Cape Ann’s local aging agency is losing its leader to retirement.
SeniorCare Inc. Executive Director Kay Bierwiler will be leaving the agency in early October.
Dr. Bierwiler received her doctorate in Sociology from the State University at Albany. After spending several years at another aging services agency, she joined SeniorCare in January 1988 as assistant director, and assumed the role of executive director in 2006 upon the retirement of her predecessor, Guntis Licis, who had directed the agency for more than 30 years. She brought a sense of stability to the organization after his departure and quickly set about to develop her own style of leadership. Kay quickly focused on the implementation of many new policies and procedures, to streamline day-to-day operations, as well as on preparation of SeniorCare’s new strategic plan.
A strong advocate for the rights of elders, she was the first president of the Greater Boston Chapter of the Older Women’s League. Her professional affiliations include the American Society on Aging, Massac
husetts Gerontology Association and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.
Under Kay’s leadership SeniorCare has made tremendous progress. Her contributions and rich experience made it possible for the agency to retain its vision of community services for elders and disabled adults, valuing and preserving the principles of choice and independence. Several themes come from this vision — help for those who need a little and those who need a lot, a focus on vulnerable elders, working with agencies that serve individuals with disabilities, healthy living, and building strong linkages with private and nonprofit businesses and agencies.
In 2010, SeniorCare and Dr. Bierwiler were honored by Harborlight Community Partners, a non-profit affordable housing operator and developer on the North Shore, at it annual event, “A Celebration of Community Partnerships,” for their steadfast support of fixed income elders at Turtle Creek and Turtle Woods. Kay accepted the award along with many members of the SeniorCare Board of Directors.
She was instrumental in keeping SeniorCare in Gloucester, moving the agency to its new headquarters at 49 Blackburn Center. In doing so, she helped the agency preserve its longstanding ties to Cape Ann, while overseeing the formation of new and productive relationships in Beverly and in other communities, fostering several new initiatives that are utilizing partnerships in both the medical and business arena.
SeniorCare’s president, Tom Tanous of Wenham, said, “The Board of Directors has been very pleased with Kay’s 24 years of service to SeniorCare. We’ll miss her tremendously, but we understand that she would like some well deserved leisure, so we congratulate her on her retirement, thank her for her service, and wish her the very best as she embarks on this new phase of her life.”
A search is under way to hire Dr. Bierwiler’s replacement.
Anne Springer is the public relations director of SeniorCare Inc., Cape Ann’s local area agency on aging. To reach SeniorCare, call 978-281-1750.