Presenter Bio

2021 Elder Justice Conference

Jene Mortensen – SLCo Aging & Adult Services

Jene is the Section Manager for Salt Lake County Active Aging Program. Jene has worked directly with Senior Centers for over 7 years.  Prior to her work with Aging & Adult Services, Jene worked for 12 years doing recreational and community programming. Jene is passionate about helping people enjoy life to the fullest.

James Witucki – SLCo Aging & Adult Services

James Witucki has been with Salt Lake County Aging & Adult Services for over 3 years. He worked as an educator and administrator for 12 years previous to joining Aging & Adult Services. James is passionate about his family, has a love of travel, and has an appreciation of intellectual endeavors.

Briana C. Sisofo – Utah Strong Recovery Project

Briana Sisofo is a Gerontologist who works with Utah Strong Recovery Project. Briana has worked at making bringing overall wellness to the lives of older adults in the community by reaching out to assisted living centers, helping start an intergenerational volunteer program, and starting research about loneliness and isolation for older adults. Briana is trained as a Certified Dementia Assistant and presented at the Gerontological Society of America in 2020 on the panel to speak about her knowledge about aging and rural communities. Briana Sisofo holds a Master of Science in Gerontology from the University of Utah.

Paige Corley – SLCo Aging & Adult Services

Paige currently is a Health Educator with Salt Lake County Aging & Adult Services and has been in the fitness industry for over 20 years. Her passion lies with using exercise to improve physical and mental wellbeing with the older adult population specifically. She currently manages evidence-based exercise classes which have traditionally been offered in person at Salt Lake County senior centers, but due to recent events, has switched to an online format. Paige earned her master’s degree in Kinesiology in 2017 and holds the NSCA-CSCS and ACSM-EP fitness professional certifications.

Anne Asman – University of Utah Department of Psychiatry

Anne Asman has an MS in Interdisciplinary Gerontology from the University of Utah and a certificate in Dementia Education and Communication from the University of Tasmania in Australia. Anne is Chair of the Dementia Aware workgroup for the Utah Department of Health Alzheimer’s and other Dementias Coordinating Council and works closely with the AAA’s of Salt Lake, Summit and Utah Counties, the State Division of Aging and Adult Services. Anne heads the Summit County Aging Alliance and works with multiple public and private organizations to provide and advocate for best practice geriatric care across the state. She has facilitated presentations on Advanced Directives and End of Life planning, The Aging Brain, and continues to teach “Embrace Aging” courses for Osher Lifelong Learning at the University of Utah.

Kristina Raner – Area Agency on Aging – Five County

Kristina Raner has been with the AAA-Five County since 2015. She holds a master’s degree in Public Administration and is a Certified Dementia Specialist. Kristina serves as the lead for AAA-Five County’s Benefits Enrollment Center, Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, and Media Outreach. Kristina has a passion for advocating for older adults and promoting intergenerational connection.

Emily Christensen – Crescendo Music Therapy

Emily Christensen, MS, SCMT, MT-BC is a caregiver, music therapist, and gerontologist. She works with older adults in dementia and hospice populations. Partnering with Jewish Family Service, Emily facilitates The Gleeful Choir, a chorus for dementia care-partners. Emily loves direct, one-on-one clinical work, as well as working on a broader scale to advocate for Creative Aging.

Miriam Hermanson, LCSW – Elevation Hospice

Miriam Hermanson is an LCSW who has been working in hospice for just over 6 years. The vast majority of her patients are elderly and she has fostered a deep connection with the aging population. Miriam has had the opportunity to be in leadership positions on and off throughout her years working in hospice and is currently overseeing Elevation Hospice’s support services department.

Raven Albertson – Alzheimer’s Association, Utah Chapter

Raven has a Bachelor of Science in Community Health from UVU and is currently finishing her Master of Arts in Mass Communications with a focus on health communications and a minor in Social Innovation at BYU. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist and has more than ten years of experience as a health educator. She has been the Program Director of the Utah Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association since September 2020.

Jennifer Morgan – USU – Center for Persons with Disabilities

Jennifer Morgan is the Aging & Disability Program Manager at the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University. She developed the COVER to COVER program in 2013 which brought community-based organizations and VA partners together to improve service to Veteran clients. She has a special power in navigating the big world of VA!

Janeil Esplin – Five County AAA

Janeil Esplin is a case manager at Five County AAA. She has a lead role in the COVER to COVER program as a Veteran Benefits Specialist and Veteran Service Officer. She is a dynamo in helping Veterans and their caregivers get connected to their benefits!

Nancy Madsen, MS, SSW, CPM – DHS/Division of Aging and Adult Services

Nancy holds an MS Degree in Gerontology from the University of Utah and is a licensed Social Service Worker, Certified Public Manager, and Dementia Dialogues Trainer/Specialist. She is the Utah Caregiver Support Program Manager for the State of Utah/Division of Aging & Adult Services. Additionally, Nancy has been an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University where she taught Adult Development & Aging from 2017-2018. A former family caregiver herself spanning almost 25 years, she understands the role of a caregiver well and is passionate about advocating for all older adults as well as family caregivers who selflessly devote their lives and time in caring for their loved ones.

Kathy S. Nelson – SLCo Aging & Adult Services

Kathy brings a unique view to skill-based learning through experience in the U.S. Peace Corps, Refugee Camps, Veterans Organizations, Human Resources, and Social Services. She currently designs programs and tools for Salt Lake County Aging & Adult  Services. Her work includes The Managing Care Guide, The Creating Joy Booklet, The Caregiver Academy, and Caregiver Talking Point Programs.

Thomas Dahdouh – Federal Trade Commission — Western Region San Francisco

Thomas Dahdouh is currently the Regional Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Western Region San Francisco office. From 2013 to 2019, he served as Regional Director for both the San Francisco and Los Angeles FTC offices. From 2012 to 2013, he was Assistant Regional Director for the San Francisco office. Before that, he worked for 14 years as a staff attorney in the San Francisco office, handling both consumer protection and antitrust matters. Previously, he worked at the FTC’s Washington, D.C., headquarters for two Commissioners and served as a Counselor to the Director for both the Bureau of Consumer Protection and the Bureau of Competition. He also was on the Executive Committee of the California State Bar’s Antitrust, UCL, and Privacy Section from 2009 to 2015, holding the position of Chair of the Section from 2014-2015. He received his JD from Harvard Law School and his BA from Yale University.

Ronald Tolman – Stagg Fiduciary Services

Ron works as a forensic accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner. He has 20 years of general accounting experience including 13 years of forensic and fiduciary accounting experience at Stagg Fiduciary Services. He specialized in elder financial abuse and disability financial abuse cases. He studied business/accounting at Salt Lake Community College and business/economics at Brigham Young University.

Audrey Stevenson – SLCoHD

Dr. Audrey Stevenson has worked for the Salt Lake County Health Department for the past 34 years. She is the current Division Director of Family Health and for the past year has been the COVID-19 Vaccination Co-Director for Salt Lake County. She is known locally and nationally as a vaccine expert.

Elizabeth Garcia-Leavitt – University of Utah Dept. of Geriatrics Aging Brain Care Program

Liz is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in Geriatrics and Dementia care.  She has spent the last 15+ years working directly with patients and families guiding them through the dementia diagnosis and treatment process. Liz is also active on a state level in Dementia education and policy through the Utah State Alzheimer’s Executive Committee. 

Rebecca Beaumont – Adult Protective Services

Rebecca serves as the multidisciplinary team coordinator for Adult Protective Services.  Rebecca is passionate about coordinator services for victims and has worked with multidisciplinary teams for victims of child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, and elder abuse. Rebecca has ten years of experience working with vulnerable adults, including experience as a direct support professional, case manager, therapist, researcher, program administrator, and volunteer. She has a Master’s Degree in Social Work and specializes in abuse and exploitation.

Traci Lee – Adult Protective Services

Traci has worked in the Human Services field for 30 years. Traci started her career in housing, youth treatment, and working with people with disabilities. For the last several years, Traci has worked for both county and state Aging Services; in working for Salt Lake County, Traci oversaw the Active Aging Program and she currently works for the State of Utah and serves as a Program Administrator for Adult Protective Services. Traci graduated with a Master’s in Human Service Administration. Traci is passionate about advocacy and services for vulnerable populations.

Kate Nance – Adult Protective Services

Kate Nance, of Adult Protective Services, works to reduce the financial exploitation of vulnerable adults in the state of Utah. During her time as an attorney specializing in elder law, she saw firsthand the devastating effects financial exploitation and scams have on individuals and their families. Kate is passionate about providing education and improving services to prevent and better respond to financial exploitation.

Elizabeth Russell – Trent University

Elizabeth Russell is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of the Trent Centre for Aging & Society at Trent University, Canada. She teaches psychology courses in aging, health, qualitative research methods, and the history of psychology, and supervises undergraduate and graduate students studying the psychology of aging and applied health psychology topics more broadly. Her research is focused on the sustainability of rural age-friendly community programs, having worked in collaboration with communities in various Canadian provinces that have implemented age-friendly programs. Her research takes a collaborative, interdisciplinary, and community-based approach to study a variety of aging and health topics focused within rural communities.

Preston Hutchings – SLCo Aging & Adult Services

Preston Hutchings is the Section Manager over Independent Aging for Salt Lake County Aging & Adult Services. In this role, he leads the management teams for Rides for Wellness and Meals on Wheels. Preston has worked with Aging & Adult Services for 7 years. He holds a bachelor’s in communications from U of U.

Gerda Saunders

Gerda Saunders emigrated to the United States from South Africa in 1984. From 2001-2011 she served as associate director of the Gender Studies Program at the University of Utah and also taught in the program. After being diagnosed with early-onset dementia in 2010, she wrote Memory’s Last Breath: Field Notes on my Dementia. She has spoken about dementia at conferences related to aging, including at the University of Missouri and the University of Texas, San Antonio. She has advocated for people with dementia in media including the BBC, The Huffington Post, Slate, The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Maria Shriver on NBC’s Today Show. She is the subject of a series of short films on her dementia, which is being produced by VideoWest. She blogs about her life with dementia at gerdasaunders.com

Paul Iarrobino – BBA Business Administration

Paul Iarrobino is a community activist, speaker, and documentarian with over three decades of human services experience. For the past year, he developed a virtual framework for community members to safely connect and support each other during a global pandemic. Most recently, he led a grant-funded initiative that helped connect underserved, low-income older adults with technology and supports.