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Board of Director and Members

Lynda Francis, President
Gwen Yo, Vice-President
Creighton Mendivil, Secretary
Jane Schwickerath, Treasurer

MEMBERS: Pam Arnsberger, Jacques Bertrand, Barbara Canfield, Darrell Johnson, John Johnson, Barbara Kaiser and Wendy King.


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Lynda Francis

Lynda has been interested in senior issues for years. She is the retired Executive Director of the California Grey Bears and is now serving as President for the Seniors Council. She is active in many organizations that promote social well-being and serves on the County Commission for the Environment for Supervisor John Leopold in the First District.
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Gwen Yeo, PhD, AGSF

Gwen Yeo was the founding Director and is current Senior Ethnogeriatric Specialist of the Stanford Geriatric Education Center in Stanford University School of Medicine, which has been funded by the Bureau of Health Professions since 1987. After teaching sociology and gerontology at Texas Tech University and Chabot College, she joined Stanford University School of Medicine where she directed several geriatric education and research programs. Under her leadership, the multidisciplinary, multiethnic Stanford GEC helped develop the field of ethnogeriatrics. Her work has focused on the development of resources and curricula for ethnogeriatric education.

She has published widely in the field of ethnogeriatrics, is senior editor of two editions of the book, Ethnicity and the Dementias and Section Editor for Ethnogeriatrics and Special Populations of the Journal of American Geriatrics Society.
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Creighton Mendivil

The Seniors Council plays a pivotal role in the provision of critical services to area seniors. I see my role on the Board as helping to ensure the smooth provision of quality services to seniors in need of decent housing, sustainable income, medical services, transportation and freedom from abuse.

I have been involved with Senior Citizens Legal Services of Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties since 2010. First, as a volunteer attorney and since 2012 as Executive Director / Directing Attorney. I understand and appreciate the problems faced by our area’s aging population and I do my part to help solve these problems
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Jane Schwickerath

Jane received her Master’s in Social Work with an emphasis on aging in 2007. She had been working as the volunteer coordinator for The Diversity Center's 60+ Senior Program for the past 3 years, serving Santa Cruz County's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults.

She created an LGBT Aging Cultural Sensitivity training and has presented to numerous senior service agencies, residential care facilities, and businesses to increase the competency and care our LGBT members encounter when reaching out for assistance.

She has served on the Seniors Council Board of Directors since April, 2011.
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Darrell Johnson

I am an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). I have served churches in Idaho, Kansas, and Santa Cruz. The last 19 years I was involved in a housing ministry at Via Pacifica Gardens in Aptos that was co-owned and managed by Christian Church Homes of Northern California and the Santa Cruz Community Credit Union. I retired from Via Pacifica Gardens in September 2007.

It has been a pleasure serving on the Board of the Seniors Council as well as other volunteer service programs. The seniors of our two counties are some of the most vulnerable citizens in the area, and are often the first and foremost that experience budget cuts and other threats that undermine their ability to live their lives independently and with dignity.

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Wendy King

I’ve lived 25 years overseas working in community development through agriculture and natural resource management. My overseas adventure started in the Peace Corps in Nepal, with the ink barely dry on my Cornell University School of Agriculture B.S. diploma. Over the years, I got an M.A. in International Studies; lived in Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, and Haiti; and worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Wildlife Fund, and as a regional technical advisor in Asia for CARE International. Nepal is my 'heart' home; Asia is in my blood. My parents emigrated from mainland China, settled into their 'heart' home in Manhattan, NYC, and wondered why I chose to return to live in Asia!

Back in the USA now, I wanted to continue community development work, and shifted my focus to seniors, the fast-growing, vulnerable segment of the American population that cuts across economic and ethnic lines. In 2004, I joined the SJSU Social Gerontology certification program, and for my internship, Gwen Yeo hooked me up with the Seniors Council’s Emergency Preparedness for Seniors project. I am pleased to continue my learning and involvement with the Seniors Council; as a Seniors Council Board member, I want to help build stronger communities where seniors are fully integrated and compassionately cared for.

Barbara Canfield

Pam Arnsberger

Jacques Bertrand

Barbara Kaiser

John Johnson