PIKETON — Pike County Community Action (CAO) has a new executive director at the helm, Keith Pitts, who possesses leadership characteristics that will be instrumental in continuing to move the organization forward.
Being chosen to fill the position of executive director of Pike County CAO is humbling for Pitts, who is a native of Pike County.
“I am really humbled, and gratified to have taken this position, and to continue to be able to serve the folks in this community. This is a job that I have aspired to for a very long time, and my career path has led me here, which is kind of a logical progression for me,” Pitts said. “I am originally from Pike County, we left when I was young but I have been trying to get back here ever since. My family has worked in the social service arena my entire life, and this is what I’ve known. So, this is very rewarding to be able to come back and serve the folks of this community.”
Pitts said his vision is to continue serving the low-income population of Pike County, and to meet the needs of the ever increasing senior citizen population.
“The vision is to simply maintain the services that we have here, serving the low-income community, and look for new opportunities to improve the community,” Pitts said. “We have an ever expanding senior population in Pike County, the projections are in the next 20 years the seniors population nationwide is going to double, and so we certainly want to make sure that we are keeping an eye out for opportunities to both serve the current seniors that we have, and plan out programming that will be meaningful for a new generation of seniors that are entering that group. The traditional senior programs that we have had may not always be what the new seniors are looking for, but as the Baby Boomers move into the senior population I think the desires are going to change, and so we are certainly moving in that direction.”
Thomas Adkins, board chairman of Pike County CAO, said Pitts was selected to fill the position after his predecessor, Gary Roberts who took another position with Lawrence County CAO.
“Keith had a background here in Pike County. His family is from here and he also has a long history if working with Community Action agencies through his former employer COAD, an affiliate of Community Action agencies which is headquartered in Athens County, where he worked for a very long time,” Adkins said. “We brought Mr. Pitts on board as assistant director of Community Action here in Pike County, and that has been probably two years ago. So, in many ways, he has had a couple of years of on the job training working in the capacity of assistant director.”
Interdependence and a spirit of cooperation is an admirable characteristic of Pitts, according to Adkins.
“First, he has a very good work ethic and is very interested in the agencies, and the programs within the agencies, and that we work together and not have silos where this group is over here doing their thing, and this group is over there doing their thing,” Adkins said. “There could be shared knowledge between those groups, which ultimately will make the agency work a whole lot better.
Primarily, it is Pitts’ genuine concern for the people of Pike County that compelled the Pike County CAO board to select him as their new executive director.
“Overall, is very concerned about the people of Pike County and improving the lives, and the livelihood of people in Pike County by helping them in times of need, but also preparing them for employment and giving them training opportunities to better themselves, to make themselves more self-sufficient, so that they don’t have to rely on programs like Community Action,” Adkins said. “I think there’s probably nothing better that Keith could hope for than that he would be so successful that some day we wouldn’t need Community Action anymore because people would be able to pull themselves out of poverty and have better lives. So he is just concerned for people, and for the people of Pike County has been impressive for me, and I think for everyone on the board of Pike County Community Action.”
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.