By Kia Croom,
Richmond Native Rochelle Monk, a dedicated city administrator and community volunteer, is one of five individuals selected to receive an award from the Fifth Annual Judge George Carroll Community Service Awards program sponsored by the Black American Political Action Committee (BAPAC) of Contra Costa County.
Growing up, Monk was always highly ambitious and seemed destined to achieve success in the private sector. She started her career as an administrative assistant for Bank of America, a position she held for four years.
Although she was knee-deep in her career in San Francisco, she could not help but feel she was out of touch with the Richmond community. She yearned to reconnect in some way.
So, when an opportunity arose to work in her beloved city as an office administrator managing a Bechtel Corporations project, Monk seized it.
After three years at Bechtel, she was approached by then City of Richmond Employment and Training Director Isaiah Turner with an offer to help launch a city construction job-training program.
Although initially apprehensive, she took a leap of faith, becoming a Richmond public servant.
“Working for the City of Richmond has allowed me to do what I love best: serve. I don’t take this opportunity lightly,” she said. “I believe even a few good, sincere men and women can make a difference in our community. Richmond is a jewel.”
Since then, Monk has worked for the city as a community affairs coordinator in the City Manager’s Office. She was recently appointed by Mayor McLaughlin and City Manager Bill Lindsay as Chief Service Officer, responsible for developing and implementing the City Service program, which engages citizens to address critical needs through focused and high-impact volunteering.
In her spare time, she volunteers at her children’s school, supports a host of nonprofit and civic organizations and is an active in her church, Shiloh Christian Center in Oakland.
Monk is the founder of Single Mothers Achieving Righteousness Together (S.M.A.R.T.), a nonprofit that provides forums and resources to educate and empower single mothers to make the right choices for themselves and their children.
The Fifth Annual Judge George Carroll Service Awards will take place 5:30 p.m. on May 3 at the Richmond Sanitary Service Office, 3260 Blume Drive in Richmond.
BAPAC established the award program in 2008 in honor of Judge George Carroll (Retired), who promoted family values, integrity, personal responsibility, public service and concern for the welfare of others. The event recognizes community leaders who have demonstrated an unselfish commitment to public service and tireless work in the community for common good.
Other award winners will be featured in future issues of the Richmond Post.