KPCS’s new executive director is ready to learn and lead . Photo: Lisa Bryan, KP News

KPCS’s new executive director is ready to learn and lead. Photo: Lisa Bryan, KP News

Tracy Merrifield of Gig Harbor has been hired as the new executive director of the Key Peninsula Community Services Food Bank and Senior Center, succeeding Penny Gazabat who retired Dec. 31 after 10 years at the helm.

Merrifield said her first day on the job left her humbled and inspired by Gazabat and the KP community. “Penny mentioned to me with a smile the day we met, ‘Look what I get to do today.’ She greets each morning with these words.”

Working alongside Gazabat, Merrifield watched her happily manage a freezer repair, an unexpected power outage, and the busy happenings of a full lunch crowd and senior exercise class.

“It’s a lot bigger operation than a lot of people think; lots of things go on around here to keep the wheels moving,” Gazabat said. “I really believe Tracy Merrifield is going to take KPCS to the next level of community service.”

For Merrifield, “The experience of meeting the dedicated KPCS staff and volunteers as community members delivered gifts for the food bank and donations throughout the day was hard to put into words,” she said. “This is a community that cares.”

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