Founders

In 2016, nine people gathered to explore the idea of starting a Village in our greater community. They have given generously of their time, expertise and hearts to achieve incorporation and approval as a 501(c)3 organization, to build a following and to solidify key aspects of Village infrastructure and operations. These people had a vision that is now becoming a reality.

Joan Goddard
Lance Goddard
Barbara Larsen
Bill Larsen
George Scarmon
Jeanne Clark Scarmon
Alan Weisberg
John Wilson
Susie Monary-Wilson

Board of Directors

Jeanne Clark Scarmon, M.S., President
George Scarmon, M.D., Vice President
Susie Monary-Wilson, Secretary
Lance Goddard, Treasurer
Denis Drew, M.D.
Robert Erickson, L.C.S.W., M.P.A.

Working Group

Francesca Erickson, L.C.S.W.
Joan Goddard M.S., M.F.T.
Doni Mari Kobus, Ed.D.
Barbara Larsen
Barry W. Myers, J. D.
Barbara Thomas
Ed Thomas
Alan Weisberg Ph.D.
John Wilson

Bios

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Denis Drew
Denis Drew knew where his heart was when it came to work: medicine. Denis earned his degree in Internal Medicine at University of California, San Francisco and, in not too many years, followed his heart right to Cardiology.

He spent his career in the East Bay, centered in Alameda at Alameda Hospital, where he served as Director of Cardiology Services for several years. He also served as a staff cardiologist at Summit Medical Center, Oakland, Alta Bates Medical Center, and San Leandro/Eden Hospitals, San Leandro.

His resume includes a lengthy list of publications he has co-authored, revealing a far-ranging interest in many matters that affect the functioning of our hearts. During this time he developed a special interest in gerontology, giving him special insights into the population that Villages serve.

Denis shares his 30-year commitment to medicine with his wife, Barbara, who most recently served as a Professor and Research Scientist at the University of California, San Francisco. While they enjoy their cabin at Serene Lakes, home is here, in Nevada City.

Denis is on the Board of Trustees of Hospice of the Foothills, a patron of Inconcert Sierra, a member of the Red Rose Society of the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation and a member of Truckee Donner Land Trust. We are fortunate to have his talent directed to the Sierra Foothills Village.

Francesca Erickson
Francesca was born in Washington, D.C. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in Latin American Studies. That included two stays in universities in Mexico. After spending a semester in Tulane studying Latin American Studies, she moved to California and began working as a social worker in Glendale. After a short while she went to the Cal State Fresno working toward a Masters in Social Work.

There she met her future husband, Robert Erickson and they were married in 1970 the day after he received his Master’s in Social Work. They eventually moved to Tulare, where she was able to finish her degree, graduating in l973. She spent 15 years there and worked in a variety of jobs in mental health, including Inpatient, Day Treatment, Adult Out Patient and Children’s Services. She created a program modeled on the Gioretto system where, in a case of molest, all family members were treated. This challenging approach was considered cutting edge at the time.

After a family move to Lake County, she worked as a school counselor and later, had an outpatient practice. She developed a specialty in Sandplay therapy, as well as art therapy. After 15 years the Ericksons moved to Nevada County, where she has volunteered at the Land Trust, Friendship Club, International Exchange program, American Association for University Women, CASA, and the library.

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Robert Erickson
We want to welcome Robert Erickson to the new Board of Directors forming to guide Sierra Foothills Village. Robert and his wife, Fran, moved to Nevada City area in 2001 and later to Grass Valley.

Robert has been following the trends of baby boomers who are aging and knows the human side of this story. He has a long background in Health Services. He used his Masters’ degrees in both Social Work and Public Administration, and license as a Clinical Social Worker, to offer therapy in a wide range of settings and to direct county-wide behavioral health programs.

He has worked with a variety of clients including children, adults in day treatment programs, people on welfare and those in acute psychiatric units. This lead to staff or director roles in Health Services in Sonoma, Tulare and Lake counties from 1964 to 2001. In that year he became Director of Behavioral Health for Nevada County, where he served until 2006, when he retired.

For several years Robert also served on the Board of the Gold Country Learning Center, helping locals learn how to use computers and other electronics. He was Foreman of the Nevada County Grand Jury, assisted the Editorial Board of the Union newspaper, and is finishing up service on the Citizens Advisory Committee to the Board of Supervisors regarding regulation of Marijuana or Cannabis in Nevada County.

His Labrador/Great Pyrenees mix keeps him out in the woods on the trail and a love of travel has taken Robert and Fran to over 30 countries, covering almost every continent.

“We love our home but it is located 20 feet below the level of our street. One day while pushing the garbage cans up that steep hill for pickup, I started thinking about how hard this will be when I age,” said Robert.

That is why he is offering his skills to the Village. Robert describes himself as detail oriented and a person who loves to write. The writing opportunities in creating the Village are endless, so he will have ample opportunities to contribute his skills.

Joan Goddard
Joan is a local Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in Grass Valley. After graduation from Stanford University, she spent 15 years in an educational non-profit organization called Creative Initiative Foundation in the San Francisco Bay Area. C.I.F. produced discussion groups, programs and events which addressed environmental sustainability as well as philosophical and psychological issues of the day. Her many years of music, teaching piano and conducting church choirs and playing organ, have culminated in 17 years of service in various leadership roles on the Board of Directors for InConcert Sierra. Joan weekended in Grass Valley beginning in 1992, with residence beginning in 2000.

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Lance Goddard
After military service in Vietnam, Lance spent 25 years in the Applied Physics Department at Stanford University. During that time he supervised a laboratory to train graduate students in the skills necessary for fabrication of their PhD dissertation devices. He instructed an introductory course on using the laboratory and its equipment and co-authored numerous research papers. For 14 years, he ran a private company which he founded that provided scientific coatings to technology companies. Lance has spent nine years in various roles on the Board of Directors of InConcert Sierra, most recently as Past President. Lance weekended in Grass Valley beginning in 1992, with residence beginning in 2000.

Doni “Mari” Kobus
Dr. Kobus (Mari) is Professor Emerita, College of Education, California State University, Stanislaus. She was the first woman elected to Department Chair. Mari’s extensive experience covers many aspects of Collaborative Teaching, Teacher Training and Curriculum Development in Multicultural, Global and Multilingual Education. 

Mari is a pioneer in bringing the spectrum of gender and women’s issues into the education process. She contributed richly to the national movement using school gardens for interdisciplinary, project-based learning for children. She also focused much of her professional life on social justice issues.

Mari is a 24-year Nevada City resident who brings a treasure trove of talent to the Village through her experience with grant writing, publication and ground-breaking research that inspired scholars world-wide. She loves reading, writing, gardening, swimming, practicing Qi Gong and renovating or building houses. 

Most of all, she appreciates her family and friends. “I took care of my parents after they could no longer live alone.  Now, I want to be able to stay in my home as long as possible and contribute to the Village because I see it as such a valuable project.  My senior friends all want to age, gracefully and safely, in their homes and community.  I believe in ‘paying it forward’ through the Sierra Foothills Village.”

Barbara Larsen
For over three decades Barbara has worked in the field of dementia care. Her experience is broad, working with individuals with memory loss, family caregivers and health care professionals in a variety of settings. As an author, educator, director, and consultant she has brought her expertise to adult day care centers, hospitals, residential care facilities, county and state agencies, research universities, community organizations, hospice programs, and the private sector. Barbara is the founding member of the Elder Care Providers’ Coalition of Nevada County and has a monthly column in the Senior Living edition of The Union titled, “Ask Barbara.” Barbara has lived in Nevada County since 1978.

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Barry W. Myers
Over the past 30 years, Barry has worked as an advisor and coach with executives and boards of directors from leading technology companies, health care organizations, global professional service firms, and world-class universities. Most recently, Barry was Director of Kaiser Permanente’s National Leadership Development Team in Oakland, CA which was responsible for succession planning and leadership development programs across the enterprise. Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, he served as an executive development advisor for eight years at Cisco Systems in San Jose, including four years as Director of World Wide Leadership Development.

Before joining Cisco Systems, Barry coached executives from Dell, Nike, and Stanford University, among others, as well as helped develop executive education programs at Stanford Law School. Earlier, he practiced corporate law for 12 years in Texas and provided legal counsel to technology companies. He helped launch Jones Day’s technology law practice in Austin, Texas.

Barry has a J.D. from the University of Houston, M.A. from Trinity University, and B.S. from the University of Tulsa. Barry and his wife have lived full time in Grass Valley since 2014 when he retired from Kaiser Permanente. He’s excited to be part of the Sierra Foothills Village’s working advisory council and looks forward to the impact the Village will have on the community and especially Nevada County’s aging population.

George Scarmon
George graduated from University of South Dakota (BS degrees) and Tulane University Medical School (M.D.). He was a Board Certified Family Practice Physician for his entire career. He began his career as director of a rural medical clinic in Massachusetts, then worked on several Indian Reservations. He ran a solo medical practice in Lincoln, CA from 1979 to 2010 and was a member of the active staff at Sutter Roseville Medical Center (RSMC). He has served on the RSMC Bioethics, Medical, and Community Partnership committees; as Medical Director of a skilled nursing facility; as a Legislative Appointee on the California Council on Wellness; as Medical Director of Auburn Faith Hospice; and as a Board Member of Sutter Independent Physicians. George works part time at Sierra Family Medical Clinic. He and his wife, Jeanne, brought the idea of forming a Village to our community. He is a river monitor for SYRCL, helps at InConcert Sierra events, volunteers for his local Firewise neighborhood, and gardens at Ananda’s Crystal Hermitage. He has lived in Nevada City since 2010.

Jeanne Clark Scarmon
Jeanne graduated from the University of California, Berkeley (BA/Literature and Writing), University of Wisconsin, Madison (MS/Counseling Psychology) and University of Madison, Milwaukee, Teaching Certification. She began her career in Counseling Psychology and Teaching. She co-founded and ran a Bay Area business. She served as Director of Public Information and Education for the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Then she spent 30 years in environmental advocacy, working for federal and state resource agencies and non-profit organizations. Jeanne has authored a half-dozen books about nature and conservation and directed numerous public relations, education and grant programs. She coordinated the California Watchable Wildlife Project for a decade and served on the board of directors of Watchable Wildlife, Inc. and Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Association. Jeanne volunteers for her local Firewise Committee, is a river monitor for SYRCL, is active in AAUW and gardens at Ananda’s Crystal Hermitage. She has lived in Nevada City since 2010.

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Barbara Thomas
Barbara worked in the nonprofit sector as Director of Development for Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, located at Stanford University. From there, she moved into the high-tech industry as Public Relations Manager for Trimble Navigation. From 1994-2001, she served as Director of Public Relations and Human Resources for a public relations agency in San Francisco, facilitating the agency’s work in introducing Internet companies to the public.

Since moving to Nevada County 13 years ago, Barbara has used her considerable skills on several Boards of Directors, including InConcert Sierra, The Friendship Club and the Center for Non-Profit Leadership. She was recently re-elected to the Board of Directors of the Friendship Club after a five-year hiatus. Barbara also serves as a Past President and Chair of Board Development for The Center for the Arts. She is offering her fundraising and development skills to advance the Village.

Ed Thomas
Ed has a BBA from the University of Oregon and became a CPA while working at Arthur Andersen & Co. In Menlo Park, California he became a partner in a local CPA firm; then left and started his own firm. He eventually retired to do volunteer work in the Beyond War movement in the mid-1980s. After living in Iowa for four years he returned to the Bay Area and became the Controller/Operations Manager of a family office in San Francisco.

Ed retired in 2001, moving with his wife Barbara and their horses to an eighty-acre ranch in McArthur, California. They were drawn to Nevada County in 2005, moving first to Rough and Ready and then to Grass Valley in 2011. He has spent considerable time volunteering with the Grass Valley Police Department, Hospice of the Foothills, The Friendship Club, The Center for the Arts and the Nevada County Law Enforcement and Fire Council. He is enthused about the future of the Sierra Foothills Village and is devoted to helping it emerge and grow.

Alan Weisberg
Alan Weisberg is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a Bachelors degree in History and two high school teaching credentials. He began his career as a junior and senior high school teacher in Richmond, California and in New York City.

After four years of teaching he completed a Ph.D in Education Administration and Policy at Stanford University. He spent some 20 years as an independent consultant on education policy, working with several school districts across the country with a focus on public high school reform.

In the 1980s, he helped create a series of non-profit youth conservation corps across California, all of which continue to thrive today. Since moving to Nevada County he has served on two local school district boards and, during the past 14 years, on the Board of Directors of the BriarPatch Co-op, the last four as Board President.

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John Wilson
John graduated with a BS in Social Sciences from California State University, Sacramento and a Masters in Human Resources from Holy Names College in Oakland, CA. He worked in flight operations with Pacific Southwest Airlines (8 years), in domestic and international Human Resources with Chevron (20 years) and as a Human Resources Director for three different Biotech companies (8 years). He was a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels in the Bay Area and Nevada County for 6 years and facilitated TimeSlips programs for dementia patients in memory care facilities. He was a Long Term Care Ombudsman for Nevada County and served on the Board of Directors for The Friendship Club. He is a member of the Nevada City Rotary Club. John has lived in Nevada City since 2010.

Susie Monary-Wilson
Susie graduated with a degree in Management from St. Mary’s College, CA. She lived in Berkeley for 40 years and worked in both the private and public sector managing Customer Service Centers. She was also responsible for initiating the 311 City Services Center for the residents of Berkeley. She was a volunteer for several organizations such as Friendly Visitors and the Parental Stress Hot Line and served as a volunteer tutor for the Contra Costa Adult Literacy program. Locally, Susie has volunteered for the Library Read Up literacy program, Hospitality House and The Friendship Club. She is also active with AAUW, the Nevada City Rotary Club and the Gold Country Welcome Club. Susie has lived in Nevada City since 2010.