StateWide recognized several individuals at its annual convention. The council is a grassroots membership organization made up of individual senior citizens and senior citizen clubs from all parts of New York State.
The following were among those recognized at the Statewide annual gala:
Mae Carpenter, Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services, received the Exemplary Leadership Award. Carpenter is a nationally recognized authority on seniors who has worked in the field of aging for 30-plus years. She was appointed Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services (DSPS) in 2001 and prior to that was director of the county’s Office for the Aging, the forerunner of the DSPS. Carpenter spearheads DSPS’ Livable Communities Initiative: A Vision for all Ages – Bringing People and Places Together – the department’s signature project. Its aim is to identify and develop ways for seniors to continue living in their homes as they grow older.
Marcus Harazin, former New York State Office for the Aging Deputy Director (NYSOFA), was named Special Awardee by the Statewide Senior Action Council. He recently retired from NYSOFA where he served as Deputy Director for decades. While at NYSOFA Harazin administered the Division of Community Services overseeing the delivery programs provided through local offices for the aging, senior centers and the Aging Network, including home care, case management, the nutrition program, care giver assistance, health insurance counseling and assistance, older workers employment programs, Naturally Occurring Retirement Programs, state funded RSCP and community empowerment initiatives.
Charles Battaglia, the recently retired Coordinator of Neighborhood Services for the Erie County Department of Senior Services, was given the Outstanding Public Service Award by the New York Statewide Senior Action Council. His career began as a case worker for at risk senior citizens at the Gloria Parks Community Center, a community-based, not for profit organization in north Buffalo. During his tenure at Senior Services, he served in several different capacities, helped expand services to older adults in Erie County and was a strong advocate for increased funding for home and community-based services.