Jessica A. Williams, Executive Director
Jessica was a LITA board member for 4 years and became the Executive Director in February 2018. Jessica has over 15 years of experience in community engagement, sustainability business practices and organizational leadership. Her most recent work has been with Community Focus and Spare the Air. Jessica has a MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School and a Master’s of Arts in Teaching from Quinnipiac University.
She has volunteered with the Marine Mammal Center and was a board member for the League of Women Voters of Marin. She is originally from New England but is now a happy resident of Novato where she can still see tidal salt marshes and beautiful egrets.
Tanya Mendoza , Volunteer Director
Tanya joined LITA in March, 2017 after spending 4 months as the Interim Volunteer Director. Tanya was born on the island of Oahu, city of Honolulu, Hawaii. Her family lived in Southern California, Oregon, and Florida, finally settling in Northern California’s Sonoma County.
Her Sonoma County years found her riding the school bus through the Korbel winery each day while living in Guerneville, swimming in the Russian River and picking blackberries when she lived in Forestville. In Santa Rosa, she exceeded her ‘home’ sewing skills by training to become a professional tailor and managing an upscale apparel store tailor shop. The passing of time in life encourages new challenges, so with President’s Honors, she graduated from Empire College. She was surprised when the school president announced her as the Hospitality and Travel program’s graduate of the year. She held back tears for her surprise, accomplishment and wishing her family had been there to be proud of her. She enjoyed being a student in the class room, but the work world beckoned. She spent time in the natural foods industry, working at a bank, and at the cemetery where, five years before, she said good bye to her mother.
Tanya moved to Marin County in 2004, where she discovered her next gratifying profession as an Activity Coordinator. She went to Texas to spend time with family in 2010, but returned in 2011, continuing to attend to the engagement of older adults in several facilities' activity departments and memory care units. It was in her first activities role that she learned about LITA. She watched wonderful friendships grow through fulfillment of LITA’s mission and was happy to assist in initiating this friendship matching process with each Volunteer Request form she had sent to LITA. She is most grateful to have to opportunity to be part of LITA, because, ‘Love really is the Answer!’
Dena Selix, Intergenerational Coordinator/Consultant - Bridging Generations
Dena Selix began working with LITA in 2008 as a consultant after receiving a Certificate in Intergenerational Programs from Generations Together, University of Pittsburgh. Expanding on LITA’s Youth Partners program, she designed and implemented Bridging Generations to connect elementary school children and seniors in assisted living facilities. After 15 years of teaching and tutoring middle and high school English and Study Skills, she began volunteering at The Redwoods Retirement Community, visiting seniors and leading art workshops. Dena also assisted with art, poetry and cooking classes at the Marin Brain Injury Network. Prior to teaching, she served as a project coordinator for the Hugh O’Brian Youth Organization which offers seminars to teens who interact with community and business leaders. Dena’s duties involved fund raising and event planning. She holds a B.A. in English from U.C. Santa Barbara and a California Teaching Credential and M.Ed. from UCLA.
Aaron Hipschman, LITA Music Coordinator - Bridging Thru Music
Aaron Hipschman, a jazz pianist and children's music teacher at WOW Music Studios in Mill Valley, joined LITA October 2017. He received his undergraduate degree at the Jazz school in Berkeley in 2012.
Aaron plays in senior centers throughout the Bay Area. He is a drummer, call bassists, guitarists, pianists, and even horn players to form groups that play at local senior centers. He has organized acoustic shows featuring singer songwriter type musicians, blues musicians, classical musicians, and even a ukulele themed show!
Aaron is passionate about working with seniors and bringing positive experiences to their lives.