ELIZABETHTOWN - A change in leadership is coming to the Elizabethtown Social Center.
The center's Board of Directors has announced the hire of Arin Burdo as the newest director of the center. She will officially start Oct. 1.
Burdo, 36, is an Elizabethtown native and grew up using the Social Center on a regular basis.
"I've been using the Social Center's services almost since I could walk," she said, noting how she participated in preschool playgroups there as a toddler. "And, of course, I hung out at the center as a teen."
After graduating high school, Burdo attended the University of Montana where she earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science. She returned to the area seeking a career in nonprofit administration.
She has worked as a human resources coordinator for Mountain Lake Services and served as both a volunteer and paid employee of various nonprofits in the region, such as the North Country Women's Center.
Currently, Burdo lives in Lewis with her husband, Steve, and their four children, Paul, 17; Abigail, 14; Annalise, 7; and Benjamin, 4.
Burdo said with her youngest child getting ready to attend school, the timing was right to get back into the workforce.
"I looked at [the job] as an opportunity to work on a part-time basis," she said.
She originally withdrew her application when the board informed her they were looking for a full-time employee.
The board interviewed others for the position, but did not find a candidate who was both qualified and willing to fulfill the job requirements. Ultimately, they decided to offer the position as part-time to Burdo.
Ken Fenimore, the current director, said the board had been looking for a new director since March.
"When I was originally hired, it was supposed to be on a temporary basis," said Fenimore. "I was retired before coming on, and I would like to get back to that."
Fenimore said he will be staying on in limited capacity as a "director emeritus," to assist Burdo in transitioning into the position.
Burdo, who happens to be Fenimore's daughter, said people would be wrong to assume her father's ties to the job were the main reason she was hired.
"I hope that people will realize that I'm qualified for this position," she said. "I think my background is such that I'm very suited for the position."
In addition to raising her own children, Burdo has been a leader of youth programs at her church in Lewis. She said she's looking forward to maintaining the Social Center as a safe and structured place for youth to gather.
"The board really wants to start offering more programs and more services to the community," said Burdo. "That's something I'm really excited about."
Burdo is already getting involved by helping to organize an ultimate frisbee tournament Sept. 25.
"I hope to look for more opportunities like that for fitness that families can do together," she said.