Meet Our New State Volunteer President - and Get Involved!

Posted on 07/01/22 by Mary Michaels

Picture of Jill Franken

Jill Franken of Sioux Falls is the new State Volunteer President for AARP South Dakota. In this role, she will collaborate with the AARP South Dakota state office team and volunteers to advance the AARP vision, mission, and strategic priorities.

Franken is well known across the state from her 20 years at the Sioux Falls Health Department, where she most recently served as public health director before retiring in April 2021. As public health director, Franken also served as the executive director of Falls Community Health. Her prior experience includes leadership positions at Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center and an initial nursing career as a pediatric ICU nurse.

“Jill’s incredible background makes her a great addition to our AARP South Dakota team,” said Erik Gaikowski, AARP South Dakota state director. “She has an incredible passion for helping people live their best lives, and she has made a positive impact on public health locally and statewide through her advocacy and policy work. I look forward to working alongside Jill as we continue our effort to be a leader in financial security education, livable communities, caregiver outreach and education and promoting voter engagement.”

As AARP South Dakota’s volunteer state president, Franken will also chair the executive council, comprised of volunteer leaders from across the state. Gaikowski says AARP South Dakota is currently looking for new members to join the council and encourages anyone who is interested to apply for this great this opportunity.

“My personal mission has always been to elevate good work, facilitate positive change, and make an impact,” Franken says. “AARP is important to me for many reasons, but especially because of my public health background and my background as a nurse. I am excited about this opportunity to work with AARP South Dakota and help make people of all ages happy and healthy in their lives.”

Franken holds a BSN degree from South Dakota State University and a master’s degree from the University of South Dakota. Jill is married to her husband Jerry, and they have three children and two grandchildren.

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

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