About the Commissioners of the CCoA
Dr. Benton, of Los Angeles, is director of the Los Angeles Caregiver Resource Center. She is a clinical psychologist who specializes in gerontology. She is also an assistant research professor of gerontology at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. Dr. Benton has worked in the field of aging for over 30 years. She has presented her research and clinical work on elder abuse, minority aging and caregiving at both national and international conference. She is committed to promoting collaborative partnerships that enhance service delivery for families caring for older adults.
Ms. Bettis, of Wilton, is currently employed by the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services and has more than 18 years of experience in the management of health and human service programs. Ms. Bettis used her experience and skills to maximize scarce resources with interagency collaborations and partnerships. She encouraged the development of a non-profit corporation, Take A Stand Against Elder Abuse, to help support and sustain services for seniors and dependent adults. Ms. Bettis has a BS in sociology from Tuskegee Institute and a MA in counseling from Pepperdine University
Judge Julie Conger retired from the Alameda County Superior Court in 2008 after 26 years of service as a judge; she currently sits as an Assigned Judge in numerous counties in northern California. Judge Conger has been prominent both nationally and in California in the field of Elder Abuse for many years; in 2002, she established the first Elder Protection Court in the United States. Judge Conger is committed to expanding access to the courts for Seniors and vulnerable persons, to strengthening legal protections for Elders, and to eradicating the scourge of Elder Abuse. Judge Conger resides in Sonoma.
Senior Community Centers selected Paul Downey as President/CEO in 1995. Since then, he has guided the agency’s efforts to expand services, enabling Senior Community Centers to dramatically increase its role in helping low-income seniors survive in San Diego. Senior Community Centers provides an array of supportive services focused on keeping low-income seniors healthy and independent at 10 sites throughout San Diego County. Two meals are provided daily – for both congregate and home delivered – to about 1,900 seniors daily, 365 days per year. The agency’s flagship facility, the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center, provides case management, healthcare utilizing the latest in wireless technology, mental healthcare, life-long learning and civic engagement for the seniors. It is already considered a national model for the comprehensive provision of supportive services for seniors in poverty.Paul has been a leader in the fight to provide affordable housing for seniors. He opened a 200-unit, low-income, senior housing complex called Potiker Family Senior Residence in downtown San Diego in August of 2003. He opened a second project, a 150-unit affordable housing complex for seniors in City Heights, in August 2007. The agency also operates transitional housing for homeless seniors. Paul was appointed to the California Commission on Aging by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez in August 2012. He is the elected President of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) based in Washington DC and a Steering Committee Member for the California Elder Economic Standard Initiative. He is past chair of the City of San Diego’s Senior Affairs Advisory Board and past chair of the Dean’s Advisory Committee for the College of Health and Human Services at San Diego State University. He is a graduate of San Diego State University with a degree in journalism. In July 2010, he completed a certificate program in Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management from Harvard. Business School.
Lucille Takesue Fisher
Dr. Fisher of San Francisco is an Assistant Adjunct Professor & Project Director, Transition to Adulthood Plans Study, Family Health Care Nursing at UCSF. She has earned two bachelors degrees, two masters level degrees and a PhD in nursing from UCSF. Dr. Fisher holds licensure in California as a registered nurse, public health nurse and clinical nurse specialist.
Ms. Last, of Rossmoor, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Board Certified Professional Counselor. She has a Bachelor’s Degree with double major in Political Science and Sociology, from Pitzer College in Claremont; and a Masters Degree in Educational Psychology from Cal State University Long Beach. Ms. Last currently serves as the Community and Senior Services Manager for the City of El Monte, impacting a population of 375,000 affecting the whole continuum of care with children and older adults. She co-founded a family services and sexual assault center, served as a consultant to U.S.C. Gerontology Center and has served on numerous boards, task forces and advisory committees including, California Parks and Recreation Society, Emergency Resources Association, City of Long Beach AIDS/PET Walk and the Mid-Managers Employee Association. Her advocacy efforts for 37 years include serving as a Congressional Delegate to the White House Conference on Aging, recipient of the California Emergency Services Award/Senior Preparedness and recognized as a Distinguished Woman in History by the Business and Professional Women.
Ms. Mitchell, of Riverside, is a licensed clinical social worker and currently a mental health consultant for Riverside County.
Virgie P. Walker
Ms. Walker is the Executive Director of People Coordinated Services in Los Angeles.