~ Press release provided by Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging
FRONT ROYAL, June 14 — The Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging (SAAA) announced Jimmy Roberts has been named executive director of the nonprofit devoted to meeting the needs of our seniors as they age in place in the counties of Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah, and Warren, and the City of Winchester.
Roberts, a licensed professional counselor and former independent small business owner, served as a care manager and then director of care management before being promoted. He holds a master’s degree, brings 23 years of business management experience and 15 years of nonprofit experience to the position. He has been with the company for seven years, and succeeds Linda Holtzapple, who held the position for four years.
“All of us at the SAAA see a continued opportunity to have an even bigger influence in our communities as we work hard to reopen all of our services in this post COVID environment,” Roberts said. “I’m really excited about this next step for SAAA and I can’t wait to see where we can go, and am honored to have the opportunity to lead the SAAA.”
“The agency is poised to really develop its vision and build on the tremendous momentum of the past 46 years,” Roberts continued. “I look forward to being a part of the effort to bring the agency to the next level, making a positive difference for even more seniors living in the Northern Shenandoah Valley.”
In 1975, Pastor A.D. Goodson, of Front Royal United Methodist Church, announced that the church would be launching an outreach mission for the elderly. The decision coincided with the release of federal funds to be funneled to localities and then to organizations that serve the elderly.
At that time, though, Warren County lacked any organization that would be eligible for the funding. Resolved not to miss the opportunity, Goodson immediately began a new ministry that provided free meals for older community members. The program started out with only two employees: an executive director and nurse. They provided meals in the fellowship hall, which were cooked in the church’s kitchens. Later, they began delivering meals to homebound individuals. What began as a humble outreach program has now grown to 99,997 meals served in the past year and offers many more programs and services.
“We continue as a nonprofit organization that provides high quality services and opportunities that enhance the dignity and independence of seniors and promote their contributions to the community,” Roberts said. “Agency services are designed to assist older persons who wish to stay in their own homes, to provide information for seniors and their families, to protect individuals living in long-term care residences, and to facilitate staying active and provide community service.”