Alabama Nursing Home Association Announces Three New Members

MONTGOMERY - The Alabama Nursing Home Association (ANHA) today announced the addition of three key staff members to help the organization carry out its goals.  Sandra Sims-deGraffenried has been appointed Associate Executive Director.  Jackie Ayers is the group's new Director of Governmental Relations.  John Matson will be Director of Communications.

"Each of these talented individuals brings a unique background and skills set to the association," ANHA Executive Director Louis Cottrell said.  "Our members look forward to working with Sandra, Jackie and John.  We are confident that their collective experience will enhance and expand the services ANHA offers to its members and the long-term care profession."

Prior to joining ANHA, Dr. Sandra Sims-deGraffenried was executive director of the Alabama Association of School Boards for 19 years.  The American Society of Association Executives recognized her with a national award in governmental relations and one for a statewide training program she developed.  She received the Thomas A. Shannon Award for excellence in 2005 for school board association leadership.  In 2002, she was featured in Business Alabama as one of six of Alabama's Most Accomplished Businesswomen.  She serves on the Southern Regional Education Board and was appointed by Governor Bob Riley to serve on the Southern Growth Policies Board.  She is the widow of the late Ryan deGraffenried, Jr.

Jackie Ayers brings 28 years of governmental relations experience to the association. He has worked in government relations with consumer loan companies in Alabama and Mississippi since 1978.  Ayers served as legislative committee chairman for the consumer finance associations in those states for the past 12 years.  He was Executive Vice President of the Alabama Consumer Finance Association from 1989-1992.  He most recently was President and CEO of Acceptance Loan Company in Jackson, Alabama.

John Matson comes to ANHA from the Alabama Department of Senior Services.  At ADSS, he was responsible for all of the department's communications and represented the needs of older Alabamians before the state legislature.  Matson also served as deputy press secretary to Governor Bob Riley where he coordinated media affairs for the Governor and First Lady Patsy Riley.  He has also worked for several television and radio stations in Alabama.

Established in 1951, the Alabama Nursing Home Association represents a statewide network of professionals dedicated to providing excellence and quality care to individuals in long-term care facilities.