Amherst Town Hall. Photo: Art Keene

Town Manager Paul Bockelman announced his nominations to the Amherst Council on Aging in a nominating memo to the Town Clerk dated October 1, 2019.

Nominated for three-year terms were Rosemary Koeffler (reappointment),  Ivette Palacin, and Juana Trujillo. Nominated for two-year terms were Sue Dierks, Patricia Rector, and John Wollensak.  Nominated for a one-year term was Norma Hallock (reappointment). Richard Kofler and Etta Walsh will continue to serve as members with terms expiring on June 30, 2020.

Profiles of the nominees were provided by the Town Manager.


Rosemary Kofler is the current chair of the Council on Aging. She helped with the recruitment of the new Director of Elder Services and is playing a vital role in the transition from the Town’s long-serving director to the new director.  She has been a member of the Council on Aging since August 1, 2017.

Ivette Palacin has been visiting seniors in nursing and private homes for five years.  She is a recent retiree from UMass and has been looking for ways to support seniors in Town.  She has co-led a movement class at the Senior Center.

Juana Trujillo has a long history of working with seniors and disabled adults in Amherst.  For 18 years she worked as the Social Service Coordinator for the Amherst Housing Authority.  She is looking forward to improving outreach in the Latinix community and using her language skills to further promote inclusion.

Sue Dierks has provided leadership to the Senior Center for many years having most recently been involved with the Council’s Long Range Planning Committee.  According to the Town Manager she is a ready volunteer for all events at the Senior Center and a welcoming face at the reception desk.

According to the Town Manager, Patricia Rector brings a deep respect for the achievements of the Senior Center and seeks to use her commitment to fully embrace the broad spectrum of diversity in Town.

John Wollensak is deeply interested in service at the Senior Center. According to the Town Manager, he has the second highest number of volunteer hours. He has served on the Council’s Long Range Planning Committee. He brings strong analytical skills and a comfortable ability to understand and work with data, numbers, and technology.  He runs the medical equipment lending program and offers technology tutoring.

Norma Hallock has been a member of the Council on Aging since 2014.

These nominations will be submitted for approval of the Town Council at their next meeting on October 17.

The Amherst Council on Aging acts as an advocate for the elderly of Amherst before local, state, and national bodies. The Council makes its recommendations to the Director of Senior Services and the Town Manager.

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