BOSTON (WWLP) – Following up on a story you saw first on 22News, Governor Deval Patrick is appointing former Westfield mayor Rick Sullivan as his new chief of staff. 22News spoke with them both about the upcoming transition.
You first knew him as Westfield’s mayor for thirteen years. Rick Sullivan is currently the Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, but not for long. Deval Patrick picked Sullivan to serve as his Chief of Staff until the governor’s term ends in January.
“He is an experienced and proven leader. He has great management experience; he is highly respected among the cabinet members and throughout the administration and also with the legislative leadership here in the building,” said Governor Patrick.
Sullivan’s leadership skills will be put to the test as the Patrick administration continues to face several challenges: from the Department of Children and Families, to the state’s troubled health insurance website. Sullivan told 22News that he is nervous, but excited at the same time. He said he won’t forget his western Massachusetts roots as he takes on this new position.
“My father gave me some advice when I first got elected as mayor, which as don’t forget where you came from. And so I really took it as a part of my mission as first the DCR, then the Secretary, now as Chief of Staff, to remember that I am from western Massachusetts,” said Rick Sullivan.
Besides being Westfield’s mayor, Sullivan was a founding president of the Winding River Land Conservancy, which protects 1,700 acres in Hampden County.
Sullivan will begin his new job June 9. Once Patrick leaves office, Sullivan said he may go into the private sector.