Sandy ‘Jake’ Jacobson to step down from Gold Country Community Services, focus on finding her successor
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It’s tough for Sandy “Jake” Jacobson to step away from her role as executive director of Gold Country Community Services.
For seven years she’s run the day-to-day operations of an organization that helps feed seniors and keep them active.
It’s a job that requires a jack-of-all-trades. Over the years she’s developed skills in budgeting, human resources and program management.
Jacobson is quick to note she didn’t have all those skills when she started the job, and her successor might not either.
It’s the person who takes her place that most interests Jacobson these days. Leaving the position for personal reasons, she hopes that by formally announcing her departure, that person, whoever they are, will realize it’s their time to step up.
“It’s a job that I stumbled on,” Jacobson said. “I was not looking for it.”
Andy Burton, who served on Gold County’s board of directors when Jacobson was selected for the executive director role, praised her work. The board initially hired Jacobson as a consultant to provide an analysis of the organization. It reorganized the group afterward and offered her the top job.
“Jake has been an absolutely tireless advocate and a hard worker every day that she’s been with the organization, and I don’t think that’s been recognized enough,” Burton said. “I think she absolutely needs to be applauded for that.”
Jacobson’s resignation is effective April 30. She said she wants enough time to help find the right person to take her place.
Key skills include knowing how the community works and having relationships with people in the business and service industries.
The executive director seeks donations for the group, which has Meals on Wheels and senior firewood programs. That person has financial decisions to make with an annual budget of about $550,000 a year. It also has 110 volunteers and 11 paid employees — two full time.
“It’s about not being afraid to knock on people’s doors to ask for help,” Jacobson said.
Burton called Jacobson a champion of the social aspect of Gold Country’s programming for seniors. She focused the organization’s vision and kept the group on its mission of feeding seniors, keeping them warm and ensuring they remain active.
“This is pick-and-shovel work every day and Jake has done a fantastic job of getting it done,” Burton said.
Tom Brown, president of Gold Country’s board of directors, said Jacobson during her tenure grew the organization under tight funding. He called her a great person to work with and praised her commitment.
“Great leader, very smart,” Brown said. “Very effective in the community. She’ll be sorely missed.”
Talking about formally announcing her resignation publicly, Jacobson on Wednesday said she’s found it difficult. She thinks stepping away from the position is akin to trusting a teacher with your child on their first day of school.
“And I’m standing at the curb going, OK …” Jacobson said. “And yet I can’t wait to see what comes of it, and I still intend to be a champion for the senior support services for our county.”
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.
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