Karisti Shankle Julia – 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

David H. Rios – At Large - Membership

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.



  • Meetings with educational programs
  • Professional Networking
  • Public policy updates
  • Student scholarships
  • Continuing education credits for Social Workers, LPC’s, Administrators and Nurses

DAGS is governed by a nine member Board of Directors.

             President                                   Past-President

             Vice-President                          Secretary

             Treasurer                                  (4) At-Large Board Members

There are six standing committees in which all members are encouraged to participate.

  • Membership – Promotes the Society and its benefits to others interested in aging. Maintains membership records and provides other important services.
  • Public Policy – Plans educational programs and events pertaining to public policy issues as they effect the elderly.
  • Programs – Plans and coordinates monthly continuing education programs for DAGS members.
  • Communications – Markets and promotes all educational programs and the Annual Forum.
  • Scholarship – Coordinates and distributes information about the student scholarship program.
  • Forum – Plans and implements the annual forum for DAGS members and the public.


What Does DAGS Offer?

Shannon Gore, MSW, MPH, CDP– Scholarship Chair

Shannon is the Caregiver Support Program Director at The Senior Source.  She has over 15 years of experience in social work and public health.  Shannon has a Bachelor of Arts in History from Morgan State University, a Masters in Social Work from Temple University and a Masters in Public Health from Drexel University. Shannon is a member of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee with the Alzheimer's Association, and on the Compassion Fatigue Symposium Planning Committee.  TheSeniorSource.com

Questions Call Us:  972-382-9900

Peggy Papert, LCSW– Forum Chair

Peggy is the owner of Elder Care Consultants of Texas helping families streamline the steps needed to navigate their loved one's later years. She has worked over 32 years in inpatient and outpatient medical and psychiatric hospitals, managed care, and religious organizations. She 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. http://www.eldercareconsultantstexas.com

Follow Us

Susan Rogers, MSG– Vice President

After earning a B.A. in Psychology from UCONN and an M.S. in Gerontology from UNT, Susan spent twenty years working with Elders and their families in a range of care settings.  Susan applies that expertise in her role as Community Liaison for Certified Elder Law Attorney John McNair.​ Susan is a member of the Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas, and serves in leadership roles with NPRA of DFW, Metrocrest Ministries Fellowship, the Alzheimer's Association Speakers Bureau, and the Compassion Fatigue Symposium.  McNair-DallasLaw.com

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 loved hearing stories about the rich lives they led. The most rewarding part of her job helping families navigate through a difficult time and giving them hope in the transition from home to Assisted Living.

Regina Wearden – At Large - Forum

Regina works with Dallas County Aging and Disability Resource Center. She assists older adults and persons with disabilities to understand the social service system and helps nursing facility residents understand their options if they wish to return to the community.  

Cheryl Beaver – Communications Chair

Simone Turner, RN, MPA, BSN, NEA-BC– At Large - Communications

Simone is the Director of Nursing Services for Home Health Companions.  A career nurse executive with expertise in transformational leadership and empowering young talent, Simone earned a Certificate in Nursing Management from Drexel University, a BSN in Nursing from Howard University, and a Masters of Public Affairs from NYU.

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.  McNair-DallasLaw.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.  She has served as the DAGS Board President since 2017.  www.SeniorsBlueBook.com

Emily Grooms, MA, MSG, CALM– Advocacy Chair

Emily is an Assisted Living and Memory Care Consultant. She is a facilitator/trainer for the Alzheimer’s Association, has served 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.


Brittney Tree – At Large - Programs

Brittney Tree is the Regional Sales Manager of SendaRide, a patient-centered non-emergency medical transportation company created specifically for the healthcare industry. She has given national presentations concerning transportation for vulnerable populations and has won a National Innovation award for a pilot program she created and launched.  Brittney has a bachelor's degree in Psychology from UCONN.  www.sendaride.com

Tami Davis Treasurer

​Dallas Area Gerontological Society

Est. 1989

Laurie Miller, MAGPast-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 DAGS Board since 2008. Laurie recently earned her Masters of Arts in Gerontology.  She also founded Conversation Ready NTX to help people have difficult conversations around end-of-life concerns.