AARP Massachusetts Welcomes Jennifer Benson as New State Director

Posted on 05/14/24

AARP Massachusetts is pleased to announce Jennifer Benson will join AARP Massachusetts as State Director effective Monday, June 24. She succeeds Mike Festa who is stepping down from the position Friday, July 5.

Benson has served as a principal at TSK Associates, one of New England’s leading public affairs and government relations firms. Previously, Benson served as president of the Alliance for Business Leadership (ABL), a non-profit coalition of business leaders focused on renewable energy, affordable housing, and transportation. From 2009 to 2019 Benson served as State Representative for the 37th Middlesex District. During her time in office, she served as House Chair of the Joint Committees on Health Care Financing, State Administration and Regulatory Oversight, and Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure.

“I am thrilled to be joining the AARP Massachusetts Team. I have always admired their unsurpassed expertise and dedication in representing the 746,000 AARP members in Massachusetts,” said Benson. “As a State Representative I considered AARP a critical partner in education and advocacy to ensure the needs of older adults are represented in the creation of public policy, legislation and regulation. I am truly honored to join this highly respected organization and look forward to continuing their incredible work.”

While in the legislature, Benson championed legislation on the cutting edge including filing bills to grow the renewable energy economy, modernize our energy infrastructure, define biosimilar therapeutics, and to standardize step therapy practices to better serve patients.

“Jennifer’s impressive background and experience matches AARP’s mission and our work at the local, state and national levels,” said AARP East and Caribbean Regional Vice-President Kelly A. Clark. “We are excited to welcome her as leader of our talented and dedicated Massachusetts state staff and the scores of volunteers who make our work possible.”

Benson will take over the position from Mike Festa, who is leaving AARP after 11 years as State Director.

“I am very pleased with the selection, and I know Jennifer will do an outstanding job,” said Mike Festa, State Director, AARP Massachusetts. “There is no doubt that the best job I ever had was with AARP. I’m sure in no time at all Jennifer will feel the same.”

"Jen Benson joined us at a critical point as we reorganized TSK Associates. She was a significant contributor in that process and in the delivery of positive results for our clients," said Robert Travaglini, founder, TSK Associates and former President of the Massachusetts Senate. "Our loss is AARP’s gain and we wish Jen and AARP nothing but the best."

Jennifer earned a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, and a B.A. in Art History from Florida Atlantic University. She and her husband, Brent, are the parents of three grown children and live in Watertown

This story is provided by AARP Massachusetts. Visit the AARP Massachusetts page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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