New Senior Center Executive Director Excited to be in Dexter
The Dexter Senior Center has its first Executive Director.
The DSC Board has announced Gordon L. Smith III as Executive Director. Smith will manage the center’s day-to-day operations, conduct program evaluation, process development, financial management, strategic planning, and fundraising, and act as the main liaison between the DSC and the greater community of Dexter.
“As the Executive Director of the DSC, I look forward to developing relationships with the local community to better serve our seniors,” Smith said in a statement. “Our goal is to expand the role of the DSC within Dexter and the surrounding area, strategically working with our Local and State government officials to increase awareness of the challenges our senior citizens face and create opportunities for partnerships with private businesses, institutions, community organizations, and volunteers. As a team, we will enhance our seniors' quality of life.”
DSC Board President Jim Carson notes, "His energy, drive, ideas, and community mindset make us all very excited to have Gordon onboard. The Dexter Senior Center is entering a new era, and Gordon will be leading us through that."
In a phone call with the Sun Times News, Smith explained that his desire to work in a nonprofit organization prompted him to apply for the ED position and his family’s desire to move to Michigan from Texas. He did some research before he arrived in town a few days ago.
“When I learned more about the town of Dexter, I saw that there was a great area need for seniors, and I love the senior population,” he says. “The amount of knowledge, the history, and the fact that it’s also a vulnerable population is where we need someone willing to advocate for them and ensure they’re safe. That’s what really drew me to the job.”
However, what he read online about Dexter didn’t compare to what he found.
“Now Dexter as a town really surprised me,” says Smith. “I would not assume that a town of four thousand people has so much to offer. The infrastructure is amazing. The people are extremely welcoming. I’ve been nothing but surprised about Dexter.”
Gordon brings with him a great sense of humor. He laughs easily, including at himself, as he gets acquainted with his new location.
“It is just amazing how I can be lost in a town that has like maybe six main streets,” he laughs. “It is a marvel, but I’ve successfully done that for the last three days.”
Gordon is excited to get going with the center and sees the already dynamic atmosphere as a foundation upon which to build.
“My initial impression of the Dexter Senior Center is that it is a very vibrant place,” he says. “When you see the programming, hear the laughter, see the level of impact that the senior center has had on our members' lives, it makes it much bigger than one would think.”
“We have a service that, just by us being here, we help combat senior isolation,” he adds. “That’s one of the big efforts I want to pay more attention to this year and increase community awareness about it.”
The Dexter Senior Center has been serving the Greater Dexter Area since 1971. It continues to be a place where older adults can enjoy companionship, entertainment, and fitness and improve their overall health and sense of well-being. The center was among the first in Washtenaw County to offer hot lunches and Meals on Wheels, which provides meals to homebound members five days a week.