We started a tradition with the launch of our senior expos last year to recognize 15 people in Mecklenburg and Union counties focused on providing resources to enhance the lives of seniors. Here are 15 more people who support older adults.
• Tom Bartholomy – Bartholomy heads up the Better Business Bureau of Southern Piedmont and Western North Carolina, which warns seniors of prevalent and emerging scams.
• Larry Berg & Harry Watkins – The duo started a veterans coffee house at Waxhaw Baptist Church in 2017 that has attracted dozens of retired military and their spouses.
• Carla Cunningham – The Charlotte nurse-turned-legislator filed House Bill 423, known as the Caregiver Relief Act, on March 20. It seeks to support those caring for an aging population, not to mention grandparents helping raise grandchildren.
• Iris Devore – The Happy Times Club recently celebrated its founder’s 90th birthday at the Levine Senior Center, a venue in Matthews she also launched. Her legacy includes opening the Matthews Help Center.
• Susan Didier – Didier coordinates arts and cultural programming for Indian Trail Parks & Recreation, ensuring the 55-and-older crowd, known as Prime Time Players, has fitness, presentations and other activities that build camaraderie.
• Harris High – In addition to expanding Heritage Funeral and Cremation Services with locations in Weddington and Ballantyne, High chairs the board of directors for Council on Aging in Union County.
• Jill Lipson – Lipson directs the senior and adult services at the Levine Jewish Community Center, which offers a variety of activities through its Oasis Senior Enrichment Program.
• Michelle Marcano – Mercano connects veterans to local, state and federal services they need in her role as division director for Union County Veterans Services.
• Lance Nelson – After 22 years in the Air Force, Nelson works with the Department of Veterans Affairs as a veterans readjustment advisor and outreach program specialist.
• Monica Smith – Smith oversees the adult services wing of the Union County Social Services, which ensures adults get good care. The agency takes reports from the community about abused or exploited adults.
• Josh Stein – As North Carolina attorney general, one of Stein’s goals is to protect consumers, especially seniors. Price gougers, con artists and other scumbags best stop what they’re doing now.
• Thom Tillis – U.S. Sen. Tillis serves on the Senate Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs committees. He’s also introduced pro-veteran legislation designed to protect disability benefits and increase access to the American Legion.
• Shannon Tucker – Tucker started working with Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center in 2000 as a speech-language pathologist and climbed her way to executive director by 2010. The organization is very active in the community.
• Joyce Waddell – The state senator sits on the Committee of Pensions and Retirement and Aging. The Charlotte resident has fought for cost-of-living adjustment increases for retired state retirees.
Previously recognized champions
March 2018: April Barnes, Peter Brunnick, Beverly Earle, Nate Huggins, Dahn Jenkins, David Lacy, Katherine Lambert, Vilma Leake, Linda Miller, Julian Montoro-Rodriquez, Trena Palmer, Suzanne Pugh, Renee Rizzuti, Linda Smosky & Jim Weiland.
September 2018: Michael Alvarez, Arthur Barlett, Cindy Berrier, Kathleen Shelby Boyett, Pat Cotham, Barry Edelman, Les and Roberta Farnum, Wayne Felton, Andrew Friend, Lynn Ivey, Kathy Joy, Michael Olender, Colleen Puceta & Scott Stone.