At Home in Alexandria is governed by a 14 member Board of Directors, all of whom are current members of the organization. Board meetings are held monthly and are open to members.
*Charles Ablard is not pictured.
Jane King, Chair
Jane is chair of the Alexandria Commission on Aging and has been for several years a consultant, writer, and editor on issues related to aging. In the years 1998-2006, Jane managed several groups for AARP, including those involved in home loans, consumer protection, reverse mortgages and other issues. Holder of a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Duquesne University, Jane serves on the board of the National Consumers League and is a member of the Metropolitan Washington Transportation Policy Board.
Bob Eiffert, Vice Chair
Bob has worked in local government for nearly 30 years. In 1993, he became director of the City’s Area Agency on Aging, later expanded and renamed the Office of Aging and Adult Services. In 2002, Bob was promoted to Deputy Director of the City’s Office of Housing, where he oversaw the City’s $6.5 million local and federal grant programs to promote, develop and maintain affordable housing in the City. In 2005, Bob was able to combine his aging and housing experience when he moved to Fairfax County to become the Director of Senior and Specialized Housing. Bob supervised the management and operation of six independent living facilities with over 400 housing units for seniors, two assisted living facilities and nine group homes for adults with disabilities. In 2007, Bob was promoted to the position of Long Term Care Program Manager in the Fairfax County Health Department. Bob has been an active volunteer with the City’s Commission on Aging since 2010. He served as the Chair of the Commission’s Advocacy Committee and he is currently the Vice Chair of the Commission. In 2012, Bob was elected to the board of directors of the Goodwin House Foundation.
Chriss Nielsen, Treasurer
Chriss has over twenty-five (25) years of experience developing and directing studies analyzing the rail transportation industry. Many of these studies were directed toward cost reduction, profitability analysis, maximum rate reasonableness determinations and contract negotiations. She received a BA in English from the University of Southern California in 1980 and has taken graduate level courses in Accounting and Transportation Economics at George Mason University.
Helen Desfosses, Secretary
Helen joined the board of Directors upon the completion of her teaching stint at George Mason University Osher Institute. Helen was recently named to the Alexandria Library Board. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature from Mount Holyoke College, a Master’s in Soviet Studies from Harvard, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Boston University.
Charles is a retired Administrative Judge with the Defense Department and also served three other government departments. He was in private law practice for 25 years and is a member of the Board of the Historic Alexandria Foundation and Public Diplomacy Council in D.C. He is also a volunteer tutor in the public schools of Alexandria and a volunteer for AHA.
A registered nurse, now with 40 years of experience, Susanne Adams immigrated to the United States from Switzerland in 1976 and settled in North Carolina with her American husband. She passed her US nursing boards and worked there as an OR nurse, and then for the Inova system after they moved to Alexandria in 1980. In 1987, she accepted a position as a school nurse at St. Marie’s School while raising her own children, returning to Inova in 2001 to teach prenatal classes. She has managed the care of a number of elderly relatives and friends and became aware of AHA several years ago. She has since become a very valuable member of AHA’s Member Services Committee and is a “buddy” for several AHA members. She is pleased to use her knowledge and skills in her volunteer work for AHA.
Brenda is a retired CPA/ Tax Director who relocated to Alexandria in 2013. She currently serves as Secretary on her condo board in Old Town. Prior to relocating to the area, she volunteered in various community activities including the League of Women Voters, the Boys & Girls Club, and Little League as well as serving as her condo board President for several years.
William (Bill) Clayton
Bill was a news reporter for a half-century before retirement. He has been involved in his neighborhood association and in groups supporting the arts, classical music, and discussion of issues. Bill lived in Mexico City during World War II and some years afterward, and he welcomes chances to keep up his Spanish.
Alan retired as Associate Director for Advocacy, American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). He represented AFB on the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations and was Co-Chair Technology, telecommuni- cations and workforce task forces of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities. Alan is currently a member of Alexandria Commission on Aging and Co-chair Older Adult Ministries Advisory Council, Metropolitan Community Church.
Linda has lived in Alexandria for about 8 years. She was a stay-at-home Mom and did a lot of volunteer work. She and her late husband bought a mobile home manufacturing facility and she helped run the business. She was also a substitute teacher. Now, she teaches ESL, served as a volunteer with AHA, and on her condo board.
Pam Nelson has extensive experience in leadership and program management of major engineering and communications programs serving various Government agencies. She retired in 2015 from Harris Corporation as a Senior Program Manager. Her career began at Ohio Bell in customer service, where she completed her education at Ohio State. She and her husband Steve are Charter members of AHA and active volunteers. Pam has served as Chairman of the Annual Gala and, with Steve, manages the monthly Happy Hour. She serves on the Program committee and as Chair of the Governance committee. She brings strong organizational and leadership skills, gained throughout her career. She is appreciative of the opportunity for growth, fun and friendship provided through AHA.
Penny spent the first part of her career as a teacher, then as an Education Services Officer for the U.S. Army Adult and Continuing Education Program where she provided a full range of educational programs from basic skills to graduate school for members of military, their families, and civilians employees. Penny spent the second part of her career with the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, first as a Senior Executive Service Advisor and later as Director of Human Resources. In retirement, she has utilized her degree in linguistics to teach English as a Second Language as a volunteer, has continued to do occasional editorial work, and has devoted herself to learning about and volunteering in the area of dementia and dementia care, whenever she is not traveling. She has been a member and volunteer for AHA for the past three years.
Barbara, who recently retired as Chair of the AHA Board after four years in that post, has held leadership roles in numerous nonprofit and political organizations. She worked in government at both the federal and local level; her last professional position was as Senior Advisor to the Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. She is the co-author with her late husband Stephen Rosenfeld of Return from Red Square, a book based on their experiences in Moscow when he was the Washington Post’s resident correspondent and she was on her tour with the United States Information Agency. She has 10 grandchildren.
Mary Jayne Swanson
Mary Jayne Swanson enjoyed a long career in retail management and brings to the Board fine business skills as well as a keen awareness of the value of providing superior and sensitive service to our members. A New Englander by birth, Mary Jayne has lived in Northern Virginia since 1970. She started her career as a nutritionist and moved to retail at Woodward and Lothrop in Organizational Development then to Store Management at Fair Oaks. She moved to Garfinckels as a store manager and after they closed, she joined American University as Bookstore and Licensing Director. After retirement she spent 7 years as a University Bookstore Consultant. She says, “I became interested in the village movement through a friend and sought a village in Alexandria and was happy to find AHA. I wanted to stay in my home in Del Ray and enjoy my family and friends, my yard and my newly rescued dog. I realize I’m not alone with this wish and through AHA I hope to help others stay in their neighborhoods and enjoy their homes.”