March 16, 2020

The Board of Directors of Senior Services for South Sound announces the retirement of Executive Director Eileen McKenzieSullivan. McKenzieSullivan has served at the organization for over 38 years and as Executive Director for the past 26 years.

From Rhodetta Seward, Board Chair, SSSS

Eileen has been instrumental in leading Senior Services for South Sound from a small nonprofit to a multi-faceted, well-respected multi-county leader in Services for older adults and their families. She has led the organization with great passion and vision, working closely with the Board of Directors, a committed staff, amazing volunteers and loyal donors. Eileen has become the respected voice and advocate of seniors in Thurston and Mason Counties.

Under Eileen’s leadership, SSSS has increased services to seniors, staffing as well as class offerings. She has also guided the organization in creating a Home Share program that now addresses the lack of affordable housing in a creative manner. Her efforts have also helped SSSS remain sustainable while maintaining services at a level that permits seniors from all socioeconomic backgrounds to access high-caliber services and programming. In 2015, Eileen received the Leadership Distinction Award from Leadership Thurston County. In 2019, she was selected by the South Sound Partners in Philanthropy for many years of extraordinary leadership and commitment to improving the lives of seniors and their families. She will be greatly missed by all, and we wish her the very best as she enters into retirement. The Board of Directors assembled a Search Committee, and we have completed the search for the next leader.

As part of a thoughtful succession plan led by the board, staff and community, Brian Windrope will succeed Eileen McKenzieSullivan commencing on March 16, 2020. For more than 25 years he has been in leadership and service as an educator and Executive Director, working on behalf of youth, adults and conservation causes around the West. He holds two Bachelors of Science degrees from UC Berkeley and completed his Masters of Arts in Education at Stanford University. McKenzieSullivan stated, “I am so excited to have Brian here. His interest, energy and concern for seniors makes me believe he is the person to lead Senior Services to a new level and I am committed to supporting him in his new role.” Brian Windrope brings great energy and passion to the organization and says he “plans to quickly engage with the greater SSSS community. We look forward to working with him to build on the organization’s achievements to date,” says Rhodetta Seward, longtime board member and current Board Chair.

SSSS began in 1973 as a small non-profit addressing the needs of seniors. The organization outgrew its capacity in the Senior Center building. In 1987 Senior Services for South Sound was moved to the current location and its administrative offices in the Olympia Center. In partnership with the City of Lacey, Senior Services has managed the Virgil Clarkson Lacey Senior Center since 2003. There are meal sites at these two centers as well as in sites at Shelton, Rochester, Yelm, Belfair and Tumwater. Today SSSS delivers a wide range of direct services and enrichment opportunities continuing to improve the lives of people as they age.

The health and wellness of our senior community continues to be our highest priority during this executive transition. In light of the latest news with the coronavirus COVID-19 in our state, please check our website for the latest updates on this rapidly changing situation. We encourage all seniors to follow the recommended guidelines by the WA State Department of Health and the National CDC.