OGA 2021 Board of Directors

Board Officers:

Past President - Siobhan Maty, PhD, MPH, CPH

Siobhan Maty is an epidemiologist with expertise in the conceptualization and measurement of social factors and their influence on health outcomes using a public health and life course approach. She uses traditional epidemiology and community-based participatory research approaches to explore the social determinants of health and health inequities, the epidemiology of type 2 diabetes and related conditions, and the impact of aging on population health.

President - Melissa Cannon, PhD

Melissa Cannon is an Associate Professor of Gerontology at Western Oregon University. She specializes in environmental gerontology and teaches courses such as Introduction to Gerontology, Alzheimer's and Other Dementias Management, and Housing and Long-Term Care for Older Adults. Her research interests include age-friendly environments, community partnerships, and policies and programs that help create healthy, inclusive communities for people across the life course.

Incoming President-  Anabel Pelham, PhD

Anabel Pelham is president of the National Association of Professional Gerontologists (NAPG) and emeriti professor and founding director of the Gerontology Program at San Francisco State University. She is also Founding Director of the Center for Age-Friendly Excellence (CAFE), a project of the Los Altos Community Foundation and a past member of the Foundation's Board of Directors, and a member of the Advisory Council of Grupo Dabvsa, Mexico. Dr. Pelham is past president of the California Council on Gerontology and Geriatrics (CCGG) and is an active member of GSA, CAG and IAGG and serves on the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education's Global Aging Committee. She is a former Chair of the Senior Commission for the City of Los Altos/Los Altos Hills, where she led the successful initiative to make Los Altos and Los Altos Hills the first Age-Friendly (City and Town) in California. Dr. Pelham has expertise in global issues in aging and gerontology, Age-Friendly Cities and community development, community-based health and human services, qualitative research methods, graduate gerontology curriculum development, geriatric care management, life-long learning, and credentialing and accreditation in the field of gerontology. She has lectured and taught for several years internationally and in the former European Masters in Gerontology (EuMaG) Summer School in multiple countries around the world. Dr. Pelham's current interests are: creating Age-Friendly Cities and communities, professionalizing the discipline of Gerontology and compassion as a core value in aging. She recently contributed a chapter: Creating Compassionate Communities: The Intersection of Resilience, Democracy and Age-Friendliness, in Sharing Compassion, Rainsford Press, Dublin, Ireland, 2018.

Treasurer -  Margaret B. Neal, PhD

Margaret Beth Neal is Professor Emerita of Urban Studies and the former director of the Institute on Aging at Portland State University. She taught graduate courses in gerontology, survey design, data collection and global aging. She led Portland's participation in the 2006-07 World Health Organization's Global Age-Friendly Cities project and has co-coordinated the Age-Friendly Portland and Multnomah County initiatives since then, speaking and publishing locally, nationally and internationally on the topic of age-friendly communities as well as that of combining paid work with unpaid family care for elders. She is a long-time member of OGA and a former OGA president. She and her husband, David Leckey, live between Wilsonville and Newberg at their nursery, Oregon Small Trees.

Secretary -  Cory Bolkan, PhD

Cory Bolkan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development at Washington State University in Vancouver, Washington, just across the river from Portland, Oregon. She is a gerontologist and the goals of her applied research and outreach are to encourage healthy behaviors across the lifespan, implement and evaluate evidence-based health and social service programs for older adults, and explore how family/social relationships are risk or protective factors for well-being in later life. She also teaches undergraduate and graduate courses related to gerontology, death and dying, and research methods, and is a faculty member in the interdisciplinary Prevention Science doctoral program at WSU.

Board Directors:

Ann McQueen, PhD, MS

Ann McQueen is the Community Services and Supports Manager for the Long Term Services and Supports Program within the Office of Aging and People with Disabilities (APD) Program at the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS). She previously held the position of Administrator of the APD Safety, Oversight and Quality (Long-Term Care Licensing) Unit and served as APD's Research and Policy Integration Manager. Prior to that, she worked as a policy analyst, a college faculty member, in roles related to various local government programs for older adults, and as an administrator in assisted living/residential care/memory care communities. She is especially interested in the experiences of people living with dementia and in helping to create a world that affords them the respect, dignity, and companionship that all human beings deserve. Ann has a BFA in musical theater, an MS in Communication Studies, and a PhD in Urban Studies - Gerontology. She has presented at various conferences, both locally and nationally on topics related to aging, dementia and dementia care, and the role of humor in the lives of older people living in long-term care settings.

Carlos D. Romo, PhD

After living in Reno, Nevada for 43 years, Carlos Romo and his spouse, Nancy, moved to Oregon in 2015 to be with family and friends. He is a native of New Mexico and earned a B.A. from the University of New Mexico and a Ph.D. in Foreign Languages and Literature (Spanish and Portuguese) from Tulane University. He was a Fulbright-Hayes Scholar in Lisbon, Portugal. After teaching at the University of Nevada, Reno, and working for the State of Nevada, Carlos retired in 2008. Before moving to Oregon, he was engaged in doing volunteer work for AARP-Nevada and today he continues to volunteer for AARP-Oregon. He has been a mediator and has expertise in employment, housing and public accommodation discrimination investigations and enforcement. Also, he has conducted training in workplace diversity and inclusion and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. He hosted and moderated a public affairs television program, El Mundo Hispano, while living in Nevada. Being engaged as a volunteer; keeping in shape; traveling and being with family, are what keep Carlos busy during retirement.

David Kelly, M.P.A

Born and raised in Portland,Oregon, David and his wife Jessica live in Vancouver, Washington. They are the proud parents of five sons and currently have eight grandchildren. Retired from full-time employment as of Jan. 2021, Dave now enjoys staying busy with family events and projects; part-time professional consulting to match social service work of community-based organizations with healthcare providers and agencies; and volunteering in various community service activities. 

 

Gerald "Jerry" Cohen, J.D., M.P.A

Jerry Cohen has joined his spouse Ruth as a partner in Evolving Elders, dedicated to address theopportunities and transitions of aging. He moved to Oregon in 1996 from Kansas City to establish one of AARP’s first state offices. He served as AARP’s State Director in Oregon for 23 years, working with local, state and national staff, volunteers, members and businesses and community organizations. AARP is the premier organization for people 50+ and their families. He is a certified trainer of the AARP Direct Action Organizing program through the Midwest Academy approach to advocacy.

Jerry’s wife, Ruth is a licensed social worker with expertise in care coordination and management and is founder of Creative Care and co-partner of Evolving Elders (www.evolvingelders.com ). Their daughter, Sarah, died in July 2020. She had a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Willamette University and worked on Pre-K for All issues for Social Venture Partners PDX and Multnomah County at the time of her death. County, State and National elected officials as well as many colleagues and friends honored Sarah’s life and dedication in several resolutions, memorials and funded efforts in her name and memory. Both Jerry and Ruth dedicate their ongoing efforts in Sarah’s honor and legacy.

He previously managed legislative and regulatory advocacy and supported volunteers for AARP in a five state region in the Midwest. Past career positions have included working for: University of Missouri-Kansas City where he headed a nationally-funded research and training center on aging and intellectual challenges while also teaching and engaging on applied research projects as well as self-advocacy by adults with intellectual challenges; Legal Aid of Western MO, where he established a volunteer attorney program with the Kansas City Bar Association; and the Missouri Division of Aging, where he served as the State’s first Legal Services Developer under the Older Americans Act. He also was active with the Midwest Bioethics Center (now the Center for practical Ethics) in Kansas City, the UMKC Social Sciences Institutional Review Board (ethics) and the Mid-America Congress on Aging regional education and training organization in the Midwest.

Jerry has been a member of numerous local, State and national Legislative and Executive branch established Task Forces and Advisory Committees addressing issues of protective services, home & community-based care, adult abuse and exploitation, advance directives and surrogate decision making. He also was a board member of the Oregon Health Care Quality Corporation and represented it on several RWJ grants and consumer advocates meetings. He currently serves on the advisory council for the Oregon WINGS project under the Oregon Judicial Department and is a trainer for that project and is a Consumer Representative on the Financial & Health Insurance advisory council of the Department of Consumer & Business Services representing AARP Oregon. He also is a partner (volunteer) for Social Venture Partners PDX. He is a past-chair of Congregation Shir Tikvah’s board. Both he and Ruth have been teaching courses on resilience, life’s transitions and grief & loss through EvolvingElders.

Jerry has received several leadership awards from National AARP, Chancellor’s Office of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Young Lawyer’s Section of the Missouri Bar, Missouri Chapter of the American Association of Mental Retardation, Portland Community College’s Geronauts, and Central States Coalition on Aging and Mid-America Congress on Aging. And he was co-chief petitioner of Initiative Petition 122 and championed its passage as Measure 44, expanding Oregon’s Prescription Drug Program to all Oregonians.

A native of Wisconsin, Jerry holds an undergraduate degree (BA) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a law degree (JD) from Washington University-St. Louis, and a Masters in Public Administration degree (MPA) from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he also concentrated in gerontology and health care administration.

 

Jennifer (Jenny) Sasser, PhD, FAGHE

Jenny Sasser is an educational gerontologist, transdisciplinary scholar, and community activist. She currently serves as faculty and co-Chair for the Portland Community College Gerontology program/ Jenny has been working in the field of gerontology for more than half her life, beginning as a nursing assistant and senior citizen advocate before focusing on scholarly inquiry and education. As an undergraduate she attended Willamette University, in Salem, Oregon, graduating Cum Laude in Psychology and Music; her interdisciplinary graduate studies at University of Oregon and Oregon State University focused on the Human Sciences, with specialization areas in adult development and aging, women’s studies, and critical social theory and alternative research methodologies. Jenny’s dissertation became part of a book published by Routledge in 1996 and co-authored with Dr. Janet Lee–Blood Stories: Menarche and the Politics of the Female Body in Contemporary US Society. Jenny has focused her inquiry and practice in the areas of creativity in later life; aging and embodiment; transdisciplinary curriculum design; critical Gerontological theory; transformational adult learning practices; and cross-generational collaborative inquiry. Jenny served as Chair of the Department of Human Sciences and Founding Director of Gerontology at Marylhurst University from 1999 to 2015. She joined the Marylhurst faculty as an adjunct member of the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program in 1997 and during the subsequent 19 years was involved in designing many on-campus and web-based courses and programs for adult learners. She served as Past-President of the Oregon Gerontological Association and was on the Board of Directors at Mary’s Woods Continuing Care Retirement Community. Jenny co-authors Aging: Concepts and Controversies with Harry R. Moody (now in its 10th edition), is first author (also with Moody) of Gerontology: The basics, co-author of several book chapters, and an essayist. Her ongoing commitments include convening the Gero-Punk Project; serving as a conversation facilitator for Oregon Humanities; and offering consulting, workshops and presentations throughout North America. An award-winning educator, Jenny’s citations include the 2012 Association for Gerontology in Higher Education Distinguished Teacher award, a Willamette University Distinguished Alumni award in 2014, and in 2021 she was conferred Fellow status in the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education. 

Joyce DeMonnin, MPH, MBA

Joyce DeMonnin, an Oregon native, recently retired as Director of Communications and Media Relations for AARP Oregon. She has more than 25 years of experience in program development, strategic and operational planning, public speaking, communications/media relations and event management. With AARP, her key impact areas were health care reform, healthy aging, and access to affordable prescriptions, economic security, 50-plus work issues and retirement security/social Security. Joyce was lead staff and advocate in AARP’s effort to help create OregonSaves from passing legislation in 2015 to implementation two years later. The program now has more than $150 million in assets. She was also instrumental in expanding the Oregon Prescription Drug Program statewide and was on the board of the Oregon Patient Safety Commission for eight years, two years as chair. In 2017, Joyce was awarded the national AARP Award for Communication. Joyce founded ElderSafe in Washington County in 2000, creating one of the first stand-alone victim assistance, education and advocacy programs in Oregon to combat elder abuse and support victims of crime ages 65 and older. Her efforts garnered an Archstone Foundation program excellence award.

Karen Kinzey, MA

Karen Kinzey has served on the Board of Directors of OGA since 2013. Her areas of expertise include developing educational programs for older adults and managing senior volunteers. She founded the highly successful History Pub, a history lecture series held at McMenamins Kennedy School that resonated with middle-aged and older adult audiences. During her employment with the National Park Service and, later, a community of elderly Catholic nuns, Karen conducted over 200 oral history interviews with seniors, including Pearl Harbor survivors, WWII combatants and civilians, and Catholic sisters. Her interest in working with seniors in a one-on-one setting has led to an encore career as a caregiver with Catholic Community Services. She volunteers with the Oregon Alzheimer's Association and formerly provided pet therapy in a memory care unit with her Airedale Terrier. Karen is committed to improving the lives of people with dementia and their caregivers. She holds a MA and BA from Virginia Tech.

Keysa Lawrence, B.A

Keysa Lawrence is 31 years old, born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She has been involved in the field of Gerontology since 2013, starting her journey and passion at PCC. She attended Marylhurst University in Lake Oswego, OR, graduating in 2016 with a degree in Social Science with a concentration in Gerontology. Continuing her education at PSU in 2017, she graduated in 2018 with a Master’s Certificate in Gerontology. Keysa’s love of Gerontology and older adults flourished as she worked as the Life Enrichment Assistant in a local memory care unit from Sept. 2018-April 2021. With a focus on creating and implementing holistic activities that incorporated the mind, body and soul, Keysa wanted each older adult to feel heard and valued throughout the day, in and out of activities.

Keysa departed her job to focus on finishing her Master’s degree online in Gerontology with a concentration in Grief Care Management at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. During her free time, Keysa manages to attend webinars in Gerontology as well as in mental health. Keysa is an active volunteer at The Dougy Center, located in Southeast Portland as well as a board member for Suicide Bereavement Support, another Portland based nonprofit with a focus on providing peer support groups for those bereaved by a suicide death. With her schooling, background knowledge and experience, Keysa hopes to create a program tailored to older adults mental health through a holistic, multidisciplinary approach. Her ideal program would provide activities to older of all cognitive and physical abilities to combat loneliness and suicidal ideaton and provide peer support groups to talk about losses they have experienced in their life, such as a death in the family or a friend, as well as their own cognitive and phyical losses, such as a dementia or disability diagnosis. Keysa is overjoyed to be a part of the OGA and for the future of Gerontology. 

Linda Bifano, DNP, MPA, RN

Linda Bifano has been involved in Oregon community health care and policy development for older adults over the span of her nursing career. As a state-wide consultant, Linda has worked with licensed community-based care service providers and facility owners to design, enhance and operationalize all aspects of services with evidence-based practice quality improvement systems in care of older adults. Linda has led local organizations efforts in nationally funded demonstration projects to train caregivers in care of older adults. She holds a Masters of Nursing (MN) in Community Health Care Systems from Oregon Health & Sciences University School of Nursing; a Master’s in Public Administration in Health Care Management (MPA) from Portland State University (PSU); a doctorate in nursing practice (DNP) from Chatham University in Pittsburg. Her doctoral work focused on implementing research into practice for fall risk reduction in community-based care. A member of the Geriatric Nursing Leadership Academy (FGNLA) sponsored by OHSU’s John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Excellence and the International Honor Society of Nursing, she has also served as affiliated faculty at Oregon Health & Sciences University and Linfield Schools of Nursing; on committees of Oregon State Board of Nursing; Oregon Nurses Association; and is a trainer certified by Teepa Snow in Positive Approach™ to Dementia Care. Linda develops curriculum and conducts state-wide training for Oregon Care Partners and Oregon Health Care Association.

Natalia Kasperovich, MS ChE

Natalia Kasperovich received her Masters of Science (ChE) degree in Russia. Thirty years later, her dedication to life-long learning brought her to the Gerontology Program at Portland Community College, where she is presently working on an Associate degree. Her experience studying and working in Russia and later immigrating to the U.S. gives her a unique intercultural perspective that has informed her passion for intergenerational understanding, diversity, and inclusivity. She joined the OGA Board of Directors in 2021. Natalia also volunteers with Viva Village, where she is working on implementing intergenerational programs.

Patty Glines

Patty Glines is an Executive Director and Certified Senior Advisor® in Portland, Oregon, with experience advocating and caring for seniors in a variety of care settings. She was drawn to the senior services industry after advocating and caring for her own parents. Patty works for Assisted Living Locators helping seniors and their families find and transition into senior housing. She is a strong believer in quality housing and care for seniors. Patty volunteers as a board member for both the Metropolitan Senior Network and the Oregon Gerontological Association where she can keep a finger on the pulse of the housing, care, and academic trends of the senior services industry. She has her undergraduate degree in Public Health with a minor in Business and a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology. In her free time, Patty enjoys spending time outdoors, spending time with her family, or enjoying a good binge on Netflix.

Walter Dawson, DPhil

Walter Dawson, DPhil, is a health and aging policy researcher and lifelong advocate for people living with Alzheimer’s disease. Dawson is an Assistant Professor at the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, faculty at the Portland State University Institute on Aging, and a Senior Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health with the Global Brain Health Institute with the University of California, San Francisco and Trinity College Dublin. His research focuses on the intersection between macro-level health policy and ‘on the ground’ health services research with an emphasis on supporting individuals living with dementia from underserved populations through improved screening for cognitive impairment and long-term care financing arrangements. Dawson also has extensive direct experience in U.S. state and national policy. As staff at the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, he worked on provisions of the Affordable Care Act focused on increasing access to home and community-based services for people in need of long-term care. Dawson received his doctorate from the University of Oxford and masters from the London School of Economics.


OGA Board of Directors (photo taken in January 2020)

Left to right: Joyce DeMonnin, Patty Glines, Sara Kofman (no longer a Board member), Carlos Romo, Karen Kinzey, Walt Dawson, Cory Bolkan, Kathleen Sullivan (no longer a Board member), Margaret Neal, Claire Ghazal (no longer a Board member), Iris Wernher (not currently a Board member), Siobhan Maty

Not in the photo: Anabel Pelham, Ann McQueen, David Kelly, Gerald Cohen, Jenny Sasser, Keysa Lawrence, Linda Bifano, Melissa Cannon, Natalia Kasperovic