Aging in Place The IDEA Series: 50 of the Hardest Working People in Gerontology You may Never Heard of

age, vision and old people concept - close up of senior woman face and eye

Private victories precede public victories. You can’t invert that process any more than you can harvest a crop before you plant it.


– Stephen R. Covey


By Patrick J Roden


The IDEA Series


Recently NextAvenue posted 2015 INFLUENCERS IN AGING, and it is an impressive list of academics, entertainers, authors, educators, and more. These are people making a difference in the lived experience of aging; and they are all part of the solution.


Whenever I see a list like this my first impulse is to think about who isn’t on the list. For several years now I’ve posted my own list of INFLUENCERS, and want to take this opportunity to post my 50 INFLUENCERS who you may not have heard of. These are people doing the good work day-in-day-out. Their victories and contributions are often done in private, or on a community level. They too, are part of the solution…and I know for a fact, their ranks are swelling. They may not grab headlines, but the ripple effect of what they do matters and is making the world a better place to grow old in (there is no particular order of influence or contribution to my list as follows).


50 of the Hardest Working People in Gerontology You may Never Heard of


1) Doug Fitzgerald of BoomerLivingNow is an educator, President and Founder of Interested in social change, he’s helping baby boomers meet life’s challenges in the 21st Century. With content experts from many disciplines, Doug has assembled a team to help you with any Boomer-challenge that is just off shore brewing; including business related.


2) Sharon D. Johnson Executive Director of Age-Friendly Innovators is a retired Oregon State University (OSU) Associate Professor Emeritus with a history working in education and public health administration. In addition to her 12 year teaching career with OSU, Sharon served as Deputy Director and Interim Director of Seattle/King County Public Health and Washington State Director, Division of Mental Health.  During her tenure as an OSU Associate Professor Sharon specialized in Family and Community Healthcare and she created a number of teaching and program development initiatives focused on healthy aging and gerontogy and received a Certificate in Gerontology from the University of Washington in 2009. She has been recognized by numerous organizations including a Faculty Achievement Award from Oregon State University in 2006, and Healthcare and Aging Award from the American Society on Aging in 2005 and a MetLife Foundation Award in 2005 for “innovation and quality”. One of five national award winners in 2005. Sharon is a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS).

Sharon is a frequent public speaker in the Southern Oregon on age-related issues and is well-known through her weekly newspaper column (now syndicated) “Healthy Aging”


3) Marcela Abadi Rhoads is the Author of The ADA Companion Guide, Accessibility Specialist, and Architect in Texas. She’s passionate about teaching how to create building access for all. She puts together a favorite webpaper on issues of universal design and aging in place.


4) Alesha E. Churba she’s a Professional Technical Educator, Program Coordinator at ISU. Passionate Aging in Place Specialist who writes, speaks, and shares her unique outlook on maintaining the safety/comfort of home.


5) Jeffery Rosenfeld PhD, has influenced my thinking about turning obstacles into beauty. Jeff teaches “Design For Aging Populations,” at Parsons School of Design in Manhattan.  He is a gerontologist interested in the impact of Boomers as they join “The Age Wave.”   Jeff’s focus is the built environment, and the fact that Boomers are already creating new “Ageless” forms of home and community.  Along with architect Wid Chapman, they have authored two influential books; Home Design in an Aging World (NY: Conde Nast, 2008) and UnAssisted Living: Ageless Homes for Later Life (NY: The Monacelli Press, 2011). Dr. Rosenfeld is involved in the unlikely paring of aesthetics and gerontology and is introducing me to the area of inquiry concerning the intersection of aesthetics/aging/cultural design.


6) Katie Midgley Program Associate at the Plough Foundation, received her B.S. in Psychology, Ed. From Mississippi State University in 2006 and her M.S. in Criminology from the University of Alabama in 2008. Her master’s thesis, “The Role of Parents’ Incarceration in the Emotional Health and Problem Behaviors of At-risk Adolescents” was recently published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse.


7) Bonnie Moore  A 60-something divorcee who lives in a well-kept, five-bedroom house in Bowie, Md., a cozy suburb of Washington, D.C.To stay in her house after her divorce, Moore needed financial help. But she wanted to do more than just add boarders who would help pay the bills, she says. The home she’s organized instead is “a little bit like family, a little bit like roommates, a little bit like a sorority house,” she says from the sofa of her softly lit living room. “It just evolves.” She has revived the Golden Girls concept and brought in into the 21 century and is the president of


8) Susanne Stadler  Architect is a pioneer in design concepts that expand the idea of ‘Aging In Place,’ recognizing that we have choices as we grow older, and that this phase of life is as much about renewal and rediscovery as it is about dealing with the challenges of getting older. Imaginative solutions that trump basic standards can only come from a deeper understanding of the specificity of needs in this ever changing phase of life. Susanne founded the interdisciplinary forum and professional network ‘At Home With Growing Old’ in 2009 to promote and advocate this understanding across the disciplines that shape the environments we grow old in. Her practice includes an ongoing research model that harnesses her European roots, her broad educational and professional background as well as her focus toward the future of design. She graduated from the Vienna Diplomatic Academy and holds an MBA and MArch from UC Berkeley. She frequently speaks at conferences to a wide variety of audiences and believes that design for aging is a collaborative undertaking.


9) Rosanna Fay For more than 25 years Rosanna worked in high-tech marketing, she co-founded a mobile and entertainment marketing firm and serving as COO. After balancing this role with the support of her elderly parents for over a decade, she changed focus to become an aging-in-place consultant. The author of Careless Caregivers: True Eldercare Stories, a cautionary tale illustrating the risks of insufficient planning. She has contributed to The Atlantic, Forbes, and writes for The Shriver Report.


10) Eric Schubert Vice President, Strategic Initiatives at Ecumen.

As Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, he works with people across Ecumen and outside of it to create new possibilities and partnerships that benefit our stakeholders and help us achieve our vision of changing aging and transformation as an organization.


11) Debra Young is a certified specialist in environmental modifications, aging in place, and assistive technology. She is a registered and licensed occupational therapist with a Master’s in Education degree with specialization in Assistive Technology (AT) from Bowling Green State University, a graduate certificate in AT from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Elizabethtown College.


12) Diane Plesset  “See the Possibilities. Create a Positive Difference.” 30 years as Principal of D. P. Design. Certified Master Kitchen-Bath Designer, Certified Interior Designer, Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist. 15 years as a public speaker. Award-winning author of “THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling”. Six years as a radio talk-show host.


13) Patricia Grace founder of Aging with Grace, recognized the needs of our aging population and the impact of this growing need on families. “Often, I meet family members who feel overwhelmed by guilt confusion and fear, because they made a promise to take care of their parents. Out of love, many feel the responsibility to provide eldercare themselves. Most often, this is not the best choice.”


14) Shelley Webb Registered nurse and geriatric care manager Shelley Webb has decades of professional experience, but she also has the personal wisdom that comes from hands-on, in-home care for her father. Now a speaker and writer, she hosts the Intentional Caregiver website, is president of the Eldercare Support Groups, is an expert contributor at, and is a volunteer advocate for the Alzheimer’s Association.


15) Richard Wexler JD President and CEO Points of Life, LLC “Our everyday life changed dramatically when our three elder parents became seriously ill at the same time. After experiencing firsthand the emotional impact, the financial impact and the struggles a family encounters when a parent is very ill, I knew I had to act” Richard Wexler.  As co-founder of Points of Life, LLC, Richard utilizes his personal experiences and 30 years of business skills to educate and empower families to understand the complexities of aging. He helps families better understand life’s stages and how preparation for these stages will allow them to retain and control their lifestyles. Richard received his undergraduate degree from the University of California. After graduating Law School, he worked in law firm for five years before leading multiple Trust Companies. Richard and his teams were responsible for the administration of all types of trusts.


16) Jenny Sasser  former Chair of the Department of Human Sciences and Director of Gerontology at Marylhurst University (outside of Portland, OR). She joined the faculty as an adjunct member of the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program in 1997 and since that time, she has been involved in designing many on-campus and web-based courses and programs for adult learners, including in Gerontology. As an undergraduate she attended Willamette University, graduating Cum Laude in Psychology and Music; my interdisciplinary graduate studies at University of Oregon and Oregon State University focused on the Human Sciences, with specialization areas in adult development and aging, women’s studies, and critical social theory and alternative research methodologies. In 2012 she co-authored, with Harry R. Moody, the text Aging: Concepts and controversies.


17) David Weigelt Principal of immersionActive a marketing firm with a focus on developing baby boomer marketing strategies. Specialties: 50+ (Baby Boomer and Senior) Marketing, Internet Marketing Strategy.


18) Zachary Benedict is an architect and urbanist at MKM architecture + design, a Ft. Wayne, Ind.–based firm known for its focus on health and wellness. While designing numerous projects, ranging from senior care facilities to public libraries, Zach manages the firm’s community-based projects and research efforts. With an extensive background in urban sociology and neighborhood revitalization, his work focuses on the future of the American Midwest and the socioeconomic benefits of intergenerational communities.


19) Alan Dela Torre is the co-coordinator for the Age-Friendly Portland & Multnomah Count initiatives Cities project (in collaboration with the World Health Organization and AARP) and is the coordinator and faculty for Global Aging and Health: Enhancing Communities in Nicaragua program (in collaboration with the Jessie F. Richardson Foundation). His doctoral research focused on understanding the factors that affect the planning and development of sustainable, affordable housing for older adults and is actively involved in making Portland a better place for those of all ages and abilities. Dr. DeLaTorre’s teaching includes perspective on aging, housing and environments for older adults, global aging, and community-based service-learning projects with graduate and undergraduate students locally and globally. Alan serves as President of the Oregon Gerontological Association, Commissioner of the Portland Commission on Disability, member of the Age-Friendly Portland & Multnomah County Advisory Council, advisor to Villages NW (Portland’s “Village” for aging in place), and as an appointed volunteer for AARP Oregon; additionally, he has served on several citywide stakeholder advisory groups and committees in an attempt to advance the quality of life and well-being of Portlanders of all ages and abilities.


20) Carol Marak is the principle energy behind, where she explores and investigates  the latest studies and trends by top health care research companies. Then ask thought leaders how seniors and family caregivers can make sense of that research and put into actionable strategies and deliverables that solve their challenges.


21) Rosemarie Rossetti is a powerful, internationally known speaker, consultant, writer, and publisher who walks her talk. On June 13, 1998 Rossetti’s life was transformed when a 3 1/2 ton tree came crushing down on her. Her life was changed in that instant! Paralyzed from the waist down with a spinal cord injury, Rossetti looked deep within herself and found new strength and new resolve. In her keynote speeches, she shares the lessons she has learned since that fateful day, and demonstrates how to rise above misfortune and live life with conviction. Rossetti and her husband, Mark Leder, are on a personal mission to increase the awareness and discussion of the home of the future. They built a national demonstration home and garden in Columbus, Ohio, the Universal Design Living Laboratory This home is the highest rated universal design home in North America earning three national certifications.


22) Wanda E. Gozdz Certified Aging in Place Specialist, CAPS, ASID Allied is President and Founder of Golden Age Living, LLC. After 30 years as a business owner in the information technology field specializing in organization, she recognized the opportunity to apply her skills to another field when she downsized from a house and moved into a condominium. As a baby boomer herself, she realized that there would be millions of other retirees following the same steps who would benefit from her organizational and professional skills. Ms. Gozdz is a Residential Interior Designer, Instructor for the National Association of Home Builders, Certified Aging in Place Specialist, LifeDocuments™ Organizer and a Law Librarian. Wanda served on the Florida Board of Architecture and Interior Design (BOAID). She is a member of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), American Society of Interior Designers- South Florida Chapter (FASID) and the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA).


23) Tom Mann brings a unique blend of strategy, marketing, sales, and research to Love & Company, as a result of more than 20 years of experience in the senior living market. Tom previously led his own marketing consulting firm, partnering with financial institutions, retirement communities, assisted living communities and not-for-profit foundations, and has served in an upper management position for a large, national multi-community senior living company. Tom is also the founder of Mature Market Experts, a networking group that serves the senior market.


24) Stan Cohen  is a certified Tai Chi instructor through the American Tai Chi and Qigong Association. I have dedicated my career to movement and balance training, specializing in programs for seniors and others in need. As the founder and developer of ChiForLiving and Chi for Caring, I have focused on balance programs with a strong emphasis on fall prevention and overall range of motion fitness for aging in place.


25) Carol Bradleg Bursack  Over the span of two decades, author, columnist, consultant and speaker Carol Bradley Bursack cared for a neighbor and six elderly family members. As a result of this experience, Carol wrote “Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories,” a portable support group for caregivers. “Minding Our Elders” is used as a college text for gerontology and nursing home administration classes as a way to humanize, for students, the family caregiving experience. Bradley Bursack’s award-winning Websites, and include links to helpful agencies, articles rich with information and comfort, links to chat groups, and resources for caregiver, boomer and senior needs.


26) Chris Clark Co-Founder of The SeniorList has spent the last 20 years working in healthcare and related fields. He has held numerous executive positions in sales and marketing, and has worked with many of the top hospital/healthcare organizations across the USA. He is passionate about consumer empowerment (especially by way of technology) and the leverage it provides to buyers AND sellers. Chris enjoys fishing, hiking, and spending time on the boat with his family. If the Portland Trailblazers are playing, he’s probably watching.


27) Lynn Wilson and her family were caring for her elderly father six years ago, they became frustrated with the difficulty finding information they needed in their new caregiving roll.  Time is always an issue for caregivers.  They were surprised at how much time was eaten up by trips to the store to pick up products and supplies, only to find they’d either purchased the wrong thing or that a product didn’t work as they’d expected. They soon learned it was difficult, sometimes even impossible, to find knowledgeable customer service help to answer questions about products. General support and caregiver resources were even harder to come by.


28) Esther Greenhouse is an environmental gerontologist–a specialist in the relationship of the built environment to the functioning and well-being of seniors.  She is the leading advocate for raising awareness of Enabling Design + Environmental Fit and Press. Ms. Greenhouse’s goal is to bring about a paradigm shift whereby society views Enabling Design as a missing variable in public health.


29) Susan Baida  Susan knows first-hand the challenges of caring for aging parents and family with serious illnesses. While working full time, she helped care for her father-in-law who suffered from Parkinson’s disease and faced the frustrations and stress that came with managing his care.  That experience was the inspiration behind eCareDiary, as a way to help family caregivers cope with the challenges of care coordination.  She is considered a sandwich generation caregiver as she coordinates care not only for her aging mother and father but also her three young children under the age of 6.  Her experiences as a family caregiver made her realize that there is great opportunity for better online resources, a supportive community and educational information. Prior to eCareDiary, she was Vice President of Marketing for Starwood Hotels and spent the prior 15 years as a brand executive for Estee Lauder Companies and Avon, Inc.  She redirected her career and is passionate about helping family caregivers and elders age with dignity.  As the Co-founder and President, Susan is responsible for day-to-day operations and marketing.  he also oversees business development for eCareDiary’s licensing services.


30) Valerie Vanbooven  Valerie’s motto and favorite saying is: “Impact is not created by big budgets, impact is created by innovative marketing ideas!” Valerie VanBooven is President and CEO of LTC Expert Publications LLC., a company devoted to empowering elder care entrepreneurs and senior service providers with the tools to enjoy thriving businesses and freedom-based lifestyles. Valerie has been a regular guest on NBC’s Today Show for their “Forever Young: A Guide to Life after 50? Segments. Valerie has also appeared on CNNFN’s Your Money with Ali Velshi, and has been interviewed in numerous publications including Time Magazine, and various AP articles.


31) Claude Goodman founded CareWheels in 2001. He is a Gerontechnologist, trained in Biomedical Engineering, with 7 U.S. patents and experience in health sciences research, development and technology transfer as a guest scientist at the University of California, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He is a member of LeadingAge and the Oregon Gerontological Association.


32) Jack Lloyd Safe in Home Founder and President who pioneered the Nellcor pulse oximeter technology that I used in my career to save lives as an ICU RN, is a problem solver. The unique thing about this remarkable man is he’s not only an inventor of Gero-Technology—but in his 80’s he is also a possible end-user. This is a rare and very unlikely paring. Read his story: ABC7news


33) P. K. Fields first conceived the idea for ElderSense while trying to find the best care for her seriously ill parent who lived out of state. After realizing the obstacles involved with finding quality care and services for aging loved ones, she created ElderSense, a one-stop solution dedicated to helping people finding the eldercare resources they need. Her expertise in all things marketing, media, and hotel hospitality, have served her well for her current role as founder of Designed as a “Yelp for eldercare,” offers quality eldercare, senior housing, resources, and services for those seeking help with their elderly parents and aging loved ones. Of all the hats she’s worn, running an Internet company that focuses on care and compassion for a good cause is the hat she loves most.


34) Gary Rotman the inventor and founder of Life Assist Technologies is the creator of Reminder Rosie a break-through technology that uses familiar formatting (the old friend portable radio) with innovative tech; I love this product! Gary created Reminder Rosie to help his father with his medications and daily reminders.


35) Min Cole is the Founder and the President/CEO of Quality of Life Group. She has a Master of Science and PhD Candidate in Applied Gerontology from the University of North Texas. She is the member of GSA, ASA, AGHE, ACHCA, and other academic associations of America. Currently she serves as a Senior Advisor for the Ministry of Civil Affairs of People’s Republic of China and the members of China Social Welfare Services Committee and China Aging Service System Development Committee. She is also serving as the consultant for China Loving Care Nursing programs and Tsinghua University Gerontology Center.


36) Michelle Seitzer She offers coaching and connecting services for caregivers and elder care professionals, and consulting services for businesses and organizations who want to reach caregivers and seniors in a new way.


37) Lori La Bey created and continues to host Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio, which she launched in 2011, along with the popular free educational webinar series “Dementia Chats”™ where her experts have dementia (since 2012).  She is a global Purple Angel ambassador for dementia awareness, a frequent keynote speaker, a member of the National Dementia Action Alliance and work group co-chair.  Her tireless dementia advocacy ignited the first dementia-friendly city in the nation: Watertown, WI. Lori is the person recognized by Sharecare and Dr. Oz. as the #1 Influencer online for Alzheimer’s for a reason.


38) Ginny Kenyon RN, MN Founder and CEO, Kenyon HomeCare Consulting Ginny’s knowledge and passion for helping clients achieve success defines the mission of her company. Ginny holds a Masters in Nursing Administration with minors in Business and Health Services. She worked as an administrator in Public Health, Home Health, Hospice, and Private Duty home care for the last 27 years. She has a strong background in operations and program development through her experience with the visiting nurse services, national home health companies, and working with investors in startup companies. Ginny is also a nationally published home health author and speaker.


39) Chuck frayer was the first Accessibility Program Manager for the US Forest Service. He spent two years from 1989 to 1991 developing the position for a National Accessibility Program Manager. He then served as a technical advisor to the Access Board from 1991 to 1992 as the Board began the groundwork for the development of The Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas. This was going to take a while. As of this time it is still in the proposed state. Chuck did not wait however. In 1993 Chuck co-authored The Universal Access To Outdoor Recreation: Design Guide. This book is used to this day providing agencies across the nation with the tools they need to design accessible outdoor environments including trails.


40) Mark Senner A Senior Executive Business Leader with over 25 years of experience in executive management, commercial drug discovery and development, business development, licensing/partnering, sales, sales operations, sales management, project management, marketing and key account management. Currently a business owner for a durable medical mobility equipment company and an accredited CAPS Aging in Place specialist.


41) Kathleen Steamer is a Certified Aging Life Care™ Manager also known as a Geriatric Care Manager who has spent over 15 years working with older adults and individuals with developmental disabilities in the capacities of a geriatric case manager, director of activities for dementia programming, special education teacher and a life skills coach. Kathleen earned her bachelor’s degree in legal studies at the University of Massachusetts and completed an internship with AARP in Washington D.C. with a focus on legal advocacy in meeting the end of life legal needs of older adults. In 2014, she completed her master’s degree in gerontology at the University of Massachusetts. Kathleen is a member of the National Gerontology Academic Honor and Professional Society of Sigma Phi Omega, the Aging Life Care™ Association, National Academy of Certified Care Managers, National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners and the Gerontological Society of America. Ms. Steamer is the founder and owner of BrightStone ElderCare Solutions, LLC. Her private practice focuses primarily on working with older adults, adults with developmental disabilities, family members, guardians and caregivers. She assists with helping them to navigate aging and longevity by conducting comprehensive assessments and making appropriate recommendations.


42) Emory Baldwin AIA, CAPS Principal Architect

Emory is the founder and co-owner of FabCab and is principal architect with ZAI inc., a firm specializing in socially sustainable housing that responds to the changing needs of people over their lifetime. Emory has designed a range of residential projects including senior housing and multi-family mixed-use developments. He was the recent chair of the Northwest Universal Design Council, a coalition of multidisciplinary professionals that focuses on promoting inclusive design in the housing industry and led a team of designers to win first place in the city of Portland’s Courtyard Housing design competition in 2007. He is also the recipient of a National AIA 2009 Small Projects Honor Award as well as the CAPS (Certified Aging in Place) designee of the year for 2009. There has also been significant media coverage of his award-winning home through magazines, radio (NPR), and pod casting (AIA). Emory has been a speaker at numerous national and international conferences on ‘Universal Design’ and design for aging and holds a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Washington where he wrote his thesis on “Housing in Response to the Human Life Cycle.”


43) Ronny Wiskin  For more than 25 years, Ronny Wiskin has been consistently committed to meeting his customer’s evolving needs by offering tremendous value, service and experience in the fields of accessible construction, renovation and home improvements. Ronny is the founder of ReliAble Independent Living Services®, a company established in 2003 to provide complete access solutions for residential and commercial environments. ReliAble Living® operates based on core values of listening to the customer and enhancing quality of life with integrity and honesty. The company’s vision is ‘to continually strengthen the social fabric by keeping families together. ReliAble Living® mission is to be recognized as the North American industry leader helping people live comfortably and independently in fully accessible homes and workplaces.


44) Liz Taylor began her career as a consumer fraud investigator for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, where she directed a nationwide investigation of the nursing home industry in the mid 70’s. What she learned fueled an enduring passion and career as an award-winning journalist, pubic speaker, educator, and policy innovator in aging. As one of Washington State’s first geriatric care managers, Liz consults one-on-one with families and individuals, guiding them in making wise decisions in all the many ways to navigate our complex aging system, allowing them to have some control and age deliberately. Liz wrote a popular column on aging in The Seattle Times for fourteen years, educating hundreds of thousands of readers about aging issues. Today her free online newsletter offers a wealth of information. Sign up in the box to the right to “Stay Connected”. In the 1990s, Liz was primary caregiver for her parents for eight years.


45) Anne DiNardo  is the senior editor of Healthcare Design and Environments For Aging magazines. She has been reporting on design and architecture for more than 10 years and has held positions with business-to-business publications, environmental consumer magazines, and weekly newspapers during her career. Anne is a graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.


46) Anthony Cirillo is a marketing guy, particularly healthcare. He is also a consult and speaks to hospitals globally. His mission is advocacy for entertaining older adults and for working to assure that their respect and dignity are maintained and honored.


47) Barbara Newland is Director of Community Health & Wellness for RVNA.  She is responsible for RVNA’s annual health fair, volunteer program, Lifeline emergency medical service program, community education, Immunization and Resource Center [which includes Travel, Flu and Well Child clinics], Community Education and three RVNA aging-in-place programs in Ridgefield, Redding and New Fairfield called “Quality Living at Home”. Barbara has a degree in Business and Human Services with Certificates in Gerontology, Mental Health and is a Certified Dementia Practitioner.  She is a member of the CT Geriatrics Society, Chair of the Western CT Geriatrics Council, and on the Board of Commission on Aging in Danbury. In addition, she is on the Board of Directors for Rides for Ridgefield and is Chair of their Marketing Committee.  She is a resident of Danbury, Connecticut.


48) Angela G. Gentile M.S.W., R.S.W.  has over 25 years of experience working with older adults and their families in a variety of capacities. She has worked in health care, private practice, long-term care, home care, and non-profits. Angela has written a book, Caring for a Husband with Dementia: The Ultimate Survival Guide (2015) and a co-authored a mobile app, Dementia Caregiver Solutions. She is founder and manager of the LinkedIn Group, Gerontology Professionals of Canada and the Aging Well for Women Facebook page. She is also a member of the “Manitoba Institute of Registered Social Workers Complaints Committee.” She is currently employed full-time as a Geriatric Mental Health Clinician and enjoys writing, traveling, photography and exploring what it means to age well.


49) Mary Ellen Tomlinson  is the founder and director of Senior Care Options. She has over 15 years experience in senior care. She has a Diploma in Gerontology/Activation from George Brown College and a Certificate in Gerontology from Ryerson University. She is a past volunteer chair of the Community Presentation Program of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario and is currently a volunteer in the Palliative Care Department at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. She is a noted speaker and author on senior care issues.


50) Todd Harff  A respected writer and featured speaker about marketing to Baby Boomers and seniors, Todd Harff brings a unique and powerful perspective to help clients achieve results.  He combines market insight, creative solutions, pragmatic business knowledge, and exceptional project management to produce actionable and profitable marketing solutions. In addition to his work with clients, Todd is a frequent contributor to industry publications. Todd has addressed regional and national conferences on a variety of topics related to marketing, advertising, website design, social media and public relations. Todd’s expertise in 40+ and affluent marketing led to a leadership role in creating a new global organization dedicated to this segment, the International Mature Marketing Network.



These are just a few of the dedicated individuals who are making a difference and shaping the way we experience aging. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you do…

Patrick J Roden 




NextAvenue posted 2015 INFLUENCERS IN AGING


3 they missed?

Richard Leider

James Birren

Mary Catherine Bateson

(Thanks HRM)

Comments 5

  1. October 30, 2015

    Thank you, Patrick, for giving us recognition! I know many on your list and indeed, they work their butts off. They are my heroes – you too, Patrick!

    Good on all!

  2. October 30, 2015

    Thank you for the recognition, Patrick.

    Boomer-Living ‘s corporate name is now BSLI/Redstring. We’ve been working for two years to build three new sites and a CRMS platform that will help a lot of people. I look forward to sharing all of them with you soon,


  3. October 31, 2015

    Thank you for acknowledging the leaders in our communities that are committed to making a difference in the lives of senior nationwide.
    With 10,000 people a day retiring the rate at which we are aging is rapidly being accelerated and the tsunami of the population is cramming to warmer climates in order to “age in place”. There will not be enough place for seniors to go “to” so preparing to stay at home should be the goal and objective of every person that’s planning to retire now or in the near future.

    Find those “Certified Aging in Place” Specialists that are trained in home modifications to assist in making sure that your place is ready for YOU!

  4. November 1, 2015

    Thanks Patrick, I am honored to be on this list!

  5. Ronny Wiskin
    February 13, 2016

    Thank you Patrick! I appreciate all that you do.

Comments are closed.