Douglas County Senior Services' board of directors on Monday announced the appointment of a Lee's Summit, Mo., woman as executive director of the nonprofit agency.
Jessie Ann Lusher, manager of recreation therapy for John Knox Village in suburban Kansas City, will replace Robert LeGresley on Jan. 4. LeGresley has served as interim director of DCSS since the resignation of Marguerite Carlson in April.
"I'm very excited to join the staff," Lusher said. "I feel I'm joining a well-qualified, professional group of people. I'm delighted to work in Lawrence."
She said her goals included obtaining more external grant funding for DCSS and developing greater unity among people served by the agency.
DCSS provides transportation, meals, leisure programs, adult day care and community services to people over 60 years of age throughout the county.
Charles Warner, chair of the DCSS board, said he was pleased Lusher would be leading the agency.
"She is so personable and should be well accepted by those people we serve," he said.
Carlson had led the nonprofit agency since 1994. Her tenure was marked by a range of controversies -- management, personnel, financial and legal.
Lusher earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and is working toward a graduate degree in social gerontology at Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg.
Before joining the staff at John Knox two years ago, Lusher was case manager for mental health services at Rodgers Community Health Center in Kansas City, Mo., for two years. Prior to that job, she worked for four years as a director at the Don Boscoe Centers in Kansas City, Mo.
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