Senior Center welcomes new executive director

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 15, 2017

After a few months of operating under the leadership of an interim executive director, the Senior Center of South Pearl River County now has a permanent replacement, who started on Monday.
David Sykes is originally from Atlanta, Georgia but currently lives in Diamondhead and brings with him years of experience in helping others.
After spending over 50 years working for the Boys and Girls Club, Sykes is excited to help the growing local senior citizen population and continue the center’s relevancy in the community, he said.
“We’re very excited to have David become a part of the senior center,” Dr. Eddie Smith, a member of the center’s Board of Directors, said. “We were very impressed with his qualifications and background in education.”
In the first hours working in his new position, Sykes said members of the center were already strolling into the office to welcome him.
“Already, you can tell they’re special,” he said.
“He’s a great fit at the senior center,” Smith said.
With baby boomers growing older, he said there is an increasing need for them to stay active, educated and connected.
Senior citizens can be one of the most vulnerable aspects of the population, Sykes said.
He said he got a small taste of the senior citizen population in Pearl River County as a volunteer at the Picayune Senior Fair and Expo last year, helping his wife worked the Humana booth.
Transitioning from working with young people to senior citizens is as simple as finding activities that are of interest to them.
“It’s the same thing with a different population,” he said.
Coming from the Boys and Girls Club, Smith said Sykes has a lot of experience in fundraising.
“That’s where we need to focus our efforts right now to grow and provide more programs,” Smith said. “But to be able to do that, we need more funds.”
Now that Sykes is on staff, Smith said the center can work on improving and continuing the work of the center.
“I want to get out in this community to find any untapped resources,” Sykes said, including those in neighboring coastal counties.
The center is located at 45 El Patchway Parkway and can be reached at 601-798-9892 or at

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About Julia Arenstam

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