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Sid Granet Awards

Sid Granet was the Executive Director of the Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging from 1975 until his death in 1987. His philosophy was to "Be all you can be." In Sid's own words, "In times of great economic stress and community pressure, it's easy for a social service agency (or individual) to focus on the negative. Taking these negatives and turning them into positives is the biggest challenge facing us today. An agency (or individual) must learn to focus on what can instead of what can't be done."

The Sid Granet Award was created in his honor, and is awarded each year at the the annual Governor's Conference on Aging in Chicago. If you know of a worthy recipient or group, please send us email by using the link at the bottom of this page.


The 2014 Sid Granet award winner is- Senator William Haine

Senator William R. Haine. He was elected to Illinois General Assembly as a Senator representing the people of District 56 in southern Illinois in 2002. He has had a long record of public service leading up to his election. From 1967 to 1969, Haine served his country in the Vietnam War, where he earned a Bronze Star for his service. In 1988, Senator Haine was elected to the office of Madison County State’s Attorney, an office he held until his election to State Senate in 2002. In addition, Senator Haine served as a member of the Madison County Board from 1978 until 1986. He has also served as Chair for the Metro-East Transit District Board of Trustees from 1981 to 1988. Senator Haine is a member of the Senate’s Judiciary and Criminal Law Committees. He was presented with the Outstanding Legislator Award by the Illinois State’s Attorneys Association in 2009 in recognition of his advocacy for public safety.

Senator Haine is honored for his leadership and guidance in crafting legislation that created the Illinois Adult Protective Service Program administered by the Illinois Department on Aging.


The 2013 Sid Granet award winner is-

Walter S. Meyers, Northeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging. Walter Meyers began his career in aging in 1974 as a Program Director for the Washtenaw County Council on Aging in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He then moved on to the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, Illinois, as the Older Americans Act Program Coordinator. In 1982, he joined the staff of the Northeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging where he has spent the balance of his career in a variety of community planning positions. Currently, he is Director of Research, Development and Network Integration. After nearly 40 years of service to older persons in Michigan and Illinois, Walt has decided to retire. During his career, he has been responsible for a number of major initiatives. He has helped to develop the statewide Care Coordination Unit System, Illinois Elder Abuse and Neglect Program, and the Information and Assistance Electronic Data Base, better known as ESP. The Illinois Association of Area Agencies is pleased to recognize Walter for his professional contributions to the development and success of the network of services funded under the Older Americans Act. Few can claim to have spent a 40-year-career with such insight, action and commitment.

In this photo, Walter Meyer accepts the Award from John Holton, Director of the Illinois Department on Aging (left), Walter Meyer (middle-left), Jon Lavin, President and CEO of AgeOptions (middle-right) and Charles Johnson, former Director of the Illinois Department on Aging and CEO of Northeastern Illinois Agency on Aging (right).


The 2012 Sid Granet award winner is-

State Senator Mattie Hunter and State Representative Joseph Lyons for their leadership in protecting Illinois senior adults from financial exploitation through improved training of direct customer contact workers of the Illinois Chartered Banks. Their efforts have resulted to date in a 100% increase in reports of elder financial exploitation.

In this photo, Senator Hunter accepts the Award from Jon Lavin, President and CEO of AgeOptions (left) and John Holton, Director of the Illinois Department on Aging (right).

The legislative bill is SB3267.


The 2011 Sid Granet award winner is-

Janice M. Stille worked in the field of aging for 21 years, retiring in November, 2011. She began her career at Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging as the program coordinator for the Senior Community Services Employment Program. Jan served as a program coordinator for community based services, a program manager and assistant director of Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging. She was named Executive Director of the agency in 2005.

Through Jan's leadership the area agency developed many new programs, including a series of Living & Learning workshops offered to the public on a wide range of topics. She was instrumental in bringing together many diverse transportation providers in Rock Island and Mercer counties to provide county-wide and inter-county public transportation in both these counties. Through her collaboration with the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois, the evidence based falls prevention program "A Matter of Balance" is now being provided to seniors in five counties in many diverse locations including senior centers, churches, community centers, independent apartments and assisted living facilities.

Jan forged a partnership with Generations Area Agency on Aging in Iowa, just across the Mississippi River, to provide a bi-state caregiver conference that is very well attended. She had a special interest in Civic Engagement of adults fifty plus and participated with the NCOA SMART tool evaluating the return on investment of leadership volunteers. She also served as treasurer for the Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

Jan's calm demeanor, ability to collaborate, and openness to new ideas endeared her to staff and community based service providers in the 10-county are of the Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging planning and service area, as well as to her colleagues throughout the state. The aging network has benefitted from Jan's many contributions and appreciates her thoughtful participation and leadership.


The 2010 Sid Granet award winner is-

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Attorney General Madigan served as an Illinois Senator from 1998 through 2002 and in 2003 took office as the first female to serve as Illinois Attorney General. Attorney General Lisa Madigan understands how important it is to protect Illinois' older residents from fraud, abuse and neglect, and she has strongly advocated on their behalf.

Scam artists don't have a chance against Attorney General Madigan's intolerance of those who prey on the elderly. She has taken aggressive legal action against those who take advantage of senior citizens. The Attorney General's office participates in the TRIAD program and the Elder Service Officer training and recognition program in Illinois. Her office also initiated the training for the Silver Beat program with Age Options, Suburban Cook County Area Agency on Aging. And, her office participates in the statewide B*Safe program with the Illinois Department on Aging.

Attorney General Madigan enacted a law that prevents sexual predators from being placed in nursing homes without notice being given to administrators, staff, patients and families. She initiated new laws to ensure that long-term care residents receive greater protection from sex offenders and violent felons. Lisa Madigan was also instrumental in drafting legislation that improves nursing home safety by increasing fines and oversight by government agencies.

Attorney General Madigan launched a new initiative dubbed "Operation Guardian," which brings together state and local law enforcement and health inspectors to conduct unannounced top-to-bottom inspections of nursing homes to ensure compliance with health and safety regulations and to remove residents with outstanding arrest warrants.


The 2009 Sid Granet award winner is-

Janet B. Ellis, Executive Director (retired), Northwestern Illinois Area Agency on Aging. Ms. Ellis began her tenure at Northwestern Illinois Area Agency on Aging, Rockford, in 1972, while it was still a model project. During her career, Ms. Ellis has been a respected leader, advocate, and contributor in the development of the Aging Network in Illinois.

Over the years, Ms. Ellis participated in many demonstration projects, served on numerous task forces, and held leadership positions in several organizations as she continued to work to develop, expand, and improve aging services in northern Illinois and throughout Illinois. She has been a persistent and effective advocate for older adults and family caregivers and has generously shared her wisdom and insight with her colleagues.


The 2008 Sid Granet award winner is-

Mike O'Donnell, Executive Director, East-Central Area Agency on Aging is honored for his many decades of service to senior adults in Illinois. Mr. O'Donnell has served on many local, regional, state, and national committees which determine policy for in-home and community-based services for older adults.

Mr. O'Donnell served as the President of the Illinois Association of Area Agencies for many years. He is involved in advocacy for services for older adults, and serves as a leader in this endeavor.


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This page was last updated 02/15/2017