Frank Siembab has a bubbly and outgoing personality. Whether it’s leading a crowd in a rousing rendition of ‘God Bless America’ at a Hall of Fame induction ceremony or connecting with his co-workers, the Special Olympics Rhode Island athlete is known for lighting up the room.
Despite being passionate about sports, the 67-year-old didn’t have opportunities to compete while in high school. It should come as no surprise that when he found Special Olympics, he took advantage of every chance that came his way and excelled in them all.
“Special Olympics means a lot of things to a lot of different people, including the athletes like me,” says Siembab.
Siembab has collected hundreds of medals across sports such as swimming, softball, athletics, soccer, and bocce. Because of this success, he’s received recognition as McDonald's Inspirational Athlete of the Year, the Rhode Island Unsung Hero Award, and the Rhode Island Athlete of the Year. To top it off, in 2017, he was inducted into the Town of Warren Athletic Hall of Fame.
He brings that same commitment to Advanced Remarketing Services (ARS), where he has worked since 2017 as part of a partnership with the James L. Maher Center. “I work there Mondays and Wednesdays where I do all things cleaning like vacuuming,” Siembab says.
In a post written on Siembab displayed on the company’s website, it says he is the “head cheerleader, our resident songwriter, and a source of endless joy to be around.”
The feeling is mutual. During the interview with Siembab, he started to name-drop coworkers who mean a lot to him or that have been role models to him in the workplace, including Kelly Furtado, ARS General Manager.
“Frank is amazing,” Furtado says. “He has such a great personality and is always smiling, he asks about how your day is going and what we did over the weekend, as well as tell us what he has been up to. He just brings positivity, no better way to start my day than seeing Frank.”
Siembab talked about how important it is to have Special Olympics athletes find meaningful employment, but more importantly how great it is that the two organizations are partners. ARS runs the vehicle donation program for Special Olympics, proudly returning more than 80% of the gross vehicle sale back to Special Olympics.
Their partnership and commitment to living up to the ideals of that partnership send such a strong message through the community.
“People with disabilities, in my opinion, want to be just like everyone else, they want to feel included, be part of a team, be an employee and earn a wage in the process where they are able to spend it and feel confident about giving back to society,” Furtado says. “Having Frank work with us puts a new perspective on adults with disabilities, he shows he can do the work just as well as anyone and we feel extremely proud of him.”
The ARS team has plenty to be proud of when it comes to Siembab, who enjoys building Lego models and volunteering for Meals on Wheels in his spare time. But the way Siembab lights up each time he talks about his job, it's clear the feeling goes both ways.