Holly Holtzen Named State Director of AARP Ohio

Holly Holtzen Named State Director of AARP Ohio

Former Chief Operating Officer and Acting Executive Director of Ohio Housing Finance Agency starts December 16; Caregiving, lowering Rx costs and anti-fraud efforts top her agenda


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COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 16, 2019 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Today, AARP Regional Vice President Rawle Andrews Jr. announced Holly A. Holtzen, Ph.D., a distinguished policy leader, researcher and the former Chief Operating Officer and Acting Executive Director of the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA), has been appointed State Director for AARP in Ohio. As Ohio State Director, Holtzen will lead and manage the advocacy, communications and community outreach work of AARP and its 1.5 million members in Ohio.

Holly A. Holtzen, Ph.D is the new state director for AARP Ohio. She begins her new role serving Ohio’s 1.5 million members Dec.16.

“Holly has a career built on collaborating with elected and appointed officials across federal, state and local levels. Her proven ability to advocate and implement strategic priorities that result in tangible results is precisely what will accelerate our mission to serve the 50+ and their families in Ohio,”said Andrews.

“Dr. Holtzen combines impressive leadership skills with a lifetime dedicated to improving the health and social conditions of the underserved. Through both research and meaningful action,” said the Honorable Randolph Baxter, President of AARP Ohio. “We are pleased and honored to have someone with her stature, passion and experience to lead AARP Ohio into the future.”

Holtzen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint Leo University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Troy State University. She earned a Ph.D. in Health Services Research from Old Dominion University, where she presented her dissertation on caregiving settings among stroke survivors. Before moving to Ohio, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Texas Medical Branch-Sealy Center on Aging examining the social factors associated with health outcomes among underserved populations in Mexico. 

During her ten years at OHFA, she was able to influence affordable housing policy, including affordable senior housing and assisted living projects. Under her leadership, the OHFA’s Office of Multifamily Housing financed the development of over 5,300 units of affordable housing, surpassing the annual production goal by 53%. 

OHFA also allocated $40.1 million in federal housing tax credits, funding more than 4,434 units across the state. Notably, 4,780 Ohio residents became homeowners through the work of the OHFA’s Office of Homeownership during FY 2019. 

As part of efforts to address Ohio’s various housing challenges, Holly developed the Ohio Housing Needs Assessment. She also overhauled the strategic planning process and implemented agency-wide standards to monitor progress toward Ohio’s housing goals. 

“In addition to her capable strategic leadership and a focus on an improved experience for those her agency served, the work Holly has done to cultivate relationships is particularly impressive. Establishing regular contact with our volunteer leaders, key stakeholders and building new relationships is crucial to achieving our social impact agenda,” said Andrews. 

“The opportunity to lead and be part of a team that is passionate about and committed to this organization and its social mission to fight for and empower each individual to live their best life is one I am grateful to accept,” said Holtzen. “We have a seasoned state AARP team and hundreds of volunteers across that state that I am honored to be working alongside. We will continue to challenge outdated ideas about aging and engage our communities as we work to improve the quality of life for all Ohioans as they live and age.”

Throughout her career, Holly has served on several advisory committees and task forces, including the Ohio State Health Assessment, the Ohio State Health Improvement Plan, and the Age-Friendly Columbus Housing Subcommittee.

Interim state director, Kelly A. Clark, AARP Regional Vice President of the East and Caribbean, will chair the AARP statewide transition team.

“Holly brings a valuable mix of academic and agency leadership experience that makes her a wonderful choice to lead this dynamic team. With her leadership, this team will continue to build momentum with key health and financial security issues facing Ohioans,” said Clark.

“I want to thank Dr. Kelly Clark for her steadfast leadership as the Interim Ohio State Director and Chair of the Ohio transition team. She is leaving our state office team with an incredibly strong foundation. I am looking forward to working with Holly to help build upon that foundation and help ensure AARP Ohio is as good as its promise across the Buckeye State,” said Andrews.

About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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SOURCE AARP Ohio

Holly Holtzen Named State Director of AARP Ohio