Allan A. Hodges, who has been active in community and professional groups throughout Boston and Newport, RI, was named president of Beacon Hill Village at its annual meeting held this week on Zoom. A resident of the Downtown neighborhood, he succeeds Douglas Fitzsimmons who for two years was at the helm of the nonprofit organization, a community of older adults whose mission is to live well and age well.
Having completed a 50-year career in urban planning and environmental impact analysis in both the public and private sectors, Hodges is well-suited for his new role. In addition to serving his first term on the BHV board, he is a member of the Boston Common Committee of the Friends of the Public Garden and the Leadership Team of the Downtown Boston Residents Association.
He welcomes the opportunity to serve on BHV’s board because he believes its basic central idea is solid and much needed in the downtown communities it serves. “I think the future of the Beacon Hill Village is bright,” he said. “It is a sensible and easier alternative for active older adults than moving into continuing care communities unless, of course, they need medical or other services of daily living that the Village is not set up to provide.”
During his tenure at the nearly 20-year-old nonprofit institution that sparked a movement of Villages across the country and internationally, he hopes to attract more members and to expand programs and services beyond Beacon Hill where only a half of current BHV members reside. Already, because of the interest of an individual member in the North End/Waterfront, an informal ‘mini village’ was established, an initiative he applauds.
He is concerned, however, that BHV has yet to reach its potential membership, given the number of folks over 60 who live in central Boston, and encourages more to jump aboard. “They will find amazing people in BHV, whose vibrant programs and services reflect their talent and vigor,” said Hodges.
On a personal level, Hodges joined after his wife died 18 months ago. “I was warmly welcomed, with lots of follow up calls, encouraged to join committees and be active,” he said. “I did all of that and I love it. The Village has helped me move forward.”
Along with Hodges, Marty Walz and Barbara Berkman are newcomers to the board of directors. “I am honored to join the board so I may help strengthen this innovative movement to redefine what it means to live well as we get older,” said Walz who, as principal of Marty Walz and Associates, provides executive level support to organizations of all sizes.
Like Walz and Hodges, Berkman said she was honored to serve as a BHV director. A resident of the West End, she is a retired research professor at Boston College School of Social Work and the Rehr/Fizdale Professor Emerita at Columbia University School of Social Work. “As an academic whose main focus has been research in aging and health, I have been aware of BHV since its inception and am a strong supporter of its mission. I hope that I will be able to help BHV in its continued efforts to address the challenges and opportunities that face those who choose to “age in place.”