VANTAGE Aging names Ted Watko as its new CEO

Senior service provider will have a new leader heading into 2020

AKRON, Ohio – Ted Watko, VANTAGE Aging’s chief operating officer, was appointed by the board of directors to the position of chief executive officer, succeeding Karen Hrdlicka, effective December 11, 2019.

Watko joined VANTAGE Aging as the chief operating officer in January of 2019, following the merger of Meals on Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties with VANTAGE Meals on Wheels of Northern Ohio. He previously worked five years as the chief executive officer at Meals on Wheels of Stark & Wayne Counties. Before his time with Meals on Wheels, he worked 19 years at Diebold Nixdorf, assuming roles of increasing responsibility, most recently as the director of human resources. He has also volunteered on the Board of Trustees for the Diebold Foundation, Greater Stark County Urban League, the American Heart Association, CommQuest, and is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management.

“Ted has successfully led VANTAGE Aging through the merger by improving efficiencies and cutting costs,” said Leann Schaeffer, board president. “We believe he will lend his operational expertise to the entire agency to maximize the impact we have on the lives of seniors while effectively dealing with the complex funding challenges faced by community-based organizations serving older adults.”

Speaking on behalf of the board, Schaeffer said, “We very much appreciate Karen’s efforts and her service to VANTAGE Aging over the past five years. She remains passionate about the need for senior services and will remain active in aging advocacy in Summit County. VANTAGE Aging can benefit from the operational experience Ted possesses to successfully execute our three-year strategic plan designed to address the increasing needs of seniors across Ohio.” 


About VANTAGE Aging: VANTAGE Aging provides high-quality programs to empower the economic, social, physical, and mental well-being of adults as they age. Non-medical in-home care is provided by Home Wellness Solutions. Behavioral Health Solutions offers mental health counseling and treatment for alcohol and other drug use issues to adults age 45 and older. Job training for low-income adults age 55 and older is offered through the Senior Community Service Employment Program. Evidenced-based volunteering to meet local and national needs is provided by RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) volunteers. Meals on Wheels of Northeast Ohio provides home-delivered and congregate meals to provide nutritional support to the homebound and disabled. Overall, VANTAGE’s programs come together to offer a path for positive aging. Founded in 1975 as a senior citizen program, VANTAGE has since become an independent, nationally respected organization with offices throughout the state. For more information, call 330.253.4597 or visit


Dawn Moeglin
Senior Director of Community Engagement
330-253-4597 ext. 160   

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