By Shirley Shuman
Gary Rexroad was recently chosen as the new Executive Director of the Braxton County Senior Citizens Center following the retirement of Mary Chapman. The BCSCC Board of Directors, headed by Chairman Evelyn Post, made the appointment, and he began May 4. Rexroad has seriously considered his new role and the road he followed to reach it.
The new director began as a volunteer with the center early in 2018. In March of that year, he was hired and began work as a “floater.” Explaining that position, Rexroad said, “I worked wherever they needed me. I worked in the kitchen, drove the van, home-delivered meals, and made medical runs (for appointments) for a few months. That summer they hired me into management as the Transportation, Nutrition Manager. In that position I oversaw the drivers and made their schedules, I took care of the building and the grounds, oversaw the meal program and much more.” Rexroad held that position until, in February of this year, he was moved to Assistant Director of the program.
Looking forward to working in his new position, Rexroad emphasized that he faces the challenge of filling the shoes of former director Mary Chapman. He described Chapman as “a very caring, giving person,” and said that filling her shoes will be difficult. He is, of course, eager for the challenge.
Another challenge, and one he eagerly anticipates, is “to enhance the quality of the senior citizens’ lives. One way he plans to accomplish this is “to improve the quality of the services we offer.” Rexroad explained that overseeing the various services and activities the center offers is sometimes daunting, but he feels sure he can handle that. The senior center employs over 130 individuals which take care of the meals, the activity site, meal delivery and other van deliveries, in-home care (which requires meeting eligibility requirements) along with care of the building and the grounds. Rexroad reported that some days these employees are working with “well over 100 people” counting home meal deliveries. He also mentioned that last year, the center provided over 7,000 meals in-house and delivered.
While Rexroad has been busy adjusting to his new role and making plans for further development, Chairman of the Board of Directors Evelyn Post explained how the Board chose him for the position. First, she named five qualities which she believes strong leaders must possess: honesty and integrity; good communication skills; willingness to delegate and empower a staff; commitment with passion, and confidence.
She continued to explain why Gary Rexroad fills the requirements for the job he now holds. “Gary is a true leader; he leads by example,” she said. “He fosters strong relationships with staff and the senior citizens. This is important because a relationship builder good with people ensures that all who come in contact with the seniors will reach their full potential in caring for those seniors. [His relationship with his staff] will also lead them to achieving their organizational goals as set by the board of directors.” Here Post noted that the board “will review organizational goals, meet with Gary and go over them.”
Concluding her explanation of the hiring of Rexroad, Post noted, “Gary wears the leadership mantle that will serve the center and the seniors very well now and in the future.” Working to fulfill his new role expertly and to display the characteristics of leadership listed by Director Post, Gary Rexroad took time to emphasize, “I encourage all seniors to take advantage of what the center offers and I invite all members of the community to come out and enjoy our miniature golf course and our walking trail.”