The AARP Massachusetts Executive Council (EC) provides strategic direction for AARP at the state level. The volunteer board is led by State President Sandy Albright. Each member brings uniquely valuable skills and experience to AARP.
Reyes Coll-Tellechea, PhD., joined the EC in 2015, and is Professor of Latin American and Iberian Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston where she has taught since 1993. She chaired the Department of Hispanic Studies on several occasions and has extensive experience as an elected and appointed member to numerous University committees (such as College Senate, Union Executive Committee, Faculty Council Executive Committee, Budget and Planning Committee, and University Strategic Implementation and Design Team.) She was a member of Mayor Walsh’s Transition Task Force (Human Services Committee.) She has authored several books and articles on literature and society. Born in Spain, she immigrated to the US in 1988 and has lived in Jamaica Plain for 21 years. Reyes has extensive experience as a volunteer translator and interpreter of Spanish for local non-profit organizations serving Spanish speaking immigrants and their families.
Kathleen Bowler, who joined the EC in 2015, is the Director for Technical Assistance, Training, and Special Events at the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging and Senior Center Directors (MCOA). She has held this post since January, 2015. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director of the Holyoke Council on Aging for 26 years where she spearheaded the construction of a new Senior Center and worked in partnership with a variety of community groups to provide services and programs for older adults. Recognized by a number of groups for her work at the local level, she was recognized by MCOA as the Director of the Year for her work keeping the Holyoke COA open during a series of Proposition 2 ½ override attempts. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Holyoke Health Center and Loomis Communities. She is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and received a Certificate in Gerontology from the Worcester Consortium of Higher Education.
Gerald Flaherty, who joined the EC in 2015, was Vice President for Medical & Scientific Programs at the Alzheimer’s Association of MA/NH, where he spent 24 years. He created and led both the departments of Medicine & Science and Communications, served in consultant or advisory roles for many of Boston’s medical and research centers, and on advisory committees for four Massachusetts gubernatorial administrations on issues ranging from cognitive health to corrections policy. Previously he served on the staff of the late Sen. Royal L. Bolling, Sr., of Boston, focusing on public health and criminal justice issues. He is author/co-author of two award-winning books, and his professional articles and fiction have appeared in journals in the U.S. and Canada. Gerald was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and holds a BA in English Literature from UMass Boston, which he attended on the GI Bill. Raised in Boston’s Roxbury community, he now lives in Marion with his wife, Diane Lopes Flaherty.
Kun Chang is the regional coordinator and project director for the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging, and the assistant executive director for the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center. Kun has extensive social work and non-profit agency management experience, integrating his expertise in the areas of social services, long term care, community outreach, community education, adult day health care, health insurance, managed care, Alzheimer and Dementia services, and older worker job training for Asian elders. Kun has provided consultation to several community-based organizations and research institutions in the design and development of integrated elderly services for Asian communities. In addition, he is involved in a consulting capacity with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the National Alzheimer’s Association, and AARP, focusing on integrated health and social services for Asian seniors. Kun is a member of the Advisory Council for the Area Agency on Aging (AAA), South Shore Elder Services, and the South Shore Workforce Investment Board in Massachusetts, and has served on numerous advisory councils and boards in state and national organizations. In the past 25 years, he has worked with a variety of coalitions and groups of service providers on the national, state, and local level, focusing on increasing effectiveness in responding to the growing diversity of elders and of the overall workforce. He received his Master’s degree in Social Work from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.