WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
You’ve engaged in two public service-oriented
careers; how did your pursuits evolve over time?
After graduating with a degree in Liberal Studies, I
continued my military service at Fort Devens, MA,
until my retirement in November 1989.
After retirement, I relocated to Columbus, GA,
and began a second career with the city as an
Environment Code Enforcement/ Animal Control
manager and later manager of Solid Waste Collection. I was promoted several times to acquisition
and maintenance manager for all city vehicles,
construction equipment, and lawn maintenance
equipment as well as budget/finance officer for
the Department of Public Services; deputy director
of the Department of Public Services with primary
focus on Solid Waste and Recycling Collection and
Solid Waste Disposal; and eventually director of
You are now volunteering with a nonprofit
organization. Tell me a little bit about the
organization, your role, and how you got into
volunteering for this cause.
In 2003, while watching the evening news, I saw
an ad soliciting volunteers for the Brown Bag of
Columbus, which is a nonprofit that provides a
brown bag of groceries to low income elderly in
the community. Typically, they are provided a bag
of groceries that will sustain them for approximately one week.
I began delivering eight bags of groceries during
my lunch hour to recipients without transportation.
After I retired in 2007, I became a full-time volun-
teer, delivering groceries, maintaining the site,
or handling any task that needs to be done. I also
speak to local organizations and do interviews with
Many of the recipients’ net income after all living
expenses is less than $150. At times we have had
applications from individuals whose net income is
less than $50 after all expenses. Can you imagine
having only $50 to feed yourself for a month? That
motivates me to do whatever I can to help reduce
their food anxiety.
How did Western New England prepare you for
your professional career?
My reading and writing skills out of high school were
minimal. I was inspired by a literature professor to
enjoy reading and work on my writing skills. With his
encouragement and mentoring my writing improved
and reading became fun.
The ability to communicate orally and in writing
cannot be overstated. A well-written paper drafted
to make changes in the work environment will often
get the attention of those with authority to make
changes. A well-written document will also provide
an opportunity to follow up with an oral presentation
that will help seal the deal.
Many of my successes were the result of recognizing how to improve the quality and delivery of
services at a reduced cost, then writing a compelling document with a follow-up oral presentation. I thank Western New England University for
inspiring me to become an improved writer.
Rufus Riggs ’88
Brown Bag of Columbus, GA
director, product implementation at the company. he also
committed to a two-year term
as cochair, Leadership Tech
Valley, at the Capital Region
(NY) Chamber of Commerce.
(management studies) is now a
human resources manager
at SAERTEX USA LLC in
huntersville, NC. She was
previously a district human
resource specialist at Sears
holdings Corporation in
Easthampton (MA) Savings
Bank as assistant vice
president, credit analyst. he
has served as a credit analyst
for the last seven years at
ELI GARDNER (sport management) was named head football coach at Stonehill College.
he was previously the team’s
assistant coach and in 2015
was named NCAA Division II
Assistant Football Coach of
the Year by the Gridiron Club
of Greater Boston.
appointed a program officer for
the Greater Worcester (MA)
Community Foundation. She
was most recently manager of
Western MA Partnerships at
Mass Mentoring Partnership.
MICHAEL WEITZMAN (criminal
justice) graduated from the
New York Police Department’s
Police Academy on July 1.
President Anthony S. Caprio
attended the ceremony, which
involved 1,257 new officers, in
Madison Square Garden.
Speaker included Mayor Bill
de Blasio and Police Commis-
sioner William Bratton.
BEN CADWELL (communication)
was promoted to senior
account executive at Mintz +
hoke, an advertising agency
in Avon, CT. he joined the
company in 2013 as an
ROB MADRID (MBA) was named
director of digital solutions at
MassLive Media, a new digital
marketing solutions company
that operates in conjunction