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BIO-BONES: Carol Dancer, president of Absorbent Specialty Products LLC in Pawtucket, visits the manufacturing floor, where a fake skeleton, known as Ling Ling, is covered with the company’s Bio-Bone prosthetics, used to fill cadavers for funerals after organs and bones have been donated.
PBN PHOTO/MIKE SKORSKI

Meet the Makers: A manufacturer with a super absorbing history

Carol Dancer points to what looks like a simple orange piece of rectangular cloth on an assembly line. While the cloth is unassuming at...
Cristin O’Hara

Restaurant industry proves resiliency as it rebuilds

Like countless other industries, the restaurant industry has been completely redefined by the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurant owners felt optimistic about the post-COVID world but...
NO WORRIES: Dorothy Davison, executive director of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Rhode Island, says artificial intelligence will allow engineers to be more efficient, not replace them entirely. 
PBN PHOTO/­MICHAEL SALERNO

‘We don’t look at AI as a terrifying thing’

How will artificial intelligence impact professional engineers? Will it improve their lives or put them out of work? Any major AI chatbot can provide answers to...
STEADY PACE: Toye Onikoyi has founded two tech-related businesses in Rhode Island, including a virtual reality arcade called Bubbler VR. Unlike in bigger hubs, Onikoyi says, Rhode Island’s tech sector seems to move at a more deliberate speed, which sometimes can be an advantage. 
PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

TOO SMALL TO FAIL? R.I.’s low-profile tech sector avoiding carnage felt...

After John MacKrell launched an app-based laundry pickup and delivery service more than three years ago, a question sometimes came up during his search...
Simone Peinkofer

Problem of online returns

E-commerce may make shopping more convenient, but it has a dark side most consumers never see. Say you order an electric toothbrush for Father’s Day...
DATA CENTER: Ocean State Job Lot Chief Information Officer Hisham Aharon, left, and Chief Financial Officer John Conforti inspect the computer servers that power the retailer’s technology, including the artificial intelligence software it uses. 
PBN PHOTO/TRACY JENKINS

From design to contracts, companies embrace AI tools

Even if you haven’t tried artificial intelligence tools that can write essays and poems or conjure new images on command, chances are the companies...
TIGHTKNIT OPERATION: Employee Maria Monteiro works on a rug at Rhody Rug Inc.’s manufacturing facility in Lincoln. The company produces 1,500 braided rugs per week and supplies hundreds of rug dealers nationwide, says President Scott Weldon.
PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Where braided rugs are rolling out the door by thousands

Before Scott Weldon became CEO and president of Rhody Rug Inc., he wasn’t particularly interested in the rug business. He was simply searching for...
POP-UP BAKERY: Thrive Cakery LLC owner Jasmine Mendez speaks with John Shaw of Cumberland about her products, which she will be offering through a pop-up kiosk on the second floor of the Providence Place mall through the new year.
PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Holiday cliffhanger: How long will merry feeling last for shoppers, retailers?

Karen Beebe’s Christmas season began months ago, in the heat of August, when she placed an order for 360 ­holiday ornaments. For Beebe, the owner...
PRIME OPPORTUNITY: Amy Kacerik, dean of enrollment management at the Community College of Rhode Island, says few Amazon.com Inc. employees have enrolled using the tuition program called Career Choice, but that may change when the Amazon warehouse opens in Johnston next year, which will employ 1,500 people. 
PBN PHOTO/ELIZABETH GRAHAM

Tuition program puts new spin on incentive

Cecilia Guante didn’t plan on stopping her schooling after she finished her associate degree. But she ran out of money and had to shelve her...
NEW BREED OF COMPANIONSHIP: Meghan Gamboa, Ageless Innovation LLC co-founder and senior vice president, holds an animatronic cat at the company’s Pawtucket headquarters. The cats, dogs and birds produced by Ageless Innovation have been shown to be beneficial for the mental health of the elderly.
PBN PHOTO/
MICHAEL SALERNO

For her, Ageless Innovation much more than pet project

It was a combination of soccer, Hasbro Inc. and Bryant University that brought Meghan Gamboa to Rhode Island, where she now works as co-founder and senior vice president...
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