Up for the challenge
Lakiotes hired as Six Points’ new executive
Original Article: Gunnison Country Times, September 24, 2020
Times Staff Writer
Thirteen years ago, Nancy Lakiotes found herself as a newly minted Gunnison Valley resident in need of a job.
A vocational supervisor spot was available at Six Points —Gunnison’s well-known thrift store that is so much more. Six Points’ main mission is to provide education, training, assistance, and support to adults with special needs and their families in Gunnison and Hinsdale counties.
Although the experience would be drastically different from what Lakiotes was used to, she went for it and landed the position.
Now, after presiding in a few other positions within the organization, Lakiotes has been named executive director of Six Points.
The role isn’t completely foreign to her though, as Lakiotes has been holding the position as the interim director since January after her predecessor Daniel Bruce stepped down.
“While learning more about this role while in the interim, I began to fall more in love with it,” she said. “I began to feel like it was meant to be, and I was ready for a new challenge.”
Lakiotes was the vocational supervisor for “a number of years” she explained, working with the clients and tending to the store’s operational needs. She then shuffled around as the manager of the day program, then moving up to operations manager.
What’s kept her around for13 years is simple: Six Points’ clients.
“Being able to help in someway keep our clients in the community where they want to live, and have them be able to live in a setting of their choice, that ’s really meaningful,” Lakiotes said.
Being an executive director was not something Lakiotes anticipated, even temporarily. But her devotion to the organization and the community— and the challenge — was enough for her to agree to the position offered to her by the Six Points Board of Directors.
She held the post much longer than anticipated, as the pandemic put the search on hold. But Lakiotes stepped up to the plate, showing longevity in the position.
“Nancy led us through the next six months (after COVID-19’s spread in March) and showed that she had a gift for leading through chaos,” Six Points President Robin Cash said.
Ensuring the health and safety of the Six Points clients was Lakiotes’ priority through COVID-19, and continues to be as the store’s doors are currently open.
Now in the permanent position, Lakiotes is gaining training in new areas — financial management, IT support, and bringing the “bigger picture and long-term” goals of the organization to fruition.
“We’re more than a store, we’re more than an office,” Lakiotes said. “We’re the setting in which our clients receive a lot of their services. It’s enriching, it’s positive, it’s where people can learn and do their best, staff and clients alike. So anything I can do to make that happen would definitely be my goal.”
(Roberta Marquette can be contacted at 970.641.1414 or email@example.com.)
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