ALBANY — A woman who has spent more than four decades trying improve upon the services offered to senior citizens in Southwest Georgia has been honored on a national level.

SOWEGA Council on Aging Executive Director Kay Hind received an “Excellence in Leadership” award this past week at a National Association of Area Agencies on Aging conference in Philadelphia.

“There were over 900 people at this conference,” said Hind. “I think this is the first time they have given out this particular award. “I’ll admit, I was excited.”

It is a conference Hind usually attends every year. She learned she would be receiving the award when she got a call from the coordinators of the conference after they noticed she had not yet registered.

“I’m very pleased with it,” Hind said.

In her 46 years working on behalf of senior citizens, Hind said she served on the national board as an alternate for four years and as a full board member the following four years.

Her longevity of service aside, including advocacy at the Georgia state level, Hind said her selection may have been influenced by her role in establishing the 45,000-square-foot Kay H. Hind Senior Life Enrichment Center near downtown Albany.

The center, which took two decades and roughly $10 million to come to fruition, is more advanced than most aging agencies have access to, she said.

“The quality of the programs we have here really stand out in the field,” she said.

Such recognition, she added, also helps when it becomes necessary to apply for the grants needed to keep services going.

“It is one more thing to give us credibility when applying for grants,” Hind said. “We will continue to do that.”

Among her other recent accolades have included a lifetime achievement award she received from the Georgia Aging Network in 2013.

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