Who We Are
SAIL (Sharing Active Independent Lives) supports the independence of the growing senior population through activities, education, socialization, and providing of essential services.
Watch a video about us!
Sharing Active Independent Lives (SAIL) began as a vision in 2004 and has evolved into a thriving membership organization designed to support the health and well-being of people as they age.
SAIL is a non-profit program of AgeBetter Inc., in collaboration with Attic Angel Association and Oakwood Village.
The vision for SAIL began taking shape in September 2002, when the Madison Area Continuing Care Consortium, Inc. (MACCC), now named AgeBetter, Inc., sponsored a public forum in Dane County, Wisconsin, to explore the growing population of people over 60 years of age and the resources needed to uphold the quality of life for them.
Read More SAIL History
An Executive Director, Membership Services team, and Marketing team oversee SAIL's day-to-day activities. The staff is supported by a wonderful volunteer base, most of whom are SAIL members.
Ann Albert, AgeBetter Executive Director
Ann began working with SAIL's founding organization, AgeBetter, Inc., as a consultant in early 2004 when SAIL was being launched as a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community demonstration project. Several years prior, she was an assisted living administrator at Oakwood Village. This experience, along with her master’s degree in rehabilitation psychology from UW-Madison, helped her immensely in the formation and success of SAIL. She has shaped the program into a unique and sustainable community resource for oldera dults that also takes a leadership role in the national "village movement." In addition to oversight of SAIL, she is spearheading initiatives related to senior affordable housing, training and education for people working with older adults, a locally grown produce and community-based garden program, and more. Contact Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicole Schaefer, Program Director
Nicole manages program operations relating to member services - direct services provided by staff as well as those coordinated by staff and performed by vetted volunteers and service providers. She also oversees and supports SAIL programs and event offerings, marketing and communication outreach, and individual member consultations. Her educational background includes a bachelor's in psychology and special education and a master's degree in organizational leadership. Contact Nicole at email@example.com
Peggy York, Volunteer Coordinator
Peggy supports more than 100 SAIL volunteers while also orienting new volunteers, welcoming new members, matching volunteers with individual member service requests, supporting the call center, and helping with events. Before joining SAIL, Peggy worked as a licensed practical nurse and administrative assistant, retiring from UW Hospital & Clinics in 2011. Contact Peggy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Kruse, Communications Assistant
With expertise in communications, higher education, and senior care, Sarah supports the marketing, public relations, and member communications functions of SAIL. She assists with The Messenger
(monthly newsletter), weekly email messages, the website, collateral materials, and press releases to increase the overall awareness of SAIL. She holds a degree in English and education. Contact Sarah at email@example.com
Becky Rogers, Membership Services Assistant
Becky provides customer support to members and others contacting SAIL while also offering administrative and technical support to the SAIL team. She brings experience as a certified occupational therapy assistant and provider of direct care services in assisted living, independent living, and adult day programming. Contact Becky at firstname.lastname@example.org
The SAIL Council
Christine Beatty, Dorit Bergen (President), Beth Campbell (Vice President), Mary Ann Drescher (AgeBetter, Inc.), Sue Goldstein, Ernie Hanson, Dianne Hopkins (Secretary), Chris Klotz, Alan Lukazewski, Galen Metz, Rick Sheridan, and Thelma Wells.
SAIL is a non-profit program of AgeBetter Inc., in collaboration with Attic Angel Association and Oakwood Village. Both are local non-profit retirement communities.
The AgeBetter Board of Directors includes: Reginald Hislop III (CEO, Oakwood Village), Mary Ann Drescher (Attic Angel President), Barbara Gessner, Heidi Lauhon, Ruth Marion, and Kristen Peterson.
A SAIL Council was created by AgeBetter in 2010 to oversee the day-to-day operations of SAIL and assist in membership development. Council members include: Christine Beatty, Dorit Bergen (President), Beth Campbell, Mary Ann Drescher (AgeBetter), Sue Goldstein (Vice President), Ernie Hanson, Don Haasl (Secretary), Dianne Hopkins, Chris Klotz, Kathleen Larson, Alan Lukazewski, and Rick Sheridan.
Meetings and Documents
About the Village Movement
Freedom and Control
The Village Movement is a nationwide, grassroots effort for older adults to nurture independence, engagement, and comfort. The model focuses on groups of older adults helping one another through volunteerism, education, and social opportunities, and being there to provide support if and when the need arises.
Today, there are over 250 Villages nationwide, including SAIL. The organization's network of staff, volunteers and members adhere to the ideals of the Village Model, working hard to make sure older adults feel supported in whatever way they need as they maintain independent, vibrant lives.
The first Village, called Beacon Hill, was created in 1999 in Boston, MA.
They describe their inception by saying:
We looked beyond conventional solutions. We wanted more freedom and control than we found in models that focus on single issues, such as housing, medical care, or social activities. We wanted to be active, taking care of ourselves and each other rather than being "taken care of.
SAIL's Frequently Asked Questions
What makes SAIL different from other programs already available in the community?
SAIL is the only program of its kind in our area. Our focus is on independence and helping older adults continue to thrive through involvement, interactions, and learning. Members not only draw from services, they have a key role in the governance of SAIL as well as its day-to-day operations. Most importantly, members support one another, rather than relying entirely on support from us.
What kinds of services does SAIL offer?
SAIL provides numerous services including access to pre-screened service providers, educational events, transportation, medication reviews, volunteer opportunities, social events, and so much more! For a complete list of what is offered at each membership level, please visit the "Membership" page of our website.
Do you work with other agencies that provide similar services?
SAIL works with several community organizations to the fullest extent possible. We are constantly identifying unmet needs and finding ways to meet them. Some of the organizations we work closely with are; West Madison Senior Coalition, Monona Senior Center, Dane County Health and Human Services, Safe Communities, and more!
Where is SAIL located?
SAIL’s office is located at the Oakwood Village University Woods campus. We serve individuals all throughout Dane County.
How does SAIL decide what services to offer?
SAIL members take an active role in driving the program. SAIL has created four teams led by member volunteers: Finance, Marketing, Product, and Membership. A member Connections Group meets monthly to discuss program ideas and provide feedback to staff. We are very open to the input of our members, as they are our heartbeat and can best help us understand what is needed.
What does it cost to join SAIL?
A full SAIL membership has an annual fee of only $395 per household. An Associate membership is also available for $195. SAIL offers a sliding fee for those with a financial hardship.
How do I join SAIL?
Simply call the SAIL office at 608-230-4321, email us at email@example.com, or sign up through the "Join" tab on the website. Once you’ve signed up, we’ll schedule a personal appointment to deliver your membership information. If you pay annually, should ever have to cancel your membership, you’ll receive a refund of unused months.
Can I charge my membership?
Yes, we accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
What types of volunteer opportunities does SAIL offer?
SAIL offers many volunteer opportunities including committee work, public relations, visitation/companionship, member transportation, office assistance, light handyman work, and more. Please visit the "Support" page of our website to learn more about volunteering.
How do I become a SAIL volunteer?
Call the SAIL office at 608-230-4321 and we’ll provide an application form and a Background Information Disclosure form required of all volunteers. You can also download and send the paperwork via the "Support" page on our website. Once we receive and review your application, we'll contact you regarding next steps.
If I volunteer, do I have to commit to a certain number of hours or a regular schedule?
No, there is no minimum time requirement for SAIL volunteers. We encourage all volunteers to commit to the amount of time they feel they can successfully manage.
How do you develop your list of service providers?
We receive suggestions from members and others associated with SAIL. As an organization, we have many resources to call upon for referrals and we do a thorough screening and background check.
How are services arranged with SAIL service providers?
When you join SAIL, we provide you with your own directory of service providers. You may contact the service providers directly and identify yourself as a SAIL member or you can call SAIL and we’ll be happy to call them for you.
What if I need a service and SAIL does not have a service provider listed who provides that service?
Because SAIL is sponsored by two local non-profit organizations, we have access to a variety of resources to help locate a recommended service provider for you to contact. Just give us a call at 608-230-4321 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll help you!
What if I have a problem with a service provider or the work that was done?
Call SAIL to discuss your concern. We will work on your behalf to ensure your satisfaction.
What if the service providers I use are not in the SAIL directory?
You can continue using your favorite service providers, but if they are not listed in our SAIL Member Services Directory, we will not be involved in background checks or consumer advocacy.
Ann began working with SAIL's founding organization, the Madison Area Continuing Care Consortium, Inc., in early 2004 as a consultant to launch SAIL as a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community demonstration project. Several years prior, she was an assisted living administrator at Oakwood Village.
This experience, plus her Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Psychology from UW-Madison, helped prepare her for the challenges of getting SAIL off the ground.
In addition to leading the SAIL team, she is responsible for information and referral, member consultation, marketing, financial management and community outreach at SAIL. Contact email@example.com.
Prior to joining us at SAIL, Nicole was the Volunteer Programs Manager for the Garfield Park Conservatory located in Chicago. One of her passions is building strong relationships--this fits well with her role here at SAIL!
Nicole earned a BA from St. Louis University and is currently completing her graduate degree in organizational leadership. She was raised near Chicago and enjoys time with her partner Jeff, her family, friends, and her rescue puppy "Penny Lane." Contact Nicole at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Membership Support Assistant
After many years in technology training and support for First Weber, Sue has joined the SAIL staff, working on the east side expansion. She has a masters degree in Counseling and has taught a variety of adult education courses, including some cooking and entertainment offerings. In her spare time, she loves to read, spend time with her two grandsons and her GoldenDoodle, as well as entertain friends and family. She's learning to play the ukulele and hopes that goes well. Contact email@example.com.
Peggy has lived in Madison all of her life. She worked as a Licensed Practical Nurse and Administrative Assistant for over 30 years. She retired from UW Hospital & Clinics in 2011. Peggy visits new members, orients new volunteers, and supports current volunteers. Peggy also assists with SAIL's Transitional Membership program.
Peggy and her husband enjoy their grandchildren and feel fortunate to have them all residing in the Madison area. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Membership Services Assistant
Becky joins the SAIL team with almost 30 years experience in the healthcare field. She worked as a COTA for many years, and considers herself a “late bloomer”, getting her BS in Business Administration later in her career. Becky has done a great deal of direct care services in assisted living, independent living and in adult day programming, and is excited to begin this new adventure in helping older adults remain independent. Becky and her husband have 2 adult daughters who live close by with their families, and currently share their Monona home with their dog, “Titus”, and his 3 furry sibling cats, “Teepa”, “Tag” and “Maude”. Contact email@example.com.
Meghan is the founder and Executive Director of Music Theatre of Madison, where she also works. Her lifelong passion for the arts has led her to a love for the ins and outs of running nonprofits, particularly the marketing side! She received a MS in Arts Administration from Drexel University and has spoken and published internationally on marketing topics. She is a bona fide crazy cat lady and loves looking for the perfect wine and cheese combo! Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.