Yuba City: October 30, 2019

The Yuba-Sutter Aging and Disability Resource Connection is proud to present the the 2nd Annual Our Community: Aging & Disability Conference!

Register Today!

Sponsored by:

ASL Interpretors Available

Grass Valley: July 31, 2019   |  Conference 


Our Workshops

All Day:
Community Vendors 
Visit local organizations and agencies that serve Nevada County:

  • Anthem Blue Cross
  • California Health & Wellness
  • Pacific Gas & Electric
  • Agency on Aging Area 4
  • Cal Fresh
  • Cascades of Grass Valley
  • Connecting Point – 211 Nevada County
  • Food Bank of Nevada County
  • Golden Empire Nursing and Rehab Center
  • Hospice of the Foothills
  • Nevada County Elections
  • Nevada County Senior Outreach
  • Nevada County Transit
  • One Source Empowering Caregivers
  • Paratransit Services – Gold Country Lift
  • Partners in Care
  • Pathway Labs
  • State Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Westamerica Bank



1. Welcome

  • Lisa Swarthout, Mayor of Grass Valley
  • Ana Acton, 
  • Executive Director, FREED
  • Pam Miller, 
  • Executive Director, Agency on Aging Area 4


2. Be the Hero!

Captain Jeff Pettit, Program Manager, Nevada County Office of Emergency Services

There is now a greater need for the Office of Emergency Services to partner and coordinate closely with Fire, Police, Sheriff, State OES, FEMA, and other first responder agencies year-round. It is also critical that individuals, service providers, and communities actively engage in emergency planning. 

Today, Jeff will be introducing a true “Superhero: and will be talking about the extensive planning and preparation that the County and Our Communities are working on together to ensure that we are prepared to be Our Own Heroes.



10:00 – 10:50am
Room: Ballroom
The Power of Being Prepared

James Monninger, Local Customer Experience Manager, Pacific Gas & Electric

This workshop will provide suggestions for how to prepare for emergencies, including power outages and Public Safety Power Shutoff.


10:00 – 10:50am
Room: A/B
Stay Connected! Riding the Gold Country Stage!


  • Robin VanValkenburgh, Transit Services Manager, County of Nevada
  • Daniela Fernandez, Community Engagement Specialist, Connecting Point

If you don’t ride the Gold Country Stage bus system but would like to- this is the workshop for you! Join Connecting Point & Nevada County Transit Services for an introduction to travel training . We’ll discuss the basics of how to use the Gold Country Stage bus system and how the travel training program at Connecting Point can support you in feeling confident and independent in getting around town.



11:00 – 12:00PM
Room: Ballroom
Scams & Fraud – What’s Happening in Your Neighborhood?


Tamaran Cook, Program Manager & Public Guardian, Nevada County Adult Services

Scams and scam artists have been around for centuries. Many of today’s scams are perpetrated by criminals who are bent on stealing people’s money. These criminals often live in other states or countries and use modern technology. However, frauds and scams can also be perpetrated by someone closer to home, a friend, a neighbor or even a relative of the victim. What are the red flags to watch for, how can you avoid such scams and what should you do if you become a victim of this abuse?  These are just a few issues that will be covered in today’s presentation.


11:00 – 12:00PM
Room: A/B
Nutrition – Eating Healthy on a Budget


Julie Tharalson, RDN Dietitian, Agency on Aging Area 4, & Adjunct Professor,  Sacramento City and Folsom Lake Colleges

Eating healthy doesn’t have to break the bank! Come to this session and learn how to stock your kitchen with inexpensive, nutrient packed foods that will help you create simple nutritious meals. In this session we will explore the expanded Cal Fresh Benefits – how to use them and how to sign up, and how to stretch your food dollars by utilizing the Foodbank as a source for preparing healthy meals. Participants will also receive resources including recipes, low cost shopping and cooking strategies and a listing of computer applications that will connect participants to internet resources on easy recipes and food budgeting strategies.



12:30 – 1:25PM
Room: Ballroom

Informing The California Master Plan on Aging: A Question and Answer Session on Disability and Aging Public Policy in Our Community

Janice Bedayn, President of the League of Women Voters


  • Heidi Hall, Supervisor, District 1, Nevada County Board of Supervisors
  • Jan Arbuckle, Grass Valley City Council Member, Former Grass Valley Mayor
  • Erin Minnett, Vice Mayor, City Council of Nevada City

During this session led by Janice Bedayn, President of the League of Women Voters, we will have the opportunity to discuss critical local, state and public policy issues pertaining to the California Master Plan on Aging, and the critical  issues that affect older adults and people with disabilities that must be addressed in the development of this plan.

Questions we will be asking our legislative panelists, and the insights upon which they were based, are below. We encourage you to add your own thoughts and questions by writing them on the index cards at your table and submitting them to the moderator.

Insight Regarding our General Physical Environment 

The physical places older adults and people with disabilities live in matter. They can be supportive, providing safe, easy access to food, transportation, and healthcare and encourage social interactions, or be withering, limiting their mobility, social connectivity, and overall well-being.


As cities of Nevada City, Grass Valley, and Truckee grow, change and require renovation and repair, how might we redesign them so that older adults and people with disabilities can maintain healthy, active, and social lifestyles?


Insight Regarding: Transportation Needs

The well-being of older adults and people with disabilities can become compromised when they are not able to access basic needs and amenities due to a lack of transportation options that are safe, reliable, flexible, and/or affordable.


How might we provide older adults and people with disabilities with a variety of transportation options that are safe, affordable and accessible?


Insight Regarding: Housing Issues

The need for high quality, accessible and affordable housing is dire: those that have it, struggle to keep it; those that don’t have it, search and wait for years and navigating confusing housing rules and lengthy processes is so arduous that even social service providers have difficulty.


How might we think creatively about making housing more affordable for older adults and people with disabilities?

How might we ease the process for navigating housing options and regulations for older adults and people with disabilities?


Insight Regarding: Supportive Services

Personalized and dignified supportive services can make the difference between care that helps and care that hurts.


How might we provide all older adults and people with disabilities with services and care that are accessible, affordable, personalized and dignified?


Insight Regarding: Social and Emotional Wellbeing

Even though no one can escape aging, we have deprioritized it as a society, characterizing it as something to be feared, burdened by, or simply ignored, rather than something to elevate and celebrate; the same can be said for people with disabilities. If you live long enough, everyone will experience disability at some time in their life, either temporarily or permanently, yet disability is still stigmatized There are many older adults and people with disabilities with important skills and experiences in our community that are socially and physically isolated. 


How might we support and provide services that will better connect older adults and people with disabilities to jobs, volunteer, and social opportunities in our communities? 



1:30 – 2:30PM
Room: Ballroom

Afternoon Keynote Address: Personal Emergency Preparedness or “How to Be Your Own Hero”

Ana Acton, Executive Director, FREED

Emergency action plans keep you and your family calm and safe in case of a natural disaster, during a wildfire, or even when there is no electricity due to a Public Safety Power Shutoff.  Planning for these events is not just for institutions and business; it’s just as important for individuals to know how to “be the hero” in an emergency.

What you do now can help you better respond to, and recover from, any disaster. In addition, for older adults and people with disabilities, mobility, hearing, learning, or vision disabilities can create specific needs that individuals need to address to be able to respond safely to an emergency. The focus of this workshop is on identifying and anticipating what your needs may be in an emergency and developing a plan for meeting them, however individualized they may be.



Resource Fair (8am-1pm):

  • Local Disability & Aging Services and Supports



Our Speakers 


Ana Acton, Executive Director, FREED 

Ana Acton is a native of Nevada City and is the Executive Director of FREED, serving Nevada, Yuba, Sutter, Colusa, and Sierra counties. 

 As a non-profit Independent Living Center, FREED’s goal is to empower people with disabilities to exercise their civil rights in becoming active, productive members of our community. As a core partner of the Aging & Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) of Nevada County, FREED serves people of all ages and with any type of disability including seniors. 

 Ana started her career as a Systems Change Advocate at FREED, worked at the Department of Rehabilitation as the Chief of the Independent Living and Assistive Technology Section, and the chairperson of The California Association of Traumatic Brain Injury.



Tamaran CookProgram Manager and Public Guardian,  Nevada County Adult Services

Tamaran Cook is the Program Manager and Public Guardian for Nevada County Adult Services. Adult Services includes the Public Guardians Office, Adult Protective Services, In Home Supportive Services, QA and the Senior Outreach Nurse Program.  She holds a degree in Social Work and has worked with seniors and individuals with disabilities for 25 years.  She has worked in several long term care facilities and for the County of Nevada in several capacities.  She was the Deputy Public Guardian and also served as an Adult Protective Services Investigator.  When Tamaran is not working she enjoys spending time with her family, camping and playing with her rescue dogs. 



Daniela Fernandez, Community Engagement Specialist, Connecting Point

In her position with Connecting Point, Daniela has created a travel training curriculum and is excited to assist folks in learning how to navigate the Gold Country Stage bus system. She has 16 years of experience facilitating groups and working with people with disabilities in a variety of capacities. Daniela is passionate about connecting people with the tools to access greater independence.



Pam Miller, Executive Director, Agency on Aging Area 4

Pam Miller is currently the Executive Director of the Agency on Aging Area 4, serving Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties.  She has always had a passion for working in the aging community.  She began her career as a social worker in Adult Protective Services in 1983.  For several years, she was the Deputy Director over Adult Services in Riverside County.  In 2005, Pam came to Northern California as the Director of Yolo County Employment and Social Services, where she served for 7 years.

Pam has a Masters Degree in Social Work from California State University, San Bernardino.  She taught Gerontology in the social work program at La Sierra University in Riverside.



James Monninger, Local Customer Experience Manger, Pacific Gas & Electric

James Monninger is a customer focused Manager who has over 14 years’ experience in the utility industry.  He spent 3 years at SoCalGas and the past 11 years at Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) working with customers to achieve critical efficiency and safety milestones.  James has his MBA from Pepperdine University and BE (Bachelor of Engineering) from California State Polytechnic University – Pomona.  He currently serves El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, and Sierra Counties as the Local Customer Experience Manager for PG&E.



Captain Jeff Pettit, Program Manager, Nevada County Office of Emergency Services

Captain Jeff Pettitt began his career with the Sheriff’s Office in 1999 after spending six years in the military. He has worked in a variety of positions including Patrol, Major Crimes Unit, Truckee substation, and the Personnel and Training Unit. Pettitt promoted to Captain in 2012 as the Jail Commander overseeing the Corrections division. Since promoting to Captain, Jeff has commanded each division within the Sheriff’s Office. In March of this year, he was assigned as the Program Manager for the Office of Emergency Services (OES).

Jeff is trained in peace officer leadership, is a graduate of the FBI’s National Academy, and has a strong foundation in Office of Emergency Services (OES) based incident command practices.



Lisa Swarthout, Mayor, Grass Valley

Lisa Swarthout was elected to her first term on the Grass Valley City Council in November of 2004. She was appointed to Council on August 23, 2016 and  and appointed Vice Mayor on December 13, 2016. Previous to her elected position she spent nine years on the Grass Valley Planning Commission.

Some of Lisa’s duties on the City Council have included:

-Liaison to the City Park and Rec Commission

-Liaison with the Grass Valley Downtown Association

-Member of the City’s budget committee

Lisa is also the past Chairman of the Grass Valley Downtown Association, and past Chairman of the Nevada County Economic Resource Council. 



Julie Tharalson, Dietitian, Agency on Aging Area 4, & Adjunct Professor, Sacramento City and Folsom Lake Colleges

Julie Tharalson is a Registered Dietitian with over 20 years experience in clinical nutrition. She has been with the Agency on Aging, Area 4 for 5 years and her current area of focus is working on programs to help relieve the problem of senior hunger in the 7 county area AAA4 serves. 

In addition to her training as a clinical nutritionist, Julie is also trained as a chef and received education at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. She uses her unique background to educate low income seniors to prepare better, healthier and more inexpensive meals for themselves in order to improve their odds of living healthier and more independent lives.



Robin VanValkenburgh, Transit Services Manager, County of Nevada

Robin has been with the County for about one year as the Transit Services Manager, Robin oversees the daily operations of Gold Country Stage and is the contract manager for the ADA complementary paratransit services operated by Gold Country Lift.

Robin brings 15 years of diverse transit experience to the Transit Services Division. He has worked as operations manager, assistant general manager and general manager for two of the three largest private transportation contracting companies; running local Dial-a-Ride, ADA paratransit, Regional Center programs, local fixed route and commuter bus services in suburban and urban areas. He has also held planning and management roles with El Dorado County Transit Authority and the Butte County Association of Governments.



Register Today!