By Marilyn Olson, Executive Director, VillagesOKC
VillagesOKC has exciting member and staff news as the New Year begins. On the staff side, there are two promotions to announce. On the member side, one member has accepted the position of VillagesOKC Director of Veteran Initiatives, and another will lead a monthly Alzheimer Support Group at the Bethany Library.
Amy Shirola, previously operations manager, assumes a new role as director of administration and finance. Britni Bergman, previously office assistant, becomes office manager. On the member side, Gary Banz is the new Director of Veteran Initiatives. Herb Magley will lead the Alzheimer Support Group.
Shirola will oversee all accounting functions, including analyzing financial data and managing budgeting and planning processes. She started working with VillagesOKC in March 2022 after 15 years in corporate accounting. Her entrepreneurial experiences include two food-based businesses – Pie Prerogative OKC and 2 Women and a Whisk Catering Company.
Bergman will oversee all office functions and vendor relations, as well as managing the robust VillagesOKC calendar. She has been the office assistant since November 2022. Her past experience includes six years in a variety of roles with Red Rock Behavioral and Mental Health Services in Yukon and Oklahoma City. Before coming to VillagesOKC, she was office manager for Sarah Libby Photography.
“The promotion of these two professionals highlights their exemplary performance,” said VillagesOKC Executive Director Marilyn Olson. “Ms Shirola and Ms Bergman are part of the organization’s long-term plan for sustainability. Having an intergenerational workforce brings energy and wisdom. And, with this organization there is great work flexibility which is so important to young parents. VillagesOKC is making great strides due to the talent and heart from these leaders, and we honor their success.”
Banz is a former Oklahoma state representative and high school social studies and American Government teacher. He was honored by the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame for organizing and serving as flight commander on 24 Oklahoma Honor Flights which took 2,055 Oklahoma World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans to Washington, DC, for an all-expenses paid day trip to visit war memorials. He has written and produced two documentaries honoring service members and is working on a third.
Magley is a retired geologist who spent 43 years working in the oil industry. Tragedy struck late in his career when after 35 years of marriage, his wife, Gail, developed Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 54. Magley retired from the oil industry to care for her. The couple went on an 11-year journey with the disease. After his wife died, Magley decided to dedicate his life to those who were on their journeys with Alzheimer’s. The VillagesOKC sponsored Alzheimer’s Support Group will meet monthly beginning January 16 at the Bethany Library. Meetings will be on successive third Tuesdays of the month from 6-7 p.m. in Meeting Room B.
To learn more about VillagesOKC, call or text (405) 990-6637 or email [email protected].