Leadership & Staff
Charlotte has devoted her career to building organizations and movements to create equitable, healthy communities for people of all ages and backgrounds. Prior to joining Village Movement California, she served as the founding director of the HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living) Cities Campaign, a nationally recognized movement of 400 cities in 5 states that promotes policies, programs and practices to support residents’ and employees’ health.
She has led endeavors in the fields of affordable housing, public health policy and racial equity. She welcomes the opportunity to help reframe aging and advocate for culture change around this important life stage. Charlotte has a B.A. from Duke University and an M.S.W. from Boston University.
Charlotte’s mailing address is 3220 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA, 94118.
Carol is a long-time writer and editor. She has more than 40 years of multi-industry experience partnering with organizations to improve their employees’ performance. She holds both a BS and MS in Secondary English Education. Carol is known for her superior skills in project management, analysis and problem/opportunity identification, and instructional design and facilitation. She has consulted with executives and line managers, established and managed training departments, trained trainers, written for professional publications and mentored performance consultants. As the co-chair of the former Walnut Creek Village, she remains committed to the village concept and is delighted to volunteer for Village Movement California.
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Carolyn Ross has a passion for harnessing the wisdom of older adults to change how we experience the journey of aging. She served as the Executive Director of Care Connections Network (CCN) in Huntington Beach for ten years, helping develop and guide CCN through the planning and implementation phases to produce a thriving village of multi-racial members and volunteers. Carolyn is a strong supporter of the village movement and served as a member of the Village Movement California leadership team for two years. She worked as a consultant to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and as president of ALOA: Adult Lutherans Organized for Action to promote intentional programming and ministry for older adults in Lutheran congregations across the country. Carolyn also currently serves as a board member of the Huntington Beach Council on Aging. She has a BA from California State University, Long Beach, and an MSW from California State University, Fullerton.
Melika is a current Master of Public Health student concentrating in Health and Social Behavior, at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public health. She previously obtained her BA with distinction in Health Sciences from Simon Fraser University. Throughout her studies she became involved in Indigenous communities and took an interest in vulnerable populations and issues of social and health injustices. Moreover, she recognizes the importance of community support and reciprocity, and wants to do her part in giving back to the community by walking a path of reconciliation.
Her research interests include analyzing and examining social, structural and external determinants that hinder health and prevent health access in marginalized and vulnerable populations, with a focus in Indigenous populations. Additionally, she is passionate about emphasizing the importance of diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging in all settings, and anti-racism advocacy work. During the pandemic, she served as a lead on a Health & Safety COVID-19 team, which reconfirmed her passion for Public Health. She is presently working at the Berkeley Public Health Change Lab as a graduate researcher on various projects, including at Village Movement California to help foster community engagement and inclusivity in elder villages.
Board of Directors
Patrick played a lead role in establishing Sequoia Village and the Villages of San Mateo County. He sits on the board of advisors for BlueCart, a startup in the food services area. He joined the board of Village Enterprise (a non-profit that works to alleviate poverty in East Africa) in 2013, after serving as Chief Operating Officer for five years. Prior to this, Pat worked for twenty years in the computer software industry. In his last position, he was the Senior Director of Technical Publications for Siebel Systems. Pat has a BA from UC Santa Barbara and an MA from California State University, Fresno, and completed doctoral work at UC Berkeley. Pat serves as the Treasurer for the Village Movement California Leadership Team.
Leza is the Executive Director of the California Long-Term Care Ombudsman Association, a membership association made up of the local Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs, staff, volunteers and Ombudsman supporters. She was introduced into the world of senior advocacy as a volunteer field Ombudsman, and later became the Volunteer Coordinator for Ombudsman Services of Northern California. She opened and filled a 95 bed Residential Care Facility for the Elderly, in Elk Grove California. Leza is excited to be afforded the opportunity to work on statewide systemic advocacy focused on changing the way we view “aging” in California.
Kate serves as the Chair of Village Movement CA and is the Executive Director of San Francisco Village. She has been in the field of aging since 2001 and with San Francisco Village since 2012. Under her leadership, SFV has grown exponentially. Her career in community building started in the 1990’s when she founded more than 40 social support networks for young families in the San Francisco Bay Area, called Mothers Clubs. To date these clubs have served more than a million families. She has a BA in sociology and an MBA from San Francisco State University.
Sheila is the Federal Liaison to Village Movement California. She currently serves as the Regional Minority Health Analyst in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this role she implements and supports initiatives to improve the health of all populations at risk for health disparities; promotes evidence-based health and disease prevention practices, and supports Region IX stakeholders in creating well-networked communities throughout the Region, with particular focus in the Central Valley of California. She previously served as the Office’s HIV/AIDS Regional Resource Coordinator. A native New Yorker, Sheila attended City University of New York and earned her Bachelor of Science from Humphreys College. She is a member of the Women’s Health Leadership community of practice.
Carol recently retired as Executive Director at Westside Pacific Villages (WPV) and currently serves on its Board of Directors. She has over 25 years of corporate business experience as a Human Resources leader from a variety of industries, including the last 20 years of her “for-profit” career at a Global Fortune 100 Company. Carol has a genuine passion for the village model having cared for her own parents, in-laws and other older relatives. Her skills and abilities have been instrumental in revitalizing and growing WPV by creating and managing a strong village team, while developing and strengthening important relationships. In her short tenure, WPV’s member and volunteer base as grown significantly, and she has been asked to speak to local, state, and national audiences about villages and the Village Movement. Carol is a graduate of UCLA.
Andra has over forty years of experience in both the nonprofit sector and the business community as a development director, executive director, board member, business owner, banker and financial advisor. As the founder and Principal of Capital Incubator, Andra assists nonprofit organizations – particularly community health centers and senior services organizations – in obtaining debt financing through new markets tax credits, tax-exempt bonds, alternative loan funds and commercial banks. Prior to founding Capital Incubator, Andra was Assistant Vice President at Cain Brothers, a national investment banking firm where she specialized in senior health and housing. She previously served as Planning and Development Director of LifeLong Medical Care in Berkeley where she oversaw the capital development of the Over 60 Health Center with a PACE program (Center for Elders Independence) and HUD 202 housing. Andra capitalized, built, opened and operated Saul’s Restaurant and Delicatessen in Berkeley. She is currently the President of the Board of Directors of Ashby Village.
Carlene has twenty-five years of leadership in the public and non-profit sectors, and brings a comprehensive portfolio of expertise in policy and advocacy, community engagement and capacity building, convening and facilitation, organizational development, participatory research, training and curriculum development, program design, and project management. Carlene is the Co-Founder of Sistahs Aging with Grace and Elegance, and Director of Strategy and Evaluation at the California Black Women’s Health Project. Carlene researched and wrote Sankofa Stories: Black Women Reflect on Aging in Place and Community: A Narrative on Policy as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Fellow.
Erick brings substantial executive level experience in the older adult congregate living and home health care sectors. He currently is the Co-Chair of Care Partners Initiative, an emerging community based network in Sonoma County that supports family caregivers of older adults living with dementia. Care Partners is spearheading a village initiative in Sonoma Valley and Sebastapol. He brings his network and experience to the challenge of supporting older adults to remain secure, informed, and connected.
Avi brings over thirty years of experience as a nonprofit leader in health and human service organizations, most recently as the Executive Director of Jewish Family and Community Services of the East Bay. He currently serves as the Interim Executive Director of Ashby Village. Avi brings enthusiastic interest in the big-picture question of how we mobilize multi-generations in all kinds of diverse communities to support people to age in place, and how we successfully advocate for public and private resources to achieve that vision.