Workforce Development Leader Wendy Mackie Joins Polaris MEP As Interim Advisory Board Chair

Home / News / Workforce Development Leader Wendy Mackie Joins Polaris MEP As Interim Advisory Board Chair

by | Aug 18, 2022

by | Aug 18, 2022

Providence, RI – August 18, 2022 – Wendy Mackie, a highly-regarded leader in Rhode Island workforce development, is joining the Advisory Board of Polaris MEP, the state’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center, as its Interim Chairperson. Mackie’s addition is part of the ongoing effort by the non-profit consulting group to broaden and strengthen its Board.

“For many years, Wendy Mackie has been a great partner to Polaris MEP and a true changemaker within the state’s manufacturing sector,” said Christian Cowan, Chief Operating Officer of the University of Rhode Island Research Foundation, Polaris MEP’s parent organization. “We are excited to tap into Wendy’s expertise as an advocate for workforce development and technology acceleration, two areas critical to Rhode Island manufacturers.”

Mackie said she was delighted at the chance to assist Polaris MEP as Interim Board Chair.

“It’s an exciting time of change for manufacturing in the Ocean State,” said Mackie. “Advanced manufacturing and the emerging blue economy sector offer significant opportunities for innovation, economic growth, and sustainability. Polaris MEP provides the business and workforce development programming necessary to ensure manufacturers are positioned and prepared to take advantage of these opportunities as they emerge.”

Mackie added “I’m honored to have this opportunity to help Polaris MEP continue to deliver on its mission of moving RI manufacturers forward.”

In April 2022, the MEP announced a drive to expand and diversify its Advisory Board, to support the growth of the Center. Mackie will lead this outreach effort.

Mackie also will support Polaris MEP’s national search for a new Center Director in the wake of Kathie Mahoney’s departure earlier this month. Polaris MEP seeks a strategic, visionary MEP Center Director to help the organization deliver on and advance its mission of supporting and promoting Rhode Island manufacturers. A call for applicants is posted at

Mackie is currently the Director of Workforce & Foundation Development for Marine Retailers Association of the Americas. She is the former CEO of the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association, spearheaded the development of the Composites Alliance of RI, and served a term as a Polaris MEP Advisory Board member. Mackie has strong professional roots in the areas of organizational development, youth, and workforce development.

About Polaris MEP

Polaris MEP provides competitive business improvement programs to grow Rhode Island’s manufacturing industry. In FY 2021 the statewide nonprofit organization reported positive economic impacts of: $121.5M total increased or retained sales; $10.4M new client investments; $4.4M cost savings; and 1,628 jobs added or retained in the state of Rhode Island.

An affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP), the consultancy is a business unit of the URI Research Foundation.

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Media Contact: Erin Read; 401-440-8350;

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