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"Gerontrepreneur Profile: Boomers International"
Professor David James Demko, PhD
AgeVenture News Service - Zoomer Media Max 11-18-98

gerontrepreneur "The boomers are coming. The boomers are coming. Millions and millions of boomers." Like a modern-day Paul Revere, entrepreneur Jeri Maier is helping America get ready for the baby boomers who seem to be impacting every sector of society.

In fact, the needs of these nearly 80 million aging Americans have created entire industries as they seek products and services to satisfy their every need. Retirement planning, travel, entertainment, fashion, health and fitness, education. You name the industry, and chances are baby boomers impact it.

What exactly do these boomers have in common? What's on their minds these days? What are they likely to do next? These questions and more are being answered by gerontrepreneur, Jeri Maier. Gerontrepreneurs are business people who create industries based on the needs of Aging America.

Boomers need a place to hang out, keep informed, and celebrate life. And Maier has created a place in cyberspace to address these needs. It's called Boomers International, and you can access this, and many other sites created by Maier, on the Internet at: http://www.boomersint.org.

Who is Jeri Maier? What is Boomers International? And how did she become involved with the baby boomer movement? AgeVenture News Service (AVNS) contacted Maier for a Q/A, and discovered an energetic, imaginative, and prolific lady. Meet Jeri Maier.

AVNS: What prompted you to start your Boomers website?
MAIER: While attenting college part time, working full time and with family needing attention; I used the Internet to visit many university websites to search for references for my research. It was great. I never had to leave home. I appreciated the Internet so much that I learned HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) and decided to create a web site. I envisioned an Internet community that provided clean fun, opportunities for self-renewal, a place to keep informed about news and events affecting baby boomers. I also wanted to help bridge the generation gap and promote understanding between cultures, one of the reasons I purposely gave the site an International focus.

AVNS: What are your most exciting Boomer website duties?
MAIER: Getting emails from students, teachers and other boomers for help with research information (and sometimes opinions) about the boomer generation. Helping others find answers helps me broaden my knowledge as well.

AVNS: Any tips you'd care to share for balancing work and family duties?
MAIER: When the children were young, I made sure that their needs were always met. All my job sites were not more than 5 miles from our home so I could always be available for school needs and doctor's appointments. Also, I asked for help from my husband when I needed to... and he rarely refused. I am lucky that I can compartmentalize my life in a multi-task fashion, (just like a 32 bit computer).

When the children were young, I used to sit between them on the couch after dinner. They watched their favorite television shows while I helped them with their homework. To save time, I used to cook several dinners on Sunday and put the meals in the freezer for later in the week. My husband would just heat them up for the boys. That helped a lot because I was also busy with full time work and school for ten years.

Our family is still very close. Although the boys are not living at home anymore, we talk every week. My husband also helps with the house work. For example, I do not like to do laundry. But my husband doesn't mind. So he's the laundry man. I return the favor by cooking fresh meals just about every night now that there's just the two of us. He loves good food. Although we enjoy each other's company, we do have separate hobbies that give us time to ourselves.

AVNS: Care to share any quotes and kudos that you receive from readers?
MAIER: I have over 1000 comments from website visitors. I've posted all the feedback on the website which can be accessed on a special webpage located at: http://boomersint.org/people.htm. Also, I was interviewed by an L.A. Times reporter who mentioned the Boomers International web site in a news article about boomers. I also hear from far away visitors like the boomer from Quebec who discovered my website by reading a boomer article in his morning paper.

If I had to choose one reason why I enjoy my work so much it would have to the opportunity to make someone happy, feel special. The world is a nicer place when people are happy.

AVNS: Jeri Maier is on the cutting-edge of the Boomer Revolution. As a result, our notions about senior living and retirement are about to change. Jeri Maier, a boomer with Zip!
Graphic Credit: Boomers International
AgeVenture, Gerontrepreneur, and Zoomer are trademarks of Demko Publishing 1998.