OGA 2020 Board of Directors

Board Officers:

President - Kathleen M. Sullivan, PhD

Kathleen M. Sullivan, PhD, is an accomplished speaker, trainer and writer on issues related to aging, built and social environments and veterans. She is credited for creating the nation’s most comprehensive suite of services for LGBT older adults while working in the country including the first and still only program that links LGBT veterans to their earned VA benefits. Dr. Sullivan created an evidence-based training for the Aging Protective Service staff in California and Washington to competently and compassionately work with LGBT older adults. Currently, she is the Regional Director for EngAGE NW, an organization that creates communities so people of all ages can thrive and feel a sense of belonging. Dr. Sullivan serves as a member of AARP's Diversity Action Committee and is a Commissioner on the Governor’s Senior Services Commission. She has over 25 years of experience as a leader of non-profit organizations and a decade of experience working in affordable housing. She is the author of a book on meditation, is an avid skier, runner and tennis player. She lives in NE Portland with her wife Rebecca and JoJo the dog.

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-Elect - 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.

Treasurer - Sara Kofman

Sara Kofman joined the Alzheimer’s Association in 2015 as the Public Policy Director. In her role with the Alzheimer’s Association, she guides and supports the development of state and federal policy priorities and manages grassroots advocacy activities. Sara comes to the Alzheimer’s Association with more than 15 years combined experience in health policy and health advocacy work. Sara's early career was grounded in health care and public policy working as a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Ron Wyden.

Secretary - 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.

Board Directors:

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.

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.

Claire Ghazal

Claire Ghazal is a part of the Institute on Aging at Portland State University in the role of Program Administrator. She received a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology from Portland State in 2020 and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies from the University of California, Irvine in 2013. Claire has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 10 years. She has supported both grassroots and national organizations, including Shriners Hospitals for Children - Honolulu, by developing programs and raising funds. She moved to Oregon from Hawai'i in Spring 2018. Claire is interested in finding innovative solutions to aging issues, connecting generations, and helping eliminate ageism.

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.

Jennifer (Jenny) Sasser, PhD

Jenny Sasser is an educational gerontologist, transdisciplinary scholar, and community activist. She currently serves on the faculty for the Portland Community College Gerontology program, in Portland, Oregon. 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 and a Willamette University Distinguished Alumni award in 2014.

Joyce DeMonnin, MPH, MBA

Joyce DeMonnin, an Oregon native, is Director of Communications and Media Relations, 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 are health care reform, healthy aging, and access to affordable prescriptions, economic security, 50-plus work issues and retirement security/social Security. She leads on these issues through convening, connecting, and leveraging the talents and energy of AARP Oregon's 500,000 members and volunteers.

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 career. As a state-wide consultant, Linda works 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. Harford 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 Heath Care Association including administrator certification course for residential assisted living facility administrators. She is a member of LeadingAge of Oregon and the Oregon Geriatric Society.

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 care for elders. She and her husband, David Leckey, live between Wilsonville and Newberg at their nursery, Oregon Small Trees.

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, PhD

Walter Dawson, DPhil, is a health and aging policy researcher and a lifelong advocate for people living with Alzheimer’s disease. Dawson currently serves an Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health with the Global Brain Health Institute at the University of California, San Francisco, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Portland State University Institute on Aging. His research focuses on long-term services and supports financing and public policies that support people living with dementia. Previously, Dawson served as the Director of Research and Analytics at the Oregon Health Care Association in Portland, Oregon, and as a Fulbright Scholar to Canada, where he held the Visiting Research Chair in Governance and Public Policy at McMaster University. Dawson has worked extensively in public policy including at the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging and at the National Academy of Social Insurance. Dawson holds a master’s from the London School of Economics and a doctorate in social policy from the University of Oxford.


OGA Board of Directors (photo taken in January 2020)

Left to right: Joyce DeMonnin, Patty Glines, Sara Kofman, Carlos Romo, Karen Kinzey, Walt Dawson, Cory Bolkan, Kathleen Sullivan, Margaret Neal, Claire Ghazal, Iris Wernher (OGA Program Coordinator), Siobhan Maty

Not in the photo: Anabel Pelham, Ann McQueen, Jenny Sasser, Linda Bifano, Melissa Cannon