Marilyn Rossetti, a past president of the HART board of directors, has spent about 20 years with the organization in some capacity. She will begin work Jan. 24 as executive director of the Open Hearth homeless men's shelter.
HARTFORD — Marilyn Rossetti, executive director of Hartford Areas Rally Together for the past eight years, is leaving her position at the end of the week.
Rossetti, a past president of the HART board of directors, has spent about 20 years with the organization in various capacities. She will begin work Jan. 24 as executive director of the Open Hearth homeless men's shelter.
"We did a lot of good work at HART and I want to do more at the Open Hearth," Rossetti said Wednesday.
Rossetti said that there were questions about HART's financial stability when she took over as leader, and the organization's way of doing things also needed to be changed. The organization's mission is to assist city residents in improving their quality of life in a variety of ways. The group helps with neighborhood improvements, immigration issues, childhood education, home ownership and other issues.
For many years, HART had been known to go about its work by holding rallies and protests and by demanding action from city officials and politicians.
"The old guard still wanted to do it that way, but we decided to start with a conversation first," said Rossetti, a former city councilwoman familiar with HART's methods from both sides of the fence.
Rossetti said the change in philosophy has helped the organization's image with contributors and made it more professional.
"Now we have a great mission and are a well-run business," she said.
Mayra Esquilin, HART's board president, said Wednesday that Rossetti would be missed, but that she was supportive of her move to another organization that serves the needs of city residents.
"Marilyn has been synonymous with HART for so long," Esquilin said. "She's been the beat of HART, so to speak."
Rossetti said she was looking forward to continuing Open Hearth's mission of providing services to homeless men.
"It's about building your life back through recovery and employment," Rossetti said.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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