A Fond Farewell and Debt of Gratitude to a Cornerstone of LeadingAge Minnesota
On April 1, 2020 by Gayle Kvenvold
It is with both tears and cheers that we share the news that Adam Suomala will be transitioning over the course of the next two months to an exciting new opportunity in our field as he becomes the Executive Director of the Minnesota Leadership Council on Aging (MNCLOA).
After two decades of service to LeadingAge Minnesota in roles that spanned legislative affairs, lobbying and grassroots organizing, workforce development, grant writing, strategic affiliations and all things membership, Adam will take the reins of this unique coalition of aging services organizations working together to “create communities and systems that support aging with dignity and a spirit of wellbeing in Minnesota.”
LeadingAge Minnesota is an active member of the Council and helps lead on its board of directors. Adam’s new role will be effective mid-April but he will continue to work on special membership projects with LeadingAge Minnesota on a part time basis until June 1.
We have been blessed by Adam’s unique combination of leadership skills, consensus and relationship building, insight into the needs of our members and solutions-oriented mindset for nearly two decades.
During his time at LeadingAge Minnesota, Adam helped broaden the base of our membership to reflect our growing field and changing service delivery models. He was one of the first to recognize — many years ago — that workforce development would become one of our greatest needs. Adam helped write and secure our earliest grants to test new workforce solutions, guided our merger with the Minnesota Adult Day Services Association and helped countless members with their own strategic planning.
Adam personifies the core values of LeadingAge Minnesota with his spirit of optimism, his respect for others, passion for our field and for his commitment to collaboration. His new role at the Minnesota Leadership Council on Aging will harness those same values in new ways and all of us in the field of aging services will continue to benefit from his many gifts. We are beyond grateful for 20 amazing years of service and contribution — and as reluctant as we are to see him move to the next chapter in his amazing career, we rejoice in this opportunity for him and all the ways he will continue to improve our lives.
Those of you who know Adam know of his gift for communication and so we share with you this excerpt from his letter of resignation:
“Over the past twenty years, I have had the honor to call LeadingAge Minnesota my professional home and have been truly blessed to hold its dedicated leaders and staff as my mentors, colleagues, friends and family. When I look back on my time with this amazing association, it will be in appreciation for the experiences and relationships that have shaped me. It is no small thing to say that I owe all that have to the generosity of one organization, but from my first role as Public Affairs assistant to today, that is my truth. I look forward to carrying forward our “Better Together” value in my new role as Executive Director of the Leadership Council on Aging. I hope to honor the many investments that have been made in me, and to take all that I have learned to advance our shared vision in new and meaningful ways.”
I know you join me in wishing Adam success in all lies ahead — and I know too that he takes with him to his new role our deepest thanks for the difference he has made in our lives and pure joy of having him as a colleague and friend all these years