Mary Matha Rugg is the retired APS administrator for the state of Georgia. She has been actively involved with NAPSA for many years and is a current member of the National APS Resource Center Advisory Board.
In your years with NAPSA, what’s the greatest benefit you have derived as a member?
There were so many benefits as a member of NAPSA over the past 30 years. Being asked to boil it down to the greatest – I believe it was the sense of being a Team and having the resources and support from other team members. We were a band of sisters & brothers who came together once a year to strengthen our resolve to move APS forward as an important service.
Please share a memorable NAPSA moment or tell us something you learned through NAPSA and want to share with others.
Through the years I was able to visit many wonderful cities across the country for the NAPSA conference, including: Nashville, Portland, Scottsdale, San Fran, Chicago, Salt Lake City, & Atlanta; but the early years in San Antonio were the times that built NAPSA’s foundation and provided so many good friends and fun times. One specific year in San Antonio, President Clinton was at the hotel and the Secret Service had us NAPSA folks “pinned down” in the lobby for security purposes. The term “lobby lizzards” was coined and worn as a badge of courage. The NAPSA group in those early years was a small (about 50) group of totally dedicated folks who were trying so hard to build APS in their states. Sharing ideas and materials, workshops, hearing expert speakers in the field, sharing gripes and having laughs together made us better and left us always looking forward to the next year’s conference.
When not working to prevent elder and/or vulnerable adult abuse, what do you do to take care of yourself?
After 34 years in APS, I am now happily retired. Enjoy the beauty of outdoors and magic of nature. Listen to old songs and sing along – for me best when no one is listening. Count my blessings and help others whenever I can. Laugh often and remember with a smile the lives (people) for whom my work made a positive difference.
One thing you want members to know about you.
I had the fortune and honor to experience the birth, growth, and establishment of APS at both the state and national levels. NAPSA was and is APS. My hope is that both continue strong – always moving onward and upward.
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