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Rodger Wetzel Appointed AARP State President

Rodger Wetzel of Bismarck has been named the new state president of AARP in North Dakota. Wetzel has served on the AARP North Dakota Executive Council since June 2008.

The volunteer state president chairs the state executive council and works with the senior state director to provide vision and leadership for AARP’s work in the state. The state president is also responsible for helping to build relationships with other organizations and serves as the principal AARP volunteer spokesperson in the state.

Before retiring, Wetzel was director of the Community Health & Development Department at St. Alexius Medical Center and director of the Northland PACE Program. He is a leading authority on eldercare issues across the state. He speaks at numerous functions each year on topics related to aging, dementia, health care, mental health, retirement planning and volunteerism.

Wetzel served on several state task forces that developed North Dakota state standards for service programs, including adult foster care, family home care, information and referral for older persons, case management for older/disabled persons, personal attendant care for older/disabled persons, advance directives, and guardianships.

Janis Cheney, AARP North Dakota senior state director, said, “AARP is a volunteer-driven organization and the state president is a key volunteer leadership position within the state. Rodger brings a wealth of experience to this leadership role. His background is well-suited to participation in our advocacy work at the state and federal level and to help focus and enhance our volunteer engagement in North Dakota.”

The state president serves a two-year term and can be reappointed for two additional terms.

Wetzel replaces David Peterson of Bismarck, who served in the position for two years.

Other Executive Council members are Susan Wefald, Bismarck; Elaine Lindgren, Fargo; Clarence Corneil, Dickinson; and Sharon Johnson, Minot.

AARP has 83,000 members in North Dakota.

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