WIHA Names Dave Nelson New Executive Director

December 02, 2020

With the retirement of long-time Executive Director Betsy Abramson, the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging (WIHA) is pleased to announce that Dave Nelson will take over as executive director on December 28, 2020. 

A resident of McFarland, WI, Nelson joins WIHA after serving as Senior Managing Director at the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association where he led a wide range of programming including strategic planning, lifelong learning, chapter relations, career networking, diverse alumni outreach, and events and meeting planning.

He previously served as Vice President of Health Care Reform at Mental Health America where he directed a national technical assistance center and advocacy operation supporting state mental health parity, managed care reform, stronger mental health budgets, and greater access to treatment and services at the community level.
He holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Masters of Public Policy from Georgetown University.

Nelson cites his passion for the mission as the driving force behind his interest in WIHA. “I’m thrilled to be joining an organization that makes such a difference in the health and well-being of so many older adults in Wisconsin and beyond,” said Nelson. “From board, to staff, to the incredible network of over 250 program providers and hundreds of program leaders, the commitment to helping people age well is exceptional. The more I learn, the more excited I am to be part of expanding this work and, ultimately, reaching more people with these evidence-based programs and practices.”

According to WIHA Board Chairperson Christine Klotz, finding a replacement for Abramson was a big challenge, but Nelson’s diverse background and enthusiasm will be a great match for WIHA. “Betsy’s leadership has guided the organization to remarkable growth during her 10-year tenure,” said Klotz. “We wish her well in retirement and look forward to a new era with Dave Nelson at the helm. His wide-ranging experience, energy and enthusiasm will serve WIHA well in his new role as executive director."

Please join us in welcoming Dave Nelson to WIHA!