Meet the members of the NCOA Board of Directors:
Carol Zernial, Chair
Carol Zernial holds a master’s degree in social gerontology and has been involved in the field of aging for over 20 years. Her background includes work for the 1995 White House Conference on Aging and the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. She is past chair of the National Institute on Community-based Long-Term Care.
Zernial currently serves as executive director of the WellMed Charitable Foundation and vice president of community relations for WellMed Medical Management. Before joining WellMed, Zernial was director of the Bexar County Area Agency on Aging in San Antonio, TX, and vice president of the Texas Association of Area Agencies on Aging.
She received the 2008 Outstanding Professional in Aging Award in Texas for her contributions to the field of aging.
Richard Browdie, Immediate Past-Chair
Richard Browdie has served as president and CEO of The Benjamin Rose Institute since 2002. Benjamin Rose is a nonprofit, non-sectarian organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for older people through community-based and residential care, research, education, and advocacy.
Prior to his position with Benjamin Rose, Browdie served as Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Aging from February 1995 to April 2002. His duties included managing a staff of 109 and overseeing a more than $800 million budget. He was responsible for the administration of a statewide system of 52 area agencies on aging.
Browdie also served as executive director of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging from 1993-1995. He developed policy and had oversight responsibility for the national organization representing 670 area agencies on aging and Indian tribal organizations, administering services for older people covering the entire United States. Browdie served as president of the American Society on Aging from March 1998 to March 2000.
He earned his bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Allegheny College, Meadville, PA, and his master’s degree in business administration from Gannon University in Erie, PA.
James Knickman, Secretary & Treasurer
An active philanthropy executive, scholar, and community leader, James Knickman is the first president and chief executive officer of the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth), a private foundation dedicated to improving the health of all New Yorkers.
Under Knickman’s leadership, NYSHealth has invested nearly $60 million since 2006 in initiatives to improve health care and the public health system in New York state. Today, the foundation focuses its efforts in three priority areas: reducing the number of New Yorkers without health insurance coverage, improving prevention and management of diabetes, and integrating mental health and substance abuse services for people who cope with both issues at the same time.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Knickman was vice president of research and evaluation at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in Princeton, NJ, where he led and oversaw research initiatives, external evaluations of RWJF’s national initiatives, and internal analyses related to its grantmaking priorities.
Between 1976 and 1992, he served on the faculty of New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, where he was active in community service directed at improving health care delivery to vulnerable populations. Earlier, he worked at the New York City Office of Management and Budget, and he has been a visiting professor at the University of Rochester, U.C. Berkeley, and Princeton University. He has also served on a wide range of advisory boards and published extensive research on issues related to improving services for homeless families, frail elders, and individuals with HIV. Knickman is the co-author of a widely used textbook on health policy and management.
Knickman serves as a board member of the Robert Wood Johnson Health System and of the Center for Effective Philanthropy. He is a past chair of the New Jersey Department of Health’s Cardiac Health Advisory Council; a past board member of AcademyHealth in Washington, DC; and a past board member of the New York Catholic Health Care System.
Knickman received a bachelor of arts degree in sociology and psychology from Fordham University and his Ph.D. in public policy analysis from the University of Pennsylvania.
Bob Blancato is president of Matz, Blancato, & Associates. Blancato is the national coordinator of the Elder Justice Coalition, a non-partisan, 680-member organization.
From 2000-2006, he served as president of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. He currently serves as the executive director of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP).
Blancato is a former House of Representatives staff member and spent 17 years on the House Select Committee on Aging. He also served as executive director of the 1995 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) appointed by President Clinton. He was on the Policy Committee for the 2005 WHCOA appointed by Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
Blancato most recently became chairman of the Commonwealth Council on Aging in Virginia. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Georgetown University and a masters of public administration from American University.
A former top U.S. official serving the elderly and a distinguished leader in the private and governmental health care sectors, Carbonell brings more than 30 years of experience in community-based long-term care, including health, nutrition, transportation, and personal care services.
In August 2001, Carbonell was appointed by President George Bush to serve as Assistant Secretary for Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a position she held for more than seven years. During her tenure, Carbonell made significant contributions to the modernization of long-term care as provided through 29,000 aging services network provider organizations.
Prior to joining the Bush administration, Carbonell was president and CEO of the largest Hispanic geriatric health and human service organization in the nation–Little Havana Activities & Nutrition Centers (LHANC) in Miami-Dade County, FL.
As current senior vice president of Independent Living Systems (ILS), Carbonell leads the strategic growth of the company’s long-term care division, fortifying its focus and commitment to servicing the growing Florida aging community. ILS specializes in case and disease management, social, and nutritional services through its partnerships with health plans, government entities, and individual providers. Because of its significant impact in the health care sector, the company was recently ranked as one of the “Top 10 South Florida Business Leaders” by Business Leader magazine.
Heather Dupré has 30 years of experience creating and growing the world’s strongest brands. Current President & CEO of Egg Strategy, Inc., Dupré leads a 55-person global marketing consultancy with focus on world-class Fortune 500 clients, including Nestlé, Coke, Kraft, Kellogg, Estée Lauder, J&J, and Vanity Fair Corporation.
In a previous position for Bristol-Myers Squibb, Dupré created and launched the award-winning Viactiv Active Nutrition for women, the first “by women for women” brand that won best new product of the year from Business Week.
She also led all marketing functions for the U.S. division of the Japanese consumer products leader Kao, where she launched the award-winning Bioré skincare product in the U.S., restaged the firm’s flagship Jergen’s to regain market prominence, and acquired and expanded the Curèl brand.
Dupré earned her MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She teaches adjunct classes at the University of Colorado Leeds Graduate School of Business in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Sunder Joshi is Chief Administrative Officer/CFO for the American Heart Association, and he has responsibilities for Finance, Business Technology, Human Resources, Corporate Services (Facilities, Procurement, Production & Distribution), Internal Audit, Bequest Administration, and Legal.
Joshi joined the American Heart Association as Director of Internal Audit at the National Center. Subsequently, he has served in various roles, including Vice President of Corporate Services for the California Affiliate; Chief Operating Officer, Business Operations of the Western States Affiliate; EVP of Corporate Operations/CFO at the National Center; and finally his current position as Chief Administrative Officer/CFO at the National Center.
Prior to joining the American Heart Association, Joshi worked in public accounting in the UK for Thomson McLintock & Co (now part of KPMG) and in the International Audit Division of Continental Illinois Bank in London and Chicago. He has served on several committees, including the Independent Sector’s Ethics and Accountability Committee, the Wise Giving Alliance’s Effectiveness Panel, and the Partnership for Prevention’s Audit Committee.
Joshi holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Bombay University, is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, and received his CPA certification from the Colorado Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Mark B. McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., is director of the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform; a Senior Fellow, Economic Studies; and Leonard D. Schaeffer Director’s Chair in Health Policy at the Brookings Institution. He is the former administrator of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
A physician and scholar, he is best known for leading implementation of the Medicare prescription drug program and for his untiring efforts to promote disease prevention. McClellan also served as commissioner for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the Bush Administration. In addition, he was a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, where he concurrently served as a senior policy director for health care and related economic issues at the White House.
An associate professor of both economics and medicine at Stanford Medical School, McClellan was also co-principal investigator of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a longitudinal study of the health and economic well-being of older Americans. He has twice received the Arrow Award for Outstanding Research in Health Economics.
He earned his M.D. degree from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology in 1989 and his Ph.D. in economics from MIT in 1993. He also earned an M.P.A. from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government in 1991. He completed his residency training in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and he is board certified in Internal Medicine.
As senior vice president of Healthwise, Inc., Boise, ID, the recognized national leader in consumer health information, Molly Mettler, MSW is a tireless advocate for a stronger role for health care consumers.
Particularly passionate about health care for people aged 50 and better, Mettler has authored scores of books and articles on health, aging, and patient empowerment, including Healthwise for Life, now in its 7th edition, and Information Therapy.
Mettler is a frequent speaker on emerging trends in patient-centered health care. She is a Fellow of the Center for Advancing Health and serves on the advisory boards for many organizations dedicated to improving health care delivery for older adults.
Mettler is past chair of NCOA (2001–2003) and has served as the convenor for the NCOA Leadership Council. She was the founding chair for NCOA’s Health Promotion Institute in 1990. That group honored her contributions by creating the Molly Mettler Award for leadership in health promotion.
Ai-jen Poo is director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and co-director of Caring Across Generations, a national coalition of 200 organizations advocating for home care workers and patients.
She is also the lead organizer and founder of Domestic Workers United, an organization of Caribbean, Latina, and African nannies, housekeepers, and elderly caregivers in New York organizing for “power, respect, and fair labor standards.” In 2010, the group was instrumental in New York passing the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, the first law in the nation to guarantee domestic workers overtime pay, three days’ paid leave, and legal protections from harassment and discrimination.
Poo graduated from Columbia University. She has received the Open Society Institute Community Fellowship, the Union Square Award, the Leadership for a Changing World Award, the Ernest de Maio Award from the Labor Research Association, the Woman of Vision Award from Ms. Foundation for Women, the Alston Bannerman Fellowship for Organizers of Color, the Twink Frey Visiting Scholar Fellowship at University of Michigan Center for the Education of Women, and the Prime Movers Fellowship.
In honor of the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day, Poo was recognized by Women Deliver as one of 100 women internationally who are “delivering” for other women. In 2011, she received the Independent Sector’s American Express NGen Leadership Award, and in 2012, she was named one of the Time Magazine 100 most influential people in the world.
The Founder, President, and CEO of Global Policy Solutions LLC, a social change strategy firm, and the Center for Global Policy Solutions, a nonprofit think and action organization, Dr. Maya Rockeymoore is dedicated to making policy work for people and their environments.
With more than 20 years of experience in the government, not for profit, and business sectors, Rockeymoore has directed successful research and advocacy strategies for an array of nonprofit, philanthropic, academic, and corporate clients. The recipient of many honors, she was named an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow in 2004. Rockeymoore has appeared on MSNBC, NPR, CNN, Fox News, and C-SPAN, among other media outlets.
David Sidwell is Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Risk Committee of UBS, where he is also a member of the Governance and Nominating Committee. Sidwell is also a Director and Chairperson of the Risk Policy and Capital Committee of Fannie Mae in Washington, DC, and a senior advisor at Oliver Wyman in New York. He is a board member of Ace Limited and Chairman of the Board of Village Care in New York.
Sidwell previously served as Executive Vice President and CFO of Morgan Stanley. Before joining Morgan Stanley, he worked for JPMorgan Chase & Co., where, in his 20 years of service, he held a number of different positions, including controller and, from 2000 to 2004, CFO of the Investment Bank. Prior to this, he was with Price Waterhouse in both London and New York. Sidwell graduated from Cambridge University and qualified as a chartered accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Laura Trejo, MSG, MPA, is general manager of the City of Los Angeles Department of Aging, a position she has held since 2002.
A strong advocate for Los Angeles seniors, Trejo is a nationally known leader who has been recognized for implementing the Administration on Aging’s mission of applying evidence-based models to improve the health and functioning of older adults.
Most recently, she was a leader of the HHS-Hispanic Elders Health Initiative, designed to help selected communities enhance the health and well-being of their Hispanic elderly population by encouraging the use of evidence-based information and new benefits available under Medicare.
Trejo has won numerous honors and awards for her leadership in aging, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leadership Program Award (2002), the American Society on Aging Mental Health and Aging Leadership Award (2006), and the California Mental Health Directors Association Leadership Award (2007). She was selected to represent California as a Delegate to the White House Conference on Aging (1995, 2005).
Trejo received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Southern California (USC) in 1982. She completed a master’s degree in public administration, as well as a master’s degree in gerontology from USC’s Andrus School.
Cass Wheeler launched his consulting practice after a distinguished career with the American Heart Association, serving as its CEO from 1997-2008. Under his leadership, the association merged its 56 state and metropolitan affiliates into eight regions and adopted a single corporate structure. During this same period, revenue grew from $400 million to $650 million.
Under his leadership, the association also launched several new initiatives, including the award-winning Go Red for Women Campaign to raise awareness about heart disease in women, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (with the William J. Clinton Foundation) to fight childhood obesity, Get With the Guidelines to improve hospital care and outcomes, and the Power to End Stroke targeted to African-Americans. The association also approved a far-reaching health-impact goal calling for a 25% reduction of coronary heart disease, stroke, and risk by 2010.
Wheeler was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the Commission on Improving Economic Opportunity in Communities Dependent on Tobacco Production While Protecting Public Health. He also served on the boards of the National Human Services Assembly, Partnership for Prevention, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Independent Sector, and Research!America. Wheeler currently serves on the boards of the American Legacy Foundation and the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance.
Wheeler is the author of You’ve Gotta Have Heart: Achieving Purpose Beyond Profit in the Social Sector, a book he wrote with a goal to further increase the effectiveness of the nonprofit sector.