AARP California welcomes new state president, top volunteer role

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SAN JOSE, CA— Joe Garbanzos has been named AARP’s California State President. The state president is a volunteer who serves as spokesperson and representative for AARP across California. In this role, Joe will chair the all-volunteer Executive Council, a diverse group of professionals who provide advice and counsel to advance AARP’s social mission in California.

Prior to his appointment, Joe served on the Executive Council for six years, serving as volunteer leader for Asian American Pacific Islander outreach, chairing the Education Committee for the California Telehealth Coalition, co-leading AARP’s livable communities work in San Diego County, and chairing the new Hi-Speed Internet Advisory Committee.

Joe brings to his new role extensive experience in leadership, public health, change management, and public policy, having previously served as the CEO and Executive Director at Samahan Health Centers, a federally qualified health center in San Diego. He was also involved as a health care consultant in launching the Affordable Care Act in California, as well as the implementation of the Coordinated Care Initiative in San Diego County. He is an adjunct faculty member at the California School of Management & Leadership at Alliant International University San Diego, teaching courses on healthcare. His knowledge and expertise includes leading outreach and education in culturally diverse communities with hard-to-reach populations.

“We are thrilled to have Joe as our new state president,” said AARP California State Director Nancy McPherson. “Joe’s contributions to the Executive Council and as an ambassador on a multitude of programs and campaigns has helped position AARP as a trusted leader across California. Joe is committed to championing the issues that matter most to Californians 50+ and their families.”

As volunteer state president, Joe will work in close partnership with the State Director Nancy McPherson to co-lead the California Executive Council, as well as collaborate with other volunteers and staff statewide to advance AARP priority issues, such as promoting “age-friendly” communities, supporting family caregivers, awareness and prevention of fraud, and promoting financial resilience among the 50+ population.

AARP California is the largest of AARP’s 53 state and territorial offices, representing 3.3 million members with office locations in Pasadena, San Jose, and Sacramento, as well as staff and volunteers supporting the San Diego Information Center. Approximately 30 staff and more than 5,500 volunteers across the state serve AARP California members through community engagements, programming, and advocacy.

Joe succeeds Patricia Pérez, who served with distinction as state president for AARP California since 2015.

Joe is a Peter F. Drucker MBA alum and has a post-graduate degree in Public Health from the School of Community and Global Health at Claremont Graduate University. Joe earned a BA in Mass Communications from the University of the Philippines. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Business Administration in Leadership and Management at Alliant International University.

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