Russell Gaston

President and Member of the Board of Directors

Russell joined OSBDA in October 2015 and previously served the role of Executive Vice President/ Chief Operating Officer, until his promotion to President, and Member of the Board in December of 2017.  Aside from his Executive duties, Russell is the primary contact for new loan origination.  Russell is also responsible for all aspects of managing the operations at OSBDA including lending, underwriting, loan servicing and liquidation, compliance, and customer service.

Previously Russell was SVP-Manager of Business Banking at Coastway Community Bank.  Under his leadership, Coastway Community Bank became one of the region’s top SBA-ranked institutions for both SBA 7(a) and 504 loans. Prior to Coastway, Gaston had worked at Textron Financial and BankRI in underwriting and new business roles. Prior to joining OSBDA, Russell was on the OSBDA Board of Directors, and chaired its Loan Committee.

Russell is a graduate of Salve Regina University, where he received his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in management and finance.  Notable honors include a General Assembly Citation from the State of Connecticut, and he is a recipient of the U.S. Small Business Administration Financial Services Champion Award.

Russell also actively serves on the Advisory Board of the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

Phone: (401) 454-4560 ext. 212

Henry A. ‘Bud’ Violet

Vice President of Marketing / Founder

In connection with the Small Business Investment Act of 1980, Bud founded Ocean State Business Development (OSBDA). This was the first local and Certified Development Company in the nation, that administered the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 502, 503, and current 504 programs.

Bud also serves on a voluntary basis, a member of the Town of Barrington Economic Development Commission. Bud is most proud of his recognition from SBA, an award for outstanding support to the Small Business of the State of Rhode Island. He attended Southern Illinois University and received certification from the National Development Council (NDC) for academic skills essential for the practice of economic development and real estate finance techniques. Lastly, Bud served in the United States military and is a proud veteran.

Phone: (401) 453-0118

James Tierney 

Portfolio Manager and Corporate Secretary 

James joined OSBDA in October 2015, and serves the role of Portfolio Manager.  Currently, James is responsible for credit analysis, underwriting, customer service, and portfolio management.

Prior to joining OSBDA, James worked for Coastway Community Bank as a Commercial Credit Analyst.  At Coastway, James was responsible for both SBA and non-SBA loan underwriting and portfolio management.

James is a graduate of Bryant University, where he received his Bachelor of Science with a concentration in finance. James has also received a certification from the Mass. Bankers Association.

Phone: (401) 453-0118 ext. 213

Stephen Renehan 

Servicing and Liquidation Manager

Stephen joined the OSBDA in November, 2016, and serves the role of Servicing and Liquidation Manager.  Currently, Stephen is responsible for loan servicing, customer service, and liquidation.

His prior work experience includes 20+ years in various commercial banking positions, namely workout, loan servicing and lending.  Most recently, Stephen resolved over 100 loans in a 4-year period devising a variety of workout strategies.  Stephen possesses significant SBA portfolio management experience and is responsible for ensuring the OSBDA’s loan portfolio is managed appropriately.

Stephen is a graduate of University of Rhode Island, where he received his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in finance.

Phone: (401) 453-0118 ext. 214

Amber Perry

Associate Credit Analyst / Portfolio Manager

Amber joined the OSBDA credit staff in November 2016, and serves the role of Associate Credit Analyst/Portfolio Manager. Amber’s duties include credit analysis, underwriting, and portfolio management.

Amber is a graduate of Bryant University, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Amber graduated Magna Cum Laude with a specialization in Finance.

Phone: (401) 453-0118 ext. 215