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Monday Evening Keynote

An Overview of Volunteerism: Meeting people where they are and taking the conversation forward.

How do you build a pyramid? One block at a time! The same is true when the goal is engaging and eventually building a strong volunteer and leader corps. This keynote provides a high-level overview of volunteerism and volunteers today, recognizing the pandemic continues to impact how people respond to requests to serve. The presenters will discuss how to build an effective ladder of engagement by identifying ideal and engaged volunteers, utilizing easy entry roles and defining small, attainable steps for volunteers to engage in ever more increasing responsibility. Participants will receive helpful hints on how to support volunteers at all levels of the ladder, as well as the importance of infusing reward and recognition along the way.


Deborah Turner

Co-Lead/AARP Volunteer Facilitation and Training Team

Deborah Turner is a ten-year member and current Co-Lead of the AARP Office of Volunteer Engagement (OVE) Volunteer Facilitation and Training Team. A graduate of the University of Louisville, she worked in finance and management in corporate, government, and non-profit sectors for more than 40 years, retiring as a Senior Vice President for Risk Management at Bank of America. Since her retirement in 2008, she has served as a lead volunteer with the Kentucky AARP office, conducted national and statewide AARP volunteer trainings, served as the voice of and creator for national AARP orientation materials, and is in her fifth year as host and Co-Facilitator for the 360 Degree Volunteer Idea Exchange – familiarly called The Exchange.

Dr. Mary K. Clark

AARP Volunteer Facilitation and Training Team

Dr. Mary K. Clark recently retired as Assistant Dean at the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Since 2014, she has served as a state-appointed AARP volunteer, where she promotes caregiver initiatives, financial security, and Disrupt Aging Classroom programs. For the past four years, she has also served on the national AARP Volunteer Facilitation and Training Team.

Tuesday Morning Keynote

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Adam Stone

Professor of Practice in Marketing at Clemson University

Mr. Stone has 30+ years of experience including over a decade in CEO roles for omnichannel retail, restaurant, service, and manufacturing businesses ranging from multi-billion-dollar companies to small and mid-sized, entrepreneurial high-growth companies. In the fall of 2022, he joined Clemson University’s faculty as a Professor of Practice in the Marketing Department of the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business. Before relocating to Clemson in 2020, Mr. Stone was a Chief Executive Officer in the apparel industry for 11 years, most recently as Chief Executive Officer for Palmetto Moon, a Charleston, South Carolina company selling apparel, footwear, home goods, and accessories. Here he helped the company strengthen its brand development and marketing capabilities as well as implement a robust retail channel expansion strategy. Mr. Stone holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Lehigh University and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Those who work in and volunteer for learning in retirement programs and lifelong learning programs do great work every day, but often find themselves challenged to get messages of success and opportunity out to a larger audience. This keynote presentation will offer a brief discussion of several marketing topics, including marketing strategy and brand positioning. How do you identify your target customer as well as your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)? Learn how to analyze and optimize your product offerings, and how to decide which communication channels best reach your intended audience. The presentation ends with a brief look at how Chat GPT can be helpful with your marketing campaign messages.

What is Marketing?
(Hint: It's Not Just Advertising)

Tuesday Afternoon Keynote

“Successful Aging: From Theory to Implementation” 

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How does modern society define, or even address the concept of aging well? Certainly, lifelong learning is invaluable when considering elderhood. This interactive presentation explores the academic, theoretical ways that researchers have conceptualized successful aging and prompts participants to propose their own definitions. Explore the generational differences between perceptions of aging, and why research in this field can be challenging, and discuss the lesser-known components of successful aging. Audience participation is strongly encouraged, and the presentation ends with time for questions and answers.

Kara Bopp

Professor of Psychology at Wofford College 

Dr. Kara Bopp is a Professor of Psychology at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC. She received a BA from Hamilton College, a Master’s from New York University’s Cognition-Perception program, and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology at Syracuse University. She teaches courses in Cognitive Science and Adult Development and Aging. Her research examines age-related differences in working memory, and applied research examines effectiveness of successful aging programs.


Wednesday Morning Keynote

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Ed Baig

Ed Baig writes about consumer tech and other topics at AARP, which he joined in March 2023 after serving as a full-time contractor for nearly two years. Before that, Baig spent more than 20 years at USA TODAY as the publication’s personal tech columnist and chief product reviewer. In that role, he was one of just four reviewers to evaluate the original iPhone ahead of its launch. At USA TODAY, Baig also appeared in numerous tech videos, spoke at conferences and on podcasts, and made frequent television appearances. Prior to joining USA TODAY, Baig worked on the editorial staffs of Business Week, U.S. News & World Report, and Fortune Magazine.

"The Future Has Arrived: Older Adults and AI" 


As the world continues to explore the potential of artificial intelligence (AI), it can be equally exciting and threatening to consider how this technology may impact our lives. Promised benefits include enhancing the well-being and independence of the older adult population. How might AI impact social isolation, healthcare management, or the news one reads? Can AI really write a poem? Plan a trip overseas, manage my investments, craft visual art? How can, or should, one use AI as a lifelong learner? This interactive conversation will include several demonstrations of the technology’s current capabilities, keeping an eye on the future.

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