Governing Body Members
The Public Authority Governing Body meets the 2nd Tuesday in January, March, May, July, September and November, 1-3 p.m., in the 9th floor back classroom (wheelchair accessible) at 832 Folsom Street (Salvation Army Building). Please sign in at the reception desk in the lobby. For more information, call (415) 593-8117. All Governing Body meetings are open to the public.
Meeting dates in 2017: January 10th, March 14th, May 9th, July 11th, September 12th and November 14th.
Melvin “Mel” Beetle is the current (2017-18) PA Governing Body president. He was born in Mt. Ephraim, New Jersey. He received a B.A. in Social Studies from Trenton State Teachers College. He taught five different grades as well as college. Mel served 10 years with the Peace Corps in the Philippines: three as a volunteer, two as a Regional Director, and five as a Training Officer and Acting County Director when necessary. He speaks Tagalog and Ilokano. Mel was also the Program Evaluation Director for ACTION (a federal domestic volunteer agency) as well as Acting Inspector General on occasion. He has volunteered for the Episcopal Community Services (ECS) Canon Kip Senior Center, Senior Action Network (SAN) and is a former vice president of the Senior Homeless Task Force. Mel notes that “I am disabled and very interested in advocating for myself and others with similar limitations. I’ve spoken many times at Board of Supervisors meetings advocating for beneficial programs and policies for the elderly and disabled. I serve Pilipino groups and organizations in San Francisco.”
Kenzi Robi was paralyzed from the neck down when he was 19 years old and spent a year at Laguna Honda Hospital. An artist all his life, he taught himself how to paint again by using his teeth. As part of this process, he studied Graphic Arts at City College. He has a son, Kenzi Jr., now a young adult. Kenzi has spoken on behalf of IHSS and people with disabilities at Capitol Action Day in Sacramento. He now works with other people with disabilities as a Peer Mentor. He notes that he’s very happy to be able “to help others appreciate and improve their lives, those people who were and are in my shoes.” In late 2010, a film about Kenzi won first prize in the National Disability Institute’s “Economic Empowerment—Defining the New American Dream” video contest. He served two terms as the PA Governing Body president.
Gustavo Seriñá is Vice President of the San Francisco Commission on Aging and Adult Services. A native of Manhattan, Gustavo received a B.A. in History from the University of San Francisco and an M.A. in History from San Francisco State. In 2000, he retired after a 19-year career at Bank of America, where he held management positions in Finance, Project Management and Administration. He is a past president of the Eureka Valley Promotion Association, the oldest neighborhood group in San Francisco, and headed the organization when it sponsored and completed the Pink Triangle Park and Memorial (PTP&M). Located at the intersections of Castro, Market, and 17th streets, the PTP&M is the first free-standing memorial in the United States to gay and lesbian victims of the Nazi regime. Gustavo is an active member of the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefits District. Under the nom de plume Tavo Amador, he is a contributing arts writer to the Bay Area Reporter.
Patricia Wooley is originally from Bastrop, Louisiana, but has lived in the Bay Area for 45 years, the last 10 in San Francisco. Patricia currently lives in the Dogpatch area of the City and has an adult son. Patricia worked in the banking and investment industry for over 30 years before becoming an IHSS provider in 2011 and later an On-Call worker. She notes that “Working as a provider has afforded me the opportunity to meet and help families who are challenged and in need of a little tender loving care. I joined the Governing Body to help bring the concerns of the consumers and my fellow workers to the table at board meetings. I fully intend to fight for much needed improvements to our home health care system.”
Mike Boyd grew up in Long Beach, California, and currently resides in the North Beach section of San Francisco. For the past 35 years, he has worked as a disability rights worker and educator. As a special assistant to Independent Living Movement leader Ed Roberts, who was one of the co-founders of the World Institute on Disability (WID), Mike has traveled all over the world, speaking on disability issues and politics and assisting people with disabilities in getting services. His long history with the disability movement is a valuable resource for our board.
Jessie Carver is the legal services (staff) attorney at the Independent Living Resource Center (ILRC) San Francisco, where she, in her own words, “[I] represent and provide services to individuals with disabilities. I primarily represent claimants in matters before the Social Security Administration.” Formerly, she was on the board of Easy Does It Emergency Services, an organization that provides emergency personal attendant services for Berkeley residents. She is currently the co-chair of the Disability Rights Committee of the San Francisco Bar Association. Prior to her work at ILRC, Jessie was the staff attorney at Berkeley’s Homeless Action Center, where she tirelessly advocated for clients applying for Social Security benefits. She has also worked at the Marin Center for Independent Living in San Rafael as a Systems Change Advocate/Community Organizer. A wheelchair user, Jessie identifies as an individual with a disability and utilizes IHSS to “live and work independently in the community.”
Judith Karshmer, Ph.D., PMHCNS-BC, is a Professor at and Dean of the School of Nursing & Health Professions at the University of San Francisco (USF). Dr. Karshmer completed her undergraduate degree in nursing at the University of Iowa, graduate degree in advanced psychiatric-mental health nursing at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, master’s in social psychology at the University of Massachusetts and Ph.D. at New Mexico State University. She has been Dean of the School of Nursing & Health Professions at USF since 2007. She is the immediate past president of the California Association of Colleges of Nursing, a member of the AACN-AONE National Task Force on Academic-Practice Partnerships and board member of the Association of California Nursing Leaders (ACNL). She was recently elected as Board Chair of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and appointed by Mayor Ed Lee to the San Francisco Health Commission (SFHC). As a health commissioner, she is part of the governing and policymaking body of the San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH).
Tatiana A. Klimenko-Kostanian
Tatiana A. Klimenko-Kostanian has been a member of the Mayor’s Disability Council for several years. She served on the San Francisco Mental Health Consumer Board for 14 years. She is married and has a grown daughter. Tatiana describes herself as “a tireless human rights advocate, offering support to trauma survivors and people with cross-disabilities” since 1962. Through the nonprofit organization, MHONA, founded by people with disabilities for people with disabilities, she works to bring hope to the homebound and those with profound disabilities. Tatiana reminds us that those with profound disabilities are often “the last persons to be invited in, to be seen or heard. Many of them, who have gone before us, helped build our cities and societies. We must never forget the gifts they offered us, but continue to make certain that the dignity of people with disabilities is assured and they are given every access to health care.”
Longtime San Franciscan Rita Semel has been a well-known community activist in the City for many years. A founder and past chair of the San Francisco Interfaith Council, she is also a former president of the Family Service Agency. A graduate of Barnard College, Rita worked as a reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle during World War II. She and her late husband Max were married for 51 years. They had two daughters, Elisabeth and Jane. Among her many other activities, Rita serves on the Board of Trustees for Grace Cathedral and the Board of Directors for the New Israel Fund. She was the First Chair of the Global Council of United Religions Initiative and is the Executive Director Emeritus of the Jewish Community Relations Council. In addition, she was a member of the San Francisco Homeless Board. Rita brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her latest role as a member of our Governing Body.
A longtime resident of San Francisco, Patricia (Tricia) Webb is the mother of two grown sons and describes herself as “a lifetime volunteer,” because “I have been volunteering for one thing or another most of my life.” Formerly, Tricia volunteered full-time with Planning for Elders (PECC). She greatly enjoyed working with the staff there because they treated “me as a person with a disability and not a disabled person.” At PECC, Tricia was involved with, among other things, their hugely successful “Rock ‘n’ Roll” event, the Senior Survival School and CLAIM, a mentoring program for emerging advocates. Given her own life experiences, advocacy history and personal knowledge of IHSS as a longtime consumer, she brings a unique perspective to the Governing Body.