Ruth Finkelstein, ScD has thirty years of experience in health policy, planning and research on promoting health for vulnerable populations. She is the Associate Director of the Columbia Aging Center where she directs the activities of the International Longevity Center. Dr Finkelstein was most recently the Senior Vice President for Policy and Planning at The New York Academy of Medicine, where she directed the Age-friendly New York City initiative (a joint project with the Mayor’s Office and the City Council), which won the 2013 award for “The Best Existing Age Friendly Initiative in the World” from the International Federation on Ageing as well as the Archstone Award for Excellence in Program Innovation from the American Public Health Association. In 2012, Dr. Finkelstein was named one of the nation’s “Game Changers” by Metropolis Magazine for her leadership on the Age-friendly NYC initiative. She has provided technical assistance to cities in the U. S. and around the world on planning, implementation, and evaluation of systems-level aging initiatives. Dr. Finkelstein holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in anthropology from Case Western Reserve University, and a doctorate in health policy from Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. She has published in numerous journals, including JAIDS, the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of Urban Health.
Dorian Block is a Senior Staff Associate at the Columbia Aging Center. Over the past decade, she has both been an award-winning journalist and a thought leader on designing communities that value older people. Dorian began her career as a reporter at The New York Daily News, The Boston Globe and other publications, writing more than 1,000 articles. She left journalism to manage the Age-friendly NYC initiative at The New York Academy of Medicine, compelled by its innovative approach to aging. Under Dorian’s management, Age-friendly NYC implemented thousands of improvements to New York City streets, parks, businesses, cultural organizations and neighborhoods and was named “Best Age-friendly Initiative” in the world. In this role, Dorian advised hundreds of governments, non-profits and businesses interested in implementing similar initiatives. At the Columbia Aging Center, Dorian is working on several projects which allow her to bring those two career paths together, including the Age Smart Employer Awards. Dorian has an M.S. from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and a B.A. from Brandeis University in American Studies.
Caitie Adams is a Staff Associate at the Columbia Aging Center. Caitie manages both the Age Smart Employer Awards and Age Boom Academy in addition to assisting with various evaluations and translational research initiatives. Before joining the Center, Caitie contributed to the development and pilot study of a Heart Health Program tailored for low-income older adults who attend Cleveland senior centers. Caitie has a M.A. in Sociology and a B.A. in Environmental Studies, both from Cleveland State University.
Kerry Wills is a Staff Associate at the Columbia Aging Center. She is the Outreach Lead for the Age Smart Employer Awards, identifying and interviewing award candidates and assisting with other projects at the Center. Kerry began her career as a crime reporter for several Connecticut daily newspapers. She took a detour from journalism for five years to become a Communications Specialist at McKinsey & Company. There, she helped consultants to Fortune 50 business leaders to clearly and powerfully express their ideas. Kerry then returned to journalism. She was most recently a staff reporter for The New York Daily News.
She authored “The Close-Knit Circle: American Knitters Today,” (Praeger, 2007) a book about knitting’s revival as a popular craft and evolution into a subculture. Kerry has a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University in The Writing Seminars.
Tony Berkel has over 16 years of experience in community and business development. He is the founder and president of Berkel Business Solutions, a boutique consulting firm that assist start-up and existing small to medium size businesses grow into innovative and sustainable enterprises throughout the New York City metropolitan area. He has held several executive leadership positions in various NYC community based organizations and has served as a board member on various public and private agencies and institutions. Currently, he is assisting in promoting Columbia University's Age Smart Employer Awards for 2017-2018. Tony holds a Masters in Urban Planning from New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.