Minnesota’s Road to Volunteer Drivers Virtual Driver Forum: Policy Issues and Real Life Stories

Wednesday, December 9, 2020
9:30 – 11:30 a.m. CST



This will be the second stop in the MCOTA volunteer driver virtual forum series, Minnesota’s Road to Volunteer Drivers. The purpose of this virtual forum is to hear about the impacts of volunteer drivers throughout the state through several real-life stories and to discuss state and federal policies to strengthen volunteer driver programs.


Real World Stories

9:30 – 10:20 a.m.

In order to set the stage for the current policies’ implications, volunteer-driver agencies, drivers, and riders will share their personal stories, moderated by Lori Vrolson, executive director of the Central Minnesota Council on Aging.

Legislative Panel Discussion

10:20 – 10:50 a.m.

Key legislators (invited) will discuss federal and state issues, moderated by Sherry Munyon, government relations/president of Capitol Access.

Minnesota Volunteer Driver Coalition: Mission and Overview

10:50 – 11:30 a.m.

Dawn Simonson, co-chair of the Minnesota Volunteer Driver Coalition, will make a presentation, followed by Q&A from the audience.


Lori VrolsonLori Vrolson, executive director of the Central Minnesota Council on Aging, has more than 27 years of experience in the field of aging. The Central Minnesota Council on Aging, which serves the 14 counties in the central region of Minnesota, administers the federal Older Americans Act funding program for nonmedical in-home services, provides Senior LinkAge Line® information and assistance, and develops innovative services and programs. Current focus areas include developing Lifetime Communities, expanding evidence-based chronic disease self-management resources, and assisting older adults as they transition across health and long-term care settings. Lori serves as past president of the Minnesota Gerontology Society, co-chair of the Minnesota Volunteer Drivers Coalition and chair of the Minnesota Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

Sherry MunyonSherry Munyon is a capitol and legislative veteran with more than 35 years of experience covering a broad spectrum of policy and funding areas, including as a staffer for the Minnesota Senate, deputy director of the Regional Transit Board, a representative of private-sector interests, director of transportation and environment policy with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, and a lobbyist. In 2006, Sherry started her own government relations firm, Capitol Access, Inc., concentrating on public safety, public transit and transportation, and adult education. Sherry has received several awards during her career, including from Women in Transportation, and she was named a top lobbyist by Minnesota Law & Politics. She also serves on the board of directors for Forward Global Women, a nonprofit supporting women leaders in political and civic life.

Dawn SimonsonDawn Simonson, executive director of the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging, has more than 25 years of experience in the field of aging, healthcare, and advocacy. Dawn is recognized for her leadership as an innovator and collaborator. Her priorities are to develop networks and other partnerships that support older adults to live healthy and secure lives at home.


The virtual forum is free to attend, but registration is required. After you register, you will receive an email confirmation with Zoom login information for the forum. You will also receive an email reminder with the login information one day prior to and one hour prior to the start of the event. Your login information should not be shared with others; each person must register individually.

Please note: By registering for this forum, you will automatically be registered for all forum series events. You may attend as many as you wish using the same Zoom information. If you have previously registered for any other forum events, you do not need to register again.

If you’re unable to join the live broadcast, a recording with captioning and ASL interpretation will be available here following the event.


MnDOT invites and encourages participation by all. This event will include live captioning and ASL interpretation.

If you need a foreign language interpreter, documents in an alternative format (such as braille, large print, or a different language), or another reasonable accommodation for this web page, registration, or event, please contact Kaydee Kirk at least two weeks before the event by email at kkirk@umn.edu or by phone at 612-626-5854.

Questions for the MCOTA Volunteer Driver Virtual Forum Series

You can submit questions for any of the virtual forum series topics now or at any time. Questions will be shared with the relevant speakers ahead of time. You can also submit questions during the live events through the Zoom webinar Q&A feature. Submit questions related to the MCOTA Volunteer Driver Virtual Forum Series topics before the event.

Virtual Forum Access

This webinar will be hosted using Zoom. We recommend that all registrants test their connection prior to the workshop using Zoom’s test meeting. If you are new to Zoom, we recommend viewing the Zoom Tips for Joining and Participating in Webinars tutorial page.

Professional Development Hours

To the best of our knowledge, this event meets the continuing education requirements for 2.0 Professional Development Hours (PDHs) credit. If you participate in the virtual forum and would like to request a PDH form, please email kkirk@umn.edu after the event. We will email the form to you following the event.

More Information

Please contact Kaydee Kirk at 612-626-5854 or kkirk@umn.edu with any questions.


Sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), the Minnesota Council on Transportation Access (MCOTA) in partnership with the Minnesota Volunteer Driver Coalition.