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ASA Staff

Leanne Clark-Shirley

Leanne Clark-Shirley, PhD, is ASA's President & CEO. Clark-Shirley is a social gerontologist with nearly 20 years of experience working in aging-related nonprofit, consulting and academic environments. Before joining ASA, she was AARP’s Senior Evaluation Advisor, responsible for strategic planning, building internal evaluation research capacity and applying impact measurement expertise at the departmental and enterprise levels. Prior to that, she led the Aging and Disability research practice at IMPAQ International, a think-tank and policy research firm. Clark-Shirley is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, teaches courses on policy and aging and regularly mentors students interested in non-academic careers in aging. She received her doctorate in Gerontology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Jacki Bennett

Jacquelyn “Jacki” Bennett joined ASA in April 2021.  As Chief Operating Officer & Chief of Staff, Bennett manages the organization’s administrative functions and serves as a thought partner to the President & CEO on the organization’s strategy and Board engagement to develop a robust operational and financial plan that drives decision-making around ASA’s short- and long-term objectives, fundraising strategies, and cost management protocols. Jacki has over fifteen years of serving in C-Suite level positions at the South Florida Institute on Aging (SoFIA), the Wyss Foundation (a private family foundation located in Washington DC), Freedom House (an international NGO), the National Council of State Housing Agencies, and the Human Rights Campaign. Her expertise lays in providing vision, strategy and operational direction to finance, information technology, human resources, grantmaking, facilities, and organizational planning and evaluation activities. Bennett proudly served in the President William J. Clinton Administration as the Finance Manager for the White House Office (WHO), as the Operations Director of the Gore 2000 presidential campaign, and on the staff of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA). A native of Iowa, she is a graduate of Iowa State University. Jacki and her wife, Liz, reside in Fort Lauderdale, FL and Syracuse, NY with their basenji, Chisholm.

Jen Rivera

Jen Rivera is Vice President of Membership Engagement, Programs, and Thought Leadership at the American Society on Aging. Her focus is on developing effective strategies to enhance member satisfaction, advance programmatic initiatives, and shape the intellectual direction of the organization, in collaboration with the education and membership team. With more than 10 years’ experience helping organizations rethink their membership models to deliver a consistent return on investment for their members, she has developed a deep understanding of building and sustaining relationships with stakeholders and implementing growth strategies for organizations.

Alison Biggar

Alison Biggar is Editorial Director at the American Society on Aging, and has worked with ASA since 2011 as senior editor on its publications. She plans content for the Generations Today digital bimonthly publication, writes articles and edits the publication. For the Generations journal, she helps to plan issues with guest editors, and edits the publication. She also plans content and solicits speakers for the Bylines podcast and Future-Proof broadcast, and writes and edits Generations Now blog posts. Biggar has more than 30 years editorial experience and served as editor of the Sunday Magazine for the San Francisco Chronicle for a decade. She graduated from University of California at Santa Barbara with a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature.

Patrice Dickerson, PhD

Patrice Dickerson, PhDis ASA's Equity Strategy Director and joined ASA in July 2021 as the Director for Programs and Thought Leadership. Previously Patrice was an independent consultant in the field of DEI and academia, by way of Virginia Tech, where she served as a Senior Director in the Office of Inclusion and Diversity, focused on recruitment and retention of diverse faculty. Prior to that, she served as the Assistant Executive Dean for Strategic Recruitment and Diversity Initiatives and Chief Diversity Officer in the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University. A sociologist by training, Patrice brings with her a depth of experience working in the DEI, inclusive hiring, strategic planning, culture change and program development arenas. Earlier in her career, Dickerson was an Assistant Professor in the Department of African American Studies at the University of Cincinnati. She is a member of the Association of Black Sociologists, the American Sociological Association, the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education and the National Diversity Council.

Christopher Berno

Chris Berno brings over 20 years of enterprise technology management experience to the ASA and is the first senior leader dedicated to helping ASA further its mission to improve aging with technology. Chris began his career in 1999 as a Vendor Manager for San Francisco, CA based mobile internet start-up OmniSky and has remained on the cutting edge of technology since. Over the past four years, Chris has been working as an independent contractor helping senior leaders to develop technology strategy and managing its deployment into production. As Acting CTO here at ASA, Chris is focused on developing and delivering web-based tools, applications and services that ASA and its members can use to unite, empower and champion their aging-related work and capitalize on today's wave of technology disruption.

Kay Link

Kay Link is the Marketing & Communications Director at ASA. Since joining ASA in 2022, she has led successful marketing campaigns and enhanced the organization's brand presence. She has extensive experience working with nonprofits, including those focused on global gender equity and supporting individuals with disabilities. Kay is passionate about social change and is dedicated to advancing ASA's mission, particularly in raising public awareness about ageism. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from American University.

Julia Burrowes

Julia Burrowes is the On Aging Institute Associate Director at ASA. She joined the team after working as a direct senior care service provider for over 10 years, specifically with in-home care supervision, care management, Medicare counseling, and as a III-D health & wellness workshops leader. Before joining ASA, Julia most recently worked at Centralina Area Agency on Aging, serving the greater Charlotte area and monitoring OAA programs. Julia holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Gerontology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she has also spent some time teaching as an adjunct instructor.

Adi Goldstein

Adi (Dee) Goldstein is the Senior Operations & Growth Manager at ASA, having previously been Senior Development Manager at ASA and the Director of Development for the South Florida Institute on Aging, a community nonprofit devoted to helping older adults thrive as they age. She brings over 10 years of experience in marketing and fundraising across industries, and is excited to help shape the work ASA does to unite, empower and champion all those that work in aging. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Santa Clara University and a Master’s in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Creative Expression from Sofia University (formerly the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology).

Victoria Ruiz

Victoria Ruiz is the Senior On Aging Institute Manager and supports the ASA RISE program. With more than 10 years’ expertise in the field of aging, Ruiz brings a deep understanding of community care and elder advocacy to her role. Her tenure as director of the Federal Americorps Senior Companion Program at the South Florida Institute on Aging, coupled with her experience at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, has equipped her with the insights and skills necessary to champion initiatives that enhance the lives of older adults. Ruiz earned a bachelor’s degree in Health Services Administration from Herbert H. Lehman College in the Bronx, NY. Her professional journey is complemented by a profound personal philosophy influenced by her Latin heritage and the values instilled by her family. These values—empathy, responsibility, and community leadership—form the cornerstone of her approach to aging and advocacy.

Rheagan Willis

Rheagan Willis is the Senior Manager for Membership at ASA. Rheagan joined ASA's membership team in September of 2021. She comes with association experience as Communications Coordinator at the Restaurant Facility Management Association where she developed a strong understanding of community engagement and membership marketing. She collaborates with the membership team to connect ASA members with one another and ASA resources. Connect with Rheagan to learn more about the benefits of ASA membership!

Mazie Soto

Mazie Soto is a bicultural and bilingual first-generation immigrant from México. Prior to joining ASA, she was the Data Systems Specialist for the Skokie 69 School District in Illinois, where she served students, parents, faculty, support staff and administrators in different capacities. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction and a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology Systems from DePaul University. Mazie teaches yoga in her spare time; her work in mindfulness reflects the practices that have allowed her to heal physically, mentally and spiritually. These practices are Yoga, Yoga Nidra and conscious eating.

Jaime Prestigiacomo

Jaime Prestigiacomo is the Operations Coordinator at the American Society on Aging. She joined the team in March of 2024. With a background in association work, she previously held the role of Membership Marketing Coordinator at the National Association of ACO's, honing her skills in membership engagement, marketing strategies, and operational efficiency. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Finance from Monmouth University. Jaime resides in New Jersey and works as a sports agent in her spare time helping athletes to capture sponsorship deals, build a personal brand and create content - channeling her passion for athletics.