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OUR VIEW: A new Susman

“So long, honey babe. Where I’m bound, I can’t tell.” – A line from Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”

That song is a sad narrative about a man leaving his partner, but that one particular line relates to Steve Susman, the Westcott Community Center’s retiring executive director, in a big way.

Susman has been at the helm for 12 years, and has accomplished way more than most expected when he took the post. He’s gotten funding restored for many necessary programs, and he’s also helped programs stay afloat that are unfunded.

He’s not the type of person to turn anyone away. That’s just not who he is, says Renee Murray, assistant director of the center. The two are known as the center’s Old Married Couple, an endearing term they both embrace. Because if it wasn’t for the guidance and talent Susman produces, Murray said, convincingly, that she wouldn’t be the person she is today.

She’s more tolerant, observant and perseverant, all words used to describe Susman himself. He’s meant so much to the center that when he retires, he’s not really retiring right away. For two weeks at least, he’s going to work with Olan Mack, the incoming executive director, to help him get on his feet. Susman said he’s thrilled the center will be left in Mack’s hands, as Mack is a person who reminds Susman of himself.

The center has come a long way in 12 years. Susman has helped transform it into a place for everyone with the events he’s guided. People on the community are going to miss him, but if he says the center is going to be fine under Mack, then there’s a good chance that will be the case.

Because baby, don’t think twice. It’s all right. Maybe Susman can give Dylan a call and go jam with him again now that he has the time.

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