July 31, 2018 was far from just another day at the office for Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia CEO John Skirven. On his last day as head of one of the country’s oldest Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), he was in Chicago for the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging’s (n4a’s) Annual Conference & Tradeshow. He had no idea that while there he would be receiving the organization’s highest honor, the 2018 Excellence in Leadership award.
The n4a Excellence in Leadership Awards are given to AAA and Title VI directors or their affiliates (staff, Board or Advisory Council) who have demonstrated exceptional leadership capabilities at the local, state, or national level in advancing the mission of the Older Americans Act and preparing communities for our nation’s rapidly aging population. Winners are nominated and then selected by a panel of their peers.
“I am humbled,” the retiring CEO said in accepting the award from n4a CEO Sandy Markwood. “At the same time, I am proud beyond words that what we have done over these years is the object of national appreciation.”
Since coming to Senior Services in August 1990, Skirven has been integral in growing the agency’s reach and introducing new programs and projects. One of those projects, which he will continue to lend his assistance is The Hayden Village Center, a mixed-use development for seniors in Franklin, Virginia.
“This Excellence in Leadership Award is just that—recognition of John’s trailblazing work to improve the lives of older adults in the community, both locally in his community and in the Aging Network as a whole,” said Markwood. “It’s a credit to John that, for more than 28 years, he has made a difference in the lives of older Americans by developing programs and services to help them live as independently as possible as they age. That is excellence in leadership.”
Skirven was one of three leaders receiving this year’s award. Additionally, the n4a Excellence in Leadership Award was presented to Roberta Sue Slinkard, Title VI director of the Osage Tribe of Oklahoma, Pawhuska, Oklahoma; and Kathryn C. Boles, president and CEO of Valley Area Agency on Aging, Flint, Michigan.
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