Star of Brooklyn: Vicki Ellner

December 20, 2013 Jaime DeJesus
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COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: In 2003, Vicki Ellner founded the Senior Umbrella Network of Brooklyn (SUN-B). Since then, she hasn’t looked back. “Our agenda at SUN-B is dedicated to fighting ageism and elder abuse, as well as give access to services and support to caregivers,” said Ellner, “and what we are primarily concentrating on right now in terms of programming.”

Ellner and SUN-B are constantly attempting to find new ways to ease the lives of not only senior citizens, but their families as well. “We are right in the midst of launching a fall prevention program in the community. We also looking to work with businesses in the Brooklyn community on senior-friendly and safe establishments,” said Ellner, who was also the recipient of Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator’s Top Women in Business Award.

SUN-B holds meetings once every month, with the focus on educating individuals on major senior issues. The organization includes over 200 members and is steadily growing. “There are many issues and challenges regarding seniors,” Ellner said. “I’m proud of our development and sustainability. We are small but mighty organization.”

Ellner is also thankful for everyone else that makes the organization run. “I don’t stand alone in what I do,” she stressed. “The board of directors as well as members really support the organization and make it come to life.”

CAREER: Ellner also currently works at Special Touch Home Care. “Home care is a big issue,” she said. They are great agency. They discuss what seniors’ best options are and how they’re coordinated.”

One of the proudest moments of Ellner’s career is her upcoming collaboration with the next Brooklyn borough president. “I was just recently selected by Eric Adams to be a committee co-chair on the area of aging. We will be working with him on goals and suggesting what he should be looking at during his administration as well as what’s going on in the senior care arena, “she said.

PERSONAL LIFE: Although Ellner was born in Queens, her parents met and fell in love in Brooklyn. “Brooklyn is not my country but it feels like my home,” she said. Ellner grew up in Massapequa and attended CW Post and SUNY Farmingdale.

CHALLENGES: Running SUN-B isn’t a simple task and Ellner has faced her share of obstacles throughout the years. “I think the challenges with SUN-B is primarily funding,” she said. “We are always looking for supporters and sponsors. That is what keeps us going. We have a small budget. The second part of the challenge is increasing membership. That helps increase funding.”

MOTIVATION: Ellner realizes that everyone has a calling in life. And hers is to help elders. “I think motivation comes from passion. It’s not something going away. It’s increasing exponentially. Human beings pick out areas where we feel we can do the best and make a difference. I have a fire inside me. That increases year by year.”

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