Following a 40-year career as a manager in the banking sector including several years as an executive vice president at Coastway Community Bank (now HarborOne), Jana Planka is following her passion for mentoring and is taking on the role of chief operating officer at Mentor Rhode Island.
“Jana’s management experience, business acumen, and belief in youth mentoring will be key components in the long-term success of our organization. In alignment with our strategic priorities, the staff restructuring Mentor Rhode Island has completed will position our team to be as efficient as possible,” said Mentor Rhode Island president and CEO Jo-Ann Schofield. “As a small non-profit we continue to do more with less and Jana’s addition allows us to streamline staff functions and responsibilities. We will be more nimble, opportunistic, and forward thinking as an organization as we continue our mission to provide youth access to mentors.”
Planka will focus on day-to-day office operations, staff management, and Mentor Rhode Island’s newest efforts to engage the corporate community through various efforts including fee-for-service trainings to help companies with employee retention by creating a mentoring culture or a formal mentoring program for their employees.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to use the skills I’ve gained over the past 40 years to support a cause I care very deeply for,” said Planka. “I was very fortunate to have grown up with lots of guidance and support from those around me,” she said. “And now, I believe the best way to acknowledge the gifts I have been given is to take this position with Mentor Rhode Island and help provide more access to the gifts of mentoring for our youth.”
Mentor Rhode Island serves as an umbrella organization for dozens of mentoring programs around Rhode Island offering help with recruitment, training, and technical assistance. The non-profit organization based in Warwick is directly responsible for the coordination of the school-based mentoring programs in Warwick, Woonsocket, Newport, Middletown, Pawtucket, Providence, Warren and Cranston.
To learn more about the role mentoring plays in our community and to find volunteer opportunities visit www.MentorRI.org
Mentor Rhode Island’s mission is to ensure youth have access to the motivational and supportive relationships they need to grow into confident, successful adults.