MEET THE DIRECTOR:
On June 1, 2017, Tony Armes officially became the director of the Shepherd's Center-Beachside succeeding founder Larry Boudrie's storied fourteen year tenure. This succession of leadership didn't happen overnight.
A couple years before, Tony enrolled in his first class at the Shepherd's Center and he offered to become a volunteer in assisting the morning setup.
Larry guided Tony on the procedures of setting up the snack table and the fine art of making coffee. Since there are no paid positions at the Shepherd's Center, Tony appointed himself - Vice-President of Hospitality. After a couple of terms, Larry asked Tony if he would be willing to become the next director of the Shepherd's Center. Tony discussed it with his wife Nancy and informed Larry that he would accept the job. In 2016, the idea was presented to the Board of Trustees who unanimously voted to have Tony as the next director. Larry Boudrie announced he would be stepping down on June 1, 2017.
BACKGROUND: Tony is originally from Hardinsburg, Kentucky, a small farming community in Northwestern Kentucky - approximately 50 miles southwest of Louisville. He helped his parents and grandparents on the farm tending livestock, racehorse thoroughbreds, and crops. Tony attended Eastern Kentucky University (BBA in Management) where he met his future wife, Nancy Hilgeman. Upon graduating and receiving his Army ROTC commission, Second Lieutenant Armes and Nancy began a short-lived military career in the Army at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. There, he was the deputy for facilities engineering. He soon seized the opportunity and began working as a civilian for the Air Force. As an entry-level government employee, Tony had to choose one of the five Air Logistics Centers, and he chose Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio as a contract specialist/contract negotiator. After a couple of years in Texas, Tony and Nancy and their two-year old daughter, Robyn, relocated with a promotion to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. At WPAFB, Tony moved from organization to organization negotiating with major defense contractors in acquiring and maintaining bomber, cargo, special operations, and VIP aircraft. At this time Tony attended Central Michigan University (MSA in Administration) and they had their second child, Kristopher. He also obtained an online Masters of Military Operational Art and Science degree from the Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base. Tony retired from the government on April Fool's Day, 2011. Tony and Nancy started a post-retirement vacation trip by touring around the perimeter of Florida looking for a home to winter at. They visited friends in Indialantic and stayed in a B&B there, followed by a month's vacation the next year in Indialantic. The beachside communities kept beckoning Nancy and him to stay longer and longer. Now Tony and Nancy are full-time residents of Satellite Beach. When Tony is not at the Shepherd's Center he likes to travel, hunt for sea glass, read, walk, genealogy, and explore new diners and restaurants.
TONY LOOKS AHEAD: With the COVID Pandemic behind us, Tony is seeking ways to rejoin the Shepherd's Center participants who have yet to return to classes. As with an all-volunteer organization, he has had to streamlined processes to make it easier to manage. There are no longer cumbersome schedule brochures that are mailed out; those brochures created a host of management issues. Now everything is done via internet: viewing of classes, registration, and the option to pay online. Most everyone seems to be adapting well.
Now that Tony has mastered the art of coffee-making, he won't let that task go. Stop by and have a cup with him any Thursday or Friday morning!
"This has been the best job of my life and it found me! I've met so many wonderful and interesting people at Shepherd's Center and I cannot wait to get back to the next session."