The Special Olympics Texas board of directors recently named Jake Squiers, chief operating officer of Burke, as a new member.
Squiers just finished a two-year term on the nonprofit organization’s President’s Advisory Council and will now serve a two-year term in an at-large position on the board.
“Jake has a tremendous eye for detail and was a standout member of the President’s Advisory Council,” said Chad Tywater, SOTX board chairman. “Jake will be a great addition to our board for years to come.”
Squiers said he feels “honored and excited.”
“I’m very passionate about activities for folks with developmental disabilities,” he said. “I’ve been involved with Special Olympics for the last six years. It’s been an absolute delight to work with these folks, see them at practice and the exhilaration of competition in the area, region, and state events. It provides education, inspiration, and aspiration for folks who both need and deserve it.”
He said that because the board had no representation in East Texas, “I wanted to make sure that the delegations in this part of the region got proper representation to support our team.”
He plans to advocate for better support for the SOTX area directors in rural areas “who have more challenges than more supported area directors in the urban areas.”
“Anthony Key is the area director for several counties around Angelina, and he has to be a jack of all trades,” Squiers said. “He has to organize, fundraise, participate. I’m sure all of the rural area directors are also struggling to be everything to everyone.”
Squiers has served in his current role at Burke since 2008. Burke serves a 12-county region, providing mental health and developmental disability services to more than 10,000 people each year.
The Lufkin native is responsible for Burke’s field operations, including mental health, substance abuse, developmental disability, early childhood intervention, integrated care and veterans’ programs. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Washington and Lee University.
Squiers is an SOTX basketball coach for the Burke Center Bobcats, serves as his church’s treasurer and is a former member of the Lions Club, Main Street Lufkin Board, and American Red Cross, as well as a past St. Cyprian’s Episcopal School board president.
Squiers and his wife, Laura, have three daughters: Christie, Haley, and Autumn. In his free time, he enjoys woodworking and being a competitive barbecue cook.
Published in The Lufkin News by Stephanie Stevens on January 12, 2017.