Class of the 2018 Leadership Institute

Aurora Alvarado is currently Social Services Coordinator for the Senior Program at Mission Neighborhood Centers, Inc. She is responsible for assisting clients in identifying and securing vital benefits and community services, which help them to continue independent and active lives. She is also responsible for completing a variety of USCIS applications for Naturalization and providing translations. Aurora continuously seeks new ideas on how to innovate and improve the recreational, educational and healthy program curriculum of the senior center. She has over 18 years of experience working with the low income Latino and senior community and has BA Degree in Global Marketing from UNADM.  She recently became a certified Notary Public.  Within the next ten years, Aurora aims to achieve a Managerial position, overseeing multiple senior centers and continuing her lifelong dedication to serving the low income senior and disabled community.

Kirsten Ambrose is Program Manager for the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance (OAAA) at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Thurston Arthritis Research Center. She has an MS in Exercise Science and more than 15 years of experience as a Clinical Research Coordinator managing clinical research, grant proposal development and strategic planning for several multidisciplinary research teams including the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan, the UNC Center for Pain Research and Innovation, and the UNC Center for Functional GI and Motility Disorders. In 2014, Ms. Ambrose joined the OAAA team to shift her focus from research to public health. In this role, she is committed to expanding the reach and breadth of coalition membership, resources, and messaging to bring greater awareness to the public, policymakers, healthcare providers, and community organizations about prevention and management strategies to address the growing impact of osteoarthritis.

Mandy Arnold is the President/CEO of Partners In Care Maryland, Inc. where she has worked since June 2016. Prior to that she shadowed the previous CEO/Co-Founder for a year before taking over the organization. Mandy has worked with seniors in the healthcare field for over 15 years including in Healthcare Administration, Assisted Living Executive Director, Nursing Home Administrative, and Clinic Manager. She has always had a passion for older adults. Mandy’s goal is to have a Partners In Care Maryland, Inc. Foundation within the next two years, as well as, franchise the current Model within five years.


Dana Bailey is currently Community Services Division Manager with the City of Hayward where she performs a wide variety of complex management, administrative and problem solving work related to social services, housing and transportation programs in the City of Hayward. Including but not limited to: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the Alameda County Transportation Commission, and the Continuum of Care (CoC) Programs. She oversees a division budget of $9.2 million and five full-time staff. Dana has a MPA from CSU-Northridge and a BA of Mass Communication from CSU-Hayward. She is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist and Commissioner with the Alameda County Advisory Commission on Aging.


Jennifer Baker is the Project Director of Volunteer Programs for the Sanford Center for Aging. In that role, she serves as the director for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Washoe County, and collaborates with community partners to strengthen volunteer programs of the Sanford Center. Jennifer moved to Reno in September 2013 and previously was the program and rural outreach coordinator for the Alzheimer's Association of Northern Nevada. Prior to moving to Reno, she received a fellowship from her alma mater, Hendrix College, to explore cultures of Alzheimer's and dementia care internationally. Jennifer has a passion for enhancing quality of life across the aging continuum through community service and volunteer opportunities.

Leondra Banuelos is currently Assisted Living Administrator for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange where she cherishes the daily interactions and relationships that she has built with residents and her staff. In those critical moments, when a resident is faced with a crisis or when a difficult health decision needs to be made, she feels an immense sense of responsibility but an even greater sense of gratitude for being allowed the opportunity to embark on such an intimate journey with someone. With over 10 years of experience as a leader in the field of senior care and a Master’s degree in Gerontology, Leondra strives to bring compassion, empathy, dedication, and patience to my daily work and her goal is to impart this upon her staff. She is hopeful that the next 10 years of her life (and beyond) will hold continued blessings in both her personal and professional life. Leondra looks forward to growing as a leader in the field of aging, making strong professional connections, and further developing her presentation and public speaking skills.

Monique Bates is currently the Manager of Business Operations and Optimization at AARP Foundation. She leads the Foundation’s project management efforts, has overall responsibility for the effective and efficient operation of AARP Foundation’s premises and ensuring the Foundation’s resources are used effectively. Monique led the AARP Foundation’s Summer of Service to Seniors Meal Pack event which delivered over 3 million meals primarily to the low income 50+ population through local food banks and engaged over 7,000 volunteers in three cities. She has over 15 years of experience in operations management, finance and project management. Monique holds a BS in Business Administration with a Management Information Systems Concentration from Bowie State University, and a Graduate Certificate in Data Science (Data Analytics) from Georgetown University.

Edith Chan-Lee is currently Adult Protective Services Program Manager for the San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS), Adult Protective Services Program (APS). She has more than twenty years of experience in the field of aging. As a Program Manager, Edith supervises eight unit supervisors and 45 social workers.  In the years to come, she hopes to secure funding to establish a unit of workers to work in collaborations with law enforcement to fight financial elder abuse and to provide education to seniors about financial abuse.


Jackie Lynn Coleman has more than 20 years of experience working on community economic development issues. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Science in Human Service Administration. In 2014, she joined AARP Foundation, working in the Tax-Aide program where she serves as the Director, National Business Operations. In this role, she focuses on finance, technology, compliance, strategy and evaluation ensuring that the program continues to provide premier free tax preparation assistance to 2.5 million low-income taxpayers yearly. Jackie Lynn plans to play an integral role in increasing economic prosperity for low-income, older adults and generations to come by building smart, sustainable and scalable programs and other solutions that will position individuals to live a healthier, safer, more vibrant and fulfilling life of their choosing.

Jenna Dhayer is President of Interfaith Care Partners in Houston, Texas which serves caregivers and those living with memory loss, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, and other challenges of aging.  Jenna has 20 plus years of non-profit executive leadership experience, with the primary focus of building capacity and leading change within organizations.   She has a Master’s Degree in Science emphasizing in Wellness. Jenna is active in her community and has served on various School Board Advisory committees, Chamber Board, and other non-profit committees.  Her passion is to serve the underserved and lead those serving.

Helen Marks Dicks currently serves as Associate State Director for Advocacy-State issues for AARP WI. In this capacity she lobbies on state issues relevant to the 50+ population including Medicaid, Home and Community Based Services, caregiver support and retirement security. Since 1989, Helen has worked on aging issues including as the Director of the Elder Law Center of the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups, as a private practice Elder Law Attorney, and as published author in the field of guardianship and alternative decision making. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School where she later served as a clinical professor supervising students who lectured and executed Health Care Powers of Attorney. In the next 10 years, Helen envisions retirement from employer driven work and running a grass roots movement of active and empowered seniors a la Maggie Kuhn.

Tammy Douglass earned her Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Washington State University in 1993. She has over 12 years working in social services with adults, children, families with three of those years, working specifically with Elders and Dependent Adults as an Adult Protective Services Social Worker at Kings County Human Services Agency in California. Tammy is a dedicated professional who is a passionate advocate for the safety and well-being of Elders and Dependent Adults. Within the next five years, she would like to obtain a Masters in Social Work with a focus in Geriatrics.

Solofua Fatu is currently a Manager with Multnomah County's DCHS - Aging, Disability and Veterans Services Division.

Chrissy Fehskens is a Senior Communications Advisor for AARP Foundation where she provides vision, leadership and direction for communications and marketing initiatives that foster awareness and support for programs that improve the lives of vulnerable older adults. Prior to joining AARP Foundation in July 2011, she was a Promotions Manager at Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (formerly New Media Strategies), a leading digital media agency. Chrissy is a graduate of American University’s Kogod School of Business, where she earned a B.S. in Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing. Throughout the next decade, Chrissy aspires to influence positive public opinion and behaviors that support healthy aging among low-income older adults.

Brendan Flinn is a Policy Research Senior Analyst on AARP Public Policy Institute’s Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) team where he focuses on Medicaid, LTSS and family caregiving topics. He works on AARP’s Home Alone AllianceSM initiative and on its CARE Act National Scan, including digital and strategic planning and content writing. Brendan is also responsible for multiple research efforts, including evaluations of instructional resources and data analyses of certain caregiving subpopulations (e.g., Millennials, LGBT, rural). Before coming to AARP, Brendan worked for the Lewin Group in its Center for Aging and Disability Policy. He completed his MPH in Health Policy at George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health and his undergraduate work at University at Albany, State University of New York. 

Jennifer Fu is currently Resident Services Manager at Mercy Housing where she has worked in direct services since 2005, in particular, working with two Senior and Supportive Needs Property at an SRO in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco. In 2015, she transitioned into a position continuing to provide direct services to a Senior Property in the Mission district, while providing the Resident Services Supervision to a portfolio of Properties in San Francisco/Bay Area. Jennifer’s area of focus for program delivery are Health and Wellness, Housing Stability, Financial Stability, and Community Participation. On a wider level, she has brought in programs, partners, and local service providers to the buildings to put on education workshops, health fairs, and consistent programing to enhance community in the buildings.  In the next 10 years, Jennifer hopes to continue to deliver a high level of services and support to staff and residents, seeing them thrive and build life skills.

Andrea Garr is a Dementia Care Specialist with Milwaukee County Department on Aging and provides intervention, support and services specifically to caregivers in communities of color who are caring for a loved one with dementia still living at home.  She also works in collaboration with her colleagues to create dementia-capable systems and dementia-friendly communities across Milwaukee County. Andrea has more than 25 years of experience working with populations across diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds and age groups, and within the past 12 years she has worked specifically with older adults, primarily in the areas of late-life depression and dementia. She has a BA in Psychology from Michigan State University and is currently working on her masters. Andrea hopes that her biggest accomplishment will be in creating and supporting initiatives that allow those with dementia to continue to live in and contribute to their community.

Iris Gonzalez is a Senior Attorney at AARP Foundation, where she engages in legal advocacy to protect the rights of older persons related to healthcare, housing, social connectedness, and food insecurity.  Her work includes legal advocacy to protect the availability of quality home- and community-based long-term care services; end the inappropriate use of psychotropic drugs on people with dementia; fight financial exploitation in long-term care; enforce the rights of those receiving long-term care or government-funded healthcare benefits; reduce anticompetitive practices that increase the cost of prescription drugs and other healthcare services; and fight age and disability discrimination in housing and healthcare services. Before joining AARP Foundation, Iris was a litigator at two international AmLaw 100 firms. She currently serves as the President of the Governing Board of the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care.

Maame Gyamfi is a Senior Attorney in the AARP Foundation where she works on health care and consumer protection matters designed to help low-income older adults win back opportunity, combat elder abuse and neglect, and access affordable, quality health care.  Among other litigation matters, she is counsel in Pierce v. Genesis Healthcare, a wrongful death case involving allegations of the inappropriate use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing facilities as a chemical restraint.  Prior to coming to the Foundation, Maame was Senior Counsel at the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (OIG).  She also litigated criminal and civil cases as a Special Assistant United States Attorney.  Maame graduated from Georgetown University Law Center and the University of California at Berkeley. Her 10 year plan is that every older adult has access to quality health care and that every state has laws that have heightened penalties for elder abuse and neglect.

Kristen Harrelson is a Licensed Therapist in the State of Ohio. Beginning her career as a mental health case manager, she worked her way through graduate school to obtain her Master’s degree and state licensure in Community Counseling. She has worked in the Counseling and Social Work field for the past 14 years with individuals, families and seniors with various backgrounds including those with mental health, physical handicap and age related issues. Kristen currently works with the senior and disabled populations as a Service Coordinator II for PK Management to assist those she serves to receive services in their homes to avoid placement in assisted living or nursing home facilities. Additionally, in 2017 she developed and coordinated educational programming, on site clinics and connected her residents to services and benefits totaling a monetary savings of over $53,000. Kristen’s leadership goal is to be in a position of developing and leading a team of professionals.

Rita Heller is a dedicated Social Service Coordinator II for PK Management, LLC. She works at a HUD-based senior apartment community complex, Siena Village located in Smithtown, NY, serving 323 residents to help them age-in-place by linking them to in-home services and developing onsite educational programs. She is responsible for assisting residents with Entitlement Programs, link Residents to Services, provide Case Management, advocate for Residents, set up Volunteer Networks, develop Partnerships for Onsite Programs, provide Mediation Services and assist new Social Service Coordinators with New Hire ongoing training. Rita previously was a Social Worker at the same community managed by Catholic Health Services. She has her Master’s Degree in Social Work with a certificate in Gerontology from Stony Brook University, New York.


Eliza Heppner is the Senior Advisor for AARP Foundation Programs.  In this position she provides expert guidance on programs, policies and initiatives impacting low-income older adults.  Prior to joining the Foundation Eliza served as the Director of the Office of Strategic Initiatives at the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services where she led the implementation of high profile federal priorities including the Affordable Care Act and the agency’s response to the opioid epidemic.  Early in her career Eliza served as the Deputy Finance Director for the Vermont Democratic Party and worked on a variety of progressive issues across the state.  She received a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Vermont and a B.A. in Women’s Studies from Wells College. 

Charles P. Hoy-Ellis is an Assistant Professor at the University of Utah, College of Social Work (CSW), and Faculty Research Affiliate with the W. D. Goodwill Initiatives on Aging. He received his MSW in Clinical/Contextual Practice, and PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Washington. He currently teaches Aging Advanced Practice and Reflexive Social Work Practice (diversity and social justice) in the CSW with a focus on health and mental health disparities among midlife and older sexual and gender minority (SGM) adults. Charles is a contributor to the Aging with Pride: National Health, Aging, Sexuality, and Gender Study (NHAS), the first of its kind federally funded (NIH/NIA) national research project to study health and aging among SGM older adults. He hopes to be part of the ongoing effort that within 10 years will see the Older Americans Act recognize SGM older adults as a vulnerable population with greatest social and economic need.

Michele D. James is a public health professional with over 30 years’ experience planning, implementing, evaluating and managing statewide health programs focusing on various underserved and disparate populations. She has been employed with the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control for the last 12 years and is currently the Director of the Division of Healthy Aging which is focused on helping South Carolinians age in place and remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible. Michelle has a master’s degree in Social Work. Over the next 10 years, she plans to continue to use her health education, advocacy and program planning skills to promote and encourage healthy active aging for the growing senior population.

Shino John is Associate Vice President of Strategic Growth with Rutgers University - Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Julie Kline is Program and Training Director at Elders Share the Arts, where she administers creative aging and intergenerational art programs across New York City, and leads trainings for teaching artists and professionals in the field of creative aging nation-wide.  She has presented on behalf of the organization to the UN’s NGO Committee on Aging, and co-led a Creative Aging partnership initiative for New York State, supported by NYSCA and the New York Community Trust.  Julie was twice awarded NYC’s SPARC grant (Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide) in Manhattan, and is an inaugural grantee of the 2018 Charlene Victor & Ella J. Weiss Cultural Entrepreneur Fund, administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council.  She holds a BFA from The Theater School of DePaul University in Chicago. Julie hopes in the next 10 years to create an established, well-funded, and well-known theater space in NYC dedicated to programs and productions that focus on older adults as creators and performers.

Eva Krottmayer is the Deputy Director (interim) for the Riverside County, Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) Adult Services Division in Riverside, California.  With 26 years in the DPSS, she has been with the Adults Division for the most recent seven years serving programs including Adult Protective Services and In-Home Supportive Services.  Eva leads a magnificent team of 50 administrative staff responsible for Data & Reporting, Program Planning, Staffing, Policy, Quality Assurance, Program Integrity, and Medi-Cal.  She was previously Administrative Services Manager responsible for staffing operations with talented individuals, developing succinct reporting for decision making, and overseeing and establishing contractual agreements with community organizations.  She has a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership.

Kate Kuckro is Deputy Director at Community Living Campaign (CLC), a San Francisco nonprofit that works with neighborhood seniors and people with disabilities to create programs and increase resources that enable them to age and thrive in their own communities. To increase the power of community voices, CLC brings together neighbors, community organizations, businesses, and City agencies to organize and advocate around issues that are too big for any of us to solve alone. Kate has been with CLC since 2013 and is delighted to have found a way to combine her almost 20 years of business background with her interest in helping older adults and people with disabilities create community.

Rebecca Lahey is the Manager of Mental Health and Collaborative Care in the Department of Social Work and Community Health at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Her work at Rush began almost seven years ago with a geriatric psychotherapy fellowship, and Rebecca has utilized this lens to support and grow the many care management, community engagement, and mental health initiatives offered. In her current role, she manages the outpatient psychotherapy services offered by the department and most recently supported the development and implementation of behavioral health integration into primary care at Rush. Additionally, Rebecca serves as site coordinator for the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) at Rush. She received her graduate degree in social work from Loyola University Chicago and maintains her own psychotherapy practice in addition to providing clinical supervision to staff and students.

Leslie Lewis is currently Social Service Coordinator/Social Worker at St. Francis Manor in Sacramento, CA which is part of PK Management, LLC.  She has worked in the area of Social Work for over 25 years with children in foster care/adoption services, adults in welfare to work programs, chemically dependent persons and now she serves the senior population with social services. She is the founder and Communications Director of Athletic Youth Sports Association a nonprofit developed to provide opportunities for personal and athletic growth for kids. Lesli has served as President of the Sacramento Civil Rights Network, has served as a leader for the Sacramento Valley Organizing Community and founded a student organization, SCARED, Students Concerned about Redefining Equality and Diversity. She has a B.A. in Social Work from California State University, Sacramento and a Masters Business Administration from University of Phoenix.

Wonder Moore is currently the Program Manager of Social Services for PK Management, LLC. She also serves as the Social Services Coordinator for a 170 unit property that serves both the elderly and disabled. Wonder has been employed PK Management for over two years but has worked in the social services field for over 13 years, specifically in the field of gerontology for the last three years. She received her Bachelor’s in Social Work from the University of West Florida and her Master’s in Social Work from Newman University. In the next 10 years, Wonder will open both a nonprofit as well as a for profit agency that caters to both children and the elderly. 

Shannon Morgan is a Health Services Manager with San Mateo County’s Aging and Adult Services (AAS) Division where she manages Adult Protective Services (APS); APS’ financial abuse subunit: The Elder and Dependent Adult Protection Team (EDAPT), Conservatorship Investigations, Representative Payee; Linkages Case Management; and oversees AAS’ TIES Line, which is San Mateo County’s 24-hour information and emergency response line for elders and dependent adults. Shannon has been in the aging field since 2013. In the next 10 years, she would like to have been able to collaborate, at the State level, in order to get all APS counties under one standard database. This would help better capture required data and aid counties in sharing pertinent APS information.

Megan Novak is a Rutgers alumna, animal-lover, and passionate social justice supporter, who thoroughly enjoys her role as Senior Program Coordinator for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Rutgers University in New Jersey. As a graduate of Douglass College with B.A.’s in Cultural Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies, Megan’s lifelong interest and activism with marginalized populations has translated easily to her career with the Osher program, working with older adults. Megan is delighted to be able to grow a program that specifically allows older adults to pursue their interests in lifelong learning. Over the next 10 years she hopes to travel to at least one country on each of the continents.

Genny Pinzón is the Associate Director of Healthy Living at the Mission YMCA. She is responsible for managing the Mission YMCA’s AOA and Group Exercise Programs, its budget and staff. She is also an advocate and resource for health and wellness programming that benefit seniors. Genny graduated from SDSU with a degree in Communication, and worked 12 years in the newspaper industry as an online sales account manager. She developed an interest in working with older adults after becoming a Zumba Gold instructor in 2010. In her current role, Genny has been able to understand other aspects of aging such as: isolation, illness, loss, depression and vulnerability.  In the next 10 years, she hopes to have the tools available to provide resources, be a supportive leader and advocate for this diverse population.

Jorge Preciado is one-half of a mother/son ownership team in the senior-care field where he leads a team of 10 incredible individuals that are passionate about seniors and committed to providing the highest-quality care, oversight, and coordination in the industry.  Ultimately, his goal is to raise the standard and expectation of senior-care companies in our communities.  Jorge is focused on incorporating technology for more accurate and timely documentation from caregivers, as well as building in touchpoints for more consistent oversight and support.  In the next 10 years, he wants to have a $10M business with high-performing and self-maintained teams running the day to day.

Tammie Reynolds has work at the National Older Worker Career Center (NOWCC) since 2005. In her current role as Programs & Field Operations Coordinator, Tammie is working with three different offices on four separate programs operated by NOWCC to assist federal agencies in achieving their critical missions. She has a Bachelors in Communications from SUNY Cortland and is currently working on her Masters in Gerontology from Concordia University in Chicago. Additionally, Tammie has taken Gerontology courses offered by ASA/USC and a Gerontology Certificate Program offered by Lifespan/St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY.  In ten years, she hopes to broaden services available to older adults nationwide to allow them to remain actively employed and aging in healthy ways.

Carly Rietmann is a Colorado native who attended Colorado State University (CSU) where she graduated with a degree in Health and Exercise Science and Health Promotion.  During her career at CSU, she had the opportunity to work closely with older adults at CSU’s Adult Fitness program. Upon graduation, she attended The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) where she graduated with a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree and chose to focus her graduate studies and research on older adult health and wellness.  In 2011 Carly was elated to find her current role as Healthy Aging Supervisor for Eagle County Public Health’s Healthy Aging unit. 

Heather Sherman is the Director of Gift Planning with AARP Foundation, whose mission is to serve vulnerable people 50+ by creating and advancing effective solutions that help them secure the essentials. She manages a team of three gift planning officers who work with AARP members to create a lasting legacy for their families and charities through estate planning. She joined the AARP team in 2009 and has been in the field of gift planning and development for over 20 years. Heather has a BA in English from DeSales University, an MA in Philanthropy & Development from St. Mary’s University of MN, and a JD from Concord Law School. In the next ten years, Heather’s goal is to lead AARP Foundation’s development program and speak nationwide about the strides the Foundation has made in alleviating poverty for millions of seniors, resulting in a renewed sense of duty to ensure that every American can age with dignity.

Valerie Smith is currently the Social Services Program Manager of the Adult Protective Services (APS) program in the County of Santa Clara, Social Services Agency, Department of Aging and Adult Services. Her current duties include management and oversight of all APS administrative and program operations, special projects, collaborations including the county behavioral health department, and the County of Santa Clara Financial Abuse Specialist Team (FAST). Valerie is a member of the Santa Clara County Elder and Domestic Violence Death Review teams, and is currently serving as the Co-Chair of the APS statewide committee. She began her social work career working in behavioral health as a case manager in an outpatient clinic and was hired by the County of Santa Clara, APS program in 1999 as a case carrying social worker. Valerie has been a part time faculty lecturer at San Jose State University in the School of Social Work since 2008. She earned her Masters of Social Work degree from Arizona State University, and is Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Wynelle Stevens currently serves as the Assistant Director of Adventist Community Services for the North American Division in Columbia, Maryland. Her primary ministry is promoting, developing resources, and managing the Older Adult Ministry. She is a Certified Senior Advisor and conducts workshops for the purpose of engaging congregations in ministering to their members and community and in developing an older adult program in their church.  In the future, Wynelle hopes to enhance the Adventist Community Services leadership development with the Older Adult ministry resource on the Adventist Learning Community platform and to develop modules pertaining to aspects of successful aging in order to educate leaders within the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America.


Sarah Vance is currently Associate Administrator at Waters Edge Lodge, AEC Living. Throughout the years, she was called upon to care for elders in her circle of friends and family. Sarah found her passion and decided to return to school and received her certification as a nursing assistant, gaining hands on experience in skilled nursing facilities. Being part of Waters Edge Lodge and AEC Living allows her to combine her talents, skills, and aspirations. The residents and AEC Living team are what drive her each day to provide the best care possible to the elders in our community. Sarah looks forward to professional growth within AEC Living and plans to complete her National Activity Director Certification in 2019 and also plans to take the RCFE Administrator licensing exam in the future.

Shelly Verboon has been Program Manager over Adult Services with Kings County since 2014. She oversees the Adult Protective Services (APS), In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Program, and Public Authority and continues to learn a lot in with these fast growing programs. Shelly has been in the field of social work since 1988, beginning in children’s services, promoting to the position of Supervisor in 1993 and again promoting to the position of Program Manager in 2012. Through working in the field of adult services, it is Shelly’s hope that more importance will be given to our senior population and quality services will continue to grow and improve in light of the cuts in funding to the programs.

Megan Vogt has worked in aging for five years in Athens, GA. She attended the University of Georgia for her undergraduate degrees, and completed her Master’s degree in Public Health and Certificate in Gerontology. At the Northeast Georgia Area Agency on Aging, she works as the Program Manager for the Aging and Disability Resource Connection. Previously, she worked as the Resource Specialist for the Area Agency on Aging, maintaining and updating a resource database with information about providers and community organizations who serve older adults and individuals with disabilities. In addition to her duties as Program Manager, she is also an Options Counselor and visits residents of nursing homes to provide information about returning to the community. In the next ten years, Megan hopes to establish programs in her community that can fill in the gaps in services for older adults and individuals with disabilities, to reduce the waiting list numbers and ensure greater access to services to remain independent.

Mary Weston is Elderly Services Program Coordinator with the Gila River Indian Community in Sacaton, AZ overseeing case management, family caregiver support, and homemaker services provided to over 2000 elders community-wide. She has been a Master Trainer for the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, the Powerful Tools for Caregivers Program, and a certified VA REACH Coach.  Mary also serves as a trainer/consultant for the AoA Administration for Community Living on caregiving, and is a member of the Title VI Eldercare Advisory Council. Her prior experience in Arizona includes serving as Family Caregiver Support Coordinator with the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., AAA-Region 8, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Caregiver Coordinator, and Arizona Aging & Adult Services Foster Grandparent Program/Senior Companion Program Director. Mary looks forward to attending the 2018 ASA Leadership Institute to gain knowledge to help impact positive change in Indian Country at the community, state, and national level.

Melissa Winberry, Assistant Director of the Rose Centers for Aging Well, has 20 years of progressively responsible experience directing people in multiple capacities. Her background spans a variety of specialties from human resources in manufacturing, retail and service industries to social work focusing on geriatrics, mental health, and clinical social work.  The last three years have been spent leading the Rose Centers for Aging Well, as it prepares to serve the greatest generation in a funding climate that is challenging and ever changing. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Science degree from John Carroll University, and a Masters of Social Work from Cleveland State University. When she is not working towards change in the aging field, she enjoys spending time with her family traveling, hiking and exploring the great outdoors.