MIKE KELLY, BOARD MEMBER
Kelly grew up in Houston and came to SFA in 1978. “I liked life in East Texas and never really considered living anywhere else,” Kelly said. “I was fortunate that my high school girlfriend, Marie, felt the same way about living here.”
The couple married in 1983 and has three grown children and five grandchildren. Kelly has been a police officer in and around Nacogdoches for more than 38 years and will retire in 2019. He enjoys travel, exercise, backpacking and just about anything outdoors.
How did you get involved with the Senior Center?
A good friend, now County Judge, Greg Sowell asked me to help out with implementing a fitness program at the Senior Center a few years ago. I was glad to do it, and then somehow ended up on the board of directors.
How do you describe the role of the Senior Center in the community?
The Senior Center is “Their Place” for social interaction, a good meal among friends, and activities that are geared to what they want to do. We are constantly offering educational programs, fitness-related classes and any other activity that we can come up with that meets a need.
What are your dreams for the Senior Center’s future?
The sky is the limit. I hope that we are able to provide more activities as the population grows and we are able to identify areas where we can expand services. I would like to be able to offer something for everyone with emphasis on promoting healthy, active lifestyles among our senior population.
Do you have a favorite story about the Senior Center?
There are too many stories to pick a favorite, but they all come from getting to know the people. Each person there is a story, and many of the stories are truly incredible.
DAN TARAVELLA, BOARD MEMBER
Dan Taravella is a lieutenant with the Nacogdoches Police Department, where he has worked for almost 28 years.
Taravella grew up in Houston and moved to Nacogdoches to attend SFA in 1987. He is married to Emily Morris Taravella, who is from Kilgore, and they have two teenagers.
Taravella is new to the Senior Center Board, but is excited about being a part of things on the horizon.
“I feel blessed to be coming onto the board at a time when considerations are to expand or move to a larger location,” Taravella said. “This is an exciting time for the Senior Center and I hope I can play a vital role in its future.”
Taravella also serves on the Board of Directors for the Family Crisis Center of East Texas and the First United Methodist Church Board of Trustees. He teaches adjunct Criminal Justice classes at SFA.
Taravella’s hobbies are yard work, building things and spending time with his family. His collections include old Nacogdoches postcards, baseball cards, and police shoulder patches.
AMELIA COMMANDER, BOARD MEMBER
Born and raised in Nacogdoches, Amelia can’t imagine living a more fulfilling life outside the oldest town in Texas. For over 10 years, Amelia has cared for East Texans as a Registered Respiratory Therapist at local hospitals and doctor offices. Amelia joined A Pineywoods Home Health to improve the health of her Nacogdoches neighbors by empowering patients through expert care in the home. Amelia is married to Matthew Commander and they have three beautiful children. She loves giving back to the community that she has called home for 35 years.
STACY JACOBS, BOARD MEMBER
Nacogdoches County is the only place Stacy Jacobs wants to call home, and she’s done that all her life.
Stacy has sat on several boards in both the town and county of Nacogdoches. Some of her favorites have been the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, the Nacogdoches Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Nacogdoches County Board of Park Commissioners, Jacobs Chapel Cemetery, and her favorite, the Nacogdoches County on Aging.
Her passion has always been in helping senior citizens live their best life.
“From the time my children were little they helped me deliver meals to homebound seniors,” Stacy said. “This eventually led me to become part of the board for Nacogdoches County on Aging. That was 20 years ago and I’ve not looked back. It has been inspiring to see the center grow with beautiful walking trails, exercise programs and equipment, painting classes, and all kinds of games. The lunch program here has also come a long way with fresh produce and tasty lunches. I have watched the center grow into a beautiful place from the outside in.”
Stacy is a seventh-generation Nacogdoches County residence. Her children are Houston firefighter Stephen Alders and recently engaged daughter, Kristen Borders, who is also a paralegal. Her favorite six-year-old in the whole world happens to be her beautiful, smart, and witty granddaughter, Stella Alders. Her mom is Earline Jacobs, and she is a frequent visitor to the Nacogdoches Senior Citizens Center.
MIKE KELLER, BOARD MEMBER
Mike Keller is retired after more than 40 years in the insurance industry. He is a native Texan and grew up in Houston. His wife is a BIN (Born in Nacogdoches) and they live in the same house her mother grew up in on Mound Street. The Kellers have two grown children, one grandson and a new granddaughter on the way. Keller spent four years as a City Council representative for the Northwest Ward in Nacogdoches. He serves on the boards of Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful, Friends of Historic Nacogdoches, Crime Stoppers, Banita and Lanana Creek Trail Committees, and he is a Docent at the Old University Building when needed. He formerly chaired the Nacogdoches Historical Preservation Committee. Keller loves to work in his yard and spend quality time with his wife, Marianne, and their two Dobermans, Kona and Sarge.