In their first week on the job as area commanders of the Salvation Army of Augusta, Capts. Tony and Vicki Perez have heard more than once that they have big shoes to fill.
“We hope the people will say the same thing about us when our time in Augusta is done,” Tony Perez said at a reception Friday at the Salvation Army’s Kroc Center, a facility built under the leadership of former administrators Todd and Wilma Mason.
The reception was held to welcome the Perezes and two other new officers, Lt. Shauntrice Williams and Lt. Amber Morris.
It was the first change in leadership since the Kroc Center opened in August. The Masons left Augusta in mid-June to start new assignments as field training officers at the Evangeline Booth College in Atlanta.
Tony and Vicki Perez started June 21 after moving from High Point, N.C., for their new roles as area commander and associate area commander, respectively.
The couple have been married for 18 years and worked as Salvation Army officers for 14 years. Their five appointments have included two as divisional youth leaders, in Baltimore and Dallas.
“Things are going great,” Tony Perez said. “We’re taking the time to meet with everybody. We’re getting educated. This is something new for us.”
As the area commanders, the Perezes will oversee 169 employees, the operation of the Kroc Center, three Family Thrift Stores, the Center of Hope and the First Stop Center.
“We’re passionate about touching people’s lives,” Tony Perez said. “We’re about taking lives that are broken and putting them back together. That’s what we’re designed to do.”