After 40 years of service, Susannah Wesley Community Center Executive Director Ronald Higashi will retire next summer.
“We thank Ron for his enduring leadership,” said Board President Adele Lum. “He has carried the Susannah Wesley Community Center into its second century of serving our community, and we have a proud legacy to build upon as we look to this next chapter.”
For the coming year, Higashi plans to focus on continuing partnerships and Susannah Wesley’s commitment high quality behavioral health services and youth opportunities. “Collaboration is the backbone of our services,” Higashi said. “We will continue to work hand-in-hand with our funders, community partners and neighbors to ensure our doors remain open to all, while deliberately pursuing opportunities to better serve those who fall through the cracks of our system.”
Higashi started at Susannah Wesley as a Youth Director in the mid-1970s, after his summer job at Parks and Recreation first brought him to the Center. By 1985, he had grown into the role of Executive Director. Under his leadership, the Susannah Wesley Community Center has grown to offer diverse community programs from youth sports and a food pantry to behavioral health case management services in multiple languages. Each year, dozens of community groups hold gatherings and events at the Center.
“For more than a century, Susannah Wesley has been a critical and vibrant part of our community,” said Board Member Jan Harada. “As Kalihi Palama faces a changing landscape, Susannah Wesley is steadfast in our commitment to helping all families and businesses in our neighborhood persevere through these changes and thrive into the future.”
In the meantime, Higashi is looking forward to golfing more, traveling to visit his family, and wearing slippers every day after his retirement.