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AARP Montana Appoints New State President

Pony resident Sandy Bailey tapped to lead AARP Montana Executive Council

Helena, Mont., Jan. 12, 2023 – AARP Montana State Director Tim Summers today announced the appointment of Sandy Bailey as State President – the highest state-level volunteer position within the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization.  AARP has more than 134,000 members statewide and nearly 38 million members nationwide. 

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“We are delighted that Sandy has stepped into this key leadership position,” Summers said. “Her extensive professional experience with Montana State University Extension, her distinguished service to caregivers and her passion for our mission make her an ideal choice.”

Bailey, a Pony resident, will lead the AARP Montana volunteer Executive Council and work to achieve AARP’s vision, mission and strategic priorities in communities across the state.  She will also serve as the principal AARP volunteer spokesperson in Montana.  Bailey succeeds Billings resident, Alex Ward as State President, who served seven years in the position.

“Selection as State President is a tremendous honor,” said Bailey. “During my career, I have served in numerous positions committed to public service. This appointment represents a culmination of that work.  It is a privilege to have this opportunity to work alongside Tim Summers, the AARP staff and a splendid corps of dedicated and tireless volunteers toward the common goal of enhancing the quality of life for all Montanans as we age.”

Sandy Bailey, Professor Emeritus, Montana State University, holds a doctorate in Family Studies from Oregon State University.

Her research and programming have focused on parenting in various family structures including single parents, international adoption, and kinship parenting. She started and directed the Montana Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, now the Montana Kinship Navigator Program through MSU Extension.

She has also created programing through MSU Extension focusing on family caregiving.

She has lived most of her life in Montana and currently lives in Pony where her family has roots. Sandy enjoys spending time with her children/grandchildren, gardening and spending time outdoors.

Summers also thanked Alex Ward, AARP Montana’s outgoing state president, for decades of valued service on behalf of Montanans of all generations.  “AARP members and the 50-plus throughout the state owe a debt of gratitude to Al Ward for his courageous advocacy on their behalf, his great ability to bring their concerns to leaders throughout the state and nation, and his strong commitment to Montana.  We wish him all the best.”

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