Advisory Board & Staff



Our Staff


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.



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


Sandra Johnson-Simon, Board 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, and is a member of the CSLA Capitol Action Team.



Sandy Hester, Vice 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.


Secretary (vacant)



Rick Kaplowitz, Treasurer, Greater Bay Area Region
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 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.



Elizabeth Busick, Region Representative, SoCal Los Angeles Region
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. 



Fred Davis, Region Chair, SoCal San Diego Region
Fred is a retired Entrepreneur and now a full time volunteer for "Serving Seniors at The Gary and Mary Senior Wellness Center". He has a ministry and an outreach as an advocate for the homeless and people with disabilities. Fred also sets on the advisory board of aging and independence services and he is a member of the California senior legislature. 



Queen Johnson, Region Representative, 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 benefiting the interests of California’s senior communities.



Luis Monge, Region Representative, SoCal San Diego Region  
Luis Monge is a retired city inspector from San Diego. He has volunteered his time working with the California Senior Legislature since 2008. He is also a member of the Aging and Independent Services Advisory Board of San Diego County. His mission in life is to help others and give back to the community he has lived in for over 40 years. He can often be found shuttling his three preschool aged grandsons to parks and feeding horses at local ranches. 



Carol Sugimura, Region Representative, Greater Bay Area Region
Carol retired after 32 years with AT&T in a variety of positions and locations. She earned both a BA-Sociology and MBA-Human Resources Management. A former board member with New Ways to Work, a founding and board member of a community organization Asian Americans Together and an employee organization Asians for Corporate ad Community Action. Her community service included an appointment by the Alameda County Supervisor to serve two terms on the Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council. She has worked with the United Seniors of Oakland and Alameda County on a variety of projects, including delivering presentations to seniors on fall prevention, nutrition, and physical activity and creating/delivering Leadership classes to summer school high school students. She retired after 32 years with AT&T in a variety of positions and locations. Her latest passion began in 2015 with Eden Area Village, a developing village that supports older adults’ efforts to remain in their homes. Carol and her husband Frank have two sons, a daughter-in-law, and two grandsons.

Showing 1 reaction

  • 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