Vital Aging Network

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VAN Forum

ALVA: Turning Your Lifetime of Experience into Leadership that Matters

August 10, 2009
10:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Kris Orluck, Senior Coordinator, Parks and Recreation Board, Senior Coordinator, City of Maple Grove
Mary Kowalski, VAN Networking/Education Committee Chair; Retired, 3M, Training and Development
Peg Kavaney, 2009 ALVA Grad
Lynn Moratzka, 2009 ALVA Grad

Lenox Community Center
6715 Minnetonka Blvd
St. Louis Park, MN 55426

“Many people tell themselves someday I’m going to do this or that,” says Kris Orluck. “We believe life’s too short to put off the things that really matter to you. ALVA is the kind of catalyst many people need to take on challenges that will be good for them and good for our society.”

The ALVA Leadership Development program will help you (re) discover your lifework, learn about opportunities and barriers to leadership in later life, and plan and implement a civic leadership project.

Hear about ALVA from Peg and Lynn, participants in last year’s program. Have an opportunity to talk about the change you would like to see and how you might help make it happen.

This year’s course will be offered at Century College in White Bear Lake, Inver Hills Community College in Inver Grove Heights, and Minnesota State University, Mankato starting in October 2009.

Download the flyer.



On Tuesday, August 11, 2009 approximately 30 people gathered at the Lenox Community Center in St. Louis Park to learn about VAN’s premiere ALVA Leadership Development Program. The ALVA Task Force Chair, Kris Orluck and ALVA Lead Facilitator, Mary Kowalski facilitated the meeting. 2009 grads, Peg Kavaney and Lyn Moratzka, offered their own personal story of how ALVA impacted their lives.

Mary Kowalski said that ALVA has 3 primary purposes to older adults.

  1. ALVA allows students to develop their leadership skills. These leadership skills are targeted to those who are 50+.
  2. ALVA provides students the option to obtain “focus” in their lives. It helps students answer the question of “What do I want to do now?”
  3. ALVA connects students to other people with similar mind sets.

2009 ALVA Grad, Peg, talked about once she retired how she was itching to get involved. ALVA gave her the base on how she wanted to spend her retirement. She said that ALVA, “Brought me into people’s experiences.” For Peg, the most important part of ALVA was the development of a network of colleagues. Like Peg, Lyn spoke about how the 2008-2009 ALVA course helped her during her transition. Lyn said that ALVA helped her, “Figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life.” ALVA afforded her the option to find different ways to be engaged throughout retirement. ALVA helped both Peg and Lyn, move from being “consumers to citizens.”

If interested in participating in the 2009-2010 ALVA course visit VAN’s website. Click here to view the brochure.

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