Longtime Lasallian Phil De Rita will serve the mission in a new role at the Regional level.
Eatontown, NJ – After more than thirteen years at the helm of The District of Eastern North America’s (DENA) communications and public relations efforts, Mr. Philip De Rita will step down from his post. The founding Director for the Office of Communications and Public Relations, De Rita will exit the role on January 13, 2023.
While he is leaving the Office he has manned since the creation of DENA in 2009, De Rita will continue to serve the Lasallian educational mission as Programs Manager for the Lasallian Region of North America’s (RELAN) Christian Brothers Conference (CBC), starting January 18, 2023.
Presiding over all aspects of communications and public relations for DENA, De Rita has fostered relationships with communications practitioners at the more than thirty District ministries and programs spanning the Northeastern United States, Toronto, Florida, and Puerto Rico, serving more than 23,000 students and clients. Since the early days of the Office, De Rita has led the development of brand identity, publication standards, project protocols, and communication channels, with consideration of national and international brand standards, and implemented comprehensive communication plans across multiple mediums including online, print, and video.
“Phil’s creativity and competence have ensured that our message has been clear and focused,” said Br. Robert Schaefer, FSC, Provincial/Visitor for DENA. “Our footprint on various social media platforms, e-mail marketing efforts, print and marketing collateral, and our robust website has always been professional and of high quality, and benefitted from his service and leadership.”
Later in his tenure, De Rita generated engagement with an audience of more than five thousand Lasallian educators and staff throughout DENA, in addition to the global Institute audience, through the launching of the District Office’s three-year strategic plan from 2018-2021.
In 2019, De Rita co-chaired DENA’s tenth-anniversary celebration in coordination with the planning committee, masterfully handling the logistics of hosting a livestream presentation to ten District ministries to help facilitate the connection, training, networking, and association of more than three thousand Lasallian educators.
During his almost fourteen-year career with the District, De Rita has helped create marketing and promotional campaigns encouraging the vocation and religious life of De La Salle Christian Brothers, with the inaugural campaign based on concepts offered by collegiate Communications students at La Salle University. De Rita has also shared his skillsets, tailoring them to our Lasallian charism, presenting locally and nationally on topics including brand creation, marketing trends, crisis communications, organization mission and structure.
“Over the years, Phil has become a Lasallian leader, a man grounded in our charism and mission,” commented Br. Robert. “He finds inspiration in the contemporary manifestation of our Lasallian tradition. This was clearly seen in his work with the District’s Young Lasallian Council and VEGA Conference hosted in 2022. He is well-positioned to bring his background and skills to the service of the Regional office. With his work in the area of the many programs of the Region, we will continue to benefit from his generous commitment and competent service.”
In the role of Programs Manager, a brand-new position within CBC, which falls under the Office for Lasallian Education, De Rita will aid in providing high-level mission formation programs and educational opportunities designed to strengthen the Lasallian identity and mission for Christian Brothers and Lay Partners throughout the Region.
“I am honored to have served our Lasallian mission for more than seventeen years, getting my start at La Salle School for Boys in Albany, NY,” said De Rita. “Much like our Founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle, I had no idea of the wider work I was joining in the beginning. I’m grateful to have been part of this mission at the ministry level, and for this long tenure at the District level. I pray that I have served our ministries well, and am grateful for the opportunity to have met and been guided by our many Christian Brothers and Lasallian Partners along the way!”
“It’s bittersweet to end this chapter of my Lasallian journey,” De Rita added, “but I’m excited for the opportunity to continue to strengthen our Lasallian family, now through our formation and education programs at the Regional level.”