Laura A. Mondello
On June 25, 2014 we lost our dear friend and colleague, Laura A. Mondello. Laura touched so many of us in the senior community. Her exceptional leadership and skills in communication, marketing, and public relations helped to advance the field of aging in our community.
As Director of Community Relations and Volunteer Services for Schofield Residence for the past 17 years, Laura promoted and hosted many community education workshops aimed at raising awareness of issues facing older adults and their caregivers. She was a strong proponent of collaboration by networking with other professionals in the field of aging and helped launch and elevate the Schofield Adult Wellness Program, which has improved overall health and well-being of older adults. Her commitment to and passion for this program and other community education awareness programs helped earn Laura the coveted Alzheimer’s Association of WNY “Community Service Award” in 2012.
Laura’s commitment to the Network in Aging for over 25 years was nothing less than extraordinary. Her expertise, innovation and passion played a huge part in molding the strategic direction of the organization. Laura’s roles within the Network in Aging included serving as a board member for 18 years, chairing the Communications Committee for 14 years, serving as President from 2006-2008, and as Past President from 2009-2012. During her term as President, Network membership increased substantially.
Other accomplishments include active membership in the Erie County Caregivers Coalition for many years; instructor for “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” and serving as member and Co-Chair of the Public Relations Committee of Leading Age WNY (formerly WTNAHSA). Laura also hosted and produced the monthly television program “Aging is for Everyone” (WKBW-TV) which reinforces how to make the most out of the aging process and promotes awareness of programs and services offered to older adults to maintain their lifestyle. Some of her guests included a distinguished group of community leaders and professionals who promote awareness and solutions to complex issues facing the elderly community.
The following are sentiments shared from some of Laura’s colleagues and friends:
Past NIA President Bob Wills says … Laura was a great mentor and wonderful friend. Her love and devotion to the field of aging was infectious. I knew I was learning from the best when I approached Laura. I miss her dearly but know that her spirit in everywhere encouraging us to continue doing good work from the heart.
Co-worker Leilani Pelletier remembers Laura … as always knowing how to work through challenging situations with a sense of humor and an eye toward the best a situation could be. I admired her strength, her grace, her skill and her unending selflessness in sharing her time and talent with the world. Because of Laura, thousands of seniors had a better community in which to live and a champion for them in countless ways.
Good friend Anne Binga says … I wish I had Laura’s gift with words to try and express the extraordinary woman she was. Laura has always been an advocate, fighting passionately for what she believed in. After graduating, Laura combined her strong communication skills along with her deep commitment to help older persons. Laura’s sense of humor, her love of life and caring nature touched everyone she met. I consider myself blessed to have been able to call her a friend for 30 years. I deeply miss her friendship, smile and sense of adventure.
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