SOWEGA Council on Aging Executive Director Kay Hind to retire

Kay Hind, executive director of the SOWEGA Council on Aging, announced Tuesday that she is planning to retire in March. (Herald File Photo)

ALBANY — SOWEGA Council on Aging Executive Director Kay Hind announced at the agency’s annual meeting on Tuesday that she would retire after nearly half a century of service.

The meeting was held at the council’s Kay H. Hind Senior Life Enrichment Center on West Society Avenue, where Hind discussed the agency’s 2016 Annual Report and the history and vision of the agency. The council’s nominating committee presented a slate of board members for the next three-year term.

Hind closed the meeting with an announcement that she will retire effective on March 31. She has been the executive director at the organization since 1967, 49 of the 50 years the agency has been in operation.

The agency began with an $8,000 budget, one employee and one volunteer. Under Hind’s direction, the agency has been designated as an Area Agency on Aging by the state and expanded into a $6 million operation with more than 20 programs serving more than 25,000 seniors per year while offering information and resources to 67,000 seniors living in Southwest Georgia.

“Working for the Council on Aging has been an exciting ride. Over the years, I have seen the programs developed and the services increase; but even more importantly, I have seen a lot of change in the attitude toward seniors and the focus on their value in our communities,” Hind said in a statement. “I am so pleased that we have been a part of this movement through our programs and services such as exercise, nutrition and education.

“Having the Senior Life Enrichment Center has allowed us to reach more seniors, and we look forward to expanding opportunities in the future.”

Hind made the announcement at the meeting with her family present, along with employees at the agency who have been there almost as long as she has. She said she intends to remain involved in advocacy efforts for aging services following her retirement.

The Senior Life Enrichment Center, which celebrated its grand opening in early 2014, is considered one of the greatest achievements by the agency under Hind’s leadership. Over the course of several years, she was one of the most outspoken advocates for the facility’s completion.

The Council on Aging was established in 1966 and works to coordinate a system of services that promotes the well-being and independence of older and disabled Georgians, helping them achieve healthy and self-sufficient lives. It serves seniors and disabled individuals in a 14-county service area.

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I'm a 2007 graduate of Georgia Southern University, and I've been a reporter for The Albany Herald since 2008. I cover news related to health care, Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, SOWEGA Council on Aging and other areas as assigned.