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AARP Names New Board Members and Officers

AARP today appointed new members and officers to its Board of Directors, including the organization’s newest president, Robert G. Romasco. Romasco will serve in this capacity until 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        

 May 2, 2012        



AARP Media Relations


AARP Names New Board Members and Officers

Washington, D.C. – AARP today appointed new members and officers to its Board of Directors, including the organization’s newest president, Robert G. Romasco. Romasco will serve in this capacity until 2014.

The all-volunteer, 22-member Board of Directors is the governing body of AARP and approves all policies, programs, activities and services for AARP’s millions of members. Some of the major responsibilities of AARP board members are to approve the budget and monitor AARP finances; determine the Association’s state and national legislative policy agenda, and set policy that guides the association’s strategic plans and activities.

AARP received a large number of applicants to become a board member from AARP members all over the country in response to a call for applications. Applications were solicited online and an independent review committee evaluated the submissions and sent its recommendations to the then-current board for approval.

New AARP Board members and officers include:

Robert G. Romasco, M.B.A. (President), of Burke, Virginia, was elected to the Board of Directors in 2006. His professional experience includes service as senior vice president of customer, distribution and new business development at QVC, Inc., and as executive vice president and chief marketing officer of CIGNA, Inc. Before his election to the AARP Board of Directors, Romasco was a member of the AARP Andrus Foundation Board.

Gail Aldrich, SPHR (Chair), of Genoa, Nevada, was elected to the Board of Directors in 2008. Aldrich is an experienced executive in human resource management, membership development, and organizational effectiveness. She has served as chief membership officer for the Society for Human Resource Management and vice president of organizational development for the Electric Power Research Institute. She currently serves as vice chair of the Gifts in Kind International Board of Directors.

Carol Raphael, M.P.A, M.Ed (Vice Chair), of New York, New York, was elected to the Board of Directors in 2010. Raphael served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), which is the largest nonprofit home health agency in the United States from 1989 to 2011. She co-edited the book Home Based Care for a New Century. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Kings Fund in the United Kingdom, and was listed in Crain’s New York Business 50 Most Powerful Women in New York City.

A. James Forbes, C.P.A. (Secretary/Treasurer), of Putnam Valley, New York, was elected to the Board of Directors in 2008. Professionally, Forbes provides interim, senior executive leadership in not-for-profit and healthcare organizations. He previously held the positions of Executive Services Partner in the not-for-profit practice at Tatum, LLC; Executive Vice Chairman, AmeriCares; and Executive Vice President, Lighthouse International.  His for-profit roles, among others, have included Mercedes-Benz of North America as their Chief Financial and Operational Controller.

Jeannine English, M.B.A. (President-Elect), of Sacramento, California, was elected to the Board of Directors in 2010. She has a long career in state government including her role as a founding partner of the legislative advocacy firm Lehman English Kelly and O’Keefe, Inc. She currently serves on the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California.

Raymond Jones of Denver, Colorado, is a former Colorado Court of Appeals judge and District Court judge. Jones’ governance experience includes serving on the boards of the American Judicature Society, Colorado Bar Association and National Bar Association. 

Gretchen Dahlen of Verona, Wisconsin, is executive director of North Woods Community Health Center in northern Wisconsin. Dahlen helped consumers assess the costs and quality of individual health care facilities by developing an online consumer health rating resource. She has served on a variety of boards and was a volunteer examiner for the Wisconsin Forward Award (part of the national Baldrige Quality Award program). 

Ronald Daly of Olympia Fields, Illinois, spent 38 years at the R R Donnelley Company, beginning as a factory worker and advancing to the level of president of its largest unit. He later became President and CEO of Oce’, USA Holdings, a supplier of high-tech digital document management and delivery solutions. Daly has served on the boards of numerous non-profits and currently serves as a member of the Loyola University of Chicago trustee board, the Loyola School of Business advisory board, Metropolis Strategies and Executive Service Corp. 

Jewell Hoover of Charlotte, North Carolina, spent 28 years with the U.S. Office of Comptroller of the Currency. She led its western regional office before retiring in 2003. The consulting firm she founded focuses on financial regulatory issues. Hoover is a past president of the Diversity Council of the Carolinas and volunteers with the United Negro College Fund and A Child’s Place. 

Timothy Kelly of Lexington, Kentucky, is a retired former newspaper executive who served as president and publisher of the Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader for 15 years. Kelly also led newspapers in Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; and southern California. He serves on the national YMCA Board, and has been honored by the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Council of Editorial Writers. 

Joan Ruff of Mission Woods, Kansas, became head tax attorney for an oil and gas company after serving as a lawyer in private practice. Ruff later served in executive management at Zurich Financial Services and H&R Block. For the past four years, she has served on the AARP Foundation Board of Directors. Her board and volunteer work includes service with Mid-Continent Girl Scouts and the Kansas City Red Cross. 

Eric Schneidewind of Lansing, Michigan, a former AARP Michigan president (2005 – 2011), devoted 15 years to public service. Schneidewind was chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission for six years and also worked for the state Housing Authority, Securities Bureau and Insurance Bureau. He currently practices law in a private energy-related firm. Eric has served on the boards of Energy Michigan and the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association. 

Edward Watson of Reno, Nevada, rose through the ranks during his 36-year career at Dairy Queen and was named chief operating officer in 1995. Watson served on the company’s board from 1998 until retiring in 2007. He has also served on the boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Children’s Miracle Network. As a volunteer, he has helped raise millions of dollars for children’s hospitals across North America. 

For more information about the AARP Board of Directors, please visit

About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with nearly 35 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, our bilingual multimedia platform for Hispanic members; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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