Kathy Null of Bridgewater has been honored by the state AARP as its 2012 Volunteer Leader of the Year.

Ms. Null was feted Nov. 16 at an AARP awards luncheon at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville.

"I'm honored to be recognized by AARP for doing something that I love," she said at the banquet.

"Now that I'm retired with more free time," she added, "I am looking forward to getting more involved with local community organizations and volunteering even more."

Ms. Null was recently chosen from among hundreds of AARP volunteers across the country to join the inaugural class of the AARP National Volunteer Leadership Institute.

Her award honors an AARP Executive Council member or leader of a state or district committee for his or her exemplary leadership, contributions and efforts to promote AARP activities in the state.

"Kathy is an effective leader," said Nora Duncan, the AARP's state director, "whose knowledge of and commitment to issues affecting older adults has been an invaluable asset to AARP in Connecticut and the Association in general."

" Her hard work, intelligence, enthusiasm and sense of humor is an inspiration to all those around her," she remarked.

Kathy Null began volunteering with AARP in 2011 and has since has taken on several high profile leadership responsibilities, including leading AARP's advocacy efforts in the 5th Congressional District.

She facilitates community listening sessions across the state on the future of Social Security and Medicare as part of AARP's You've Earned a Say initiative.

Ms. Null also gives presentations at senior and community centers as part of AARP's Decide. Create. Share. -- a national initiative designed to increase awareness among women about the depth and breadth of long-term care and the benefits of planning for a secure future.

She has coordinated volunteer lobby days during the state legislative session, meets with state legislators and Congressional representatives in her district and at the state capitol, and helps recruit and train new volunteers.

Ms. Null also serves as a board member of the New Milford AARP chapter.

Prior to her retirement, Ms. Null spent more than 20 years as a marketing professional in various industries, traveling both nationally and internationally.