ROCHELLE — Diana King never pictured herself working with the aging population.
And then she went back to school and was working at Oak Crest in DeKalb, a continuing care facility.
“And I just loved it,” King said. “Now I don't picture myself doing anything else."
King will be the Hub City Senior Center’s new director starting this month. She comes from Family Service Agency in DeKalb where she was senior program manager and ran four senior centers throughout DeKalb County. She’d been there 10 years and lives in Malta.
King will replace Connie Dougherty in Rochelle, who is retiring after 20 years.
“It just seemed like a perfect fit for me,” King said. “I'm very passionate about working with the aging population and when I heard Connie was retiring I thought it'd be a great fit."
During the COVID-19 pandemic with her facilities closed, King spent time trying to keep in contact with seniors trying to keep them engaged. She didn’t want them to feel isolated. She and her employees were making wellness calls to 400-500 seniors every month.
Some outdoor programming was done for them to stay connected and meet with one another.
King hopes to get as many seniors to come back into the Hub City Senior Center as she can.
"I just want to meet with people in the community and encourage them to come in,” King said. “As we slowly start introducing new programming that may help to get more people back in too. I'm really looking forward to the opportunity. I know I have some big shoes to fill."
Dougherty said people are going to love King and the new director will keep things the way they’ve been and add more to the facility.
King is looking forward to getting acclimated and finding out what Rochelle’s senior population wants from the community, the center and her.
"I want to make a difference in their lives,” King said. “I want to help them remain independent and as active in the community as possible. My goal is to help them achieve that. I want them to feel valued, supported and loved and to have a place where they can go that they feel safe."