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staff, BOARD and plt


Staff Roles & Responsibilities

Executive Director - Andy Gaines
Andy has pursued a goal of changing the culture of aging in this country throughout his career and brings skills including 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. In the 1990s, he co-founded and directed Earthdance, an internationally recognized nonprofit workshop and retreat center in western Massachusetts and is a dance/movement therapy practitioner.
Email Andy at

Operations Director - Pat Carvalho
Pat joined Ashby Village after more than 25 years in the fast-paced retail industry, where she was most recently a Regional Director of Sales and Operations for Aldo USA, Incorporated.  After seeking a different career path that would provide a greater opportunity for service and giving back, she volunteered at various nonprofits, including Ashby Village, Berkeley Food Pantry, the Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center, Meals on Wheels and the Society for the Blind, and discovered that her greatest fulfillment was in working with seniors. Her skills and experience include operations and logistics, process and policy development, profit and loss; staff recruitment, training and management.
Email Pat at

Project Coordinator - Su-Yin Bickner

Su-Yin, who received a Master’s in Social Work from UC Berkeley, learned about Ashby Village during her graduate studies in management and planning through working at the Center for the Advanced Study of Aging Services. She became a volunteer for Ashby Village helping with the social care team. Her year-long placements with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman of Contra Costa and Solano and the oncology floor at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center solidified her commitment to working for adults’ rights and the ability to age in place and in their communities. She previously worked as Taiwan Program Director for Heartsent Adoptions in Orinda.
Email Su-Yin at

Administrative Assistant/Volunteer - Kate Sosin

Kate is a registered nurse who worked mainly in obstetrics and neonatal services in the Bay Area for about 25 years. She was a staff RN at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula and worked with oncology patients, and then in a unit that cared for all ages, from newborns to centenarians. During her last four years of nursing, she was a clinic nurse for one of the Lifelong Medical Clinics.  Kate began as a volunteer in 2014 and continues to this day, also serving as a part-time administrative assistant on staff.
Email Kate at


board of directors

Jan Corazza, Development Committee Chair
An experienced advancement leader, Jan has served in senior development roles at UC Davis, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego. Prior to returning to Berkeley, where she was raised, Jan served the Johns Hopkins University for thirteen years, including as Executive Director of the $1.5B Johns Hopkins Initiative Campaign. Jan has also served as Director of Major and Planned Gifts for the San Francisco-based environmental organization, Save the Redwoods League. She co-chairs the Village’s Development Committee.

Robert L. Davis
A retired environmental scientist and teacher, Bob has volunteered his time, energy and leadership to multiple community organizations, including Reach for Learning, Rebuilding Together, the Lawrence Hall of Science, the Elders Network, the downtown Berkeley YMCA, the Berkeley Breakfast Club and the Northbrae Community Church Council. Bob has been the Board's voice in helping develop and maintain community connections.

Joseph D. Evinger
Previously a board member and treasurer of North Oakland Village, Joe brings more than 40 years of experience in budgeting, financial analysis and auditing, as well as a career in financial management and consulting. He served in budget and business management positions for the Bay Area Rapid Transit District and was a financial consultant to BART from 2005 to 2013. He’s also past president of BART Supervisory and Professional Association, now affiliated with AFSCME.

Marcia Freedman
One of the founders of the Israeli women’s movement, Marcia was elected to the Knesset and served four years. She helped found the Women’s Computer Literacy Project and was Director of Marketing for the American Society on Aging, where she established the Lesbian and Gay Aging Issues Network. The author of “Exile in the Promised Land,” Marcia is at work on a second memoir. Marcia coordinates the Speakers Bureau.

Julie Freestone
A former news reporter and health administrator, Julie lives in Richmond and has been spearheading a pilot project to expand Ashby Village to that city. Since moving to California from New York four decades ago, she has worked for the California Urban Indian Health Council, Contra Costa Health Services and local media outlets.She has been a volunteer for Writer Coach, the Richmond Museum of History and Ashby Village.

Janet M. Howley, Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair
Janet brings a lengthy background in affordable housing development. She served as Vice President, Community Services & Housing, for Northern California Presbyterian Homes & Service. She also was Director of Asset Management for East Bay Asian Local Development Corp. and worked for Mercy Housing California. Janet worked for the City of Oakland for nearly 20 years in a variety of positions in housing and community development. She has served on the Board of Directors of LifeLong Medical Care since 2001 and is a past board president.

Rochelle G. Lefkowitz
For 25 years, Rochelle ran Pro-Media Communications, with offices in New York and California, that designed and ran local, state, national and global public education campaigns and represented nonfiction authors, foundations and organizations committed to progressive social change. Clients included the American Library Association, author Barbara Ehrenreich and The Kaiser Family Foundation. Rochelle co-chairs Ashby Village’s Communications Team.

Andra Lichtenstein, President , Executive Committee Chair
Founder and principal of Capital Incubator, Andra consults with nonprofit community health centers and aging services organizations to develop their capital projects. She has 40 years of experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors as an Executive Director, Planning and Development Director, small business owner, banker, financial advisor and board member. She serves on the Ashby Village Development and Planning Committees.

Steve Lustig
Steve, an Executive Coach and Organization Consultant, retired from the University of California, Berkeley, as Associate Vice Chancellor Emeritus, Health and Human Services, where he was in charge of the campus’ health and counseling programs for students, faculty and staff. Building community has been one of his passions, beginning with work as an activist in the ‘60s. He has led strategic and business planning efforts for Ashby Village.

Laura Peck, Vice President, Governance Committee Chair
The Founder and Principal of Claros Group, Laura serves as a master facilitator, strategist and coach to nonprofits and corporations nationwide. She brings more than 25 years of experience working with mission-driven organizations and leaders, including the arts, sports and health-care organizations. She’s also a certified yoga instructor. Laura currently leads the Board Transition Team, and provides expertise in facilitation and organizational development.

Susan Thomas Pierpoint
Susan was president of the North Oakland Village board, where she became a volunteer in 2015. She’s also board president of Bishop’s Ranch, a nonprofit camp and conference center in Healdsburg, CA, and was senior warden at St. John’s Oakland for two years. Susan practiced law for more than 30 years in a private law firm and then at University of California. After retirement in 2009 she assisted Mills College as acting General Counsel and served as a consultant in board governance for nonprofits.

Bryan Ricks
Bryan is chairman of the Oakland Mayor’s Commission on Aging and was a board member of North Oakland Village; executive director of CareBuilders at Home-East Bay; and a member of the Livable Oakland Committee. He has worked with the Commission to raise awareness around issues of people over 65. For CareBuilders at Home, he spearheads projects that incorporate nonmedical home care and patient advocacy programs to decrease rehospitalization. These services create a “web of care” to help keep senior patients at home.

Patricia Sakai
Patricia, a Learning and Organization Development consultant, worked for more than 25 years in corporate leadership positions. She has consulted with a variety of for-profit and nonprofit organizations and in addition has a background in public and private education. Pat has served on the boards of The Management Center of Northern California and the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. She co-chairs the Village’s Development Committee.
Patricia Carson Sussman
As a co-founder of Ashby Village, Patricia has brought years of experience as a health-care executive and board member of community organizations to her work in building the Village.  A former hospice director, she also was Chief Operating Officer for Lifelong, gaining practical experience as well as an understanding of the public policy issues around aging. She has also maintained an independent consulting practice that specializes in aging and health-care delivery.

Betty Webster, Secretary
After many years in administrative positions Betty has devoted her skills and time as a dedicated community volunteer, including the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley and the Kensington Improvement Club. When she discovered the village movement she realized that here was a "place" where she could blend all her interests. Betty has had various roles and responsibilities with Ashby Village since the early planning days.
Meet the Staff Meet the Program Leadership Team (PLT)Steve Lustig Pat Sussman Pat Sakai
Patricia Carson Sussman, Steve Lustig and Patricia Sakai

Read Ashby Village Board Column HERE


Advisory to the Executive Director in overseeing all programs and services.

  • Holly Brownscombe
  • Judith Coates
  • Joan Cole
  • Sigrid Duesberg
  • Maryl Gearhart
  • Patricia Hom
  • Irene Marcos
  • Mary Jo Powell
  • Roberta Pressman
  • Emily Sexton
  • Joan Straumanis