Leading Ladies – Five Dynamic Women Steering Social Change

4. Jaclynn Faffer | President and CEO, Naples Senior Center at JFCS

Naples is paradise—but not for everyone. Though famous as a top place to retire, many older residents need help. “I never thought there would be a need for an organization like ours in Naples,” says Jaclynn Faffer, head of the Naples Senior Center at JFCS.

With a passion for serving the elderly ingrained in her when she was growing up, plus wide-ranging expertise in human services, Faffer was the perfect choice to lead NSC’s development. When recruited for the post, she was astounded to learn that Collier County had no senior center. Once here, she saw first-hand issues of isolation, loneliness, cognitive decline, and financial insecurity. “Since opening in 2014, our membership and client base have swelled from 80 to more than 1,600, speaking to the need,” she says.

Faffer is in the midst of a capital campaign to build a new home for the center. The hope is to break ground in early 2020. If all goes smoothly, she expects it to be completed in 12 to 18 months. “We’re looking at a 26,000-square-foot, two-story building,” Faffer says, adding that it will include a larger fitness center, an art room, a theater space, gardens, and rooms for the dementia respite program.

Her position absorbs her nearly 24/7. But since moving from Boca Raton with her husband, psychologist Leonard Silverstein, and now 28-year-old twin daughters, Allison and Francine, she has found time to enjoy the Naples lifestyle. Faffer’s favorite leisure pursuits include soaking in the natural beauty of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and area beaches. She dines often at The French, Maguro Sushi & Steak House, Bar Tulia, and others.

She and her husband also love music and have been season subscribers to the Pops Series at Artis—Naples for five years. Her all-time favorite? Paul McCartney. “I’ve loved The Beatles and Paul McCartney since I was 14,” she recalls. “In their concert in Atlantic City in 1964, I presented them with the key to Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and met them briefly. I have pictures I’m dying to get signed by Paul McCartney. I also have my ticket stub, which was $4.90!”

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