Business owner, town council member, and founding member of Discover Warren are just some of the hats Keri Cronin wears in her community. Currently in her third term, which ends in 2026, Cronin made history when she became the first woman President of the Warren Town Council during her previous term. Her involvement with Warren began 20 years ago when she and her business partner and mother Sara Volino opened DISH, a women’s clothing store that prides itself on sourcing sustainable and unique collections for all body types. Cronin has a deep affinity for the town she and her husband Prescott have called home for the past 15 years.
How to Lead: You have to be there for all the people, not just the people whose values you share and whose social and/or political positions are yours. I do [this work] with the deep understanding that the people in this community are coming from a lot of different perspectives and places. Some have been here for generations and are now wondering how they are going to afford to continue to live here, and others have come here because they see an opportunity to be part of something that’s really kind of cool, and no matter how high the taxes get, they will be fine. It’s many sleepless nights wondering, ‘How are we going to make this all work for most people?’
Bridging Gaps: Two things for RIDOT to take care of: the [East Bay Bike Path] and the “Broken Bridge.” That bike path is an artery that feeds the East Bay. Those bike path bridges were ignored and ignored for years even though they were clearly falling into disrepair and it was questionable whether they could still be functioning; now they have under-designed the bridges. It kills me. The “Broken Bridge” is part of a connection from Touisset to the other side of Warren bringing people closer from that side down to here. That project has been going on for eons. It’s gone off the rails again.
DISH Dishes: I’m 60 and my mother is 85; we are simply not on the radar of the fashion and design community in the state. It’s interesting how few people in that sector, the sort of movers and shakers, editors and stylists either purposefully or unfortunately don’t know we exist, don’t follow us, don’t come in and engage with us. It’s strange. How do I
break through that?
Less is More: [DISH] has been bringing sustainable and eco-friendly fashion to the state for 20 years. We don’t support the idea of mass consumption or trends. Buy one or two really great things. We have our ReDish Rack, a resale which we’ve been doing for a few years, which offers things at a very attainable price. Our customers are from all across the country and have become regular customers.
2024 wish list: I want citizens to feel a sense of pride, a sense of agency and success in living here, whether that means a great education for their school-aged children, success in a local business they may own, or pride in their home and knowing that is shared by the rest of the community, and that our small business community is thriving because we are somewhat the backbone of what’s going on here. It’s very much a group effort. It’s a very chip-in, all-for-one type of community.
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