A five-month search ends with the news that Kraft will take the reins on June 4.
Kraft has been working in Botswana, Africa as an HIV/AIDS capacity building specialist for the Peace Corps. For the previous 13 years, she was the department director and the public face of the Adult Day Health Care programs in Eureka and Fortuna run by Humboldt Senior Resource Center.
She led the transition into the Alzheimer’s Resource Center that opened two years ago in Eureka and had responsibilities in staff training, the Dementia Care Coalition, developing a volunteer program, and community outreach around dementia issues.
Kraft developed and monitored a $1.7 million budget for the Adult Day Health Care program and represented HSRC in the California Association of Adult Day Services.
“She’s very enthusiastic about the possibilities and potential for the organization - for her and for all of us,” said Darlene Penfold, chair of A1AA’s board of directors. “She came across exceptionally well through all of the application and interview processes and has the qualifications to move us forward.”
Kraft interviewed with the selection committee twice via Skype, walking three miles in 100-degree weather to reach a connection point, board vice-chair Nyle Henderson said.
”It was an adventure,” Penfold said. “We lost power halfway through the first interview and had to finish by conference call.”
That story brought chuckles from the staff, many of whom know Kraft.
”I really respect her,” said A1AA director of finance Elaine David. “She understands what we are all about and has established relationships with the key players in senior services. She will be a powerful advocate for the aging community and an effective leader for this agency.”
“Everyone knows Maggie and her dedication to the issues that impact older Americans and their families,” said Todd Metcalf, director of programs for A1AA. “She will bring a lot to the A1AA table.”
Area 1 Agency on Aging is a nonprofit that began in 1980 as an information and referral agency and initially worked with contractors to improve nutrition through home-delivered and dining center based lunches for seniors in Humboldt and Del Norte counties. Since then it has expanded to serve more than 33,000 residents and multiple partner agencies. The staff of 24 employees and 20 volunteers supports the agency’s work in advocacy, caregiving, information and assistance referrals, health insurance counseling, and volunteering. Contracted services currently include nutrition programs and legal services.
For more information about the services provided by the Area 1 Agency on Aging visit its website at www.a1aa.org.