Leadership Corner:  Introducing Island Senior Resources’ new board President – Jan Bahner

By Michele Cato, ISR Executive Director

When Jan first stepped foot on the Deception Pass bridge, she knew she wanted to retire to Whidbey someday. That was 27 years ago when she visited her son, a Navy Prowler navigator, who later remained on the Island to raise his own family, attracting Jan back every year from her home base in Towson, Maryland.

When Jan retired in 2020, she moved here to be close to her son, daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters (now ages 14 and 17) in Oak Harbor and soon sought a way to serve and engage her new community. She found it at Island Senior Resources. ISR was thrilled to find in Jan, a change agent with a human resources and performance improvement background and a forty-year registered nursing veteran of a large nonprofit health system. Drawn to issues of aging and having been associated with Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland, Jan jumped in with both feet and a full heart.  

Jan was unanimously elected as ISR’s new board President in June. Spearheading ISR’s 2024-2026 Strategic Plan, Jan has her priorities. She seeks to build the board into a team that advocates for ISR’s programs and assists in fundraising and also to add board members from diverse backgrounds and island geography. Her priority for ISR would be to broaden its reach to more seniors in need across Island County. And her challenge for the community at large? Knowing how independent seniors want to be, she asks our community to reach out for help (360-321-1600, www.senior-resources.org) and take advantage of the resources available to help reduce the complex barriers of aging. Jan said, “I look forward to this challenge. I am honored to have been selected. I look forward to working with the community and the organization to move us forward.”

When Jan faced health issues that left her less mobile than usual, she briefly became a Meals on Wheels client herself. Recognizing the potential for everyone to need ISR’s services at some point, Jan has become a generous donor herself. Jan loves whale watching, reading, crocheting, cross-stitching, participating in church activities, and spending time with family.

Please join us in welcoming Jan to her new role (jan.bahner@islandseniorservices.org).