Deb founded For All Ages with a vision to change the aging narrative and promote kindness across generations by implementing impactful programs that improve the health and well-being of people of all ages. Deb has brought together her passion for promoting intergenerational opportunities and interest in combating loneliness and isolation, her work as a nonprofit board member and advisor, and her experience with starting and growing businesses to found For All Ages.
Deb received her law degree with honors from the University of Connecticut after earning an MBA from the University of Massachusetts and a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from UConn. After enjoying success in the insurance industry for many years, Deb shared her expertise with, and provided leadership and guidance to, a variety of nonprofits. Her passion for making the world a better place led her to found a nonprofit that can simultaneously impact current and future generations.
Deb is a member of the University of Connecticut Aging Research Interest Group and is a certified Dementia Friend.
As co-founder of For All Ages, Gary embraces the idea that growing older can and should be an asset to be leveraged to promote kindness, caring, truthfulness and knowledge transfer to improve the mental and physical well-being of all generations. Gary is a dedicated advocate of the value of intergenerational connections and is focused on giving back to make a difference in improving the quality of life for both sage adults and youth.
Gary has been actively involved with intergenerational coaching and youth mentoring programs for the past two decades. Currently, he is in his 6th year as a volunteer mentor in the West Hartford, CT public school system, mentoring 3 boys in grades 5, 8 and 10. Gary also has over 20 years of experience coaching girls and boys in baseball, softball and basketball.
In his career, Gary has worked as a systems, software and sales engineer as well as a product/marketing manager in the aerospace, digital printing and bio-medical industries. Gary earned his Master of Science degree in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute after graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Connecticut.
Rupal Parekh, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut where she teaches courses in research methods and social policy at the graduate and undergraduate levels in the School of Social Work. She has over a decade of professional and practice experience working with diverse older adult populations across the continuum of care. Her primary research aim is to improve outcomes for late-life immigrants, with particular attention to the role of the built environment on social isolation. Her research advocates for the development of culturally-grounded assessment tools, evidence-based practices, and national and state legislation to address the needs of older adults at the intersection of social isolation, multiple health issues, and structural and social barriers.
Rupal earned her Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington after receiving both a Masters degree in Social Work and a Masters degree in Public Health from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Oklahoma.
Stephanie is the AVP of Claims Strategy and Optimization at The Hartford where she leads a team that improves customer experience and business results with process redesign, advanced analytics, digitization and automation solutions. Over the past two decades, Stephanie has developed and implemented strategic and operational plans in several businesses by adeptly building knowledge, relationships and high-performing teams.
Stephanie's passion for partnering with others to make positive, impactful change drew her to join the board of For All Ages. Stephanie is interested in creating memorable, shared experiences and promoting wellness through mindfulness, compassion and good health. “I want to be part of a movement that works to build up, connect and empower individuals from all walks of life; thereby strengthening our community today and tomorrow.”
Stephanie is also a member of United Way's Women United Leadership Council. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts and Biology. She obtained her MBA from the University of Connecticut, graduating Beta Gamma Sigma.
Mikayla, a 2020 graduate of the University of Connecticut, serves on the Board of Directors where she is the voice of the young adult generation. She studied Exercise Science and understands the importance of exercise and movement to the health of people of all ages. She plans to integrate her knowledge of the importance of exercise into For All Ages' programs and events.
Mikayla earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Biology from the University of Connecticut. She intends to pursue a Physician Assistant Master's degree in the near future.
Our advisory council is comprised of individuals from a variety of professions that are important for the success of For All Ages.
We are grateful for the willingness of our advisors to share their expertise with us.
Founding Board Member, At Home in Darien (Inclusive aging-in-place organization in Darien, CT)
Connecticut State Representative, District 16: CT Gen. Assembly Aging, Children, and Commerce Committees
Chair, Aging & Disability Commission, Simsbury CT
Gerontologist/Medicare Advantage Plan Client Services Consultant, UnitedHealth Group
School Social Worker, West Hartford CT
Director of Elderly Services, City of Torrington CT
Past Chair, Board of Education, Simsbury CT
As a part-time caregiver of her parents - one of whom suffers from dementia - Susan sees first hand the impact of loneliness and isolation on older adults. She believes that maintaining friendships and remaining socially involved are vital to the physical and mental well-being of all, especially as we get into our older adult years.
After many years working as a financial analyst in the insurance industry, Susan now enjoys working part-time in the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center gift shop, a nonprofit organization. Susan has been involved in several other nonprofit organizations, including serving for many years as Chair of the Outreach Committee of the “Friends of CCMC”. In addition, she has served for 12 years as a board member of the Union Street Tavern Trot, a nonprofit that raises funds for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
Susan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Accounting from the University of St. Joseph.
Jeff is bringing his love for the outdoors, his 40 years of fishing and related experience, and his event planning expertise to manage intergenerational outdoor events including Fishing for All Ages, an intergenerational learn-to-fish fishing derby.
Jeff graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Management from the University of Maine, Orono.
Experiencing the profound changes to her late parents’ lives as they dealt with compromised physical health and dementia in their final years left Pat with a personal understanding and concern for the impact that social isolation can have on older adults and their caregivers. That, and a strong desire to help instill in our youth the value of working for the common good and an appreciation for the gifts their elders have to offer, makes the mission of For All Ages resonate with her.
After her recent second retirement, the first after 33 years in retailing as a store manager and the second after 10 years in non-profit mission advancement, Pat is working part-time as a fundraising consultant. She is happy to now have time to give back to the Farmington Valley community where she has lived for 31 years, and looks forward to assisting For All Ages as it expands more broadly in Connecticut.
Pat earned a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from Rutgers University.
Martie has first-hand experience with the impacts of dementia as she has helped both of her parents navigate this disease for nearly a decade. Through this journey, Martie came to understand the importance of caring for and connecting with older adults in our community.
Martie has 30 years’ experience working in nonprofits in the areas of education, youth development and the arts in a variety of roles from strategic planning to fundraising to project management. She previously served as the Executive Director of a nonprofit involving youth teaching older adults how to use a computer through digital storytelling.
The Tea @ 3 program idea grew out of Martie's own experience years ago getting together daily for tea with a colleague. Tea time became a time that they both looked forward to and came to depend on. The Tea @ 3 program provides a way to connect people who are isolated around something comforting and easy that can be done daily. The intergenerational connection and the feeling of belonging from being a part of the ‘Tea @ 3 community’ reduces loneliness, improving health and well-being.
Martie earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from San Diego State University.