GGS BOARD OF DIRECTORS BIOGRAPHIES

Presented in Alphabetical Order by Last Name

Jennifer Almond

Term Ending 2023

Committees: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion / Research, Education & Training / Conference Program

Biography

Jennifer Almond has been an adjunct faculty member at Brenau University since 2013 in the Ivester College of Health Science, teaching gerontology and psychology classes and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Gerontology Society.

Previously, Jennifer was the AAA Director and the Director of the LTCO Program at Legacy Link Area Agency on Aging. She began her career with Legacy Link Area Agency on Aging in the Georgia Mountains Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LTCO) Program in 2000. She has worked as an Ombudsman in both Georgia and Maryland.

Jennifer received her Master of Science in Applied Gerontology from Brenau University. Jennifer is currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology, with Specialization in Gerontology, from Northcentral University.

Jennifer has been a committed advocate for the rights of older adults since beginning her work with the LTCO Program. Her passions are elder abuse prevention, ending senior hunger, and improving the quality of life for older adults.

Pat Baker

President

Term Ending 2021

Committees: Chair – Executive, Serves on All Committees

Biography

Pat Baker’s career in the field of health and human services, particularly aging services, began in 1973. She retired from Gwinnett County Government in June of 2018 as Director of Health and Human Services, which included Gwinnett Senior Services. She has worked with the Older American’s Act Senior Programs for most of her career but has also done consulting with AARP and the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving. She served two church in Older Adult Ministry in the 1980’s and is now the Director of Older Adult and Caregiver Ministries at St. Andrews Presbyterian church in Tucker.

Pat discovered her special gift of working with family caregivers in the early 80’s when she started her first Caregiver Support Group. She currently facilitates three caregiver support groups in the Atlanta area. She is on three Board of Directors- at the national, state and local level. 

She is proud to have received her Masters of Science Degree at the age of 65 in the field of Organizational Development and Leadership.  

MaryLea Boatwright Quinn

Vice-President

Term Ending 2021

Committees: Chair – Advocacy / Executive / Conference Program / Conference Attendee Experience

Biography

MaryLea Boatwright Quinn is a licensed clinical social worker and has been working in the Atlanta area for over 25 years. She graduated from Auburn University with a BSW and got her MSW from the University of Denver. In her early career she worked as a medical social worker in a variety of settings including hospice, long-term care, adult day care, and home health. She has a passion for improving the lives of older adults and founded the Greater Atlanta Chapter of the National Aging in Place Council (NAIPC) in 2009, an organization that she still leads today.

MaryLea believes in the power of constituent impact on elected officials and is currently the Director of Government Affairs for the Alzheimer’s Association Georgia Chapter. In this role she lobbies the Georgia General Assembly to implement the Georgia Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias State Plan and improve health policies that impact the lives of those living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.

Renae Brown

Term Ending 2022

Committees: Scholarship / Nominating / Conference Program

Biography

Renae Brown serves as the Chief Dietitian for the Georgia Division of Aging Services, a section of the Department of Human Services. In this role, she leads a state-level planning team to implement nutrition programs, including home-delivered and congregate meal services. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Renae began her nutrition career as a sustainable farmer and thereafter completed dietetic training at the Memphis VA Medical Center. Bridging clinical expertise with public policy, her goal is to reduce malnutrition in older adults by creating socioeconomic frameworks that treat and prevent it.

David Coffman

Treasurer

Term Ending 2021

Committees: Executive / Co-Chair – Communications / Co-Chair – Conference Attendee Experience

Biography

Coming Soon

Nikki Dukes

Secretary

Term Ending 2021

Committees: Co-Chair – Awards / Co-Chair – Diversity, Equity & Inclusion / Executive / Conference Door Prizes & Silent Auction

Biography

Nikki has worked in the healthcare field since 2009. She has a bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration and Master’s in Business and Healthcare Administration. Nikki began her career as a volunteer with the Georgia Cares Program as a Medicare Counselor and later began working contracted as an Intake Specialist with the Area Agency on Aging. After contracting with the Area Agency on Aging for a period of 1 year, she was hired on as Aging and Disability Resource Counselor/Resource Specialist.

Throughout her work history she has been transitioned to Case Management Supervisor and hold several certifications (i.e. Case Management Certified, AIRS CIRS/AD certified, and Dealing with Dementia Certification). She has worked with several agencies to prevent fraud and abuse, such as the local S.A.L.T Council (Seniors and Law Enforcement Working Together) and Georgia Cares. Her time with the Area Agency on Aging has afforded her the opportunity to gain extensive knowledge and experience gerontology, by way of the aging and disability community.

Aside from that, Nikki is very dedicated and caring staff person. She connects with clients in the field and adheres to policy. Nikki has been instrumental in expanding services at the AAA throughout Coastal’s service area.

Libby Dunahoo

Term Ending 2023

Committees: Membership / Conference Sponsorship

Biography

Libby Dunahoo is the Manager of the Advance Care Planning Department for Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS). NGHS serves 19 counties through 4 hospitals, a 70+ multispecialty provider network, and a GME program. She has a BA in Sociology from GSU with 20+ years of work in advocacy , development and affiliations at Emory as well as a statewide adoption agency. She started her work at NGHS in 2017 to implement the community initiative of Respecting Choices®. She is passionate about empowering people to have a voice in their healthcare through their Advance Directives. She advocates that advance care planning is a wonderful gift to give loved ones. Libby is a local member of the Beyond Dementia Coalition, North Georgia Senior Resources, and Commerce Club of Gainesville. She actively participates in the Northeast Georgia Health System Ethics Committee and the Emory Ethics Consortium. In 2019 she was a Community Wellness Award finalist for Gwinnett Chamber’s 2019 Healthcare Awards.

Carole Gardner

Term Ending 2023

Committees: Scholarship / Conference Program

Biography

A fellow of the American Geriatrics Society, Carole Gardner, MD is a board-certified internist and geriatrician with The Southeast Permanente Medical Group (TSPMG). She is Physician Lead for SNP and Elder Care Quality and Physician Program Director, Pharmacy and Therapeutics/Medication Safety at Kaiser Permanente of Georgia (KPGA).   She helps create and implement initiatives and programs to serve the needs of KPGA’s members, with a special focus on the older population.   She co-leads programs and initiatives regarding safer use of opioids and benzodiazepines as well as reducing use of medications considered high risk in older adults. She sees patients in consultation and is the geriatrician on an interdisciplinary team that coordinates care for a subset of KPGA’s Medicare population. She represents TSPMG/KPGA on several national Kaiser Permanente committees and groups.

Prior to joining TSPMG she was a member of the faculty of the University of Kentucky, where she directed programs in clinical Geriatrics and trained health professionals.  At KPGA, she has served in various administrative roles including developing and implementing evidence based clinical practice guidelines and disease management programs.  She has published articles in various medical journals and presented at several national meetings, including annual meetings of the American Geriatrics Society.

Kay Graham

Term Ending 2022

Committees: Co-Chair -Research, Education & Training / Scholarship / Conference Program

Biography

Throughout her 29 years as an occupational therapist, Kay Graham has gravitated towards opportunities to mentor and teach across program areas and disciplines whether as a rehab specialist, workshop presenter, faculty curriculum coordinator, or most recently as Department Chair for the Gainesville Day Occupational Therapy Program at Brenau. She received her Certificate in Gerontology and her PhD in Health Promotion and Behavior in the College of Public Health from the University of Georgia. She works actively to bring the areas of public health and medical care together in more effective partnerships and coordinated services in order to promote healthy aging in older adults. Towards this end, she serves on the Georgia Gerontology Society board, as a member of Injury Prevention Research Center at Emory Fall Task Force, the Gainesville-based Beyond Dementia Coalition, a founding member of the Northeast Georgia Fall Prevention Coalition, and as the current chair of Interprofessional Education Committee for the Ivester College of Health Sciences at Brenau University.

Babs Hall

Past-President (Term Ends with a change in President)

Committees: Executive / Chair – Nominating / Co-Chair – Communications / Conference Design & Printing

Biography

Babs Hall is the Family Support Manager and the Statewide Participant-direction Manager for Medicaid Waiver Services with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities in Atlanta. Prior to this role, she served as the Corporate Compliance Officer and Individual Rights Coordinator with Aspire Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Services as well as the Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) Program Manager for SOWEGA Council on Aging in Albany, Georgia.

Babs received an Associate of Science degree in Psychology from Middle Georgia College in 2001, and she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Georgia Southwestern State University in 2003.

Babs has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Georgia Gerontology Society since 2014, and she currently serves on the Executive Committee as the immediate Past-President. She was named one of southwest Georgia’s 40 Under 40 in 2016 and was named Georgia Trend’s 40 Under 40 for the state of Georgia in 2017. Babs is passionate about advocating for the needs of older adults, individuals with disabilities, and caregivers with a strong emphasis on person-centered planning and supported decision making.

Elizabeth Head

Term Ending 2022

Committees: Communications / Awards / Conference Program

Biography

Ms. Head’s area of expertise is aging and injury prevention. She earned her Master’s degree in Public Health from Georgia State University. She has worked with in public health for fifteen years. As deputy director for the Injury Prevention Program at the Georgia Department of Public Health, Elizabeth coordinates the B-SEEN project for Georgia, funded by CDC. This project aims to incorporate public health into dementia, including Alzheimer’s work happening in the state. In addition, she manages highway safety grants staff and Injury Prevention Program staff working on projects across the lifespan. She has worked with national, state, and local partners on a variety of injury topics including fire prevention, drowning prevention, and fall prevention. Other professional experiences include research on bathroom injuries for children and adults, evaluation of fire safety education programs, and facilitation of coalition activities for older adult driver safety and fall prevention. Elizabeth spends her free time enjoying quality time with her family.

Victoria Helmly

Term Ending 2021

Committees: Advocacy / Diversity, Equity & Inclusion / Co-Chair – Conference Program

Biography

Victoria Helmly is a second-year Ph.D. student of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Georgia State University. She currently works as a graduate research assistant. Victoria earned a B.A. in Sociology in 2013 and an MSW and graduate certificate in Gerontology from Georgia State University in 2016. She held the position of the Alzheimer’s & Related Dementias State Plan Coordinator for the Georgia Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services from 2016-2019. Her research interests include aging in the prison system, specifically dementia and end-of-life care for incarcerated older adults.

Michael Hicks

Term Ending 2023

Committees: Research, Education & Training / Conference Program

Biography

Michael is the program manager at Rebuilding Together Atlanta, a 501c3 nonprofit providing free home repairs to low income homeowners around Atlanta. Their mission is: Repairing Homes, Revitalizing Communities, Rebuilding Lives. Many of their clients are seniors, and many of those seniors have mobility difficulties. To better serve them, Michael joined the Georgia Falls Prevention Coalition and developed, with other members’ input, an “Express” program that focuses on quick, low cost, high impact modifications that emphasize fall prevention. (A recent recipient of the program’s services was able to shower again after months of sponge baths.) He has also developed a partnership with the Georgia State University School of Occupational Therapy, and has been able to set up free OT consultations for recipients of our Express services. Additionally, he was recently awarded a scholarship to participate in the University of Southern California Leonard School of Gerontology’s Home Modification Executive Certificate Program, and is excited to put into practice what he is learning.

Denise Jew

Term Ending 2022

Committees: Research, Education & Training / Conference Attendee Experience

Biography

Denise Jew is a Gerontologist who was fortunate to hand-picked her career. She was a stay-at-home mom who decided to go to school when her children did. She attended Georgia Gwinnett College to earn a Cum Laude undergraduate Degree in Psychology; with focus in the domains of Cognitive and Clinical Psychology. She went on to achieve a Master’s Degree in Applied Gerontology from Brenau University where she not only graduated with a 3.9 GPA but was also bestowed with the Outstanding Graduate Award. During her tenure in academia she served as an intern for Garden Plaza of Lawrenceville as an activities assistant and as an aging advocate for the Georgia Council on Aging.

Denise’s fieldwork at the Georgia Council on Aging served to fuel her passion for advocating for aging adults. Since her graduation with her Master’s she has worked in privately owned communities for independent aging adults, those that need moderate assistance and those who require full time care due to atypical cognitive decline. She has served in the government sector overseeing and monitoring multiple Title III grant programs for Forsyth County. She is currently working for Wellthy, as a Care Coordinator, where she ensures families around the globe transverse the healthcare system with as little challenges as possible. From locating a new primary care physician to managing insurance appeals; it is her goal to insure those that need help receive it. She aspires to increase the scope of her role and make meaningful changes in the lives of aging adults.

Elizabeth Jones

Term Ending 2023

Committees: Advocacy / Communications / Diversity, Equity & Inclusion / Co-Chair Conference Attendee Experience / Conference Door Prize & Silent Auction

Biography

Elizabeth Jones has served as the Executive Director of Shiloh Community Center since 2011. She is the former Director of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Diseases for a 14-county area in Georgia. Since coming to Shiloh, she has worked to make a difference in the lives of senior citizens, youth and their families. In 2013, Ms. Jones worked in collaboration with Augusta Richmond County to relocate 360 families from public housing to apartments and single-family dwellings. She assisted with gathering resources to specifically assist senior citizens with their relocation plans – providing funds for utility assistance, moving expenses, and food. Ms. Jones was awarded a Community Champion for her “service through humanitarian, education and community service by inspiring others to perform at their best.” Ms. Jones is deeply committed to senior citizens and their well-being. In 2013, Ms. Jones began an initiative to bring services to senior citizens who reside in senior living communities. She identified sites that primarily housed low to moderate income senior citizens who do not have discretionary income to pay for services such as health and wellness, arts entertainment and personal care items. This off-site programming initiative began with 2 sites and grew to 5 sites, serving approximately 200 senior citizens per month.

Ms. Jones became certified and offers the state of Georgia’s evidence-based programs such as Tai Chi for Health, Gerifit, and Living A Healthy Life With Chronic Disease. Ms. Jones Also serves as an advocate both locally and statewide. She has been an advocate for over 20 years with local and state politicians to assist with getting adequate levels of funding for senior programming and legislative bills that will improve the quality of life for seniors whether in their homes, nursing homes or hospitals. She is a passionate advocate and spends time developing partnerships and relationships with civic organizations, media and community action groups to support senior citizens initiatives. Ms. Jones also served as the chair of social inclusion for Age-Friendly Augusta – providing leadership and development of an action plan and programs.

Bonnie Kin

Term Ending 2021

Committees: Membership / Research, Education &Training / Conference Attendee Experience

Biography

Dr. Bonnie Kin is trained as a clinical geropsychologist. She received her B.A. in psychology and Master’s in community psychology from California State University Dominguez Hills. Dr. Kin completed her Ph.D. at Alliant University, Los Angeles with specializations in health psychology and geropsychology. She is Director of the M.S. in Applied Gerontology program and Professor of Psychology at Brenau University.

Dr. Kin has over 40 years experience practicing and teaching in the field of geropsychology, gerontology and geriatrics in both Georgia and California. Her specialization is the research and psychosocial treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Dr. is honored to serve on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Gerontology Society. She is a member of the American Psychological Association , the Georgia Psychological Association, the American Society on Aging, the Gerontological Society of America, and the Georgia Gerontology Society.

Elisa Lassiter

Term Ending 2023

Committees: Communications / Conference Attendee Experience

Biography

Elisa is an experienced human services professional and has worked in affordable housing, mental health, home health/gerontology, career development, and child welfare. She holds a Master of Science in Counseling/Psychology, Bachelor of Social Work degree, Gerontology Certification, Special Education Certification (K-12), Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA) Certification, and is a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Professional.  She currently serves as an Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) Counselor with The Atlanta Regional Commission.

She is a true servant and enjoys advocating for disenfranchised populations, both personally and professionally. Working with the disabled and chronically homeless populations has propelled her to follow legislative policies impacting healthcare, mental health, and housing. She is most interested in advocating for this sector when attempting to land suitable housing and governmental aid to assist people with living productively and reintegrating successfully in the community. Partnering with The Department of Housing and Urban Development and seeking Low Income Housing Tax Credit initiatives for seniors and the disabled in the City of Atlanta is critical in combating homelessness. Policy research and analysis has driven her to advocate on a local, state, and federal level for the senior population in the areas of affordable housing and nonprofit development. She has developed evaluations and implemented efficient systems with nonprofit and private sector teams resulting in improved stakeholder communication, organizational efficiency, and cost savings.

Lisa Livingston

Term Ending 2022

Committees: Scholarship / Conference Sponsorship

Biography

Lisa Livingston is the Director for the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Area Agency on Aging. She has been with the agency for 23 years and has a deep desire to help seniors in rural Georgia to continue to live independently in their own homes. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University with an emphasis on small business management.

In addition to serving on the Georgia Gerontology Board, she serves on the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Workforce Investment Board and the Board of the Southeastern Association of Area Agencies on Aging. She is the mother of three boys and serves as the high school baseball team Treasurer as well as a preschool Sunday school teacher at her church.

Cheney Magusiak

Term Ending 2021

Committees: Awards / Conference Program

Biography

Cheney Roper Magusiak graduated from the University of North Georgia, with a Bachelors of Human Services Administration & Delivery. Cheney used this degree to specialize in gerontology, public policy, and non-profit management. Cheney has worked as an Aging and Disability Resource Connection Counselor with Legacy Link AAA and Atlanta Regional Commission, gaining in-depth knowledge of Medicaid waivered programs and other home and community-based services programs. Cheney also served as the Aging and Disability Resource Specialist for the Department of Human Services, Division on Aging. 

Kimberly Mathis

Term Ending 2023

Committees: Communications / Co-Chair – Conference Program

Biography

Kimberly Mathis was born and raised in Thomson, Georgia and a 1992 graduate of Thomson High School. Kimberly is now attending Mercer University online pursuing a major in Gerontology. Kimberly’s first position in 2001 was in Human Development as a Program Director before being promoted to Director/Department Head for the McDuffie County Human Development Center, where she held that position for 15 years. 

In 2016, Kimberly accepted the Program Coordinator Position with McDuffie County Senior Services. In 2019 Kimberly resigned from McDuffie County with 18 1/2 years. Kimberly also was a board member for the CSRA EOA Inc. for 6 years. In that same year Kimberly accepted the Senior Services Director position with CSRA EOA Inc./ Burke County Senior Center.

Kimberly has worked in Aging for almost 20 years and has dedicated her life to helping people. Kimberly is also a Certified At-Task Adult Crime Tactics Specialist, through the Georgia Department of Human Services. Kimberly is a Certified Dementia Care Specialist, certified in foundations and behaviors and a certified instructor through the Crisis Prevention Institute.

Belinda Meadows

Term Ending 2021

Committees: Scholarship, Co-Chair – Awards / Scholarship / Research, Education & Training, Conference Door Prizes & Silent Auction

Biography

Belinda holds a B.S. in Sociology with an emphasis in Gerontology from the University of West Georgia. She has fifteen years of diversity expertise working as a social worker assisting seniors and the disabled in locating local resources, screening for state and federal programs and providing Medicare assistance. Prior to becoming the GerogiaCares Program Manager, she has worked as the Georgia State Senior Medicare Patrol Coordinator and in the field of mental health assisting clients in the enrichment of their lives and completions of their goals. She has certifications in the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS-A/D), Lifelong Planning, Medicare SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program) and SMP Senior Medicare Patrol.

Belinda actively serves on the Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) Advisory Council and the Carroll County TRIADs. She has two children: Tony and Amy and four grandchildren.

Debra Minor

Term Ending 2022

Committees: Membership / Awards / Diversity, Equity & Inclusion / Conference Program / Conference Door Prizes & Silent Auction

Biography

Debra Minor is the Aging and Disability Resource (ADRC) Manager for the CSRA Regional Commission, Area Agency on Aging. Her responsibilities include clinical oversight for the ADRC Counselors, Options Counselors and HCBS Case Management.

Debra obtained a Bachelor degree in nursing from Georgia College in Milledgeville, Georgia. She is a certified case manager (CCM) through the Academy of Certified Case Managers, and Managed Care Nursing (CMCN) from the American Board of Managed Care Nurses. Debra received a Master’s Degree in Theology from Christian Life School of Theology.

She is a trained in Community-Based Care Transition Program (CCTP), Coleman Coaching Model, Master Trainer for Tailored Caregiver Assessment and Referral (TCARE) and a Certified Information and Referral Specialist for Aging/Disability (CIRS-A/D). Debra has over 30 years of experience as a Registered Nurse in direct care, case management, training and management.

Steve Neff

Term Ending 2021

Committees: Advocacy / Conference Door Prizes & Silent Auction

Biography

Mr. Neff currently owns a Legislative Consulting/Association Management firm, The Neff Group, LLC. His firm represents and manages numerous clients in the areas of Healthcare, Surveying, Insurance and many other professional fields. Mr. Neff also serves as Executive Director and Legislative Liaison of two non-profit Associations, Georgia Association of Community Care Providers and the Assisted
Living Association of Georgia. Mr. Neff has influenced hundreds of pieces of legislation and secured hundreds of millions of dollars in the Georgia State Budget over a twenty-year career. He also works very closely with both Associations to insure close working relationships between Association members and state agencies.

Mr. Neff started his legislative consulting career as Legislative Assistant for the Georgia Nursing Home Association. He then served several years as Legislative Consultant at Omni Resource Group, Inc., a widely known and respected legislative consulting firm. Mr. Neff’s background consists of providing legislative and budgetary counsel to state agencies, trade associations, as well as private industry. Within these categories, he has worked with Banking, Brewing, Corrections, Communications, Higher Education, Healthcare, Insurance, Mining, Pharmaceuticals, Staffing and others. Mr. Neff is specialized in the development of legislative, as well as, budgetary and regulatory agendas. He has been particularly successful in helping his clients navigate these processes. During his career in government affairs he has achieved a solid, dependable and respectable reputation among some of Georgia’s most influential policy makers and business leaders. Mr. Neff is widely known in Georgia’s political and business arena and has worked with numerous policy, advisory and task forces over the years. 

Mr. Neff received his BS degree in Biology Pre-Medicine with a minor in Business Administration, from North Georgia College and State University. He resides in Gainesville.

Whitney Oeltman

Term Ending 2023

Committees: Co-Chair – Research, Education & Training / Membership / Conference Door Prizes & Silent Auction 

Biography

Whitney Oeltmann started Dementia Spotlight Foundation (DSF) in 2016 following her father’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. DSF strives to provide multiple services and direction for person’s with dementia and their caregivers. Whitney received her Master’s in clinical social work from Tulane in 1999 with a focus on mental health. Over the years she has worked in private and public sectors focusing on community mental health and public education.

Whitney serves as the Executive Director of DSF and oversees all programs, employees, and volunteers. The goals of DSF are to raise funds that can be used for services directed to improving the lives of those living with dementia, their families, and caregivers. Additionally, DSF works to raise public understanding of dementia related diseases and to spread awareness about services available to families living with dementia.

Whitney was motivated to pursue this career path following the diagnosis of her father’s dementia after observing the lack of information, family resources, and support. In 2020, Whitney was asked to serve on the board of Georgia Gerontology Society because of her work and advocacy in bringing awareness to the need for dementia care and awareness in GA. She was asked to lead the state’s Dementia Friendly Initiatives workgroup within the Georgia Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia Collaborative (GARD) and is an active advocate for Georgia residents. Through partnership with DeKalb County, she received a grant to help DeKalb County become the first dementia friendly county in Georgia. Through the grant she has led Dementia Friends sessions with the following county sectors: Senior services case management, Youth services, Library services, adult care facilities, and in March of 2021 will be helping to train Law Enforcement recruits as part of their CIT
training.

Whitney currently lives in her native hometown of Atlanta, GA with her husband and 2 daughters. In her spare time she loves to read, cook, go birdwatching, and to spend time with her family.

Without a cure for dementia, Whitney hopes that Dementia Spotlight Foundation can help provide support and a path forward for the persons and families who are coping with a diagnosis of a dementia related disease. Additionally, DSF works to provide support for caregivers of those with dementia and to promote dementia awareness across our communities.

 Jennifer Pennington

Term Ending 2022

Committees: Awards / Conference Attendee Experience

Biography

Jennifer Pennington has worked in non-profit leadership for over 20 years. She is currently the Executive Director of the Jud C. Hickey Center for Alzheimer’s Care, which is a non-profit 30-person adult day center exclusively for individuals with dementia. Her prior work included Executive Director of the Augusta Area American Red Cross serving 10 counties, and the Executive Director of the East Georgia Red Cross serving 15 counties. Her experience covers expertise in strategic planning, budgeting, financial management, fundraising, community and partner relations, human resources, program evaluation and public affairs. She has a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Georgia. She has served on multiple community boards and in variety of volunteer roles. She served as the President of the downtown Augusta Rotary Club and the Athens Women in Business Council. Jennifer is a graduate of LEAD Augusta and Leadership Athens. Jennifer lives in Augusta, GA and is married to Bart Pennington and has two children (ages 12 and 8).

Lois Ricci

Term Ending 2022

Committees: Chair – Development / Scholarship / Diversity, Equity & Inclusion / Research, Education & Training / Conference Program / Conference Attendee Experience

Biography

Lois Ricci has worked in the field of aging for more than 40 years in both the hospital and academic settings as a geriatric nurse practitioner/educator and consultant.  She holds master’s degrees in gerontology and nursing education and a doctorate in adult education. Lois and a colleague started and operated a nonprofit Home Health Care/ Adult Day Care Service in upstate New York, serving a three-county area. She was the interventionist on the Tai Chi/Education study at Emory University, helping to reduce falls in the frail elderly population. She was a faculty member at Emory University’s Center for Health in Aging in the Department of Geriatric Medicine. She worked at UGA’s Institute of Gerontology developing and producing programs and modules for the HERSA grant, the institute was awarded to create the Georgia Geriatric Education Center. She has coordinated and presented education programs for Emory and Mercer Senior Universities in the Atlanta area and promotes positive aging through community education programs.

She is an adjunct professor, teaching the Professional Development in Gerontology for the KSU College of Professional Education. Lois collaborated with the AARP, Department of Technical and Adult Education, Lifespan Resources, Mercer Senior University and Atlanta Regional Commission to develop a career tract for minority populations who want to become nursing assistants. This led to the development of continuing education programs for Certified Nursing Assistants and professionals in the field of aging. She also designed educational programs for several senior living facilities and adult programs in Atlanta.

Lois chairs the Tucker Civic Association’s Lifelong Community Committee/Age Friendly Tucker project and is a volunteer with GA AARP.

 Carol Rowe – Jones

Term Ending 2021

Committees: Chair – Membership / Nominating / Conference Design & Printing

Biography

Carol Rowe-Jones is a Consultant & Founder of Senior Information Network, Inc. (SINI), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  Since 2003 SINI has provided seniors, family members and caregivers with information relative to the resources and services available that enhance the quality of life for older adults.   

She holds a Bachelor Degree in Gerontology from Spelman College and a Certificate in Gerontology from Georgia State University.   Carol also received TCARE® Accreditation, CLP Accreditation, and SE4A University Care Manager Accreditation from Boston University’s Center for Aging and Disability Education and Research.  

In addition to Senior Information Network, Inc. Carol has worked with the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), Georgia Council on Aging, Kelly & RESCARE Homecare Services, and Gwinnett County Senior Services. She has over 20 years working with older adults in state government agencies, local county government and non-profit organizations.  

Kristie Sharp

Term Ending 2022

Committees: Awards / Conference Design & Printing

Biography

Kristie Sharp is the Manager of the Program Development Unit at the Atlanta Regional Commission, Area Agency on Aging. In this capacity Kristie oversees ARC’s health education, volunteer services and behavioral and physical health coaching programs and networks.

Kristie has more than 25 years of experience developing, implementing and evaluating programs to build organizational, community and individual capacity in a diverse array of settings and populations. Her expertise lies in developing program infrastructure, policies and procedures; helping organization’s increase capacity through development and implementation of innovative programs; implementing peer-to-peer outreach models; and building self-directed teams to further agency objectives.

Kristie is an Atlanta native and a graduate of Georgia Tech.  

Bridgett Skelton

Term Ending 2023

Committees: Advocacy / Conference Sponsorship

Biography

Bridgett Skelton’s healthcare career started in 1999 at Houston Medical Center in Warner Robins Georgia working in Labor and Delivery while seeking her degree in nursing from Middle Georgia State University in 2004. The knowledge she attained in nursing school helped her find the right diagnosis and treatment for her son who was diagnosed with a rare mitochondrial disorder. After walking this path herself, Bridgett’s realized that she had a passion to educate the public about services available to them and make it easier for them to find the ones they needed.

This passion is what led Bridgett to become a Clinical Educator for the Women’s Center and Pediatrics at Houston Medical Center. In 2010, Bridgett’s desire to reach more individuals on a larger scale led her into a new role for the largest Social Services provider in the United States as a Director of Nursing. She served a medically-fragile community population under Medicaid waiver programs in Georgia, helped open the first medically fragile group home in the state of Georgia. At this group home, DBHDD clients were able to be served in a home-like setting and receive around the clock skilled nursing care outside of a skilled environment. This showed her the power of partnering quality care and appropriate resources together as individuals navigate the healthcare system.

Bridgett’s experience working with a medically-fragile population also ignited her passion for seniors, especially those battling Alzheimer’s and Dementia. In 2014, she started working for Brookdale Senior Living overseeing care in multiple buildings as regional clinical support before eventually moving into the role of Business Development Director and Healthcare Liaison. In this role, Bridgett educated healthcare professionals, physicians, case managers, and families about the services available to seniors in her communities.

In 2017, Bridgett obtained her Master’s in Business Administration in Healthcare Management and accepted a role as the Regional Administrator of Hospice Operations for Encompass Hospice in the state of Georgia.

Bridgett accepted the opportunity to join the team at CaraVita Senior Care in September of 2019 as the Vice President of Business Development. In this role, she will be working to consistently grow partnerships amongst providers in the healthcare community and bring CaraVita’s loving care and resources to even more families in the Metro Atlanta area and beyond. Bridgett is excited to be a part of such a professional, quality-driven team.

 Connie White

Term Ending 2022

Committees: Chair – Scholarship / Nominating / Conference Attendee Experience

Biography

Connie White has worked in multiple settings in the aging network in Atlanta for 22 years, always with a focus on service to vulnerable populations. For the past five years, she has worked for the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), which also serves as the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for the ten county Metro Atlanta region. In her position as the Manager of the Home and Community Based Provider Network Unit, she and her team work directly with all ten counties and other non- profit organizations that are awarded funding through the Older Americans Act and State funds to provide direct services to individuals. Much of her work is the provision of technical assistance around the delivery of services inclusive of home delivered meals and congregate meals. Her team is also responsible for conducting the screening and intake information of individuals who need services and desire to be put on waitlist to receive those service.