Marcus Mitchell of Providence, has been named AARP Rhode Island Volunteer State President, according to a press release released by the local organization. Mitchell replaces Phil Zarlengo, whose term expires Dec. 31.

Mitchell is the founder of Shere Strategy Enterprises, a boutique strategic solutions company which focuses on crisis management, small business start-ups and conflict resolution. He serves as Commissioner on the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights and as a member of the Rhode Island Statewide Planning Council.

He also serves on the boards of The Miriam Hospital , Grow Smart RI, the Village Common, and the RI Environmental Educators Association.  

Besides his professional background, and board memberships, Marcus was the founding president of the Providence Community Library, the founding president of the National Urban League Young Professionals, which has dozens of chapters and thousands of members across the country, and president of Fellowship Farm, an historic international human relations training facility.

He served as a division commander in the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, and continues to support environmental education programs and protection strategies, surface and harbor patrols, and disaster readiness.

Marcus is author of the book, “Leadership Secrets: Right in the Heart”; co-author of more than 15 scientific publications during a twenty-year career as a cardiovascular sciences researcher at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, and an editor of the book, “Biotechnology: Business, Regulation & Law.” He also has experience as U.S. Senate staff as a Director of Community & Economic Development, a radio talk show host, and director of a nonprofit economic development coalition in his native Pennsylvania.

 “We are extremely excited and so fortunate to welcome Marcus into this vital position,” said AARP Rhode Island State Director Catherine Taylor. “Volunteers are the lifeblood of AARP in Rhode Island and adding his experience and expertise to our team is a golden opportunity to grow our volunteer ranks, energize volunteer engagement and lead our Executive Council. Marcus has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in his long and impressive career and I am confident he will enhance our volunteer strategies as well as serve as a passionate champion of our accomplishments.”

The AARP Rhode Island Volunteer State President serves as the principal AARP volunteer spokesperson, communicating AARP messages statewide. The President provides vision and leadership to AARP activities and chairs the state Executive Council. In partnership with the State Director and the Executive Council, develops the framework for state strategic planning and the coordination of AARP activities.

Frank Prosnitz

Frank Prosnitz brings to WhatsUpNewp several years in journalism, including 10 as editor of the Providence (RI) Business News and 14 years as a reporter and bureau manager at the Providence (RI) Journal. Prosnitz began his journalism career as a sportswriter at the Asbury Park (NJ) Press, moving to The News Tribune (Woodbridge, NJ), before joining the Providence Journal. Prosnitz hosts the Morning Show on WLBQ radio (Westerly), 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, and It’s Your Business, also on WBLQ, Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Prosnitz has twice won Best in Business Awards from the national Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), twice was named Media Advocate of the Year by the Small Business Administration, won an investigative reporter’s award from the New England Press Association, and newswriting award from the Rhode Island Press Association.