The Encore Network’s Town Hall connected 80 Network members on June 24 to celebrate our history, learn about coming plans, meet Network leaders and hear from founder and CEO Marc Freedman.

Since our 2011 launch, the Encore Network has grown from an intriguing idea to a global connector, with almost 130 members in a dozen countries. Through our diverse organizations and leaders, the Network carries forward’s vision of older adults as a renewable resource for improving lives and communities. Members multiply the encore concept in their own communities, increasing the Network’s reach and value. 

In October, the Network will transition from an program to an independent network, with tech support from Network member Inspiring Service. It will also transition to a distributed leadership model, with a part-time executive director and volunteer Leadership Council. Network lead Betsy Werley will transition to her next encore at the same time, returning as an active volunteer in 2021.


  • Betsy Werley noted that the Network is more valuable than ever as a force against ageism, a voice for the value of older adults, and a resource at a time when member dollars and staff are scarce. 
  • Encore Boston Network Chair Doug Dickson reviewed Network successes, budget and funding, and what’s not changing: the Encore Network name, URL and website, and our mutually-beneficial relationship with 
  • Inspiring Service founder and Executive Director Craig Young said Inspiring Service’s technology will support our activities, with Network leaders continuing to set direction for our work. “The Encore Network is the most valuable organization Inspiring Service belongs to,” he said, “because it’s connected us to so many partners.” 
  • Changing the Narrative Colorado Lead Trainer Janine Vanderburg invited members to “predict the future by creating it” through our strategic planning effort. She encouraged members to tell Leadership Council members what they need and join one of our task forces. Quoting’s founding board member John Gardner, Janine highlighted our “breathtaking opportunity disguised as an insoluble problem.”  
  • CEO Marc Freedman celebrated the long and productive connections between and Network members. Network members have been on-the-ground partners at every step of’s development, bringing to life the ideas of “second acts for the greater good” and “purpose, passion and a paycheck.” He noted that events on his most recent book tour, discussing How to Live Forever, were mostly sponsored by Network members.

    To support our transition and continued success, is making a financial contribution to the Network and providing technology support. Marc looks forward to our continued collaboration, describing the go-forward relationship as “EFFs” — encore friends forever. 

View our slides and the session recording

Calls to action

  • Renew your membership – or join – to benefit from Network activities and keep the Network strong.
  • Share your ideas. We’ll send a strategic planning survey the week of July 6.  
  • Help us recruit the next Network leader. We’ll put information in your hands the week of July 13. 
  • Step forward to join our program, membership or communications teams. Send an email to

Contact Betsy Werley here to raise your hand, share an idea, ask a question.

Published: June 26, 2020