For the past 17 years, Carol Nichols has been in what she called “the best job I ever had.”

Starting her 18th year this month, Nichols serves as the director for the Redwood Area Senior Center program in Redwood Falls, but at the end of the month she will be stepping down from that role.

“My last day is Oct. 31,” said Nichols.

Nichols said she took on the role as director after being laid off from a different job. She saw an advertisement for the opening in the newspaper, applied and was hired.

Nichols said the position appealed to her, because she enjoys working with older people. 

Nichols added the group she has been interacting with over the past 17 years has been great.

As the center’s director, Nichols serves in a variety of roles from assisting with event planning to helping communicate information to those who are part of the program.

Whether it is getting ready to have a party or bringing in a speaker, Nichols has enjoyed being able to coordinate events that the people who come enjoy.

Nichols said at first the role was for five hours per day, but the position has become very flexible for her, adding now she is able to work when she is needed.

Although Nichols is stepping down at the end of the month, she is committed to ensuring a smooth transition for the future, which is why she has already been working on the plans for the events in November and December, including the Thanksgiving and Christmas events.

According to Nichols, retiring now will mean having the chance to spend more time with her grandchildren.

Of course, she still plans to visit the senior center, especially for coffee in the morning.

Nichols said she has really enjoyed the new space that was developed for the senior center, adding the staff at the Redwood Area Community Center has been very helpful and accommodating.

Nichols expressed her appreciation to the staff, as well as to all of the seniors she has worked with, adding they are a great group.

A retirement party is being held for Nichols at the senior center Oct. 29 at 10 a.m.