Gary Cook, President & CEO, to retire after 31+ years of service

Direction Home Akron Canton Area Agency on Aging & Disabilities President and CEO, Gary Cook, is retiring after 31 years of service as of December 31, 2023. 

Mr. Cook has led the agency through significant successes and leaves with many exciting opportunities for Direction Home on the horizon. Mr. Cook also achieved several professional successes including leading a sister Area Agency on Aging office through a financial catastrophe for 18 months at the request of the Ohio Department of Aging, leading one of the most successful Medicare Programs in the nation targeting the reduction of avoidable readmissions to the hospital, and receiving many significant awards in his field including:

O4A award as aging network Executive of the Year

ODA special award for Excellence in Business Management

Harold K. Stubbs Humanitarian Award for Human Services

Outstanding Gerontologist Award from the Institute for Lifespan Development and Gerontology at the University of Akron

“It has been an honor and privilege to work at such a great organization, and with such great staff. Thanks to the expertise of our Board of Directors and the efforts of our employees we are poised for significant growth in fields such as social determinants of health impacts on health care and new models of service delivery.”

Mr. Cook has always had an eye towards the future, and has identified a positive path forward after his departure. “I believe that it is essential that we ensure continuity in the leadership of Direction Home to build on our past successes. Throughout our history we have operated seamlessly with a formal succession plan. This has ensured not only successful business continuity and growth, but in the continuation of our corporate culture which is the secret to our success.”

As part of this formal succession planning process, Abigail Morgan current Chief Operating Officer, has been promoted by the Direction Home Board of Directors to President and CEO upon Mr. Cook’s retirement as of January 1, 2024. 

“Gary is leaving a legacy of exceeding expectations, from high 90% satisfaction from partners and consumers, to the development of our competent, courteous and compassionate staff members who represent us in the community every day,” said Mrs. Morgan. “It’s an honor to follow in his leadership footsteps and I look forward to a bright future for our Agency and the people looking to us for assistance.”

More information on the new leader of Direction Home Aging and Disabilities can be found here:

Gary Retirement