As first reported here on RI Future, Anthony Gemma, president of Gem Plumbing & Heating, was considering a run for Congress. For the past (at least) few weeks, he was making his fundraising calls, contacting some RI Future readers.
Gemma describes himself as a “conservative Democrat,” and the impact on the race for Segal, Cicilline, and Lynch is still to be determined, although it’s likely that Gemma damages Bill Lynch’s camapign to a greater degree than Segal or Cicilline. Could Gemma’s political inexperience be the ultimate rallying cry of an “outsider” candidacy in a political environment in which incumbency and political experience may very well be poisonous?
Some background on Gemma (via Facebook):
Anthony P. Gemma, born in Providence Rhode Island in 1970 to Larry and the late Gloria Gemma, is the youngest of nine children and remains a lifelong Rhode Island resident.
Anthony made his decision to seek election in the US House of Representatives 1st Congressional District because of his passion for the State he calls home. Anthony’s experience and work ethic span decades and include accomplishments such as successful business owner, attorney, exemplary leader, philanthropist and family man. He has worked tirelessly to create new, sustainable jobs, manage healthcare costs in Rhode Island, worked to develop performance excellence standards for Rhode Island businesses, and co-founded the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation in memory of his mom, who died from breast cancer in 2002.
Anthony’s solid work ethic both professional and philanthropic was instilled at the age of ten, when his father and mentor – introduced him to the family’s plumbing business. Discipline and integrity were expected from all the Gemma children, and Anthony applied those qualities to his academic career. He was graduated cum laude from Suffolk University in 1992 with a B.S. in Legal Argument/Communications. He earned his J.D. from Roger Williams University School of Law in 1998, and currently Anthony is admitted to practice law in Rhode Island and in Federal Court.
In 1998, Anthony assumed the roles of Executive Vice President and CEO and in 2000 was appointed to the position of company president, in which he remained until 2008.
At that time, Anthony founded Mediapeel™, an integrated marketing firm specializing in new media solutions and offering a product line which includes web video magazine and website development, media buying and placement, the Mediapeel™ On-Time Traffic Reporting Center, and other traditional and cutting-edge forms of advertising.
Anthony is committed to a team approach to business building and problem solving. He and his team of committed professionals founded the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation, a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation created in the memory of his mother, who succumbed to the disease in 2002. The Foundation is committed to raising breast cancer awareness, increasing breast health education, and generating funding for critical breast health programs.
Innovation coupled with the blending of cutting-edge and traditional strategies and methods are the hallmark of Anthony’s public and private endeavors. He was instrumental in the development of the Gem Institute for Performance Excellence, a learning organization with the mission to provide guidance to organizations throughout the United States seeking to increase performance levels.
Anthony is also an accomplished public speaker and motivator. He consults with organizations throughout the United States on various topics. He served as the President of the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation, served on the Executive Board of the Northern RI Chamber and served as a board member of Quality Partners of Rhode Island. He is a past member of the Providence/Cranston Workforce Development, and an active volunteer with the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation.
Anthony has achieved many awards throughout his career including: 2005, 2007 and 2008 Forty Under 40 Award – Providence Business News, 2007 Entrepreneur of the Year – Point Magazine, The 2006 EFNE Award for Business Innovation, the 2007 WELCOA Wellness Award – Gold Level, and many more. Anthony has also won several awards for his outstanding commitment to community service including Philanthropist of the Year – St. Mary’s Home For Children, Sponsor of the Year – Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and the Local Hero Award – Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and the Boy Scouts of America – 2009 – Whitney M. Young Service Award. In addition to his commendations, Anthony has worked tirelessly with the Autism Project of Rhode Island, Rhode Island Veterans Administration and the Rhode Island Special Olympics.
Anthony is married to Julie DiManni-Gemma and is the proud father of Anthony Gemma. The family resides in Lincoln, RI.