Longtime Executive Director to Retire from Iona Senior Services

April 12, 2021

A message from Iona’s Board of Directors. 

Sally White, Iona’s Executive Director, has announced her plans to retire from the organization during the latter part of 2021.

Sally has been extremely influential in the expansion of Iona’s programs and services over her career of nearly 35 years. She started at Iona as an Information and Referral Specialist in 1986 and served in many capacities over the years, rising to Iona’s Executive Director in 2009. During Sally’s illustrious tenure as Executive Director, Iona has:

  • Further developed the beautiful community facility located in Ward 3, and ultimately built a new facility in Ward 8, a state-of-the-art adult day health center located in the Congress Heights neighborhood;
  • Added numerous programs, including the Take Charge/Age Well Academy and its signature Aging Solo program, as well as other specific programs designed for older adults experiencing memory loss and diminishing command of their financial resources;
  • Effectively navigated the delivery of vital nutritional resources and initiated “remote touch” initiatives to counter the negative effects of the pandemic, which has impacted many older adults who are lonely and isolated;
  • Dispatched social workers to serve at-risk older adults at their residences when it appeared their safety might be endangered due to cognitive impairment and/or difficulty handling essential daily tasks;
  • Established key program alliances with outstanding community organizations to enhance the lives of older adults, such as Sibley Memorial Hospital, The Phillips Collection, faith communities, and aging-in-community Villages;
  • Substantially grown Iona’s financial resources and reserves; and
  • Enhanced and expanded Iona’s role as a service provider for DC Department on Aging and Community Living supported programs and services.

Sally has been a prolific leader in the field of aging and champion of the rights of older adults and their caregivers. She has served in the leadership of the District of Columbia’s Senior Advisory Coalition, ensured Iona’s continued support for the DC Coalition on Long Term Care, and is currently on the Board of Directors of LeadingAge DC.

Under Sally’s leadership, Iona is stronger than ever and thriving, with comprehensive programs, a solid leadership team, and stable financial position. She has proven to be a flexible, communicative, socially responsible, resourceful, creative, and empathetic leader. The successful opening of the new adult day health center in Ward 8 – in the middle of a pandemic – is testament to Sally and Iona’s ability to connect with and serve older adults throughout DC.

Sally believes that, given Iona’s solid footing, this is the right time to begin the process of transitioning to new leadership.

Iona has a strong, dedicated, and remarkably talented group of leaders, many of whom have been with the organization for 10-15 years and who will continue to perform their respective functions.  Sally has also helped assemble a diverse Board of Directors that is well-positioned to continue to oversee Iona’s strategic direction.

The Board is commencing a thorough candidate search for a new Executive Director led by Stacey Berk, Founder & Managing Consultant of Expand HR Consulting. The search process will be aided by work overseen by the Board’s Governance Committee to establish an organization-wide succession plan, including identification of leadership team roles and responsibilities and functional capabilities. Furthermore, the Board will continue to pursue organizational leadership that joins in the local and national struggle for racial justice and equity in every aspect of the organization’s objectives and interactions with older adults and their families/caregivers.

Iona is a highly effective organization which strives to support people as they experience the challenges and opportunities of aging and educates, advocate,s and provides community-based services to help people age well and live well. This mission and commitment transcend the individuals within the organization.

Sally and the Board are confident that a qualified Executive Director candidate will emerge to continue Iona’s mission, expand our reach, and superbly implement Iona’s strategic priorities. Sally has established that she is flexible as to the timing of her retirement and has indicated a strong commitment to assist in a seamless transition to the new Executive Director.

If you have any questions, please contact Sally White at 202-895-0246, swhite@iona.org, or email executivesearch@iona.org.

 Please view the Executive Director job posting here.