Third Age Initiative, Leadership Greater Hartford

A United Nations sanctioned program, The Third Age Initiative channels the wisdom and experience of late career and retirees into the community to solve problems and make important things happen. Dr. Doe Hentschel, program leader and program alumnus, John K. Nelson tell the story.


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Dr. Doe Hentschel, Leadership Preceptor  

Dr. Doe Hentschel joined the staff of Leadership Greater Hartford in 2000 after retiring from a long and distinguished career as a faculty member, dean and vice president in higher education.  She began her LGH career as program director to develop the Third Age Initiative™, LGH’s program to identify, develop and engage older adults in meaningful ways in the community.  As Senior Program Director (2006-2007) and then Vice President for Programs (2008-2019), she has been involved with developing and implementing many of LGH’s core programs and its consulting and training services.  In her role as “Leadership Preceptor,” she continues to direct the Third Age Initiative™, contribute as curriculum designer and facilitator in many LGH programs and services, and serve as a guide and mentor to her colleagues. 


The recipient of multiple awards in the fields of adult and continuing education and community leadership, “Dr. Doe” has published more than 50 articles, chapters, and research papers. A leader in curriculum design, she has drawn on her expertise to enrich and expand community leadership programming for people of all ages. In 2010, the Association of Leadership Programs honored “Dr. Doe” with the Preceptor Award, its highest recognition. In 2016 she was recognized by the Malta House of Care as a “Wonder Woman,” and she received the Communications and Leadership Award from Toastmasters District 53 serving Connecticut, Eastern New York and Western Massachusetts. She was named a Top Ten member of the Connecticut 60 over 60 class of 2018.  In 2013, Dr. Hentschel was inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame. 


John K. Nelson, of Hartford, is a member and past President of the Governing Board of Little Theatre of Manchester. A past member of both the CT and Harford Commissions on Aging, he now serves on the Board of Directors of the North Central Agency on Aging and is a past President. He is thankful for the opportunity to have been a member and leader of the Advisory Council of the Institute for the Hispanic Family for many years; working with a dedicated team to establish the new home of the Institute and staging grand Galas to celebrate their shared mission. He remains with Hartford Area Catholic Charities advising the Trustees’ Program Evaluation Committee. He loves his Victoriam home in Hartford, and serves on the city’s Commission on Cultural Affairs. 


After graduating from Boston University he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone, West Africa, received an MA in American Studies at University of Sussex, England and taught Humanities, Ethics, Theatre and History at Farmington, Ct., High School for 35 years, retiring in 2003. Having graduated from the Third Age Initiative Class #6 in 2005 and a proud member of Leadership Greater Harford since, he was honored with their prestigious Polaris Guiding Light Award in 2007. He presently teaches Clinical Skills at UCONN School of Medicine. 

His spouse of 45 years, Chris Larsen Nelson, is past Chair of the Board of Hartford City Ballet and The Hartford Children’s Theatre. Together they have produced theatre at various venues in Greater Hartford including the Hartford Wadsworth Atheneum, The Greater Harford Academy of the the Arts, the Jewish Community Center and the Carriage House Theatre. 

When recently asked “What is the meaning of life?” he replied, “Love and a passion for what you do.” 

John may be contacted in several ways.  mobile: 860-416-6659 

Greg Hammond, CFP®, CPA, CEO, Financial Coach, Hammond Iles Wealth Advisors

Scott Iles Vice President, Financial Coach, Hammond Iles Wealth Advisors

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