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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 13 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 held on the first Thursday of the month from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Visitors are encouraged and welcomed.  We are currently meeting via Zoom.

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, 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

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.

Diane Choquette photo Diane Choquette, Secretary
Since retiring from a career as a librarian in academic and public libraries, Diane Choquette has enjoyed a variety of activities involving community service. Working with Carquinez Village since its inception has been most rewarding to her. She helps recruit and train the volunteers and is thrilled to see how much our volunteers do for older adults in our community. She loves being part of such a committed and caring group of volunteers cooperatively working to bring joy and comfort to the lives of others.
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 area.) Additionally, Gerry served as the financial secretary of the church council of Benicia’s Community Congregational Church.

Linda Chandler photo Linda Chandler, Marketing Co-chair
Linda Chandler began her career as an educator following 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 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 County Office of Education 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.

Barbara Fredericks, Marketing Co-chair
Barbara Fredericks is a multi-faceted Creative Services Professional specializing in graphic design and production art. She is honored to have been invited to serve on the board of the Carquinez Village. 

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.


Leslie Lessenger, Phd. Governance Chair
Leslie Lessenger, Phd, is a retired psychologist.  Currently she is active in the Community Congregational Church, AAUW, and League of Women Voters.  She enjoys her family, playing the flute, reading, bicycling and stained glass.  She serves as a Carquinez Village driver and as the Governance Chair for the Board of Directors.

Kathy Monroe Photo Kathy Monroe, Volunteer, and Services Chair
Kathy Monroe is a native New Englander who moved to Benicia after 30 years in New Jersey. She decided in junior high school that she wanted a career understanding and helping others, and that shaped her educational decisions to get a B.A. in Social Psychology from Boston University, a M.Ed. in Counseling from Harvard, and a M.S.W. in Clinical Social Work from Rutgers University. Although she worked with all age groups in a number of mental health settings, her two specialties were teenagers and older adults, whom she finds have a lot in common. Since retiring as a clinical therapist from Carrier Foundation in New Jersey, she keeps busy mentoring girls at Liberty High, serving on the Board at her church, where she is active in the Bell Choir and Mission Outreach, volunteering and playing at Benicia Yacht Club, walking her dog all over town, and writing poetry, for which she has won several prizes. She is continuously impressed by the sense of mission and the positive attitudes of both our members and volunteers.
Susan Neuhuas photo

Susan Neuhaus, past President
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.