James R. Winoker

Inducted: 2023
Born: 1931

James Winoker, CEO of Belvoir Properties was honored at his 70th Brown University reunion where he was given the opportunity to present the diploma to his graduating grandson. Winoker’s history of accomplishments and contributions to the city of Providence is highlighted by his efforts to redevelop the Jewelry District, a project which he began over 30 years ago. This historical district, now called the Innovation District, is home to the life science research facility, Blutech, as well as the Brown Medical School, Wexford Science and Technology, and many others. Winoker is a Brown University and Harvard Business School graduate, a veteran of the U.S. Army, and has served on numerous boards and chambers over his lifetime. The company he founded, Belvoir Properties, was named after Fort Belvoir, where he taught at the Army Management School.

James R. Winoker was born in South Providence on July 14, 1931, son of the late Sarah (Levenson) Winoker and Israel Winoker and brother of the late Myron Winoker. He was the devoted husband of the late Marilyn H. Winoker (Horovitz), his loving wife for 66 years. He has three children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He began his spectacular business career at age seven, selling Colliers Magazine door-to-door. He never stopped excelling. James graduated magna cum laude from Classical High School and went on to earn a B.A. in Economics with high honors from Brown University in 1953. He is a trustee emeritus of Brown University and served on its Advisory Council for Biology and Medicine.

In 1955, James earned an MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business, was Director of its National Alumni Board, and was past president of its Rhode Island Alumni Association. James received an Honorary Doctor of Public Service from Roger Williams University and an Honorary Award from Michigan’s Northwood University. He was vice-chairman of the President’s Council of Providence College and a Brandeis University Fellow.

From 1955-1958, James served in the U.S. Army and was an honorary faculty member of the Army Management School, where he taught at the Fort Belvoir educational base. In business, James was co-founder of the B.B. Greenberg Company, a successful Providence manufacturer of jewelers’ materials and supplies. James is also the founding CEO of Belvoir Properties in Providence’s Jewelry District and was instrumental in developing and revitalizing that area. In 1986, he was named Businessman of the Year by Ocean State Business News and honored by Providence Business News. He was the first president of the Jewelry District Association.

In 2008, James received the Rhode Island Historic Preservation and Heritage Commission Award for his renovation projects, including Union Station and Rosedale Apartments in Edgewood. In 2011, James and his wife Marilyn received the “Rhody Award” for their lifetime of achievement in historic preservation. James was founding president of the Providence Industrial Development Corporation, executive member of the Rhode Island Business Development Corporation, and former chairman of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. He is a former Admiral of the Rhode Island Commodores. He also served as a director of the Original Bradford Soap Works, New England Electric System, and Rhode Island Hospital Trust National Bank and was the chairman of the Providence Foundation from 1996 to 1999.

In support of his faith and heritage, James was an Honorary National Trustee of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, past Vice-President and Honorary Trustee of Temple Emanu-EI, Providence, and Trustee of the Jewish Federation of Rhode Island. He served as co-chairman of the National Holocaust Museum’s Rhode Island campaign and was a board member of the Jewish Federation. James is an honorary director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, recipient of the Rotary International Paul Harris Award, and involved with many philanthropic fund-raising activities. Socially, he enjoys membership in several clubs and is a loyal fan of the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots.
His motto is: “Luck is the crossroads where preparation and opportunity meet.” By any standard, Jim is a lucky man!

James R. Winoker was inducted into The Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame in 2023.

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