2024 Inspire Positive Aging Awards

Thank you for joining us at the 19th annual Inspire Positive Aging Awards Luncheon at Meydenbauer Center, in Bellevue! With live music, great food, a resource fair with activities, and KIRO 7’s Monique Ming-Laven as our host, it was a fun-filled and memorable event that inspired all. 

If you couldn’t attend this year, consider donating to support aging adults
and celebrate their amazing contributions!

Questions about this event? Want to get involved for 2024? Reach out to Mackensie Lewis, mackensiel@soundgenerations.org.

2024 IPAA Winners

Congratulations to the 19th Annual Inspire Positive Aging Award Winners!

Grace Stiller

Advocacy & Activism

Grace Stiller is a tireless hard worker committed to environmental wellness and intergenerational connection. Grace honors the natural skills and talents everyone possesses regardless of age. Whether setting an example of community service through various volunteer roles, founding the non-profit Weed Warriors Nature Stewards Program, or presenting community service awards, Grace honors the work she does, the individuals she works with, and the communities she impacts.

Emma Cotton

Community Service

Emma Cotton has a history of longevity in service to several community organizations, including Rainier Food Bank and Central Area Senior Center. Emma plays a key role in connecting people, particularly individuals who may be homebound or don’t have internet. Emma’s goal is to keep people informed and feeling connected. Affectionately called “Mama Cotton” by many, this mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother is a vessel of love, care, and support.

Susan Bannon

Defining Inspiration

Susan is an essential member of her community at the Leschi Apartments where she is a source of strength, connection, and leadership for her fellow residents. Susan inspires those around her as she continually shows her propensity to take action and lead others in challenging situations. Even on the way out the door to her job as a cargiver, Susan will make sure you feel comfortable, appreciated, and valuable. Whether at work or at home, Susan is a balm, soothing and caring for everyone around her.  

Larry Hill

Defining Inspiration (Honorable Mention)

Larry serves as an AmeriCorps Senior volunteer and an Homage Senior Companion. Through these positions, he works with several older adults who are isolated to ensure they have social support. Through Larry’s service, not only does he greatly impact other’s lives, he also makes meaningful friendships that support his positive aging journey.  

Mary Jane Knecht

Health & Wellness

Mary Jane has spent two decades at the Frye Art Museum dedicated to Creative Aging programs that are dementia inclusive. Mary Jane engages with community to understand what people are craving which speaks to the success and impact her programs have had. Mary Jane is known for centering personhood above all else, modeling validation, patience and exquisite listening. Weaving together her personal experience, her passion for social engagement and healing, and her creativity, Mary Jane is creating a lasting legacy.

Hazel Cameron

Intergenerational Impact

Hazel has been a voice for youth since running The 4C Coalition which supports youth of color in King County. Hazel has been an advocate to end gun violence, support juvenile rehabilitation, and connect youth to programs and resources to help them learn and thrive. Hazel has been instrumental at the Liberated Village, The 4C Coalition, Seattle Cares, Mary’s Place, and more.

Lewis A. Jones

Lifelong Learning

Lewis has inspired many in his community with his incredible work ethic and his courage. Lewis lost his right hand when he was 19-years-old and he has never stopped supporting his family, gardening, and learning. Lewis has run for Mayor, achieved two bachelor’s degrees at the age of 65, and learned how to paint with his left hand. In his 80s, Lewis took a Chinese class at a local college which is a testament to his continued drive to learn new things! Lewis has had countless adventures throughout his life and reminds us that adventures don’t end as you age!  

Janet Preston, 71 Advocacy & Activism co-recipient with Claudia Webb, 2017 IPAA Judge

Past IPAA Recipients and Nominees

Since 2006, the IPAA Luncheon has honored and recognized hundreds of nominees and stellar award recipients, chosen by a panel of board members, staff, and members of the community.

Meet our past Inspire Positive Aging Awards recipients and nominees.