Fern Finkel served as the founding CEO and Executive Director of the International Psychogeriatric Association (IPA). With more than 25 years of dedication, this international, geriatric, mental health, non-profit organization became her passion, as she worked with leaders and professionals in the field from around the world.
Fern’s administrative stewardship guided the organization and implemented its activities: international congresses, regional meetings, professional journal publication, consensus conferences, resource material development, and more – impacting 77 countries, at the time of her retirement. Over the course of her tenure, Fern was awarded two IPA Service Awards and was acknowledged around the world including the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry and those in Japan, Indonesia, Brazil.
Prior to her work with IPA, Fern was a teacher, working with primary and middle school students with learning disabilities. She also worked as a software development consultant for Control Data in Chicago and for her own consulting firm, The Third Power, Inc.
When Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom came to Chicago, Fern embraced the mission and the vision and dedicated herself to expanding the organization’s reach in the area. After forming the initial chapter, she became Facilitator, coordinating the development of additional chapters and various regional events. Fern is a member of the Board of Trustees, is co-chair of the Membership Committee, and serves on the Strategic Planning Committee and the Uyghur Task Force.
She cherishes time with family and friends, loves mind-body-spirit energy, travel, classical music, reading, theater and chocolate.