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AARP Honors Bruce Koeppl with Lyn Bodiford Award for Excellence in Advocacy

September 22, 2008

Contact: Drew Nannis, AARP, 202-434-2560, anannis@aarp.org

Today AARP lauds Bruce Koeppl, AARP Senior State Director of Iowa, with the Lyn Bodiford Award for Excellence in Advocacy. This annual award recognizes an outstanding AARP employee from either a state, regional or national Association office for his or her unrelenting service and achievement in advocacy efforts. It is named after Lyn Bodiford, an Associate State Director for Advocacy in Florida who died unexpectedly in 2003.

"Bruce is a champion for our members and for all generations," said Bill Novelli, CEO of AARP. "His leadership, creativity and political savvy enabled us to effectively lead our Divided We Fail initiative. He represents the best that AARP has to offer Iowa and the nation."

Koeppl helped organize and orchestrate the Davenport, Iowa Democratic Presidential Debate and the Sioux City, Iowa Republic Presidential Debate before the Iowa Caucuses. Both caucus events focused upon two pivotal Divided We Fail issue areas—health and economic security. These debates involved the likes of former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee, Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson, Senator John McCain, Senator Joe Biden, Senator John Edwards, Senator Chris Dodd and Senator Hillary Clinton and were among the highlights of the caucus and primary season.

Koeppl was also responsible for leading community conversations about health care and financial security in over 40 Iowa cities, delving deep to better understand the real needs of Iowans. The conversations brought people of varying backgrounds together to consider different options and trade offs and to find common ground on health care and financial security issues. His efforts were so successful, that this became a model for many other AARP state offices to adopt during 2008. He also crafted events such as a Divided We Fail statewide bus tour, which garnered strong media coverage, as well as the attention of the presidential candidates themselves.

"As one of the Divided We Fail pioneers in the early primary states, Bruce and his team knocked the ball out of the park," said Nancy LeaMond, Executive Vice President of Social Impact at AARP. "I am impressed by his passion for social change and his ability to deliver it by working in collaboration with the national and regional AARP teams."

It's time we ensure health and long-term financial security for all. That's why AARP, Business Roundtable, the Service Employees International Union and the National Federation of Independent Business, are leading Divided We Fail, an initiative to give voice to millions of Americans who are tired of letting Washington gridlock stand in the way of affordable, quality health care and long-term financial security – the most pressing domestic issues facing our nation. Common sense solutions are needed, and everyone – individuals, businesses and government – has a role and a responsibility in ensuring health and financial security for all. Go to www.dividedwefail.org to learn more.

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