Cathy Gervasio, OPEA President Jess Callahan, Dixie Jackson, Becky Laipple, Carmen Ross
The ADvantage Administration Unit (AAU) of DHS’ Aging Services Division was selected as the 2013 Art Jackson Chapter of the Year. This chapter, located in Tulsa, went above-and-beyond the qualifications necessary to become a Gold Star chapter.
They increased membership by seven percent despite an existing high membership percentage. The chapter also hosted a legislative panel with three legislators who toured the office and heard from staff about state employee and program issues as well as participation from the office’s division director and program administrator. In the meeting, issues were raised that were later brought to DHS Director Ed Lake’s attention and he was able to address them. The AAU chapter also conducts “member only” meetings in which members receive information not available to other staff. Chapter leadership believes this assists in recruitment as an added value to their OPEA membership. The AAU chapter operates very independently and has strong chapter leadership, They also maintain a chapter bulletin board and publish a chapter newsletter to better inform their members.Chapter members are active in statewide OPEA activities as demonstrated by serving on committees, attending board meetings and advocacy events.
This award is named after one of OPEA’s founding members Art Jackson. Art and his wife Dixie were among a handful of state employees who were instrumental in OPEA’s creation.