John Steele– At Large Board Member
After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree from Texas A&M and his Master’s Degree from North Texas State University John taught theatre arts at Plano Senior High School for 24 years. After losing his father to Alzheimer’s and his mother to Congestive Heart Failure, John transitioned into hospice work, serving as Director of Community Outreach. He began his own company, Alternative Living Choices, 4 years ago as a Senior Living Advisor. He is also a Board Member for Ed-U-CARE and Adult Protective Services Community Board of Dallas. www.AlternativeLivingChoices.org
Iftekhar Amin, PhD– At Large Board Member
Iftekhar is an Associate Professor of Human Services at UNT Dallas, and a social gerontologist with expertise in inter-disciplinary research on aging, sustainable community building, and developing countries. He is the elected Chair of Age Well Live Well (AWLW), a coalition led by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services.
DAGS is governed by a nine member Board of Directors.
Treasurer (4) At-Large Board Members
There are six standing committees in which all members are encouraged to participate.
What Does DAGS Offer?
Questions Call Us: 972-382-9900
David H. Rios – At Large Board Member
David Rios is a senior living advisor. He retired from IBM after a 27 year career. His experience in the health care industry lead him to acquired Oasis Senior Advisors, allowing him to guide seniors & their families in finding new homes. www.OasisSeniorAdvisors.com/Dallas
Susan Rogers – Communications Chair
After earning a B.A. degree in Psychology from UCONN and a M.S. degree in Gerontology from UNT, Susan spent twenty years working with Elders and their families in Assisted Living, Memory Care and Skilled Nursing Facilities. Susan uses that experience and expertise in her role as Community Liaison for Certified Elder Law Attorney John McNair at J. McNair Dallas Law. JMcNair-DallasLaw
Melanie Calhoun– Membership Chair
After several years in the private sector, Melanie decided to transfer her experience to the public sector and use her skills to help others. Melanie currently serves as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Senior Companion Program at The Senior Source, Inc. www.TheSeniorSource.com
The Dallas Area Gerontological Society (DAGS) was founded in 1989.
DAGS is a non-profit, voluntary member organization whose mission is to provide continuing education on gerontological topics, provide scholarships to individuals pursuing a career in the aging field, and to advocate for improved services for senior adults.
Sarah Lowe – Secretary
Sarah Lowe has a passion for seniors and their families. Growing up with her Grandparents, Sarah enjoyed the company of seniors and hearing their rich stories about the lives they led. The most rewarding part of her job is the ability to help families navigate through a difficult time and give them hope in the transition from home to Assisted Living.
Lori Nesler – Treasurer
Lori Nesler is the owner of Comfort Keepers In-Home Care which opened in 2002. She currently serves as a board member at Sharing Life Community Outreach, which houses the Medical Equipment Exchange that she established . She chairs the annual “Stop Senior Hunger” Food and Funds Drive and is a past member of the Adult Protective Services Community Board. Lori is a Certified Senior Advisor, and is passionate about helping seniors. www.StopSeniorHunger.info
Peggy Papert – Forum Chair
Peggy is the owner and licensed clinical social worker of Elder Care Consultants of Texas helping families to streamline the steps needed to navigate their loved ones later years. She has worked over 32 years in a wide array of settings including in and out patient medical and psychiatric hospitals, managed care and religious organizations. Peggy has served on local hospitals’ Attending Clergy Executive Board as a social worker. Peggy maintains her association with NASW, her certification with the state board and she has completed a gerontology certificate program.
John McNair – Legal Advisor
John McNair has practiced law in Dallas for 35 years. He is board certified in Estate Planning and Probate and in Tax Law. He has earned the National Elder Law Foundation's Certified Elder Law Attorney designation. He is also an accredited attorney with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, experienced with VA Benefits, and Medicaid qualification. J.McNair-DallasLaw
Carole Larkin– Vice President
MA, CMC, CAEd ,Certified DCP
Carole Larkin has been a dementia consultant for families in the DFW area for over 12 years. She is a nationally known writer on Alzheimer’s and related Dementias.
Emily Grooms – Advocacy Chair
MA, MS/UNT/Gerontology, CALM
Emily is a Partner in two neighborhood-based licensed assisted living communities, specializing in difficult and challenging behavior. She is a facilitator/trainer for the Alzheimer’s Association, serves on the board for the Texas Organization of Residential Care Homes, and is past-president of the North Texas Chapter. Since 2013, she’s been Education Chair for TORCH educational conferences.
Laurie Miller– Past-President
Laurie is the founder, owner and administrator of Apple Care & Companion, a non-medical home care agency. Laurie has been involved in the senior care industry since 2006 and has served on the board of DAGS since 2008. Laurie is also co-founder of the iACT Summit. www.iactsummit.org
Matt Newton – Scholarship Chair
Matt runs his family business, Alert Response, a medical alarm company serving DFW since 1991. While in college at UNT he first started working as technician for his father and founder of Alert Response, Spud Newton. Since then he has become more involved in the community and most recently served as the Treasurer and President of TAGS, serves as a board member for PediPlace and is a founding member of the Senior Standing Tall Coalition in Denton County. alertresponse.com
Brittney Tree – At Large Board Member
Karisti Shankle – Program Chair
Karisti is in Community Relations for Belmont Village Senior Living. She has a love for helping seniors and started working with them 15 years ago when she was volunteering at a nursing home - she never dreamed it would turn into her full time job! She is active with her church Highland Park United Methodist and enjoys spending time with friends and family. www.belmontvillage.com
Kathleen Warshawsky, BSN, RN– President
Kathleen is a registered nurse, as well as the owner and Publisher of Seniors Blue Book Greater Dallas. She began her nursing career in 1992, starting with clinical practice at the bedside and transitioning into roles of Educator, Administrator, and Director of Nursing. Kathleen is passionate about providing community education and resources for aging well.