COLLEGE STATION — Sarah Hamm has been selected the sole finalist for the position of executive director for the Texas 4-H Youth Development Foundation, said Dr. Doug Steele, director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, which oversees the Texas 4-H program.
Hamm, who currently resides in Lubbock, would take the position formerly held by Jim Reeves, who is retiring after 10 years of service as head of the foundation. She will begin her new duties Jan. 6 in College Station.
The Texas 4-H Foundation promotes and supports youth development in leadership, vocational skills, critical thinking, social skills and citizenship. Incorporated in 1962 as a non-profit, the foundation’s mission is to develop private-sector support for 4-H educational programs and activities.
“Sarah is an energetic, dedicated leader with strong interpersonal skills, especially when it comes to relationship building, which is essential for the Texas 4-H Foundation’s success,” said Steele, who will be Hamm’s supervisor. “We’re sure her collaborative, team-oriented approach will build rapport, while her proven leadership abilities will enable the foundation to set and meet its desired goals.”
“She was the best qualified of all the candidates and met all of our criteria,” said John Wade, head of the search committee and past foundation president. “We’re excited about the foundation going forward under her leadership and bringing a new dynamic and contemporary perspective to things.”
Hamm said she is enthusiastic about being named the sole finalist.
“The Texas 4-H Foundation has a distinguished history of providing life-changing resources through scholarships and programs,” Hamm said. “4-H has made me the person I am today, and I’m excited to be a part of the team of young people, volunteers, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service personnel and the Texas 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees working together for the best youth organization in the world.”
“Sarah is an impressive person,” noted current foundation president Marcus Hill. “My family and I have known her since high school, and I know she has the personal and professional qualities needed in an executive director for the 4-H Foundation. I remember her saying that when she was growing up her life revolved around 4-H, stock shows and church.”
Hamm earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural development from Texas A&M University in 2001. She has more than 12 years of organizational experience, including working in the Texas Senate for the past six years. Her most recent role was that of a district director of rural counties and natural resources policy analyst for state Sen. Robert L. Duncan. In that position, Hamm oversaw policy, legislative and financial matters relating to the senate committees on natural resources, agriculture and finance during the 81st and 82nd Legislature.
Her additional experience includes serving as a congressional intern for U.S. Congressman Larry Combest and as a legislative assistant to state Rep. Gary Walker. She also has worked as a government relations and special projects assistant for Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle and Townsend, P.C. in Austin, and as a sales representative for Cengage Learning in Lubbock.
Hamm’s honors, awards and distinctions include serving as Texas 4-H Council first vice president from 1995-1996 and later student council president for Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She also participated in the college’s Agri-Speakers organization, was a member of the Alpha Zeta agricultural honors fraternity, and was the recipient of a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo scholarship and the Buck Weirus Spirit Award.
Dr. Chris Boleman, 4-H and Youth Development Program director, College Station, said as a former 4-H member, State 4-H Council officer and 4-H scholarship recipient, Hamm is “passionate about the program and the opportunities it provides Texas youth” and that her “membership and continued involvement in 4-H through camps and programs resonate as she speaks of these experiences.”
“I am ecstatic to be able to work with Sarah,” Boleman said. “She is an enthusiastic, energetic individual who has earned the respect of program stakeholders across Texas. Texas 4-H and Youth Development is fortunate to have her in the role of executive director of the Texas 4-H Foundation.”