Above: From the 2021 Wall of Honor, inductee Francis Pescosolido, left, and his wife, Family Court Judge Debra E. DiSegna, talk with Hub Brennan (Wall of Honor 2019 member).
The East Greenwich High School Wall of Honor Committee has picked its Class of 2022, four individuals including Mason Rhodes, a local boy, who has served as an EG firefighter, U.S. Marine and EG police officer; Jim Bowen the most decorated helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War, who went on to be a top veterinarian; Dr. Jason Iannuccilli, a brilliant student, then doctor, who stands out in whatever he does; and Art Vallely, a former star basketball player, who has progressed to the top ranks of one of the country’s leading truck leasing companies.
The choice for the Wall’s Appreciation Award goes to Elizabeth McNamara, who saw the need for an online news source for East Greenwich and made it a reality.
The ceremony will take place next spring and will be determined in January. Traditionally held in April, last year’s ceremony had to be held off to June.
Mason Rhodes – A premiere example of an old East Greenwich town boy, raised in the tradition of helping out others and volunteerism. He cut his teeth as a junior firefighter and has held every rank up to deputy chief. As a U.S. Marine, he served four years finishing as a sergeant and receiving awards, commendations and recognition along the way. Coming back to EG, he joined the police department and rose through the ranks to lieutenant, again receiving commendations and leading the EGPD Swat Team. Even now, in his 60s, he still answers the call as a reserve/retired police officer.
Jim Bowen, D.V.M. – excelled in football, basketball and water skiing in high school. He enlisted in the U.S. Army as a gunship pilot and was the youngest Helo instructor at age 19. In combat he flew six missions a day and received 43 medals,including 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 2 Silver Stars and a Bronze Star. Returning to civilian life, he went to URI to major in medicine and graduated magna cum laude in 1976. He also did graduate work at the U. of Milan, Italy, before opening veterinary businesses in South County and later in Florida. He has twice been cited as one of RI’s Top Ten Veterinarians. He currently works for Petco.
Jason Iannuccilli, M.D. – In elementary school and junior high he racked up award after award for academics and athletics, then graduated EGHS with a perfect 4.0 and as the class valedictorian. The future doctor won the Harvard Book Award, the Italian-American Society Scholarship and the Rensselaer Medal among others. He graduated Brown University and became the youngest division chief of interventional radiology at Brown. He began his career in Interventional Radiology-Oncology at Rhode Island Hospital and created the IO division and serves as its medical director at Brown Medical School. He serves as president of R.I. Radiological Society and is general counselor for R.I. in General Assembly in Washington D.C. He has published 13 manuscripts and presented them at nationally.
Art Vallely – Led East Greenwich to a state basketball title and held the record for assists. Matriculated at College of St. Joseph, leading them in scoring and assists and being named to their Hall of Fame in 2003. Went to Ryder Truck and rose to district manager. In 1992, he joined Penske Truck Leasing, quickly being promoted to VP of commercial rental. In 2012 he was promoted to executive VP of operations and in 2016 rose to chief operating officer. In 2019, he was promoted to president of Penske Truck Leasing with $6 billion in revenue, 26,000 associates and 900 locations. In his spare time, he volunteers for six or more organizations from Africa’s Hope to AAU basketball.
Elizabeth McNamara – Grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from Regis University in Denver. After a stint in NYC, she moved to R.I. and worked at the Providence Journal as a part time copyeditor and freelance writer. That led her to My02818 and then EG Patch. Seeing a void in true local reporting, she founded the online East Greenwich News in 2014. It became a not-for-profit corporation in 2017. She continues to serve as editor-publisher. She also founded the EG Tree Council, which is an all-volunteer group dedicated to planting and caring for trees in East Greenwich. In addition, she served on the board of The Blessing Way, a nonprofit working with people coming out of prison or rehab, from 2013 to 2019.
This is the 13th year of the East Greenwich High School Wall of Honor. For more information or details on the EGHS WOH you may contact EGHS WOH president Bob Houghtaling (email: [email protected]).