Naples Senior Center Names Higgins as its Chairman of the Board

NAPLES, Fla. – Naples Senior Center, a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive programs and social services for seniors, announced the appointment of Prentiss C. Higgins as Board Chair. A long-time Naples Senior Center supporter, Higgins spent nearly 40 years in the design, manufacture and marketing of analytical instruments.

Prior to his retirement, Higgins was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for PhytoChem Technologies Inc., a research and development company of botanically based supplements and therapeutics in Chelmsford, Mass. Before that, he was President of ESA Laboratories, providing analytical services to industrial and biomedical organizations.

Higgins began his career as a field sales engineer with Norton Company in Worcester, Mass. Over the years, he served in a variety of executive roles with firms involved in research and development and quality control in the biomedical and industrial markets.

Higgins earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University. He spent seven years in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve and then obtained his Master’s of Business Administration from Amos Tuck School of Business Administration in Hanover, N.H.

As a volunteer, Higgins serves as a Trustee of the Marino Health Foundation, previously known as the Marino Center for Integrative Health in Wellesley, Mass. Previously, he was a Trustee of the Worchester Foundation for Biomedical Research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Mass., and of Victory Programs, a nonprofit organization in Boston dedicated to helping individuals and families who are homeless and who may have substance use disorders, often accompanied by chronic health issues.

Naples Senior Center is the only human services agency of its kind, providing “one-stop shop” services addressing the emotional and social needs of seniors in Collier and southern Lee counties. Since opening its doors in January 2014, the organization has seen a surge in the depth and scope of need for comprehensive senior services in this region.

Naples Senior Center enriches the lives of those 60 years of age and older by providing comprehensive programs and social services that support and strengthen individuals and their families, often at times of vulnerability and crisis. Since the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020, the center has been meeting the needs of seniors and their families virtually.

All programs and services are provided by licensed and credentialed professionals. These include Structured Dementia Respite Support; Geriatric Case Management and Senior Outreach Programs; and Emotional Support Services as well as a “choice” Food Pantry.

An average of 40 different social, educational and wellness programs also are offered each week thanks to a dedicated corps of more than 200 trained and vetted volunteers. Among the programs are a weekly “Lunch and More;” classes in art, music and film; brain fitness and educational seminars; courses in computer science; physical well-being; and interest groups. The center serves everyone regardless of backgrounds and beliefs.

To accommodate future growth, the Naples Senior Center has embarked on “A New Era for Seniors” capital campaign to raise $15 million for a new state-of-the-art facility. A lead $5-million gift by local philanthropists Patty and Jay Baker puts the capital campaign on a successful track and will inspire others to help in the cause. Additional support is being provided by the Brookdale Foundation, members of the Naples Senior Center Board and a matching grant from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation.

For additional information on the Naples Senior Center and its comprehensive programs and social services for area seniors and their families, visit