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staff, BOARD and plt


Karen, Bab, Charis, Kate, Su-Yin and Jessica (L-R)

Executive Director - Bab Freiberg
Throughout her career, Bab has worked to build healthy, vibrant communities. She has designed and led major community initiatives and advisory services at nonprofit organizations focused on community development and finance, affordable housing, aging, homelessness, and job training. Her efforts led to the construction of older adult residences, affordable housing, and community facilities; student debt relief for teachers; a pro bono practice that saved nonprofits over $1,000,000; and services for unhoused and unemployed persons. In both the Bay Area and New York City, she has held senior-level positions at Just Cities Institute, Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, Low Income Investment Fund, SEEDCO, and New Horizons. Among the skills Bab brings to Ashby Village are volunteer engagement, revenue generation, and program design. Bab is passionate about innovating community-driven solutions to allow us to age with independence, choice, and purpose as part of a caring and inclusive community. Bab serves on the Board of Menorah Park, a Section 8 older adult housing complex in San Francisco. Bab has a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, and a B.A. in Economics from UC Berkeley. She lives in Berkeley where she and her husband raised their three daughters
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Operations Manager - Su-Yin Bickner

Su-Yin, who received a Master’s in Social Work from UC Berkeley, learned about Ashby Village during her graduate studies in management and planning through working at the Center for the Advanced Study of Aging Services. She became a volunteer for Ashby Village helping with the social care team. Her year-long placements with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman of Contra Costa and Solano and the oncology floor at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center solidified her commitment to working for adults’ rights and the ability to age in place and in their communities. She previously worked as Taiwan Program Director for Heartsent Adoptions in Orinda. Su-Yin serves on the Ashby Village Partnerships and DEI Committees.

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Member Services Manager - Karen Dean

Karen has been a lifelong passionate supporter of healthy families. She was Senior Program Director at Heartsent Adoptions before earning her Master’s of Social Work from USC in May 2021. She advocated for survivors of intimate partner violence for the San Francisco Neighborhood Legal Assistance Foundation. During the pandemic, Karen did assessments and counseling with at-risk high school students via telehealth. She also has been a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for foster youth in Alameda County and a reading tutor at an Oakland elementary school. In addition to raising her family, Karen provided caring support for her parents, who had complex physical and cognitive challenges.

Email Karen at 

Development & Communications Manager - Charis Hanshaw

Charis has more than 35 years of professional experience in operations management, research, and marketing and communications with private organizations that range in size from boutique marketing consultancies to international research corporations. Charis returned to higher education with the intention of working in aging services. She has a Master's in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco School of Management and a B.A. in American Studies from UC Berkeley, an interdisciplinary program with a concentration in sociology and psychology focused on health and aging. Charis first joined Ashby Village in early 2021 as a volunteer on the Communications Committee and then joined as staff later that year. Charis serves on the Ashby Village Development and Communications Committees.

Email Charis at

Volunteer Services Coordinator - Jessica Sterling

Jessica enjoys building partnerships and relationships. Before joining Ashby Village, Jessica held a variety of roles at Jewish Community Relations Council, most recently as the Jewish Community and Education Outreach Manager. Before working in the nonprofit world, Jessica spent more than 20 years in marketing and communications, including 10 years as a manager in the Creative Services department at Pacific Bell Smart Yellow Pages. She also has volunteered at the Alameda County Community Food Bank and for the Red Cross blood drive. A longtime East Bay resident, she lives in Oakland with her husband, a dog and a cat. She has two daughters.

Email Jessica at

Administrative Coordinator- Kate Sosin

Kate is a registered nurse who worked mainly in obstetrics and neonatal services in the Bay Area for about 28 years. She was a staff RN at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula for four years and worked with oncology patients, and then in a unit that cared for all ages, from newborns to centenarians. During her last four years of nursing, she was a clinic nurse for one of the Lifelong Medical Clinics. Kate began as a volunteer in 2014 and now serves as our part-time administrative assistant on staff.

Email Kate at


board of directors

Ina Bendich

Ina directed the Law and Government Academy at McClymonds High School, a public college preparatory school in West Oakland, from 2001 to 2011. In 2007, she incorporated Restorative Justice processes to provide students viable alternatives to the traditional justice system. Since 2014, Ina has shifted her focus towards training adults and youth in Restorative Justice with clients including the Los Angeles Unified School District, Piedmont Unified School District, Phillips Academy in Alameda, Miss Porters School in Farmington, CT, and Legacy Preparatory Academy in Santa Ana, CA.

Sophia Chen, MD
A Bay Area denizen and practicing Geriatrician, Sophia began her healthcare journey with an MPH at UCLA. There she pursued a Community Health focus and discovered her passion for the aging population while working on evaluating a report of an adjusted federal poverty level index. She understands that there is so much more to health than medicalized services and is thankful to be given the opportunity to be at the intersection of peoples’ lives. Sophia works in the community at various nursing facilities and visits patients in their individual homes, and her specific interest and area of expertise is in dementia. She is currently finishing an internal study within Kaiser about racial and ethnic differences in dementia diagnoses and management.

Jan Corazza, Ex-Officio

An experienced advancement leader, Jan has served in senior development roles at UC Davis, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego. Prior to returning to Berkeley, where she was raised, Jan served the Johns Hopkins University for 13 years, including as Executive Director of the $1.5B Johns Hopkins Initiative Campaign. She also served as Director of Major and Planned Gifts for the San Francisco-based environmental organization, Save the Redwoods League. Jan chairs the Development Committee.

Edwin Eng, Treasurer 
Community involvement, health care and finance have been the themes that have defined Edwin’s experiences. His most recent work, as a financial analyst and investment banker, has been with mostly non-profit developers of senior living communities across the country. In the community, he was the treasurer for San Francisco’s Asian Law Caucus and also an audit committee member of Oakland’s Blue Skies for Children. As an Ashby Village board member and Treasurer, his goal will be to make finance issues accessible to the organization so that the village continues thrive and grow.

Joseph D. Evinger
Previously a board member and treasurer of North Oakland Village, Joe brings more than 40 years of experience in budgeting, financial analysis and auditing, as well as a career in financial management and consulting. He served in budget and business management positions for the Bay Area Rapid Transit District and was a financial consultant to BART from 2005 to 2013. He’s also past president of BART Supervisory and Professional Association, now affiliated with AFSCME. Joe serves on the Finance Committee and is also leads the Science & Ideas interest group.

Julie Freestone
A former news reporter and health administrator, Julie lives in Richmond and spearheaded the pilot project to expand Ashby Village to that city. Since moving to California from New York four decades ago, she has worked for the California Urban Indian Health Council, Contra Costa Health Services and local media outlets. She has been a volunteer for Writer Coach, the Richmond Museum of History and Ashby Village. She co-chairs the Communications Committee.

Bab Freiberg, Executive Director, Ex-Officio

Carrie Graham, PhD
Carrie has worked in the fields of aging and disability research, health policy, and evaluation for 20 years. She is the director of long-term services and supports (LTSS) at the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), where she oversees work to improve care delivery for older adults and people with disabilities who need LTSS. Prior to CHCS, she was an adjunct professor and principal investigator of several studies at the Institute for Health and Aging at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) that examined how different aspects of health reform in California have impacted health care and LTSS for seniors and people with disabilities. In 2018, Carrie served as a health and aging policy fellow in Washington DC working on Medicare policy, prescription drug pricing, skilled nursing facilities, and related issues. In 2019, Carrie was a senior policy advisor to California Governor Gavin Newsom's Master Plan for Aging. Carrie holds a doctorate in medical sociology from UCSF and a master's degree in gerontological studies from the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University.

Shirley Haberfeld, Co-Founder, Ex-Officio
Shirley brought both her clinical skills and programmatic skills to the founding of Ashby Village. She spent her career as an Educational Psychologist and school administrator of schools and programs in Alameda County. As a psychologist, she assessed and counseled students with different needs, guiding them and their families toward making their experiences in the school environment as rich as possible. As an administrator, she worked as Co-Director of Special Education in the Alameda School District, managing programs and staff for middle and high school programs. Later, as the Director of the Seneca Day Treatment Program, she designed programs and managed clinical and educational staff bringing services to children with major behavioral and emotional needs. Shirley served on the Board for the first six years of Ashby Village as a member and Board Chair.

Andra Lichtenstein, Chair
Founder and principal of Capital Incubator, Andra consults with nonprofit community health centers and aging services organizations to finance their capital projects. She has 40 years of experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. She was the Planning & Development Director of LifeLong Medical Care for 10 years. She was also the developer and original owner of Saul’s Restaurant & Delicatessen in Berkeley.  She serves on the Ashby Village Development, Governance and Planning Committees.

Steve Lustig, Vice Chair
Steve, an Executive Coach and Organization Consultant, retired from the University of California, Berkeley, as Associate Vice Chancellor Emeritus, Health and Human Services, where he was in charge of the campus’ health and counseling programs for students, faculty and staff. Building community has been one of his passions, beginning with work as an activist in the ‘60s. He has led strategic and business planning efforts for Ashby Village. Steve was pivotal in the development of Berkeley as an Age-Friendly City, and he also developed the Berkeley Age Friendly Continuum.  

Susan Thomas Pierpoint, Secretary
Susan was President of the North Oakland Village board, where she became a volunteer in 2015. She is the former board president of Bishop’s Ranch – a nonprofit camp and conference center in Healdsburg, CA – and was senior warden at St. John’s Oakland for two years. Susan practiced law for more than 30 years in a private law firm and then at University of California. After retirement in 2009 she assisted Mills College as acting General Counsel and served as a consultant in board governance for nonprofits. Susan chairs the Governance Committee and serves on the Development Committee.

Bryan Ricks
Bryan is chairman of the Oakland Mayor’s Commission on Aging and was a board member of North Oakland Village; executive director of CareBuilders at Home-East Bay; and a member of the Livable Oakland Committee. He has worked with the Commission to raise awareness around issues of people over 65. For CareBuilders at Home, he spearheads projects that incorporate nonmedical home care and patient advocacy programs to decrease rehospitalization. These services create a “web of care” to help keep senior patients at home.
Patricia Carson Sussman, Co-Founder, Ex-Officio
As a co-founder of Ashby Village, Patricia has brought years of experience as a health-care executive and board member of community organizations to her work in building the Village.  A former hospice director, she also was Chief Operating Officer for LifeLong Medical Care, gaining practical experience as well as an understanding of the public policy issues around aging. Pat serves on the Finance, Nominating and Planning Committees.

Diane Wong

A professional in the field of aging, Diane was the founding director of Alzheimer's Services of the East Bay and served as the interim Executive Director/Consultant for the Alameda County Public Authority for In-Home Supportive Services. She has also worked as a nonprofit consultant. For the past 10 years she has been the Executive Director of J-Sei, a multi-senior service and Japanese cultural organization. Volunteer work includes the startup of DayBreak, the Adult Day Services Network of Contra Costa, and Lamorinda Adult Respite Center.

Steve Lustig Pat Sussman Pat Sakai
Patricia Carson Sussman, Steve Lustig and Patricia Sakai

Get to Know the Ashby Village Board Members

Sustaining Advisors:

Beth Burnside
Joan Cole
Bob Davis
Karen Grimsich
Janet Howley
Ellen Jacobs
Rochelle Lefkowitz
Laura Peck
Roberta Pressman
Pat Sakai
Jane Selby
Barbi Jo Stim
Betty Webster



Advisory to the Executive Director in overseeing all programs and services.

  • Karen Cross
  • Sigrid Duesberg
  • Mary Graham
  • Steve Lustig
  • Irene Marcos
  • Roberta Pressman
  • Jane Selby
  • Joan Straumanis, Board Liaison