The DID board, staff, and partners mourn the loss of Frank Zammarelli, longtime DID operations manager, who passed away on June 1st. In his 12 years with the DID, Frank managed a staff of 17 clean team members and safety ambassadors, earning accolades for their transformative impact on the downtown environment.
Frank’s seasonal landscaping program leaves a lasting legacy, particularly during this time of the year, and he relished the challenge of juggling multiple projects while maintaining the flowers. He had an unusual ability to connect with his employees, and he was known for managing a loyal team, with several staff members staying in their positions for 5-10 years and beyond. In a 2012 interview about the landscaping program, Frank praised his team, commenting that “they are well-trained, take pride in their jobs, put in a great deal of effort, and enjoy what they do.”
As a former Commander of the Special Investigations Bureau and Deputy Commander of the Special Services Division within the Providence Police Department, he did not have any gardening experience before taking on the landscaping project. He became a quick study, gaining hands-on experience, reading books and information online, and listening to advice from the staff at Jacavone Garden Center and older friends in his neighborhood.
Over the years, Frank and his team won several awards including the Hospitality Community Service Award from The Rhode Island Hospitality Association in 2008, a Downtown Merit Award from the International Downtown Association in 2013 for the planting and beautification program, and most recently a Special Recognition Award from the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau in November 2016 “for keeping the city clean, safe and looking great, as well as being a welcome voice in our civic discourse.”
Frank is already deeply missed. Read more about his legacy in The Providence Journal.