By Betsy Werley
My next chapter could be your big opportunity.
Fifteen years ago, I plugged into the power of the encore idea. At age 49¾, I left Chase Manhattan Bank to join a fast-growing startup, The Transition Network. When I told friends about its mission — to help women define what’s next at 50 and beyond — they grabbed my arm and said, “Take the job and call me. I need this organization.”
During my years at The Transition Network, I learned that longer lives are a world-changing force — driving new thinking about work, technology, health, housing, leisure and finances — and creating a new life stage that combines individual renewal and social impact.
I saw lives transformed when people realized the value of their experience and found new opportunities. I connected with leaders of the astoundingly varied programs bringing this longevity dividend to life in my New York City hometown, across the U.S. and around the world. Whether these leaders work in longstanding programs or in startup mode, they’re a creative, can-do group who inspired me every day.
Eight fast years later, Encore.org invited me to join its team and expand the fledgling Encore Network to connect organizations and leaders who view experienced adults as an invaluable resource and later life as a time of opportunity. We knew that a network would fast-forward the encore movement. After all, a coalition of individual programs can speak with a louder voice, strengthen each other’s work and support emerging leaders.
Once again, I knew I had to say yes. Over the past seven years, I’ve opened minds to the value of older adults at events across the U.S., in Canada and South Korea. I’ve been a cheerleader for program launches and authors. I’ve cross-pollinated ideas and made introductions to speed members’ progress. All these efforts plugged into Network members’ work, and the renewable resource of members’ energy.
I’ve spent a total of 15 years at the two Networks. Through recessions and pandemics, our movement has continued to grow. We’ve demonstrated the value of older adults, put ageism on the front page, and expanded opportunities to make the best use of our experience.
I’m proud that the Encore Network has been a powerful force, connecting members to learn, grow their programs and increase the impact of their work. Today, membership stands at 124 organizations and leaders in 32 U.S. states and 12 countries.
Now it’s time for my next adventure — and for a new leader eager for the opportunity to run a network and expand a movement.
This new leader will take over just as the Encore Network begins its own next chapter, moving from a long affiliation with Encore.org to become an independent, primarily volunteer-led organization, with Inspiring Service, a Network member, as its fiscal sponsor.
Those doing the hiring are looking for a visionary, multi-talented and entrepreneurial professional with experience leading nonprofit or association operations. A leader who wants to bring vision, energy and entrepreneurial spirit to the job. Someone eager to team up with an inspiring group of volunteer leaders and to build a bigger, higher-impact Network on our solid foundation.
Does that sound like you? Or someone you know? Check out the job posting today. I hope you’ll consider applying — or encourage a friend to do so.
Don’t wait! Applications will close on August 8. I see doors opening for us all.
Photo credit: S. Smith Patrick
Published July 14, 2020