| ---   Print Page





Article appeared in the August 23, 2012 issue of the Post, written by Glenn Gannaway, Staff Writer

'Michael has the enthusiasm and the passion to continue on.'
-- MEOC board chairman
A.J. Hatmaker on Michael Wampler's
selection as MEOC executive director

The Mountain Empire Older Citizens board of directors has selected only the second executive director in the agency's four-decade history.

The eight-member board of directors Tuesday selected Michael Wampler to succeed Marilyn Pace Maxwell.  Wampler is currently the director of Mountain Empire Transit, one of the many services provided by MEOC.

Maxwell has been director of MEOC since it began in 1974.  The agency itself grew out of Maxwell's early work as a gerontology planner in the area.  Maxwell retires Oct. 31, with Wampler becoming executive director on Nov. 1.

Wampler has been with MEOC for 20 years, having started while still a Distributive Education student at Powell Valley High School and continuing while a college student.

A 1997 business and public administration graduate of the University of Virginia's College at Wise (then known as Clinch Valley College), Wampler has worked in several MEOC departments.  "He actually started in the home-delivered meals program, woring in the kitchen," Maxwell said Wednesday.  Wampler has also been in family support and case management services.

Wampler left MEOC to take a job as a regional emergency services planner for the Lenowisco Health District, but returned as transit director in 2008.

As transit director, Wampler has been in charge of one of the agency's largest departments and one that is "well rewarded and well decorated," Maxwell said.

The agency received more than 40 applications for the position, which was advertised nationally, Maxwell said.

Maxwell described the search as "wonderful," involving both a board of directors search committee and an MEOC staff search committee.  Board chairman A.J. Hatmaker and seven candidates were interviewed, with the list being narrowed to four.

"We were fortunate in that we had four extremely well-qualified candidates," Hatmaker said.  Wampler's selection, he said, "will ensure that Mountain Empire carries on as it has in the past."

"We kid Marilyn - but it's not kidding - that everybody steps down or moves to another spot, and there's someone there to fill that position they leave," Hatmaker said.  But, he called Maxwell an "exceptional leader.  This lady is leaving a huge pair of shoes to fill."

"Michael has the enthusiasm and the passion to continue on," Hatmaker said.  "I'm a great believer that if you don't have passion for what you do, you don't put your heart into it."

"Not only has he grown with Mountain Empire, he has watched Mountain Empire grow," Hatmaker said.  We think we've got somebody who can pilot that ship."

And, Hatmaker said with a chuckle, "he gets the opportunity to sit at Marilyn's knee for a few months and learn from the older one before she steps aside."

"I am very pleased with and excited by the MEOC board's decision to select Michael Wampler as the next MEOC executive director."  Maxwell said in a statement, "Michael is a MEOC veteran who has very capably demonstrated over the past 20 years his commitment to our region and to MEOC and those we serve.  Michael believes solidly in the mission of MEOC and is dedicated to moving MEOC forward in service to both our older and younger citizens."

"It has always been quite noticeable to me how very much others enjoy working with Michael.  He is a problem solver whom you can depend on to get the job done well.  He understands the complexity of our organization and knows the thousands of pieces and how they all fit together," she said.  "It is important to observe that Michael is very committed to working as a team and that he understands that it takes all those many pieces working collaboratively to produce anything of substance."

"Michael has worked in practically every department at MEOC over the years.  It is time that he assumed the position of executive director, for he is quite ready for that new responsibility.  I congratulate the Board for their thoroughness in the search process and am very excited by their decision."




Copyright, Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc. All Rights Reserved.