2020 Virtual Conference Presenters

An archive of presenter bios to our last virtual platform conference.

Co-Hosts
Photo of Larry Grable.

Larry Grable

CO-Host

Larry is the Executive Director of Service Center for Independent Life, (SCIL), a role that he has held for the past 7 years. The SCIL is one of the 28 Independent Living Centers in California. Larry also chairs the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC).  Additionally, Larry sits on the Community Senior Services Advisory Council, and the board of the Senior and Disabled Fund of San Bernardino County.

Photo of Shireen McSpadden.

Shireen McSpadden

Co-Host

Shireen McSpadden serves as the Executive Director of the Department of Disability and Aging Services for the City and County of San Francisco. Ms. McSpadden has nearly 30 years’ experience providing services to people with disabilities and seniors, in both the nonprofit and public sectors. .  She currently serves as president of the California Association of Area Agencies on Aging C4A).

Our Speakers
Photo of Ashton Applewhite.

Ashton Applewhite

Keynote Speaker

Presentation title: “Still Kicking – Confronting Ageism and Ableism in the Pandemic Wake.”

Author and activist Ashton Applewhite is a leading spokesperson for a movement to make discrimination on the basis of age as unacceptable as any other prejudice. Ashton is the author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism.  Ashton was recognized by the New York Times, the New Yorker, and National Public Radio.

Photo of Ana Acton.

Ana Acton

Panelist

Breakout Topic Panelist for:
ADRC’s: Creating No Wrong Door Systems that Work.”

Ana Acton is the Executive Director of FREED Center for Independent Living. Ana has over 15 years’ experience in providing direct services and leadership for independent living community-based services in California. FREED Center for Independent Living provides a wide range of services to people with disabilities living in Nevada, Yuba, Sutter, Colusa, and Sierra counties in California.

Photo of Jei Africa.

Jei Africa

Panelist

Breakout Topic Panelist for:
“The Behavioral Health of our Elders in a Time of Social Injustice: A Little More Talk & A Lot More Action.”

Jei Africa, PsyD, MSCP, CATC-V, Director of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) at the County of Marin, has over 20 years of counseling, teaching, consulting, and private practice expertise in the areas of behavioral health, trauma, health equity and diversity. Dr. Africa maintains a consulting and private psychotherapy practice in the Bay Area.

Photo of Emily Bernal.

Emily Bernal

Panelist

Breakout Topic Panelist for:
“Changing the Conversation – Addressing Hunger.”

Emily Bernal is a dedicated Staff Analyst with Department of Aging and Adult Services-Public Guardian of San Bernardino County.  Emily serves as a vital member of the DAAS-PG Administration Team, conducting valued research and analysis of federal, state and local legislation, reporting impacts and recommending programmatic modifications.

Photo of Andrew Cheyne.

Andrew Cheyne

Panelist

Breakout Topic Panelist for:
“Changing the Conversation – Addressing Hunger.”

Andrew Cheyne oversees California Association of Food Banks (CAFB) state and federal policy agenda to address hunger and poverty, including legislative, budgetary and administrative initiatives. He also works to build the capacity of food banks, agencies, and clients to lead advocacy efforts.

Photo of Molly Davies.

Molly Davies

Panelist

Breakout Topic Panelist for:
“Long Term Care: COVID and Beyond.”

Molly Davies administers the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program in Los Angeles which serves 76,000 residents in skilled nursing, assisted living, board and care facilities. She has extensive knowledge of the long-term care facility system, regulations, and residents rights. In 2020, the Archstone Foundation published the “Elder Abuse and Neglect Initiative Legacy Report,” and named Ms. Davies as an established champion in the field of elder abuse.

 

Photo of Kelly Dearman.

Kelly Dearman

Panelist

Breakout Topic Panelist for:
“Long Term Care: COVID and Beyond.”

As the executive director of the San Francisco In Home Supportive Services Public Authority for the past six years, Kelly Dearman promotes a service delivery model of consumer-directed, in-home support that increases the potential for seniors and people with disabilities to live independently and participate in their communities.  In addition to her role at the Public Authority, she is currently the co-chair of the SF Aging and Disability Task Force, a member of the Long Term Care Coordinating Council, the Palliative Care Work Group, and the In Home Supportive Services Task Force.

Photo of Richard FIgueroa.

Richard Figueroa

Opening Speaker

Welcoming Video

Richard Figueroa is the Director of Prevention and Affordable Care Act for The California Endowment. He was previously a Deputy Cabinet Secretary and Health Care Advisor in the Office of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger where he was responsible for health care, human services and health insurance issues.

Placeholder photo.

Mariella
Freire-Reyes

Panelist

Breakout Topic Panelist for:
“Livable Communities and the Age-Friendly Network.”

Mariella Freire-Reyes is the Deputy Director for Strategic Partnerships & Planning for the Department of Aging, leading the Purposeful Aging Los Angeles (PALA) initiative. She is responsible for bringing stakeholders and community leaders together to operationalize age-friendly objectives.

Photo for Krista Gaeta.

Krista Gaeta

Panelist

Breakout Topic Panelist for:
“Long Term Care: COVID and Beyond.”

Krista has been the Director of the In-Home Supportive Services program in San Francisco for nearly three years. She has extensive experience in homelessness and housing, home care and non-profit operations.

Photo of Eli Gelardin.

Eli Gelardin

Panelist

Breakout Topic Panelist for:
ADRC’s: Creating No Wrong Door Systems that Work.”

Eli Gelardin serves as the executive director of Marin Center for Independent Living (MCIL). Mr. Gelardin has more than a decade of experience working in disability services and advocacy.

Karen Grimsich

Panelist

Breakout Topic Panelist for:
“Livable Communities and the Age-Friendly Network.”

Karen Grimsich, MPH, is the Administrator for the City of Fremont’s Human Services Department.  She oversees the Aging and Family Services Division, which provides supportive services to older adults in Southern Alameda County.

Photo of Claudia Harris.

Claudia Harris

Panelist

Breakout Topic Panelist for:
“Changing the Conversation – Addressing Hunger.”

Claudia Harris is a District Manager with Department of Aging and Adult Services-Public Guardian of San Bernardino County. Claudia supports programs under the Area Agency on Aging that benefit older adults and adults with disabilities.  Claudia focuses on collaborative opportunities, program development, and promoting program services.

Photo for Beau Hennemann.

Beau Hennemann

Opening Remarks

GRAND Sponsor Remarks – Anthem

Beau Hennemann is the Director of Special Programs for Anthem Blue Cross – California Medicaid.  In this role, Beau has statewide responsibility for directing and overseeing the operations, business strategy and alignment for special programs such as Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS), Health Homes, Whole Person Care, Palliative Care, and Social Determinants of Health. 

Photo of Percy Howard, III.

Percy Howard, III

Panelist

Breakout Topic Panelist for:
“The Behavioral Health of our Elders in a Time of Social Injustice: A Little More Talk & A Lot More Action.”

Percy Howard, LCSW is the President and CEO of the California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions. Percy has been a key player and leader in California’s drive to implement recovery-oriented and family-directed evidence-based practice. Throughout his 32 year career, Percy has worked for county behavioral health and child welfare systems, private healthcare providers, non-profit CBOs, and in juvenile justice settings.

Photo of Andy Imperato.

Andy Imparato

Closing Speaker

Closing Session: “Master Plan for Aging – What’s Next?”

Andy Imparato became the Executive Director of Disability Rights California in February 2020.  Andy joined DRC after a high impact 26-year career in Washington, DC working inside and outside government in significant leadership positions, including 17 years as the chief executive of two national disability organizations, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).

Tiffany Kearney

Panelist

Breakout Topic Panelist for:
“Changing the Conversation – Addressing Hunger.”

Tiffany Kearney, RD is the Lead Nutritionist for the Department of Disability and Aging Services (DAS) – Office of Community Partnership overseeing the delivery of nutrition and wellness services for older adults and people with disabilities living in the City and County of San Francisco.  Tiffany has worked with a variety of stakeholders to deliver community-based programming and services that support the health and well-being of older adults, people with disabilities and underserved communities for over 20 years.

Photo of Veronica Kelley.

Veronica Kelley

Panelist

Breakout Topic Panelist for:
“The Behavioral Health of our Elders in a Time of Social Injustice: A Little More Talk & A Lot More Action.”

Veronica A. Kelley, LCSW is the Director for the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health and oversees the daily operations for both Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services. Veronica is a member of the Governing Board for the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California (CBHDA), serving as the President Elect.

Photo of Stacey Kurz.

Stacey Kurz

Panelist

Breakout Topic Panelist for:
“Livable Communities and the Age-Friendly Network.”

With over twenty-five years of marketing, outreach and planning experience in California and along the East Coast of the United States, Stacey has had the opportunity to work with a variety of agencies, community-based organizations and members of the public. Stacey  currently works for the City of Chula Vista as the Healthy and Age-Friendly Chula Vista Initiative coordinator.

Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian

Opening Speaker

Opening Remarks: Legislative Insight

Adrin Nazarian was elected in November 2012 to represent California’s 46th Assembly District. Prior to being elected, he served as Chief of Staff to Paul Krekorian in both Mr. Krekorian’s capacity as Assistant Majority Leader in the California State Legislature and Los Angeles Councilmember.Adrin has always believed in civic engagement and the importance of giving back to his community.

Photo of Lance Robertson.

Lance Robertson

Opening Speaker

Opening Remarks: Federal Perspective

Lance Robertson was appointed to serve as Assistant Secretary for Aging and ACL’s Administrator in August 2017. Previously, Lance served 10 years as the Director of Aging Services within Oklahoma state’s Department of Human Services. Prior to that, he spent 12 years at Oklahoma State University, where he co-founded the Gerontology Institute and served as the executive director of the nation’s largest regional gerontology association.

Photo for Christina Miller.

Christina Miller

Plenary speaker

Plenary Speaker for:
“Homelessness: State and National Perspective.”

Christina Miller is the Senior Policy Fellow at the National Alliance to End Homelessness. In this role, Christina works with the California state government to advance solutions in ending homelessness. Prior to joining the Alliance, Christina served as the Deputy Mayor of City Homelessness Initiatives for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, where she was responsible for overseeing the City’s response and policy development to homelessness strategies.

Photo of Christina Mills.

Christina Mills

Panel Moderator

Plenary Speaker for:
ADRC’s: Creating No Wrong Door Systems that Work.”

Christina Mills has served as the Executive Director of the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) since 2017, and she has over 20 years of disability rights and independent living center services experience.In 2019, Christina was honored by the California Association of Area Agencies on Aging (C4A) for her commitment to bridging the gap between the disability and older adult communities.

Photo of Nate Mook.

Nate Mook

Panelist

Breakout Topic Panelist for:
“Changing the Conversation – Addressing Hunger.”

Nate Mook is the CEO of World Central Kitchen. Nate has led the organization’s dramatic growth and strategic shift to its current work using food as a solution to humanitarian crises around the world. Nate began his career as a tech entrepreneur and later worked as documentary producer.

Photo of Lito Morillo.

Lito Morillo

Panelist

Plenary Speaker for:
“Technology: Improving the Lives of Older Adults.”

Lito Morillo has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Administration from California State University Bakersfield (CSUB). In 2011, he was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to serve as Director of Kern County Aging and Adult Services.  Mr. Morillo has been in the Social Services arena for over 26 years.

Photo of Rafi Nazarians.

Rafi Nazarians

Panelist

Breakout Topic Panelist for:
“Livable Communities and the Age-Friendly Network.”

Rafi Nazarians joined the AARP California team in September 2016 as Associate State Director, leading the statewide age-friendly network for the California State Office. Previously, Rafi worked for United States Senator Barbara Boxer for many years in various capacities, most recently as Senior Field Representative

Photo of Davis Park.

Davis Park

Panelist

Plenary Speaker for:
“Technology: Improving the Lives of Older Adults.”

Davis Park has been developing and managing Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing (FPCIW) technology initiatives and programs since 2011. Davis has over 20 years of program development experience in technology program design, testing, and implementation among older adult, low-income, and other underserved communities to explore and deploy innovations to improve access to digital solutions.

Photo of Lee Pullen.

Lee Pullen

Panelist

Breakout Topic Panelist for:
ADRC’s: Creating No Wrong Door Systems that Work.”

Lee Pullen is the Director of Office Aging and Adult Services.Lee Pullen holds a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology and has been in the field of health and human services for over 20 years with most of this time spent at the director levels.

Assemblymember James C. Ramos

Panel Moderator

Breakout Topic Panelist for:
“The Behavioral Health of our Elders in a Time of Social Injustice: A Little More Talk & A Lot More Action.”

Assemblymember James C. Ramos, a lifelong resident of the San Manuel Indian Reservation in San Bernardino County, is a member of the Serrano/Cahuilla tribe. Ramos, the first California Native American to serve in the California State Assembly, was elected to represent residents of the 40th District on November 6, 2018. His district includes the cities of Highland, Loma Linda, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, and San Bernardino.

 

Photo of Cara Reedy.

Cara Reedy

Plenary Speaker

Plenary Speaker for:
“Embracing Intersectionality is Good Strategy.”

Cara Reedy, Program Manager for DREDF’s Disability Media Alliance Project (DMAP), has been involved in media her entire life in one form or another. She’s a journalist, an actor and a photographer. Cara worked at CNN, freelanced at NPR, and, in 2019, she co-produced a short doc for The Guardian: “Dwarfism and Me.”

Photo of Kim McCoy Wade.

Kim McCoy Wade

Closing Speaker

Closing Session: “Master Plan for Aging – What’s Next?”

Kim McCoy Wade is the Director of California Department of Aging. Kim McCoy Wade is the former chief of the CalFresh and Nutrition Branch at the California Department of Social Services. Kim is the chief executive tasked with enacting Governor Newsom’s Master Plan on Aging.

Photo for Larry Wanger.

Larry Wanger

Panelist

Breakout Topic Panelist for:
“Long Term Care: COVID and Beyond.”

Larry Wanger is currently the Executive Director at the Dayle McIntosh Center, (DMC), the Independent Living Center serving Orange County California. He has worked in the Independent Living field for over 23 years.  He has experience as a consumer, volunteer, direct services staff, and management of Centers for Independent Living.

 

Thank You to Our Grand Sponsor

#CAComingTogether

Please email IntegratedConfHELP@gmail.com if you have questions, need assistance or have a comment about the conference.

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