The Osceola Council on Aging (OCOA) recently appointed a new CEO to lead Osceola County’s largest social services organization.  A 20-year veteran of OCOA and former Director of Housing and Finance, Wendy Ford, will take the reins of the organization beginning in June.  Retiring CEO, Beverly Hougland will retire from OCOA after more than 40 years of service. Mrs. Hougland was the recipient of the Positive Community Leader Award in December of 2018, which was presented to her by Positively Osceola and Charlie Draper of Draper Law Office. Click here to video the presentation.

“We are thrilled to appoint Wendy Ford as our new CEO,” said Annette Fender, president of the OCOA Board of Directors. “Wendy has served in multiple capacities during her tenure with the Council and strongly believes in our mission to provide extensive support services to enable independence and self-sufficiency for Osceola seniors, disabled adults, and disadvantaged families,” added Fender.   

Incoming CEO, Wendy Ford, is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Business College; holds Housing and Urban Development (HUD) certifications along with Assistant Housing Manager and Housing Credit Certified Professional designations.  Ford was recently awarded two Certificates of Achievements from HUD for superior Real Estate Assessment Center outcomes; recognized for implementing the ‘Senior/Kid Companion’ program at the State of Florida National Community Service Conference, a recognition designated by former Secretary of State, Colin Powell.  Additionally, Ford is a member of the City of Kissimmee Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, a member of the Kissimmee Police Department’s Crime Free initiative program, and a graduate of the University of Florida LeadingAge Leadership Academy and Leadership Osceola.

“I am honored to have been chosen as the new CEO of the Osceola Council on Aging,” said Ford.  “I will continue the agencies mission which focuses on community housing, case management, guardianship projects, health, and nutritional programs, weatherization & senior center services, while also managing the vital needs of our ever-changing and growing community.  The future of our clients and services is crucial in continuing to build this great community we call home.”

According to Fender, the retiring CEO, Beverly Hougland, has dedicated much of her career to serving seniors and disadvantaged families through OCOA, and upon her retirement will be presented the distinguished title of Emeritus Director for her multiple decades of service, an honor Hougland is thrilled to accept.  “This award is the perfect finale for a wonderful career at OCOA,” said Hougland.

Positively Osceola would like to congratualte Beverly Hougland on her retirement and Wendy Ford on her new position as CEO for the Osceola Council on Aging. Thank you both for making such a positive difference in the lives of Osceola County seniors by ensuring that no senior goes hungry.