Glenbrook resident appointed AARP’s national president |

Glenbrook resident appointed AARP’s national president

Glenbrook resident Erik Olsen was recently named AARP’s national president at its biennial National Leadership Conference in Baltimore.

Olsen was appointed to the AARP Board of Directors in 2002, and became president-elect in 2004. He succeeds Marie Smith, of Hawaii, as president. His term is for two years.

“Erik will be an outstanding leader as AARP president,” Smith said. “He will push the association to new heights and build on all that we have achieved over the last two years.”

As president of AARP’s board, Olsen leads the governing body of the organization. The board approves all policies, programs, activities and services for the association’s 36 million members.

“My passion is health-care reform,” Olsen said.

“I will strive in these next two years to raise health-care reform to the top of the national debate so that it must be a major campaign issue for both parties in the 2008 election. Following that, I hope our country will be able to move forward rapidly to achieve comprehensive health-care reform.”

After graduating from the University of Nebraska, Olsen became a captain in the U.S. Army, a practicing dentist, the first recipient of the Hillenbrand Fellowship in Dental Administration from the American Dental Association, and the executive director and managing editor of the Academy of General Dentistry.

In 1977, at age 40, Olsen was named president and CEO of Delta Dental of California, based in San Francisco. Delta Dental of California is one of the nation’s oldest and largest dental-health insurers. When Olsen stepped down after 15 years, one of every three people in California had Delta Dental benefits.

Olsen then became an active AARP volunteer, and was appointed its state president in Arizona in 1996. He was elected to AARP’s National Board of Directors in 2000.

Olsen and his wife of 47 years, Jackie, live in Glenbrook. They have three daughters and three grandsons.

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