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  • Writer's pictureNicole Will

Legacy and Innovation: Bridging the Generations with Sasha Dawn & Jack York

Updated: May 26

Natalie Elliott Handy confessions of a reluctant caregiver

Legacy and Innovation: Bridging the Generations with Sasha Dawn, Founder of Utopia Experiences & Jack York, Founder of TaleGate

Sasha Dawn and Jack York share with us the heartwarming and inspiring lessons learned from transforming challenges into opportunities for connection and joy, through the innovative use of technology and storytelling.

Amid the global isolation of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, Sasha faced a personal crisis: her father, a once vibrant Vietnam war hero, fell and had to be placed in a skilled nursing community far away. Confronted with seeing the loneliness her father experienced, she embarked on a mission to alleviate the isolation experienced by seniors like him. This journey led to the innovative use of technology through Utopia Experiences, transforming the way we engage with the older adult population in senior living communities and supporting family caregivers at home. They now harness the power of virtual, live-hosted interactive game shows to not only entertain but to stimulate, engage, and connect residents and their families, creating moments of joy and rekindling cherished memories.

Joining our conversation is Jack York, a visionary who values connecting people to nostalgic memories. Jack's journey began in Silicon Valley, where he realized that his passion is in connecting people. This realization led him to co-found It’s Never 2 Late (iN2L), and now Founder of TaleGate, he has witnessed the power of storytelling and its ability to bring families together, creating bonds that transcend time and distance.

In our conversation, we look at how Utopia Experiences is revolutionizing family gatherings and supporting caregivers in community settings. We'll explore the unique value of connecting people to cherished memories, the role of game therapy in connecting families, and how Jack has witnessed the transformative effect of showing up with curiosity, asking meaningful questions, the power of listening and shared experiences in uniting families. From his travels in a 42-foot trailer capturing the lives of our oldest generation, Jack's tales are not just stories, but bridges that connect the past with the present. Join us as we journey through these tales and learn how Utopia Experiences is not just a game, but a catalyst for bringing generations together.

Thank you, Sasha and Jack, for the meaningful conversation!

Imagine gifting a live game experience to a caregiver—a moment of laughter, relaxation, and pure enjoyment. 🎁 It's not just a game; it's a meaningful break from the demands of caregiving. 🎄🎁 This would be a wonderful Christmas gift for your loved one or community!

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Listen to our episode HERE.

Sasha and Jack share about:

  • The personal journey that brought them to serve and support older adults and families

  • A live game platform designed to connect families and caregivers, especially in senior living communities

  • The ways we can cater to a diverse demographic including family members across countries and generations, with a focus on enhancing family bonding and interaction

  • Jack's Talegate Project: An initiative to capture and share the rich stories of the older generation, traveling the country in a trailer to bring these tales to life, by fostering family connections and celebrating senior lives

  • The role of games in bringing caregivers and families together, the impact of gamification in connecting generations, and the value of shared experiences and storytelling in strengthening family bonds

  • The exploration of how UE live games and Talegate stories create meaningful engagements, enhance communication among family members, and support caregivers in the community, contributing to mental well-being and social connections

About Sasha Dawn & Utopia Experiences

Sasha Dawn, UE’s Founder and CEO!

Creator of Contagious Connection!

Sasha’s greatest joy is giving those around her the gifts of joy and laughter. She makes every event more fun and makes people’s days brighter with her smile. She is an experience-giver who lights up a room, even on Zoom! Her adventurous spirit is a gift that reaches out and touches others, stirring something within them and stretching them in a way that brings exhilaration. She loves skydiving and canyoneering and is always looking to try something new. Her wide-ranging life experiences have contributed to her natural ability to engage with people from all backgrounds. Sasha brings out the best in others and has a way of making even simple things fun for everyone.

Sasha serves with insightful passion, intuition, enthusiasm and is truly grateful for the lives she touches. She has a penchant for shining a light where laughter lives - and it's usually in you!

koelsch communities caregiver support

About Jack York & TaleGate

Jack York is a pioneer in the field of technology and aging. He co-founded It’s Never 2

Late (iN2L), a company dedicated to helping older adults realize the full benefits of

engagement technology.

With a 15-year background in Silicon Valley, he saw a vast potential in utilizing

technology to foster these connections, but also saw that conventional technology was

too difficult for virtually all the residents to use in a meaningful way. As a result, in

1999, he started iN2L, it has evolved into a national leader with over 4000 communities

in the US and Canada utilizing the technology. In 2022, he launched TaleGate, a

company that integrates on site celebrations at senior living communities with the

ability to capture life stories. TaleGate is traveling all over the country in a 42-foot

trailer magically changing the perception of senior living and aging. He has a passion

for changing the paradigm and the stereotypes for aging, especially stereotypes tied to

people living with dementia. His work has been recognized by the Wall Street Journal,

NPR, and dozens of senior living publications.

*This episode is brought to you by Gigi Betty co. A boutique gift shop raising awareness and funds for caregivers and care partners. Show now at Use the special code WILLGATHER20 for 20% off your order- Just for our podcast listeners!

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We are not medical professionals and are not providing any medical advice. If you have any medical questions, we recommend that you talk with a medical professional of your choice. willGather has taken care in selecting its speakers but the opinions of our speakers are theirs alone. Thank you for your continued interest in our podcasts.

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Nicole Will is our host and founder of willGather.


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