Rock retires from East Providence Senior Center director post

Will stay on until successor is found

Posted 7/9/19

EAST PROVIDENCE — Robert Rock is retiring as director of the East Providence Senior Center, but will remain director until a replacement is appointed, the office of Mayor Bob DaSilva announced late …

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Rock retires from East Providence Senior Center director post

Will stay on until successor is found

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — Robert Rock is retiring as director of the East Providence Senior Center, but will remain director until a replacement is appointed, the office of Mayor Bob DaSilva announced late Tuesday afternoon, July 9.

“It has been a distinct honor and privilege to have served you for the past 21 years,” Mr. 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 DaSilva said. “We thank him for his more than two decades of service to our senior community and wish him well on his retirement. We are grateful to Bob who has agreed to continue through the transition.”

Mr. Rock has been director of the Senior Center since May 1998. He took the helm at the Center exactly one week after retiring from the East Providence Police Department, 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 Mr. 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 Mr. 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.

Mr. Rock attributes the center’s success to knowing how to meet members’ needs.

“They are their own community,” he said. “I have listened and I believe that I will leave this place better than the way I found it.”

Mr. 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,” Mr. DaSilva said.

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