By DAVID MAY
With Linda Gilley's volunteerism and work as an administrative assistant at the Mineral Wells Senior Center since 2007, the place hasn't lacked for fun and enthusiasm.
That is not expected to change now that the energetic Gilley is the senior center's new executive director, having the interim part of that title removed following a unanimous vote of the center's board of directors.
"I felt Linda earned the right to move forward as the director," said board president Michael David Franklin. "(With) her vibe and her energy, she is dedicated to the center more than just as an employee. She is willing to work with us. That might be her biggest problem is she doesn't say no to anyone. I just can't think of a more positive person and face to represent the senior center going forward."
Gilley admitted saying no to taking on the center's leadership role was something she couldn't do after so many participants and board members encouraged her to apply for the position.
"How can you tell them no?" said Gilley. "I was totally happy doing what I was doing. I agreed to be interim, because I was totally happy being the right arm."
For now she is the left and right arm, but hopes to soon be able to hire an administrative assistant so she can focus more on the center's strategies and financial concerns, especially critical fundraising in the wake of funding cutbacks from sources like United Way. However, other than those areas of the center's operations, Gilley has performed in just about every other capacity from bottle washer, to cook, to janitor, to events coordinating, activities and more.
"I have done every single office in here. It is nothing new to me," she said. "I am doing the exact same today that I was doing two weeks ago, two months ago. I have a little more responsibility now."