Over the past decade, Brett has worked hard to build a Providence and Rhode Island that we can all believe in. Once dubbed “the man with the plan” – someone with the ideas, experience and know-how to help Providence businesses and working families succeed – Brett was chosen by Mayor Jorge Elorza to serve as Chief Operating Officer in City Hall. After his time at City Hall, Brett worked hard for the State of Rhode Island, serving both as Chief of Staff to Governor Raimondo and Director of Administration during the state’s robust response to COVID-19, a position he held until March 2021.
When Brett first came to Providence from the Chicago area where he grew up, he instantly fell in love with the city – the great restaurants, vibrant neighborhoods, world-class arts and culture, and above all, the people. A product of the public school system and the son of an accountant and preschool teacher, Brett was raised to value fairness and appreciate the importance of education and hard work, and he has applied these values in everything he has done.
He believes that Providence has all of the ingredients to be a world class city if we can get back to the basics and get them right. That means addressing quality-of-life in our neighborhoods and requires informed and responsible budget management in all city departments. That means working to make it easier to connect with City Hall for both our small businesses and residents and providing effective city services every time, the first time. That means having a robust economic development plan that supports neighborhood businesses while also strengthening ties to the Boston economic engine. And that means fixing our school buildings so that our students learn in spaces that inspire them.
In addition to connecting with neighbors across the community to discuss issues that are important to them, Brett is active in a number of non-profits, community groups and causes, including Planned Parenthood, for which he raises funds and provides strategic counsel. He has also been deeply involved with Marriage Equality Rhode Island (MERI), Rhode Island Housing, Rhode Island Communities for Addiction Recovery Efforts (RICARES), and the national Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.
Brett is a graduate of DePaul University, where he received a finance degree and an M.B.A. He lives on the East Side of Providence with his husband Jim DeRentis, a real estate broker and former community banker. Both Jim and Brett are avid runners and share a deep love of Providence.