CEI Foundation Board of Trustees


Founding FEI Trustees

Top Row: Nader Shabahangi, Braden Busch, Pello Walker, Karen White
Bottom Row: Michael Smart, Linda Trowbridge, Amy Kimmel, Lenore McDonald, Karlya Shelton-Benjamin

Fund for Elders’ Independence is a 501c3 foundation established in 2010 by Center for Elders’ Independence board of directors whose mission is to create awareness and diversify funding for Center for Elders’ Independence through fundraising.


Carol Leytem, Chair, is the Business Development Manager for Rossi Builders, where she oversees permitting and manages critical deadlines for Rossi’s commercial construction projects dotting the Bay Area, including the Golden State Warriors waterfront stadium in San Francisco. Her husband Rick and son Jordan have managed the construction of most of Center for Elders’ Independence’s capital improvement projects since 2014, including two new PACE centers in San Leandro and Concord and major upgrades at CEI sites in East Oakland, Downtown Oakland, Berkeley, and El Sobrante. Carol joined the FEI board of trustees in 2019 after attending CEI’s lively, elegant PACE Party fundraiser at UC Berkeley’s University Room and was voted Chair of the Board in 2020. She lives in Castro Valley with her husband, two adult children and their spouses, and four grandchildren.

Amy Kimmel, Vice Chair, is the Assistant Dean of the Career Development Office at her alma mater, University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She both coaches students on career and professional development and cultivates and strengthens relationships with employers on behalf of UC Hastings students and alumni. Prior to returning to UC Hastings, Amy was a partner in a small firm in Oakland with a diverse civil litigation practice. She received her B.A. in Journalism from University of Oregon and is a very energetic and vocal Ducks fan. She lives in Berkeley and is proud to serve her community through her work with CEI. CEI fortunately met Amy at The Volunteer Center of San Francisco’s annual Board Match forum while she was seeking an opportunity to become involved as a nonprofit volunteer leader to give back to the community.

Kava Massih, Trustee (Treasurer) principal of Kava Massih Architects, has been a driving force behind a wide range of innovative architectural designs in the Bay Area since founding the firm in 1996, including local favorites Berkeley Bowl, Samuel Merritt University’s Library and Health Science Center II, Red Bull headquarters, AgeSong Assisted Living at Bayside in Emeryville, and the Cath Lab at Alameda County’s Highland Hospital. His specialty is challenging urban settings or where existing structures must be incorporated, rehabilitated or preserved. The firm proudly works with non-profit groups and often donates services and time to help nonprofits secure financial grants and fundraising efforts. Kava resides in Berkeley ad maintains offices in both San Francisco and Berkeley.

Alexis Burck, Trustee (Secretary), is a Principal and the Senior Living Studio Leader at SmithGroup, an internationally recognized Architecture and Engineering firm. She has worked in the senior space for the past decade of her career as an architect, designing affordable housing, assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory care environments across the continuum of care for aging. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton College in Minnesota and holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of California, Berkeley. CEI offers dignified, joy-filled services to seniors and Alexis is thrilled to be able to contribute to their mission.

Debbie Maples, Trustee, is the Vice President of Global Safety and Security: Intelligence, Investigations & Protection at Salesforce in San Francisco. She’s had a long career as an expert in Loss Prevention & Corporate Security with responsibility for threat assessment, risk mitigation, crisis and emergency management, investigations, and facilities leadership. Prior to joining Salesforce, she led Loss Prevention & Corporate Security teams at companies such as Williams-Sonoma, Gap Inc., and Macy’s. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Behavior and Leadership from the University of San Francisco and is a Certified Forensic Investigator.

Flo Raskin, Trustee, began her career at Kaiser Permanente in 1986 at the Kaiser Permanente Hayward Medical Center. She served as Assistant Administrator for Support Services, and then transitioned to work at KP Regional Offices on projects related to skilled nursing and durable medical equipment.  Since 1994 Flo has worked in Continuing Care, overseeing services including Home Health, Hospice, SNF, DME, Ambulance, case management programs, palliative care and life care planning, and care outside of KP. Flo earned her BS at Cornell University, and her MPH and MBA at the University of California, Berkeley. Flo has two young adult children, and lives with her husband in Piedmont. Flo is engaged in community service, and loves to travel and to hike.

James Sherrer, Trustee, works at First Republic Bank in Walnut Creek as a Relationship Manager and Financial Planner. James received Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics, Political Science and Government at UC Davs, where he held various roles and honors as part of the Lacrosse Team including Team Captain, Vice President, All-League selection and Honorable Mention All American. He continues to support UC Davis as the Vice Chair of the Young Alumni Board of the University, which includes mentorship and other support. He grew up in Alameda and now calls Concord home.

Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D., Founding Trustee (Secretary) is the CEO and co-founder, with his two brothers, of AgeSong, an assisted living community for seniors with six locations in San Francisco and the East Bay. An author and licensed psychotherapist, Shabahangi creates programs with the purpose of caring more comprehensively for the elderly. He teaches 'eldership' workshops in Europe and the United States that explore the difference between getting 'old' and growing into the role of an elder. Nader earned his doctorate at Stanford University and utilizes psychotherapy interns in his programs.

Michael Smart, Founding Trustee, is a retired health care administrator and former CEO of Alameda County Medical Center. Mike holds master’s degrees in public administration and in social work from the University of Missouri. For many years, Mike has served as the Chair of the CEI Board of Directors and was instrumental in the formation of the Fund for Elders’ Independence as a means to expand CEI’s services to more seniors while growing and diversifying revenues for CEI.

Péllo Walker, Trustee, is the President of Daily Digital Imaging, a “Certified Green” direct marketing, print and mail company. With over 20 years of creative ideas and information industry experience, Péllo helps create successful campaigns for elected officials, plus marketing products and services for companies. He has also been a moderator and facilitator of C-level mastermind groups since 1998. Known for his tireless energy and being an accomplished public speaker, Péllo has been asked to speak regularly at institutions of higher learning, conferences and organizations, and has emceed for many nonprofit fundraisers. Péllo is also a gourmet cook as well as is a board member for the nonprofit Young Audiences Arts for Learning and is a Spirit of Philanthropy Award Winner.

Mary Young-Williams, Trustee, is an Associate Architect at Kava Massih Architects in Berkeley. Over a career of 30+ years, she has worked on a wide range of project types, including healthcare, institutional, commercial, education, and multi-family housing. Involved in every aspect of the architectural process from early planning/schematic design to code review and construction, she has especially focused on tenant improvements, specializing in space planning, interior design, and selection of color palettes and furniture. She holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from UC Berkeley.

Tom Hyland, Director of Fund Development, joined CEI in 2021, bringing decades of experience in all aspects of fundraising. He has raised tens of millions of dollars for unrestricted operations, medical equipment, medical research, museum exhibits, social service programs, schools, and capital construction projects at a variety of local, regional, and national nonprofit organizations. His skills include cultivating and soliciting major donor prospects, conducting capital campaigns, writing and administering foundation and corporate grants, staffing board-level committees, directing annual and special needs appeals, collaborating with and training volunteers in fundraising solicitation, managing special events, writing and publishing collateral materials, promoting estate planning opportunities, and securing online donations. He also has many years of experience in supervising and mentoring staff, overseeing gift recognition and data collection, and managing day-to-day fundraising office operations. Tom holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio University in journalism with an emphasis on public relations and minors in business administration and history. He is a past board member of the Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter and serves on the Advisory Committee to the Executive Director of the USS Hornet Sea, Air & Space Museum in Alameda.

Maria Zamora became President & CEO of CEI in March 2021, bringing more than 24 years of experience in the healthcare and insurance industries. She has held executive management positions in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, and has an extensive background in PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly). Prior to joining CEI, Maria served as Vice President of Senior Care Services/PACE at AltaMed Health Services and she also was the Regional Executive Director for InnovAge, which operates PACE programs Southern California and several other states. She has cultivated strong community relationships related to her expertise in health care and senior services. She is Chair and Executive Committee member of the Board of Directors for National PACE Association (NPA). She also serves as Treasurer and Executive Committee member of the Board of Directors for California PACE Association (CalPACE). She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Webster University in St. Louis, MO, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Accounting from the University of Phoenix.