Area Agency on Aging executive director announces retirement

After 20 years at the helm of the Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Arkansas, Executive Director Jerry Mitchell has announced his plan for retirement.Following Mitchell advising the agency’s board of directors of his intentions Tuesday, chair Jerry Hunton of Prairie Grove said the process will begin to take applications for the soon to be vacant position. Hunton says Mitchell will continue to work for the agency through the hiring process for a new executive director.

The Area Agency on Aging provides a variety of services for the senior and elderly population of a nine-county area in Northwest Arkansas, including Baxter, Marion, Boone, Newton and Searcy counties. The agency also provides services to military veterans and persons with disabilities.

Services include senior activity centers, adult day centers, meals on wheels, and in-home services and assistance.

Mitchell says in his 20 years as executive director, he has seen a lot of changes in the senior population growth of Northwest Arkansas. The growth has allowed the agency to expand its programs, staff and budget, but has put more pressure on the limited resources available for senior programs.

Mitchell was hired as the executive director in 1998. During his tenure with the agency, he served multiple terms as president of the Arkansas Association of Area Agencies, as well as being on the Governor’s Advisory Committee.

AAANWA board members include Baxter County representative Joe Dillard, Marion County representatives George Lewis and Ron Proctor, Boone County representative Debbie Johnson, Newton County representative Shannon Willis, and Searcy County representative Donald Ragland.

The Area Agency on Aging, headquartered in Harrison, is a non-profit organization, offering services for 39 years. It has over 630 employees, 20 senior activity centers, 12 senior housing complexes, and nine client service offices providing in-home services and case management.

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