CEI Foundation Board of Trustees

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.

2023 CEI Foundation Board


Jim Vawter, Chairperson, has collaborated with CEI for many years, as a liaison for HUB International. He is the Executive VP at HUB, responsible for all operations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jim has 30 years of experience as a specialist in risk management, property and casualty insurance and employee benefits for business of all sizes. He holds a BA in Economics and a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science from UC Davis. Married to his high school sweetheart, they have 4 wonderful children and have made Danville their home. Jim and his family enjoy hiking, skiing, and barbequing, as well as working with children and young adults through sports and fellowship.


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.


Mary Young-Williams, Secretary, 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.


Wesley Alexander, Trustee, currently serves as the CEO of CoBiz Richmond, Inc. (CoBiz) - a co-working space and business incubator in Richmond, CA with a mission to build an infrastructure for wellness entrepreneurially, professionally, and personally in under-invested communities, such as Richmond, CA.  Mr. Alexander successfully launched CoBiz a few months prior to the pandemic and successfully navigated the pandemic to establish CoBiz as an up-coming resource in the East Bay. CoBiz is a growing inter-generational, entrepreneurial, and communal hub for professionals, businesses, entrepreneurs, non-profits, students, creatives, and citizens. Prior to CoBiz, Mr. Alexander worked for Fortune 60 ventures in emerging technology where he managed more than $500M in budgets, served as a Special Agent in the FBI, co-founded apps, and launched a virtual business incubator called Strategize1st.  Mr. Alexander completed a dual JD/MBA from the Washington College of Law and Kogod School of Business at American University, completed a BS in biology from Loyola University Maryland, and is barred in the State of Maryland. Mr. Alexander is driven to align his efforts, talents, and gifts as an Executive and as a human being to helping people of all ages thrive via coaching, entrepreneurship, education, access, collaboration, and equity.



Amber Childress, Trustee, is the Chief of Staff for Oakland City Councilmember Janani Ramachandran, Representing District 4. She is responsible for managing staff and team operations, shaping public policy and providing constituent services, addressing community member concerns and advocating for their interests. She has a strong background in fundraising and non-profit management.  For the last 15 years, she has expanded her passion for advocacy to include seniors, because of her own experience as a Caregiver to her great grandmother and maternal grandparents. The Oakland native’s family includes her amazing son and their dog, affectionately known as Max the Big Dawg. A cross-country and track runner in high school, she tries to keep that going with the occasional half marathon when time permits. As a big sports fan, her most recent goal is to visit all 30 MLB baseball fields in across the country in the next 5 years.


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 JP Morgan 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.


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.


Tom Hyland, Executive Director, 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.