Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful gains new executive director
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful Commission now has a new executive director and the board had the chance to meet her at its first meeting of the new year on Monday evening.
Flores-Achmad was among three interviewed by Interim City Manager Ryan Haverlah, along with present Solid Waste Director Jamie Duncan, and former KCCB board president Annie Zehr for the newly created, standalone part-time position.
She had her first day on the job on Dec. 26.
As executive director, Flores-Achmad will work on KCCB business 20 hours per week, to include KCCB’s events.
Flores-Achmad is no stranger to working for a municipality, as she retired last summer after working for the city of Killeen for nearly 24 years. When she retired from that city, she was the Director of Volunteer Services, overseeing that city’s activities for groups such as Keep Killeen Beautiful, Celebrate Killeen, which Flores-Achmad said involves the city’s parades and large events. She said she also oversaw volunteers of Killeen’s Emergency Response team, their Teen Volunteer group, which similar to Copperas Cove’s Youth Advisory Commission. She also oversaw adult volunteers, Killeen Volunteers, Inc., which encompasses events such as Make A Difference Day, the Don’t Mess With Texas Trash Off, among others.
She considers the position of KCCB director a good fit for her.
“When I initially saw this position, I was like, “Wait – it’s perfect, its part-time, and it was doing something I love, working with people and doing Keep Texas Beautiful, Keep America Beautiful, and working with an affiliate. I’m definitely excited,” Flores-Achmad told the board. “I’ve been in this area forever. My parents were military, so we used to live on Fort Hood. My husband is retired military, so we’re not going anywhere.”
The part-time position was branched off the position of recycling coordinator, and then recycling superintendent in the City of Copperas Cove’s Solid Waste Department, after longtime KCCB executive director Silvia Rhoads transferred from her position at the Solid Waste department after 12 years, due to pressure from then-department director Quinn Vance over her reclassified position as Recycling Superintendent, which required her to spend no more than 20 percent of her work time on commission business.
Interim city manager Ryan Haverlah, who has also worn the hat as interim executive director of KCCB after interim director Donna Sadd quit her position in the Solid Waste Department last summer.
In the fall, at the direction of the commission, Haverlah asked the Copperas Cove city council to allow him to create a part-time position for the KCCB director, which the council approved.
During the 2017-2018 fiscal year, KCCB operated with a $23,145 budget under the city’s Solid Waste Department, not including the director’s salary.
KCCB focuses its efforts on waterway and trash clean-ups in the city, along with sustainability and recycling educational events such as its annual EcoHarvest in the fall, and beautification events at different city properties. Its volunteerism and that of the city garnered state awards, such as the Governor’s Community Achievement Award in 2013 and 2017, which included a total of $420,000 in state-funded landscaping grants to be spent on TxDOT roadways in Copperas Cove – in this case, a portion of the Business 190 median that is presently being designed.
Rhoads, who works for the city’s Finance Department, was appointed as a KCCB board member by the city council. On Monday evening, she was elected KCCB’s secretary, with Elizabeth Sherman accepting the position of board president, newly reappointed board member Edith Freyer as vice president, and C.J. Sowell as treasurer.
Flores-Achmad’s office is at the Solid Waste Department, located at the Solid Waste Transfer Station on F.M. 116 South, and keeps her office hours primarily in the mornings, with flexibility to work at weekend cleanup events. Her email is Rfloresfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Flores-Achmad has known Rhoads and Copperas Cove’s reputation for sustainability excellence.
“It’s big shoes to fill, but I’m definitely wanting to put my own little mark on it,” she told the board on Monday evening.