EASTHAMPTON — Char Gentes, president and CEO of Riverside Industries in Easthampton, announced that, after nearly a decade as president, she will be retiring at the end of 2021. Riverside Industries is a nonprofit agency that has been empowering individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live rich and full lives for more than 50 years.
“I will reach the great age of 65 near the end of this year and look forward to a slower pace and more free time in this next chapter of my life,” Gentes recently told her staff. She has spent most of her working life at Riverside, celebrating a tenure of more than 37 years. During that time, she held the position of president for just under 10 years, leading the transition from the well-established model of shelter workshop to community-based services.
The Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast is leading Riverside Industries’ executive search for a new president and CEO. The recruitment process has already begun, with the board forming a search committee earlier this spring. The goal is for the new president to work alongside Gentes for a month, allowing for a smooth transition.
“Riverside has a very strong leadership team with decades of experience and wisdom,” she continued in her message to staff. “Riverside and its new president will be blessed with this dynamic team during this transition.”