Executive Director, FREED
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. As a non-profit Independent Living Resource Center, FREED’s goal is to empower people with disabilities to exercise their civil rights in becoming active, productive members of our community.
Grass Valley City Council Member
Member of California Masterplan for Aging Stakeholder Committee
Jan retired from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department after 18 years, where she served the community as a Deputy Sheriff and still function as a Reserve Deputy coordinating their PEER Support Program.
With a desire to serve her community, she served on the Nevada County Civil Grand Jury for two consecutive terms which provided her with a crash course in how local government operates and pressing community issues such as public safety, homelessness and drug addiction. In February 2007, Jan was appointed to the Grass Valley City Council.
In November 2008 Jan was elected to a four year term on the City Council and was honored to have been elected Mayor by her fellow Council Members in December of 2010.
Roxann (Roxiey) Crawford
Disability Integration Specialist, FEMA Region IX
Roxann Crawford was selected in September 2016 to serve as the Regional Disability Integration Specialist for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region IX after having served nearly four years as the Disability Integration Advisor on the National Incident Management Assistance Team (N-IM– West, one of three (3) elite national response teams. Roxann partners with all federal program areas to educate and foster a whole community response which is fully inclusive of the needs of people with disabilities and provides direct programmatic and process review to create more inclusive and fully accessible options during disaster response operations, Identifying barriers and finding solutions.
Executive Director and co-founder of Community Tech Network
Kami Griffiths is the executive director and co-founder of Community Tech Network, a nonprofit with eh mission to transform lives through digital literacy. With over 15 years of experience and working in the public sector, Kami has developed a passion for helping people gain access and better utilize technology, after witnessing firsthand how the digital divide and low literacy levels were aiding the cycle of poverty. She has worked for the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation, managing 27 public access computing centers, teaching computer classes and establishing their volunteer trainer program. Ts the Training and Outreach Manager for TechSoup Global, Kami greatly expanded her knowledge and understanding of the nonprofit technology field, having conducted over 200 interviews with librarians and producing over 100 webinars. She is founding member of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) and speaks nationally about digital inclusion.
Coordinator, Mental Health Services Act, & Senior Administrative Analyst, Nevada County Behavioral Health Department
Priya Kannall is the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Coordinator and Senior Administrative Analyst for the Nevada County Behavioral Health Department. Priya manages the community planning process on mental health needs, develops the county’s MHSA plan, and assists with grant applications and implementation. Priya also serves as the Deputy Privacy Officer for the Health and Human Services Agency, specializing in privacy and security for the Behavioral Health Department.
Program Coordinator, Nevada County Social Outreach Program
Anastacia Knight is a Master’s level social worker who has proudly supported community members since 1996 in a variety of settings including: Foster Care/Adoption, Child Abuse Prevention, and Mental Health. She is currently the Program Coordinator for the Nevada County Social Outreach Program offering assessment, support, and referrals to home bound seniors and people with disabilities who may be challenged with loneliness, depression risks/symptoms, as well as other concerns or needs. Anastacia is a member of the Falls Prevention Coalition. She lives in Grass Valley with her husband and young Greyhound mix dog and enjoys part-time caretaking of her three year old grandson who keeps her on her toes.
Diane Miessler, RN
Nevada County Public Health Senior Outreach
Diane Miessler has been a nurse for 40-some years, working in psych, ER, hospice, and public health. She currently works for Nevada County with the Senior Outreach Nurse Program, visiting vulnerable seniors at home to ensure they have the support they need to avoid unwanted placement in facilities. Diane lives in Nevada City with her husband and a cute but yippy and marginally housebroken Chihuahua. She enjoys gardening, writing and bonding with her 3 above-average grandchildren. Diane is a member of the Falls Prevention Coalition of Nevada County.
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 master’s degree in social work from California State University, San Bernardino. She taught Gerontology in the social work program at Sierra University in Riverside.
Executive Director, California Foundation for Independent Living
Christina Mills has served as the Executive Director of the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) since 2017 and has over 20 years of experience. As Executive Director of CFILC she is responsible for six statewide programs. Earlier this year she launched CFILC’s first cross-disability non-profit Disability Disaster Access & Resources program. A partnership between Independent Living Centers and Pacific Gas and Electric that provides people with disabilities services and resources during a Public Safety Power Shutoff, (PSPS).
Currently she serves on the California Advisory Commission on Special Education, is a board member of the Disability Rights Education Defense Fund (DREDF) and co-chair of the National Council on Independent Living International Committee. In 2019, Mills was honored by the California Association of Area Agencies on Aging (C4A) for working continuously to bridge the gap between the disability and older adult communities.
Mills is an appointee of the California Master Plan for Aging Advisory Committee and California Utility Access & Functional Needs Advisory Committee. Mills lives in the Bay Area with her partner, their five-year-old son, the spirit/memory of their four-year-old daughter, two dogs and a Golden Greek Tortoise. Mills is an alumna of Palomar College and pursed her undergraduate degree in Political Science at the California State University of San Marcos. One of her life goals is to become an inclusive children’s book author.
Mark Schwerer, BSN, MBA
Director of Telehealth Programs, California Health & Wellness/Health Net
Mark has over 27 years of health care experience including over 20 years working in telehealth systems. He offers a unique and well-rounded perspective after managing telehealth operations in a number of settings including primary care, inpatient, skilled nursing, remote patient monitoring and emergency room settings. His programmatic leadership experience has included a large number of specialty disciplines and care delivery models. Additionally, he has lead telehealth programs from originating sites, distant-site specialty care groups and currently from within the health care insurance industry. Mark has a particular passion for developing and leveraging innovative technologies and programs that promote access and capacity to quality health care in remote and frontier communities. He currently provides oversight as the Director of Telehealth Programs at California Health and Wellness/Health Net of California, developing telehealth programs across the State. Mark has earned a Bachelor’s in Science in Nursing and an Master’s of Business Administration – both from Grand Canyon University.
Director, California Commission on Aging
Bio coming soon.
L. Vance Taylor
Chief, Office of Access and Functional Needs
California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
Luis “Vance” Taylor is responsible for ensuring the needs of individuals with disabilities and persons with access or functional needs are identified before, during and after disasters and integrated into the State’s emergency management systems. Born and raised in the SF Bay Area, Vance was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy as a child and uses a power wheelchair. He has worked in Washington, D.C. as an advisor for two different members of Congress, directed security policy at a national water association and been a principal at a top-ranked homeland security and emergency management consulting firm, Catalyst Partners, LLC. Vance is a nationally recognized public speaker and advocate for individuals with disabilities.
Kim McCoy Wade
Director, California Department of Aging
Kimberly McCoy Wade was appointed director of the California Department of Aging, in 2019. McCoy Wade was CalFresh and Nutrition Branch chief at the California Department of Social Services from 2015 to 2019, a consultant for Public Policy and Philanthropy Consulting from 2009 to 2015 and campaign manager for Together California’s Future in 2008. She was executive director of the California Association of Food Banks from 2006 to 2008, where she was co-director from 2004 to 2006. McCoy Wade was director of education and advocacy for Food Banks of Northern California from 2001 to 2003, campaign manager for the Alliance for Justice in 2000 and senior domestic policy analyst for Bread for the World from 1998 to 1999. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the New York University School of Law.
Director, Californin Department of Rehabilitation
Joe Xavier, has been the director of the California Department of Rehabilitation, since 2014 and has served in several positions in the department since 1998, including deputy director of the Specialized Services Division and of the Independent Living and External Affairs Division. He was owner and operator at Snack N’ Things from 1996 to 1998, at Skyline Food Services from 1986 to 1996 and at the Gold Star Café from 1984 to 1986. Xavier is a member of the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Association of California State Employees with Disabilities.