Elkus retires from agency she started

One of Greater Cincinnati’s most prominent social-impact entrepreneurs is turning over the reins of a charity she founded to help military families to another longtime community volunteer.

Joyce Elkus — a decades-long community volunteer with arts and other organizations — retired July 1 from the Armed Forces Tickets Association-Cincinnati, handing leadership of the agency she launched 15 years ago to Leonard M. “Randy” Randolph Jr.

“I know without a doubt he and the board along with my longtime competent web administrator, Dianne Ashcraft, will lead AFTA to new heights and have many exciting new ideas,” Elkus said.

Joyce Elkus

While attending a concert at Riverbend in 2007, Elkus said to her longtime companion, the late Dr. Stanley Kaplan, that all the empty seats should be given to deserving military and their families.

By March 2008, AFTA had been launched as a nonprofit to make free or discounted tickets to arts, sports and other events available to active armed forces, guard and reserve personnel. The mission expanded to include retired military, veterans, and Gold Star families.

“It has been my pleasure and honor to give back to our courageous military and their families in Greater Cincinnati,” said Elkus. “If I was able to provide some joy and some relief to them by providing free or discounted tickets to sporting events, fine arts events and educational events, then my mission has been completed.”

Randolph takes over as president of AFTA-Cincinnati. He is also president of a leadership consulting company, Phoenix Caduceus. In that capacity, he is called upon as a speaker for national and international audiences, coaches executives and consults with organizations worldwide regarding leadership development and quality healthcare delivery.

Leonard M. “Randy” Randolph Jr.

After serving for 33 years in the U.S. Air Force, Randolph retired as deputy surgeon general and deputy assistant secretary of defense for health plan administration with the rank of major general. Following his retirement from the Air Force in 2003, he joined Catholic Healthcare West, now Dignity Health, as a vice president of medical operations. In 2005, he continued his career, becoming a senior vice president and chief medical officer for Mercy Health, formerly Catholic Health Partners.

Randolph has served on and chaired numerous Greater Cincinnati for-profit and nonprofit boards.

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