June 2021 marked Therese Ellery’s 20th anniversary as a Senior Program Officer with Rose Community Foundation. It is with tremendous gratitude for her service to the community, contributions to the Foundation’s impact and advocacy for older adults in Colorado that we share Therese’s decision to end her tenure at the Foundation in early November 2021.
Therese oversaw the Foundation’s Aging program area from 2001 through 2019, granting more than $26 million to Greater Denver organizations connecting older adults to safety net services and encouraging older adults to stay involved, active and engaged in solving community issues. By changing the way that people talk and think about aging in our community, Therese created space for more age-integrated policies and practices that leverage the strengths and talents of older adults and create systems to support wellbeing later in life.
She played an instrumental role in creating and nurturing several organizations, partnerships and initiatives to improve the lives of older adults, such as Changing the Narrative, Boomers Leading Change (now Experience Engaged) and Latino Age Wave Colorado. For over a decade, broadcast television programming, initially known as Senior Source and now Aging Colorado, has connected older adults to information and resources, thanks to Therese’s innovation and leadership. Other notable programs that Therese played a role in include the Getting There Collaborative, Benefits CheckUp and the Elder Index. Therese served on the national board of Grantmakers in Aging, recently serving on the Equity in Aging Philanthropy Task Force, and she started the local funder affinity group Colorado Aging Dialogue. Therese’s dedication, leadership and foresight within the aging ecosystem will leave a legacy in the field for many years to come.
“Therese grew the Foundation’s former Aging program area into a nationally recognized driver of regional innovation – bringing the lenses of equity, justice, inclusion and engagement to our Aging investments long before they were the focus of our new strategic plan,” said Rose Community Foundation President and CEO Lindy Eichenbaum Lent.
When Rose Community Foundation unveiled its new strategic plan in January 2020, shifting from its five historic program areas to an integrated grantmaking approach focused on advancing equity, justice and inclusion, Therese provided insights to help ensure a successful implementation of the new framework. Over the past two years, Therese has played a key role in the Foundation’s nimble and community-informed grantmaking response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the racial justice reckoning, and regional challenges and opportunities around the environment, housing and transportation.
“My career at Rose has always been more than just a job and I have never taken for granted what a privilege it is to work here and be part of furthering Rose’s mission and vision,” said Therese. “I have treasured my relationships with all my colleagues, grantees, community partners, committee members and trustees over the past two decades, and am excited to watch the Foundation’s trajectory while remaining connected in every way I can.”
We are grateful for Therese’s dedication and selflessness as a colleague, friend, thought partner and community leader who generated meaningful relationships and results for our region throughout her entire career.