The Honorable Barbara A. Sykesformer distinguished legislator, community leader and devoted advocate for the underserved in Ohio for more than three decadeshas been appointed State Director for AARP in Ohio.
In her new role, Sykes will lead and manage the advocacy, communications and community outreach work of AARP and its 1.5 million members in Ohio.
“Our next state director must be able to thrive in a highly dynamic environment while advancing the AARP brand up, down and across the Buckeye State and inside the Beltway from time to time. Barbara is a thought leader with a people-first, can-do attitude, who has the proven ability to help accelerate the progress of what is working well and to disrupt what needs changing. I look forward to working with Barbara and the Ohio team to make sure AARP is as good and vibrant as its promise for older Ohioans and their families,” said AARP Regional Vice President Rawle Andrews Jr.
For the last ten years, Sykes served as president and CEO of Ohio United Way (OUW)the state association for United Ways in Ohiowhere she worked to strengthen local United Ways with an emphasis on education, health and financial stability. She served three terms in the Ohio House of Representatives from 2000-2006 and has also been Deputy Auditor for Summit County, the Past President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus and the first African-American woman to serve on the Akron City Council.
Sykes is a graduate of the University of Akron where she earned her undergraduate degree in social work and her master’s degree in public administration.