How We’ve Grown: Q&A With Current ACCA President and CEO, Eve Anthony
To celebrate our 55th anniversary, we sat down with ACCA Director Eve Anthony. Here is our story.
Q: How has ACCA grown and thrived over the past 55 years?
Initially, our founders in 1967 recognized in the Athens community that there was not an organization that specialized in serving older adults within their community. So, during their initial needs assessment, they identified isolation, poverty, housing and food insecurity as their main issues.
It’s interesting because if you look over our 55 year old history, I could say the same about issues that older adults now are facing in our community. But what is different is that our services and programs have evolved over the years to make sure that when we talk about food insecurity for example that we are making decisions based on data and screenings. We are also bringing in a lot of new partners to help us fight senior hunger and other issues. The work that we do may look different, but as far as our impact, it’s remained the same.
Q: How would you describe the legacy of ACCA?
When I think of the legacy for ACCA, I think of innovation and being current. I think about being responsive in the work that we do.
Q: How have you seen ACCA live out its mission statement?
It’s really important to not drift from our mission and to stay loyal and keep the integrity of our mission because it works. It is engagement, advocacy, education and support. Engagement really is everything from making sure our seniors have opportunities to be connected within their communities, so it gives them opportunities to come to our centers and participate in our programs, but it also gives them the ability to volunteer. Advocacy is individual to federal level where we may be helping someone who is being evicted from their home to talking to Congressman about needed funding to support the services that we provide. For education, we offer boundless opportunities to learn more about aging adults and opportunities for people as they age, think about aging, or are looking for resources for their aging parents. And of course we show support through the core services we provide to make sure that people are able to age in place and age successfully where they want to.
Q: What has ACCA valued the most over its 55 year history?
I think what we value the most is a response to current older adults. I feel like we do a really good job of staying relevant with the programs that we provide to the community. We have a reputation of providing quality services. We have a reputation for being innovative and going the extra mile, for having staff that really value older adults and aging.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish through ACCA over the next 55 years?
My hope for the next 55 years is that I’d love to see us in a new space, serving more older adults through our innovative, quality services. I would like for us to really be that one-stop shop for all older adults.
Interested in learning more about ACCA and its impact on our community over the past 55 years? Visit https://www.accaging.org/about-us/