Statewide gathering in CLE to explore Encore opportunities

Community leaders to champion impact of those over 50

Ohio is on target for adults 65 and older to become close to 20% of the population by 2050. A collaboration of professionals from across the state will convene in Cleveland this week to explore how older adults can continue to contribute to the community’s progress in meaningful ways.

“Preparing for the Future: Statewide Gathering of Encore and Age-Friendly Community Leaders,” on Wednesday, August 28, 2019, is the first statewide conference of those leading programs working to address ways that those over 50 – an age that increasingly is being referred to as “Encore” – can engage and connect with workplace and community needs and issues.

The event is being convened by the Cleveland Leadership Center, CLeveland Foundation, and The Dayton Foundation.

Nearly 40 professionals will attend from eight counties stretching from Cuyahoga (Cleveland) to the north and Hamilton (Cincinnati) to the south. Joining them will be Betsy Werley, Director of Network Expansion for the New York City-based Encore Network (; and Mary McNamara, director of Aging for the City of Cleveland and leader of the region’s Age Friendly Communities initiatives.

In advance of the gathering, participants identified common challenges in championing meaningful work for those 50 and over, and reframing mindsets regarding the ability of that population to contribute in a changing workplace. Among the issues to be discussed:

  • Identifying ways to guarantee financial sustainability for programs that work with Encores.
  • Connecting individuals with programs before they retire.
  • Having business and human resources leaders welcome Encore and Age-Friendly ideals.

“Our goal is to develop the framework for uniting the various conversations around the state and identifying the best ways to support growth,” said Lenora Inez Brown, Senior Fellow at Cleveland Leadership Center, which launched its Legacy Leaders programming this year.

The statewide conference has been planned by Brown along with Noreen Willhelm, Senior Fellow with The Dayton Foundation’s Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative; and Kathleen Hallissey, Program Director for Leadership Development at the Cleveland Foundation which launched Encore Cleveland in 2013.

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Event details (for information only; registration is closed)      

  • What: Preparing for the Future: Statewide Gathering of Encore and Age-Friendly Community Leaders
  • When: Wednesday, August 28, 2019, 11:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Where: Cleveland Foundation, 1422 Euclid Avenue, Suite 1300, Cleveland, OH 44113

Media contact
Lenora Inez Brown, Senior Fellow, Cleveland Leadership Center
Work: (216) 456-8004, Cell: (216) 732-735-2092,