November 16, 2021 | Breaking Ground: Building a Framework to Age Well in Oregon

Significant demographic shifts are occurring throughout the nation that reflect a permanent change to the American age structure. According to the state’s Office of Economic Analysis, the number of Oregonians age 65+ will swell to over 1 million by 2030, with seniors comprising 21 percent of the population. This growth and extended lifespans have implications for policy and budgeting, and create dynamics that pose fundamental risks to societal stability. In response, a handful of forward-thinking states have already implemented comprehensive plans for aging that involve the public, private, nonprofit and independent sectors. While their approaches may be different, the universal goal is to align systems across sectors with state and local policy, programs and funding sources that make it possible for everyone to age well in the community. Oregon has no such plan. Our panel of experts will examine aging trends and challenges, and outline collaborative steps that individuals, businesses, advocacy groups and policymakers can take to advance system changes that will better meet the needs, values and preferences of older adults and their families in the years ahead. This is the third in a three-part series focused on a new vision for successful and equitable aging for all Oregonians.


Stephanie J. Hooper

Stephanie serves as President of AGE+ and JFRF and has over 25 years of experience working in private and nonprofit sectors, with a passion for growing community and nonprofit capacity through training, program development, advocacy and fundraising. Her nonprofit career began in at the American Red Cross, where she held a numerous program development and leadership roles. As ARC State Director of Health & Safety Services, she revamped and expanded the delivery of life-saving skills training and products across Oregon which became a model for other Red Cross chapters nationally. Prior to joining AGE+ and JFRF, she also held the positions of Director of Marketing and Fund Development for DePaul Treatment Centers and AVP Nonprofit Relationship Manager at Pacific Continental Bank (now Columbia Bank). Stephanie is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum of Oregon and a member of their Board of Directors. She has been actively engaged as a volunteer and board member for organizations focused on education, social justice, LGBTQ communities, youth leadership development and services to older adults.

Contact Stephanie Hooper at


John Tapogna, MPP

John is President of ECONorthwest and oversees a strategy that has expanded the firm along the West Coast and into the Intermountain West. Since his arrival at ECONorthwest in 1997, John has built consulting practices in education, healthcare, human service, and tax policy. The education practice is organized around the use of student-level, longitudinal data to evaluate programs for clients, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, Idaho’s Albertson Family Foundation, and Oregon’s Chalkboard Project. John also led the design and development of award-winning software tools in ten states that help low-income families, seniors, people with disabilities, and veterans understand their eligibility for safety-net programs. Prior to joining ECONorthwest, John served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Chile and was an Analyst at the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, where he estimated the cost of Clinton-era welfare reforms.

Contact John Tapogna at

Bandana Shrestha

Bandana is the State Director for AARP Oregon where she leads and supports AARP’s vision of health security, financial resilience and community engagement for over 500,000 members, as well as Oregonians aged 50 and older and their families across the state. During her 20-plus years as a leader in local, national, and international organizations, Bandana has worked to drive people-powered solutions to effect positive social change, improve lives, and transform communities. Bandana is a graduate of Linfield College and University of Oregon and lives in Happy Valley with her husband and son.

Contact Bandana Shrestha at

Keren Brown Wilson, PhD

Dr. Wilson’s career spans a broad range of academic and professional activities in aging and long-term care, including teaching, research, program design and implementation. Her work encompasses service at the community, state, national, and international levels. She is widely known as the architect of the ‘Oregon Model’ of assisted living in her work with affordable housing and services. She has collaborated with numerous governmental and advocacy organizations to develop standards and training materials. Dr. Wilson serves as CEO of the Jessie F. Richardson Foundation (JFRF) and its Oregon-based nonprofit AGE+. Both organizations focus on underserved older adults in resource-constrained communities using asset-based community development techniques. Dr. Wilson has published professionally and received numerous awards for her work in the field of aging, including the Maxwell Pollack Award of the Gerontological Society of America in 2005, Purpose Prize Fellow in 2012, Simon Benson Award for Philanthropy in 2016, and election as a gerontological fellow of the Gerontological Society in 2016. She is currently Chair-elect of the PSU Foundation Board and sits on the boards of numerous other nonprofit groups.

Contact Dr. Keren Brown Wilson at

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