PDT Staff Writer
The Board of Trustees of the Community Action Organization of Scioto County (CAO) has appointed Bill Thacker as its executive director, succeeding the late Bob Walton, Sr.
“I have always made the statement that I’m succeeding Bob, but I have no pretensions of replacing him,” Thacker said Tuesday afternoon.”I am very grateful for the vote of confidence, and I look forward to working hard and validating their choice.”
Thacker is a long time employee of CAO, beginning his career as director of the Head Start program, followed by his tenure as head of Planning and Development. He had served as the agency’s interim executive director during Walton’s extended illness. Walton died on April 27 at SOMC Hospice. He was 70.
“Bill is an excellent choice to continue the CAO tradition of effective and efficient service that was always evident under Bob’s leadership,” Chairman of the Board E.P Matthews said.
Thacker said CAO has become more relevant and necessary in recent years.
“As our economy seems to go even further into the tank here locally, the services we provide, which are basically a lot of safety net services, are more and more critical in the community,” Thacker said. “We have more and more people who are uninsured in terms of access to health care. Both of our clinics are available for that. We still have the Comprehensive Employment Training Program as well.”
Thacker said CAO has diversified over the years as the needs have changed in the community.
“Over a long period of time there is a great diversity,” Thacker said. “The agency has grown, split into a whole lot more areas of concern, and areas of service than originally. We started out - day one - with about three different programs. Now we’re operating somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 every year.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.