Our History

Founding Board Members

    Board Member                       Term  

Bob Brown1971-1971
Everett DeFoor1971-1972
Ed Shannon1971-1975
Jo Ryan1971-1976
Dennis Komaromi1971-1977
Tom Pope1971-1978
Nell Mobley1971-1979
George Brunt1971-1980
Bobbie Mathews1971-1984
George Chambers1971-2004
Margaret "Mac" Walters1971-2005

Executive Directors

Stacy Long                          2016-Present

Nancy Soto                         2015-2016

Stacy Long                           2010-2015

Lori Rosen                           2009-2010

Erin Conaway                    2005-2009

Tina Lopez                           2005

Linda Sainato                     1995-2005

Cathy Talley                       1988-1995

Betty Long                          1988

Melody McEntyre          1981-1988

Jerre Lynn Joyner          1975-1981

Beth Bennett                    1972-1974

Faye Rogers                      1972

What began as a dream to serve has ultimately helped thousands in need.    The Voluntary Action Center (VAC) was founded as Hand-up in 1970 by a group of local citizens, who recognized the presence of needs going unmet, in this community.  

When Hand-up  first started it operated under the welfare system of Gordon County.  The Calhoun Women's Club was instrumental in helping establish the initial programs and services offered.

In early 1970 a Board of Directors, consisting of non-compensated volunteers, was formed to establish and oversee the financial obligations, of the organization.  The Board of Directors was also charged with establishing and monitoring the policies and procedures, pertaining to finances and programs.  The VAC is still governed by a Board of Directors, who are elected and serve under the By-Law of the organization.

The first officers for Hand-up Inc, were elected on April 27, 1971:

  • ​Dennis Komaroni, President
  • George Brunt, Vice President
  • Jo Ryan, Treasurer
  • Faye Rogers, Secretary

On June 19, 1971 Hand-up was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) Private Non-Profit Corporation under the name of Hand-Up, Inc.  In January of 1972 Faye Rogers became the agency's first Executive Director.

Hand-Up, Inc. began doing business as Voluntary Action Center within the newly implemented National Center for Voluntary Action in 1972.  Even though the National Center for Voluntary Action dissolved in 1979, our Voluntary Action Center decided to continue operating as an independent agency, continuing to provide much needed programs and services.

Today we are still Hand-Up, Inc. but are simply known as the VAC.  We have continued to be a staple in the Gordon County community providing emergency services to help individuals and families obtain the most essential of all human services.  

​The commitment to service set forth by our founding members is still alive and well today.