Introducing: Jen Blatz, AARP’s new Associate State Director (and a shout out to our wonderful volunteers!)

AARP would like you to meet Jen Blatz, the new (since last September) Associate State Director for Community Outreach for Western Pennsylvania. Jen began her tenure by joining her new team with a community service project with World Vision, and will be leading various advocacy and educational projects in our area. Jen plans to partner with local organizations and their community driven missions to improve the lives of all Pennsylvania residents, including those of us in the 50-plus age category!
Jen has a rich background with deep experience. She most recently served as the owner and founding partner of the Pittsburgh-based November Group, the state’s first woman-owned, full-service political consulting firm. Jen previously worked as a researcher and union organizer in Massachusetts, Illinois and Wisconsin before joining the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO in 2012. She began her career in higher education administration, including serving on the staff of the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and holds a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Boston University.
A shout out to our AARP volunteers!
AARP would also like to recognize all of the volunteers who perform a variety of tasks for many different organizations. You may be one of the people who go out each day or once a week to perform various functions; many are mundane tasks, leaving you to possibly think that you haven’t received any recognition.
Know this for a fact: You are recognized for what you do in your volunteerism! Your peers and neighbors see you going out in all kinds of weather to prepare taxes, educate drivers, feed the hungry, visit the ailing and even to deliver holiday presents to shut-ins. The lucky recipients of your largess know and thank you for your work. We recognize you as we say “thank you” to each and every one of you through this column.
Volunteering is a gift we give ourselves, a great sense of wellbeing that is unequaled. We are always looking for volunteers to step into the footsteps of those who are no longer able to perform these tasks.
For more involvement in community service opportunities within AARP Pennsylvania, call (866) 389-5654 or email

By Barbara Bush
For Pittsburgh Senior News