- SENIOR SERVICES
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.
Wendy Bignall, Vice President
Born and raised in the Bay Area, I moved to Guerneville in 2012 from San Francisco. An investigator by occupation, I became involved with Clean River Alliance in 2015. As a newcomer to the Russian River, I was astonished to see the amount of trash accumulated on the river banks and in the waterways. Collecting trash became a way to address an irritation in a productive and satisfying manner. The complexity of issues became an opportunity to apply some investigative strategies to engage property owners, unsheltered people, community alliances, government agencies, nonprofit entities and law enforcement in a collective partnership. As a part of this process, I became a strong proponent of the managed camp/navigation center movement to advance a balance of environmental and community health. The work with CRA has been an evolving and educational process, transforming attitudes and hearts toward the importance of being stewards of our waterways, while at the same time including the crisis of homelessness.
Having served on the Russian River Chamber of Commerce Board for 5 years as Secretary, I developed a better understanding of the interdependence between the community and the businesses – and the general economic health of the area.
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.
Dottie Ruppert, Secretary
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 a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of California, San Francisco.
Mike joined the WCCS Board in early 2019. 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.
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.
William (Bill) Mabry has lived in Sonoma County since 1969 and has been a resident of Forestville since 1982. Bill founded Landmark Winery in Windsor and planted vineyards in Sonoma, Alexander Valley, Windsor, and Kenwood. Trained and educated in enology, he was the winery’s winemaker for 20 years. Bill relocated the winery to Kenwood in 1990 while remaining a resident of Forestville. Bill left the wine industry in 1994 to pursue a career in senior housing, specializing in assisted living and memory care communities. Having been a part of the development of over fifty senior communities throughout California, he has expertise in navigating the complexities of- and working with- state and political entities. He has extensive knowledge of housing and senior needs.
A 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.
Frieda E. Ireland
Frieda is a highly accomplished retired executive with expertise in risk management, corporate governance, finance, audit, and accounting. She served as VP of Internal Control and Audit Services with a Fortune 500 telecommunications company. Prior to this, she held several executive-level positions with a $7 billion private foodservice distribution company. Frieda holds an MBA from Drexel University and is a registered CPA. Frieda was a board member for 12 years of Landmarks Illinois, a statewide nonprofit dedicated to historic places that matter to people. A homeowner in Guerneville since 2007 and a full-time resident with her husband Carroll since 2020, Frieda is co-chair of the Impact Grants Committee of Impact 100 Redwood Circle based in Sonoma County.
Carroll is a retired business executive with more than 30 years of executive management experience with both public and private organizations ranging in size from $500 million to $3 billion, including roles as Sr. VP of Operations and Chief Financial Officer. He holds an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Carroll previously served on the Board of Directors for the Lakeview Pantry in Chicago, the city’s largest retail food pantry. Carroll and his wife Frieda purchased a vacation home in Guerneville in 2007 and relocated permanently to the lower Russian River in 2020. Carroll is also an active member of the Russian River Rotary Club.