New COA director has many goals, hopes to diversify programs

Karen Testa has been appointed as North Attleborough's new Council on Aging director. Courtesy photo 

By Michael Oliveira

In her new role as Council on Aging Director, Karen Testa’s plan is to make a significant, positive impact on the senior community.

“I want to ensure that the senior center is a vibrant, supportive, and essential resource for its participants,” said Testa, who took on the role on May 6.

Testa has two weeks under her belt in the role and has set numerous goals for her tenure as the next COA.

“I plan to expand and diversify the range of activities, classes, and events offered to cater to the varied interests and needs of older adults in the community and increase participation in the activities and programs we offer,” Testa said.

“I will work to build strong relationships with local organizations, businesses, and government agencies to create collaborative opportunities that benefit the participants of the senior center.”

Testa added that former Director Pam Hunt and staff have built a strong foundation of programs and services at the Senior Center. Hunt stepped down earlier this year after 20 years as COA director

Testa wanted to work in North Attleborough due it being  “a welcoming community, strategic location, and economic opportunities making it an attractive place to work.”

Testa said she was very impressed with Town Manager Michael Borg and his intention to rehabilitate the senior center to meet the growing needs of the community.

“It is my intent to work closely with staff to further modernize programs and improve efficiency to ensure that the senior center remains a valuable resource for years to come,” Testa said.

Before working in North Attleborough, Testa was the Council on Aging director for Blackstone, where she oversaw the daily operations and worked to expand programming for seniors.

She also worked at the Salvatore Mancini Resource and Activity Center in Providence where she was the executive director from 1998-2018 after 12 years working to expand the health and wellness programs and increasing the partnerships with local businesses and colleges.

Testa has over 34 years’ experience at the senior center including 24 of those years being director level positions.

“She has worked to further professionalize and enhance performances and services at prior senior centers to meet the needs of their community members, and we greatly look forward to bringing that same work ethic with her to North Attleborough,” said Borg.