SeniorLAW Center honors the leadership staff team of SeniorLAW Center during Women’s History Month

by Kristen Wilson

  • Posted on March 30, 2021

  • News

In honor of Women’s History Month, we would like to highlight our Executive Director and the women who serve on the leadership team or lead a project at SeniorLAW Center.

Karen Buck, is the Executive Director here at SeniorLAW Center who has been with us for over 20 years and is an amazing leader and trailblazer in access to justice. She’s testified before the U.S. Senate, traveled globally to Iceland, Japan, New Zealand and more to grow, learn and share resources on elder justice. She’s spoken to masses about the importance of eradicating ageism, sexism, racism and poverty, including on the steps of the Capitol Building in Harrisburg, before City Council and to thousands across the nation. She is a voice for all, lives the life she speaks of by caring for her elderly parents and aunt. She is mom to Alexander, whom her and her husband adopted from the American foster care system. Thank you, Karen, fearless leader, for all you do for SeniorLAW Center and for older people across the Commonwealth.

Renee Chenault-Fattah, is the Director of Pro Bono Action for Community impact in PA. While Renee is one of our newest additions to the SeniroLAW Center team, but she is no stranger to most, as she is considered “Philadelphia royalty” as she spent over 20 years as a journalist, bringing us all critical news through major television networks. Her impact has been monumental in the short time that she’s been with us. When asking why Renee works for SeniorLAW Center, she shared: “After finishing my film on Alzheimer’s in Communities of Color I was inspired to continue advocacy for older citizens and Senior LAW Center ‘s project with AARP to make an impact through pro bono partnerships was a natural fit.”

Janine Dunlap Kiah is the Director of our Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Project. She sings, she engages, she leads; she is our resident parrot with her exuberant personality! When asked what she wanted the world to know about our work with older people during COVID-19 and beyond, she shared: “I was already proud of the work we did to serve the most marginalized and vulnerable among us: Older adults, often of a racial or ethnic minority and living in poverty. However, the pandemic has shined spotlight on how debilitating some of these issues can be. For example, I was generally aware pre-pandemic every home did not have internet access or a computer or smartphone (and therefore, no email address, etc.) But when the pandemic required internet access to participate in court proceedings, that created an even bigger rift between those who could readily avail themselves to access justice and those who absolutely could not. At SeniorLAW, we continually find ways to ensure our clients receive the care they need. That means – inviting them to meet in the office to use our technology for court proceedings; going to their homes to get signatures on documents; permitting them drive-up and wait in their car while we notarize a Last Will and Testament on the sidewalk; and more. We find ways over, around, and through barriers that would have normally kept our clients at an even greater disadvantage during the pandemic. Therefore, where I was once merely proud to be an employee, I am actually honored I am given this opportunity to serve others through this organization.”

Leah Finlayson. is our Director of Victims Services here at SeniorLAW Center. Leah is a Philadelphia native who graduated from both Temple University and the City University of New York Law School. Her role essential to leading our largest team, Victim Services, helping to keep older people safe and free from elder abuse and financial exploitation. Thank you, Leah for all you do!

Dana Goldberg is the Legal Director for SeniorLAW Center. She oversees all of the legal staff with grace and resilience. She is a leader who cares deeply about the people and we are all better for it! She successfully represented a 90 year old WWII veteran after his home, his possessions and all of his funds were stolen by a con artist. She’s presented nationally and is a leading voice in elder justice, elder abuse and financial exploitation. Thank you, Dana for your tireless efforts, your leadership, and for everything you do (which is just too much to name in a single post).

Joanna Jarzebowska, Esq. is the Director of Client Intake and Joanna has been a part of the team at SeniorLAW Center for almost 10 years. She is a graduate of Temple University for both her undergraduate studies as well as receiving a Juris Doctorate from the Beasley School of Law in 2011 from Temple. When we asked Joanna what do you want the world to know about our work with older people during COVID-19 and beyond, she shared: “ We are here for you. Our statewide PA SeniorLAW HelpLine is open for advice, information, brief services and/or referrals on a wide range of civil legal issues. We are here to listen and we are here to help!”

Elizabeth Shay is the Director of Homeownership Rights for SeniorLAW Center. For over three decades she brings her experience managing housing issues, and supervising staff, interns and other agency leaders to tackle housing issues in and around the city of Philadelphia. This past year with COVID-19 and the issues surrounding that, her team has been one of the busiest in SeniorLAW Center history. When we asked Beth what do you want the world to know about our work with older people during COVID-19 and beyond, she shared” “Most seniors are resilient, hopeful and trusting but all have been impacted by COVID. Loneliness and anxiety have taken up residence in their homes. You can tell the relief in the senior’s voice when you identify yourself as calling from SLC. They let their guard down and exhale. I love this moment. I visualize them laying down their burdens while we talk. I check on their health and see if they need anything. I try to break down my request for information, documents, signatures, asking them to perform a single task and then call me back Step by step we make slow and steady progress.”

Kristen Wilson is our Development Director. Kristen has been working for almost two decades in nonprofit missions in the Philadelphia Area and the southeast. Kristen loves pushing the mission forward through helping to develop and maintain strong revenue streams, building funding relationships, planning amazing special events, and more.

We would like to thank each one of these fantastic women leaders here at SeniorLAW Center, and your work does not go unappreciated. Thank you for everything that you have done, and will continue to do. We celebrate you!

About the Author

Kristen Wilson

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