Key Peninsula Community Services/Food Bank Executive Director Cristi Watson passed her torch to Luke Snyder. Snyder was hired in May, after Watson announced she was leaving the state to be closer to her family.

Snyder, who plans to move to the Key Peninsula, is not a complete stranger to the area. He has visited the Key Pen on several occasions as a volunteer dental hygienist with the Northwest Medical Teams’ dental van, which provides free services to local residents in need.

“I really started to know the patients and their way of life. It seemed like an awesome place,” he said.

Snyder has been volunteering with the dental van for about a year, traveling to different areas. He says he saw greater needs on the Key Peninsula compared to other places.

On his third trip or so, Snyder started thinking that this wouldn’t be a bad place to live. Attracted by the people, the history and the sense of community, he said the job of the director was “an amazing opportunity.”

Snyder has networked with various social services organizations around the region and plans to draw on his experience to bring more services to KPCS, and help seniors and others “use their talents.”

He has to give up the trips on the dental van — but looks forward to working on the other side of the chair, organizing the visits instead. When asked how he liked the busy environment of the Community House, he said: “I am used to the pace, after working 16 hours in the (dental) van.”