Sandles dismissed as agency director

Cary Ashby • Jul 14, 2019 at 10:00 PM

The executive director of the Enrichment Centers for Huron County (formerly Senior Enrichment Services) has been dismissed.

The board of trustees voted Thursday to dismiss Roxanne Sandles, said Ellen Simmons, board vice president and president of the personnel committee. The dismissal was effective Friday. Sandles had served as the executive director since September 2016.

“Jan Knadler, president of the board of trustees, said Sandles has not met the expectations of the board and the dismissal was taken with regret,” Simmons said in a prepared statement.

Simmons, when asked to elaborate, said “we’re talking about leadership and team-building.” She then was asked if Sandles failed to provide both of those and said, “I wouldn’t say that; she just hasn’t met our expectations.”

Knadler declined to comment Friday, saying the dismissal was “between Roxanne and the senior center.” She said the board plans to hire a new executive director “by the end of the year.”

Sandles was unavailable for comment.

Her dismissal came one day after the last day for activities director Lisa Gleisner, who was with the center since October 2013. She tendered her resignation about two weeks ago.

“I am going to be a director of a non-profit in the Mansfield area,” said Gleisner without elaborating.

“My assistant left with me,” she added, referring to Melinda Roth, who worked for the center for four years. “She was a driver first for two years and then moved into the activities department.”

Gleisner was complimentary of the job Sandles did for the Enrichment Centers, noting she “will take everything I learned from her” and use it at her new job. She called her former boss “the most effective leader I have ever worked for.”

“I have become a better leader because of her,” Gleisner added.

“She was always the last one to leave,” she said. “I can’t say enough about her compassion for the seniors. … She put her blood, heart and tears into that place. Her leaving is a huge loss for the seniors for that county.”

Gleisner said she wasn’t allowed to have an exit interview at the Enrichment Centers.

“There is a core group of employees that are self-serving. They are not there to serve the seniors. The board will not acknowledge (that),” she said. “The board will not recognize what is happening.”

The Enrichment Centers for Huron County, a non-profit organization, has branches in Norwalk and Willard.

“(They) serve seniors and others in Huron County with a wide range of assistance, including meals, transportation and other services to those who qualify. In addition, activities, classes and programs are offered for people of all ages,” Simmons said.

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