Skip to header Skip to main content Skip to footer
Helpful Village logo
Donate Now
Add me to your mailing list

A Nonprofit Organization
Carquinez Village is a 501(c)3 (EIN: 47-4133336) charitable nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible.

Led by a Governing Board
Carquinez Village is guided by a Governing Board of thirteen community leaders each of whom serves for a minimum of one two-year term. The Board is responsible for: 1) overseeing and implementing the activities and services of the Village; 2) establishing the policies that guide the Village; 3) assuming financial oversight; and 4) ensuring that the Village operates according to the standards and requirements of 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations.

With occasional exceptions, Board meetings are open to the public and held on the first Wednesday of the month from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Visitors are encouraged and welcomed either in-person, or by Zoom. To attend, register by emailing

Guided by Working Committees
Carquinez Village is a volunteer organization that depends on the commitment, talents, and spirit of volunteers who manage the planning, organization, and delivery of the administrative work of the Village. (Many other volunteers deliver the supportive services that the Village offers.) The working committees are as follows:

  • Communications: Promotes awareness and understanding of Carquinez Village.
  • Finance: Oversees sound fiscal management of Carquinez Village.
  • Governance: Ensures strong leadership and legal compliance of Carquinez Village.
  • Member Services:  Promotes services that produce high-quality member experiences.
  • Outreach: Conducts outreach with organizations and individuals to advance the Village.
  • Programs/Activities: Delivers programs and activities that connect and stimulate members.
  • Services and Volunteers: Attracts, trains, and supports volunteers to meet Village needs.
  • Virtual Office Services: Manages the technology-driven systems of Carquinez Village.

If you would like to learn about volunteering on a committee, call 707-297-2472. It’s a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with others to make a difference in people’s lives.

Carquinez Village wishes to express ongoing gratitude to our co-founders, the late Judie Donaldson and Lois Requist, whose vision, enthusiasm, and leadership for several years were vital to our Village becoming a reality in April of 2016

Click here to email us at: or call us at 707.297.2472

Jennifer Hanley, Executive Director

Jennifer Hanley, a resident of Benicia for 34 years and a graduate of Benicia High School, embarked on an evolving career path after her studies at Chico State University. She has transitioned through various roles demonstrating a unique capacity for personal and professional reinvention.

After dedicating nearly a decade as a 911 Dispatcher and Training Officer with the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office, she chose to pivot into the private sector where she has held positions in finance, C-level executive office administration, program coordination with Solano Transportation Authority, and political campaign management. Raised in the spirit of community and public service, Jennifer's transition to the nonprofit space seemed like a natural fit. 

Jennifer is deeply passionate about the mission of Carquinez Village and the National Village Movement. She maintains an open-door policy and welcomes anyone with questions, ideas or concerns to reach out to her at

Helen Hughes

Helen Hughes, President

Helen Hughes has had a rich experience living and learning around the world. She lived and taught English in Australia, India, and Spain. She holds a TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) certificate. In India, Helen established a preschool for children of ex-pats. When she returned to the United States, she operated an Airbnb.


Barbara Engdahl, Vice President

Barbara is a native-born Californian who grew up in San Mateo.  After earning an AA degree, she spent almost a year hitchhiking and hosteling in Europe.  She returned to complete her BA at the University of Nevada and soon received an East-West Center scholarship to study Asian philosophy at the University of Hawaii.  There followed a year working in the Philippines capped with her marriage to a fellow EWC grantee. They had two boys, the second of whom arrived while they were working with the Peace Corps in Kathmandu, Nepal!  Coming back to Hawaii and more practical with increasing age, she earned an MSW and began a career in medical social work. For 19 years, she owned an employment agency finding helpers for seniors needing assistance at home.  After she retired, in amongst worldwide travels, she volunteered as a counselor for Compassion and Choices helping pass California's right-to-die law. Altogether she has spent over 40 years working with seniors.  Her work with Carquinez Village extends that commitment.

Diane Delaney photo

Diane Delaney, Secretary

Diane is a native Californian and has lived in Benicia for 32 years. She has a BA in English Lit from UC Berkeley. Diane retired from the Berkeley Police Department as a Police Lieutenant after 30 years of service. She was a member of the department’s BSHNT- Barricaded Subject Hostage Negotiation Team (SWAT) where she served as a tactical team leader. She is a firearms and tactics instructor and continues to consult and teach for a security firm in Oakland. Diane is a volunteer for the American Red Cross as well as the Carquinez Village, where she serves as Board secretary, as a member of the Membership Committee, and as a direct services provider. Diane is married and has two adult children She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, enjoying hiking, backpacking, snow, and wakeboarding.

Gerald Forcier photo

Gerry Forcier, Treasurer

Gerry worked as the executive director of The Arc-Solano, an organization that serves people with developmental/intellectual disabilities, for thirty-nine years. During this time, he was also an active volunteer with a number of organizations. Gerry was a board member of the Affordable Housing Affiliation in Benicia, serving Housing Coalition (NBHC), also in the position of Treasurer. (NBHC serves people with developmental/intellectual disabilities by accessing affordable housing in the Napa, Sonoma, and Solano county catchment areas.) Additionally, Gerry served as the financial secretary of the church council of Benicia’s Community Congregational Church.

Linda Chandler photo

Linda Chandler, Marketing

Linda Chandler began her career as an educator following the completion of her degree and credentialing at UC Irvine. She holds an MBA from JFK University and provided consulting for the Small Business Centers (SBDC) in Contra Costa and Solano counties while also teaching as an adjunct professor for Golden Gate University, Saint Mary’s, and the California Maritime Academy. Employed by Contra Costa County, she served as a strategic planner for Contra Costa’s Workforce Investment Board, she headed up the development of EASTBAY Works, a partnership that services all the East Bay. Linda spearheaded design and technology delivery linkage for fourteen centers, acknowledged for national innovation. She led aggressive grant development and expanded partnerships with industry resulting in millions of new dollars targeted retrain youth and adults. Her present interest is building partnerships and ongoing support for the goals of Carquinez Village.

Jeanne Elkdahl photo

Jeanne Ekdahl, Virtual Office Manager, and Operations Coordinator

Jeanne Ekdahl taught critical thinking and writing at CSU East Bay and served as Director of Testing and the University Writing Assessment Program. In addition, she developed a mentoring program for graduate students and worked with the Online Teaching and Learning Program.  She was on the board of the Contra Costa Office of Education AVID program and worked with local high schools to develop articulation agreements with colleges. Jeanne also taught business college and was a management trainer and volunteer coordinator for Planned Parenthood. Currently, she serves on the board of Families in Transition of Benicia.

Jane Keene, Volunteer Services Chair

My name is Jane Keene and I am a native of Leicester, England,  transplanted,  to the United States in 1968. I have been a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area since 1980.

I have a Master of Science degree from the University of San Francisco in Human Resources and Organizational Development. I am a graduate of the Lynn Andrews Center for Sacred Arts and Training. I am an ordained Minister and Life Coach.

Cynthia Hellmuth

Cynthia Hellmuth, Program Chair

A University in San Francisco R.N. in Nursing degree formed the foundation for a 40-year career for Cynthia Hellmuth. Cynthia began as a Labor and Delivery nurse, moved on to Newborn and Nursery nursing, and finally shifted into increasingly responsible management positions. Cynthia worked in both public and private hospitals in three counties: San Francisco, Contra Costa, and Solano.  She ended her career in 2016 at Contra Costa Medical Center in Martinez.

Janice Manger photo

Janice Magner, Member Services Chair

Janice Magner is a woman who knew what she wanted at an early age.  She has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from San Francisco State University and two graduate degrees­, one in Psychology and another in Transpersonal Psychology, from John F. Kennedy University. She obtained her credential in Marriage and Family Therapy in 1986, has had a private practice since that time, and has served as a part-time counselor at Contra Costa Medical Center. Janice continues to lead a women’s group that has been meeting for 43 years.  In her spare time, she is an Arabic drummer.


Susan Neuhuas photo

Susan Neuhaus, Membership Development Chair

Susan Neuhaus, who is a nurse by training, spent over 30 years in healthcare management and leadership, primarily with Kaiser. Her roles included nursing administration, working to advance healthcare policy, and serving as a Continuing Care Leader with oversight for four medical centers. A key to Susan’s success is her passion for learning and change. Despite her workplace demands, she found time to walk three marathons––in Chicago, Alaska, and Hawaii––and complete innumerable half-marathons. Her volunteer service includes commitments to Sustainable Solano, Benicia Public Library, League of Women Voters, AAUW, and Carquinez Village. She also finds time to provide tax preparation assistance and Medicare counseling. Susan and her husband, Mark, moved to Benicia in 2012.