September 1, 2021

Del Mar Encore Fellows Selected to Help Lead Community Efforts

New Del Mar Encore Fellows
L to R: Toni Dosik, Beth Grubb, Donna Kastner, Leigh Sempeles, and Joni Watson

Five highly skilled older adults have been selected as the newest Fellows for The Dayton Foundation’s Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative, which deploys retired or career-transitioning older adults into the community to work on significant community issues. Each Fellow brings new sources of talent and experience to nonprofit organizations working to solve critical community issues.

Serving as Fellow for Yellow Springs Senior Center, Antonia Dosik will convene and lead an effort to build a more livable, equitable and Age Friendly Community in Yellow Springs, based on the AARP 8 Domains of Livability, with an additional focus on diversity and inclusion. Dosik comes from a long career leading nonprofits, including serving as executive director of Project Woman, The Other Place (now Homefull), located in Dayton, and Gateway Community Organization in Queens, NY. She recently led Yellow Springs’ successful effort to become a Dementia-Friendly Community, an initiative also funded by The Dayton Foundation’s DMH-Dayton Del Mar fund.

Beth Grubb, CPA, will work with the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Minority Business Partnership, leading their participation in a Kauffman Foundation/ Cleveland State University project, “Identifying Resource Gaps for Minority Entrepreneurs.” Beth just retired as tax partner with RSM US LLP, where she served as tax consultant, financial planner and business valuation strategist.

Donna Kastner is serving with The Collaboratory to launch an accessible workforce development and volunteer engagement platform that focuses on matching skilled older adults in Greater Dayton with employers and nonprofits that are seeking mature, experienced people for full-time, part-time or seasonal work, or volunteer opportunities. Kastner has been a self-employed events coordinator and entrepreneur, focusing on older adults. She founded Retirepreneur, which offers people ages 50 to 60+ tools and insights to make the transition from full-time employment to their next chapter, including starting their own businesses.

Leigh Sempeles, a trained attorney with years of experience in legal publishing and working with nonprofits, is using her skills as a Fellow to help the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC)’. Sempeles will help to coordinate Age-Friendly initiatives in this region, as part of MVRPC’s Institute for Livable and Equitable Communities.

Joni Watson will work with Brunner Literacy Center to establish a Literacy Leaders network among service providers in Montgomery County whose clients are at risk for low levels of literacy. Watson holds a master’s degree in reading education and retired in June after 35 years as an art teacher and union leader in Dayton Public Schools.

These Fellows will join the three current Fellows who have been working to combat issues of chronic nationwide shortage of personal care providers in Dayton, expand access to anti-ageism curricula, and create affordable pathways to education and secure credentials for childcare teachers. To date, Del Mar Encore Fellow have contributed more than 24,000 hours of work and $1.7 million in value to the Dayton economy.

Since 2017, the Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative has placed Fellows with more than a dozen organizations, working on major projects, engaging older adults as Encore volunteers and changing the conversation around aging. The work is made possible by a generous grant from the DMH-Dayton Fund of The Dayton Foundation.

For more information about the Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative, please contact Noreen Willhelm, Senior Fellow, at or (937) 225-9949.

About The Dayton Foundation

Established in 1921, The Dayton Foundation is the largest grantmaker in Greater Dayton, exceeding $64 million in grants in fiscal year 2020. Since its founding 100 years ago, more than $1 billion in grants have been awarded from more than 4,000 charitable funds at the Foundation with assets totaling $771 million as of March 31, 2021.

Learn more about the Del Mar Encore Fellows Click here.

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File date: 09.21.21


Noreen Willhelm

“Have a question about the Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative? I can help.”
Noreen Willhelm, Senior Fellow, (937) 225-9949

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