For more than 10 years, Encore Network has brought together organizations and individuals focused on building more equitable communities and a global culture where older adults are vital contributors. As we enter our second decade, we honor individuals who are transforming the encore stage of life. We call them: Encore Network Champions.
Nominations for our second class of Champions are now open!
Nominate A Champion
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2021 ENCORE NETWORK CHAMPIONS!
Del Mar, CA
For more than a decade, Don Ambrose, in his work with Del Mar Healthcare Inc., has invested in older adults across the country. His gifts to The Dayton Foundation, in Dayton, Ohio, have directly supported organizations serving older people and, for the past five years, the Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative. His support has allowed more than a dozen highly skilled, retired professionals to take on major issues in our community as paid Fellows. Don is not just a generous donor: he is knowledgeable and concerned about issues facing older adults and truly an Encore Network Champion.
After a varied career in government, business and education, Bren shifted her focus to community engagement and advocacy, with an emphasis on healthy aging, health disparities among people of color, building intergenerational connection and strengthening communities to bring about social change. She is a member of the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Aging and has served on National Center for Creative Aging and the Bates Art Center. As an artist, she connects to others through Memory Cafes and other venues. Brenda is a former Encore Public Voices Fellow and a current Encore Boston Network board member.
Dr. Cynthia Barnett
Dr Cynthia Barnett is a great example of an Encore Champion. In 2003 she retired from her position as an assistant high school principal and founded “Amazing Girls Science” whose goal is to ignite girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) fields of study.
In 2017 she was awarded the Purpose Prize for her work. In 2020, she started a coaching business,“Refire, Don’t Retire” for older adults. In 2021,she was selected as a Gen2Gen Innovation Fellow where she is launching a virtual mentorship program! She is looking for retired STEAM professionals to be mentors.
Karen Beal and Helen Ross Pitts
Karen Beal and Helen Ross Pitts champion the value of older adults through the Jesuit Volunteer EnCorps (JV EnCorps) program, offered in six Oregon and Washington State locations. They have been partners in leading the organization through a period of growth, fine-tuning, and engaging volunteer leadership. They’re active supporters of the Encore Network. “Contemplation in Action” is at the program’s heart. Participants serve environmental or social justice nonprofits, using their skills in 5+ hours/week of volunteer work. Their service is enhanced with spiritual reflection, community gatherings and an emphasis on simple living.
Lenora Inez Brown is transforming ideas about the value of older adults’ experience as a Senior Fellow with Cleveland Leadership Center (CLC) and the Director of Advanced Leadership Institute: Inspired by Carl and Louis Stokes. Lenora launched and manages those programs, which engages experienced leaders in civic issues and projects to drive long-term change that improves Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. She brings an unusually varied skill set to her role, including nonprofit leadership, public-private partnerships and theater. Lenora serves on the Encore Network Leadership Council, with a focus on communications.
Joe Casey is transforming the encore stage of life via his Retirement Wisdom podcast. His guests include authors, speakers and other thought leaders who are shaping how we work and—more importantly, how we live—in our 50s, 60s and beyond. A knowledgeable host and an excellent interviewer, Joe puts his guests center stage, giving them ample time to share their life-affirming wisdom on topics ranging from networking to strength training, from exit strategies to second acts, from finding purpose to creating more meaningful relationships. I have learned so much from him and know others have as well.
Following her retirement from Bloomingdale’s after a forty-year career in the retail industry, Pat Chadwick completed a Fellowship at the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University. She is Managing Director of Golden Seeds, a 300-member angel investing for early stage and growth capital to women entrepreneurs. She is also Vice Chair of the Encore Boston Network board and Founders Scholarship Fund, providing financial assistance to young men and women of Collier County, FL. She previously served on the board of Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts.
Susan is a role model for encore careers, moving from years in the home building business to help launch The Transition Network’s Philadelphia chapter, and then become its Executive Director. Her charisma and marketing, program development and people skills helped TTN grow membership by 50%, launch new programs to support members embracing change and celebrate its 20th anniversary. Susan serves on the Encore Network Leadership Council, focusing on marketing, communications and operational support.
As Research Professor at Boston College, and founder of 4Q Catalyst, Mary J. Cronin focuses on social entrepreneurship, managing for social impact, and inter-generational collaboration. Mary’s book, Starting Up Smarter: Why Founders Over 50 Build Better Businesses, celebrates the success of encore entrepreneurs. She directs Write the Family, a program to engage older adults in sharing their life stories, and is a co-founder of the Founders Over 55 Collective. Mary serves as a nonprofit board member of Encore Boston Network, the Center for Ageless Entrepreneurship and Boston Authors Club.
Redondo Beach, CA
Helen Dennis is a pioneer in the fields of aging, retirement planning, employment of older adults and social purpose. She is co-founder of Project Renewment, a movement of career women defining their next chapters and co-author of the bestselling book by the same name. An active speaker and writer, Helen has written more than 1000 widely read syndicated columns for the Southern California News Group entitled Successful Aging — reaching 1.6 million readers weekly. She is a Next Avenue Influencer in Aging and a past member of the Encore Network Leadership Council.
Doug Dickson helped found the Encore Network in 2011, building on his own transition from for-profit to nonprofit roles. He also helped found the Life Planning Network (2005) and Encore Boston Network (2012). He has been EBN’s board chair since its launch, supporting that program’s development into a go-to resource for greater Boston individuals, nonprofits, businesses, higher education and government, and a role model for other communities. Doug is a valued member of our Network’s Leadership Council and co-lead for the Program Committee.
Judith is founder/ past president of Carquinez Village, a nonprofit numbering 120 plus older adults in Vallejo/Benicia. CV assists older adults 65 and up to live safely and with dignity in their own communities and to remain an integral part of life. Volunteers, who may also be members, assist others in this. We offer services like rides but we offer a calendar of social and educational events, speakers, and high interest programming. Members find new friendships, warm acceptance and fun. Judith volunteers at every turn: driving, heading up fundraising, recruitment of members, volunteers, and funding partners.
A true innovator in aging, Therese has been instrumental in advancing the encore movement in Colorado, and narrative change nationally. As senior program officer in aging for Rose Community Foundation, Therese was the catalyst behind Experienced EngAGEd (formerly Boomers Leading Change), a groundbreaking Colorado organization dedicated to training, supporting and connecting adults 50+ so they can have greater impact and community involvement—harnessing the experience dividend as an asset to their communities. Therese also was an early champion of Reframing Aging, and her efforts resulted in Changing the Narrative.
Currently the Director of Communications for Urban Land Conservancy, Angelle’s work has included senior communications roles for leading foundations and nonprofits, and volunteer leadership of Montbello Organizing Committee, a community development effort serving one of Denver’s largest and most under-resourced communities. In the last year, Angelle and daughter Daryn teamed up to change the narrative about getting older and to demonstrate the many variations of the encore of life, by elevating the stories of older Black, indigenous and Latino people who are making change in their communities.
Conway, South Carolina
Linda Friedman is the co-founder of Encore!Hartford, a program of the University of Connecticut’s Department of Public Policy, which after a decade of hard work, has spread statewide as Encore!Connecticut. The program assists seasoned corporate professionals transition their experience and skills to managerial positions in the nonprofit sector. The heart and soul of Encore!Connecticut, Linda spent many an hour counseling Encore!Connecticut Fellows and co-leading the program to national recognition. In addition, Linda provided content expertise to the development
and launch of the initial Encore Network website.
Dave Garvey has championed the value of experience for more than a decade, as Encore!Connecticut co-lead. The program connects older adults interested in public sector jobs with the nonprofits that need their work and life experience, leveraging his role in the University of Connecticut’s Department of Public Policy and extensive network. Encore!Connecticut received national media attention for this innovative program. Dave played a key role in developing the Encore Talent Works toolkit, the first website to help public sector organizations understand and engage mature talent.
Ward Greene, SAGE Founder & Steve Higgs, SAGE ED
Ward Greene and Steve Higgs are part of the leadership at SAGE (Senior Advocates for Generational Equity). SAGE inspires older adults to give forward so future generations thrive. Each year, SAGE engages over 1,000 people to elevate this Greek Proverb at the heart of its work: “A society grows great when its elders plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” Their programs include speakers, fellowships, workshops, teams, and a young leaders advisory board. All programs are intergenerational because people of all generations need each other, and the future needs all the advocates it can get.
West Roxbury, MA
Mary Gunn leads program development and community engagement as Program Director for Encore Boston Network. She was previously a consultant for Encore.org, coaching Gen2Gen nonprofit innovation partners. She retired as Executive Director of Generations Incorporated after 15 years, growing the AARP Experience Corps youth literacy program in Boston to one of the largest and most successful in the nation. Before that, Mary was Executive Director of the Bird Street Community Center in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Karin Haist and Jane Lunz
Hamburg, Germany-based Körber Foundation champions encore-age adults through its “Encore” prize, modeled on Encore.org’s Purpose Prize. Led by Karin Haist, Jana Lunz and Susanne Kutz, the program recognizes 60+ social entrepreneurs using their life/work experience to improve their communities. Ten winners have received 60,000 euros each in the program’s three year history. Their stories have inspired older – and younger – Germans to take a positive view of later-life opportunities. Their work honors founder Kurt Körber, himself a business leader who led and funded many philanthropic causes starting in his 50s.
In Cleveland, Kathy is a go-to person for all things encore, in her role as Cleveland Foundation Program Director, Leadership Development. Encore Cleveland provides funding and other resources for 14 organizations that tap the time, skills and abilities of experienced Clevelanders to solve community challenges, fill unmet needs and address community opportunities. This initiative started in 2013 and continues to grow and evolve as more older adults get involved. Kathy is part of the Encore Network Leadership Council and serves on the Program committee.
Sandra Harris is State President, AARP Massachusetts, and Founder of The Massachusetts Taskforce to End Loneliness and Build Community. As part of this project, she was selected as a Encore.org Gen2Gen Innovation Fellow. Sandra is a member of Commit to Connect Nationwide Network of Champions, the Age-Friendly Boston Advisory Council, and other boards. She was featured as part of Boston’s Age Strong ad campaign to combat ageism. Sandra was Principal of an interior design firm specializing in senior living design and a founding member of the Boston Society of Architect’s Knowledge Committee on Designing for Aging.
West Yarm, MA
Jan has been a driving force in the encore movement. In 2006, she was named National Purpose Prize Fellow. In 2004, she founded the “Vital Aging Network” in Minneapolis. In 2006, co-founded “Shift” a non profit that empowered older adults to find meaning as social entrepreneurs.
Jan’s latest efforts led to a collaboration with Moira Allen to start “Pass It ON Network”, a global network of encore leaders to exchange ideas and innovative programs. Jan also received her PHD at 69! Jan’s mantra is “Meaningful work, paid or
unpaid, through the last breath.” Jan is a founding member of the Encore Network.
New York City, NY
Hyeyoon (Ayleen) Jung
Seoul, Korea, Republic of South Korea
Fairfax County, VA
Dot Keenan founded and leads GrandInvolve, an award-winning Fairfax County VA nonprofit that brings older tutors to local high-poverty public schools. Its three missions: support kids’ learning, reduce ageism through intergenerational connections, and teach older adults about a variety of cultures. GrandInvolve has had a busy fall, receiving a Burke & Herbert Bank sponsorship ($100 for every goal scored by the Washington Capitals hockey team), launching training programs and sending mentors back into classrooms. GrandInvolve is Dot’s encore career, after retiring as Fairfax County Supervisor of Senior Services.
After a career in finance at tech and financial services companies, Pat Latimore shifted her expertise to the nonprofit sector. She was Chief Financial Officer, and then Chief Operating Officer at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, where she spent 10 years. Following her retirement, she joined the board of Encore Boston Network. She also co-chairs the Equity and Justice Advisory Committee for the Town of Milton and is a founding member of Citizens for a Diverse Milton. Pat also serves on the Board of Celebrate Milton and the Audit Committee of Olin College.
Kaye Manson Jeter
Kaye Manson Jeter is the epitome of an Encore Network Champion. She’s had a string of encores! She was a teacher, then trained as an attorney and practiced law for 20 years. She served as general counsel to the Tennessee Department of Education. Along the way, she obtained a Ph.D. in education and served as Dean of the College of Education at Central State University. She retired, traveled to distant lands, and had a revelation: “I can’t spend the rest of my life on the back of a camel!” She became a Del Mar Encore Fellow, helping the Dayton Metro Library (Ohio) expand its Rock Your Homework Program.
José Manuel Jaramillo Vergara
Santiago, NA, Chile
Santiago Chile-based Fundacion Mas unleashes the talents of older adults to support nonprofits, entrepreneurs and governments. Co-founder José Manuel Jaramillo was inspired by Encore.org to launch the organization, recruiting his father (a retired engineer) and other business leaders to develop consulting opportunities and a training program. Learn more about the program and its success stories at http://fundacionmas.cl. Fundacion Mas plans to expand its program in South America, helping other countries tap the value of their 50+ populations in social sector projects.
Shavel’le Olivier is the first Executive Director of Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition, a community organization with a focus on improving the food and physical activity environment and promoting healthy behaviors. Shavel’le began as a youth leader in this intergenerational initiative, helping to set up a farmer’s market, a youth bike-a-thon, advocating for walking trails, and other initiatives. She has also worked for Livable Street Alliance, Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center, and the DREAM program. Shavel’le is passionate about connecting community assets to improve health and livability.
New York City, NY
Vitality Society Founder and CEO, Meredith Oppenheim, has dedicated herself to the well-being of older people for more than three decades. She launched Vitality Society™ January of 2020 to ignite a movement to empower, enrich and engage people 60 and better to remain at their best. Vitality Society which has been referred to by members as “a lifeline” and “a game-changer for physical and mental well-being” is a concierge-powered and community-oriented online wellness, fitness and enrichment platform delivering best-in-class instruction, support and results. Oppenheim spent twenty years gaining operational experience in the senior housing industry across the full continuum and worldwide.
San Francisco, CA
Nancy Peterson is the Network’s godmother. Starting in 2011, she saw the potential of connecting organizations and individuals to build the encore movement, and championed that work within Encore.org, launching a volunteer-led network. With Bechtel Foundation, she developed the Innovation Fellows program, investing in experienced leaders to support encore work in new sectors and around the country. Nancy led a 2015 White House Conference on Aging network-wide collaboration, highlighting the value of the “longevity dividend.” More recently, Nancy led the Network’s global growth and its transition to a stand-alone group.
Shānna Pittman-Frank is Director of Community Engagement at SAGE, where she inspires, trains and supports individuals to improve our world so that future generations can thrive. Her focus at SAGE is intergenerational action and innovation, and highlighting the need for all hands (of all ages) “on deck” to create communities where we all can thrive. Prior to SAGE, Shānna led age-friendly programs and communications for Elders in Action. In addition to her work at SAGE, Shānna serves on the board of Stone Soup PDX, a nonprofit workforce development program and active restaurant/catering kitchen.
New York City, NY
St. Petersburg, FL
If enthusiasm was a product, Bevan Rogel would be its spokesperson. She is a passionate, tireless advocate for older adults and the value of our experience. As founder of Encore Tampa Bay and co-chair of the membership committee of Encore Network, Bevan puts her entire being into the mission of leveraging the power of people 50+. With 35 years of experience in organization and leadership development, Bevan is uniquely qualified to demonstrate the change that older adults must embrace to continue as effective contributors to society. She’s an expert connector of people who share the vision of a transformative culture that values individuals of all ages – the definition of an Encore Network Champion.
New York City, NY
Bobbie Sackman has served as an advocate for people 50+ for several decades, through her policy work to secure supports and services at the city, state, and national levels, and through her community organizing with the New York Caring Majority campaign, a coalition of older and disabled people, family caregivers, and home care workers. Bobbie Sackman is a fierce advocate focused on bread-and-butter issues like affordable housing, home and community-based care, food insecurity, elder abuse, senior centers, and support for family caregivers, as well as overall fighting for greater empowerment and leadership for people 50+.
Kate Schaefers, PH.D.
Twin Cities, MN
In the past decade, Kate has championed the value of older adults, leading multiple programs: Shift, Life Planning Network and AARP Minnesota (State President). She did the heavy lifting to create the Encore Talent Works toolkit, a resource for social sector organizations to engage experienced talent. With Phyllis Moen, Kate co-founded the University of Minnesota’s Advanced Careers (UMAC) program, the first public university program to prepares encore adults for social impact careers and civic engagement. Kate serves as a member of the Encore Network Leadership Council, focused on membership growth and retention. She’s a psychologist by training, a connector by nature, and an innovator by design.
Phyllis Segal’s focus as Senior Fellow at Encore.org is advancing intergenerational service as a powerful new way to address community problems and bridge the generational divide. She serves on the boards of the JFK Library Foundation, Encore Boston Network, and Segal Citizen Leadership Program at Brandeis University (which she co-founded). She previously served on the Corporation for National and Community Service board, as Trustee of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, and as Chair of the Federal Labor Relations Authority.
What do encore seekers really need? A champion who will advocate vigorously for public policies that ensure older workers have access to retraining and upskilling, and for stronger age discrimination laws. We have that in Tony Tapia, chair of Colorado’s Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging’s Workforce Development Committee, issuing recommendations to strengthen every part of the workforce development system. In his day job, Tony is a philanthropic advisor and Program Director at the Conference Board. Weekends? You’ll find Tony on the slopes in his encore as a ski instructor. We’re thrilled to have him on Changing the Narrative’s Advisory Board.
Janine is an all-purpose encore leader, role model and advocate for the value of older adults in all spheres of life. She chairs the Encore Network leadership council and she’s the fearless leader of Colorado-based Changing the Narrative, which changes the way people think, talk and act about ageism. She was a ’20-’21 Encore Public Voices Fellow. Leading up to those roles, Janine was a Denver Commission on Aging member, recognized with its 2018 Diversity and Inclusion Award, as well as founder of social sector consulting firm Joining Vision and Action.
St. Louis, Missouri
Under Paul’s leadership, Oasis is expanding its impact with the launch of Oasis Everywhere online programs, and dramatically expanding its largest-in-the-US tutoring program, especially in communities of color. Paul is a passionate advocate for older adults’ health, lifelong learning and volunteerism, and a skilled fundraiser. He is committed to collaboration, licensing many Oasis programs to local organizations, and looking for partnership opportunities; Oasis is active in 250 communities and reaches 50,000 individuals each year.
New York City, NY
Betsy Werley is a shining example of an Encore Network Champion, having led two successful networks of older adults in this stage of life. In 2005, she became executive director of the Transition Network, organizing women moving from their primary career to what is next. She grew the organization from two chapters to 10, in just 8 years. Selected as one of the first Encore Innovation Fellows in 2013, she began building the Encore Network at Encore.org. As director, Betsy’s vision and leadership strengthened the movement, connecting 150 leaders worldwide for learning and growth, laying the foundation for success.
Noreen Willhelm is an important contributor to the Encore Network as Secretary/Treasurer of our Leadership Council, and in her day-to-day leadership of the Dayton Foundation Del Mar Encore Fellows program as its Senior Fellow. A longtime Dayton resident, Noreen had an early career in journalism, then spent 30 years in nonprofit executive roles with local social service and arts organizations. As the Senior Fellow, she leverages that experience, advocating for the value of older adults and organizing older adults to use their work and life skills in high value projects.