Serving as the Executive Director of the Agency on Aging / Area 4 is truly an honor. I have led this Agency since 2014. AAA4 has grown and become “person centered” in all that we do. The recent focus on the State Master Plan for Aging and its five bold goals has brought a renewed sense of excitement to this arena. A focus on older adults is long overdue.
Working with the aging community has long been a passion of mine. I have a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) from California State University, San Bernardino. I began my 28-year social service career in Adult Protective Services. Later, I was the Deputy Director over Adult Services in Riverside County. My last County position was in Yolo County, where for 7 years I served as the Director of Employment and Social Services. The department included Adult and Child Protective Services, In Home Supportive Services, as well as all the welfare and employment programs.
One of my proudest accomplishments in my career was contracting with the National Council on Crime and Delinquency to develop a Structured Decision Making (SDM) tool for Adult Protective Services, which is now used by many counties. I have taught Gerontology in the social work program at La Sierra University. I also chaired the Adult Services Committee for the County Welfare Director’s Association.
I have many interests outside of my career. I grew up in Santa Monica and developed a love of the ocean and the sun. I was an avid sailor for many years and I still never pass up an opportunity to be on the water. I like to travel, garden and work on home improvement projects. But most of all, I love being with my family and just being a mom and grandmother.
The pandemic has hit the older adult population hard. Especially hard hit were residents in placement. AAA4 pivoted quicky and began conducting business in a way to meet the needs of those experiencing hardship. We partnered with Sacramento County to provide home delivered restaurant meals to older adults. We changed all our classes to an on-line format, including developing a YouTube channel. I don’t see us ever returning 100% to the way we did business before 2020. We have learned that a hybrid model allows us to serve more people in the way they choose.
Looking forward I see a bright future for AAA4. We now are core partners in several Aging and Disability Resource Connections in our region. We are expanding our direct services and continue to build strong relationships with our community partners. Advocacy and equity are in the forefront, as we explore our role as a social justice agency.