EngAGE has brought together a strong team with many years of experience in the areas of geriatrics, healthcare systems, housing, education, arts, finance, development, and regional program management.
Tim Carpenter, CEO/Founder – Tim Carpenter founded EngAGE in 1999, then catalyzed the creation of the Burbank Senior Artists Colony, the first-of-its-kind senior apartment community with high-end arts amenities and programs, and the flagship model for multiple subsequent EngAGE communities. He is also host/producer of Experience Talks, “a radio magazine for the experienced listener,” which is broadcast on KPFK-FM Los Angeles and other Pacifica Network stations. Over the past several years, Mr. Carpenter has attended every major arts and aging conference, as both a presenter and collaborator. He has been invited to speak internationally in Canada, Scotland, New Zealand, Singapore, and Hong Kong. In 2008, he was elected an Ashoka Fellow for his work as a social entrepreneur, and in 2011 he received the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award. Most recently he was awarded the Stanton Fellowship for 2016-17 by the Durfee Foundation and named one of Next Avenue’s 2016 Influencers in Aging. Tim continues to seek out the best practices in the arts, wellness, and lifelong learning.
Nancy Goodhart, Chief Administrative Officer – Ms. Goodhart supervises every aspect of Wellness, Lifelong Learning, and Creativity programming at the ground level, including co-authoring “The Essentials of Aging,” a 12-week introductory orientation to EngAGE programming. Nancy has taught at the K-12 through adult school levels in Maryland, New York, and California and has directed many recreational and educational programs for both municipal and private organizations. She is passionate about promoting health for seniors through exercise, movement, and the universality of creative expression, which manifests in everything from everyday problem solving, to relationship building, to financial management. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation Program Planning/Physical Education from the University of Maryland and a teaching credential from Cal State Long Beach in Physical Fitness, Health and Safety for Older Adults. She is also certified in Falls Prevention Training.
Ken Tambe, Chief Financial Officer – In addition to administering EngAGE’s financial operations, Ken Tambe oversees the organization’s human resources needs, and develops and implements procedures and policies that support EngAGE’s steady growth, and expansion into new markets. Mr. Tambe brings over 30 years’ experience to EngAGE from a variety of sectors encompassing education and social causes, real estate and investment, marketing and graphics, and the performing and visual arts. Prior to EngAGE, he worked with the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles. Mr. Tambe holds a Master of Science degree from California State University Los Angeles, is a credentialed School Counselor, and has a private practice as a Marriage Family Therapist.
Robin Hart, National Director of Development – Ms. Hart provides fundraising, grant writing, research, and writing support to our projects nationwide, as well as support for EngAGE programming outside of California. Co-author of “The Essentials of Aging,” a 12-week introductory orientation to EngAGE programming, Robin worked for over a decade as Regional Programs Director for EngAGE before relocating to the Triad region of North Carolina. A former Buddhist nun in the Tibetan tradition, Robin Hart became a Certified Instructor in Compassion Cultivation Training at Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education in 2014.
Marshall Nalle Ayers, Program Director, ACE/121 Glendale Arts Colony – Ms. Ayers is a skilled arts education specialist with 25 plus years experience in K-12 program development and administration across multiple art forms, with leadership roles in strategic planning, community partnerships, event management, communications and fund development in both public and non-profit settings. Most recently Marshall was the District Arts Education Coordinator for the Pasadena Unified School District where she oversaw curriculum and instruction in visual art, music, drama, and dance at 26 school sites for 18,000 students. She was also the Founding Executive Director for Ryman Arts, a high school visual art program, and still serves on their Board of Directors. She attended the National Theatre Institute in Waterford, CT, and has a BA in Theatre Arts from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. A dedicated advocate for arts education, Marshall recently launched Artzray, an “e-zine” for young people pursuing careers in the arts.
Sara Debevec, Program Director, North Hollywood Senior Arts Colony (NoHo SAC) – Ms. Debevec is a proficient artist, education arts specialist, and event planner. She holds a degree in Sociology from Goldsmiths College London and a Masters in Urban Studies from University College London. Sara has taught theater and performing arts at universities and art centers around the world including University of Pittsburgh, The Roundhouse Center in London, and Lazarski University in Warsaw. In addition, Sara has five years experience in leadership roles in events planning and marketing for international schools, architecture companies, and fundraising platforms. She is also an accomplished and internationally recognized performance artist and writer who thrives on sharing her knowledge and experience with others.
Jennifer Fallon, Program Director – Ms. Fallon has ten years of experience in education, teaching grades K-3 in Massachusetts, Virginia, Florida, and California. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island with an Elementary Education degree and specialization in Psychology. During her husband’s military career, she actively taught various grade levels while they moved to new stations. She has three sons; Connor, Patrick, and Aiden. Her husband, Jim, is currently a Colonel in the United States Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton. Over the past several years, she has found a new interest in working with seniors. Their love, knowledge, and spirit inspire her to provide them with innovative programming. She has been working for EngAGE since 2013 and is based in Orange County, CA.
Tracy Freeburg, Program Director – Ms. Freeburg is an Iowa native, but being married to a US Marine has given her the opportunity to live in many different locations. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Leisure Services, with a minor emphasis in non-profit organizations, from the University of Northern Iowa. She has held positions planning events for the Fiesta Bowl, teaching fitness classes at the YMCA, and serving as an x-ray technician and medical assistant. Tracy and her husband have three young boys named Jakob, Kael, and Myles. In her free time she likes spending time with family, exercising, and enjoying the beautiful Southern California weather and beaches. She appreciates the opportunity to get to know the amazing residents at the EngAGE communities she serves.
Megan Hocking, Program Director, BSAC – Ms. Hocking has worked in non-profit and municipal recreation programming for over 10 years. She earned her degree in Recreation Administration at the California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo where she specialized in Special Events and Business Marketing. Megan is an accomplished event planner and instructor. She has been volunteering and working with seniors for most of her life and enjoys offering her unique brand of fun and energy to EngAGE programming.
Kate Houston, Regional Program Director, EngAGE Heartland – Ms. Houston has worked in planning and program development for aging services, and grants management and program development for community arts programs. She has led several collaborative initiatives to improve community based care for older adults, including dementia care, caregiver support services, services to minority and ethnic elders, fostering lifetime communities and building the business acumen of the aging network. She is skilled at identifying and sharing best practices, designing programs to achieve outcomes and measuring impact, and nurturing relationships that foster collaboration among community partners. Kate has also made art in different forms throughout her life, including music and ceramics. She is pleased to bring her experience in arts and aging to foster opportunities for creative expression for older adults. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Meloney Morse, Program Director – Ms. Morse joined the EngAGE team in the summer of 2007 as a volunteer. She has been employed with EngAGE since 2009. Ms. Morse implements and maintains the quality of programs provided by EngAGE at several Orange County sites. She is certified as a ZUMBA instructor and has years of experience working with seniors in fitness instruction, as well as aqua aerobics. She is working toward her Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration from Cal State Long Beach.
Essence Parker, Program Director – Ms. Parker uses her passion for the betterment of vulnerable populations – including at-risk youth, senior, and veteran demographics – to fuel her work in human and social services. Throughout her career, Essence has invested upward of ten years experience performing program development initiatives for such non-profit organizations as Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles and Y.W.C.A of the Harbor & South Bay Area. Essence has also facilitated psychosocial rehabilitation to mentally ill residents at Founder’s House of Hope, with the goal of employment readiness and overall community reintegration. In addition to her role as Regional Programs Director with EngAGE, she is currently an Adjunct Professor at Southern California University of Health Sciences where she teaches Introduction to Psychology courses. Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Behavioral Science and a Master’s of Arts in Organizational Development & Leadership.
Lorraine Pope, Program Director, Piedmont – Originally from the East coast, Ms. Pope is a graduate of Northeastern University, with a B.S. in Business Administration. She later went on to study theater at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC. Over the years, she has developed and created after school programs and summer camp adventures for children of all ages. In addition to working in the marketing department for the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, Ms. Pope has over 15 years of event management experience here in Los Angeles.
Elizabeth Sampson, Program Director – Ms. Sampson is an actor, director, and playwright. She teaches Acting at UCLA in their Professional Program and is an adjunct Professor of acting at Pepperdine University in addition to her private coaching. As a member of the prestigious acting company at the American Conservatory Theatre, SF, she was the lead in the west coast premiere of 1918, Christmas Carol, Twelfth Night. Other writing and acting credits in theatre include work in NYC; Washington, D.C.; and L.A. where she has been seen in numerous productions, including plays at the Road Theatre on Magnolia located in EngAGE’s NOHO Senior Arts Colony. Elizabeth also has extensive credits in film and television. She has performed her short stories for Spark Off Rose and Tree People (both recorded for radio). Her play, The Petoskey Stones, was performed at The Road Theatre Company and was chosen for the New Women’s Voices in Theatre Festival, Washington, DC, 2015. She is a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative, and Women in Film. She taught acting at The Covenant House homeless shelter for youths-in-crisis for 4 years, and then wrote a play about it, produced by the HERE Space in NY.
Lourdes Torres, Program Director – Ms. Torres was born and raised in Orange County, CA. She’s been a passionate advocate for seniors in the city of Costa Mesa, as well as being committed to working for various interdisciplinary organizations in Orange County that serve children and adults with developmental and mental illness. Lourdes is working toward her psychology major and her human services certificate at Community Coastline and CSUD. Her hobbies are painting with acrylics and oils, hiking and camping, arts and crafts, and spending time with her equally interesting sisters.
Sandra Vargas, Program Director – Ms. Vargas has an AA degree in Liberal Arts and a Child Development Certificate from East Los Angeles College. She is an alumna of CSU Long Beach and has a Substance Abuse Counselor Certificate. Sandra worked for LAUSD for thirteen years with after school programs designed for children with working parents. As a substance abuse counselor, she worked for four years with at risk young teens. Sandra also currently assists her 16-year-old son with his non-profit project. N.O.L.C. (No One Left Cold). Throughout the year, they collect unwanted blankets, clothes, and shoes, and twice a year distribute them to the Skid Row Community. Sandra started with EngAGE in 2011 as a teacher, then became a Site Leader, and is now a Regional Program Director.
Helene Weinberg, Program Director, Long Beach Senior Arts Colony (LBSAC) and Pacific Avenue Arts Colony (PacArts in San Pedro) – An award-winning entertainer and educator, Ms. Weinberg has starred in the touring production of the long-running smash hit, “Forbidden Broadway,” and performs worldwide for corporate, social, and special events. Helene created her business theater and special events company, Out To Lunch Events, in 1994 and debuted her first musical revue, “OUT TO LUNCH – A Whacky Revue of the Workplace,” playing to capacity crowds in Cleveland’s Playhouse Square. Out to Lunch Events continues as a creative boutique production company offering customized live shows and digital media projects written and performed for worldwide audiences. Helene has worked with funny man Drew Carey and with the legendary improv company, The Second City. She wrote and directed the national touring production of “Fashion and Film, On Tour,” starring Shirley Jones, for American Movie Classics, and her voice has been heard on commercials for JC Penney, Goodyear, Cadillac, and KFC. Helene is a returning guest artist and acting coach for Young Actors Camp in LA, performs improv with The Guerilla Improv Troupe, and works frequently as a musical cabaret artist, actor, radio host, coach & writer.
Alma Wright, Program Director – Ms. Wright’s background is in arts and interior decorating. Her Associate of Arts Degree with emphasis in Advertising and Graphic Design was earned at Pasadena City College, and she has been managing her own business as an interior decorating consultant since 2006. Alma loves working with her hands and has tried everything from portrait drawing to reupholstering old furniture. In the last few years with EngAGE, Alma has found yet another new passion, this time, working with seniors. She is truly committed to fulfilling their various interests and needs through innovating programming and resources.
Cynthia Friedlob, Websites/Social Media Manager – Ms. Friedlob keeps EngAGE in the public eye with informative and entertaining online posts and tweets, as well as daily posts on the EngAGE Blog and regular updates to our websites. She is also a host and producer of the “Experience Talks” radio show on KPFK-FM. Her career includes many years as a writer of children’s television shows and family feature films (Hanna-Barbera, Marvel, Jim Henson Productions, Warner Bros., Disney), and she’s the author of the humorous self-help book, Sorting It Out: How One Disorganized Woman Solved the Problem of Too Much Stuff. In addition, Cynthia has been an exhibiting fine artist for over 25 years. She has a B.A. in Sociology and an M.A. in Mass Communications from the University of Denver.
Laura Sardisco, Orange County Food Program Coordinator – Ms. Sardisco has worked in the nonprofit sector, primarily theatre, for fifteeen years. She has also spent several years with an education company that provides life-long learning, community service, and career opportunities through the creative arts for people with disabilities. Laura holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts from Long Beach State University. She is the author of Historical, Cultural, and Neurological View of Modern American Theatre. Pretty spreadsheets and infographics make Laura happier than they probably should. In her free time, Laura volunteers with Emerging Arts Leaders/Los Angeles as Finance Co-Chair. She was elected to this position by her peers and is responsible for EAL/LA’s budget development and monitoring.