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​2021 Directions for Connections Social Isolation Symposium: Presenter Biographies

Biographies are in the order in which the presenters appear on the symposium schedule.

Photo of Faith HaeusslerFaith Haeussler currently serves as the Executive Director for the Pennsylvania Council on Aging. Previously, she served as the statewide Program Manager for Person-Centered Counseling at the Pa Link to Aging and Disabilities Resource Center and as the Regional Coordinator for the Link through the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging. She is a former volunteer Executive Director for Kay’s Circle- a volunteer village and co-founded Hack4Access- bringing issues facing older adults and people with disabilities to the technology community. Since 2005, she has been working in organizations whose mission is to increase and maintain independence with and for people with disabilities and older adults. 

Presenting: Myth Busting: Getting the Facts about Social Isolation & SOLO: Strengthening Older Lives Online.

Photo of Janice CameronJanice Cameron chairs the Southeast Region of the Pennsylvania Council on Aging (PCoA) and the Social Isolation Task Force.  She is the Vice Chair of the Advisory Council of the Delaware County Office of Services for the Aging (COSA) and represents PCoA on the Long Term Care Council.  She was a founding member of the Pennsylvania Association Directors of Nursing Administration and the American Society of Long Term Care where she served as Executive Director.  A post masters prepared RN she has a wide variety of clinical and administrative experience in acute and long term care, including Director of Nursing in large skilled facilities and CEO of a long term care consulting company. 

Presenting: Myth Busting: Getting the Facts about Social Isolation & SOLO: Strengthening Older Lives Online.

Photo of Molly CliffordMolly Clifford is a member of and Operations Manager for Penn's Village, a non-profit organization that supports older adults aging in place in their homes in central Philadelphia.  She has been with Penn's Village for a year, after relocating to Philadelphia from Rochester, NY, where she held leadership roles in municipal government and non-profit organizations.  Clifford served on the Monroe County (NY) Board of Health, the Monroe-Livingston Regional Emergency Medical Services Council, and the Board of Directors of HealthReach for the Homeless.  She has long been interested in issues affecting older adults, spearheading Rochester's move to require visit-ability requirements in new housing so that seniors and people with disabilities have more accessible housing options.  She currently works with Penn's Village volunteers to provide social supports and programming for members and guests, many of whom have been isolated and lonely during the pandemic. 

Presenting: Penn's Village Confronts Loneliness During the Pandemic.

Photo of Kathy BennettKathy Bennett is currently the Director of the Bucks County Area Agency on Aging since 2017. She has a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh with a Certification in Gerontology, and is a licensed social worker. Kathy has experience working as a social worker and in management in various senior settings including hospital geriatric assessment teams, home health care, supervisor of in-home services, and director of an adult day care program. Prior to working at the AAA, Kathy was deputy director at the Network of Victim Services where she spearheaded a number of special projects including the Bucks County Crimes Against Older Adults Task Force, forensic interviewing of victimized seniors and people with disabilities, and grants to enhance services to senior crime victims. 

Presenting: Senior Connect Program, Bucks County.

Photo of Deirdre BlackburnDeirdre Blackburn is an independent consultant specializing in nonprofit program coordination with a focus on senior health and well-being. Prior to her work as a consultant, Deirdre was the Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator and Coordinator of Elder Abuse Services at the Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA) in Bucks County, PA. Prior to her tenure at NOVA, she worked as a Victim Advocate for twenty years in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.  She received her Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Washington College, Chestertown, MD and resides in Frenchtown, NJ. 

Presenting: Senior Connect Program, Bucks County.

Photo of Kim SingletonKim Singleton is Director of Assistive Technology Programs, responsible for programs to make technology available and useful to people with disabilities. Prior to joining the Institute, Kim was a speech-language pathologist specializing in children and adults with complex communication needs, creatively enhancing lives with emerging technology. 

Presenting: Getting Older Generations Online - More Important Than Ever!

Photo of Tobey Gordon DichterTobey Gordon Dichter is founder and unpaid CEO of Generations on Line, a national nonprofit dedicated to Internet literacy and access for seniors. She is the former Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs for SmithKline Beecham (now Glaxo SmithKline) Healthcare Services. In 2015, PBS Next Avenue named Ms. Dichter One of the Fifty Most Influential People in Aging in America.

 Presenting: Getting Older Generations Online - More Important Than Ever!

Photo of Katie BurkeKatie Burke, Administrator and Project Manager, has been with Generations on Line for 15 years. Formerly a Marketing Researcher for Chilton and Arbor research firms. She successfully led the testing, piloting, and launch of Generations on Line Sip & Swipe digital learning cafes throughout the state and across the country. 

Presenting: Getting Older Generations Online - More Important Than Ever!

Photo of Rachel WenrickRachel Wenrick is Founding Director of Writers Room, a university-community literary arts program engaged in creative placemaking and art for social justice at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Her work connects collaborators across university, civic, cultural, and corporate spheres to develop innovative arts programming and transformative learning experiences. As lead of Second Story Collective, a creative concept for intergenerational co-living, Wenrick built the vision and cross-sector partner network to operationalize this alternative affordable housing and aging in place strategy. An Associate Teaching Professor of English, she received an MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. 

Presenting: Second Story Collective: A Creative Concept for Intergenerational Co-living.

Photo of Lauren LoweLauren Lowe is the Programming Coordinator at Writers Room, a university-community literary arts program at Drexel University. A Drexel alum (BA English ’17), she has been a member of Writers Room since 2015. She is currently a nonfiction MFA candidate in the Creative Writing Program at New York University. 

Presenting: Second Story Collective: A Creative Concept for Intergenerational Co-living.

Photo of Liz BradburyLiz Bradbury (she/her,) Director of the Training Institute of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, has more than 40 years experience working as a professional advocate for the LGBTQ community and is recognized as a national expert on LGBTQ issues. In the last 4 years Bradbury has presented more than 200 uniquely tailored trainings to vastly diverse businesses and organizations, training over 12 thousand people on LGBTQ issues. She has led three key LGBTQ civil rights organizations, produced an LGBTQ newspaper for 18 years, and has written over 400 published articles and columns on LGBTQ issues. She has helped to craft and pass key LGBT civil rights legislative bills in 10 Pennsylvania municipalities and state-wide. Bradbury led the passage of the first municipal non-discrimination legislation in Pennsylvania to include “gender identity” as a protected class. She served for 15 years on the Human Relations Commission of the City of Allentown (including three years as Chair) where she wrote the guidelines for discrimination investigations and trained investigators. In 2018 she was appointed by Governor Wolf to the Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s State Plan Task Force. She serves on the Pennsylvania State Juvenile Justice SOGI Committee which advises the Governor on LGBT Youth Juvenile Justice Issues. Bradbury presented an international webinar on LGBTQ health issues with Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine. Bradbury wrote the chapter ‘Caregiving Concerns for Older LGBTQ Adults’ in the groundbreaking and critically acclaimed LGBT healthcare anthology “Bodies and Barriers - Queer Activists on Health.” which was released in January, 2020. 

Presenting: How to Counter Older LGBT Adults' Isolation and Loneliness - Beyond the 101.

Photo of Patrick Arbore, Ed.DPatrick Arbore, Ed.D, began his career in the field of aging in 1972.  He is the Founder and Director of the Center for Elderly Suicide Prevention and Grief Related Services (CESP), a program of Institute on Aging in San Francisco. He conceived the 24-hour accredited Friendship Line in 1973 and Friendship Line California as well as the methodology for the traumatic grief services in the early 1980’s.  Patrick conducts workshops and presents lectures locally and nationally on aging related subjects including elderly suicide prevention, ageism, loneliness, social isolation, senior bullying, hoarding, substance abuse, burn-out, compassion fatigue, traumatic loss, and many others. He is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on a variety of aging related topics.  A recent article, “Suicide Prevention among Rural Older Adults,” was published in the Summer, 2019, edition of Generations, a publication of the American Society on Aging. He was a Senior Lecturer for 30 years at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, CA; an adjunct Faculty member with the University of California, Davis, Continuing Education Department, and an Adjunct Faculty at The Wright Institute. Patrick was the recipient of the 2013 Mental Health and Aging Award presented by the American Society on Aging.  In January 2015, Patrick was selected as a Silver Medalist for Public Service sponsored by the Jefferson Award Regional Committee.  Patrick was the recipient of the 2016 Norma Satten Community Service Innovation Award for his commitment to human rights and community living.  Patrick was a member of the Editorial Board of “Generations,” a publication of the American Society on Aging until January 2021. 

Presenting: Loneliness and Social Isolation and Urban Minority Elderly.

Photo of Charles R. WickerCharles R. Wicker started with PCEC in May 2014, in the new position Business and Education Liaison, after retiring from Education in June 2012 with 33 years of education experience and co-owned a private automotive service business of 70+ employees for ten years.  

Since joining the education council he has worked with 10 school districts and collaborated with colleagues in other regions to deliver educational programs, counseling, training activities, Educator in the Workplace, Educator in the CTC, workplace visits and extensive use of the Career Education Work Standards.  Most recently, he has worked with districts to incorporate the Future Ready Career Readiness Indicators into their districts.  In 2015, he developed, organized, and implemented a career vocation mentor aid program into 6 of our 10 local districts, which are expanding into three additional districts in March 2021.  

He has also worked with local businesses and industries to expand their connections to our local schools, educators and staff, while developing training opportunities for their employees. During the past three years he has been working with a variety of local and regional community and economic development groups.  He has been working to develop a Business Alliance organization within Potter County to support joint efforts between schools, businesses and other organizations.  He is currently developing local adult workforce development training programs through PCEC for our region. 

Most recently, he has been involved with the new Senior 2 (to) Senior technology and web services training program in collaboration with Trico Connections, the Potter County Human Services’ Department of Aged and area schools’ seniors and the Seneca Highlands Career and Technical Center.  This program targets the over 65 years old cohort of county residents that need help in utilizing the broadband services that are being developed.  This program focuses on web-based services, that may enhance their quality of life and help to minimize issues of loneliness and isolation. 

Presenting: Senior 2 Seniors: Closing the Digital Divide with Seniors in Rural Areas.

Photo of Dr. Michele M. MooreDr. Michele M. Moore started in the position of Executive Director with the Potter County Education Council in October 2018, after twenty-six years of working in the field of education (both post-secondary and P-12 public education). In addition, prior to obtaining her undergraduate degree, she worked in the mental health field for four years.

Dr. Moore has earned a bachelor’s degree in special education with certification, a master’s degree in elementary education with reading specialist certification and a doctorate in special education. Throughout her years in public (P-12) and higher education, she worked with learners from the primary grades to master’s level degree programs.

Since Dr. Moore has joined the education council, she and the PCEC staff have worked on expanding their partnerships with regional institutions of post-secondary education to increase the educational and career opportunities for various age groups through the development of new programs and the expansion of existing ones. Additionally, she and her staff have worked on rebranding the organization’s mission and vision statements, the PCEC website along with the organization’s logo and tagline. Currently, Dr. Moore and the PCEC staff are working on the implementation of a USDA RUS-DLT Grant that they were awarded to expand the distance learning opportunities within seven of their area school districts. 

Most recently, Dr. Moore has worked on the development, planning, and implementation of PCEC’s new Seniors 2 (to) Seniors technology and web services training program in collaboration with Tri-Co Connections, the Potter County Human Services’ Area Agency on Aging and the area’s senior high schools and the Seneca Highlands Career and Technical Center (CTC).  This program targets senior citizens cohorts (over 65 years of age) of county residents that need help in utilizing the high-speed broadband services that are being developed to address the digital divide in the northcentral region of Pennsylvania.  This program focuses on web-based services, that may enhance senior citizens’ quality of life and help to minimize issues of loneliness and social isolation. 

Presenting: Senior 2 Seniors: Closing the Digital Divide with Seniors in Rural Areas.

Photo of James G. KocklerJames G. Kockler currently presides over Potter County Human Services as the Administrator and have done so for the last 21 years.  Prior to that, he worked for Cornell Abraxas and KidsPeace as a Director of Outpatient Services providing Mental Health services to youth in Central Pennsylvania for 11 years.

Educationally, he received a bachelor’s degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from St. Bonaventure University.  While in college he played on the baseball team and participated in various intermural sports.

Professionally, he is a certified Reality/Control Theory therapist and sit on a variety of Board, such as The Northern Tier Community Action Corp., Pennsylvania Association of County Human Service Administrators, Behavioral Health Association of Rural Pennsylvania and CCAP Human Services committee.

He has been married for 35 years to his wife Paula and have three children, Kyle 32, Corey 29 and Cameron 24. 

Presenting: Senior 2 Seniors: Closing the Digital Divide with Seniors in Rural Areas.

Photo of Isaac D. MusserIsaac D. Musser started his career, after graduation from Mansfield University in 2010, as a Direct Support Professional for Erie Homes for Children and Adults. He served the folks of Potter County by providing Home and Community Services to individuals with an Intellectual Disability. He transitioned to Human Services in 2012 as an Intellectual Disabilities Supports Coordinator and a Children and Youth Services Case Worker at the Tioga County Department of Human Services. In 2015, Isaac transferred to Potter County Human Services as a Children and Youth Services Case Worker, and in 2017, took on the additional responsibilities of the Family Group Decision Making Coordinator. In 2018, Isaac was promoted to Deputy Administrator of the Potter County Area Agency on Aging where he currently oversees the operations of all Area Agency on Aging Programs; which also includes the county’s four Senior Centers. Isaac is a member of the Potter County Drug and Alcohol Department’s Alcohol, Tobacco, and other Drugs Advisory Board, the Potter County Children and Youth ICSP Collaborative Board, Children and Youth Plan of Safe Care Review Team, Child Fatality/Near Fatality Review Team, the UPMC Cole Community Health Committee, and UPMC Cole Regional Advisory Board. 

Most recently, Isaac was asked to join the Seniors 2 (to) Seniors Steering Committee and assisted in the development and implementation of the program within the county’s four Senior Centers. He has been married to his wife Krystle for two years, has a 5-month-old son Jeremiah, and is a Deacon and active board member at the Gold Church in Gold, PA. 

Presenting: Senior 2 Seniors: Closing the Digital Divide with Seniors in Rural Areas.

Photo of Adam Brunner, PhDAdam Brunner, PhD, received his doctorate in Organizational Dynamics from Temple University in 2008. He served as the Director of Family Support Services for the Center for Intergenerational Learning at Temple University for 16 years. He directed the National Center for Family Friends, a national volunteer program, at the National Council on Aging for 4 years. 

For the past 13 years, Adam has directed the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Temple University. OLLI at Temple is a school for people 50 years of age and older, based at Temple University’s Center City campus. Currently all of OLLI’s courses are online. 

Presenting: Lifelong Learning Panel: Lessons in Academia with Older Adults.

Photo of Madeline BarnesMadeline Barnes is a Program Coordinator in the AgeWell Office at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh. Madeline joined the AgeWell at the JCC staff as a Program Coordinator in September 2018. Prior to joining the AgeWell team, she completed an AmeriCorps service year program under the National Health Corps at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.  Madeline holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Community Health from the University of Maryland, and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. In her role at the JCC, she oversees the expansion of various programs for older adults, including the Virtual Senior Academy, and the HomeMeds Medication Assurance program.

AgeWell at the JCC is an accredited county senior center, which helps older adults stay independent in the community. Last year at the start of the pandemic, the office took over the Virtual Senior Academy through a grant. The VSA was created by the Jewish Healthcare Foundation in 2017, as a free program to connect adults age 50 or older in the Pittsburgh region through interactive courses online. The program has expanded and thrived under AgeWell at the JCC, and now provides an opportunity for all older adults to stay connected during this time of social distancing and isolation. The website offers live learning experiences using video chat software that cover topics like health and wellness, arts and music, book clubs, history, current events, and much more.

Presenting: Lifelong Learning Panel: Lessons in Academia with Older Adults.

Photo of Beth IsonBeth Ison's educational and professional lives include a rich variety of experiences, all with an undercurrent of teaching and learning.  She learned to appreciate the importance of asking questions and doing quality research during her undergraduate program in Zoology at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  She has enjoyed working in the fields of secondary science education, health promotion, and clinical genetics.  Beth acquired her Master of Arts in Teaching from Miami University and learned some of the most meaningful lessons of her career while substitute teaching junior high school students.  Some highlights of Beth's educational pursuits have been teaching dance to English language learners and teaching memoir writing in her current program.  

Her pre-pandemic hobbies included international folk dance, puppetry, attending book groups and walking her dog, Ginger.  Her post-pandemic hobbies include most of the above - but for now, the folk dancing is confined to her living room.   

She is currently employed by the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, PA where she is contracted through Allegheny County's Area Agency on Aging to bring Life Enrichment classes to learners, age 60 and better. 

Presenting: Lifelong Learning Panel: Lessons in Academia with Older Adults.

Photo of Jason KavulichJason Kavulich brings 21 years of experience within the human service field, progressing from a caseworker to a supervisor within the Lackawanna County Office of Youth and Family Services, followed by an administrator position. This valuable experience has allowed him to practice within all facets of the field, literally from the ground up.

In his current capacity as Director of the Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging, he has worked tirelessly to promote the innovation and expansion of services for older adults and strongly advocates to guarantee their rights and independence.  

As a human services professional he has dedicated his efforts to ending food insecurity, homelessness, and improving access to services and cultural opportunities to the residents of Lackawanna County through his active board participation with the United Way, Penn State Scranton, Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Food Policy Council, Lackawanna County Pro Bono, and the Anthracite Heritage Museum.  

Jason is a graduate of the University of Scranton and a lifelong resident of Scranton Pennsylvania. 

Presenting: How to Use Partnerships and Collaborations to Reduce Senior Isolation.

Photo of Peg KopkoPeg Kopko, Vice President of Community Impact, United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties. For over 25 years Peg has continued to work as a funder, collaborator and program developer while working in a community agency such as the United Way. Prior to that she provided direct service and counseling at Catholic Social Services.

Presenting: How to Use Partnerships and Collaborations to Reduce Senior Isolation.

Photo of Im Ja ChoiIm Ja Choi, Founder and CEO:  Ms. Im Ja Choi, provides vision and leadership for Penn Asian Senior Services (PASSi) and all of its services including: Penn Asian Jubilee Center, Penn Asian Evergreen Community Center, PASSi Kitchen Xpress, and Penn Asian Vocational Institute. She is actively involved in all of PASSi's new and on-going programs, and has been a trailblazer in advocating for Asian seniors with language/cultural barriers. After 16 years of her unyielding efforts, PASSi is the largest homecare and adult daycare provider in Pennsylvania for Asian Americans. Ms. Choi is responsible for overseeing all key staff, leading fundraising efforts, and strategic planning. Ms. Choi received her Master's degree in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor's degree from Korea University in Seoul, South Korea.

Presenting: Addressing Isolation Issues in Asian Pacific American Older Adults.

Photo of Kenneth Yang, Esq.Kenneth Yang, Esq., Executive Director: Mr. Yang is responsible for matters of regulatory compliance, working closely with governmental and organizational program partners to ensure PASSi's conformity with all contractual and licensure requirements. Mr. Yang is also responsible for oversight of the organization's day-to-day operations. Mr. Yang holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School; and a J.D. from Temple University's Beasley School of Law.

Presenting: Addressing Isolation Issues in Asian Pacific American Older Adults.

Photo of Clayton FitchClayton Fitch, Development Manager:  Clayton Fitch has sixteen years of development, administrative, and program management experience with human service organizations across the Greater Philadelphia Region. His experience includes program planning and management; budget development and management; and collaboration with a diverse group of external partners. He has consistently worked with program staff to develop and implement innovative approaches to address the changing needs of the community. Mr. Fitch holds a Bachelor's Degree from York College of Pennsylvania.

Presenting: Addressing Isolation Issues in Asian Pacific American Older Adults.

Photo of Meredith HanleyMeredith Hanley is the Director of Community Capacity Building with the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging in Washington, DC. In this role, she oversees engAGED: The National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults, a national initiative funded by the Administration for Community Living that works to increase social engagement among older adults. She serves as Project Director for Dementia Friendly America which fosters dementia friendly communities across the country and raises public awareness through the administration of the Dementia Friends USA initiative.

Prior to joining n4a, Meredith worked for the Arlington County, VA Aging and Disability Services Division as the Quality and Development Supervisor. She oversaw program performance metrics and quality improvement for the Division and worked on a variety of special projects including managing referrals and quality assurance at a County-funded assisted living residence, implementing a staff training initiative and providing staff support to the County Commissions on Aging and Long-Term Care Residences. From 2008 to 2012, she co-directed The John A. Hartford Foundation-funded Gero-Ed Center at the Council on Social Work Education where she managed a portfolio of grants, provided technical assistance to grantees, and produced reports and issue briefs in collaboration with the University of Washington. Meredith also worked as a contractor for the Administration on Aging's Alzheimer's disease demonstration grant program through RTI International from 2006 to 2008 and was a program assistant with the St. Louis Alzheimer's Association. She has a master's degree in social work with a focus in gerontology from Washington University in St. Louis. 

Presenting: Addressing Social Isolation During COVID-19: Resources from engAGED.

Rebecca Levine joined n4a in July 2014 as Membership and Outreach Associate and currently serves as Senior Manager, Membership, and Senior Program Manager, engAGED: The National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults.

In her role as Senior Manager, Membership, Rebecca manages membership relations and n4a's Aging Innovation and Achievement Awards program, as well as supports membership training and external affairs activities. As Senior Program Manager, engAGED: The National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults, Rebecca assists with the identification and dissemination of resources and best practices to help the Aging Network increase the social engagement of older adults.

Prior to joining n4a as a Membership and Outreach Associate, Rebecca interned at n4a, working on the Aging Network's Volunteer Collaborative. She previously served as an intern with Arlington County Aging and Disability Services, where she provided education, resources and short-term case management to older adults and people with disabilities.

Rebecca holds a Master of Social Work from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.

Presenting: Addressing Social Isolation During COVID-19: Resources from engAGED.

Photo of Tammy MillerTammy Miller has served as the executive director of the Windy Hill Senior Center in Spring Grove, PA since 2006.  She has over 25 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations. In the last 15 years with Windy Hill, Tammy has grown the organization through increased membership, fundraising, diversified programming and relocation.  Windy Hill on the Campus occupies approximately 17,000 square feet in a former middle school building located on the Spring Grove School District campus.  This strategic location has enabled the senior center to partner with the school district on numerous activities including innovative inter-generational programs. 

Tammy attended West York Area High School and York College of PA.  She is also a Certified Dementia Practitioner and is a trainer for the Dementia Friends Initiative.  She also has served as a consultant for other senior centers.  Tammy serves on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Association of Senior Centers, the VNA of Spring Grove & Hanover, the Spring Grove Area Chamber of Commerce and the White Rose Leadership Institute.  She is also the President of the York County Senior Center Association and is a member of the Hanover Rotary Club.

Tammy has lived in the Spring Grove community for over 30 years.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, walking and traveling with her husband, Scott.

Presenting: Staying Social in a Socially Distanced World.

Photo of Melissa WeigleMelissa Weigle joined Mohler Center in August of 2005 after working in healthcare marketing for 20 years. She knew early that she wanted to work with older adults, earning a Bachelor's Degree in Gerontology from Towson University in Maryland. Following college, Melissa worked in social work, admissions, and healthcare marketing. These jobs prepared her for her current position as Executive Director of the Mohler Center. During her tenure at Mohler Center, she has increased fund raising, driven membership growth, expanded programming and created an entirely online virtual senior center during the COVID-19 pandemic. Melissa serves on the board of the PA Association of Senior Centers and is a member of the Hershey Rotary Club.

During her free time Melissa enjoys walking her pup, playing games with her family, and helping others. Melissa resides in Hummelstown with her husband Ken and her two children Katie and Aden.

Presenting: Staying Social in a Socially Distanced World.

Photo of Bill PierceBill Pierce is the executive director of Brandywine Valley Active Aging (formerly Coatesville and Downingtown Area Senior Centers), a position he has held since July 1, 2017.  Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Pierce had been the executive director of the Downingtown Area Senior Center for fourteen years and served as a professional fundraising consultant for three years.  A champion for senior centers and an advocate for all non-profits, Bill's education and experience have allowed him to develop a strong foundation in program development, board and staff development, and fundraising.  In addition to his full-time work, Mr. Pierce has served with several non-profits as a volunteer and board member affording him a deep understanding of the many relationships required for organizational effectiveness and success. Bill currently serves on the Pennsylvania Association of Senior Centers board of directors, is the Pennsylvania Delegate to the National Institute of Senior Centers Leadership Collaborative, remains active with his Boy Scout Troop where in his youth he obtained the rank of Eagle Scout with two Palms and is the president of the board of directors of his homeowner's association.

Presenting: Staying Social in a Socially Distanced World.

Photo of Dr. Barry J. JacobsDr. Barry J. Jacobs is a noted clinical psychologist and family therapist whose passion for enhancing support for family caregivers led him to author several books and dozens of articles on the topic as well as present and speak nationally and internationally to organizations, associations, and providers.

He currently leads practice coaching for behavioral health and substance use disorder providers and has provided training to payer and Area Agencies on Aging care managers on partnering with family caregivers. He has also provided strategic development and program design for states, payers, and vendors.

A highly in-demand presenter, Dr. Jacobs has given multiple Grand Rounds to physician groups, been a keynote speaker at caregiver conferences in several states, and provided webinars on reducing opioid use disorder stigma, using digital platforms to support caregivers, and behavioral health system transformation.

He is the author of The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers — Looking After Yourself and Your Family While Helping an Aging Parent and co-author of AARP Meditations for Caregivers — Practical, Emotional and Spiritual Support for You and Your Family and the forthcoming Love and Meaning for Couples After 50.

Dr. Jacobs has given more than 600 presentations about caregiving for family caregivers, community groups, and medical and mental health professionals and serves as a national spokesperson for the American Heart Association and an honorary board member of the Well Spouse Association. He appeared on "The Dr. Phil Show" in 2017 as a family caregiving expert.

He has a bachelor's degree from Brown University and his doctorate in clinical psychology from Widener University. He and his wife live in the leafy college town of Swarthmore, PA and have two adult children doing good in the world.

Presenting: How to Engage, Support, and Empower Family Caregivers.