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Tomasko to participate in premiere program

Mike Tomasko

Mike Tomasko of West Fargo is one of just 24 AARP volunteers nationwide chosen to participate in AARP's premiere Volunteer Leadership Institute, an intensive 13-month program designed to elevate highly skilled and motivated AARP volunteers to the next level of volunteer leadership.

The mission of the initial AARP Volunteer Leadership Institute is to develop and mobilize the expertise, interests and talents of highly skilled volunteer leaders to lead and influence in communities across the nation.

"Having North Dakota represented in this inaugural class is a testament to the high-quality of volunteer leaders in our state," said AARP North Dakota State Director Janis Cheney. "Mike has a long history of community service. He is the lead North Dakota volunteer on AARP's efforts to strengthen the Social Security and Medicare programs. Last year he was appointed to our state executive council, helping to guide AARP's work at the state level."

Tomasko, 68, retired at the end of 2007 following a 35-year career in health care administration in North Dakota. Thirty of those years were spent in Bismarck where he last served as CEO of Mid Dakota Clinic and as an administrator of the PrimeCare health group.

Tomasko served as president of the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce, chair of the Bismarck Folkfest celebration and is a recipient of the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce community service award.

"I am honored to be among the inaugural class of AARP's Volunteer Leadership Institute," Tomasko said. "My career experiences in health care led me to my passion for aging issues. In my retirement, I chose to volunteer with AARP because of their mission to effect positive social change. That includes working to strengthen critical programs like Medicare and Social Security."

Throughout the course of the program, participants select one of three tracks through which to explore and build on their leadership strengths: advocacy, community leader and external representative. The 2013 class will also help AARP build a meaningful and challenging curriculum for classes to follow.

Participants represent varied backgrounds and areas of expertise including academia; government and public policy; business and nonprofits; and communications and marketing. The program includes a combination of virtual and face-to-face sessions.

To find out more about the activities of AARP in North Dakota, visit their webpage at