Although Karen Lloyd’s tenure as executive director for the Milford Senior Center may only be about a month old, she has spent the past 31 years serving area seniors with a cheerful spirit and heartfelt devotion.


Although Karen Lloyd’s tenure as executive director for the Milford Senior Center may only be about a month old, she has spent the past 31 years serving area seniors with a cheerful spirit and heartfelt devotion.

“The love of these seniors” has been Lloyd’s motivation for continuing to work at the senior center more than three decades, she said.

“You’ve got to do it because you love the people and you care,” Lloyd said. “It has to be from the heart. ... I tell every body the Lord put me here. He knows why I am here.”

Lloyd, whom the center’s Board of Directors appointed as executive director on Nov. 19, started with the enter as the site manager in charge of the meal program, before working, in turn, as an outreach worker and program coordinator. She has twice filled in as interim director.

“The board saw a need and felt that I could take care of the need since I’ve done a little bit of everything here,” she said. “I felt like the timing was right (to become executive director), and I could handle it at this point. I’m ready to move us on to bigger and better things.”

Lloyd brings an abundance of enthusiasm and optimism to her position, said Gardner Shugart, a two-year center member and treasurer of the center’s Board of Directors.

“I think she’s a bright spot in this center,” Shugart said. “She brought a lot of enthusiasm and good spirit. Everyone loves her. ... I’m impressed with her good nature and warm smile. I know she is very dedicated to the center.”

Lloyd’s goal as the new center’s new executive director is to “make us one of the most notable senior centers around.

“I want us to be the most harmonious senior center,” she said. “I feel like these are their golden years, and I want them to come in and enjoy that time.”

Already the center is notable for its number of member seniors. There are currently about 1,700 seniors who are members.

“When I started here, we had around 500 members,” Lloyd said. “We’ve more than tripled (membership) since I’ve been here.”

Since the only qualification for membership is being at least 55 years old, the center’s membership includes people from all walks of life and ages up to 97 years old.

That wide range of interests and ages makes activity planning a challenge, but it also makes for an attractive set of activity options for members, Lloyd said.

Lloyd is careful to credit a cadre of staff members and about 125 dedicated volunteers for the center’s success.

“I couldn’t get better cooperation from my co-workers,” Lloyd said. “It takes everybody to keep it afloat and we do that. We really work together. ... They make me what I am.”

Involvement with the Senior Center is a family affair, with Lloyd’s husband Frank and her adult daughter Kim Swanstrom of Milford both volunteering with the center.

To become a member of the Milford Senior Center, visit the center, located at 111 Park Ave., to fill in a form. Proof of age is required. The membership fee is $15 per year. For more information about the center’s activities and programs, call 422-3385.