Isioma Achilefu currently works in the state of Pennsylvania with Delaware County, as an Aging Waiver Supervisor. Her background is in Business Studies, Management and Healthcare Administration. Over the past four years, she immersed herself in multiple trainings in the field of aging, which has provided valuable insights into and understanding of today’s issues in aging. Ten years from now, she sees herself as one of the key executives of an organization helping to advocate and implement policies in the aging network.
Renée Aten has been a nonprofit consultant since 2004. She is a member of the Advisory Council of the Cuyahoga County Division of Senior and Adult Services and served for eight years on the board of the Long Term Care Ombudsman. Her senior service clients include West Side Community House, Merrick House and Golden Age Centers of Greater Cleveland. Prior to becoming a consultant, Renée was Executive Director of Senior Citizens Resources. She got her start in philanthropy in Chicago working for the Sara Lee Foundation and served as Acting Director of Development at The Chicago Lighthouse before moving to Cleveland to be near her aging parents. Renee’s goals are to eliminate ageism and to empower older adults to live active, healthy lives independently in the community.
Lauren Averella received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work in 2011 with a minor in Management of Aging Services. In 2013 Lauren received her Master’s degree in Social Work with a specialization in Aging. Lauren has worked for the past five (5) years at Civic Works and her current role is Elder Services Manager for Civic Works, Cities for All Ages program. Cities for All Ages helps Older Adults living in Baltimore City age in place by providing case management, occupational therapy and home safety modifications/home repair. Lauren would like to continue the work she is doing in the next 10 years and provide trainings so that others can secure these benefits.
Angeleta Beverly works for Mt. Zion Suburban Apartments in Indianapolis, IN as the Service Coordinator for the Elderly. She also teaches undergrad gerontology classes at Martin University. Beverly has two Master’s Degrees: an MS in Psychology from Martin University in Indianapolis Indiana and an MA in Gerontology from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Her passion is teaching residents to age well and helping them to age in place. Her biggest accomplishment in 10 years would be to open a shelter for the elderly 55 years and above since she reports that they do not have shelters for the abused elderly in Indianapolis.
Maria E. Bidot, EdD, Assistant Professor at the UPR Geriatric Education Center, Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico, completed a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, a Master’s degree in Public Health Education and a Doctoral degree in Education with a major in Curriculum and Teaching. Her experience in the field of aging includes: the design of learning experiences implementing three levels of training to address faculty members, health professionals and older adults with their families, advice in basics aspect in gerontology/ geriatrics and work in collaboration with governmental agencies and community based organizations. Her biggest accomplishments in the next 10 years will be to increase and update her leadership abilities in geriatrics and gerontology, strengthen the three levels of training on basics aspects in geriatrics and gerontology to address faculty members, health care professionals and services providers and older adults and their families, and empower older adults on self-care strategies through educational interventions and the design of educational materials.
Ronald Bridges has 10 years of experience in working with children and older adults. He currently serves as the Adult Wellness Manager at University Settlement in Cleveland, Ohio and has formerly held positions with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Cleveland, and Bridgeway, Inc. As Adult Wellness Manager, he is responsible for program performance, budget management, and grant compliance. Ronald received his Master’s Degree in Sports Management from Cleveland State University and his Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies from the University of Toledo. Becoming an Executive in the field of aging would be one of his greatest accomplishments.
Nicole Cadovius serves as the Director of Programs and Services at Ability Beyond, Bethel CT, supporting 36 residential programs in Connecticut and New York for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Nicole has over 20 years of experience in the fields of aging and disability services. Nicole is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, and was a Regional Director of Operations overseeing 6 nursing homes prior to her current role at Ability Beyond. She co-lead a team that created best practice aging in place environments incorporating universal design and smart home technology to support successful age in place. Nicole is a certified aging in place specialist, on the steering committee of the National Task Group on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Dementia practices to develop national guidelines and training for dementia capable environments. She serves as Vice President of the AAIDD Gerontology division. In 10 years her biggest accomplishment will be to have an international impact on aging services by leading development, planning, and sharing best practices of innovative program and residential options across countries, cultures, disability that are responsive to individual needs.
Rosanna Cook is a Lead Resident Service Coordinator with Episcopal Senior Communities. Her role as a Lead Resident Service Coordinator in low-income affordable housing is to advocate for her residents by putting their interest first all while maintaining their dignity in later life. With Rosanna’s knowledge and experience in Service Coordination, her role is to also provide guidance for her employees on how to implement resources, community outreach, team development, and networking, which have all only strengthened her ability to work as a leader. Rosanna hopes one of her biggest accomplishments is to lead with compassion for the next 10 years and beyond which strengthens her ability to enforce social justice in our societies. Rosanna strives to be a leader and hopes to accomplish being able to adapt herself to different situations and apply herself in ways that make her stronger as well as her team stronger under stressful situations.
Natasha Cromwell graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore with her Master’s degree in social work with a specialization in aging. Natasha’s experience ranges from working with older adults in clinical and community venues. She is currently employed at Civic Works in Baltimore, MD serving as clinical coordinator with Cities for All Ages program. At Cities for All Ages, Natasha link clients to community resources while assessing their need for safety improvements in their homes in efforts to allow clients to successfully age in place in their homes.
Charlene Depner, Ph.D. is the Assistant Director, Center for Families, Children & the Courts in Oakland, CA. She brings an audacious vision and 30 years of experience in academe and government to the challenge of transforming social systems to work better for people of all ages in our diverse society. Working with children and families reveals the dynamism and inherent wisdom of intergenerational models. In the next decade, I will be actively engaged in intergenerational solutions to issues in housing, education, health, work, and social justice.
Laurinda Dodge is an innovator and advocate for improving access to care for the underserved and underinsured. She also has extensive experience in working in partnership with a variety of target populations to address public health needs. She leads the AARP state office in engaging the African American/Black community and recently helped pass the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program (SB2758). Laurinda is the co-founder of the International Sports Exchange Program, a youth sports based exchange program between the US and Turkey. Laurinda received her BA in Kinesiology and her Masters of Public Health Administration from Northern Illinois University. She is currently working on her Masters of Public Policy and Administration degree at Northwestern University. In the next ten years, Laurinda hopes to be a change agent abroad on Global Health policy issues.
Melissa Elliott is a Master’s Level Social Worker who has been working in the aging field for 15 years. She currently is the Vice-President of Programs & Services at the Area Agency on Aging, Region One in Phoenix, AZ where she has worked for 8 years. Melissa supervises 8 of the Agency’s social service programs. In addition to her work at the Area Agency on Aging, Melissa has worked as a social worker in long-term care and home health. 10 years from now Melissa hopes to continue to be working in the non-profit sector and possibly pursue a PhD.
Amelia Fan is a clinical director with Community Reach Center in Adams County, CO, overseeing the Resiliency and Support Services Division, which includes case management, psycho-social rehabilitation, in-home support services, PASRR (preadmission screening and resident review), two adult alternative care facilities and a transitional living facility. She is developing and expanding services for older adults in Adams County utilizing the evidence-based model, “Senior Reach.” In her home state of North Carolina, Amelia worked as the Team Lead for the Geriatric and Adult Mental Health Specialty Team. Under her leadership, the team was among the top three most utilized in the State. Over the next 10 years, Amelia hopes her biggest accomplishment will be the successful implementation of Senior Reach in Adams County and continuing to help Community Reach Center expand and serve older adults, as well as educate the community about the mental health concerns of an aging population.
Hazel Feliciano is currently employed at the Alzheimer’s Association. She is a Team Lead/Supervisor at the 24/7 call center. In this role, she assists other supervisors in the daily management of the call center that houses 50+ staff. In the past, she worked with the elderly population in the mental health arena, providing psychotherapy and mental health services in an outpatient psychiatric setting. She also worked with the aging population as a medical social worker with the American Cancer Society providing emotional support, case management and crisis intervention with elderly cancer patients in treatment. While unsure of what she’ll accomplish in the next 10 years, she looks forward to exploring this during the Leadership Institute.
Gary Felser graduated from MIT with degrees in Planning and Architecture. After working for the Baltimore City Planning Department, he left to create a custom cabinet business and earned a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland. He began working for Civic Works, in the Neighborhoods for All Ages program, providing seniors with free home repairs and social work services in two Baltimore neighborhoods. This became Cities for All Ages, with home repairs, social work and occupational therapy services for low-income senior home-owners throughout Baltimore City. He is the construction supervisor for this program and the Capable Study, a program of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. He supervises construction leaders in providing home-safety services, training AmeriCorps apprentices in the construction trade, preparing them for the workforce. Within the next few years, he expects to become a Certified Aging in Place Specialist, with an improved skill-set to help aging seniors.
Laurie A Fleming has been the Manager of the West Side Active Adult Community Center, located in Scranton, PA, for five years. Although fairly new to the aging services world, she has found her passion and become immersed in the challenges affecting the booming aging population. She is an active member of the NEPA Aging Network Alliance, Prime Time Health Advisory Council and a 2014 graduate of Leadership Lackawanna. Laurie recently organized a premier event, Seniors Got Talent, showcasing the many talents of the older adults in Lackawanna County. Laurie is a Penn State graduate holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy with a concentration in Health Care Administration. Her greatest accomplishment in 10 years: to be an effective leader in helping the aging population secure sustainable services, allowing them to live longer healthier lives, safely and independently in their own homes.
Janice Fone’y is the Branch Administrator for AARP Foundation Experience Corps in Chicago, IL. She oversees the financial, grants and procurement operating, as well as manages the facility operations. With 25 years of experience in accounting and financial management, her knowledge has been a valuable asset in the healthcare, financial and not for profit industries. Janice received her Bachelor of Arts in Finance from Illinois State University and her MBA and MIS from Robert Morris University. Over the next ten years she hopes to continue to lead with ethical and strategic principles to ensure her organization is in the forefront of its sector.
Jessica Gill, MPH, CMC brings extensive experience and knowledge to the role having served the aging population throughout her entire career. Currently she serves as the Executive Director of Cobb Senior Services managing eight county facilities and all programs and services for those 55+. Prior to her current position she served as a Manager of Business Development for Sunrise Senior Living. She was a Public Health Advisor with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Division of Population Health, Healthy Aging Program. She also led the Health and Wellness efforts for the Atlanta Regional Commission, Area Agency on Aging. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Health Studies from Springfield College, a master’s in Public Health from South Connecticut State University, and a gerontology certificate from Boston University. Jessica hopes that her biggest accomplishment over the next 10 years is to develop policy supporting health and wellness initiatives, affordable housing and transportation as the foundation for Aging funding and programming nationally.
David Golaner is the Executive Director of the Edward A. Myerberg Center, the premier provider of dynamic aging opportunities in Baltimore. His knowledge is centered on both nonprofit management (strategic vision and marketing, governance development, fundraising, and human resources), as well as older adults (including adult education, and public policy). Previously, David managed a funeral home in Baltimore and held a number of positions at The Park School of Baltimore, including Director of Auxiliary Revenue Programs and Director of Alumni Relations. David holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music from Franklin & Marshall College, a Graduate Certificate in Arts & Non-Profit Management from The American University, and has completed studies in Aging at The Johns Hopkins University. His goal for the next 10 years is to oversee informed and strategic change to vastly improve the lives of older adults and our community as a whole.
Dr. Sandy C. Gregory is the founding director of North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM)—established in 2009 with the mission to help aging adults maintain their independence. Under Gregory’s leadership, the unique ministry has birthed statewide programs and services targeting the key reasons aging adults lose their independence. Through its strong partnerships with Baptist churches, state government agencies, and the private sector, NCBAM impacted the lives of 7,500 people in 2014. In the next ten years, Gregory plans to add affordable fee-based geriatric management services that will fund the growth of its other outreaches to North Carolina’s aging adults in need.
Anistasia Hammerlind is a Registered Nurse, a Certified Care Manager, and Certified Dementia Practitioner. She has extensive experience working with varied populations, including refugees, immigrants, people recovering from mental illness, and people with disabilities. Her works spans preschoolers to seniors, with a special focus on intergenerational art. She is the Director of the Belmont Health Collaborative which provides Health Education resources to the public. Looking forward, she hopes to develop programming that offers affordable Respite Care to families and other types of community programming that connect people to each other and the resources they need.
Cathy Ann Hardaway is the Director of Older Adult Programs for United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Cathy has held this position for six years and oversees the operation of four active adult community centers. For the last two years, due to funding cuts, Cathy assumed the role of manager in one of the centers. This hands-on experience has been invaluable in understanding the challenges faced daily by our older adult population. In the next ten years, she plans to be an integral part of the visionary leadership in the State of Pennsylvania to foster successful aging.
Dominique Hughes currently works as a Provider Relations Specialist for the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging in Cleveland, Ohio. She is a licensed social worker, an advocate for older adults and devoted to social justice. Dominique received a Master’s in Social Science and Administration from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College, in her hometown. Currently, Dominique assists in Program Development and Planning for Older Americans Act services, serves as the liaison for the Aging Disability and Resource Network and monitors service delivery. She has facilitated focus groups for WRAAA’s 2015-18 area strategic plan, participated on the Northeast Ohio MyCare Ohio Coalition and served on a planning committee for Mayor Frank G. Jackson’s Affordable Care Act event. Within the next ten years, Dominique hopes to simplify access to services for older adults and those with disabilities. Improving the coordination of care across systems is also crucial.
Jamescha Jones is a Program Manager with the Center for Benefits Access and Home Equity Initiatives for the National Council on Aging (NCOA). In this role, she provides technical assistance to state and community agencies in helping older adults to access public and private benefits and leads special projects related to reverse mortgages. Formerly, Mrs. Jones served as the Program Manager for the Virginia Resource Center (VRC) of NCOA where she managed the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) and Economic Security Initiative (ESI) for fifteen counties in Northern Virginia. Jamescha has been with NCOA for 6 years. Previously, she worked as Director for the Senior Community Service Employment Program at the Area Agency on Aging in Prince George’s County, Maryland for four years. Jamescha obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland – Baltimore County (UMBC) and her Master’s Degree from The George Washington University. In the next 10 years, Jamescha hopes to become a national voice for seniors and their employment and health needs.
Marita Kaplan was born in 1958 in Germany. She graduated with a BA in History and Literature, traveling extensively before and after graduation, living in Israel and immigrating to the US in 1986. While in the US she lived in Alaska, mostly Kodiak Island. In 1999 she was hired by Senior Citizens of Kodiak, Inc. (SCOK) as Director for Adult Day Services. Over 15 years she has been involved in all services of the center, as well as the Alaska Adult Day Services Association and other advocacy groups. In 2002 she was directed by the Board and the Executive Director to participate in a Certification for Non Profit Management which was offered by the University of Anchorage and the Foraker Group. More training opportunities followed, including a Leadership Training through the Trust Training Cooperative in Anchorage. In the next ten years Marita would like to transition into the Executive Director’s role at Senior Citizens of Kodiak. She anticipates that the ASA Leadership Institute will help to prepare her for this potential transition and employment opportunity.
Alex Kent is the Program Replication Coordinator for SAGE: Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Elders. She is responsible for adapting the successful caregiver support program SAGECAP (SAGE Caring and Preparing) for implementation in Baltimore, MD. Earlier Alex spent 3.5 years as Program Manager in SAGE’s Community Services department in New York City, organizing activities and creating programs that would later became staples of the SAGE Center, the nation’s first full-time innovative LGBT senior center. Alex is also a certified trainer with the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, providing cultural competency training on LGBT Aging to senior service providers and LGBT organizations. Alex holds an MPA in Nonprofit Management from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service, and lives in Columbia, MD with her wife and young son. She hopes her continued work in the field of LGBT Aging will help to create a world in which all LGBT people can feel safe and comfortable to be their full selves in all aspects of their lives, especially as they age.
Aurora Kripa is the founding Executive Director of JEVS at Home, a nonprofit homecare agency based in Philadelphia, PA. Since its launch in 2012, JEVS at Home has grown rapidly to become one of the largest providers of non-medical homecare services in the state of Pennsylvania. The agency currently serves over 1,000 clients (80% of whom are age 55 and older). Prior to starting JEVS at Home, Aurora worked for JEVS Human Services in quality assurance, service coordination, and billing management for 7 years. Aurora is a graduate of Temple University where she earned a dual degree in Psychology and Italian and La Salle University where she earned her Master’s in Business Administration. Aurora plans to further JEVS at Home’s mission of helping people age in their homes by ensuring that the agency continues to provide the highest quality services and expanding the agency’s reach and the scope of its services.
Carla Lanier is the Caregiver Program Coordinator at Fairhill Partners of Cleveland, Ohio. She provides a limited amount of individual assistance and primarily facilitates two support groups that are dedicated to empowering and increasing the quality of life for senior citizen through lifelong learning, earning and services. The groups’ members are older adults’ relatives raising grandchildren and Family Caregivers. She has been working professionally with older adults for about four years. Carla received her BSW and MSW from Cleveland State University. Before becoming a Social Worker at Fairhill Partners, she was a dedicated volunteer in her community for several years. She loves children and providing community services to help others within the Cleveland area. She also works as the Social Worker for the Senior Guest House, a program for 8-10 first time homeless older adults who stay on the campus of Fairhill Partners while they are in the program, which helps them to transition to permanent housing. In 10 years, Carla hopes her biggest accomplishment will be leading the largest Kinship Caregiver program, while displaying all the skills of a competent leader.
Cara Lauer is the Director of Wellness and Evidence-Based Programming at Senior Services in Seattle, Washington. Senior Services is the home of Project Enhance, which includes the nationally disseminated EnhanceFitness and EnhanceWellness programs. Cara has spent her entire career in aging, with nearly 20 years as a researcher, long-term care ombudsman, and nonprofit program manager. In the next 10 years, Cara hopes to catalyze more partnerships between researchers and community-based organizations so we can work together toward more equitable, supportive, and healthy communities to age within.
Ryan Lauko has been with Benefits Data Trust (BDT) since October 2009, working primarily with the Pennsylvania Benefits Center. As Contact Center Manager for Pennsylvania campaigns, he oversees all aspects of Team Leader and Benefits Outreach Specialist performance, while monitoring overall campaign progress towards project goals. Ryan works closely with the Analytics and IT departments to find data driven and technology based solutions to the contact center's needs. In the next 10 years, Ryan hopes to use technology and data to bring new levels of efficiency and quality to organizations that work in the field of aging.
Nanette Lavoie-Vaughan, ANPCP, DNP has had over 30 years’ experience in the geriatric field and currently is a clinical assistant professor at East Carolina University College of Nursing and an adjunct faculty member at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She has published articles on caregiving and dementia and several books on eldercare. Nanette has presented nationally and internationally on geriatric topics as well as her soon to be published evidence-based clinical practice guideline for non-pharmacological management of BPSD. In the next five to ten years, she hopes to be a nationally recognized expert on the management of BPSD.
Elizabeth Magee has worked with Benefits Data Trust (BDT) since November 2012, primarily working with the Maryland Benefits Center project. In her role as Project Manager, Elizabeth is responsible for the overall implementation of projects and ensuring progress toward project goals. Elizabeth also works with other Community Based Organizations to increase awareness of programs in the senior community.
Mary Marita is a Senior Vice President and the COO of the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging. She joined the Institute in 1999 and became Executive Administrator in 2003. Since 2006, Mary has been responsible for the property management and campus development of the organization’s subsidiary, Benjamin Rose Property LLC. In 2014, she assumed her current position, overseeing the organization’s home- and community- based service subsidiaries. Prior to joining Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging more than 15 years ago, Marita began her career in the field of aging in Ohio as an Assistant Administrator with a for-profit long-term-care provider. She earned a master’s degree in health services administration from Xavier University. She has been a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator in Ohio since 1997. In the next 10 years Marita hopes one of her biggest accomplishments is developing and securing a strong foundation of funding resources and partnerships to advance home- and community-based services for seniors living in Northeast Ohio.
Tracey Mason is the Chief Administrator for the Division of Senior and Adult Services of Cuyahoga County (DSAS). Tracey leads a team of nearly 190 employees and manages a $17 million operating budget to provide supportive services to 20,000 vulnerable seniors and adults with disabilities. DSAS directly funds neighborhood senior centers and programs to serve 3,000 seniors and at-risk adults. Ms. Mason is currently the chairperson for the Ohio Coalition for Adult Protective Services which seeks to enhance the quality and provision of service for prevention, identification, and treatment of adult abuse, neglect, and exploitation through education, training advocacy and networking. Tracey holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Cleveland State University. She is a member of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2009. Tracey was recognized by Kaleidoscope Magazine Forty-Forty Club 2004 and Crain’s Cleveland Business Magazine in their December 2003 article, “40 Under 40”.
Simone McCrary is a Volunteer Recruiter for AARP Experience Corps Chicago. Simone helps engage adults 50+ to work with 3rd grade students in Chicago public schools on literacy. She is also a proud member of the U.S. Army Reserve, having served for the past 10 years. Simone is an advocate for volunteering and is committed to community engagement. One of her strongest volunteer partnerships is with LINK Unlimited Scholars, where she is a mentor and sits on the Associate Board. LINK Unlimited Scholars is a local non-profit providing mentorship, scholarship and academic enrichment to economically disadvantaged high-school students. In 10 years, she hopes to do more outreach with older adults since her goal is to keep older adults engaged with purposeful activities that add positive years to their lives. Simone holds bachelor’s degree in biology from Southern Illinois University and an MBA in finance from Oakland City University.
Jill McKee graduated from Slippery Rock University in 1993, with a degree in Disability Studies. She worked at United Cerebral Palsy and then a local community college as a Program Specialist for Students with Disabilities. In 1999, Jill switched from working with college students to serving the aging population. Jill started at her current agency, LifeSpan, Inc., as a Care Manager; she is now the Training and Resource Manager. In this position, Jill trains all new staff, presents ongoing training and also supervises and coordinates Lifespan’s internship program with local colleges. In the next 10 years, Jill hopes to continue developing her skills as a Trainer and continue to bring her knowledge of the aging population to both current staff and college students. Jill hopes to improve her skills and develop more as a leader in her field and among her colleagues.
Aaron Merki currently serves in the role of Program Officer at the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. Prior to working at the Weinberg Foundation, Aaron served as the Executive Director of FreeState Legal Project where he provided strategic leadership for Maryland’s only legal service and advocacy organization dedicated to the low-income lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clients. From 2010 to 2013 Aaron worked as a corporate litigator at Venable LLP where he represented a range of Fortune 500 corporations and smaller companies and individuals. From 2008-2009, Aaron clerked for the Honorable Judge Susan K. Gauvey of the United States District Court for Maryland. He earned a JD from the University of Maryland School of Law. In 2011, Aaron was named one of Baltimore’s “20 in their 20’s” and in 2010, Aaron was named UMBC’s Rising Star Alumnus of the Year. With regard to his anticipated greatest accomplishment in the next 10 years, by 2020 Aaron plans to work with the Weinberg Foundation in making Maryland the best place to grow old.
Jody Michaelson has worked for Multnomah County Aging Disability and Veteran's Services for 15 years, currently as the Program Manager for the county's Nursing Facility Transition and Diversion efforts. In her role she oversees 30 staff members who serve the entire county and its 32 Nursing Facilities. Jody has worked for support service brokerages in Oregon who serve Developmentally Disabled adults in the community. She has been an investigator for Adult Protective Services. Jody is a graduate of Oregon State University. Jody has completed Multnomah County's Leadership Academy and continues to be involved in alumni activity. Within 10 years Jody would like to have assisted in the development of a comprehensive, quality system of culturally specific community based long term care settings serving the citizens of Multnomah County, run by and for diverse ethnic and cultural groups who represent the wide ranging needs of Seniors and People with Disabilities.
Benjamin (Ben) Miladin obtained a B.A. in Psychology from Cornell University in 2001, and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan in 2004. After schooling, Ben began working in the Community Mental Health industry, first as a case manager, then as Manager of Continuous Quality Improvement. In June 2012, Ben began his tenure as the Deputy Director at Cuyahoga County DSAS, with primary responsibilities for overseeing DSAS’s Home Support and Options programs. Outside of work, Ben became a graduate of the 2009 class of Cleveland Bridge Builders, a Cleveland Leadership Center program and the Ohio Center for Progressive Leadership in 2010, a progressive advocacy program. Ben currently serves on the board of directors for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Greater Cleveland. In the next 10 years, Ben hopes to be in leadership roles in the aging and disability field, enabling him to promote innovative, cost-effective best practices to help seniors and adults with disabilities maintain their independence and thrive in the community.
April Missias has been the Director of Leelanau County Senior Services for the past two years and has worked with seniors for nine years. Her career began in social work, supporting families who experienced domestic violence. She discovered a passion for working with seniors during her graduate studies and changed her career focus to meeting the needs of seniors. April worked as an activity director for a small senior living community in Traverse City, MI and as Director of Community Life for a senior living continuum of care facility in Kalamazoo, MI. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Education and Counseling Psychology, along with a graduate certificate in Holistic Health from Western Michigan University. In the future she hopes to develop an age friendly community within a rural setting, creating opportunities for people to establish a strong community to support living life on their terms.
Yick Lun Mo, Manager of the Elderly Services Department (ESD) at Chinese American Service League (CASL), leads and inspires a team of 30 full-time and 350 part-time staff members to enable older adults to achieve healthy living and maintain their independence through person-centered, culturally competent, and integrated home and community-based services. Yick Lun started working in the field of aging in 1996 in Hong Kong. In 2006, Yick Lun received his Master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Illinois, Chicago. During his internship at AgeOptions, Yick Lun assisted with the language assistance and family caregiver programs. After graduation, Yick Lun joined CASL as a Program Coordinator for the Adult Day Service. In 2010, Yick Lun was promoted to ESD Manager to oversee all of the ESD programs, including Adult Day Service, In-Home Service, Wellness and Social Services, Pine Tree Senior Council, and Citizenship and Immigration Services. Yick Lun envisions that in the next 10 years, CASL’s ESD will be recognized as a leader in innovating one of the best models of care for older adults in the nation and make meaningful and measurable improvements in the lives of 50,000 older adults.
Sridevi Mohan is an Epidemiologist at Public Health Madison and Dane county, WI. She earned her Master’s in Public Health and Master’s in Biological Sciences from Wayne State University, MI. She has a broad background in research, evaluation, aging, community engagement and equity issues. She continuously strives to reduce health disparities and inequities among minority/aging populations. Currently, she provides epidemiology/evaluation consultations to strategically plan and evaluate public health programs and interventions within her organization and to external partners in Dane County. She is looking at ways to provide leadership on Healthy Aging initiatives within her organization and beyond to create an environment that nurtures, embraces and supports the aging population to age with grace and dignity. In 10 years, she wants to be in a leadership position in an organization that strives to embrace health and equity in all policies, reduce poverty, enhance health and well-being and facilitate upward mobility of vulnerable populations.
Angela Mullings began her career in housing and urban development in 1997 when she began serving as the Property Manager for a 184-unit multi-family community in Aberdeen, MD under Altman Management Company II, Inc. Ms. Mullings assumed the role of Regional Property Manager in 2006. Utilizing her communication, analytical, and management skill set, Angela continued to lead her properties to newer heights, safer and affordable housing for hundreds. Currently, Ms. Mullings is the Property Manager of Trinity House, an 82 unit Catholic Charities Senior Community in Towson, MD which offers affordable apartment living and services to older adults. Ms. Mullings has worked with the aging population for a little over two and a half years since 2012 and has led Trinity House throughout its participating in the National Leading Age Affordable Housing with Services Learning Collaborative. Ms. Mullings hopes to become the next Senior Regional Manager of Catholic Charities Senior Communities within the next 10 years. Ms. Mullings studied Business Administration at Harford Community College.
Emily Muttillo joined the Cleveland Department of Aging in 2011. Currently she oversees the Access Your Benefits and Economic Security Project of the city's Aging and Disability Resource Center. These programs help older adults and adults with disabilities improve their financial standing through public benefits and financial interventions. Emily holds a Master's in Public Administration from the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. Prior to joining the Department of Aging, she worked at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and is still an active member of the Agency Advisory committee. In the upcoming years Emily looks forward to being an integral part of the City of Cleveland’s development as a World Health Organization Age Friendly City. As a member of the Age Friendly she will use her time and talents to enhance the city for people of all ages and abilities through the process of assessment, implementation, evaluation and continuous improvement.
Madeline Noonan has held the position of Director of Senior Services for the Town of Barnstable since 2007. Her responsibilities include managing the operations of a 20,000 square foot full service Senior Center, supervising a team of ten full-time and six part-time employees and almost 200 volunteers, and advocating for the needs of seniors in her community. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Suffolk University. Madeline and her team are currently collaborating with the University of Massachusetts Boston's Gerontology Institute to conduct a needs assessment study for the 50+ population in Barnstable. Her goal for the next 10 years is to ensure that the recommendations from the project are successfully implemented.
Katrina Polk is the Seniors Supportive Service Network Manager at Community Preservation Development Corporation (CPDC). She is responsible for establishing senior service networks across CPDC’s entire affordable housing portfolio to improve access for older adults to Long-Term Supportive Services (LTSS). Katrina has more than twenty (20) years of gerontological experience in community aging programs and support. Currently, Katrina is a 2015 Ph.D. Candidate at Walden University. Her focus is Public Policy & Administration with a specialization in Gerontological Health Services. She earned a Master of Public Administration with a core concentration in Nonprofit Management from Southeastern University. In the next ten years, Katrina plans to develop effective and innovative strategies for supportive service networks in affordable housing communities across the country.
Lola Ramos, MSG is presently the Director of Well-being at Walnut Village Retirement Community, a Front Porch Community. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Master’s degree in Gerontology from California State University of Fullerton. She has worked in the field of aging and health and wellness for the past ten years. During this time, she has taught classes at Cerritos and Coastline Community College and currently continues to consult for Cerritos Senior Center. Lola hopes to develop older adult programs with local county agencies to increase and improve awareness of healthy aging.
Wendy Roth is currently a Team Lead at the Alzheimer's Association 24/7 Helpline at the National Office in Chicago. In previous positions, she worked for a Long Term Care Ombudsman and with an employment program for older adults. Over the next 10 years she would like to have an impact in the community of people with Younger Onset Alzheimer's Disease and their families and caregivers. This population has a unique set of needs and I would like to develop programs and services to meet those needs.
Jack Rund is currently the Director of Operations for Hopkins ElderPlus, a Medicare and Medicaid Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). The overall objective of a PACE program is to provide access to the full continuum of care for older adults with multiple and/or chronic care needs while they continue to live in their community. Jack began his career in health care as a physical therapist and has provided care to older adults in outpatient, acute care, and post-acute inpatient care settings. Jack has also managed programs that provide rehabilitation services to older adults. In the next 10 years Jack would like to be involved in the development and implementation of innovative comprehensive care and community support systems that will promote independence and a high quality of life for older adults that are aging in place.
Gaynell Simpson is an Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa engaged in teaching and coordination of distance learning (online) courses in gerontology. Since 2006, she served as Gerontology Coordinator and developed several online courses and engaged in community endeavors focused on older caregivers. The knowledge and skills gained from the leadership development institute will allow her to become an efficient "change agent" in older adult communities. As an efficient change agent, she will enhance the lives of older adults by building strong relationships among diverse policy, practice, and community lay members and work to reduce health care barriers, create effective policies to improve the lives of older adults, and teach the next generation of aging leaders.
Donna Smith is currently serving as Transportation Coordinator for Kendal at Oberlin, a Continuing Care Retirement Community, in Ohio. She’s been in her role about seven years, and she has approximately 19 years of experience working in the aging field. She’s worked as a State Tested Nursing Aide (STNA), home health aide and scheduler in home care. She enjoys her current position at Kendal. In the next 10 years, Donna hopes to be running her own Transportation company.
Linda Stewart, Caregiver Project Manager, oversees the Johns Hopkins Bayview-Weinberg Caregiving Initiative in Baltimore, Maryland where she is helping to launch the Medical Center’s new caregiver project and providing specialized services and resources to the community to assist caregivers in the support they provide to family members and others. Linda holds a B.A degree in Spanish from Fisk University and a MPA in nonprofit management from University of San Francisco. Accomplishment over the next decade: Successfully lead an initiative that will strengthen community partnerships for caregivers in Baltimore, resulting in a dramatic increase in the number of caregivers who feel empowered, energized, and equipped to give the best assistance they can to those in their care.
Nate Sweeney is the Executive Director of the LGBT Health Resource Center of Chase Brexton Health Care, where he is working to address health disparities faced by the diverse populations of the LGBT community. The LGBT Health Resource Center is excited to be partnering, through the generous support of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, with SAGE [Service and Advocacy for GLBT Elders] to replicate SAGE’s Caring and Preparing program at Chase Brexton, a Federally Qualified Health Center and leader in the health and wellness of LGBTQ people. He holds a Masters in the Management of Aging Services. He is a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, and was previously with Catholic Charities, as Assistant Administrator at The Neighborhoods at St. Elizabeth, and as Administrator of The Green House Residences at Stadium Place, Maryland’s first “Green House” style home. In these capacities he was instrumental in innovating and implementing elder-centric models of Culture Change in long term care. Within the next ten years, he hopes to drastically alter the landscape of services available to LGBT elders in Maryland.
Jeannie Tucker is the Senior Operations Associate for AARP Vermont. While her current position is largely focused on financial management and office operations, Jeannie also leads several community education and outreach projects. Prior to joining AARP in 2009; Jeannie worked in the health care industry for several years, as well as for an environmental services company. Jeannie is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Empire State College. In the next 10 years, she will strive to become an AARP Community Outreach Director
Patricia Valdes is the Lead Bereavement Counselor at Hospice of Spokane. She provides individual counseling, grief support groups, education, and outreach in the community. Patricia also worked as a Hospice social worker providing a holistic approach to end-of-life care. Her background is in mental health and higher education. Patricia holds a PhD in Leadership Studies and an MSW. Her accomplishment will be to continue to serve individuals and expand the services offered at HOS in a creative and individualized manner. One way to fulfill this goal is by establishing a house where individuals can engage in various activities, gathering in a community of support and healing; a place that honors people’s lives, the lives of their loved ones, and their shared experiences.
Julie Wetherby began her professional career working as a Systems Analyst for banking and then working in aerospace manufacturing companies, after graduating from Oakland University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. She later assumed the Corporate Secretary/Treasurer position in her family’s growing building material distribution business. Her responsibilities in the family business included overseeing all accounting and administrative systems and procedures. She joined the Region 2 Area Agency on Aging as a Billing Specialist in 2007, advancing to Waiver Billing Manager, Assistant Finance Director, Deputy Director, and then Executive Director in January, 2015. She also serves on the boards of The Presbyterian Villages at Spring Meadows and the Cascades PACE Center in Jackson, Michigan. In ten years she hopes to have continued serving disabled and older adults in our community with the services they need to remain independent.
A recent selection of articles for AgeBlog from members of the 2017 Aging in America Conference faculty. Read More
One in ten community-residing older adults reported experiencing elder abuse in the past year. More than 5 million older adults may be... Read More