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Eastern Oregon Center for Independent Living
Empowering individuals with disabilities and seniors to improve the quality of their lives

 Board of Directors

'Leaders aren't born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that's the price we'll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.' Vince Lombardi

Current Board Members

Photo of Andrea Williams
Picture of Andrea Williams

Drea Williams
EOCIL Board President

Drea was elected president of the board of directors in September 2011.

After High School, she moved to eastern Oregon, and in 2001 she joined the Oregon Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC). For the next four years she worked with the independent living community learning extensively about IL by attending numerous trainings, as well as going to NCIL Rallies in D.C.

Drea is most interested in advocating for equal rights for those with any type of disabilities, because for more than three decades years, she has lived with, and adapted to living with her disability. It is through this that she has acquired an unique perspective when it comes to Disability Rights.

An avid animal lover, she enjoys interacting with any type of creature. Pets especially. Whether they be furred, feathered, scaled, or any strange combination, she loves them all.

Photo of Carolyn Haney
Picture of Carolyn Haney

Carolyn Haney was elected vice president of the board of directors in September 2011. She served as president from 1999 to 2011 and has been a board member of EOCIL since its inception in 1999. She worked at Ore-Ida Frozen foods from 1963 until 1988, when she retired. Since her retirement, Carolyn has been very involved with organizing Special Olympics activities for individuals with cognitive disabilities who live in Idaho and Oregon. She is an active member of the Eastern Star and has been an active leader of disability-related advocacy efforts.

Photo of Michael Braden
Picture of Michael Braden

Michael Braden was elected treasurer in September 2011. He joined the EOCIL board of directors in March 2011. He was born and raised in Weiser, Idaho, and moved to Ontario in 2005. Michael graduated from Boise State University (BSU) in 2002 with a bachelorís degree in accountancy; he returned to BSU in 2008 to finish his masterís of accountancy degree. Michael has been a licensed CPA since 2005.

Michael and his beautiful bride, Jennifer, were married in 2002 and are expecting their fourth child in 2011.

Michael became aware of EOCIL through his accounting work and continued to see Kirt Toombs at multiple civic events. Kirt was instrumental in inviting participation, and Michael was eager to join the EOCIL team and provide assistance in this invaluable community cause.

Photo of Matt Knight
Picture of Matt Knight

Matt Knight is an 18-year-old recent Ontario High School graduate. He worked hard to earn his regular high school diploma. Matt participated in Culinary Arts, worked in the BISTRO Program and is currently working at Subway two hours a week. He plans a career in culinary arts.

Matt currently resides with his parents, Mark and Mandy Alvarado; his sister Kelly, who will be a senior at Ontario High School this fall; and his sister Abby, who will be a 4th Grader at Alameda.

Mattís hobbies include spending time with his dog, Noel; swimming; and playing X-Box and Wii. He also enjoys movies, especially the Transformers and Twilight series. He joined the EOCIL board in 2011 and is proud to be advancing the independent living philosophy.

Photo of Alfredo Osuna
Picture of Alfredo Osuna

Alfredo Osuna joined the board of directors for EOCIL in 2010. A resident of Malheur County since 1967, he graduated from Vale Union High School and has extensive background in the field of homecare for people with disabilities and seniors. After obtaining his cosmetology license, Alfredo became a small business owner when he opened his own beauty salon catering to people with disabilities and seniors.

Photo of Caroll Parsons
Picture of Caroll Parsons

Caroll Parsons joined the board of directors in 2002. She is retired from Treasure Valley Community College, where she worked for 20 years. At the college Caroll served as disability services coordinator for five years.

She belongs to several service organizations such as the Payette Syringa Lions Club, the VFW Auxiliary, Payette County Garden Club and the Payette County Historical Society.

Photo of Julie Reynolds
Picture of Julie Reynolds

Julie Reynolds joined the board in July 2015. Her educational background is in developmental and social psychology, with an interest in issues that arise as people age. She has worked as a health services researcher and evaluation specialist, and has served on several boards in the area of medical ethics, developmental disabilities, and aging services.

Julie joined EOCIL in 2010 as an Independent Living and served in that role until 2012. In her new role with EOCIL, Julie will be representing individuals with disabilities residing in Wasco, Hood River, and Sherman counties as well as the global community of people with disabilities.

Photo of Troy Thomas
Picture of Troy Thomas

Troy Thomas's eclectic career experience consist of 13 years as a critical care provider in the healthcare field, managed 3 successful corporations, and personally owned several business. Troy currently owns and operates a hair salon and candle company. Troy is very involved in his community and is a member of the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce and the Pendleton Downtown Business Association.

Past Board

We appreciate the time and talent given by our past board members.

Photo of Colleen Toombs
Picture of Colleen Toombs

Colleen Toombs (not related to EOCIL’s chief executive officer) joined the board of directors for EOCIL in March 2001 and served as treasurer from 2001 to 2011. She has resided in Ontario in 1972. Shortly after moving to Ontario, Colleen obtained employment with Malheur Federal Credit Union, where she worked until retiring in 1999. She and her husband, Leo (now deceased), founded Toombs Janitorial Supplies in Ontario. They have four children. Colleen became active in the disability community after the birth of two grandchildren who live with albinism.

She has been involved with disability-related advocacy for many years and volunteers with Special Olympics and Help Them to Hope. Colleen also serves on the supervisory committee for Malheur Federal Credit Union.

Photo of Lori Lien
Picture of Lori Lien

Lori Lien joined EOCIL’s board of directors in 2002. She is a long-time resident of Baker City, Oregon, and a graduate of Willamette University. She developed a passion for disability awareness and accessibility after sustaining a T3-T4 spinal cord injury in 1994, and has been a member of Baker County Disability Service Advisory Council (DSAC) since 1996 and chair of the council since 2000.

Photo of Jody Martin
Picture of Jody Martin

Jody Martin joined the board of directors in 2010.  She retired from EOCIL as an independent living specialist in 2005 to provide in-home care services for a family member who was living with Alzheimer’s. 

Jody was born in Texas and spent most of her life in Colorado.  She moved to Nyssa, Oregon, in 1959.  In 1960, she married her husband, Gayle, and moved to Adrian, Oregon, where they raised their large family. 

Jody is an artist and has taught art at Treasure Valley Community College. She has also owned and run a grocery store; picked cotton; done restaurant work; provided in-home care services; and worked as an IL specialist at EOCIL.

Photo of Lance Pounds
Picture of Lance Pounds

Lance Pounds joined the EOCIL board in 2002 as a youth representative. He grew up on an 80-acre farm in between Vale and Ontario, Oregon, where he learned to load bales on the truck and drive the truck by the fifth grade. "This is surprising for any farm kid, let alone one with a disability," he says. Lance lives with mild to moderate mixed cerebral palsy, which causes loss of coordination in his hands and his legs. "I have always felt that labor on the farm was surprisingly intriguing just because of the unique different ways that I had to adapt to accommodate my disability. For instance, when I could not drive a manual transmission, my brothers put the truck in low gear and I drove while my three other brothers took up bails from the field."

As an EOCIL board member Lance advocated for the organization to improve itself, enhance services to young people with disabilities and has assisted with the development of EOCIL's five-year technology plan. "As a board member, I have improved my leadership abilities.  This experience has given me the skills to be a self advocate in all areas of my life."

Currently, Lance is a senior at Northwest Nazarene University focusing on cultural studies and economics. In his free time, he enjoys coffee with friends and tap dancing.

Photo of Dixie Barker
Picture of Dixie Barker

Dixie Barker joined the board of directors in 2000. She is employed by Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Services (OVRS) and has worked for OVRS for more than years assisting individuals with disabilities with obtaining employment.

Dixie is the president and steward for SEIU Sub-Local 214, Malheur, Harney and Grant Counties. She also serves as co-chair for the labor/management committee and on the Ontario DHS safety committee.

Photo of Wayne Fujinaga
Picture of Wayne Fujinaga

Wayne Fujinaga was born in Ontario, Oregon. His parents were incarcerated in Malheur County as war prisoners during World War II because they were of Japanese descent.

After their release, they stayed in the area, where his father worked for Ontario Produce. Wayne graduated from Ontario High School and in 1978 traveled to Portland, where he lived in a group home and worked at a printing shop. He returned to Ontario in 1986 after being contacted by former classmates about a class reunion. Wayne became a board member of EOCIL in June 2002.

Photo of Larry Hiigel
Picture of Larry Hiigel

Larry Hiigel worked for EOCIL as an independent living specialist in 2010 and joined the board in 2011. In addition to his IL work experience, Larry brings to the board bilingual skills and 12 years of business management.

Photo of Sylvia Wenke surrounded by smiling children
Picture of Sylvia Wenke

Sylvia Wenke

Sylvia was one of EOCIL's original board members in 1999 at the center’s inception. In addition to serving on the board of directors, Sylvia volunteered at the EOCIL office answering phones, doing outreach, and taking care of any clerical work that needed doing. She finished her term and then decided to apply at EOCIL for the office support staff position and began working for EOCIL in 2001.

Sylvia is active in the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and was named Woman of the Year in 2002. She also serves on the board of directors for St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ontario and volunteers for Special Olympics and Help Them to Hope.

Board Application

EOCIL invites individuals committed to disability advocacy and rights to consider joining our board or to become a volunteer at EOCIL.

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