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Why Others Recommend Jeanette Leardi

Yung-Ping (Bing) Chen, Ph.D.


Professor Emeritus, Frank J. Manning Eminent Scholar’s Chair in Gerontology Fellow, Gerontology Institute, University of Massachusetts Boston 

I have the highest regard for Ms. Jeanette Leardi as a passionate advocate for older adults, as well as a meticulous researcher and community educator on aging issues. Jeanette is a superb writer and editor. Her newspaper pieces directed at the general public are well informed. I have purchased children’s books she has authored as gifts to my grandchildren. She has also edited some of my writings for publication. Jeanette has earned a certificate in gerontology, which, combined with the already highly developed skills as a teacher, researcher, and writer, would allow her to do meaningful work to improve the lives of older adults. I am confident that she can accomplish her professional goals through effective teaching, thorough research, and tireless advocacy.


Ashton Applewhite

Principal at This Chair Rocks

I first encountered Jeanette Leardi’s writing on Dr. Bill Thomas’s website, where I was struck by her insight into aging in America and the urgent need to construct a more nuanced, positive, and accurate narrative for all generations. She combines laser-sharp social analysis with an accessible voice, a rare skill that makes her voice an important one in the emerging social movement to end ageism. Her gift for creating original metaphors and paradigms is especially notable, and I envy it. I look forward to reading what Jeanette writes in the future, as I know it will be smart, passionate, and instructive.”

“In addition, I recently had opportunity to co-facilitate two conference workshops with Jeanette Leardi on ways to recognize and disrupt ageism. From designing the content to leading the actual workshop, it was a terrific experience. Jeanette was a natural at encouraging everyone in the room to participate and inviting them to envision aging as a positive, natural life process. We worked smoothly as a team, bouncing ideas off each other and provoking a lively and instructive discussion. I’d happily work with her again, in any kind of setting, and heartily recommend her to any organization or business in search of an exceptionally smart and competent speaker or trainer.

Ilana Seidman


Program Coordinator, Department of Senior Services, Newton, Massachusetts

I want to thank Jeanette profusely for speaking with our seniors about the myths about aging. She gave one of the best talks we’ve ever had. As someone who has studied aging on a graduate level and managed programming for seniors for a decade, I thought I knew it all, but I Iearned so much from her. She did a fantastic job keeping our audience engaged and everyone commented on what an enlightening talk she gave and how great of a speaker she was. We hope to have her back very soon.

Karen Beal, Ph.D.


JV EnCorps Program Manager, JVC Northwest

I’ve known Jeanette as an Encore colleague for a number of years now. Consistently she has been an articulate and well informed conversation partner about aging and ageism, in general and in the context of our shared locale, Portland, Oregon. Recently, I unreservedly invited her to present on ageism to the Jesuit Volunteer EnCorps group that I facilitate. This is a group of older adults who are committed to living out the Ignatian (Jesuit) values of social and ecological justice, spirituality, simple living and community. As older adults many of them have witnessed ageism endured by clients in their service placements as well as personally experiencing the impact. In addition to being a thoroughly thoughtful and organized presenter, Jeanette was masterful at engaging the group with a passionate and clear articulation of the myths, facts and social dilemmas associated with aging and ageism. She is a gifted facilitator with a calm yet energized presentation style. She engages others with integrity, respect, warmth and presence – a treasured antidote to any ‘ism!'


Steve Joiner

Career Development Program Specialist, Multnomah County, Oregon

To wrap up a series of events for 2018’s Older Americans Month, we brought in Jeanette to present her fascinating (and wonderfully titled) presentation ‘Stars Invisible by Day: Fascinating Truths About Creativity and the Older Brain.’ I’d seen Jeanette share her ‘What’s Age Got to Do With It? Busting Myths About Getting Older’ a few months before, so I knew county staff were in for a treat. Jeanette deftly bounces from neuroscience to stories to brain teasers to practice strategies for fostering creativity as we age… all while making sure we take ‘Brain Breaks’ so it all sinks in. We will definitely have Jeanette back for more wonderful presentations in the future. We’d better, since I had many folks approach me after the presentation to ask when we’d see Jeanette again.

Jessica McLaren

Program Coordinator, AARP Experience Corps, Metropolitan Family Service

Jeanette has presented three times to our volunteer program, and her sessions have been enthusiastically welcomed and appreciated by our volunteers. She helps our volunteers identify their own amazing capacity, creativity, and resilience –– essential for the work they do with children. She has the ability to take challenging or abstract concepts and make them understandable and applicable, always with respect for her audience. Jeanette’s presentation style is engaging, natural, and confident. I know that my volunteers will leave her trainings feeling inspired, informed, and more assured of their own abilities. I highly, highly recommend Jeanette to any volunteer or professional organization!

Kirsten Jacobs


Associate Director, Dementia and Wellness Education, LeadingAge

I had the opportunity to attend a presentation (‘In Other Words: Transforming the Language of Ageism’) by Jeanette Leardi recently. During the presentation, Jeanette did a beautiful job of raising awareness among attendees and providing concrete examples. I walked away with new ideas and information to share with my colleagues.

Jessica W. Bourque

Director of Community Enrichment, Sharon Towers

Jeanette’s Leardi’s presentation on Brain Fitness was excellent. It has been over a week and the residents are still talking about how much they enjoyed it. The presentation was both educational and inspiring. We were so glad to hear some good news about our brain health and to learn that so many of the things we thought about our brain were myths. I will definitely have her back again and again!

Rebecca Miller


Planning & Development Specialist, Multnomah County Aging, Disability & Veteran Services Division

Jeanette’s presentation [on Creativity and the Older Brain] was engaging and insightful. She conveyed a great deal of technical information, but it was easy to follow and she made it immediately useful through on-the-spot practice. I found myself talking about what I learned with friends and family and using and sharing the techniques she demonstrated. I recommend Jeanette Leardi for your next conference, lecture, or team training.

Melinda Diamond

Activity Director, Hearthstone at Murrayhill

Jeanette Leardi’s presentation ‘What’s Age Got to Do with It? Busting the Myths About Getting Older’ was extremely informative and insightful. Our residents found her program easy to understand and follow as well as very uplifting. She gave us a great deal of information in rethinking about the aging process and having a healthier outlook on growing older and continuing to be productive within our communities. Jeanette is definitely a passionate advocate for the older adults and an excellent educator to lead us into the future with a new perspective of aging gracefully.

Christopher Eng

Vice President of Marketing, Milo

Jeanette Leardi delivers an outstanding and engaging educational lecture [“What’s Age Got to Do with It? Busting the Myths About Getting Older”], helping shed new light on age-old myths about growing up in our later years. She awakens a better understanding of ageism, the realities of aging, and promotes the many assets we gain in our later years. Anyone who wants a deeper and more connected understanding of aging should attend her lecture.

Katherine Foldes, J.D.


Looking for a multi-talented speaker, author, and teacher? Jeanette Leardi fits the bill. I had the opportunity to co-teach with her a class on Creative Aging and the Brain. She condensed a much longer presentation to fit the time frame and succeeded in teaching some of the latest research findings on aging and the brain. She was a master at creating and presenting PowerPoint slides and her attention to detail was astounding; she came to the venue a week early to ensure that the AV equipment would work properly on the day of her class. Her presentation engaged the audience, caused people to think, and succeeded in “busting” many of the myths and negative stereotypes about aging. Jeanette is a pleasure to work with. She listens carefully to the parameters of any project or presentation in which she is involved. She is easygoing and smart. I recommend her to you without reservation.

Thomas Goodwin

Project Director, AARP Foundation

As someone who has experienced Jeanette Leardi’s instructional approach at a recent AARP conference, I can state that she is a thoroughly engaging teacher with the remarkable ability to assess and address her clients’ needs. Her professional skills as a researcher and instructor allow her to create informative and entertaining workshops that result in meaningful educational experiences for the participants. My coworkers and I not only learned a great deal from her presentation, but we also used what we learned to help guide our planning discussions concerning future needs. I highly recommend Ms. Leardi for any organization or business seeking to benefit from her extensive knowledge and interests.

Steve Higgs

Executive Director, Senior Advocates for Generational Equity

Jeanette Leardi is an exceptional instructor who inspires her audience and helps them embrace new opportunities to learn, grow, and develop. Over the course of four sessions, she led our Ethical Wills course and guided participants to articulate lessons learned in life and values to hand down to our children, grandchildren, and other loved ones. Her facilitation is warm, engaging, thought-provoking, and positive. Her presentations are clear, consistent, and enthusiastic. Jeanette is passionate about lifelong learning. That passion transcends all of her work and inspires us to live our lives as an expression of our values. Thank you, Jeanette!

Jeff Foley

National Program Coordinator – Volunteers, AARP Foundation

Jeanette provided a very stimulating and insightful workshop to the AARP Foundation’s Virtual Job Coach Volunteers at our national conference. Her knowledge and presentation style were creative and provided the audience with a wealth of information.


Founder, Community as Family: Empowerment for Solo Agers

Jeanette Leardi is an evolving source of information and ideas on a very wide range of issues pertaining to older people. Her presentation visuals are colorful, easy to read, and an indispensable reference. Jeanette’s warm, conversational style makes complex information digestible, providing context for practical approaches and solutions. Although Jeanette's knowledge and tips are useful and applicable to all older persons, I always take away lots of new ideas for my own work with Community as Family to help solo agers become more knowledgeable self-advocates.



Retired Instructor in the School of Business, Portland State University
and a Founding Member of Viva Village

Jeanette is a presenter extraordinaire!  She covers relevant topics with such skill and knowledge of her subject matter as she thoroughly engages the audience. In delivering online Zoom presentations on a wide array of topics pertinent to seniors, she keeps her audiences fully engaged. Participants are able to partake in practical activities and communicate with her and others through the creative use of the online Chat box. Her research-based information comes alive with examples, personal experiences, and fun brain breaks. Learning technical and up-to-date information, the audience becomes educated and enlightened on the topic covered. Yes, Jeanette is a pro!

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