What's Happening With Dene Hosts AARP State President
James Palmquist discussed several of the organization's new initiatives.
Pennsylvania's American Association of Retired Persons, which has nearly 1.8 million members, has a new leader.
James Palmquist, recently appointed as volunteer president of the state's AARP, was the featured guest on Thursday's episode of "What's Happening Live With Dene," which was broadcast from Pottstown's PCTV studio.
Palmquist, a former U.S. Navy pilot, held leadership roles in the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley and is a past president of the American Lung Association of the Lehigh Valley.
Additionally, he holds a commercial pilot's license and instrument rating for airplanes and helicopters, is a graduate of Lycoming College, received a master's degree in business administration from Temple University and served as an adjunct professor at Temple and Penn State universities.
Palmquist, who lives in Lower Macungie Township, said he volunteered to serve as the state's AARP president -- a post he assumed roughly two months ago -- to help unite and grow the organization.
Pennsylvania has 140 AARP chapters that need a variety of volunteers, he said and added an AARP membership costs $16 per year and offers several benefits.
The organization is focused on many projects, Palmquist said, including:
• The You've Earned a Say campaign, which encourages folks to voice concerns about Medicare and Social Security. "Now is the time to work on what we can do to make Social Security more secure," Palmquist said.
• AARP's Drive To End Hunger will partner with the National Association of Letter Carriers’ and U.S. Postal Service’s 20th annual food drive to Stamp Out Hunger on May 12.
AARP is fighting for senior citizens across the state to have more control and choices over a range of issues -- from electrical companies to driver insurance rates -- that impact their lives, Palmquist said.
"We're trying to get Pennsylvania (government) to loosen up," Palmquist said.
Additionally, AARP can have a "major impact" on promoting the positives of cultural diversity, he said.
Liott thanked Palmquist for his dedication to the organization.
"You're a credit to AARP," Liott said. "When you volunteer, you make someone happy and you're happy, too."
"What's Happening Live With Dene" at noon Thursdays on PCTV Channel 28, www.deneliott.com or www.thepctvnetwork.