Agent for Social Change to Lead Nation's Largest Membership Organization
WASHINGTON, March 12, 2009 — The nation's largest membership organization, AARP, will appoint A. Barry Rand, known for being a catalyst for social change and inclusion in the workplace, to become CEO in early April succeeding Bill Novelli, who has held the position for eight years. Rand will be the first African-American to lead the organization.
Rand, who serves as the volunteer Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Howard University, is most recognized for his 30 year career at Xerox, where he rose from a sales representative to Executive Vice President for Worldwide Operations. More importantly, Rand's tenure at Xerox is highlighted by his work to ensure minorities and women had every opportunity for advancement at the company. Under Rand's leadership, Xerox became the most diverse company in the Fortune 500. Further, when Rand left Xerox in 1999 to become Chairman and CEO of Avis, he became one of the first African-Americans to achieve such a position in the Fortune 500.
"Barry Rand's record of achievement and continued drive for inclusion fits perfectly with our mission at AARP," said Bonnie Cramer, AARP Board Chair. "For more than 50 years AARP has fought for those who could not fight, we have given a voice to those who needed help, but could not be heard. Over his career so has Barry and we are extremely excited to have him join us; we know his passion and leadership will result in continued success for AARP."
At Howard University, Rand created the Helen Matthews Rand Scholarship. Named for his mother, a school teacher and principal, the scholarship provides full tuition and a laptop to exceptional students pursuing a degree in teacher education. Recipients must make a 2-year commitment to teaching in an inner-city or urban environment directly upon completing their degrees.
"AARP and I have long shared the belief that health care and long-term financial security should be the goals of this nation -- goals we all have an obligation to help achieve: from government to corporate America to the individual," said Rand. "From ensuring inclusion in the workplace to ensuring equal opportunities for higher education, I have always embraced seemingly insurmountable challenges. AARP, with its mission, regularly does the same and I'm excited to be leading that effort now."
Beyond corporate America, Barry Rand knows first hand what the health care and financial security crises are doing to individuals and families across this nation. He was a caregiver to his father for the last eight years of his life and that experience fueled his passion for the issues that have long been the centerpiece of AARP's agenda.
"My experience with my father was eye-opening," Rand added. "I considered myself lucky to be able to provide the necessary care for my father in the setting of his choosing; the tragedy is for those of us who aren't as lucky as I am. Caring for him brought home for me the simple truth that access to low cost, high quality health care and financial security are pre-requisites for achieving the American Dream. While we have come far -- because of the efforts of AARP -- we have much left to achieve. Lifetime health care and financial security are terms far too many believe are out of reach; not just for 'older' Americans or 'aging' Americans, but for all Americans."
"The need for reform is great, and Barry is ready to take on this important campaign on behalf of AARP's members, volunteers, staff and community partners," said AARP President Jennie Chin Hansen. "Barry's management skills, commitment to quality and leadership acumen will collectively pay dividends for AARP. Caring for his ailing father, however, was one of the most important achievements of Barry's illustrious career. Being a caregiver -- navigating the maze of insurance forms, care options and financing -- is the kind of personal experience that has fundamentally touched his core, as AARP works to bring Washington and the country together to create long-term health care and financial security."
Born Addison Barry Rand in Washington, DC, the son of a postal clerk and an elementary school principal, Rand and his wife Donna have two grown children. Rand will officially take over as CEO on April 6th; Rand and current CEO Bill Novelli will work together to ensure a seamless transition -- a critical issue because of the many initiatives ongoing both in Washington and in the states.
Rand concluded, "AARP's resources are immense, but so are the goals that it seeks to achieve. The fight will not be easy, but if I've learned one thing in my career, it's that nothing worthwhile ever is. Finally, I look forward to continuing the incredible achievements of Bill Novelli, who took this organization from a well-known voice for older people to an essential organization bettering the lives of all Americans."
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 34.5 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.