— The Leadership Hendricks County Board of Directors is preparing for a transition in its leadership. Executive Director Suzanne Whicker has announced that she will retire from that role this year.
The board has begun the process of searching for a successor, and will announce the timetable in the near future. Board President Kathy Duffer explained that Mrs. Whicker’s association with LHC will continue.
”Suzanne has been an integral part of this organization since the very first class, and we’re excited to know that she’ll play a role throughout and after this transition,” Duffer said.
Whicker was a participant in the inaugural LHC class in 1993, and the board asked her to become the organization’s executive director in 1994. She has served in that position since, leading more than 380 adult participants through the community leadership development program. She also managed the introduction of two additional programs -- Youth Leadership Hendricks County and Youth Encouraging Philanthropy -- which have shared leadership skills with more than 440 local high school students.
”You cannot look at a company, non-profit organization, high school, or government body in Hendricks County without seeing Suzanne’s influence,” Duffer added. “Her dedication to this program, and her ongoing efforts to make it better each year, have been critical to our success and to the overall effectiveness of our county’s leadership.”
Whicker had considered retirement for some time, but admitted that the decision wasn’t easy.
”I love my job, the people, and this program; and will miss the day-to-day involvement,” she said. “But I have complete confidence in the board’s ability to identify someone who will bring the dedication and enthusiasm our participants and communities deserve. It’s like watching your children become successful adults. While you’re sad to see them leave the nest, you know that you’ve contributed to what they’ve accomplished and are so very proud of them.”
Whicker added, “I’m retiring while I’m still healthy and able to travel and do some of the things I kept putting off.”
In honor of Whicker’s service to LHC and the community, a fund is available through the Hendricks County Community Foundation. The fund, overseen by the foundation and LHC’s board of directors, will provide a lasting legacy for Whicker’s vision for leadership in the community. Gifts in honor of Whicker’s retirement may be made to the fund by visiting the website at http://hendrickscountycf.org/donationand choosing “existing fund” and “Leadership Hendricks County Fund,” or by calling the Hendricks County Community Foundation at 718-1200.
Leadership Hendricks County, Inc., a program of the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to seek, prepare, involve, and sustain leaders from diverse backgrounds to address community and countywide changes. For more information, call 745-6694 or visit the website at www.leadershiphendrickscounty.org.