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Published June 22nd, 2011
Meet the New Senior Services Coordinator
By Cathy Tyson
New Senior Services Coordinator Maureen Neumann in her office at the Lafayette Community Center. Photo C. Tyson

Seeking to enrich the lives of what she calls "seasoned" citizens, Maureen Neumann is the new Senior Services Coordinator for the City of Lafayette. In the job for just two months, she's had her hands full putting together the fall programming and running events. Neumann became involved with seniors during the many years she cared for her own aging parents and in her prior position working as the Community Relations Representative and Wellness Coordinator at Diablo Lodge in Danville - an independent and assisted living facility. Neumann found she missed the seniors and "the joy that came from serving."
Just two people staff the entire Senior Services Department: Neumann, who logs 30 paid hours per week, and Molly Cohen at 19 hours per week. The pair do everything from field phone calls, assist seniors who walk in with questions and may need a referral, set up classrooms for a variety of workshops and weekly Tea Dancing. Although it's only June, Neumann is swamped putting together programs and confirming instructors for the fall guide; the deadline for publication is rapidly approaching. Look for similar class and workshop offerings this autumn, but when the dust settles she's interested in adding a variety of new events.
"We're always looking for volunteer presenters to speak about what they are knowledgeable and passionate about - someone who wants to share their expertise and give back to the community," she said.
With the goal of increasing participation in their programs, Neumann will be reaching out to Lamorinda churches to promote classes, hoping to connect with individuals who might not otherwise be familiar with all that's offered at the Senior Center.
Popular workshops this summer include "Making Friends with your Digital Camera" by photographer and graphic designer Rajshree and "The World Wide Web - Practical Knowledge for Today" by Nerd4Rent proprietor Edward Zeidan. Space is still available for these July workshops, call or visit the Senior Center to sign up.
Family has always been important to Neumann. She was born and raised in San Francisco, "the daughter of an Irish born father and a first generation Irish-American mother." It's no surprise that a favorite hobby was Irish step dancing, think "Riverdance," starting with lessons at five years old. She recently hung up her dancing shoes, but stays quite busy gardening, skiing, cooking and more.
Neumann's daughter, 26, is getting married in July; as the mother of the bride there's been no shortage of wedding related tasks to accomplish before the big day. She also has two sons, a 24-year-old who lives and works in Santa Rosa and the baby of the family, now 18, who lives at home and is attending Diablo Valley College. She adds that husband Dirk is "just the best guy - he has a great sense of humor and is the life of the party."
For more information on the Senior Center or to sign up for classes, call (925) 284-5050 or stop by Neumann's office at the Lafayette Community Center, 500 St. Mary's Road.


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