizations, and communities, which in turn improves the quality of life for everyone involved. When Black people, and in particular, Black women and girls are at the center of efforts to advance equity and opportunity, it in turn fuels progress for organizations and communities as a whole, Lisa shared. This is supported by research too: “Black women account for only 1.6 percent of vice presidents and 1.4 percent of C-suite executives, while white men hold 57 percent and 68 percent of those position (McKinsey & Company’s The State of Black Women in Corporate America 2020). When looking at what is referred to as the “invisibility” of Black women, Psychology Today stated that, “Because of their multiple subordinate-group identify, Black women live in the intersection between these two stereotyped groups, and as a result, often fall between the cracks. So not only do Black women have to overcome the disadvantage of being a member of two underrepresented groups, they also have to deal with another form of discrimination that is not shared by White women or Black men: Invisibility. This means their presence is more likely to go unnoticed and their voice ore likely unheard. To stand out and voice their opinions Black women have to work even harder than their fellow Black men or White women counterparts.” (Psychology Today). 

The most significant evidence of the efficacy and power of this program is in the outcomes: 100% graduation as well as several cases of promotions, salary increases, job offers, and access to executives, new professional relationships and opportunities, and key pathways to important decision making conversations. The participants of the program not only are doing well for themselves extrinsically but also intrinsically with meaningful new bonds with fellow participants and program partners and supporters, deeper understanding of personal growth opportunities, and a sense of accomplishment, empowerment, and excitement.  

Many are asking the question of what’s next for ELDP and RIBBA, and to that Lisa and Amanda Román share with excitement and vigor that the next round of applications for the leadership program will open in May 2022 for a program kickoff in October 2022, and those who are enthusiastic about supporting the work that RIBBA is doing can reach out to Amanda for details about how to get connected and involved, or sign up for the newsletter. Additionally, RIBBA would like to take this model of development on the road to organizations seeking similar opportunities that are serious about creating and expanding economic opportunity. What happens to the recently graduated cohort, is another important question, to which the answer is: in board rooms, at press conferences, running businesses, evaluating the best places to leverage their skills and talents, in leadership conversations and strategy sessions, changing the face of Rhode Island, and supporting and uplifting each other and so many others who need the encouragement, support, and advocacy.  

How do people change the power structure and leadership pipeline of a small but mighty state whose systems of power and structures of leadership don’t accurately or sufficiently represent its constituents? You start by influencing the networks of impact by practicing intentional leadership, partnering with aligned and resourced entities, following up with well thought out and sustained action steps, and celebrate progress with the people who you come to admire and respect through the process because you all took an important and impactful chance, together, to change the world one step at a time. 

 For more information or questions, please reach out to




The RI Black Business Association is Now Accepting Scholarship Applications for 2022 Scholarship

Scholarship applications for students entering college or university will be accepted until May 27, 2022

Providence, RI – Tuesday, February 22, 2022 – The Rhode Island Black Business Association, and its charitable arm that focuses on empowerment and training related activities – the Institute of Economic Empowerment & Development (IEED), are now accepting applications for the 2022 Scholarship. Scholarship award amounts vary from $500-$1000 for each individual student. To date, RIBBA has given out over $45,000 in scholarships to Black students entering college or university.

“We’re extremely excited to be accepting applications for this year’s Scholarship Program. There are a wide number of systemic barriers and challenges that Black and Afro-Latinx young adults face, and we hope this scholarship opportunity helps each recipient reach their full academic and career potential, said Amanda Roman – Director of Program Development & Operations at RIBBA. “Financial investments are an essential part of creating a more equitable education system and we are proud to be providing this and other opportunities to students.

The Scholarship Program is just one component of the LEAP Initiative, launched in 2020 by RIBBA’s charitable arm – IEED. Other activities and opportunities within the initiative include, a mentor program, executive coaching, financial literacy training, and skills development. The initiative’s wrap around programs and services were developed with RIBBA’s Community Advisory Board of Young Adults and will support scholarship recipients on their academic and career journey.

To be considered for the 2022 Scholarship, applicants must identify as Black or Afro-Latinx, be a resident of Rhode Island, a high school senior in the Fall of 2022, and will begin their Freshman year at an accredited college or university in the Fall of 2023. Scholarship applications are reviewed by a Scholarship Committee and awardee announcements will be made in August of 2022. Applications must be completed and received by May 27, 2022 at 4:00 PM.

For more information or to view or complete the, go to: In addition, individuals who are interested in donating to RIBBA’s Scholarship Fund, can do so by clicking here.

The Rhode Island Black Business Association (RIBBA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the business opportunities and vitality of Black-owned and minority businesses in Rhode Island through access to capital, contracting, business development resources, entrepreneur training, business advocacy, meaningful investor services, and workforce development.

The Institute for Economic Empowerment and Development is the 501 (c) (3) charitable arm of RIBBA and provides mentorship/career/ business readiness training and financial support for RIBBA’s initiatives and programs by the way of grants and fundraisers. Learn More, call 401-383-1179 or e-Mail:


Media Contact:
Amanda Roman
Director of Program Development & Operations

Emerging Leader Highlight: Mark Fisher of Black Lives Matter Militia

Mark Fisher is the Director of Community Outreach at Black Lives Matter – Militia and a participant in the inaugural Emerging Leaders Development Program provided by RIBBA.

Can you share more about what you do at Black Lives Matter – Milii

BLM Militia’s purpose on a local scale within the state of Rhode Island is to spearhead and be a catalyst for making swift, sweeping, and major change from the highest to the lowest level of government in the way that this state engages and deals with its Black citizens and communities. We will hold all Rhode Island state and government leaders and officials accountable and responsible, from the state capital down to every city and town municipality within the state. From the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, to Civil Rights and so forth, Black people are U.S. Citizens and are thereby a party to and granted the rights on both federal and state levels that protect and serve all.  

Our Mission is to create a position of power and level the playing fieldwithin and throughout Rhode Island for Black people and communities via economic development for financial and economic empowerment.Our goal is to create and build a self-sustaining ecosystem of financial and economic empowerment, education and innovation.  

A peoples and communities self-sustainability and progression has always been based in their economic power via a flourishing and thriving business sector. For Black people and communities, Black Wall Street (Little Africa) in the Greenwood section of Tulsa, OK in the early 1900s is a prime example of this by what was created and built there by Blacks through entrepreneurship and cooperative economics, though ultimately and unfortunately, literally burned down to the ground by white people. In cities throughout the U.S., like New York and Boston, you will find a Chinatown and/or Little Italy where these people and communities have created self-sustaining ecosystems and leveraged them for their best interests. Even for Italians in Rhode Island, Federal Hill was an example of this.  

Fundamentally, Black people and communities need financial literacy and entrepreneurship education at scale to successfully create, build and operate Black owned businesses for financial and economic empowerment and to create generational wealth for ourselves, like other people and communities do, build a thriving Black business cooperative, and then leverage this as a tool and mechanism to adequately finance the ongoing fight for justice and equality as well as to engage effectively in politics to bring about governmental and systemic change on all levels. No longer will we allow the foot (or knee) of anti-Black and systemic racism and white supremacy to remain on our necks. Our time is now. 


What has being a part of the Emerging Leaders Program meant to you? 

Being a part of the Emerging Leaders program has meant a great deal to me and will be one of my most memorable experiences. To be a part of a limited and select group of 25 respective industry leaders is special. Not everyone was accepted to be a part of this cohort and it’s been a pleasure to hear and share our unique and professional perspectives on a range of topics all pertaining to leadership development. Also I’ve learned quite a lot about myself as well as mindsets of proven and effective leaders. We have been given the space to be our authentic selves and voice our authentic opinions. Likewise, it’s a pleasure to be working with Lisa again, someone whom I hold in very high regard and have the utmost respect for and whom I also call a friend. She is an example of the curriculum being delivered via her distinguished accomplishments and credentials as well as the foresight and ability to roll out such a program as this one where all who are connected feel empowered.  


Whats the most significant think youve learned so far? 

The most significant thing I’ve learned so far is my CliftonStrengths. Absolutely amazing discovery. I learned that I am 1 in 33 million. These are the odds that someone has the same Top 5 strengths as I do in the exact same order. My distinct CliftonStrengths profile sets me apart from everyone else. I am uniquely powerful. My strengths are as follows. 

  1. Achiever Because you have high Achiever, you work hard and possess a great deal of stamina. You take immense satisfaction in being busy and productive.
  1. Relator – Because you have high Relator, you enjoy close relationships with others. You find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.
  1. Context – Because you have high Context, you enjoy thinking about the past. You understand the present by researching its history.
  1. Connectedness – Because you have high Connectedness, you have faith in the links among all things. You believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has meaning.
  1. Learner – Because you have high Learner, you have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. The process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites you.


What kind of impact do you want to have in your work and how do you plan on utilizing what you’ve learned to achieve that? 

Our Vision is to see a world where Black people are no longer subjugated to and oppressed by a white supremacist ideology in any form or facet and at any level, and wherever it may rear its ugly head that it be swiftly eradicated. The days of simply praying, marching, singing and hoping are long gone. Those tactics no longer serve us as Black people if we truly want to be liberated on a local, national, and global scale. Todays Black activists and community organizers must fully and fearlessly take the reins of leadership and be innovative in their approach toward the fight for justice, equality and empowerment for Black people. We will no longer look to our governments to save us”, but rather serve us by holding them accountable and responsible accordingly. 

We exist to assist in dismantling the anti-Black racist system that was deliberately designed to keep us enslaved and at a disadvantage for hundreds of years after physical slavery was abolished in a country that was literally built on the backs of our ancestors through blood, sweat and tears. This was calculated by white people with precision and done with the full intention and purpose of stifling the Black intellect and creative mind and stop us from taking our place on the world stage, and instead leave us underprivileged, undereducated, impoverished, crime cultured and incarcerated, and left to become an enemy to ourselves. BLM Militia is continuing the legacy of so many Black freedom fighters before us by taking our peoples and our communitiesdestiny into our own hands. 

Using strategic thinking, planning and leadership which was part of the Emerging Leaders training, my organization will continue to live up to its creed which is “Black Lives Matter Militia is a new revolutionary, progressive, and all-inclusive Black Lives Matter Movement iteration organized for arming and empowering the minds of the people”.  


The Emerging Leaders Development Program is free for participants through funding received by the RI Department of Labor and Training and is delivered by RIBBA in partnership with the University of RI Office of Strategic Initiatives.












How to: Prepare for Upcoming COVID-19 Business Relief Grants


Previous COVID-19 relief funds drastically missed RI’s own Black and minority businesses. We know that new business relief funds are on their way, and want to help you prepare as best as possible. Here are some tips on how you can prepare:


How to look up your D-U-N-S Number if you can’t find?

  1. Click Here: D&B D-U-N-S Number Lookup (
  2. Select “My company” in the Search for Line
  3. Click on Business Name or Business Phone
    1. Try them both if one does not work
  4. Your business should pop up if you already have a D-U-N-S Number
  5. Choose to modify Business Information or have your D-U-N-S Number emailed.
  6. Your Business Information on Duns & Bradstreet should match your current address and phone number for your business.


How to sign up for a D-U-N-S Number

  1. Click Here: Get a D-U-N-S Number – Establish Your Business – D&B (
  2. Pick your reason: Choose US Government Contractor or Grantee
  3. Click Continue
  4. Select Your Country: United States of America
  5. Click Continue
  6. Enter your Business information
  7. Type in the correct captcha and click submit.
  8. Locate your business on the list
    1. Look for your exact name and address
    2. Click request or modify information to update
  9. Request the number or make the necessary changes.
  10. A Duns and Bradstreet Agent will be in contact in a couple days to verify your identity ad the business and provide an update.


*Please Note: You can use the contact information on the bottom of the links to get assistance from a Duns & Bradstreet Agent. The screenshot below shows the available options.  




How to look Up your NAICS Code:

Click Here: NAICS & SIC Identification Tools | NAICS Association

The NAICS code is a requirement on your Business Tax Return even if you file as Self-Employed on a Schedule C. NAICS is the North American Industry Industry Classification System. This code will identify the industry your business operates in. Using the correct industry code on your tax return will make it easier to apply for industry specific programs. Registration with the Secretary of State also suggests to identify all the Industries your Business operates in using the NAICS code.*Please Note: A Business can use multiple NAICS codes



How to register your business with to obtain a unique entity ID 

Step 1: Create an account at: Welcome – this will provide you the log in credentials to submit documents and log into your account in the future. 

Step 2: Gather Documents: Representations and certifications questionnaire 

  • Points of contact (mandatory and optional points of contact) 
  • Gathering documents can be different for each business. It depends on the complexity of your interest in obtaining a ID. Some documents will require the services of a notary. *This process could take 2 to 3 days.*

Step 3: Submit your documents via the portal with your log in credentials.



Need more assistance, contact RIBBA to meet with a Business Development Specialist:

Izzy Rodriguez, RIBBA Emerging Leader Highlight