Members of Commission

Chair

  • Ellen Schmeding, Chair
    portrait of Ellen Schmeding

    Ellen Schmeding, Chair

    Ms. Schmeding currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for St. Paul’s Senior Services. In this role, she has oversight of the residential facilities including St. Paul’s Manor, John A. McColl Health Center, St. Paul’s Plaza and St. Paul’s Villa as well as the Chaplaincy Program, Dining Services, Facilities, Human Resources and Marketing.

    Prior to joining St. Paul’s in 2017, Ms. Schmeding worked with the County of San Diego for 30 years, most recently as the Director of Aging & Independence Services (the Area Agency on Aging for San Diego County) as well as serving as the Public Administrator, Public Guardian and Public Conservator for San Diego County.

    Ms. Schmeding is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a certified Residential Facility for the Elderly (RCFE) Administrator.

  • Marcy Adelman, Ph.D., Vice Chair
    portrait of Marcy Adelman

    Marcy Adelman, Ph.D., Vice Chair

    Dr. Marcy Adelman is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist in San Francisco. A pioneer in the field of lesbian and gay aging, she has worked for over 30 years to make visible the lives, concerns and contributions of LGBT elders, and is a leading advocate for quality LGBT elder care and policies that safeguard equal treatment. Marcy and her late partner Jeannette Gurevitch founded Openhouse in 1998 to address the housing and service needs of LGBT elders. Her advocacy and research were pivotal in educating service providers and city and state officials about the unique needs of LGBT elders, leading to collaborative relationships with providers and agencies that resulted in services that are more inclusive and responsive to the needs of the LGBT community

    While Marcy’s term on the Openhouse Board expired in 2017, she continues to serve as an advisor to the organization, as well as remaining involved in city, state and national advocacy work on LGBT senior issues. She served on the LGBT Aging Policy Task Force as a member of the Research Committee and the lead Task Force member of the Dementia Workgroup. Currently, she serves on the Dignity Fund Oversight and Advisory Committee for the City and County of San Francisco, the Advisory Council to the San Francisco Department of Disability and Aging and on the Board of the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California and Nevada.

Executive Committee

  • Joaquin Anguera, Ph.D.
    portrait of Joaquin Anguera

    Joaquin Anguera, Ph.D.

    Joaquin Anguera has been involved in the field of aging for over 40 years. He worked for San Diego County in what is now Aging & Independence Services, the local AAA. Through the years, Joaquin has worked in numerous direct service programs and supervised many others. For two years he was the Nursing Home Ombudsman for San Diego County. He later established and managed the first Information and Referral System for the elderly of this county. Active on various boards, Joaquin has worked with the community and with senior advocates in the establishment of several agencies in the local aging network. For the last 18 years, Joaquin taught various gerontology courses at San Diego State University.

  • Kimberly Carr
  • Rita Saenz
    portrait of Rita Saenz

    Rita Saenz

    Rita Saenz, of Sacramento, retired 2016 as director of California governmental affairs at Xerox Corporation, where she served in various positions since 2007. She was chief executive officer at the Academy for Coaching Excellence from 2004 to 2007, director at the California Department of Social Services from 1998 to 2004 and chief executive officer at Maria Nemeth Associates LLC from 1983 to 1998. Ms. Saenz served in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in various positions from 1981 to 1983, including appointments secretary. She was director of the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Abuse from 1979 to 1981.

  • Sedalia Sanders, MBA
    portrait of Sedalia Sanders

    Sedalia Sanders, MBA

    Sedalia Sanders is a native of El Centro with a broad range of national, state, regional and local experiences. She is a former Mayor and Council Member for the city of El Centro and the Past State President of the California League of Cities. Sanders is retired from the Imperial County Public Health Department. Sanders is a member of the Area Agency on Aging serving Imperial County. Sanders has testified in a variety of setting on rural development and the issues faced by those living in rural communities. She earned a MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Commissioners

  • Cheryl R. Brown
    portrait of Cheryl Brown

    Cheryl R. Brown

    Cheryl R. Brown of San Bernardino is a former member of the California State Assembly and a family owned small business owner. While in the Legislature she chaired the Assembly Aging and Long-Term Care Committee and authored a concurrent resolution establishing the California Task Force on Family Caregiving. Brown also served on the San Bernardino County and City Planning Commission for 17 years. Brown is a journalist who served as a television talk show host for 12 years.

  • Erika Castile
    portrait of Castile, Erika

    Erika Castile

    With more than 20 years in the long term care profession, Erika brings energy, passion and expertise to her work, having achieved a BA and Master’s degree in Gerontology from San Diego State University.

    As the Executive Director of Torrey Pines Senior Living, a CCRC located in San Diego, she leads her team successfully to be recognized as one of the U.S. Best and highest in customer satisfaction by J.D Powers.

    Erika served as the former president of the CAHF Kern County Chapter and presently serves as the President of the San Diego Chapter. She is a recent graduate of the CAHF Nursing Home Leader Academy of Excellence and the prestigious AHCA/NCAL National Leadership program. The California Association of Long Term Care Medicine (CALTCM) recently recognized Erika for developing one of the top five best practices in California – The Pain Management in Short Term Patients project.

  • Anni Chung
    portrait of Anni Chung

    Anni Chung

    Anni Chung of San Francisco is the President and CEO of Self-Help for the Elderly (SHE), a community-based organization for mostly immigrant, low-income and monolingual Asian seniors. SHE began as part of the federal “War on Poverty” Initiative in 1966, and now serves 40,000+ seniors in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Anni Chung served as CEO since 1981. She oversees and manages the organization, which has expanded since 1981 and now offers a comprehensive range of eldercare services to seniors in the Bay Area. Ms. Chung is a Board member of the Asian and Pacific Islander Council, the City College of San Francisco Parcel Tax Committee and the Wildflowers Institute. Ms. Chung was appointed to CCoA by Governor Newsom in October 2020.

  • Joseph A. Cislowski, M.P.P.
    portrait of Joseph A. Cislowski

    Joseph A. Cislowski, M.P.P.

    Joe Cislowski has devoted his career to providing services to, and advocating for, older adults and other vulnerable populations. His consulting experience includes providing policy and management services to nonprofit associations, higher education institutions, political entities, medical centers, and private funders. His nonprofit management experience includes directing several nonprofit groups serving older adults and people with disabilities.

    Mr. Cislowski’s legislative experience includes staff positions with both the U.S. Congress and the California Legislature where he specialized in health care, social services, and consumer protection. He also staffed the National Institutes of Health and the National Commission on Children, chaired by John D. Rockefeller IV.

    He served as chair of the County of Los Angeles Public Library Commission and has been a board member or volunteer for numerous nonprofit organizations. He has campaign experience as a consultant, volunteer, and ballot argument signer for various candidates and ballot measures at the national, state, and local levels.

    Mr. Cislowski received his Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.

  • Janet C. Frank, DrPH
    portrait of Janet C. Frank

    Janet C. Frank, DrPH

    Janet. C. Frank, DrPH is a Faculty Associate at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and Adjunct Associate Professor in Community Health Sciences at the UCLA School of Public Health. Following completion of a Master’s in Gerontology from the University of Southern California, Dr. Frank received her Doctorate of Public Health from UCLA’s School of Public Health. From 1990 to 2013, she served as Assistant Director of Academic Programs in the UCLA Multicampus Program in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA where she led projects in geriatric workforce development, evidence-based health promotion for older adults, and minority faculty development. Currently, she is founder of Applied Aging Resources, a consulting business. In her role as Faculty Associate, she completed the California Mental Health and Older Adult System of Care study, and a related project on the behavioral health workforce. Dr. Frank is a member of the California Community College Health Workforce Initiative and has recently participated in the California Master Plan on Aging planning process in the areas of health and wellness, workforce, and research.

  • Brendalynn R. Goodall, MSW
    portrait of Brendalynn R. Goodall

    Brendalynn R. Goodall, MSW

    Brendalynn Goodall, activist and social justice roots are anchored in the East Bay as a native of Oakland. Ms. Goodall is an accomplished Administrator and Social Worker with more than 30 years in the field of aging, mental health, and workforce development. Brendalynn received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from two Bay Area Institutions. Professionally retired nine years ago as the City of Oakland’s, Aging & Adult Services Division Manager, she oversaw programs for elders and adults with disabilities and provided services to 4,000 vulnerable older adults annually. The Division covered a wide range of programs and support, including senior centers, paratransit, 55+ workforce development, case management for frail elders and persons with disabilities on Medi-Cal and/or Medicare, foster grandparents/senior companion programs and liaison with the City’s Commission on Aging.

    Ms. Goodall’s deep commitment to and engagement with aging services and policy issues, centered on principles of equity, has spanned many years. She has served on numerous boards, advisory groups and commissions. Brendalynn is an advocate and voice for elders, People of Color, and LGBTQ individuals on a local, state, and national level.

  • Meea Kang, M.Arch
    portrait of Meea Kang

    Meea Kang, M.Arch

    Senior Vice President
    Related Companies

    Meea Kang is a leader in affordable housing and transit-oriented development. She has successfully developed multiple award-winning, projects that exemplify social responsibility and sustainable design.

    Ms. Kang is an expert in navigating California’s complex land use entitlement processes, forging innovative public-private partnerships, and structuring multi-layered financing bringing difficult projects to fruition. Prior to joining Related, Ms. Kang was President and Co-Founder of Domus Development, LLC, where she led the company’s development activities for fifteen years.

    In 2016, Governor Brown appointed Ms. Kang to serve on the California Commission on Aging. She is a founding board member for the Council of Infill Builders and a Trustee for the California Museum. She earned a Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cornell University.

  • David A. Lindeman, Ph.D.
    portrait of David A. Lindeman

    David A. Lindeman, Ph.D.

    David Lindeman, PhD, is Director Health, Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society and the Banatao Institute (CITRIS), UC Berkeley, and Director, Center for Technology and Aging (CTA). Dr. Lindeman has worked in the fields of health care and long-term care for nearly 40 years as a health services researcher and gerontologist, conducting research related to telehealth, health care technology, chronic disease management, healthy aging, disabilities, dementia, community-based and residential services, health care workforce, and family caregiving. Dr. Lindeman’s current focus is working with researchers, entrepreneurs and investors on the incubation, start-up, evaluation, and scaling of technology-enabled health care solutions, including initiatives that address critical health care challenges through telehealth, mobile/cloud, sensors/IoT, robotics, assistive technologies, and machine intelligence (Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning).

    These technology-enabled solutions cover a continuum of health care issues, ranging from wellness to complex chronic conditions and precision health, with an emphasis on global applications.

    Dr. Lindeman serves as an advisor to foundations, government agencies, start-ups, businesses, and venture firms. Dr. Lindeman previously served as the founding Director of the Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging; Associate Professor of Health Policy at the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, Rush University Medical Center; and Co-Director of the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center. Dr. Lindeman received his PhD and MSW from the University of California, Berkeley.

  • Shelley Lyford
    portrait of Shelley Lyford

    Shelley Lyford

    For over a decade, Shelley Lyford has been a passionate and unwavering champion for seniors, advocating for aging issues throughout California and across the country. Lyford leads West Health, a family of nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations dedicated to lowering costs to enable successful aging for seniors through a combination of outcomes-based philanthropy, applied medical research, and policy and advocacy.

    In 2006, Lyford played a central role in establishing the Gary and Mary West Foundation, one of only six private, non-operating foundations in the country solely dedicated to senior issues. The Foundation has awarded more than 606 grants totaling nearly $224 million to support and develop comprehensive home- and community-based models of care, backed with applied medical research, for seniors and their caregivers, which are designed to be replicated across the nation.

    Examples of innovative care models developed under Lyford’s leadership include the Gary and Mary West Senior Emergency Care Unit at UC San Diego Health, California’s first nationally-accredited facility; and the first-of-its-kind Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center, to ensure low-income seniors have access to high-quality, affordable dental care integrated with health and wellness services.

    To increase awareness of the issues facing California’s seniors, Lyford partnered with The SCAN Foundation to create the “We Stand With Seniors, Will You?” public education campaign, which culminated in Governor Gavin Newsom’s historic commitment to develop a Master Plan for Aging in California. In Washington, D.C., Lyford is an ardent voice for seniors advocating for Medicare’s ability to directly negotiate to lower prescription drug costs, encouraging the acceleration of value-based care models and increasing pricing transparency.

    Lyford currently serves as Vice Chair of Civica Rx, a not-for-profit generic drug company that will help patients by addressing shortages and lowering the high prices of lifesaving medications; Board Director of the Gary and Mary West Foundation; Board Chair of the Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center; and Board Member of Generations United and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation.

    Lyford holds a master’s degree in international relations and political economy from the University of San Diego, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude.

  • Debbie J. Meador

    Debbie Meador enjoyed a nearly 30-year career in the oversight of state and local government programs and operations. She was the Chief Consultant of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee from 2013 to 2018 when she retired. Before joining the Legislature, Debbie had a successful 24-year career at the California State Auditor’s Office, serving as Chief of Legislative Affairs during her last 13 years.

    During her oversight career, Debbie gained valuable experience and developed expert skills in research and analysis of numerous policy areas including health and social services, K-12 and higher education, transportation, local government, energy and utilities, veterans’ affairs, and consumer boards.

    Debbie is a Certified Public Accountant (currently inactive) and holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from California State University, Dominquez Hills. She is a California native from Los Angeles and currently lives in Sacramento County. Debbie’s interest and passion continue to include advocacy and good government. As such, she is honored to use her skills, knowledge, and experience to further the mission and goals of the California Commission on Aging.

  • Faisal Qazi, D.O.
    portrait of Faisal Qazi

    Faisal Qazi, D.O.

    Dr. Faisal Qazi has been a practicing Neurologist in southern CA since 2006. He is co-founder of The Neurology Group, a specialty private practice group now covering Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties through its outpatient clinics and at a number of local hospitals. Dr. Qazi is an Associate Professor of Neurology at Western University of Health Sciences and UC Riverside. Dr. Qazi has given myriad of presentations on aging, dementia and neurologically disabling conditions. His works have included neuro-ethics as well as related public policy issues. He is also currently the President of MiNDS (Medical Network Devoted to Service), a charitable organization that is currently focused on neurology-specific healthcare services to underserved families in the local service area.

    Dr. Qazi is from southern CA and finished his residency training at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit in 2005 during which time he co-founded HUDA Free Clinic that served one of the City’s highly distressed areas. He subsequently finished a Neurophysiology Fellowship at UC San Diego in 2006. He had been instrumental in developing stroke programs in his affiliated hospitals.

    In Dec. 2015, Dr. Qazi successfully spearheaded a campaign to raise funds for the families of San Bernardino County mass shooting victims collecting over $200,000 on behalf of the American Muslim Community, one of the largest single sums donated by a group.

    Dr. Qazi‘s work has been featured in LA Times, CNN, NPR, Voice of America, PBS and OC Register. He has had the honor of being listed amongst the Best Doctors and being the recipient of Values in Justice Award by the St. Joseph Health System in 2016.

  • Dana Toppel
    portrait of Dana Toppel

    Dana Toppel

    Dana Toppel is the Chief Operating Officer at Jewish Family Service of San Diego where she provides overall leadership for the impact-driven, multi-service organization with the bold vision of building a stronger, healthier, more resilient, and equitable San Diego. She has more than two decades of experience of service in the non-profit sector. Toppel holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in social work and business administration from San Diego State University. She is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of California.