For 25 years, Elaine Wells, Executive Director of Ride Connection, has devoted her life to helping create safe, reliable transportation options that meet the needs of older adults, people with disabilities and others.
A self-proclaimed “transportation nerd,” Wells believes that transportation is a civil right. “Access to transportation promotes independence,” explains Wells. “It allows people to stay mobile and connect with the community, go to work, shop for food, get to a meal site – and much more.”
In 1990, Wells started her Ride Connection career with the organization that was then named Volunteer Transportation, Inc. as the Risk Manager and Training Coordinator. In 1994 when she became the Executive Director she was the sole employee of the organization; Ride Connection. Her passion, vision, and holistic approach to transportation helped grow the organization to its current size of nearly 90 staff. Ride Connection and its partners primarily serve older adults (aged 60 and over) and individuals with disabilities in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties.
Ride Connection is a non-profit organization that works with a network of more than 30 community partners, such as Elders in Action (EIA), to provide and coordinate transportation options at no cost to clients. These options, tailored to an individual’s needs, range from providing rides, transit fare support, travel training or transportation information.
In fiscal year 2014, Ride Connection provided more than 435,000 trips and 225 travel trainings. “The number of people we serve has rapidly increased, but there are not enough resources to respond to everyone,” laments Wells. “Last year we had to turn down 28,000 trips.” She adds that donor and volunteer support go a long way in helping Ride Connection respond to community members’ needs.
“We depend on Elders in Action a lot,” says Wells. “There is a great deal of common ground around our services and we’re looking for more avenues for collaboration.” Because EIA has expertise in advocacy and protecting the rights of older adults and people with disabilities, Wells believes that EIA can help educate public officials about the increase in transportation needs and that Ride Connection can build on EIA’s skills in advocacy and civic engagement.
With Wells at the helm, Ride Connection is in extremely capable hands. She was recognized as Transit Manager of the Year by the Community Transportation Association of American (CTAA) and as Outstanding Executive Director by Portland Monthly Magazine’s “Light a Fire” award. Wells is currently a member of the Oregon Transit Association (OTA) Board of Directors, a CTAA Board member and serves on various other transportation advocacy and service committees and commissions.
To get more information on Ride Connection and its transportation services, visit www.rideconnection.org or call 503-528-1720. To find out how you can personally support the gift of mobility, check out www.rideconnection.org/Ride/SupportUs.aspx
by Barbara Schuetze
This year marks a half-century of Medicare: America’s universal, public health plan for seniors age 65 and up! Patients like Medicare better than private health insurance, Medicare provides better financial security than private health insurance, and it’s cheaper and more sustainable for society.
Join us on Thursday, July 30th from 11:30-2:00pm at Terry Shrunk Plaza (SW Madison St, Portland, OR 97204) to celebrate.
- Enjoy music by the Raging Grannies
- Hear from:
- Senator Michael Dembrow
- Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler
- City Commissioner Nick Fish
- Refreshments will be available.
Elders in Action is partnering with AFSCME, HCA-O and SEIU retirees to coordinate this Medicare Birthday celebration
Have you ever received a letter, email or phone call and thought “that’s unusual”?
If you have, then you have taken the first step toward protecting yourself from financial fraud.
Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
1:30 – 3:00 pm
750 SE 8th Ave, Hillsboro, OR
Come join our panel of experts:
* Ellen Klem – Oregon Dept of Justice
* Detective Pat Brady – City of Hillsboro Police Dept.
* Marcia Langer – Washington County Sheriff Office
* Giberto Pena – EiA’s Personal Advocates
* Barbara Bernstein EiA Exec. Director
Learn how you can avoid the latest scam, what to do if you see something suspicious and how you can stop future abuse in your community. Our panel will discuss current trends and what is being done to go after the perpetrators. You have the Power to Protect yourself and your loved ones.
Come join us and learn from the experts!
Oregon is counting on your voice!
The Oregon State Legislature is in its final days of the 2015 session and now is the time take action for housing! Your State Legislators and the Co-Chairs of our Ways and Means Committee (Senator Devlin andRepresentative Buckley) need to hear from you that housing is Oregon’s priority.
United Church of Christ
1126 SW Park Avenue
Sunday, July 5, 2015
3PM – 6PM
Position Announcement Deputy Director
Supervisor: Executive Director
Directly Supervises: Program Staff
Employment Status: Regular, Full-time, and Exempt
Elders in Action is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit dedicated to ensuring the quality of life for older adults never depends on their age. Founded in 1968 as the Portland Multnomah Commission on Aging and incorporated in 1997 as a private nonprofit, our mission is to ensure a vibrant community through the active involvement of older adults. We are a small staff of seven and are powered by the experience and talent of over 150 volunteers.
Located in Portland, OR, we serve the aging population 60+ throughout the tri-county area by offering personal support, educational programs, advocacy and volunteer engagement. Our vision is to create a community that promotes opportunities for all older adults to be active and engaged and to contribute in meaningful ways to the health and vitality of our community.
As Elders in Action approaches its 50th Anniversary, we are embarking on an organizational review of our vision, mission and goals with the intention ensuring that Elders in Action maintains its relevance to a growing and increasingly diverse older adult population in the Portland Metro area. The ideal candidate will be interested and be a leader in this effort to ensure Elders in Action is inclusive and representative of the diversity of our community elders.
Reporting to the Executive Director, the Deputy Director will have both internal and external responsibilities ranging from staff management, program development and implementation, assisting with developing agency-funding strategies, to management and administration. The Deputy Director will work with the Executive Director to facilitate the agency’s work plan development, strategic goals and grant management activities.
- Facilitates goal setting and agency program development
- Assists Executive Director with overall management of activities including assisting with agency funding approaches
- Manages the agencies programs and the program staff
- Maintains relationships with community partners, funders, businesses and the public
- Supervises the implementation and evaluation of grant funded programs
- Identify best practices and improve/enhance internal systems with a focus on needs and budget realities
- Develop and implement education and training opportunities with staff, partners and community groups
- Actively assist with agency volunteer management
- Serves as the acting director in the absence of the Executive Director
- 5+ years experience in a leadership position preferably in a non-profit organization
- Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Business, Management, Human Services, related field or equivalent experience
- Experience and skill in working with a board of directors, advisory groups and volunteers
- Knowledge of current trends, issues and challenges facing older adults
- Must be willing to work in a small office environment and be willing to work collaboratively with team members
- Excellent management, supervision and leadership skills
- Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships within the Portland community
- Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills are essential
- Experience with working with older adults and a commitment to Elders in Action mission
- Ability to work with efficiency, flexibility and professionalism
Salary Range: $48,000-$52,000
Qualified and interested candidates should submit the following items listed below (PDF format preferred) to Barbara Bernstein, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Deputy Director Position” by 5pm on Monday, June 8th, 2015.
- One-page cover letter which includes your interest and qualifications for this position
- Three professional references
Elders in Action is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.
I am excited to have accepted the position of Executive Director of Elders in Action offered to me by the Board of Directors last Thursday. I will officially begin my position May 18th. I feel privileged to have been offered this position for many reasons, among them:
- I will continue to work with a small team of dedicated professionals who care deeply about older adults and are thinking creatively about how to serve this growing population.
- Elders in Action has a Board that describes itself as a working Board -and it is! From fundraising to elevating the discussion of equity to the top of the priority list, our Board is dedicated to moving this organization forward.
- I work with amazing volunteers (135) who last year contributed 12,175 hours of service providing for the needs and interests of older adults through four key programs: the Civic Involvement & the Elders in Action Commission, Personal Advocacy, Age Friendly Business Program and Community Engagement & Education. Our staff provides the framework for these programs but our volunteers are doing the work!
- I can engage community partners and with them, puzzle through the challenge of ensuring our programs are inclusive and welcoming to a more diverse population.
I am ready to build on the 45 years of experience Elders in Action has in advocacy on behalf of older adults in our community. Since its inception Elders in Action has had a solid financial foundation through contracts with the City of Portland and Multnomah County. Our growth has been slow but steady but this trajectory is no longer adequate. The Board is committed to expanding our network of supporters and as we approach our 50th birthday (in three years), I look forward to all we can do together -volunteers, staff and Board!