Leadership Team, Impact 100 Redwood Circle

To See Bio Click on + sign

Jan Gilman – Co-President

Dr. Jan Gilman is a clinical psychologist specializing in children and families in Santa Rosa over the past 30 years. In addition to private practice, she has taught at graduate schools throughout the Bay Area, worked in the family court system and authored books for both adults and children. Retired in 2014, she currently is a volunteer for CASA and Bouverie Preserve as well as serving on several Boards of Directors. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and the Wright Institute where she received her Ph.D. Jan enjoys hiking, golfing, reading, time with her family and as friends will report, she has an insatiable desire for traveling.

Suzy Marzalek - Co-President

SuzyAfter retiring as a Financial Controller from HP/Agilent/Keysight, Suzy put her business and finance expertise “back to work” through volunteerism, with a focus on health and human serv
ices. She currently serves on the boards of the Santa Rosa Community Health Centers and the Redwood Empire Food Bank. With her husband, Mike, she also worked with Chop’s Teen Club to develop an engaging job/career exploration website for teens, www.JobsMadeReal.com (check it out!). Suzy has a BA in Renaissance and Reformation studies from Scripps College and earned her CPA through studies at Sacramento State University. She loves to cook, and also pursues various forms of exercise, from yoga to weight training, to help offset. Reading good fiction also places high on her list.

Sharon Beckman - Vice President Nominating Committee

Sharon spent most of her career as a marketing executive for Columbia House Music in New York City. Upon retirement, she threw herself into volunteering for various non-profits including Canine Companions for Independence. She continued her involvement with Canine Companions after moving to Sonoma County in 2003. Now she facilitates workshops on nonviolence in California prisons, is a speaker for the Japanese American Citizens League, which makes presentations to schools as a cautionary tale of how racial profiling can threaten our democracy. She also volunteers as a kitchen mentor for Ceres Community Project, which provides healthful meals to seriously ill people. In 2018, Sharon served as secretary of Impact 100 RC.

Carol Lynn Wood - Vice President Governance

I am currently a Trustee on the Board of Education at the Rincon Valley Union
School DistrictCarol Lynn Wood, VP Governance and I am serving my second term of office.  I have a BS from Fordham University in NY and my MBA from St. John’s University.  I have worked in cancer research my entire professional career specializing in clinical trial management.  I am a docent at the Bouverie Preserve and currently serving on the Board of Directors for Audubon Canyon Ranch (ACR).  I co-chair a program for foster youth with the Sonoma County Medical Alliance Foundation. I am a founding member of the Impact 100 Redwood Circle and a member of the Sonoma County Forum.

I was born in NY and moved to CA after I got married.  I have lived in Santa Rosa for 19 years and have 3 children.  I enjoy playing tennis, hiking and traveling with my family.

Laurie White– Secretary

After Laurie received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Laurie White, SecretaryMichigan, she immediately began pursuing her life’s work of helping older adults, specifically those with memory loss. Her work as a dementia specialist in both Michigan and California spans 30 + years both in the non-profit and profit sectors including Director of Alzheimer’s Association Chapters, an adjunct professor in Eastern Michigan’s social work department and as a consultant with many assisted living companies on program and staff development. She has co-authored 4 guidebooks for family members caring for a relative with dementia.

“Mostly retired’, Laurie continues to be a consultant to families, and to health care professionals through her private practice Dementia Care Consulting, based in Santa Rosa.  When not working, Laurie enjoys traveling, being with family and friends, cooking and gardening.

Jenny Downing – Treasurer



Jenny Downing’s bio coming soon

Jenny Downing, Treasurer









Kristin Nelson – CFSC Committee Chair

Kristin Nelson is a do-gooder who believes in the power of the community. Whether the community as neighbors, colleagues, or strangers with shared interests and challenges, Kristin trusts that together, the community can influence positive change. To this avail, she is a Senior Philanthropic Advisor at Community Foundation Sonoma County.  Her 20-year nonprofit career also includes organizations such as The James Irvine Foundation, Catholic Charities, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, WestEd, and COTS where she has done everything from fundraising to public relations, direct program management, and administrative support and strategy. A double graduate of the University of San Francisco, she holds a Master’s of Science in Organization Development and an undergraduate Communications degree. Kristin is active as a volunteer leader within the Bay Area nonprofit community and served as the Vice-Chair of the board of directors at the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center. She is a member of Leadership Petaluma’s class of 2014 and a TedTalk speaker.


Carol Newman - Co- Chair Community Grants Committee

Carol Newman has lived in Sonoma County since 1950. She was raised on a Sebastopol chicken farm. A graduate of Analy High School, she received her BA from UC Berkeley, her teaching credential from SSU and her MA in mathematics education from SFSU. She loved the creativity and collaborative nature of working with other educators. As an employee of the Rincon Valley School system for 37 years having taught grades 4 – 6, she also served as the District Math Consulting Teacher for 12 of those years.  She was a member of several California State Math Assessment review panels, as well as provided staff development math workshops throughout the region and state. Although Carol retired from full-time work in 2011, she continued to work part-time for the Sonoma County Office of Education’s Teacher Induction Program. She currently volunteers with the Odyssey of the Mind program, serving as Problem Captain for one of the five creative problem-solving challenges. She is married to Barry Sovel, a retired high school teacher, and administrator. She enjoys her family, friends, walking, reading, and tinkering with technology.

Chris Chang Weeks- Co-Chair Community Grants Committee

Chris Chang Weeks has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 20 years in fund development and marketing communications. Although she had worked in the for-profit world early in her career, she prefers the passion and sense of purpose found in nonprofit organizations. Chris enjoys helping donors find ways to make contributions that bring meaningful change. Chris holds a BS in Psychology from UC Davis and a Masters in Agricultural Economics from Texas A & M University. A recent retiree, she volunteers as a mentor at Roseland University Prep and at a food bank. Chris enjoys hiking with her lab in Sonoma County, cooking and eating ethnic foods, traveling to different parts of the world. To her, food is the perfect reason to get together with family and friends.


Thea Hensel - Co-Chair Education Committee

A founding member of the Southeast Greenway Campaign, Thea has been CoChair of the organization for the past 10 years.  She is a 2011 Fellow of the Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy, was a Board member of the Sonoma County Forum, works on the grant committee for Impact-100 and has resided in a cohousing community for the past 13 years.

Before retiring, Thea had a long career in sales with the Wrangler Jeans Company, taught school for five years, and was an employment recruiter in the biotech industry. She has a BS from the State University of New York, Oneonta, a Masters in Education from NYU and an HR certificate from SRJC.  She enjoys traveling with her adult daughter who teaches in the Bay Area, hiking, music, swimming and sharing all things food, wine and the arts with friends.

Thea comments, “It brings me great joy to work with dedicated people to improve the quality of life for Santa Rosa residents.”

Laurie Parish - Co-Chair Education Committee

I have lived in Santa Rosa for over 40 years ever since my husband accepted a position at OCLI. An MBA graduate, for many years, I was the youngest woman real estate broker in California and the only one to have received that designation with an educational background. I worked in San Mateo and San Francisco Counties including a stint at the startup aiming to create a computerized real estate exchange system. (Way before its time, but a fun challenge.) After the move to Santa Rosa, I continued to operate a small real estate investment management business while being a stay at home mom for two daughters. I have always been an active volunteer so following my retirement I began volunteering for the Volunteer Center. It was there I unexpectedly found an “encore” career when I became a program manager for a federal grant that they held. With my second retirement, I continued to volunteer for various organizations. Being a founding member of Impact and serving with this outstanding organization has been a gratifying experience.


Jennifer Girvin - Co-Chair Events Committee

Jennifer Girvin bio and photo coming soon


Maria Nersesian - Co-Chair Events Committee

Maria Nersesian bio and photo coming soon


Vicki Groninga - Co-Chair Impact Grant Committee

I grew up in New Hampshire and moved to California to complete my BA and MA. I worked at Santa Rosa Junior College as Director of the Reentry Counseling Program and then at Hewlett Packard and Agilent for 29 years in a variety of positions in the HR department. When I retired I was the Global Director of Compensation. I am married and have two grown stepdaughters and five wonderful grandchildren. My hobbies are reading, cooking, and traveling.  I volunteer with Schools of Hope and the Redwood Empire Food Bank. I am a founding member of Impact 100 Redwood Circle and serve as the web manager and have been on the Grant Committee since its inception.

Maureen Buehler - Co-Chair Impact Grant Committee

Maureen Buehler bio and photo coming soon

Cindy Schmidt - Co-Chair Liaison Committee

Cindy Schmidt bio and photo coming soon

Loretta Zweig - Co-Chair Liaison Committee

Loretta Zweig bio and photo coming soon

Ann Marie McGee - Co-Chair Marketing Committee

Ann Marie McGee bio  and photo coming soon

Mindi Lewis - Co-Chair Marketing Committee

Mindi Lewis brings a unique and strategic combination of skills and experience with Mindi Lewis, Marketing Co-Chairher roots in education, vision care, and opticianry. She has more than two decades of corporate business experience in national account sales, marketing, and customer service.

Mindi has an AS degree in Optometric Technology from St. Petersburg College and a BS degree in Allied Health Education from Ferris State University. Later in her career, she completed an MA degree in Psychology, Organization Development from Sonoma State University.

She is semi-retired; however, she still gives educational seminars and other various projects she finds engaging in the vision care field. Most recently, she was an Instructor at the University of California, Berkeley in the School of Optometry.  Before that, she was the Managing Editor of 2020 Opticians Online Handbook. She has held positions in marketing, training, quality management, customer service, and sales at SOLA Optical, Carl Zeiss Vision and Essilor. She was also an Instructor at St Petersburg College, Optometric Technology program.

Briefly, Mindi was on the Board of Directors at Mentor Me in Petaluma and has greatly enjoyed being a Mentor to a Hispanic boy for the past seven years.

Mindi has loved all things related to vision and optics for many years and lives in Petaluma, California, with her husband Craig and dog Max. She loves Pilates, learning new things, traveling, entertaining, and cooking with her husband. She is always looking for a creative project. She belongs to three wine tasting and pairing groups and has studied winemaking and judging.

Charlene Staples – Co-Chair Membership Committee

Charlene Staples Photo to follow

Charlene Staples grew up an Air Force ‘brat’ and has lived in Okinawa, England, and too many states to mention. However, Santa Rosa has been her home since 1979 and is now her hometown. She attended Florida State University, the University of Maine, and the University of Vermont. She taught second grade, was the DATE (Drug Alcohol and Tobacco Education) coordinator for Santa Rosa City Schools and worked in her husband’s medical office. She devoted countless volunteer hours in service to the community and is a co-founder of the Parent Network, Project Graduation, and First Night Santa Rosa. She has served as President of the Sonoma County Medical Association Alliance and chaired its esteemed Garden Tour twice. Embracing Impact 100 RC and its mission has been a natural extension of her interest in working with others on meaningful projects. She is a member of two book clubs, one investment club and she likes ‘short’ hikes and movies.

Bev Curry – Co-Chair Membership Committee

Bev Curry Bio and Picture coming soon

Robin Wendler – Chair NextGen Committee

Robin recently retired from a 30-year career as a licensed Structural Engineer in Sonoma County. She received her BS degree in Architectural Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and her MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois. As a principal and co-owner of ZFA Structural Engineers in Santa Rosa, she collaborated with architects to create safe, vibrant and nurturing public educational facilities throughout Northern California. She served on the board of directors for the Redwood Empire Food Bank and engineered their new warehouse facility. In addition to her work for Impact 100, she is a CASA volunteer, working with children in the foster care system.

Karen Fass - Chair Technology Committee

Karen’s wholehearted enthusiasm for design and technology, coupled with an affinity for teamwork and operational efficiency, led to a career in digital marketing and technology. In 2003, Karen founded a strategic design and development agency offering creative services, development, software/vendor selection, eCommerce integration, CRM and business process implementation, analytics and search engine optimization. Early in Karen’s career, she produced websites for wonderful San Francisco non-profit organizations such as the San Francisco Symphony and KQED, then moved into the private sector where she served numerous winery clients. Now, Karen is eager to return to the non-profit realm and put her skills and experience to work for organizations effecting positive change.

Karen has a BA in Political Science from UC Berkeley and has continually enrolled in coursework to feed her knowledge base and appetite for learning. Karen enjoys gardening, cooking, wine, hiking, travel, reading and spending time with friends and her husband Scot.