ROC-A-Thon training proves huge success for Mass. ROC Leaders

KINGSTON, MASS. – Massachusetts ROC leaders helped plan this year’s statewide training and their efforts paid off: the yearly ROC-A-Thon saw its largest turnout ever. 

More than 100 ROC leaders came out for the 6th-annual ROC-A-Thon training held at Towne & Country Estates Cooperative. They networked with their peers from across the state and bolstered their skills on topics like planning for future development and investment and understanding the full picture of a ROC’s finances and income.

The training was hosted by the team at Cooperative Development Institute, the ROC USA® Network Certified Technical Assistance Provider in the state.

“Whenever leaders of resident-owned communities come together, their collective knowledge and experience is impressive. They are hungry to learn more of how to strengthen their communities, and preserve housing security and affordability for their members,” said Andy Danforth, Director of the CDI NEROC Program. “At the end of the day it’s the bonds that ROC leaders build with each other during the Massachusetts ROC-A-Thons that makes us hopeful for the future of resident ownership in Massachusetts.”

Members of the ROC USA staff and Dan Less, an assistant attorney general for the state, and Chris Jee, land use and housing development counsel at the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, joined the training as well.

Mary O’Hara, Director of ROC USA Network, said she was thrilled by both the turnout and the engagement of attendees. 

“The questions were thoughtful and right on target,” she said. “CDI did a great job putting something together that community members were asking for and interested in. The whole thing was very well-organized.”

O’Hara said a group of ROC leaders worked with CDI to help create the agenda for the event. The group consisted of eight ROC leaders: Nancy Froio of Halifax Estates, Joan Thompson-Stein, Donna Beals and Nancy Morrison of Conifer Green, Nancy Silvia of Twin Coach, and Donna Carty and Jeanne Seaton of Pine Tree Village. The group has been meeting over the last few months and attending one another’s Board Meetings, which helped them build out the agenda, O’Hara said.

The vast majority of the 25 ROCs in Massachusetts and Rhode Island were represented at the event. Three communities in the process of becoming resident-owned also attended.