Board of Directors

Debra Johnson, President

Owner/Broker, Berkshire Hathaway Sonoma County Properties, with offices in Guerneville and Sebastopol. She has served on many boards over the years, currently, she is President of the Russian River Chamber of Commerce, Vice President of the Russian River Health Center, and Vice President of the West County Community Services.  Debra is a passionate advocate for those community members suffering from homelessness, mental illness, and addiction. She firmly believes that the lack of housing and health care lies at the root of these issues. A firm believer that healthcare should not be a privilege, but a right for all.

Gregory Sanford, Vice President

Gregory Sanford, semi-retired, graduated from Whittier College in 1971 and has lived in the West County area since 1977 at which time he secured a real estate license, and was the General Manager of the Getchell Corp, 1977-79.  He has been involved with construction since then, obtaining a Contractor’s license in 1999, when he established his own contracting firm: Greg Sanford Construction, Inc.

He is a member of St Seraphim Orthodox Church, served three terms on the Church Council during the construction of the new sanctuary.   Greg has also served as co-chairman of the annual Glendi International Food Fair.

Clara Else, Secretary

Clara Else joined the WCCS board as the representative of Community Housing Options West, which ran the Guerneville emergency winter shelter until it was adopted by WCCS.  She is on the Board of Directors of the Sonoma County Task Force for the Homeless and on the Steering Committee of the Sonoma County Continuum of Care and volunteers with Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods.  She got her BA at the University of California at Berkeley and her MA at Princeton University, and worked for 25 years as a research economist in Washington DC.

Christy Pichel, Treasurer

Christy Pichel has served in management positions in philanthropy and non-profit organizations for over thirty years. Most recently she served as the president of the Stuart Foundation, a private family foundation dedicated to improving public education and child welfare systems. She also served in management at the Public Policy Institute of California, the James Irvine Foundation, and the CS Fund. She was a founder and executive director of the Summerfield Waldorf School & Farm and the director and board member of the Farallones Institute in Occidental.

Christy currently serves on the boards of directors of the National Center for Effective Philanthropy, the Conservation Corps North Bay, and on the advisory boards of Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), Dovetail Learning, and Veterans Path. She is an advisor to The Advancement Project’s K-12 Water Cooler Network and a member of the Blueprint 2.0 Planning Team for the California Department of Education. Christy received an M.B.A. in International Business from Dominican University and a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Mike Bernard

Mike joined the WCCS Board in early 2019. He is currently the Development Committee Chair. He has lived in West County since 2001. Before moving here he was the Division Manager of a large defense contractor in Silicon Valley.

For the past 26 years, Mike has been a singing member of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and was on their Board for 12 years. He has chaired their annual gala auction for the past six years. He was also SFGMC’s Corporate Sponsorship Development Manager for six years. Mike currently works at de la Montanya Winery in Healdsburg. He collects wine, makes jewelry, designs holiday decorations as well as floral arrangements, and is incredibly grateful to come home every day to his amazing German Shepherd, Kazz.

Lynda Williams

Chief business official for Old Adobe Union School District in Petaluma, past board member of the Russian River Education Foundation which provided arts and music funding to all local schools along the lower Russian River.

Lynda has worked in public education for the past 30 years. She passionately believes in free public education for all children with access to a wide variety of opportunities that enrich their lives.  She is dedicated to working to create more opportunities for children and support systems to enable ever greater opportunities to learn.

Dottie Ruppert

Dottie Ruppert has lived in Guerneville for sixteen years and is an active volunteer in the community. She currently volunteers with River Friends of the Library, Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods, and the Guerneville After School program. She is also a volunteer and participant in the Russian River Senior Resource Center.

Dottie worked as a Registered Nurse for forty years, mostly in home health and hospice care. She also lived and worked in Guatemala for three years and is conversant in Spanish. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Hunter College, City University of New York, and Master of Science in Nursing from the University of California, San Francisco.

Dawn Anderson

Dawn Anderson joined the West County Community Services Board of Directors in November 2018. Dawn has lived in the lower Russian River area for more than 25 years and is an active participant in several lower Russian River movements. She is a member of the Clean Team and spends hours each week volunteering with the Clean River Alliance to keep the streets of Guerneville spotless, volunteers at Clean Day each Thursday to serve food to those seeking social and emotional support, and volunteers at the Empowerment Center as well.

Management Team

Tim Miller
Executive Director
(707) 823-1640 x 101

Emily Heinzelman
Director of Senior Services and Employment Services
(707) 823-1640 ext.403

Christy Davila
Director of Counseling and Behavioral Health,
(707) 823-1640 x 391

David France
Director of Finance
(707) 823-1640 x 104

Melissa Fike
Director of Senior Adult Counseling
(707) 823-1640 x 301

Dannielle Danforth
Director of Housing & Homeless Services
(707) 823-1640 x 115

Eileen Kerekesh
Human Resources Manager
(70) 823-1640 ext 199