Ann began working with AgeBetter, Inc., as a consultant in early 2004, when Sharing Active Independent Lives (SAIL) was being launched as a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community demonstration project. Several years prior, she was an assisted living administrator at Oakwood Village. This experience, along with a master’s degree in rehabilitation psychology from UW-Madison, helped immensely in the formation and success of SAIL. She has shaped the program into a unique and sustainable community resource for older adults that also takes a leadership role in the national “village movement.” In addition to oversight of SAIL, she is spearheading initiatives related to senior affordable housing, training and education for people working with older adults, a locally grown produce and community-based garden program, and more. Contact Ann at email@example.com.
Working closely with Executive Director Ann Albert, the AgeBetter board of directors includes: Mary Ann Drescher (Attic Angel Association President and AgeBetter Secretary), Barbara Gessner (AgeBetter Board President), Reginald Hislop (Oakwood Village CEO), Heidi Lauhon (Age Better Treasurer), Ruth Marion, and Kristen Peterson. Click the names below to read about each member.
Mary Ann Drescher has served on the AgeBetter, Inc., board of directors since inception, representing Attic Angel Association. Mary Ann has also served on the SAIL Council for the past five years as the Board representative. She is proud of the partnership between Attic Angel and Oakwood to develop a village model program in Dane County.
Mary Ann is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator and a Certified Aging Services Professional. She graduated from Lakeland College with a degree in Business Administration. Over her 40-year career, she has worked with government, for-profit, and not-for-profit nursing homes.
She has been with Attic Angel for over 23 years, and since 2000 she has served as the first staff leader of this 130 year old, 500+ member volunteer organization, as well as leader of Attic Angel Management Services, Attic Angel Place and Attic Angel Prairie Point. With four Boards, 500 Association members, 250 staff, and 300 residents to communicate with, leadership and good management skills are necessary tools.
Mary Ann’s other volunteer activities have included serving on the Rape Crisis Center, Alzheimer and Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin, and Leading Choice Network Boards of Directors.
Barbara Gessner, a retired nurse, has served on the AgeBetter, Inc., board of directors since 2008 representing Oakwood Village. Barbara has been an active SAIL member since inception of the program in 2005. She participated in focus groups prior to the formation of SAIL and decided to join since the idea of people helping one another interests her. In addition to board and committee work for AgeBetter, Barbara volunteers as a driver for fellow SAIL members and has served on the SAIL Council as its president.
Following graduation from Milwaukee Hospital School of Nursing, she moved to Madison and worked at University Hospitals while completing a BS in nursing. Then she taught refresher courses to inactive RN’s throughout Wisconsin. After a Master’s degree in Nursing, she worked as a clinical nurse specialist in Connecticut. She returned to Madison to join the faculty of Nursing Extension while pursuing a PhD in Adult Education. In 1985 she joined the faculty of the School of Nursing at UW- Madison, retiring in 2001.
Barbara’s other volunteer activities include serving on the Oakwood Village Board of Directors, volunteering at Oakwood, and helping with many events at her church as well as serving on its board of directors, and is a longtime member of the West Side Optimist Club.
Reginald M. Hislop III, PhD joined Oakwood in early November 2019. Formerly managing partner and CEO of H2 Healthcare, LLC, with locations in Kansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Nevada, Reg has more than 30 years of executive experience in the development, operations, and financing of all aspects of healthcare, with particular experience in postacute care.
In addition to his work at Oakwood, he serves as a consultant on health policy and reimbursement for the New York investment banking firm of DeMatteo Monness, provides policy and reimbursement guidance to the Transitional Healthcare Consortium and for clients of the Gerson Lehrman Group, and is a consulting member of the 10eqs knowledge network.
Reg holds a bachelor of science in business administration with a major in finance, a master of arts in applied mathematics and quantitative sciences, and a doctor of philosophy in macro‐economics.
Heidi Lauhon just began her tenure on the AgeBetter Board, representing Oakwood Village. She is currently the Development Officer for the Oakwood Foundation. In this role, Heidi oversees donor stewardship, manages the database, provides strategic planning for all aspects of fund development and has a small portfolio of donors.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Heidi was the Executive Director of Temple Beth El, Madison’s Reform Jewish Synagogue. She successfully led the congregation for 11 years, expanding their endowments, managing the finances and membership and overseeing a major renovation project. Heidi is excited to join the Board of AgeBetter and to assist in helping seniors thrive.
Ruth Marion grew up in Ithaca, New York, and graduated from Cornell University. She majored in Home Economics and Teaching. She and her husband, Bruce (also a Cornelian), lived in the Boston area while he served in the Army. From there they moved to Ohio and then to Madison, where Bruce joined the UW faculty and Ruth completed her master’s degree. She also taught school in Madison and Middleton.
After teaching, she entered the field of elderly housing, serving as Administrator of a Section 8 WHEDA Housing Facility in Middleton for 12 years until her retirement. She is dedicated to affordable housing and the need to address this issue in our community. She and Bruce have been SAIL members since 2015. She represents Attic Angel Association on the AgeBetter Board.
Besides her volunteering at Attic Angel Community since 1996, she has been active in her church. Side interests involve extensive travel to all parts of the world. Closer to home, Ruth and Bruce enjoy prairie restoration and nurturing wildlife on their farm property near Spring Green. Gardening at their Madison home continues a life-long interest in healthy eating and a beautiful environment.
With three children and seven wonderful grandchildren within 2 hours of Madison, the Marion Family enjoys many happy times together at “the farm” doing prairie burns, swimming in their pond, and lots of work projects.
Kristen Peterson grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, where she met her husband. His position on a Navy Carrier took them all over the country before they landed in Madison in 1994. They have two children and four grandchildren. Kristen has spent many hours volunteering for Attic Angels and is a member of PEO. She is excited to be part of this exciting venture!