Communication Builds Our Community

Lacey Gardner Named New Executive Director of ElderPoint Ministries

Jane Hammond Steps Down after 13 Years Leading the Organization

After more than 13 years of devoted service to the mission of ElderPoint Ministries, Executive Director Jane Hammond is taking the next step in her career journey and leaving the organization at the end of May. "I took the job for 6 months and stayed for over 13 years. It is simply time to start a new chapter for me and for ElderPoint to continue to grow under new leadership," said Hammond.

During Hammond's tenure, ElderPoint Ministries of Greater Lakeland expanded to include all of Polk County in its mission to meet seniors at their point of need. From its early days in senior food banking, ElderPoint transformed into a provider of mobile produce markets at senior residences and the provider of wheelchair-accessible transportation to senior congregate dining facilities, Medical visits, and personal errands. They discovered that adding a minimal fee to programs increased engagement and satisfaction with their services.

Hammond is particularly proud of the many collaborative relationships ElderPoint has formed with Citrus Connection, Catholic Charities, Heart of Winter Haven, and Imperial Symphony Orchestra, among others.

Board Chair Danielle Drummond noted, "The Board accepted Jane's resignation with mixed emotions. We're happy to see her put herself first but sad to lose her passion and vision for our organization. During challenging years, she has continually sought new ways to transform the way we serve and made those successful. She's been the face of ElderPoint for a long time, and we know she will continue to be a supporter."

Drummond also announced the Board has hired a new Executive Director, Lacey Gardner, to begin effective May 26. Gardner has extensive experience in the senior living community, most recently as director of community relations for CarePatrol Lakeland. She has also served on the ElderPoint Ministries board of directors since December 2019, so she has knowledge of ElderPoint's programs, challenges, and opportunities.

In applying for the position, Gardner said, "It's my passion to work with the elderly population I adore, and I have the relationships in the community to hit the ground running for the organization."

The Board, Hammond, and Gardner are working through a transition plan before Hammond's last day. While COVID19 restrictions have limited ElderPoint's activities, they have continued to provide essential transportation to Medical appointments and shopping. Drummond notes the agency will assess community safety before resuming mobile markets and non-essential transportation.


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