AARP IL – Who We Are

AARP IL – Who We Are

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aarp illinois who we are

With offices in both Springfield and Chicago Illinois, AARP Illinois team members specialize in issue areas that span across all regions of Illinois in order to cover the varied needs and locations of our 1.7 million members and all older adults in the state.

AARP Illinois team members advocate on behalf of our 1.7 million members and all people 50+ in Illinois on critical issues, such as longterm care, healthcare, caregiving, financial security, consumer protections, affordable utility services, and livable communities.

AARP Illinois could not do the hard work of advocating on behalf of older adults without our volunteers. Our state office has a growing team of volunteers who lend their time, expertise and service in a variety of ways.

With 16 staff members and a volunteer pool of hundreds, we host programs, workshops and community events geared at improving the lives of older adults and their families.

Mary Anderson

Director of Advocacy & Outreach – Northern Illinois

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Oversee all of AARP Chicago advocacy, volunteer, and community engagement work for northern Illinois, at the federal, state, and local level.

Ryan Gruenenfelder

Director, Advocacy & Outreach – Southern Illinois

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Ryan manages state and federal advocacy for AARP Illinois as well as AARP’s outreach, education and targeted local community presence advocacy throughout downstate Illinois.

Sonja Gibbons-Reed

Senior Program Assistant

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My focus is to support the Springfield Legislative Staff and Volunteers.

Bob Gallo

State Director

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Responsible for the direction, planning and implementation of AARP’s national, state and local agenda as it relates to the well-being of Illinois individual’s ages 50+. Bob directs the staff and volunteers on community outreach, state and national government affairs, communications and operations.

Ellen Acevedo

Associate State Director – Volunteer Engagement & Mobilization

[email protected]

Working with volunteers to train and engage them for where they want to spend their time and passion.

Joshua Harris

Associate State Director, Advocacy & Outreach

[email protected]

I focus on advocacy and outreach to the AA/B community – specifically on the south side of Chicago and south suburbs of Cook County. My policy portfolio includes financial security and voter engagement – including the Graduated Income Tax & Vote by Mail.

Lori B. Hendren

Associate State Director, Advocacy & Outreach

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I am an Associate State Director for the Peoria region and my focus areas are Caregiving, Nursing Homes, Telehealth and Prescription Drugs.

Teresa C. Jones

Associate State Director, Advocacy & Outreach

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My focus area is Livable Communities, Caregiving and Consumer Protection.

Janice Love

Communications Program Associate

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Provides support for all aspects of state work including communications, advocacy, community outreach, member and volunteer engagement.

Vikki Ortiz

Director of Communications

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Vikki manages communications for all AARP Illinois work through advertising, media relations, a local web page, social media platforms, e-blasts and unique community partnerships.

Jeff Scott

Associate State Director for the Metro East region

[email protected]

My focus areas are Energy and Financial Security.

Courtney Hedderman

Associate State Director, Advocacy & Outreach

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Advocacy and outreach in Southwest Cook, DuPage, Grundy, LaSalle, and Will counties. Her policy expertise is in Medicare and Medicaid.

Yelena Konkina

Business Operations Analyst

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Focus on building a stronger and more efficient AARP IL Team by providing guidance and support.

Álvaro R. Obregón

Associate State Director, Advocacy & Outreach

[email protected]

Monika Wnuk

Associate State Director of Communications

[email protected]

Is responsible for the strategic development and implementation of AARP’s integrated marketing and communications strategies, including earned media, paid media, owned media and social media presence in communities across Illinois.

Diamond Fikes

Advocacy & Communications Intern – Northern Illinois

[email protected]

Deborah F. Romero

Communications and Advocacy Intern – Southern Illinois

[email protected]

Nancy Chen

Executive Council

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Working on the Illinois Disrupt Disparities Project. To identify the racial and ethnic disparities that exist with Illinois’s 50-plus population.

Elizabeth Coulson

Executive Council, Volunteer advocate

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Howard A. Peters III

Executive Council, Volunteer advocate.

Paula Bull

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Volunteer Advocate and Board Member

Rajesh Parikh

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Volunteer executive council member and my focus areas are long term care, Stop Rx Greed and engagement in multicultural communities.

Theresa Collins

Executive Council Member for the Metro East Region

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My focus areas are Caregiving and Livable Communities.

Rosanna Marquez

Executive Council, State President

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Involved in all aspects of AARP’s advocacy and outreach efforts in Illinois. Lead the AARP IL’s Executive Council to help bring the voice of our members on the most important issues of concern to the 50+ and their families in Illinois.

Tamala L. Jurgenson

[email protected]

Advocacy and support for the AARP IL state agenda, and my focus areas are RX Greed, Livable Communities, and Food Insecurity.

Alan Hollenbeck

Executive Council

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My focus as an Illinois AARP volunteer is assisting AARP staff in advocacy with elected officials in support of programs that improve the lives of seniors.

Susan Caplan

Executive Council

[email protected]

Diversity, minority and immigrant services, social isolation, health and wellbeing.



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