Eagle Nest, Inc., has a new executive director.
Robin Henderson will take over for Gayle McPherson, who co-founded Eagle Nest in 2000 with Nola Brown.
“I’m honored to come in behind her and complete and fulfill this mission,” said Henderson Monday morning on KSOK’s Get Up & Go Show.
Eagle Nest is a nonprofit community organization in Winfield that helps women and families in the communities with life skills and self-improvement services, parenting and nutrition programs, financial and legal services and more.
“I think she can take it further,” McPherson said on KSOK. “Because there comes a time when you’ve found something that you need to step aside and let somebody else carry it forward, and I really believe that Robin is the person who can do that. Fresh eyes and fresh ideas.”
Teri Spangler-Andreas, the president of the Eagle Nest board, said there will be an Open House on Aug. 11 from 4 to 6 p.m. at 112 East 9th in Winfield officially welcoming Henderson as the new executive director.
“It’s a passing of the baton,” Spangler-Andreas said Monday morning.
In 2000, McPherson said she saw a need in her community and did something about it.
“One person can make a difference,’ she said Monday. “Remember this. If you’re struggling with something, one person can make a difference.”
As a customer service employee at a local bank, she noticed a disturbing pattern among her clientele; intelligent, capable, frustrated women in a cycle of chronic dependence on public assistance.
In response, she and Brown formed a faith-based nonprofit corporation to help women become successful and Eagle Nest, Inc., was born.
“It has never been 1-2-3, you’re out,” McPherson said. ‘It was as long as it took to get (women) to reach their full potential.”
Henderson, who has a background in social work in child welfare, said she sent a lot of families to Eagle Nest.
“There’s so many things Eagle Nest has done historically and things that we’re still continuing to do today to help out families in the Cowley County community,” she said.
Henderson said she is focused on guiding Eagle Nest through a world that has been through a lot in recent years.
“We’re coming together to revamp some of our workshops,” she said. “One of the things that we’re doing now is trying to extend the capacity of meeting people where they are with our workshops. One of our workshops is our budgeting class, and what we’re trying to is getting it to people who need it before they come to our doors needing it.
“So we’re working on processes in moving out into the community to deliver something like our budgeting class but in a more hybrid way.”
Henderson said helping those who are facing hard times can be gut-wrenching, but fulfilling.
“I always say social work, and the type of work we do at Eagle Nest, is definitely a work of heart,” she said. “It’s something that is very rewarding. It is tough, but it is very rewarding and I’m happy to be able to do it.”