The Distinguished Pioneer in Aging Award recognizes those individuals who have been working continuously in the field of aging making contributions at the federal, state, and local level for 30 years or more. Past recipients of the Distinguished Pioneer Award include Arlene Miles of Colorado Health Care Association (2013), Sara Honn Qualls, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (2014), M Kent Olsen, Olsen Traeger & Ursery, LLP (2015), Donald J Murphy, MD (2016), and Bernard A Poskus, JD (2018), and Janice Blanchard (2020).
The 2021 Distinguished Pioneer in Aging Award is presented to Therese Ellery, Senior Program Officer for the Rose Community Foundation.
Therese Elleryjoined the Rose Community Foundation twenty years ago as a program officer responsible for aging programs. In that role, she was able to impact the lives of hundreds of older adults in the metro Denver area overseeing $26 million in grants to community agencies. She is credited with starting three major initiatives including Latino Age Wave Colorado, Boomers Leading Change, and Reframing Aging: Changing the Narrative, which are active programs operating in the Denver area and throughout the state. Prior to joining the foundation, she spent almost 10 years at Adult Care Management working in housing-counseling. She also worked previously with the HIV-AIDs population with the Mayor’s office of HIV-AIDS Resources. While at the Foundation, she served on the national Board of Directors of Grantmakers in Aging, most recently serving on the Equity in Aging Philanthropy Task Force. Her work is guided by the value of making sure that all voices are heard, that all can collaborate and feel engaged, no matter how small or large their contribution.