Empowering the Aging Population to Thrive: A Conversation with Dr. John Feather of Grantmakers in Aging

May 3, 2017 Jamie Serino

"American individualism; the notion that we work hard, we do good, we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps has in some ways devastating impact on the way we think about aging." - Dr. John Feather

In this episode of the Champions for Social Good Podcast, Jamie Serino speaks with Dr. John Feather, Chief Executive Officer of Grantmakers in Aging (@GIAging). Dr. John Feather has worked in the field of aging for more than 35 years and describes GIA as one of the only national member associations in the world to focus exclusively on aging by providing educational programming, networking opportunities and convenings to foster collective action on improving the experience of aging. Dr. Feather discusses how Grantmakers in Aging works to offset the lack of funding for aging programs by positioning aging as a lens to help funders view their own programs and understand that aging is a component of all other social issues, such as the arts, rural development, and healthcare. Dr. Feather also emphasizes the importance of building age-friendly communities by integrating strong infrastructure with social services and points to their new Age-Friendly Initiative that is working towards this goal in 350 communities in 40 different countries. Dr. Feather and Jamie also discuss how the use of technology is improving the lives of elderly people, such as the emergence of new transportation models from companies like Uber and Lyft. Lastly, Dr. Feather explains the need for effective measurement tools for aging support programs to drive public awareness, education, and engagement of the state of the aging population. 

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About the Author

Jamie Serino

Jamie Serino is Director of Marketing for Blackbaud’s Corporations & Foundations division. Bringing nearly two decades of leadership experience spanning the private and nonprofit sectors, Jamie oversees the strategy to communicate Blackbaud’s brand promise to grantmaking organizations and corporations, drive market leadership, and establish strategic partnerships that lift the philanthropic sector. Jamie also hosts the Champions for Social Good podcast. Prior to joining Blackbaud, Jamie developed and led transformational marketing and communication strategies in both B-to-B and B-to-C technology industries, including financial services, network security, CRM, Internet telephony and HR/Recruiting. He was instrumental in building the Vonage brand, growing the customer base from 10,000 to 2.5 million while helping the company through its IPO. He also led the centralization of communications and branding at SunGard in order to reposition the company for IPO/acquisition.

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