Junior Achievement of Rhode Island (JARI) will recognize Chris Graham, co-partner-in-charge of Edwards Wildman
's Providence office, with the Morris J.W. Gaebe Profile in Excellence Award. The award, JARI’s highest honor, is named after Morris J.W. Gaebe, Chancellor Emeritus of Johnson & Wales University, and recognizes leaders who demonstrate excellence in the Rhode Island community. These leaders have demonstrated courageous thinking and actions, vision and innovation, inspiring leadership, and community mindedness. Graham will be honored at an awards dinner on May 9th at the Omni Providence Hotel. Past Profile in Excellence honorees have included Deborah Gist, Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education; Bill Hatfield, Rhode Island Market President at Bank of America; Gina Raimondo, General Treasurer for the State of Rhode Island; and Martha Sheridan, President & CEO of the Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau. Junior Achievement is the state's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, workforce readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than 7 percent of the Rhode Island student population per year in more than 21 communities across Rhode Island. For more information, please click here
Graham serves as co-chair of Edwards Wildman's Business Law Department. He advises business clients of all types, although he invests much of his time on matters involving private equity. Graham has led teams of lawyers in many different types of corporate transactions, both domestic and cross-border. He counsels start-up enterprises and assists in their capital formation, represents emerging companies and private equity investors in different rounds of equity financing, and negotiates acquisitions, dispositions and management buyouts for corporate buyers and sellers, private equity funds and management teams. He frequently represents borrowers in financing transactions, including highly-leveraged financings that are integral parts of private equity buyouts. His clients include private equity funds, Fortune 500 companies, international conglomerates, privately-held manufacturing companies and numerous technology and life science start-ups.
Active in the community, Graham is a director of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, a member of the board of trustees of the Providence Chamber of Commerce, an active advisor to Slater Technology Fund, a state-sponsored seed investor in Rhode Island technology companies, and a mentor for Betaspring, a Providence-based startup accelerator for technology and design companies. He earned his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude
, from Brown University.