Bios for Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance Board 2016
Chair, Jim Provenza
“The health and wellbeing of older adults in Yolo County is very important. I am glad to be a part of this effort.”
Supervisor Jim Provenza began his service on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors January 2009. His priorities at Yolo County include the preservation and protection of open space and farm land in Yolo County, and the promotion of services for children, crime victims, seniors, and the disabled. He is committed to ensuring that Yolo County is able to provide essential health and law enforcement services and public safety protection. Supervisor Provenza has 29 years of county and state government experience, and a long career in public interest law. For the past 15 years, he has worked as a special assistant district attorney. He earned his law degree from UC Davis and is a member of the California State Bar Association. He has served as Executive Director of the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County, managing countywide programs providing legal representation to victims of domestic violence and the elderly and as managing attorney for Legal Services of Northern California, representing victims of housing discrimination in federal civil rights actions. In his career, Supervisor Provenza served as counsel to Senate Judiciary Committee Chair and wrote California’s hate crime law and legislation related to the reform of the criminal justice system. He later served as chief counsel to the Assembly Public Safety Committee and soon after, was hired to represent district attorneys at the State Capitol. Supervisor Provenza first entered public office in 2003 as a Member of the Davis Joint Unified Board of Education. He served as President of the Board of Education from 2006-2007. During his time on the Board, he advocated for special needs children, helped the Davis School District revamp budgeting systems to ensure continued quality education, and supported excellence in education for all students.
Vice Chair, Frances Smith
“When I was in high school I belonged to Rainbow Girls. At the close of each meeting we recited a creed, give service, service so deep that self is forgotten.”
Frances (Fran) Smith is currently the director of the Yolo County In-Home Supportive Services Public Authority, an agency that refers screened home care providers to individuals who are elderly or have a disability and meet the eligibility criteria for Medi-Cal. Fran has a professional and volunteer history that spans 50 years in the social service field with a prior emphasis in developmental disability services. She has also served as a legislative advocate in California, Colorado and Washington, D.C.
Treasurer, Siv Weinberg
“To serve on the board of Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance allows me to bring my expertise in non-profit finance and accounting.”
Siv Weinberg recently retired as the Chief Financial Officer of St John’s Retirement Village, Inc. with an average occupation of 115 assisted living and 48 skilled nursing beds. During my ten years with St John’s she has been involved in the senior living and care issues through involvement with the challenges of our residents and organization. She also is an active member of Leading Age California, currently on the Finance Committee. The challenges the seniors of our society are facing is of great concern to her and she is very interested in a more active role in working on providing options and solutions that will be of benefit not only to our seniors but also to our community. During her professional career as a Certified Public Accountant she was very closely involved in non-profit organizations financial management and tax related issues. Prior to joining St John’s she had several CFO and Director of Finance positions with non-profit organizations in the Bay Area. Ms. Winberg lives in Woodland, CA.
Secretary, Alysa Meyer
“I believe in the mission of YHAA and its ability to bring people together to promote the wellbeing of older adults in Yolo County.”
Alysa Meyer is the managing attorney of the Yolo County office of Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC). She provides representation and advocacy on behalf of low-income individuals in matters such as housing, homelessness prevention, public benefits, education, employment law and health rights. She also advises several nonprofit organizations, including those dedicated to serving the poor and chronically homeless. Alysa has worked for Legal Services for 11 years. She obtained her undergraduate degree from UC Davis and her J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law. She was admitted to practice law in California in 1994.
Prior to working for LSNC, Alysa worked for Contra Costa Legal Services Foundation in the housing unit. Later, she worked for a mid-size insurance defense firm in Sacramento.
Board Member, Dawn Myers Purkey
“Aging services have been my passion for my entire career. As a social worker I know only too well that system change requires advocacy, coordination and education and this is exactly what YHAA provides. It is an honor to serve on the YHAA Board of Directors on behalf of this community and the many elders who inspire me everyday.”
Dawn Myers Purkey, MSW has been the Program Director of Woodland Healthcare’s Yolo Adult Day Health Center for since 1996. In this capacity, Dawn leads her team while overseeing all operations of the Adult Day Health and Alzheimer Day Care Resource Center programs placing high emphasis on quality care, client health and sense of well-being. Before joining YADHC, Dawn was a Program Manager for the Area 4 Agency on Aging for two years, providing oversight to over 15 social service programs serving older adults in a seven-county area. Dawn also serves on the board of the California Association of Adult Day Services having just completed her term as statewide Board President. She is an appointee to the California Department of Health and Human Services Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders Committee, a 2005 graduate of the Sierra Health Foundation Health Leadership Program and a longtime member of the Yolo County Adult and Aging Commission. In recognition of Women’s History Month, Assembly member Mariko Yamada (D-Davis) named Dawn Myers Purkey as the 2011 Woman of the Year from the 8th Assembly District.
Board member, John Troidl
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
John Troidl’s interest in YHAA is stimulated by an increased interest in senior issues precipitated by becoming the principal caregiver for his 86 year old Mother, by shared experiences with friends who are his contemporaries in Yolo County who also have aging parents, and by virtue of having become a “senior” himself. Mr. Troidl is a management consultant for Community Health Centers/FQHCs, “Look Alike” clinics, and related partners in the provision of a variety of services to underserved populations across the age span. In this capacity he assists service organizations in accomplishing superior performance in strategic planning, governance, financial decision making, executive management, and grant writing. Previously, he served as the CEO of two community health centers and the co-founder of the Virginia Primary Care Association. In terms of volunteer work, John served for 10 years on the California Health Workforce Policy Commission and was elected to the Board of Directors of the Yolo Community Care Continuum, a community based mental health program for the indigent in Yolo County, where he served for seven years. Over the past two years, he has been a team leader/reviewer for the CMS $1 Billion Health Care Innovation Challenge, for HRSA “Navigator” and Primary Care programs reviewing/scoring programs competing for innovation funding for a variety of types of services, including senior services. Due to opportunities in traveling and learning, he is bilingual and bicultural in English/Spanish languages and American/Mexican culture. Yolo County has been his home for 32 years.
Board Member, Suzanne Reed
“Seniors & organizations serving seniors must engage in mutual support if we are going to create a tapestry of services we can access to remain as healthy, active and independent as possible as we age.”
Suzanne’s career in public policy spans over 40 years. She began her career in the U.S. Senate as staff to the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee (now Energy and Natural Resources). After a hiatus to complete her Master’s degree at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, she returned to the U.S. Senate as Legislative Aide for Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE). Suzanne left the US Senate to serve as Energy Advisor in the California Governor Jerry Brown’s Office of Planning and Research. In 1977 Governor Brown appointed her to the California Energy Commission where she spearheaded programs in alternative energy and energy conservation. After serving on the Commission, Suzanne continued her career in the private sector. She was Vice President of the public opinion research firm, Fairbank, Maslin and Maullin for eight years and then operated her own successful market research and marketing communications company. Suzanne became Chief of Staff to Assembly Member Carol Liu in 2000. She is now Chief of Staff to Senator Carol Liu who chairs the Senate Education Committee and the Select Committee on Aging and Long Term Care. Suzanne serves as Principal Consultant to the Select Committee and is a frequent public speaker on aging and long term care reform.
Board Member, Maria Burton
“I want to make a difference and be a part of the community by supporting our seniors through YHAA.”
Maria Burton is currently the Health Services Administrator at University Retirement Community. Maria has spent over 14 years in the field of healthcare in Northern California. In 2000 Maria relocated to the United States from Philippines. Most recently she was Senior Administrator for Yuba Skilled Nursing and Palm Gardens with a total of 230 beds. In 2005 Maria joined St. John’s Retirement Village/Stollwood Convalescent in Woodland as an Accounting Manager and earned both her Nursing Home Administrator and Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE) license. She worked at St. Johns for ten years. Maria lives in Natomas with her husband and three children.
I am pleased to be a part of the YHAA to support our mission and goals. I am very passionate about my job and I support the seniors very much and will give back to the community in every way I can.
Valerie Olson, Board member
“As part of my work with Healthy Yolo & Health Council, I started to see a pattern that suggested seniors were under-represented in Yolo County which led to my participation on the YHAA Advocacy Committee. The board seemed like an important next step in finding out more about representing seniors.”
Valerie is an RN with a dual masters in organization development and research psychology and a JD degree. Prior to obtaining my RN license, I worked as a nurse aide, working with the elderly. I spent 20 years of my nursing career working with adolescents and adults in both inpatient psychiatric and substance abuse nursing and outpatient mental health screening for Santa Clara County. The mental health positions included work on a special research unit in Santa Clara and work at UCSF where I was also involved in teaching, group therapy, and research. I also worked as an RN in both ER and inpatient pediatrics and at a dermatology office. Subsequent to obtaining my MA degree, I worked in hospital nursing administration at St. Mary’s, SF, with oversight of child and adolescent inpatient and outpatient mental health services. I also worked to develop a teaching program, and taught in a 10 county area, working with Alta California Regional Center in Sacramento to certify care providers working with the developmentally challenged population. I also taught CEU classes to mental health professionals and was a co-therapist with my husband (a physician) in family therapy. Prior to obtaining my law degree, I interned at the DA’s office in El Dorado County in major crimes. Subsequent to my law degree, I practiced as an attorney with the State of California, in public health for what was then Health Services, also for the Department of Developmental Disabilities, and ultimately for Alcohol and Drug Programs. After retirement, I volunteered to do health research for Marshall Medical Center Health Library in El Dorado County, and I still provide this service once a week. In Yolo County I am involved as a volunteer in Health Council, Healthy Yolo, Healthy Aging Alliance, a homeless project, church committee’s, and various other service organizations.
Cindi Unger, Board member
“I serve to advocate for people with Alzheimer’s disease as they can no longer advocate for themselves. I serve to advocate for their family caregivers because they have a really important 24/7 job.”
Cindi is recognized as a local pioneer in Alzheimer’s specific care, and brings 28+ years of Alzheimer’s care and training to our board. Cindi is a community and provider trainer for dementia care with Comfort Keepers. In addition to actively participating in legislative processes to implement industry-wide changes and standards for the care of individuals with Alzheimer’s, Cindi opened one of the first memory care communities in the state.
Executive Director, Sheila Allen
“I am proud to be a part of an organization that brings together the community to addresses real issues. We are making a difference!”
Sheila Allen, RN, PhD is the Executive Director of the Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance (YHAA). Dr. Allen received her Master’s and PhD in Nursing from the University of California-San Francisco and a BS in nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research and clinical practice is in home care and public health policy. She is a member of the American Nurses Association/California and served two terms as an elected school board member for the Davis Joint Unified School District. Dr. Allen also serves as staff to the Yolo County Commission on Aging and Adult Services.