‘We Were a Solid Dynamic Team and I Will Miss that Relationship Tremendously’: Rose on Retirement
By Britton Summers
As the old saying goes, all things must come to an end, and never is that more true than when a person chooses to move into a different phase of their life.
Danita Rose will be stepping down from her role as Executive Vice President of Oklahoma City Community College, a role she has held since 2019.
Rose said that she initially came to OCCC because she was initially intrigued to start working at the college after she retired from being employed for 36 years in the banking industry.
“Retirement isn’t always easy and so when I was approached about finding new ways to establish revenue streams into the college, I accepted,” Rose said.
Rose’s favorite part of working at OCCC was bringing hope for a better work environment for employees who had been struggling for years to do their jobs.
She said that some of her favorite memories were made during the last 18 months when she heard laughter in the offices and hallways, which signaled to her that the people were engaged fully and not just for a paycheck.
“They let down their guards and even though they were good before, magic starts to happen and it spreads. This was my favorite part to witness. A very personal favorite was getting to share bonus time working with my son Erick,” Rose said.
Rose’s son is Executive Creative Director of Marketing and Public Relations Erick Worrrell.
Rose said her major accomplishments were helping other executives do their jobs by removing obstacles and supporting their great ideas.
One of the many accomplishments of Rose was working with OCCC’s Interim President Jeremy Thomas in areas that crossed over between the academics and the business of running the college.
“We were a solid dynamic team and I will miss that relationship tremendously,” Rose said.
Rose enjoyed working with President Thomas, Greg Gardner, and Chris Snow and the entire facilities team on many office restructure projects, to repurpose underutilized space and thereby saving the college more than $16 million dollars.
Rose also enjoyed working with Regina Switzer, OCCC’s Vice President of Human Resources, to revamp the Faculty and Staff salary bands.
“We conducted a state-wide evaluation and adjusted salary bands and individual salaries of the entire staff to be more in line with industry standards,” Rose said.
Rose was very proud to have worked with Daniel Piazza and the campus police to help expose their mission of being on campus as “THE HELP” and not the enemy.
“Getting the opportunity to discover what all they actually do was a huge eye-opener,” she said.
Rose’s only regret is that she would have liked to stay around for another five years to see many of her accomplishments mature and reach their full potential.
Rose plans to take a long rest after completing her work with OCCC, saying that she was looking forward to some down time.
“I don’t know if I am ready to fully retire and may look for something to just work a few days a week. Time will tell,” she said.
Rose wants to encourage everyone to move confidently into the future, to let go of the past and leave the fear behind.
Rose also wants employees to respect each other and treat each other with kindness, as well as be transparent, honest, and fair to everyone all the time.
“Find your voice and speak up when you discover or even perceive wrongdoing – but do it in a productive manner. Be professionals – not a mob. Channel those strong opinions and feelings always in what is best for OCCC knowing that our own personal opinion will not always be accepted by all the players. If we can ever reach that level, there is nothing we can not accomplish,” Rose said.
Rose submitted her resignation on February 14, which will be made effective on June 30. She will be truly missed.