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LaDow to take helm at Area Five

Two longtime leaders in Logansport are set to leave their positions, with one taking over the other’s next month.

Mike Meagher is retiring as executive director of the Area Five Agency on Aging and Community Services later this year. Chuck LaDow, a teacher and coach who also currently holds public office, is set to take his place.

Meagher has spent 38 years with Area Five and has been executive director since 1987, he said Monday by phone. Before being named chief at Area Five, he ran some of the programs assisting local senior citizens.

The organization works with about 15,000 people each year across a six-county region, Meagher said. That includes senior citizens whose in-home care Area Five case managers coordinate, as well as Head Start preschool students and beneficiaries of its various programs for impoverished residents.

The seniors’ in-home services Area Five helps pay for, like home health aid or medication management, are of particular interest for Meagher — “that’s something that goes unseen but is critically important in maintaining people in their homes,” instead of in a nursing home, he said.

Meagher was at the agency’s helm when it built its current 30,000-square-foot office building and the Bend in the Woods senior apartments, he said. In a partnership with Four County Counseling Center, the agency under his leadership also converted the former Masonic Temple building in downtown Logansport into Kechel Towers, a facility with 23 low-income apartment units.

He was quick to credit the work of other Area Five staff for the agency’s accomplishments during his tenure.

“I’m proudest of the people that I work with,” Meagher said. “We have a great board and great employees. Without those folks, none of what we’ve accomplished would have happened.”

His successor, Chuck LaDow, is resigning from Logansport Community School Corp. effective Nov. 8, and will also resign his seat on the Cass County Council before assuming his new role, he said. He’ll start with Area Five on Nov. 9.

School board members accepted LaDow’s resignation at their meeting Monday night. He has been an elementary and middle school teacher for 25 years, most recently for the Columbia 6th Grade Academy’s alternative program. He is also the head boys’ cross country coach for Logansport Community School Corp.

He served two terms on Logansport city council, from 2008 through 2015, and began his current term on the county council in January 2017.

Although LaDow is proud of his efforts to inspire children to complete their education and in some cases become educators themselves, he’s looking forward to the chance to do something outside the field, he said. He is confident Area Five is the right place to do that.

“It was one of those things where the more I researched the goals and the missions of Area Five, the more I thought, this is right up my alley,” LaDow said by phone Monday.

He’s not looking to make any big changes at Area Five, he added. “It’s a ship that’s sailing smoothly, and I want to continue that in the direction that they’re going.”

The timing of the transition is expected to allow LaDow to mentor his successor in the alternative program for a couple of weeks, he said. In turn, he’ll be mentored by Meagher for 30 days before the latter retires.

Meagher said he’s not sure yet what his plans are in retirement, other than he and his wife intend to stay in Cass County.

“It’s just been an honor to serve the community for as long as I have,” Meagher said. “I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m originally from Evansville so I’m not a native Berry, but I’ve learned to love the community and we plan to stay here. Most of our children are here and our grandchildren are here, so we’re going to live here.”

Reach Sarah Einselen at sarah.einselen@pharostribune.com

Article source: http://www.pharostribune.com/news/local_news/article_cc7516e3-54fe-50a6-a99d-71f9fd7c330a.html

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