Leadership & Staff


Photo of Charlotte Dickson

Charlotte Dickson

Executive Director

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.

To reach Charlotte, call 510-900-6380 or 866-986-1332 (toll free), email her at charlotte@villagemovementcalifornia.org.

Charlotte’s mailing address is 3220 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA, 94118.

Leadership Team

Patrick Brown

Patrick Brown

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.

Andy Gaines

Andy is the founding Executive Director of Ashby Village (Berkeley, CA). Committed to changing the culture of aging, he brings skills in nonprofit leadership, real estate management and counseling, as well as training in mediation and facilitation. He led the development and management of several multifamily residential communities in North Carolina and has worked at numerous assisted living and nursing homes. He has been certified by the California Department of Social Services as an administrator for Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly. At Wesleyan University, he studied the shifts in self-perception that accompany aging. Andy is a dance/movement therapy practitioner, and in the 1990’s co-founded and directed Earthdance, an internationally recognized nonprofit workshop and retreat center in western Massachusetts.

Kate Hoepke

Kate Hoepke

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.

Bea Kirkman

Beatrice Kirkman

Beatrice has been a part of Community Senior Services for nearly four years and currently works as Director for REAL Connections Village. Bea, a retired school administrator, came to REAL Connections Village after caring for her father with Alzheimer’s and her mother with macular degeneration. Bea has served as co-chair of the Inland Empire Walk to End Alzheimer’s, volunteered with Community Senior Services Enrichment Center Adult Day Program, and facilitated support groups for caregivers.

Sue Kujawa

Sue Kujawa

Sue was the founding Executive Director of Pasadena Village. She began as a volunteer and worked closely with the founding Board of Directors to establish the non-profit organization that helps more than 140 members lead lives of purpose and meaning as they age. Prior to her work with the Pasadena Village, Sue served 27 years as the Executive Director of Mothers’ Club Family Learning Center (now known as Families Forward Learning Center) in Pasadena. She led the organization to become a model two generation learning program that helps to break the cycle of poverty and low achievement. In 2007, under her leadership, Mothers’ Club purchased a facility in the heart of Northwest Pasadena and renovated it to become a Gold Level LEED certified building that is home to a vibrant, inclusive family learning center preparing 120 low income children and their parents to succeed in school and in life. Sue serves as the Vice Chair of the Village Movement California Leadership Team.

Deborah Martin

Deborah serves as CEO and Executive Director of ElderHelp in San Diego. Deborah’s role includes overseeing all aspects of ElderHelp’s operations: services for seniors in their home, intake and referral, transportation, SRO case management, and a shared housing program. Under Deborah’s leadership, ElderHelp has become the local authority on aging, and has created successful collaborations with several local agencies and physicians groups. Deborah has presented four times at the National Aging in America conference, and has spoken at the Jewish Funders International Conference, the annual Legislative Breakfast at St. Pauls/PACE and at the Annual California Senior Injury Prevention Educational Forum. She is currently President of the San Diego Senior Alliance, a consortium of senior service agencies focused on collaboration,  public policy and creating new service delivery models for healthcare.

Doris Nelson

Doris is currently using her experience and education to co-found 707 Villages, Inc. in Sonoma County, California. The combination of Doris’ 30+ years in nonprofit and human services management, an MA in Organization Development, and a BA in Business Administration helps her to meet the challenge of building an organization from the ground up. Recognizing the need for visibility and sustainability at the local village level, Doris views her work with Village Movement California as an important part of transforming the experience of​ aging for this generation, and those to come. Doris serves as the Secretary of the VMC Leadership Team.

Kira Riley

Kira is the Program Coordinator at ElderHelp of San Diego—a 44-year-old private non-profit organization that provides personalized services and information that help seniors remain independent and live with dignity in their own homes. She conducts research and supports program development and advocacy work. Prior to joining the ElderHelp team in 2016, Kira worked concurrently as a graduate fellow with Hazel’s Army—a community-based advocacy group for older adults and their families—and as Operations Coordinator at the Tierrasanta Village of San Diego (TVSD). Kira graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of San Diego with a Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology. She earned her Master of Science, Gerontology from the University of Southern California.

Carolyn Ross

Carolyn is the Executive Coordinator of Care Connections Network (CCN), a village in Huntington Beach, California. She has served in this position since 2012 and has guided and developed CCN through the planning and implementation phases to produce a successful and thriving village. Carolyn has a passion for harnessing the wisdom and experience of older adults to help change how we all experience the journey of aging. She has a BA from California State University, Long Beach and worked for many years in the insurance industry. Carolyn has served in numerous volunteer and community service positions.

Yasmin Shah

Yasmin Shah is a seasoned executive and an entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience which includes roles of: electrical engineer, business executive at IBM, chief information officer, president of the board of non-profits, co-founder of companies, and leadership roles in the Village Movement for over 10 years. She is also an author of the non-fiction Experience: Caregiver’s Journey based on her experiences as a family caregiver of parents and a volunteer with non-profits serving seniors.

Leadership Team Members ~ Emeritas

These members made significant contributions to the development and launch of Village Movement California. They continue to provide advice and counsel to our Leadership Team.

Floy Biggs

Floy has more than three decades of experience in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors, managing senior and long-term care programs. Serving as CEO of Community Senior Services since 2006, Floy is well-respected in the regional senior services community. She is a licensed skilled nursing facility administrator and earned both an undergraduate degree in gerontology and a Masters in health administration from USC. In addition to her agency leadership, Floy is actively engaged in the community and currently serves on the boards of the Claremont Committee on Aging, the Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of Southern California, and the Parktree Community Health Center.

Colleen Cotter

Colleen, along with twelve board members, launched Palos Verdes Peninsula Village in January 2016, and she served as its Executive Director until May 2018. Connecting with local foundations, churches, hospitals and businesses, PVP Village is entering into its third year with a strong community presence and support.

Colleen has 20 years management experience in both business and the nonprofit sector, and strong volunteer experience including PTA, St. John Fisher, Peninsula Committee Children’s Hospital and Little Sisters of the Poor. She received a degree in business from Cal Poly Pomona and a Nonprofit Management Certificate from UCLA.

Richard Siegel

Richard Siegel In Memoriam

Richard was a founder and co-chair of ChaiVillageLA. He retired as the Director of the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles in 2015. His primary professional career was with the National Foundation for Jewish Culture (NFJC, 1978-2006), the last 15 years as Executive Director. His work at the NFJC helped put Jewish culture on the communal agenda as an important medium for the expression of contemporary Jewish identity. He was the co-editor of The Jewish Catalog (JPS, 1973), the best-selling guide to the Jewish counter-culture of the 60s and 70s, as well as other books, chapters and articles on Jewish life and culture. Richard worked with his wife, Rabbi Laura Geller, on a book entitled Getting Good at Getting Older: A Jewish Catalog for a New Age (Behrman House, 2019). Richard was a dedicated member of our Leadership Team and always offered his wise counsel and good advice. He is greatly missed.

Palos Verdes Peninsula Village members at a barbershop quartet event

Member Spotlight

Palos Verdes Peninsula Village

Palos Verdes Peninsula Village provides a community where members continue to grow, engage with one another, and age with independence, dignity and purpose.  Through volunteers and referrals, we provide support and services for members who have chosen to live in the communities and homes they love as they get older. Our mission is to preserve and enhance the comfort, security, dignity and sense of belonging for older residents who wish to continue to live on the Peninsula.