Ellen Converse

Two weeks ago the AARP Iowa’s Associate State Director for Communications, Ann Black, retired after 16 years at AARP. Since then, Brandi and I have been getting a much closer look at everything it takes to be in her position, and all the smaller tasks that she did on a regular basis that we never saw. All summer we have been learning, slowly, what it really means to be work in communications. For example, we have written press releases, but now that Ann isn’t in the office anymore, we have to figure out where to send the press releases and who to send them to. Brandi and I have spent an entire day devoted to going through all of Ann’s media lists and still are nowhere near done—a task that needs to be done in order to get news out effectively.
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AARP loved being a part of the fun during RAGBRAI XLV in Spencer on July 23! We had a great time welcoming more than 1,000 of the 10,000 riders who participated in this 45th anniversary celebration of the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) as they rode in at the end of their 62-mile Day One ride from Algona to the Clay County Fairgrounds for Spencer’s “Kick Your Wheels Up” celebration.
Like all Iowans, the AARP Iowa office loves the Iowa State Fair and is so excited for it to begin! AARP will be hosting a booth throughout the entire fair, August 10-20, 2017. Make sure to stop by our booth in the Varied Industries Building and learn more about caregiving and to find out what AARP is doing in Iowa to support family caregivers. At our booth you can connect with AARP staff and volunteers, sign our petition and win a free blinking safety light!
Aug. 14, 2017 is Veteran's Day at the AARP booth at the Iowa State Fair! Veterans are invited to visit our booth and pinpoint where they served on our map. We will also be giving Veterans special AARP Challenge Coins to express our gratitude for their service.
Two weeks ago the AARP Iowa team was in Spencer, Iowa for RAGBRAI. In a little over a week we will be stationed at the Iowa State Fair. In between these two huge events we have been working on finishing all the RAGBRAI events and working in preparation for the State Fair—all at the same time. In addition to those events, the interns are creating and presenting a final presentation to the AARP National Headquarters this Thursday and working to finish our list of businesses to evaluate for age-friendliness.
Looking to Get Fit This Summer?  Become a MLK Jr. Park Walker!
Last week I overheard one of our AARP volunteers in a spirited discussion with an AARP staff member. They were discussing how AARP was handling some issues and I quickly realized that there were different points of view being presented. The discussion was very kind and remained friendly the entire time, with many, “I understand where you are coming from…” phrases thrown around. I was not only impressed because it was one of the most respectful political discussions I have heard in a while, but also at how in-depth each person was at presenting their opinion and the level of respectful listening that was happening. The more that I thought about it, the more natural this occurrence seemed to me. Of course, AARP is a diverse organization with members with diverse opinions. The association has so many facets and provides so many different services for the 50+ community that it would be ridiculous to expect someone to agree with every single thing.
AARP Iowa is excited to be sponsoring another free movie screening! This month’s movie will be The Zookeeper’s Wife. The movie is set in 1939 Poland and follows the life of Antonina Żabińska and Dr. Jan Żabiński as they care for the Warsaw Zoo. After their country is invaded by the Germans, Jan and Antonina begin covertly working with the Resistance and use what has become of their zoo to save lives. The danger increases and Antonina begins putting herself and even her children at great risk.
caregiver conference art
Central Iowa caregivers are invited to join with other local caregivers for a “ CAREversation” about family caregiving on Thursday, July 13 from 5:30-7:30 pm at Louie’s Wine Dive in Des Moin es.
As a 20-year-old woman, I have been told for years that I am on my phone too much and that I am on social media too often. As a student studying public relations and a current communications intern, this makes me laugh. Yes, the majority of the time that I am on my phone I am talking to my friends or procrastinating on some silly video but social media is also where I stay up-to-date on my news, keep informed on campus club responsibilities and so many more practical things. Social media is the fastest and easiest way to inform a large amount of people and to get a message across effectively. It is important to recognize the impact that social media has in not only an organization’s success but also in how the organization's supporters form opinions. We are currently living in a 24/7 news cycle and social media is a big contributing factor to this.
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