Longtime kupuna advocate Gary Simon has been named Volunteer State President of AARP Hawai‘i. Simon serves as leader and spokesperson for AARP’s nearly 250,000 members and 400 volunteers in Hawai‘i. He is also the chair of the AARP Hawai‘i Executive Council, a volunteer leadership committee that helps set AARP’s state agenda and programs.
“Gary Simon is passionate about helping kupuna and we are delighted that he will bring his experience and talent to AARP Hawai‘i to improve the lives of residents so they can live the life they choose as they age,” said Barbara Kim Stanton, AARP Hawai‘i State Director. “He is the perfect ambassador and spokesperson for our members and volunteers.”
Simon, the Director of Corporate Affairs and Advocacy at the St. Francis Healthcare System, was previously Executive Director of St. Francis Hospice and Program Director for St. Francis Health Services for Senior Citizens. As a volunteer, Simon serves as President of the Hawaii Family Caregiver Coalition and is a member of the Board of Directors of The Arc in Hawaii. He serves on the State of Hawai‘i Policy Advisory Board for Elder Affairs and was a member of the Statewide Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias. Prior to becoming State President, Simon served on the AARP Hawai’i Executive Council. Born in Honolulu, Simon is a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i Manoa and was a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
“I am taking on this role because I want to make a difference,” Simon said. “AARP Hawai‘i has always been out front in advocating for kupuna and we want to continue to fight for financial security and Hawai‘i Saves retirement savings program, combat scams, provide support for caregivers and, in our latest campaign, advocate for common-sense solutions to reduce the soaring price of prescription drugs.”
Simon succeeds retired Army Colonel and communications executive Gerry Silva, who is stepping down after serving six years as State President.