Board of Directors

Elizabeth Hallett
Board Chair

Elizabeth Hallett served as executive director of Peace House from 1993 to 1996, and co-director with Ruth Coulthard in 1997. In the previous decade she lived in the Bay Area, where she participated in the Nuremberg Action Vigils at the Concord Nation Weapons Station, from which the Reagan Administration was shipping arms to the death squads in Central America. Formerly a childbirth educator and midwife, in Ashland Elizabeth has focused on helping caregivers for persons with memory loss and dementia. She runs the Anam Cara Center for Healing and Care & Elizabeth V. Hallett Consulting. evhallett@opendoor.com

Shaun Franks
Secretary

Version 2Shaun works in sales and marketing for the True South Solar. Shaun is a husband and a father of two wonderful sons, Carter and Micah. He is graduate of Southern Oregon University and studied business and environmental studies. His work on environmental issues through student government led him to become highly active in economic justice issues in Oregon. In 2009, he studied renewable energy in Germany and wanted to bring back what he learned to his campus. In 2011, while director of sustainability for student government he wrote the SOU Green Fund to invest student dollars into local energy, water, and campus sustainability projects. The fund has helped establish three new solar installations on campus and launched the SOU Sustainability Center. Shaun received Green Business of the year award in 2013 on behalf of SOU student body by the Ashland Chamber of Commerce.

Connie Saldaña
Treasurer

Connie Saldaña began as a Board member for Peace House in the fall of 2015. However she has decades of history as a community ally and advocate with Peace House through association with other community organizations. She volunteered in the earliest days with Uncle Foods Diner. Connie’s employment is with Senior & Disability Services of Rogue Valley Council of Governments as a planner and program-developer. In addition to sharing community resources and problem solving over the phone through the Aging and Disability Resource connection, at work she administers a small permanent supportive housing program for homeless people with disabilities and heads efforts regarding emergency preparedness for vulnerable populations. Connie’s passion is serving the community where her talents are most useful. She is an active volunteer with the local community radio station and with the Community Emergency Response team and she served for several years on the City of Ashland Housing and Human Services Commission. 541-890- 2237 connie@kskq.org.

Kathleen J. Gamer

GamerKathleen is an assistant to Native American Studies at Southern Oregon University. She speaks Farsi and Arabic, with working knowledge of Swedish and German and worked for the United Nations Office in Tehran Iran in the 1990’s during the time her ex, husband was head of the Finnish Embassy in Tehran, Iran till 1996, when she lived and owned two cultural Art Galleries in Finland till 2001. At Southern Oregon University, worked for the Women’s Resource center and founded the United Nations program at SOU 2006 till present. Member of the board of Peace House, Amnesty International United Nations Association S. Oregon since 2004 till present. Assistant to Professor Robert Harrison and tutoring students from International backgrounds since 2010 till present. Seeking to educate and inspire students to make a global impact on Peace efforts through conflict resolution in the community as well as internationally.  Email: gamer.kathleen@gmail.com

Andy Seles

I was born in 1947 in Willimantic, CT and raised in Ashford, CT., son of second generation, Eastern Europeans (my grandparents on both sides came over via Ellis Island at the turn of the 20th century). I played and worked on an 80 acre family dairy farm until the farm sold when I was 13 years old. My dad, like so many other farmers, was forced out of business by the advent of Big Agriculture. That injustice during my formative years is the foundation of my work for peace and justice on behalf of the working class.

I spent much of my early youth doing manual labor in building construction and highway road work as well as bartending. I completed college at the University of CT with a major in English and a minor is Sociology. After getting my M.A. in English at the University of Rhode Island, I returned home to teach English in grades 6-8 at Ashford Elementary School. With the start of my career also came the start of a marriage that yielded my proudest achievement, my two children, a girl followed two years later by a boy. During my 22 years at Parish Hill I also ran peer counseling and diversity groups in addition to teaching evening courses at Eastern Connecticut State College.

Retiring from public school teaching in 2002, I moved to Long Island, New York to be with my wife Barbara who was a counselor in the Manhasset School District on the North Shore. I taught English at Nassau Community College and English Education at Dowling College for five years prior to moving to Ashland.

Since I arrived in Ashland in 2008, my activism has included involvement with Oregon Action (now Oregon Unite), Ashland Homeless shelter, Occupy Ashland, Move to Amend Jackson County (which I co-founded with Evan Lasley and John Limb), Americans for Amendment (with Linda Sturgeon) Rogue Conversations (with Linda Sturgeon) and the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders. I have been a neighborhood coordinator for the Ashland Food Project for the last seven years. I enjoy writing fiction and non-fiction, the latter almost exclusively op-eds that get published with some regularity in The Ashland Tidings.

My ongoing concern has been the obscene wealth disparity (42 people own 50% of the world’s wealth) that exists. Mainstream media’s “kabuki” politics (that avoids real, substantive issues) threatens a truly informed citizenry and causes a polarization of citizens. For these issues, among others I recently formed an affiliate of “Our Revolution,” the successor to the Bernie Sanders campaign, in Southern Oregon. With the acronym “ORSO” (Our Revolution Southern Oregon) we seek with other affiliates in all 50 states to empower communities and transform our political and economic landscape.

Maggie McCauley

Maggie has been a resident of Ashland for the past four years. She spent her childhood years in the Boston, Massachusetts area and her adult years in New Hampshire and southern Maine. She is a former elementary school teacher, clinical social worker with a specialty in substance abuse and is a certified life coach. She recently retired and works part time as an educational assistant in the kindergarten at the Helman Elementary School. Last year she began volunteering at the Ashland Community Resource Center which lead her to Uncle Food’s Diner. Her volunteer positions have had a profound impact on how she sees the world and herself, stirring something deep within her. She has become passionate about alleviating hunger and homelessness, restoring dignity for all people and raising awareness around implicit bias. 

Luis Ibáñez

Luis Ibáñez Dalponte was born in El Salvador and came to the US some 47 years ago. In 1984 Luis moved to Ashland Oregon and helped his former wife Cynthia, raised a daughter and a Son, they are Luis’s greatest accomplishment in life. Luis assisted in the reorganization of Clinica Azteca (now Clinica del Valle) He was the founder and first executive director of the First Farm Worker Cooperative in Southern Oregon, (El Convenio). For the last 25 years Luis has collaborated with the Center for Social Ecology and Public Policy conducting research projects and trainings all over the United States. Luis currently resides in Ashland Oregon, a place he has always considered his Home.