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New senior services director finds calling

Wants to hear from community

POSTED: December 2, 2012 12:34 a.m.
Alyssa LaRenzie/

Gabriella Amorine, senior services specialist, and Michael Bohn, the new senior services director, check out holiday art at Sexton Hall Enrichment Center.

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Forsyth County’s new senior services director hopes to grow the programs offered for its vibrant local population.

A month into the job, Michael Bohn is ready to hear from residents about what they would like, as well as spread the word on what the department has to offer.

“I’m very excited about addressing the needs and the wants of seniors in Forsyth County,” Bohn said.

He started in the position on Nov. 1, filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Shelley Johnson, who held the post for nearly 10 years.

Bohn centered his position at the third and newest senior services location, the Sexton Hall Enrichment Center in south Forsyth.

The Center at Charles Place and the Hearthstone Lodge have established identities for the people who visit, but Bohn said he hopes to develop the year-old Sexton Hall.

“We want Sexton Hall to be the place where people want to come,” he said. “We want to broaden the scope of what we’re providing here.”

Bohn also hopes to offer assistance to families on issues unique to seniors.

As the county’s senior population continues to grow quickly, Bohn’s first goal is to establish what that group wants and develop a three- to five-year plan on how best to meet those expectations.

“We want to be an outlet. We want to be a place that they can go and continue on with their lives,” he said. “They’ve earned that right. They’ve worked hard, and we want to help them enjoy themselves, and we want to also support them.”

He said his education, work and personal experience made him a great fit for this role.

As a teen in Marietta, his family cared for his grandparents.

“We lived through a lot of the struggles that a family would go through when you have seniors with Alzheimer’s that are living with you,” he said. “I experienced a lot, all the phases of what seniors go through and what the families of seniors go through.”

While attending college, Bohn studied mental health and human services.

He spent 15 years after school in the business world, but about two years ago, felt a calling to return to helping others.

Bohn worked on community service boards throughout the state until he saw a job posting for senior services director in his home county.

A 10-year Forsyth County resident, Bohn and his wife moved here so their children could attend Pinecrest Academy, where his wife teaches.

Their two daughters, ages 16 and 13, and three sons, ages 11, 8 and 6, all attend the private school in south Forsyth.

 

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