Former Aunt Martha's chief staying closer to home
DANVILLE – Alice Kirby spent her first day as the new executive director of Project Success on a "pitch and ditch" mission.
She cleaned out her new office at 101 W. North St., saving relevant information and tossing out unnecessary papers. She had five full trash bags by Monday afternoon.
"I decided to leave Aunt Martha's several months ago, but I needed to find the right opportunity," Kirby said.
Up until Friday, Kirby was the supervisor of Aunt Martha's Vermilion Area Community Health Center prescription program for the uninsured, traveling among 10 locations statewide.
Her new job will keep her in the county.
Kirby said she wanted a job that allowed her more time in the community as well as at home.
Project Success offers several educational and social service programs to youths in the county through various state and federal grants.
Kirby's own background in social services and education made her the "best candidate," said Project Success board chairman Mike Metzen.
Former director Kevin Kegley left the position in October to take another job as a grant writer, Metzen said.
Since then, staff member Michael Courtwright has acted as interim director.
There were about 30 applicants for the job, Metzen said, but Kirby is "strongly based in the community" and has had a great deal of contact with local social service agencies and school-based programs. Kirby's salary is $50,000 plus benefits, Metzen said.
Before coming to Aunt Martha's, Kirby helped start the All Our Kids Early Childhood Network at the Vermilion County Health Department.
"She's actively worked with social services and community health services," Metzen said.
Kirby said she has yet to solidify new goals for the program, but said she first plans to give stability to the organization.
Kirby will also make sure the organization's grants are supporting what they are supposed to be supporting, Metzen said.
"We want to meet the needs of the youth in Vermilion County the best we can," he said.
Kirby said she'll have her first staff meeting today.
"I'll see where this trip takes me," she said.