A veteran employee has been named the new executive director of SourcePoint, Delaware County's nonprofit organization serving older residents.

Fara Waugh, SourcePoint's director of client services, will step into the organization's top position July 1.

Its board of directors selected her to succeed Robert Horrocks, who has led SourcePoint as executive director since it was created in 1992 as the Council for Older Adults.

"I'm extremely excited and honored to have the opportunity to continue the great work Bob began 27 years ago and working with the wonderful staff to continue to serve our older population as we grow in a variety of ways," Waugh said.

"Bob has been a wonderful mentor, and it's a privilege to be able to carry on his great work."

Horrocks said he hired Waugh in 1995 as the organization's first social worker.

"She's been involved in about every significant thing we have done here," Horrocks said. "She's been a very valuable asset to our organization. I'm pleased to see her have this opportunity."

A licensed social worker, Waugh -- who lives in Westerville with her husband, Jay Fry -- earlier worked for the Alzheimer's Association of Central Ohio, for Marion General Hospital as a discharge planner and for a Marion-area counseling center. She has a a master's degree in social work from Ohio State University.

SourcePoint launched its in-home services in 1995, designed to allow older adults to continue to live in their homes longer. Waugh said she made the first in-home visit that launched the program.

She also has been involved in Meals on Wheels from its onset. SourcePoint originally contracted with Grady Memorial Hospital, which prepared the meals, she said.

SourcePoint began preparing the meals in January 2008, when it opened the kitchen at its current facility at 800 Cheshire Road, she said. That building opened in 2007.

The challenge of selecting a new director was a time-consuming one, said Roger Lossing, president of the board of directors.

"We formed a committee nearly two years ago to lead the search process," Lossing said. "Since we had never done this before, we had to develop a set of procedures.

"We consulted with other nonprofits as to their policies and experience in the executive search process. We received over 100 applications, and the committee narrowed the field to the final two candidates that were interviewed by the board," he said.

Waugh "is extraordinarily qualified for the position with 25 years at SourcePoint, where she has managed and often developed the various programs for seniors," Lossing said. "The board was very impressed with her strategic vision for SourcePoint in serving the fast-growing senior population in Delaware County."

The county's older population is growing at a faster rate than its younger population, Waugh said.

She said SourcePoint will work to accommodate that growth, particularly in the southern and eastern parts of the county, where new housing is being added, she said.

Expanding SourcePoint's presence and access will involve growing use of technology and looking at "ways we are equipped and prepared for what's to come," she said.

SourcePoint partnered with the Delaware General Health District last year to conduct an extensive survey of the county's older population, Waugh said.

She said the survey questioned seniors on a variety of topics to gauge their perception of how "age-friendly" they find Delaware County.

The topics included outdoor spaces, buildings, transportation, housing, social inclusion, civic participation, and health and community services.

The survey drew an excellent response from seniors, Waugh said, and the results will be reviewed by government entities, community leaders, focus groups and different organizations. The entire process has been several years in the making, she said, and will culminate with the development of action plans to address areas identified during the assessment process to make the county more friendly to individuals of all ages and abilities.

"It's not going to be a difficult transition," said Horrocks, who earlier announced he would retire this year but didn't set a departure date.

"As the founding director, this really feels like my baby. I want this organization to thrive and be successful. Fara is going to help make that happen. She has a great team of people here.

"This has never been a one-person effort," Horrocks said. "I'm really proud of all the people who have worked here. That will be a big part of our future success."

When his retirement begins, Horrocks said, he predicts he'll do some traveling and spend time with his two granddaughters, ages 3 years and 7 months.

But he promises he will stay connected with the community.

"I will get involved somewhere," he said. "I do want to give back."

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