President and CEO of Seniors’ Resource Center, John Zabawa has played an active role in the community for most of his life. It began in the 1970’s, when John and his wife, Linda, took in seven adolescent boys, who needed direction, and provided them with a home. In 1981, shortly after John moved to Evergreen, he was overseeing a program called “Mountain Services,” a part of Seniors’ Resource Center.
John saw a need for a community center to provide information, programs, and services. “I had this vision for creating a focal point in the community for seniors and their families to receive information and services,” explained John. He held a town meeting to implement this vision. With overwhelming support, and a $30,000 commitment from the Jefferson County Commissioners, the “Yellow House” was acquired, and now houses our SRC Evergreen location.
During his 35 years with SRC, John has held several positions, including Program Coordinator, Program Director, Director of Development, and Executive Director. As the President and CEO for the past 26 years, John has expanded the services SRC provides seniors in 10 counties throughout Colorado. Some of those services include: Transportation, Chores, Care Management, In Home Care, Adult Day and Respite, Services for Adults with Developmental Disabilities, Volunteer Services and Opportunities. John has also helped SRC expand beyond the Yellow House in Evergreen, to its headquarters in Wheat Ridge, Southwest site in Littleton, and the Starr Center in Lakewood.
Over the course of his time serving at SRC, John has received many awards. In 2009 John was chosen as one of Jefferson County’s 150 most contributing citizens. As past-president and current member of Leading Age Colorado, John received a national award on behalf of SRC for “Outstanding Advocacy” in 2011, and for “Excellence in Not-For- Pro t Leadership” in 2014.
Part of John’s success has been his personal involvement with seniors in the community. He started out helping the older population by cutting and delivering firewood. John has continued to remain connected with the clients we serve even as the organization has grown. He can often be seen walking around our Adult Day Center talking with participants. One of John’s favorite parts of his involvement at SRC is, “seeing the faces of the people we serve, being able to interact with them, and seeing how appreciative they are.”
As John looks toward the future of SRC, he has goals in sight. “We have been able to adapt to growth and change,” says John. Part of change has been growing one core service to seven, with more services in sight. John’s strategic plan is to grow SRC’s services to meet the needs of our growing and changing senior population.
“While the organization has grown, financial needs have changed,” explains John. With the growth, development, and the desire to offer more services come bigger financial requirements. SRC has been honored to have funds through grants and government funding, as well as valuable community partnerships. Funding from these sources is changing as well.
SRC is lucky to have a strong donor base, who recognize the good work and positive impact SRC provides for the community. John appreciates every single donors that has helped SRC accomplish for seniors over his past 35 years at SRC. He looks forward to growing what SRC can provide for seniors, as he continues to lead SRC and advocate for seniors in the community.