Listen and learn how Aldersgate is re-shaping the present and future of retirement living in Charlotte, NC.
Aldersgate OnAir puts a voice to our name! We invite you to settle in and listen to stories about our community’s unique philosophy, intriguing stories and perspectives that make Aldersgate such a special place.
In honor of this year’s upcoming Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas in Charlotte, we have invited two very special guests to speak about the significance of this holiday and how it is shaping modern culture.
Joining us today is Pape Ndiaye, a Senegalese immigrant and the owner/operator of House of Africa, an amazing art gallery and shop with locations in Charlotte and New York. In addition to running his shops, Pape is the founder of Charlotte’s Juneteenth Festival and has been its lead organizer for over two decades.
We also talk with Charlotte historian and the author of “Sorting Out the New South City” Tom Hatchett, who provides some additional depth and perspective on the growth of Charlotte and the impact of Juneteenth celebrations on the city and the outlying areas.
While this last year of challenges, hardships and sacrifice make it easy to view the world through a tarnished lens, we can still find positive things that bring hope and inspiration. It’s important to find things to look forward to. And perhaps no other organization better represents this positivity than Aldersgate.
In addition to its commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity, Aldersgate has developed plans that not only benefit its residents and neighboring communities on an immediate basis, but also an epic master site plan for the future. This master site plan completely reimagines the very definition of intergenerational living as we know it to benefit people of all income levels, ages and all backgrounds for many generations to come.
Joining us today to talk about this forward-thinking vision are Aldersgate Life Plan Services CEO Suzanne Pugh, Shook Kelley founding partner and principal Terry Shook, and Senior VP of Development Lee Cochran from Laurel Street Residential. Together, these three (along with other partners) are working to make these dreams a reality.
Today’s world is full of challenges—pandemics, environmental issues, political tensions and, yes, even in 2021, the continued prevalence of racial inequality. The good news is that awareness is growing. With many movements seeking racial justice worldwide, we are having more of the important conversations so vitally needed, and we are seeing increased diversity in leadership positions.
Today’s guest is the inspirational Mary Wilson, who not only serves on the board of directors at Aldersgate, but also holds the distinction of being both the first woman and the first person of color to have headed the board as chair. And while Mary’s list of accomplishments and career highlights is impressive, to say the least, she is remarkably humble while still being entertaining, engaging and thought-provoking.
Mary graciously shares with us some of her early childhood experiences and how she transitioned those experiences into careers as an attorney, director of social services and seminarian. She also candidly discusses some of the challenges she’s faced and how she maintains her positive determination in a time when we shouldn’t still be having so many “firsts.”
Today on Aldersgate OnAir, we are thrilled to explore the world of urban farming—“the growing of plants and raising of animals in and around cities,” as defined by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization. Urban agriculture is reshaping local food systems across the country. Farmers and gardeners in and around cities areas are creating new economic, social and environmental opportunities.
As farmland is swallowed up by urban development, we must source farm products from farther and farther away, increasing our carbon footprint while decreasing the freshness of the food we consume. Happily, a trend is emerging to save threatened farmland in the midst of urban areas—including Charlotte.
In this episode, we dig into how an urban farm in our own backyard is becoming an important part of the fabric of Charlotte. Our guests today are Zack Wyatt, director of the Carolina Farm Trust; Larken Egleston, who is serving his second term as a member of the Charlotte City Council; and Brooks Shelley, director of Marketing and Engagement here at Aldersgate.
The COVID-19 vaccines are finally on their way, providing a much-needed vision of hope and security. There are, however, some concerns about the validity and safety of these vaccines and a hesitancy with some people to take them once they hit the market.
The leadership at Aldersgate recognizes these disparities and concerns and wanted to address them firsthand. So they assembled an internal task force to answer some of the most important questions about the vaccine and to hopefully alleviate some of these concerns and apprehensions.
Joining president and CEO Suzanne Pugh on the panel was Aldersgate board member and surgeon Dr. Bob Vaughan, who gave an inside perspective directly to members of the black and African American communities while addressing historical injustices carried out by our government that have led to a lack of trust. We also had medical director Dr. John Gambino, who laid out very clearly the status of the vaccine, its development cycle, misconceptions surround it, the anticipated distribution plan, the differences between the vaccines, and what we can expect the effects of the vaccines to be. We were also fortunate enough to have Aldersgate’s Director of Health services Brooke Hodge, who gave some up-to date-statistics about Covid-19 and where Aldersgate stands relative to infections and vaccines.
COVID-19 has had an immense impact on the world. Everyone is affected. The team at Aldersgate recognized the immediate impact it was having on its frontline workers, and set out to create an assistance program to help these employees and their families make it through this tough time. Their innovative brand of brainstorming led to the creation of three unique programs: The Hero Fund, which provides direct financial support for non-salaried employees and is matched by Aldersgate up to $100,000; The Learning Lab, which provides children of Aldersgate employees a free-of-charge place to learn, work and stay while the parents are at work; and The Food Pantry, where employees can receive necessary food staples while remaining completely anonymous. These amazing programs have allowed employees to keep their jobs and provide for their families during a time when many are faced with difficult decisions and circumstances.
Joining us today to talk about these innovative solutions are Kathlene Hendrick, Director of Human Resources and Brooks Shelley, Director of Branding and Community Engagement. Tune in to hear them discuss the genesis of these epic programs and how they are able to provide this much needed relief.
In part two of this two-part episode, we speak with Aldersgate resident George Moffat, who learned later in life that he was adopted and had an entirely different identity and ethnicity than those he grew up with. George paints a vivid picture of how these discoveries changed his outlook and perspective on life, and also drove him to become a volunteer mentor with ourBridge for KIDS.
This is a unique and incredible tale of self-discovery and inspiration that you won’t want to miss!
In 2003, Sil Ganzó arrived in the United States from Argentina when an opportunity for work presented itself. Seven years later, having recognized the lack of educational, social and emotional support for newly arrived children, Sil began working with refugee and immigrant families through an afterschool program called The Bridge. She eventually became its program director. In 2014, The Bridge was set to close down. Because of her close relationships with families, schoolteachers and community partners, Sil decided she could not allow the program to simply end and walk away.
So, Sil created ourBridge for KIDS, a nonprofit that provides a safe, nurturing and respectful environment for refugee and immigrant children and their families. It supports the children as they learn English and encourages academic excellence and cultural pride. At ourBridge for KIDS, families feel welcomed and embraced as they strive to start their lives anew in the United States.
In today’s OnAIR episode, we’re chatting it up with Mick and Maggie Miller, two members of a loosely knit group of Aldersgate resident cocktailers who have become known by some as “The Sunset Crew.” Though not an official club, the gang is known to host informal get-togethers by the outdoor firepit, usually around sunset and usually over, well … cocktails!
Mick and Maggie enthusiastically told us about the formation of the crew, the idea behind it, what they hope to accomplish and, of course, some of their favorite cocktails. If there’s one thing that the Sunset Crew has been successful at, it’s bringing people together to celebrate friendship and share stories. So today, we thought we’d share this really fun episode with you. Cheers!
In this very special double episode, we’ll explore this definition of the American Dream and what it will take to make it a reality. We’re joined today by two very special guests who work tirelessly to make the world a better place: Boris Henderson, Aldersgate Chief Strategy Officer and Veronica Calderon, Aldersgate Chief Diversity, Inclusion & Equity Officer.
Boris and Veronica speak from their personal experiences of growing up in the United States and being treated differently based on the color of their skin, and they answer questions about what it will take to leave behind outdated ways of thinking and acting to come up with real-world collaborative solutions. And because the best way to solve a problem is to start with the truth, they will be speaking unedited, honestly, and from the heart.
Ageism is a quiet “ism” in the United States. In reality, it isn’t addressed as often as other “isms.” In fact, AARP research uncovered that advertising targeted at older adults is pervasively ageist and that 9 out of 10 people over 50 find advertising messages to be missing the mark.
Part of the Aldersgate mission is to call attention to ageism and help people see through the filters. And since Aldersgate’s own Maria Hagadorn and Brooks Shelly are both loud and proud about tackling this topic head-on, we asked them back on the show to discuss it. We also invited Aldersgate resident Anne Behrend to share her thoughts on ageism and the remarkable way that she is making the most of her time during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the 24/7 news cycle floods us with coronavirus updates across the country and around the globe, what is often most useful is to hear how COVID-19 is affecting our local communities. There’s still so much we just don’t know – even medical professionals are looking for guidance. So while we wait for new developments, we can feel grounded by concrete examples of daily life close to home.
Today, we check in with with Aldersgate’s own Director of Health Services Brooke Hodge for a boots-on-the-ground perspective, as well as with Director of Marketing and Engagement Brooks Shelley for his inside scoop on some fun “distant socializing” activities he has planned for the community. We also hear from Aldersgate residents Beth and Wes Argabrite about living in a community like Aldersgate during these times and how they feel the company is handling the pandemic.
Welcome to Aldersgate OnAir! Aldersgate is a unique community that is both a place and a concept. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina on 231 acres of beautiful land, Aldersgate offers a variety of gorgeous housing options and health services for people 62 and older. Pet-friendly, natural trails and a serene lake set the stage.
Founded by the United Methodists, Aldersgate Life Plan Services is a non-profit organization that takes up the charge against ageism in the United States as well as embodies a commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity with a diverse board of directors, and giving form to that by developing a brand new 62+ community, Generations, at Shalom Park in South Charlotte.
Other physical acts demonstrating their commitment include supporting a variety of minority owned businesses in Charlotte, the arts, and attracting like-minded residents who devote thousands of volunteer hours to make this world a better place, day-by-day.
We’re excited to launch our radio station with the very first guests Maria Hagadorn and Brooks Shelley. Two instrumental people who deliver on the mission every day!