Age-Friendly Rhode Island taps Connell as new executive director

PROVIDENCE – James Connell, a Newport resident who recently served as director for Benchmark Senior Living, has been named the new executive director for Age-Friendly Rhode Island.

The organization, based at Rhode Island College, is a coalition of social service providers, health care providers, state agencies, businesses and academic institutions committed to healthy aging.

“I am honored to be chosen as Age-Friendly Rhode Island’s new executive director and am excited to work with our statewide coalition to realize the dream of a Rhode Island where older adults feel safe, empowered, independent, and where every aspect of their well-being is a priority for all generations,” Connell said in a statement.

Connell, according to Age-Friendly Rhode Island, also previously served as director of the Linden Place Museum in Bristol, where he was recognized with the Rhode Island Tourism Award for joining south coast and statewide stakeholders together to promote tourism. He also received a Rhody Award from the R.I. Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission for working with community and university leaders in creating an arts campus.

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James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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