Merrill W. Sherman

Inducted: 2007

Merrill W. Sherman, Principal of Sherman Consulting, LLC., and former president and CEO of the Bancorp Rhode Island, Inc., a publicly traded bank holding company, and its wholly owned subsidiary, Bank Rhode Island. She was Rhode Island’s only female CEO of a publicly held bank and made Bank Rhode Island a premier economic force in our state.

In 1996, Merrill spearheaded the founding of Bank Rhode Island, the second largest bank upon its creation in American history. Since it opened its doors, it has more than tripled in size, to $1.5 billion in total assets. Under her leadership, Bank Rhode Island has grown to sixteen branches in the Greater Providence area with more than 250 employees, and continues to expand in Rhode Island’s commercial and retail markets.

Prior to her work at Bank Rhode Island, Ms. Sherman spent over seventeen years practicing law at a major Rhode Island law firm and served as president of two other New England banks. She has been involved in a myriad of community causes and public-service endeavors.

In addition to contributing to Rhode Island’s economic growth, Merrill has proudly induced Bank Rhode Island to make significant charitable investments throughout the state. Her civic and charitable involvement include serving as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of Rhode Island School of Design and a member of the Board of Trustees of The Providence Foundation, Crossroads Rhode Island, Johnson and Wales University, and the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council. She co-chaired the 2007 Pell Awards to benefit Trinity Repertory Company and the Individual Gifts Committee for Women & Infants Hospital Capital Campaign. She was also named Citizen of the Year by the March of Dimes in 2007. In 2013 she joined the board of directors at Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Rhode Island. In 2015, Governor Raimondo nominated Merrill Sherman as Chair of the Rhode Island Clean Water Finance Agency.

Ms. Sherman’s continued commitment to enhancing our state’s economic and civic growth is greatly admired and recognized. Among an array of diverse honors and awards are an honorary D.B.A. from Johnson and Wales University, the Encore Award (2003) from the Arts & Business Council of Rhode Island, the Outstanding Woman in Business Award from the City of Providence and the Providence Tourism Council (2001), and the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the National Jewish Medical and Research Center (2003).

Ms. Sherman is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and the University of Denver College of Law.

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