Track: Thriving and Vibrant Nonprofit Sector
Level of Learning: Learner

This dynamic group of experts from across the country will utilize the PechaKucha format in sharing their successes, roadblocks, and missteps in intentionally integrating adults 50+ into paid and unpaid roles in their organizations. Their insights come at a critical time for the network, as we all seek strong talent pipelines in a time of constrained resources. Adults 50+ offer skills, experience, flexibility, empathy, commitment, and lower turnover, providing excellent options for necessary capacity building efforts and face to face supports with the youth and families we serve. These models also help enhance the health, life satisfaction, and longevity of this population, leading to stronger communities. 

However, many organizations have little to no experience intentionally engaging adults 50+ in their workforces and programs. Through these back to back, concise, and engaging presentations, participants will hear real life experiences about how organizations participating in the Alliance’s Second Acts for Strong Communities initiative have tapped the massive wave of adults 50+ to strengthen intergenerational programming and enhance inclusive workplaces. 

We will share emerging learnings and best practices that are leading to increased capacity for these organizations. There will be ample time for audience questions and engagement, with the aim of helping attendees walk out the door with concrete solutions and action plans to meet their organizations’ workforce needs through 50+ talent outlets.

Learning Objectives

  • Through seven back to back pecha kucha presentations from Second Act sites and intergenerational leaders across the country, participants will: 
  • Understand the unique value proposition adults 50+ bring to an organization in terms of skills, experience, and mentorship opportunities, and the case for older adults to be front and center in your human capital strategy
  • Identify a variety of outlets, approaches, and resources to access adult 50+
  • Gain insight into best practices related to recruiting, supporting, and retaining adults 50+ in paid and unpaid positions


  • Emily Merritt, director of intergenerational initiatives, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
  • Jose Rivera, assistant director of senior engagement and connection, BakerRipley (@djborisol)
  • Janet Waters, manager of intergenerational workforce, Ascentria Care Alliance
  • Eric Weaver, director of community engagement, Lad Lake, Inc.
  • Nancy Meegan, vice president of Human Resources, Ascentria Care Alliance
  • Christine Stadler, Encore fellow, OhioGuidestone
  • Vernon Washington, Encore fellow, Family Foundations
  • Ellie Mixter-Keller, Encore fellow, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

Emily Merritt
Director of Intergenerational Initiatives
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

As director of intergenerational initiatives, Emily Merritt is leading the initiative to not only bring encore talent (experienced adults 50+) into the Alliance strategic action network, but to also help change the way our communities think about and utilize adults 50+. Prior to this role, Merritt worked with Ways to Work, providing support to the nationwide network of program operators. She led the Enhanced School-Based Mentoring Model at Big Brothers Big Sisters, directly benefiting Milwaukee youth through school-based mentoring partnerships. She also worked at ElderHelp in San Diego, building an entrepreneurial model that leveraged community supports to help seniors remain independent in their own homes. Merritt is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jose Rivera
Assistant Director of Senior Engagement and Connection

Jose Rivera, MPA, Assistant Director of Senior Engagement and Connection, BakerRipley, Houston, Texas. Jose oversees case management, volunteer services, intergenerational programs and Second Acts national pilot initiative.  A Houston resident since 2004, José received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Houston and also has an Executive Master’s in Public Administration from Texas Southern University. José has over 14 years of experience in community development and government service with an expertise in building strategic partnerships, interfacing with government entities, non-profit organizations and community residents. 

Janet Waters
Manager, Intergenerational Workforce
Ascentria Care Alliance

Janet Waters is Manager of the Intergenerational Workforce at Ascentria Care Alliance. In her role Janet promotes paid and unpaid opportunities to create meaningful intergenerational experiences between older adults and young people. In addition, she has extensive experience delivering services to families with children of different needs and children involved in the justice system. She earned her M.Div. from Harvard and her B.A. from Yale.

Eric Weaver

Director of Community Engagement
Lad Lake, Inc.

Eric Weaver is a veteran (20+ years) Youth Advocate with extensive experience in the field of education, juvenile justice, and social service. His title is Director of Community Engagement at Lad Lake, Inc., but his role is to stimulate growth within the agency and staff so that they can support growth in the youth and families that we serve. He specializes in doing extraordinary things by working with other ordinary people.

Nancy Meegan
Vice President of Human Resources
Ascentria Care Alliance

Nancy Meegan is Vice President of Human Resources at Ascentria Care Alliance, a New England based nonprofit, with 1,400 employees headquartered in Worcester MA.  Throughout her career, Nancy has had a passion for mission driven nonprofits.  She began as a child and family clinician and for the past 25 years has worked in human resources leadership positions. She is committed to finding and supporting outstanding staff and embraces a diverse workplace.      

Christine Stadler
Encore Fellow

Christine Stadler is the Encore Fellow at OhioGuidestone, joining in 2016 as part of The Alliance’s Second Acts intergenerational initiative. Founded in 1864, OhioGuidestone has blossomed into an organization serving thousands of families and children. Its program offerings include workforce training, mental health services, addiction recovery, foster care and spiritual care. Christine’s career includes senior roles in the private sector, and as founder/president of a consulting firm she launched in 2003 advising closely-held and family businesses, emerging growth companies, and nonprofit organizations. 

Vernon Washington
Encore Fellow
Family Foundations

Vernon Washington is the Encore Fellow at Family Foundations in Jacksonville, FL.  Before this role, he was a Mental Health Counselor working with youth.

Ellie Mixter-Keller
Encore Fellow
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

Ellie Mixter-Keller is an advocate for 50+ talent in her encore career, supporting the Alliance’s Second Acts intergenerational initiative, helping members re-examine experienced worker and volunteer models. As a career counselor since the downturn, she studies workforce trends, HR/recruiting strategies, and helps cohort members see the gig-economy as an opportunity to intentionally recruit 50+ talent and design collaborative intergenerational workforce teams. Volunteering is in her DNA- she volunteers to help people discover their purpose, to re-career, and to help older adults age in place. She spent most of her career as an ad agency creative, was a marketing communications graduate of the University of WI-Milwaukee and is social media junky.