The St. Michaels Community Center’s Advisory Board has announced Patrick Rofe will become the nonprofit’s fourth Executive Director in its more than 30-year history. Rofe will begin in mid-August after he and his wife Simone move cross-country from Olympia, Wash., where he has served the past three years as Executive Director of a local land trust. SMCC’s Executive Director Emerita Trish Payne announced her retirement in late 2020, and has continued serving as Interim Executive Director while the Advisory Board conducted its executive search.
“Patrick is an outstanding choice to lead our Community Center in strengthening and expanding our community service,” said SMCC Advisory Board President Langley Shook. “We also want to recognize and thank Trish for her dedication and service as our longtime Executive Director and her staying onto help with this transition.”
Rofe’s career in executive leadership and development spans more than 16 years. His experience includes working at large and small nonprofit organizations with a focus on strategic planning, financial management, event planning, program development, process improvement, and development. When he’s not at work, you might spot Patrick birding, hiking, kayaking, or fly-fishing throughout the Eastern Shore.
“We moved from Salisbury to the Pacific Northwest, but the Eastern Shore kept calling us back,” says Rofe.”The Eastern Shore is where Simone and I were married, and we’re excited to return and to reconnect with friends and eager to get out and explore Blackwater and Assateague.”
“I appreciate the board’s confidence in me, and I’m delighted to lead such a great organization,” said Rofe. “I am humbled by the unique opportunity and responsibility to help grow and expand the programming at SMCC. And I’m equally dedicated to helping the St. Michaels Community Center chart a bright and promising course founded in collaboration with our volunteers and partners.”
Rofe served as Executive Director of the Furnace Town living history museum in Snow Hill, Md. from 2015 to 2018, with prior service leading nonprofits on the Eastern Shore and Annapolis. He received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., and serves on the boards of the Eastern Shore Heritage Council and the Haki Farmers Collective.
“I’m very much looking forward to working collaboratively with the SMCC’s staff, board, and the community,” said Rofe. “I’m eager to create lasting results and deeper connections for people and the Community Center’s work.
“I enjoy creating and strengthening programs that have a direct and lasting impact on everyone in the community. Years ago, when I worked at the Salvation Army of Southeast Michigan, I worked closely with Gleaners Community Food Bank and a local restaurateur and together we transformed the food program at the Salvation Army. It’s work that still resonates with me today and I hope to make a similar impact at SMCC.”
“Rofe’s leadership comes at a critical time in the history of SMCC,” said Shook. “We’re planning a major renovation of our building on Railroad Avenue, with our dream to transform our old lumber warehouse into a modern, efficient facility to better serve our community and to become a landmark that better harmonizes with the neighborhood and the historic Union United Methodist Church across the street.”
The St. Michaels Community Center’s mission is to serve, empower, and connect the community, with program and building improvement plans dependent on grants and private donations. Donations to SMCC and proceeds from its Treasure Cove Thrift Shop on Railroad Ave. in St. Michaels help the nonprofit provide year-round programs, services, and community events for residents of St. Michaels and the Bay Hundred area. More information is at stmichaelscc.org.