Archive for April, 2009

The Older Dominion Partnership: How Virginia Is Preparing to Ride the Age Wave

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
John Martin

John Martin

John W. Martin, CEO of the Southeastern Institute of Research, spoke at the April 8, 2009 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia on the Older Dominion Partnership (ODP), an initiative by business, government, foundations and non-profits to help Virginia prepare for the coming boomer age wave.

The ODP is a public/private initiative created to raise awareness and advance preparation efforts across the Commonwealth of Virginia for the coming “age wave” of older adults – when aging Boomers double the population of citizens ages 65 and older as there are today. Through John’s vision, Virginia’s ODP has ushered in a new model in age wave planning where leaders in academic, nonprofit, state government, philanthropic communities, and business all join together to plan for their community’s shared destiny.

The ODP conducted strategic research among residents and business leaders to help create a planning roadmap for the ODP. Subsequently, six ODP workgroups were established: community readiness, civic engagement, aging services communications support, healthcare access and long-term care, workforce readiness, and a shared statewide research database work group that supports all of the ODP work groups and offers a matrix of age wave preparedness performance indicators.

In addition to co-founding the Boomer Project, the nation’s authority on marketing to today’s Boomer consumer, John Martin is president and CEO of SIR Research, a 44-year-old marketing research firm that has conducted over 13,000 studies for organizations like Media General, AARP, Liberty Mutual, Lincoln Financial, American Chemical Society, the Public Relations Society of America, Johnson & Johnson, and the American SPCA.

John speaks to audiences across the country about age wave preparation, as well as generational issues and understanding today’s Boomers. He also co-authored the award-winning business book, Boomer Consumer, published in 2007.

Over the last five years, the Boomer Project has established itself as the leading authority on generational marketing. Boomer Project findings have been shared on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, CBS Sunday Morning, CNBC, MSNBC, NPR’s “Marketplace” and recent cover stories about older Boomers by BusinessWeek and Newsweek, as well as articles in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Hundreds of organizations from financial services firms, healthcare associations, consumer products companies, retailers, and governmental agencies have hired the Boomer Project to speak at conferences, events, and training sessions.

Following the presentation questions were taken from the audience. Today’s program was moderated by SSV Secretary Bill Davis.

Program Summary

John W. Martin, CEO of the Southeastern Institute of Research, spoke on the Older Dominion Partnership (ODP), an initiative by business, government, foundations and non-profits to help Virginia prepare for the coming boomer age wave (www.olderdominion.org).

Because of the baby boomers, the population in Virginia of 65 and over will increase from 11 percent to 19 percent in ten years. The age wave will impact in five ways: •chronic diseases (e.g., heart disease, arthritis, stroke) will increase by 40 to 50 percent along with multiple severe diseases; •shortage of geriatric physicians and nurses (22,000 more nurses will be needed in 10 years); •enormous shortage of family care-giver workers (nine out of 10 boomers want to remain in their homes); •demands on business, transportation, housing–all must become more age-friendly; •a community’s overall attractiveness and competitiveness may be at stake to attract boomers.

Goals of the Older Dominion Partnership: •Build awareness of the coming age wave; •Broaden pro-aging stake holder groups; •Help facilitate the creation and advancement of community-driven strategies; •Support members through strategic coordination and possible alignment of funding sources; •Help formulate a comprehensive long-term strategic strategy for the Commonwealth; •Document and report on the progress in preparing for the age wave. In sum, “Make things happen sooner rather than later. Don’t play catch-up in 20 years, but rather predict the future by influencing it by taking it in the direction we want it to go in as residents of the Commonwealth.”