Jo Ann Jenkins, AARP’s “Disrupter” CEO, Appointed to Avnet Board

By Barbara Wenger
August 10, 2018

Avnet, a global technology solutions provider, named ARRP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins to its board of directors.

Jenkins joined AARP, a lobbying powerhouse with 38 million members ages 50 and up, in 2010 and has been leading it as CEO since 2014. In her role, she has been seen as a disrupter when it comes to our notion of aging.

An article on Jenkins in Foreign Policy’s “Global reThinkers” series stated that “while she’s fighting policies that would harm the older, Jenkins is also taking on a larger battle: getting Americans to redefine what it means to grow older, an initiative she calls ‘disrupting aging’.”

The choice of Jenkins for Avnet, a nearly century’s old firm, appears to be in line with the CEO William Amelio’s vision to reinvent the company.

“There’s an invisible resistance in any organization that stops you from doing things. I like to call it like the corporate antibodies come out,” Amelio told Fortune earlier this week. “What you need to do is to have a compelling reason for change.”

Clearly, Jenkins knows a lot about change.

Jenkins was named as the “Non-Profit Influencer of the Year” in 2015, as one of ”Washington’s Most Influential People” in 2015 and 2016, and was among the Non-Profit Time’s “Power and Influence Top 50” list from 2013 through 2016. In 2016, she published her book, Disrupt Aging: A Bold New Path to Living Your Best Life at Every Age, which became a national bestseller.

“I am excited to be joining the Avnet board of directors,” says Jenkins. “I’m passionate about innovation and I look forward to the opportunity to build upon Avnet’s successful transformation strategy and support its continued growth.”

Prior to joining AARP, Jenkins served as chief operating officer for the Library of Congress. She began her career with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, moving on to the U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of Agriculture in a variety of leadership roles with increasing responsibility. In addition to her public service, she served in several private consulting firms, advising major corporations regarding development and implementation of diversity and organizational strategies.

In a statement, Avnet Chairman William H. Schumann II says “As a nationally recognized leader with a solid track record of growth and innovation at some of the nation’s largest public and non-profit organizations, Jo Ann is a great addition to our board. Jo Ann’s deep knowledge and wealth of management experience combined with her reputation as an innovative and dynamic agent of change aligns well with Avnet’s transformational journey and growth strategies.”