Get to know the town: Milford Senior Center Executive Director Daphne Bumbrey

MILFORD — Daphne Bumbrey has lived in Milford for eight years, and worked as the executive director of the Milford Senior Center for two years.

MC Daphne 1Name: Daphne Bumbrey Hometown: Born and raised Owings Mills, Md.

Current role: Executive director of the Milford Senior Center

Educational background: Bachelors of business administration marketing and a Masters degree in business administration and organizational leadership, both from Strayer University.

Tell us about your job?

“I came from the Heritage golf community as the activities director. Now, I have more responsibility. We have more members from all over Delaware. We have 1 or 2 people from New Castle. We have lots in Kent and the majority are from Sussex. We’re working with all walks of life throughout the state; I like that.”

Tell us about your family?

“I have a 15-year- old Pomeranian. His name is Jazz Alexander Bumbrey. He’s popular.”

What are your days like?

“My daily routine starts with finding out what’s going to happen with the day with the staff and hang around the members. I love to hear what’s going on with their lives, especially the ones I haven’t seen in a while. We listen to everything they have to say and try to implement the programs that we hear they’d like.

“Every day is a fun day and I’m not exaggerating. Every day is funny. I love hearing laughter from the staff because I know the residents are laughing with them. I cannot believe anyone leaves here with a sadness in them. We do have some members who have lost a spouse and I make sure to have the right ones here to say ‘ hello’ and be with them. I like to join them. For example, I might say, ‘Are you interested in pool?’ Because I play pool. It’s just fun to be able to interact with people and also help them at the same time.”

What is up and coming for the Milford Senior Center?

“Renovations. There’s a lot of water damage in a few areas. Part of my job is to look for grants. We have more than $40,000 from the Longwood Foundation for the roof. The Milford Lions Club helped with $10,000.

“We’re now in the process of re doing the lobby. The carpet is damaged and could be dangerous. We’re repainting the walls and putting in laminate looking floors.”

Is there anything you are most proud of here?

“We redid a whole room to put in a fitness center. It’s very popular now, but it started off slow. During the morning, I literally can’t find one machine that’s open and that’s what I love seeing: them taking care of themselves. I started the fitness center from scratch. It’s a great way to keep active.”

Tell us something we may not know about you?

“I love to write. I actually published a book. It may not be in everybody’s taste; it’s sci-fi. It’s called, “The End of Humanity: a Sci-Fi Anthology,” by Daphne Strickland. That’s my maiden name. My mom is an author, too. After I had mine done, she went ahead and published hers. She’s the one who got me started.”

Do you have other hobbies?

“I used to sew a lot. And I’m into gardening a lot. Let me rephrase that, I like gardening, but my green thumb hasn’t quite grown yet. I like cooking with fresh herbs, but I’m not good at growing tomatoes.”

What do you like about Milford?

“I plan on staying here. I want to retire here. It is a blessing to be able to come to work and enjoy your job. I really love Milford. I came from the DC area and it was a lot of congestion and road rage. It was only 20 miles from my home to my job and I’m not lying when I say it took two hours. I said to myself that I wanted a place that you could walk to some of the shops and there’s less cars on the road. It’s really nice on a Saturday morning here now that I can walk to my library.”

Did education prepare you for this role?

“Education made it seem like, the business aspect, that it was cookie cutter. You do this when this happens and then you try these different avenues to get it done. But life is unpredictable. You have to be flexible and realize everyone has their own personality. That’s what I’ve realized.”

Jennifer Antonik can be reached at mc@newszap.com

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