SAGE: Advocacy & Services for LGBT Elders
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For Immediate Release

January 26, 2009

SAGE Announces New Board Co-Chair and New Deputy Director for Programs

[New York, NY] SAGE announced today that Frank Stark has been appointed the new co-chair of the agency's Board of Directors, and that Catherine Thurston has been appointed SAGE's new Deputy Director for Programs.

Stark served on SAGE's Board of Directors from 2000 to 2004, and rejoined the Board in 2007. Since returning to SAGE, Stark has been instrumental in creating and chairing the SAGE Investors Circle (SAGE's enhanced major donor program), as well as chairing and restructuring the SAGE Board's Development Committee. Stark previously served on the boards of directors of The Fund For Human Dignity and The Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center, and through the years has brought visionary leadership and fundraising prowess to the LGBT community.

"One of the tenets of my philosophy is that the value of a person's life is partly measured by how he or she has affected the world around them. Being involved with SAGE and its mission has been extremely exciting for me and allowed me this opportunity, SAGE Board of Directors Co-Chair Frank Stark said.

Thurston joined SAGE's staff in January 2005, bringing with her nineteen years of experience in social work with senior and homebound populations. Her experience includes serving as director of the Alzheimer's long-term care facility at the Cobble Hill Health Center, as a medical social worker at Maimonides Medical Center, and eight years as a case manager at Brooklyn Psychiatric Centers, where she provided long-term individual psychotherapy to homebound geriatric patients.

"I am honored and excited to begin my new role as Deputy Director for Programs at SAGE, said SAGE Deputy Director for Programs Catherine Thurston. "I look forward to helping SAGE expand its caregiving programs and services, strengthening our HIV programming, and enhancing SAGE's strategic partnerships, Thurston said.

"We are thrilled to have Frank Stark's leadership for the SAGE board," SAGE Executive Director Michael Adams said. "We are excited and energized by Catherine Thurston's deep expertise in programming for older adults and her long-time commitment to addressing the needs of the LGBT community, and look forward to the vision and talent she will bring to her new position," Adams said.

About Frank Stark, SAGE Board Co-Chair

Frank Stark was less than a year old when he was brought by his parents, who were Jewish refugees during World War II, from a small French town to the United States. Starks involvement with the LGBT community began in earnest in 1987, when he was asked to go to the War Conference. There he was introduced to Sherri Cohen, then Executive Director of the former Fund For Human Dignity, who asked Frank to join the Fund's Board of Directors. Frank's initial task was to develop and implement The Funds first major donor annual campaign. Both the organization and Stark were pleased with the outcome, and Stark was subsequently elected co-chair of the Board. Subsequently he was asked to join the Board of the LGBT Community Center. Stark soon became involved in the capital campaign to rebuild the Center's building on 13th Street. As the first co-chair of the campaign, he took pride in helping The Center to raise over ten million dollars from the LGBT community. After completing the maximum term of six years, Stark left the Center Board in 1998.

About Catherine Thurston, Deputy Director for Programs

Last year, Catherine Thurston presented the first LGBT-specific presentation at the National Association of State Units on Aging (NASUA) conference. In 2000, Thurston was awarded the American Society on Aging (ASA) Best Practices Award for her program innovations related to Alzheimer's disease. Thurston has spoken on aging and dementia in the national media, written multiple scholarly articles, and guest lectured at colleges.

SAGE is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people. SAGE also offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older adults and their caregivers, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBT organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and cultural competence training through SAGECare. With staff located across the country, SAGE coordinates a growing network of affiliates across the country. Learn more at

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Christina DaCosta
Director of Communications

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