During a special meeting of the Austintown Township trustees on Thursday, Feb. 2, Jim Henshaw was named to the position of Austintown Senior Center director. The move came after weeks of interviewing a field of more than 20 candidates.
Numerous qualified candidates were interviewed for the position by a panel that included the Austintown Trustees, members of the Austintown Generational Enrichment Board and a member of the Austintown Senior Advisory Council.
"There were unbelievable applicants for this job and Jim Henshaw's qualifications and personality shined throughout the process," said Austintown Trustee Jim Davis. "I'm confident he will provide our senior center with leadership it needs to take it to the next level. I'm so excited for the seniors who use this center to have such an exceptional individual as their executive director."
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Following a special meeting of the Austintown Township trustees Feb. 2, Jim Henshaw was named director of the Senior Center. He is pictured here with new program director Kay Lavelle, Trustee Lisa Oles, and activity aide Bruce Ricker.
The Rev. Rick Stauffer, chairman of the Austintown Generational Enrichment Committee, who was one of the six individuals who helped with the interview process said, "I am thrilled to welcome Jim Henshaw as director. To find someone as qualified and personable as Mr. Henshaw for this position is indeed a great gift. While the seniors deserve the best, we are glad to be able to offer them the best in all our staff at the senior center."
Henshaw will serve as the first permanent director of the center. Austintown Trustee Lisa Oles has been volunteering her time as interim director at the center for the past five months until a permanent director was found.
Henshaw said after the meeting that he has lived a very good life and had a good career.
"I felt all that I had learned in life was going to waste," he said. "So I applied so I could continue to use what I have learned and give back."
Henshaw, who earned his master's degree in business administration and bachelor's in accounting and finance from Youngstown State University, has served as CEO and CFO of three hospitals and also held the position of a nursing home administrator. He has written and has been successful in getting grants approved on federal, state and local levels and is knowledgeable about senior issues.
While he'll take a little time getting adjusted to his new position, he did say there were plans he would like to get moving on. He would like to expand the kitchen and said he is looking for equipment -- even used. He also would like to see the hours expanded from the present 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. He intends to go after a 501c status as well as other grants.
Another area he wants to focus on is health care. He said seniors are often gullible when it comes to supplemental policies.
"When I was working at Youngstown Orthopedic Hospital, I ran across a lady who had six supplemental policies," Henshaw said. "She only needed one. She was bombarded by sales people who only had their own interest at heart."
He said he wants to develop a program to help seniors avoid paying for services they don't need, and a program to educate seniors on identity theft. He said in both those realms, seniors are often prime targets.
Austintown Trustees Chairman Dave Ditzler said Henshaw will be an asset when it comes to working with seniors.
"He is an excellent choice," Ditzler said. "He will do a fine job for the seniors of Austintown. I am grateful to have someone of his quality in the position of director."
As the new director, Henshaw will be responsible for day-to-day operations of the center, will serve as the ambassador for the center and will be responsible for applying for grants to provide additional funding for the center.