July 22, 2019

EP Senior Center Director, Bob Rock to Retire

Mayor Wants to Name Senior Center for Rock. City Seeks New Director

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Former Police Officer, Bob Rock to Retire from Senior Center Directorship

In an announcement from the Mayor's office on July 9th, the city announced that Robert “Bob” Rock, director of the East Providence Senior Center, will retire. Rock will remain director until a new director is appointed.

“It has been a distinct honor and privilege to have served you for the past 21 years,” Rock wrote in a note to seniors. “As in any great organization, when the person in charge surrounds him or herself with professional, compassionate, wonderful and caring people, the organization thrives.”

“Bob Rock, together with a number of dedicated volunteers, have been the backbone of the Senior Center,” Mayor Bob DaSilva said. “We thank him for his more than two decades of service to our senior community and wish him well on his retirement.

Rock was a city police officer for 21 years before retiring in May 1998 to become director of the Senior Center. “We are grateful to Bob who has agreed to continue through the transition.”
He took the helm at the Center exactly one week after retiring from the East Providence Police Dept., where he spent 21 years in different divisions including Patrol, Detective, Narcotics and finally Community Relations division, retiring as the director of that division.

Under Rock’s leadership, the Senior Center added a 5,500-square-foot addition and fitness room and launched a number of programs including Reiki, massage therapy and yoga.

The Senior Center currently consists of a dining room, meeting room, lounge and gift shop – all located on the ground level. The center also features a craft room, a computer lab and health center located on the upper level. On the lower level, the center features a fitness room, clubroom and billiards room. The center operates with approximately 120 volunteers.

In recognition of Rock’s dedication to the Senior Center, Mayor DaSilva has asked the East Providence City Council to support a resolution that would rename the Senior Center as the Robert E. Rock Senior Center.

Rock attributes the center’s success to knowing how to meet members’ needs. “They are their own community,” Rock said. “I have listened and I believe that I will leave this place better than the way I found it.”

Rock, who has been involved with a number of organizations including the Alliance for Better Long Term Care, East Providence Lions Club, and the National Institute of Senior Centers, said he plans to split his time between volunteering and spending time with family.

“There are a lot of people that need us,” he said. “You have to keep your mind going and I have a wife at home that won’t let me just sit around and do nothing.”

The city is seeking a new director who will plan, develop, administer and supervise all programs, who will oversee the facility and supervise staff and volunteers. The new director will also be responsible for the center’s public relations, grant writing and creative development.

“Strong leaders require strong successors, and this city will appoint someone who will be prepared to take the reins and advance the center to the next level,” DaSilva said.

Applicants have until July 17th, 2019 to apply for the vacancy created by Rock's retirement. The City job posting states, in part: "To apply, please submit an application and resume to the City of East Providence Human Resources Office, located at 145 Taunton Avenue Room 201, East Providence, RI 02914 no later than Wednesday, July 17, 2019, by 4:00 p.m. Applications are available at the East Providence Office of Human Resources or on the City website, www.eastprovidence.com."

The job posting also states that ..."under the supervision of the Director of Recreation this non-union position is appointed by the Mayor. The Director of Senior Services plans, develops, administers, coordinates, organizes and supervises all programs, services and activities pertaining to the East Providence Senior Center and the services it provides. The Director is responsible for overseeing the Center facility, supervising Center staff and volunteers and coordinating the programs that operate there such as; Congregate Meals, Senior Volunteer Program, Transportation, Branch Library, Health Services, Case Management, Recreational, Educational and Social activities. The Director is also responsible for public relations, grant writing and creative development of the center. Work schedule may include occasional evenings and attendance at special events that may be during non-normal Center hours."

The job minimum qualifications are listed as an Associate’s Degree with some college courses in Human Services, Recreation, Leisure Services, Gerontology, Social Services or a Bachelor’s Degree. Three to five years of experience in senior center/services programming or coordination of senior citizens services preferred. One to three years of experience in supervising other program staff. Experience in administering a Senior Center is preferred.

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