The GRAND Ambassador Program
Helping GRAND Magazine inform, support, and connect grandparents around the country and the world
“No man is an island, entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main . . .”
– John Donne
John Donne’s famous quote has always struck a chord with me, and it certainly applies to today’s grandparents. Like parents, children, businesses, and organizations, we need to connect with others to grow and be the best we can be.
The world is changing at lightning speed, and young families are reeling from these challenging times. Now, more than ever and for longer than ever, grandparents have an opportunity to provide perspective, balance, and support while living our own lives to the fullest and modeling for our families and future generations.
That is why, in the spirit of John Donne’s quote, we created the GRAND Ambassador Program: to build a network of inspired, motivated grandparents from around the United States and the world to help us connect and further ignite the GRAND spirit — state by state, country by country.
We hope to have GRAND Ambassadors in all 50 United States by the end of the year. We also seek GRAND Ambassadors in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand, and other countries.
If you are or someone you know is an exceptional grandparent who is passionate about family, community, country, and the world and would like to have a voice in GRAND Magazine’s content and an impact on families, please contact us today. And we’ll share more details about this opportunity.
GRAND Founder and Editorial Director
Meet Your GRAND Ambassadors
“I am the proud Grandmere to Hali,14; Gavin, 11; Keoni, 5; and Mikaela, 3; and Grammie to Avary, 7, and Brady, 4 These six children are truly the delight and joy of my life!”
Since 1990, Eileen has directed the Foster Grandparent Program for North Coast Opportunities, serving five rural, northern California counties. Previously, she worked as a human resources officer for Daly’s Department Stores for 5 years, as Director of Environmental Services for GeneralHospital for 7 years, and for Humboldt County Office of Education in Vocation Education Office. She graduated from University of Indianapolis, AgingStudiesCenter with a Master’s degree in Gerontology and holds a double Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Speech Communications, with a minor in Psychology from HumboldtStateUniversity, Eureka, California.
In 1999, Eileen implemented a Senior Companion Program in Mendocino County, California. She has served as the president and secretary for the Northern California Senior Corps Association as well as on the National Association of Foster Grandparent Program Directors (NAFGPD) Board from 1992 to present, for which she has held the offices of Secretary (two terms) and of Pacific Cluster Representative, representing 10 U.S. states. In 2005, she was chosen as a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging. On June 27, 2012, she was named a Daily Point of Light Awardee by President George H. Bush. She is a graduate of Leadership Mendocino and the National Service Leadership Institute at the Presidio in San Francisco. On the Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council for Lake and MendocinoCounties, Linda serves as Secretary.
Eileen also has served as a committee member for several national conferences and has been a consultant for Bridging the Generations, a collaboration between the National Head Start Association and NAFGPD.
Since childhood, Eileen has served as a community volunteer with numerous nonprofit agencies. One event was the Tour of the UnknownCoast, a 50-mile and 100-mile bicycle ride in southern Humboldt Count, California.
Favorite Quote: “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” –Anatole France
“After taking early retirement and moving to Denver in 1997, I (finally) became a grandparent. My three daughters were single when we moved; soon after, they all married and started having children. Happily, two daughters have settled in Denver with their three children. Our third daughter and her family live in Jakarta, Indonesia, where we have already visited them.”
Judith (Kaminsky) Botvin is back in her native city, Denver, after having spent 35 years living and raising her family in Reading, Pennsylvania. There, she worked in communications for Metropolitan Edison, Co. (now First Energy), serving in that role through the Three Mile Island episode.
For several years, she was President of Berks Woman’s Network, where professional women enjoyed mutual support and friendship.
“In the 1970s, 80s and 90s, working women needed to support each other in navigating the business world,” she says. “In the same way, today’s grandparents can maximize their experience by connecting with one another. I always thought there should be a publication for this. When I heard about GRAND, I immediately wanted to be a part of it.”
Today, between grandchildren visits, Judy is occupied with crafts, writing, adult education classes, household projects, and “self-maintenance.” She volunteers for the Denver Public Library, reading each week to preschool classes. She and Ivan, her husband of 52 years, enjoy the friendliness of Denver people, the casual lifestyle, and (at least) 300 days of sunshine a year!
“I am a brand new GRANDma to Juniper Grace Hoskins, the most wonderful child in the world! It’s so fun to see my son blossoming in his new role as dad to this beautiful babe.”
Linda, the principal owner of Oak Chase Consulting, has worked with nonprofits, community groups, and government agencies for over 20 years. She assists nonprofit leaders as they plan for their organization’s future, engage their communities in important issues, form collaborations with others, or prepare for Board and leadership transition and succession. Linda has studied the Enneagram for years and works with organizations and community groups to form strong teams and to communicate more effectively through the Enneagram framework.
Linda is a certified conflict dispute resolution mediator, trained in the art of hosting, and holds degrees in microbiology and nonprofit management.
She also has co-authored the following publications:
Forming Alliances: Working Together to Achieve Mutual Goals with Emil Angelica of Community Consulting Group
Conducting Community Forums: Engaging Citizens, Mobilizing Communities with Carol Lukas of Fieldstone Alliance
“I’m the proud Nana of two grown grandchildren, Keaton, 22, and Tylyn, 20, and a 4-year-old great-granddaughter, Gianna (Keaton’s daughter).”
Mynan holds a B.A. in sociology/management and is a certified conflict coach and a Certified Respiratory Therapist.
After spending 20 years directing the cardiopulmonary services for a local hospital, her first midlife career change came when she joined Delta Community Action Foster Grandparent Program, which serves six counties in southwest Oklahoma.
She has been an active participant in state and national senior corps associations. She served on the National Association of Foster Grandparent Directors Board (NAFGPD) in Washington, DC from 1997-2009, representing the nine United States that make up the Southwest cluster. In addition, she served two terms as Treasurer on the executive board. She also acted as the hospitality person for the three Senior Corps Boards of Directors semi-annually in Washington, DC.
In 2005, Mynan was a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging, through a congressional appointment from Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe. In the Oklahoma state senior corps, Hutto is the only Director to have served as Secretary, Treasurer, and President of the association. Mynan is a graduate of the OAALA (Oklahoma Aging Advocacy Leadership Academy 2002-2003). She has hosted two national conferences in Oklahoma City and served on many planning committees for the national conferences in other states. Currently, she serves on a committee for the 2014 National Conference, to be held in San Antonio, Texas.
Last, but not least, she is co-authoring a book about foster grandparents with two accomplished gerontologists.
Favorite quote: “Strive to be meaningful specific or end up being a wandering generality!” – Zig Zigglar
“I’m the mother of two grown children and grandmother to two wonderful grandchildren.”
The invasive impact of media on children became the impetus, in 1991, for Ranny Levy to create KIDS FIRST!, Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, dedicated to promoting quality children’s media as a vehicle for social change.
A former educator, Levy also has taught classical and modern dance, designed a PBS award-winning TV series, produced an ACE-nominated television show, and managed an independent film distribution company.
Having dedicated the last 22 years to KIDS FIRST!, she makes sure that kids really do come first by giving them opportunities to participate as jurors, radio personalities, film critics, and film festival curators.
Ranny has written two books, The New York Times / KIDS FIRST! Guide to the Best Children’s Videos and A Parent’s Guide to the Best Children’s Videos, DVDs and CD-ROMs.
Ranny is a frequent speaker at conferences and a judge for the National Parenting Publications Awards. She writes for GRAND Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, and several other publications.
“I became a first-time grandma in March 2012, and I’m thoroughly enjoying being a GiGi.”
Danielle Miller is a brand strategist for women entrepreneurs who want to leave their imprint, spread their influence, and make an impact through the power of a strong and resonant brand. With a degree in special education and student of life, the themes in her life are empowerment, autonomy, and living life to the fullest.