Shannon Coday new manager at Dayton Senior Center
DAYTON – For Shannon Coday, becoming the new site manager of the Dayton Senior Center is like a dream come true.
“It just seemed like the perfect job for me,” said Coday, who began her new job on Monday.
“I would never have thought that I would get the job. It is going to be exciting to see the continued growth in the area and being able to put programs together and see things flourish.”
Coday has already met with the Dayton Senior Center’s Advisory Council, asking them what they would like to see happen at the center. Their responses included computer classes (for beginners) and exercise classes.
She comes to the center as members are trying to raise funds to build an extension, doubling its square footage. She will attend a meeting with the building committee and state contractors to determine what steps they should take next.
Coday’s last job was as community relations director for Sierra Place Assisted Living. She decided to take time off to finish her bachelor’s degree in human services, through the University of Phoenix in Reno, and to spend time with her children, Kyle, 11, Katelynn, 9, and her husband, Christopher, to whom she has been married to for 13 years.
The Codays moved to Carson City in August of 1998 from Inland Empire in the Riverside area of Southern California.
“I would visit my mom in Reno and we’d sit and watch the news and it would be like night and day (comparing Reno to Southern California). At home, we’d have real hard crime stories topping the news, and in Reno, I couldn’t believe it, a murder wasn’t the top story.
“So I told my husband I wanted to move. He said, ‘I’ll give you three years, then we’re moving back.’ Well, after just six months, he then said, ‘We’re staying.’
“And give me snow any day. This is really a great community for families. I know my children’s teachers, their friends, their friends’ parents and the people in our neighborhood.”
Coday acknowledges some seniors may wonder if she’s too young to run a senior center. She admits she’s in her mid-30s.
“I know they’re concerned about my age. Several of them have asked me. But I don’t feel it’s as important as knowing what to do for them – that I do my job well for them. They’re a bit apprehensive.
“I’m very confident about knowing what their concerns are and what’s going on in our nation with seniors. But I just ask for an opportunity. Let me try. I’ve worked with seniors for four years now and I feel I understand them and their needs pretty well.
“And if I’m not sure, I’ll ask. But it is my goal to have them tell me what they want in programming, make sure it’s feasible – because not every idea will work for everyone – and put the program into effect. I believe in democracy and I believe in what I’m doing.
“But the number one thing is to show respect,” she said. “It irritates me when people don’t treat seniors like one of their own. The seniors here are very involved with their community. They are really on top of things.
“They have made me feel so welcome. They are all so friendly and generous. I get at least three hugs a day from them. I look forward to working with them and for them.”