AARP Minnesota and Pollen has named Paula Hart, MAOL '15 among their 50 Over 50 in Minnesota — "50 exceptional people who are shattering myths about aging and writing their own rules." Hart is president and chief executive officer of Volunteers of America–Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The annual 50 Over 50 list celebrates and recognizes a diverse group of Minnesotans over the age of 50 who have made significant contributions and achievements in their communities. Hart, 62, was nominated, and recognized, in the Nonprofit category as a passionate leader "at the forefront of challenging us to reimagine aging and caregiving."
“I am honored to be recognized among such an outstanding group of Minnesota leaders,” said Hart, after the recent presentation. “I share this honor with all my Volunteers of America colleagues, who help people gain self-reliance, dignity and hope every day.”
Volunteers of America Minnesota and Wisconsin is one of the state’s largest nonprofits. Hart assumed her leadership role in June, 2011, leading 800 employees and 1,600 volunteers. The $50-million organization manages housing and dining services for older adults and people with special needs, and provides access to schools, mental health clinics and treatment centers for children, youth and families. It also operates residential re-entry facilities and other corrections-based services that promote self-reliance for adults and youth.
“We are inspired by the people we serve. The organizational awareness we gain from this honor will help ensure that our care is exceptional,” Hart added.
This year’s 50 Over 50 honorees were selected by a 10-member committee comprising statewide, cross-sector leaders. They narrowed the list from nominations that came in from the public in five categories: Nonprofit, Arts & Culture, Business, Community Building, and Disruption.
Prior to joining Volunteers of America, Hart served as president and CEO of Dakota Communities and as chief operating officer of the Courage Center — two Twin Cities nonprofits that help individuals with disabilities.