Emily Stover DeRocco

September 5, 1950July 3, 2021
Obituary of Emily Stover DeRocco
Emily Stover DeRocco was a generous spirit. In her professional life, she provided leadership of programs based on talent development strategies that aligned with the needs of American business and economic development. In her personal life, she was the ‘mother of many children”, with gifts of coaching, mentoring and networking. She inspired others to discover their life’s purpose and follow an education and career path to pursue their dreams. She was generous in all ways, both big and small. Emily was known for “getting things done”. She was born to Richard and Lena Stover in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1950. She proudly graduated from The Pennsylvania State University and headed to Washington D.C., determined to find a role in federal government, beginning with an early career at the Department of Interior. At the Department of Interior, she met and then married the love of her life, Thomas DeRocco, who predeceased her in 2014. While working full-time, she also received her Juris Doctorate from the Georgetown Law Center, tenaciously walking the stage while 8 months pregnant with her daughter, Lauren DeRocco. Emily transitioned to serve as Executive Director and COO for the National Association of State Workforce Agencies. From this role, she was recruited and nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Assistant Secretary of Labor. She was instrumental in redesigning workforce development programs, repositioning the investment in these programs to strategically align education and economic development initiatives with the needs of the business community and increase the capacity and effectiveness of the nation’s community college system. With the change in administrations, Emily decided to join The Manufacturing Institute. Under her innovative leadership as President, the Institute researched and confirmed the changing workforce needs in manufacturing and implemented a strategic national agenda on education reform and workforce development. She led the initiatives to launch Manufacturing Skills Certifications and other innovative programs to match education programs with business needs. As her next chapter, she founded E3 (Engage Educate Employ), a strategic consulting practice focused on linking education, workforce and economic development. Her consulting engagements included the National Network of Business and Industry Associations for Business Roundtable, American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Institute, Australian Naval Shipbuilding Advisory Board, President’s Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion and Education and Workforce Development for the Office of the Secretary of Defense Manufacturing Technology Program. She was looking forward to her new title of Nonna for the soon-to-arrive first grandchild. Emily died unexpectedly and peacefully in her sleep on July 3, 2021, the eve of one of her favorite holidays. She is survived by her daughter, Lauren DeRocco (Surag Gopi), her granddaughter, Lena and brothers Jack and Robert Stover. A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, September 10, beginning at 2:00 p.m., at the Eastern Market North Hall and Plaza, 225 Seventh Street, SE Washington, DC. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Navy League of United States Emily Stover DeRocco Scholarship Fund. To make a donation online, please visit Click on “PLEDGE YOUR SUPPORT”. In the dropdown box, select Emily Stover DeRocco Scholarship. Or, a check can be mailed to Navy League Foundation at 2300 Wilson Blvd., Suite 200, Arlington, VA 22201-5424, noting Emily’s name in the memo section of the check.

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Past Services

Friday, September 10, 2021

Memorial Service