CALA’s Advocate of the Year Award honors CALA members who actively build relationships with legislators, support CALA’s policy priorities, and demonstrate a commitment to grassroots action on behalf of Assisted Living. During last week’s Assisted Living Advocacy Day, we were proud to honor two CALA members as 2013 Advocates of the Year:
Bill Keck — Executive Director, Emeritus at Rancho Solano
A dedicated Assisted Living advocate, Bill is to be commended for the time and effort he has put into developing relationships with his legislators over the past year. During Advocacy Day meetings with Assemblymember Jim Frazier and Senator Lois Wolk’s staffer, Bill helped encourage their engagement in issues facing senior constituents in their respective districts. Following this successful meeting, Bill hosted Assemblymember Frazier at his community and met with his staffers during Day in Your District. At both events, shared experiences with aging parents and Alzheimer’s helped forge a strong connection.
Bill has also made a concerted effort to educate his community-at-large about Assisted Living. In 2013, he gave a presentation on Assisted Living to the Northbay Hospice team and clarified differences in senior housing choices. On the importance of Assisted Living advocacy, Bill says, “I believe we can make a difference by voicing concerns individually that culminate collectively.”
Cheryl Martin — Executive Director, Lakeside Park
Cheryl shares the story of Assisted Living wherever she goes, whether she is speaking to a community group or visiting legislative offices. Her October presentation on Assisted Living, attended by family members and senior service providers, was such a success that she is planning presentations for other community groups, including the Soroptomists and the East Bay Rotary Club. And she not only visited her legislators’ district offices during Day in Your District, but she regularly stops by to visit with staffers and maintain the relationships she’s built.
In addition, Cheryl brought the Assisted Living story to the Capitol twice this year. During Advocacy Day meetings with Senate and Assembly offices, Cheryl helped to communicate the importance of aging issues. And during Assisted Living week, she brought a group of residents to CALA’s art show at the Capitol, where Senator Hancock’s staffer met Lakeside Park’s resident artist first-hand.
Congratulations to both Advocates of the Year, and thank you for your commitment to educating policymakers and community leaders on the importance of Assisted Living!