Advisory Board & Staff

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Our Staff

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Elizabeth “Betty” Johnson, MPA, Executive Director

Retired after 33 years with the City of Los Angeles, Ms. Johnson’s professional career included service as Governmental Affairs Representative, Director of Affirmative Action and Diversity, Personnel Officer and Manager of Administration in various City of Los Angeles departments. Post retirement, she was the Director of Diversity for Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. She also spent over 25 years as an Adjunct Faculty member for the Federal Government’s U.S. Graduate School providing training to civilian and uniformed governmental employees. Her volunteer experience is vast and varied, and includes member of the board, Museum of African American Art, lifetime membership in the Girl Scouts of America, and the Los Angeles City Affirmative Action Association for Women. She is an active member of AARP Chapter 5117, the Project Advisory Committee and Travelairs Senior Club for the City of Inglewood.

 

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Carolyn J. Fowler, Senior Consultant

Ms. Fowler has provided consulting, training, meeting facilitation, focus groups, speaking and organizational development services to nonprofits, corporations and public sector entities.  She is a  28 year retired AT&T Executive and recently served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Smiley Group, Inc., a communications corporation established in support of human rights and related empowerment issues.   Carolyn has produced over 20 large scale events around the country including a national technology summit, health fair and a 2008 presidential forum.  She holds a BA in Business Administration from the University of Michigan and has completed the Wharton Global MBA  International Certificate Program at Pennsylvania State University.

 

ADVISORY BOARD

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Antonio Rodella, Chair of Advisory Board

Born in El Paso, Texas; Degree in Electronics; Head of Research Anaconda Telecommunications ; Head of Countywide Program for Orange County Social Services; Board of Directors Placentia Little League; Chairman Senior Citizens Advisory Council, Orange County; President TACC, State of California; Trustee, Elks of Santa Ana, California

 

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Sandra Johnson-Simon, Vice-Chair of Advisory Board

Vice-Chair, Greater Bay Area Region                                                                                                      

Sandra J. Johnson Simon is a Bay Area native who currently resides in San Leandro, CA. She spent 25 years with the Federal Government retiring on June 1, 1998 as Deputy Personnel Director for Department of the Navy, Military Sealift Command, Pacific in Oakland, California. Once retired, she became a Community Activist. She volunteers for over 30 Non-Profit Organizations and Commissions. She is the CEO/Board President for Fannie Wall Children’s Home. In March 2014 she received the Senior Leadership Award from the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health and the California Wellness Foundation in recognition of outstanding contributions to Healthy Aging, Community Building, and Social Justice. She serves as Vice Chairperson for the California Senior Leaders Alliance (CSLA) Greater Bay Area Region. She is a member of the CSLA Capitol Action Team. This month was elected on the CSLA Advisory Board as Vice Chairperson. 

 

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Linda Leahy, Treasurer of Advisory Board

Linda Leahy was the convener of the Mendocino Chapter of the Gray Panthers and helped them obtain their 501 (c)3 status.   She also helped start the  ACLU Chapter in Mendocino County and served as their chair for a number of years.    As Chair of the ACLU,  she attended a nationwide meeting in Washington, DC and was privileged to meet Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  Linda has worked tirelessly in her community creating and running a free legal clinic and center which served elders,  youth, homeless people and those with mental disabilities.    She currently donates her time in the community as a paralegal and nurse working with low income, seniors, vets and the disabled.  She is  in Law School and also serves as a Representative Payee for the Social Security  Administration.

 

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Elaine Sierra, Secretary of Advisory Board

Born and raised in San Francisco, Elaine graduated from UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law, becoming a public sector attorney and retiring in 1999 from the IRS District Counsel’s office in San Francisco.  She moved to Grass Valley, CA in 2000, where she resides with her husband Frank Ribeiro.  In addition to enjoying their extended family, she is an active runner, and stays involved in local community groups.  She has served on the local boards of the American Association of University Women, the Sierra Trailblazers Running Club, Business & Professional Women and Nevada County Citizens for Choice.  She currently spearheads the legislation and advocacy programs for BPW and NCCC, representing the latter organization on the state-wide California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom.  She is a member of the California Senior Leaders Class of 2010, and has been Secretary of the California Senior Leaders Alliance Advisory Board since July, 2015.

 

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John Acosta

John Acosta; retire after 20 years in the U.S Navy; I wanted to make a career change, attended community college where I received, Associates Degrees in General Education and one in Social Work, it was then that noticed the rapid grow of the senior population, and their respective need, transfer to San Diego State University received my degree as a GERONTOLOGIST. Currently, reside in Chula Vista where I am, employed as educator at Southwestern College. Where I teach older adults courses in English and Spanish on a special program that in 1998. I researched the lack of education and opportunities for the elderly population in South San Diego and presented recommendations to Dr Serafin A. Zasueta then Superintendent / President at Southwestern College in Chula Vista CA. Assisted setting up the Southwestern College initial outreach Senior program where classes are provided at various locations such Seniors Canters, Retirement communities or at nutritious centers where the senior population congregate; Concentrating in keeping seniors socially active and involve I have develop and preset to the senior community and those who care for them.

 

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Elizabeth Busick

Elected to the California Senior Legislature as Senior Assemblywoman for 4 years; President, Friends of Mission Viejo Library Board of Directors; Chair of Senior Citizens Activities Committee of Mission Viejo; Member of California Senior Leaders Alliance Class of 2012; Orange County's Representative to TACC   (Area Agency on Aging Council of California); Past Chair of the Legislative Committee of Senior Citizens Advisory Committee of Orange County, CA; Past Chair of The Heritage Committee of Mission Viejo; Past VP-Membership of American Association of University Women Mission Viejo/Saddleback Valley Branch; Advisory Board of Saddleback College Emeritus Program for Seniors;Past Corresponding Secretary of Lake Forrest Garden Club, Board of Directors; Volunteer at the Mission Viejo Senior Center, Library and Activities Committee; Member of P.E.O. Mission Viejo/Saddleback Valley.

 

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Sandy Hester

Chair, SoCal Los Angeles Region

Her 50-year career gained her invaluable experience and knowledge within the nonprofit sector, complimenting her Master's Degree in Public Policy Analysis, at The Claremont Graduate University. By working with community organizations and individuals advocating for the betterment of the human condition, she achieved success by helping to develop programs and effective strategies that moved projects forward. Her activities in the political arena are long, extensive and continue to this day, including her candidacy for CA State Senate in 1988, 1992 and a special election in 1994! Adding to her leadership roles while working for organization's such as The Council on Aging--Orange County and Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties, Sandy still volunteers and contributes her expertise for many groups including, AARP, NAACP, CERT, PATH, and CSLA.  Today, her interests include working on behalf of homeless veterans and increasing mental health services.
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Queen Johnson
Chair, SoCal San Diego Region
Civic action and leadership are her passion, mission and life’s work.   A native New Yorker,  Queen earned her Associates degree in Political Science, TransWorld Cultural Studies and Communication. Her interest in mature people’s wellness led to her work as a Civic Engagement Senior Member for the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center.  In this role, she supports senior advocacy programs.  Ms.  Johnson actively engages in local and state policy advocacy on behalf of mature populations as a member of the San Diego City Council’s Aging and Independent Services Advisory Council.  She is also a member of the California Senior Legislature as a Senior Assembly Member where she advocates for legislative policies benefitting the interests  of California’s senior communities.
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Rick Kaplowitz
Rick Kaplowitz's work-life was as a manager at universities, in the technology industry, and in construction. His community efforts have included volunteer and board service with agencies focusing on mental health and retardation; adolescent counseling; and LGBT issues and concerns, with particular attention to LGBT seniors. He has worked on social justice concerns including end-of-life issues and marriage equality the latter fitting perfectly with his current part-time work as a Wedding Officiant. He is now serving as a member of the CSLA Advisory Board, and as Secretary of the CSLA Greater Bay Area region. When interviewed about CSLA, Rick met a group of people here who combine broad accumulated knowledge with a willingness to do the hard work that's needed to solve community-level problems -- for older and younger folks alike.
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Diana Madoshi
Chair, Capitol Action Team, Chair - Central Northern California
 Diana Carpenter-Madoshi received a Bachelor of Science Degree in nursing from Sacramento State University. She is retired after more than 30 years in nursing. For more than 20 years she has volunteered as event coordinator and planner for nonprofit programs and organizations to promote forums and conferences on issues pertinent to women and seniors. Diana joined the California Senior Leaders Alliance in 2010 and has previously served as co-chair of its defunct Steering Committee. Currently she serves on the CSLA Advisory board and Capitol Action Team. Diana organizes and promotes programs that teach and inform the community about health, senior issues, women history and achievements. Always, the advocate and activist, she serves on nonprofit boards like the National Women History Project and a few statewide boards. A loving mother of three and grandmother of six, she delights in reminding them that we all have a purpose and obligation to “plant seeds” for the next generation.
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Sylvia Stadmire
Chair, Greater Bay Area Region - Vice Chair, Capitol Action Team
I am a part of the growing Senior Community of Alameda County.BA and MBA in Financial Management I am a past Certified Ombudsman.Past Alameda County Area on Aging- Vice Chair I am an advocate for seniors and people with disabilities. I believe Seniors should be allowed to age with dignity.I work with AARP Legislative to assist in passing legislation for disabled. Seniors and people not getting the assistance needed to live.Chair, Mayor's commission on Aging Board member and secretary United Seniors of Oakland and Alameda County Chair, California Senior Leaders Greater Bay Area Region Senior Senator,  California Senior Legislature Chair of EPAC, a committee of the CPUC Board  member and chair of Broadmoor affordable housing a  member of ABHOW. I also serve in the following capacities: Board Member of Piedmont Advisory Board; Member of Oakland Pedestrian Plan Committee; Alameda County Area on Aging Planning Committee; Member of Bart Bond Stakeholder committee;Chair for PAPCO a Advisory Commission for Alameda Transportation; I was a part of the planning  and construction of San Leandro new Senior Community Center; serving on the Senior Commission of San Leandro.
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Cynthia White-Parks
Vice-Chair, SoCal San Diego Region                                                                                                         

Cynthia White-Parks is a retired Registered Nurse currently employed by the San Diego Community College District as an  older instructor. She is an avid and tireless volunteer and has numerous hours volunteering in her community. Cynthia played a pivotal role in  organizing the first AARP Chapter #4916 in the 4th District community and served as its first  President and held that office for several  terms.  She has  served as President of the Jackie Robinson YMCA Senior Nutrition Advisory Committee, as the Health Coordinator of the Advocacy Service AARP Area 9 and Vice President of the Chollas View United Methodist Women's Group and President of the Pastor Parrish Committee to name a few.  She  currently serves as a member of the County Of San Diego Aging And Independence Advisory Board  and VP of the Supulizo Family Center of ARC, an organization that offers programs and services to assist persons with disabilities. She is the recipient of AARP’s volunteer of the year award.

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  • commented 2016-07-16 06:49:32 -0700
    I love watching the evolution of this amazing Alliance, and all it continues to accomplish though high level community engagement and educating policy makers. By advocating for policy changes to improve the lives of California seniors and their families throughout the state, but also of diverse vulnerable populations from youth in the criminal justice system to vets and people with disabilities, this group is a great reminder of what deep community engagement is all about. Meredith
  • commented 2016-07-16 06:49:32 -0700
    I love watching the evolution of this amazing Alliance, and all it continues to accomplish though high level community engagement and educating policy makers. By advocating for policy changes to improve the lives of California seniors and their families throughout the state, but also of diverse vulnerable populations from youth in the criminal justice system to vets and people with disabilities, this group is a great reminder of what deep community engagement is all about. Meredith