RISE names Della Grotta new executive director

PROVIDENCE – Education nonprofit Rhode Islanders Sponsoring Education announced Friday that Kaitlin Della Grotta has been named the organization’s new executive director.

Della Grotta has been with the organization for close to a decade, most recently serving as its director of operations. She replaces Kristen Haffenreffer as the organization’s director.

Della Grotta said RISE had to make the “difficult” decision to reduce administrative costs during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to ensure the financial commitment to students. That meant the executive director’s position was eliminated at the time. However, Della Grotta said, RISE is in a better financial position than it was two years ago, allowing the organization to bring back the executive director position.

RISE said Della Grotta – who was first hired in 2012 as its development coordinator – plans to add more programs in finance, health and wellness to raise RISE’s platform, as well as build on its scholarship and mentoring programs.

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In a statement, RISE board president Robin Boss said Della Grotta built strong relationships with the community “through her compassion, tenacity, and growth mindset.”

“Her leadership through the pandemic resulted in RISE sending more children of incarcerated parents to essential schools each year. I am thrilled she has accepted this position and look forward to continuing to build on the success she has achieved as RISE turns 25 [years old],” Boss said.

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