Wintersville native Ron Bridges named state AARP director

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Ron Bridges joined the AARP Kentucky team as its new state director.

Bridges joined the Kentucky state office after 15 years of service as associate state director for government affairs in the AARP Ohio office.

According to the Wintersville native and 1976 Wintersville High School graduate, “I am honored to be selected to lead such a high caliber organization built on two intertwined pillars: Member value, which includes our benefits, products and services, and social impact, which includes advocacy and our quest for positive social change.”

While in the AARP Ohio state office, he was recognized as an advocate for Ohioans age 50-plus.

One long-time AARP Ohio volunteer, Bill Demjan of Steubenville, said of Bridges, “We were lucky to have a strong leader like Ron. He is well liked by legislators and his concern for everyday people made a difference for all Ohioans. And now Kentucky is lucky to have him.”

In Kentucky, Bridges is leading the AARP advocacy and community outreach efforts. AARP Kentucky’s General Assembly legislative agenda is focused on fighting to protect retirement security, consumers’ telephone landlines, home and community based services and expanding the state’s Medicaid program especially for individuals ages 50-64.

AARP Ohio State Director Jane Taylor described Bridges as a strategic thinker and said he was well respected by the Ohio policy partners, legislators and their staff, “and Ron hit the ground running in Kentucky as AARP sponsored the nation’s only Vice Presidential Debate Festival at historic Centre College.”

Prior to joining AARP, Bridges served as vice president for strategic planning with the Health Coalition of Central Ohio (19931997). He’d previously served the American Lung Association of Ohio as manager of community and government relations beginning in 1985, and was then promoted to executive director of the Lung Association’s Washington, D.C., affiliate in 1989.

Bridges is the son of Randall and Catherine Bridges of Steubenville.

He holds a bachelor of arts degree with an emphasis in organizational psychology from Ohio State University and a master’s degree in public policy from OSU’s John Glenn School of Public Policy.