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Craig retires as
director of Senior Services

 

By Melissa Robinson
Contributing Editor 

  Staff at the Henry County Senior Services Department, along with county officials, friends, family and well-wishers bid goodbye to director Susan Craig last Friday, during a retirement celebration held at Heritage Senior Center in McDonough.

Susan Craig chats with guests while they look at pictures from Susan’s past and present.                        Photo by Nick Vassy

  Henry County District I Commissioner Warren Holder presented a proclamation to Craig thanking her for her 27 years of service. She was also treated to a video montage of her years with Senior Services.

  Craig has been the director of Senior Services since 2007, but began her career with Henry County as a secretary for the Board of Commissioners in 1985. She was hired for the position of county clerk in 1999 and was appointed to interim county manager for a brief period in 2002. Craig served as county clerk until 2007, when she was tapped to become the Director of Senior Services. Under her leadership, Senior Services has responded to the growth in Henry County’s population with the addition of a senior center in Locust Grove. The department has also expanded programs for seniors, particularly in the areas of health and fitness, and began offering more technology-focused activities in response to the changing needs of the aging population.

  “I’ve seen the focus go from more craft type interests to more technology driven interests. People are retiring and coming out of the workforce at a younger age. They have been exposed to computers and they still want to learn even more. We have also seen a greater interest in health and fitness. We offer some wonderful fitness classes in varying levels, from arthritis classes and balance classes, on up to aerobic and yoga classes. People want to live long lives but they also want to have a good quality of life,” said Craig.

  Craig said she will happily turn over the reins of the department to Diane Reed, who is being promoted from her position as program coordinator to the Director of Senior Services. Reed brings 22 years of experience with the department and said she looks forward to the new opportunity. She is excited for the challenges ahead, and expects to continue the great work the whole department does on behalf of the geriatric community.

  “It’s a transition. I’ve been with the department for almost 22 years and there have been five directors since that time and I think I’ve learned something from each one. Susan’s taught me a lot and I’m really going to miss her, but she said she will be there to support me, so I’m looking forward to following in her footsteps,” said Reed.

  In addition to operating three centers, Henry County Senior Services offers hot, nutritious meals for both breakfast and lunch at a reasonable price, as well as serves Meals on Wheels to area homebound seniors, offering needed nourishment as well as company to those who may not otherwise see people on a daily basis. The Henry County Senior Services also offers an Ensure nutrition supplement program to those who qualify as well as home care and case management.

  Craig said in her retirement she hopes to continue to support both the senior population and the special needs community by continuing to advocate at the State Capitol on behalf of those who are vulnerable. She said she has a heart for the elderly and the special needs community, particularly because she took care of her aging father, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and her son, who is developmentally disabled. In addition to her advocacy work, she said she also plans to travel with her husband.

  “We enjoy the coast and the mountains and there’s a European trip we would like to take,” she said.

  Another passion of Craig’s is writing and she said she looks forward to writing about her family’s history for her children and grandchildren.

  “My family, my parents and other relatives, were very funny people and told wonderful stories and I’d like to get them written down for my children and future generations,” said Craig. “I enjoy writing and now will have time to do it.”

  Craig said she will also continue to be active in Henry County and will check in from time to time.

  “I’m not saying goodbye, I’m just saying see you later.”

 

 

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