Serving Seniors Appoints New Board Chair

September, 2014 Client News

San Diego – Sept. 5, 2014 – Serving Seniors, the region’s premier nonprofit agency serving San Diego seniors living in poverty for nearly 45 years has appointed Michelle Sterling as new board chairperson, and has added three new members to its board of directors: Sandra Lawhon, Arlene Prater and Jerry Schneider.

“Helping seniors in poverty live healthy and fulfilling lives is a community effort,” said Paul Downey, president and CEO, Serving Seniors. “Our board of directors is integral in creating and implementing progressive initiatives to help San Diego seniors in need, and we welcome our new board chair and board members.”

Michelle Sterling, senior vice president, human resources for Qualcomm Incorporated, is the new board chair for Serving Seniors. She has been a board member of the organization since 2009. Her previous board service includes serving as the vice chair of the board of directors for Occupational Training Services (OTS), chair of the advisory council for OTS and chair of the corporate board of directors for the San Diego Workforce Partnership. She is also the recipient of the YWCA of San Diego County Tribute to Women in Industry (TWIN) award. Sterling works in Sorrento Valley.

Sandra Lawhon is president of S&L Financial Inc. a California licensed lender and investment banking firm. In addition to being a new board member for Serving Seniors, she is also currently on the board of the YMCA of San Diego County where she also previously served as board chair. Lawhon has also previously served on the board of Torrey Pines Bank and the San Diego Medical Federal Credit Union. Lawhon works in Point Loma.

Arlene Prater, partner at Best Best & Krieger LLP, specializes in providing advice to public and private employers in employment law litigation and administrative proceedings. Prater is also a current board member of the San Diego Botanic Garden, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest and San Diego Access to Independence. She provides pro bono services to various nonprofit agencies in San Diego. Prater works in Downtown San Diego.

Jerry Schneider is a business consultant and philanthropist. He is the former chief financial officer and member of the executive team of Vistage International, Inc., the world’s largest CEO membership company providing peer group settings for over 10,000 executive of small and medium size companies. Along with his participation as a board member of Serving Seniors, Schneider is an active partner with San Diego Social Venture Partners and a board member of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation (TKF).

To learn more about Serving Seniors or to make a donation, visit

About Serving Seniors (formerly known as Senior Community Centers)
Serving Seniors is a nonprofit agency dedicated to helping seniors in poverty live healthy and fulfilling lives. Founded in 1970, the organization creates collaborative partnerships to support their “wellness model,” which provides nutrition, health, mental health, advocacy, transitional housing for homeless seniors and permanent supportive housing. This safety net of services keeps seniors out of emergency rooms, reduces hospital days and delays and/or eliminates the need for long-term care. The agency has been skillfully led for 20 years by Chief Executive Officer and President Paul Downey. Downey is also the immediate past-resident of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) and is a commissioner for the California Commission on Aging. For a complete list of volunteer opportunities or more information, please visit http://www.servingseniors.orgFacebook or Twitter, or call (619) 235-6572.