Diane Thompson needed a change of pace. The Booneville Senior Center provided one.

Thompson, who took over at the center effective Oct. 1, moved from the hustle and bustle of northwest Arkansas, specifically the Rogers area, to the Blue Mountain Lake area.

"It was getting so busy up there, there’s so much more activity with the growth," said Thompson. "I just wanted to come back to a place that was a little more like a home town."

To the native of Monterrey, Calif., South Logan County was just the ticket.

Prior to coming to the Senior Center, Thompson spent time working with animal rescue shelters and she was a preschool teacher for a decade before serving as a logistics manager at the trucking firm J.B. Hunt.

Thompson replaces the retired Rhea Nelson at the center which sees as many as 70 senior citizens or as few as 20 depending on weather and other factors. The average meal count is about 60, Thompson said, which includes the Meals on Wheels program for home-bound seniors.

Having settled into the position now, Thompson said she is planning some new activities. For instance, there will be a New Year’s Eve party this year with the group Copy Cats providing the entertainment.

"I’m continually looking for new things for the seniors to do," said Thompson. "Starting next year we are going to have sing-a-long days, in the spring we’re going to try to take a couple day trips to different activities around the area.

"I’m looking into what theatre groups there are around here too."

The Senior Center is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.

Thompson is married to a 26-year career military man and the couple has five children, a son in Rogers and daughters in Bentonville, California and Washington.