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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Forcier Joins the Ranks of the Retired

Thursday, August 30, 2012

After serving as Outreach Director for Cherokee County under Mid-Sioux Opportunity, Inc. for the last 25 years, Joan Forcier is joining the illustrious ranks of the retired. Photo by Nancy Nelson
Joan Forcier is a familiar face in the communities of Cherokee County. For the last 25 years, she has been the Outreach Director for Cherokee County under Mid-Sioux Opportunity, Inc. There are likely very few people who don't know who she is and what a huge asset she has been to the people of Cherokee County communities. On August 31 this year she is joining the ranks of those in retirement.

When she began her career with Mid-Sioux those long 25 years ago, the office was located on the third floor of the old part of what was then Sioux Valley Memorial Hospital. They gave her a typewriter and told her start helping people with their needs. She didn't have much for resources and contacts, but over time she built a network of community supporters and resources and began helping to fill the needs of those who needed help. When she wasn't able to help she had access to information for other resources that could help. Forcier said she basically learned on the job and built the position into what it is today because she gathered those resources in order to help the next person.

In her outstanding career as Outreach Director, Forcier can't possibly pinpoint the exact number of people she has been able to assist with outreach services. The number reaches into the thousands. Her helpful, supportive and compassionate attitude has gained her a level of respect that few enjoy, although she would likely be too humble to admit it. She says her job and ability to help people is very rewarding. However, it wouldn't be possible at all without what she says is the, "astounding" support of the citizens of Cherokee county. She would like to be able to list them all but knows she couldn't possibly name them all and would feel bad if she left one out. Forcier says that everything from small and large donations of food for the food pantry, clothing when they used to have the clothing center, to financial support is so much appreciated.

Much of the compassion and support she provides to clients of Mid-Sioux while helping them find the assistance they need comes from a background of "been there done that". She says many people fall on tough times when financial situations are tight. She says, "I look at my job as a gift, not everyone can be in a position to truly help people."

Since many people seem to get busier lives after retirement than when they were in the workforce, Forcier was asked what her retirement plans are. She said right now she will be perfectly happy to stay home, sleep in, relax and enjoy her family. She says it will be nice to be able to just go and do something on the spur of the moment. She also added that she will miss seeing her coworkers and volunteer staff as they have become family over the years.

Although Forcier is leaving some pretty big shoes to fill she is confident that her replacement, Sara Lively, another familiar face at Mid-Sioux, will have no problem at all stepping up the plate. Be sure to stop by the office or send your well wishes and thanks before Forcier joins the world of retirement. She may not want a lot of fuss about it, but most people who know her would agree she deserves the "well done" gratitude of Cherokee county citizens.

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