Our Team

SAGE advances its mission through teamwork

The SAGE organization is led by our board of directors, supported by staff, and benefit from the engagement of over 100 volunteers and many partners each year. We are also fortunate to work with emerging leaders through our Leaders Action Board. We value and appreciate opportunities to engage people of all ages and from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Click on these links to learn about our values and non-discrimination policy.

Contact us to learn more about how to get involved.

Staff Members

Britt Christiaansen

Vision 2030 Manager

Britt Christiaansen manages SAGE’s Vision 2030 team. She works with volunteers and partners to offer education to middle and high school students about Portland's 2030 climate goal, climate solutions, and workforce opportunities.

Pat De Vol Nadon

Central Oregon Coordinator

Pat De Vol Nadon coordinates SAGE’s initiatives in Deschutes County, Central Oregon. She manages SAGE events and provides one-to-one advice for people seeking a meaningful pathway to service and advocacy with our partners in the region.

Steve Higgs

Executive Director

Steve Higgs supports all of SAGE’s efforts to inspire older adults to give forward so that younger and future generations can thrive. He works with a great team to guide our organization and to implement programs that make a difference.

Jody Tucker

Parkrose Mentors Manager

Jody Tucker manages SAGE’s Mentoring Program at Parkrose Middle School. Her role is to liaison between mentors and students who are are gaining support for English language learning and more.

Cheryl Nee-Gieringer

Citizen Project Coordinator

Cheryl Nee-Gieringer coordinates SAGE’s Citizen Project to inspire and support people to work across differences to solve problems. She manages our events and supports our partners who are working to build bridges across political and other divides.

Board of Directors

Joe Dabek

Board Member

Dr. Joe Dabek has been involved in community and organization development for the past 40 years and most recently, until his retirement in 2018, as a nonprofit board governance consultant/coach with NeighborWorks® America, a national, nonprofit providing technical and financial assistance to nonprofit affordable housing organizations. His areas of specialty are board governance, organization and leadership development, and strategic planning.

Crystal Granger

Board Member

Crystal works as the Total Rewards & Equity Manager at Bob’s Red Mill where she helps serve as a benefit, leave, and compensation advocate for employee owners. In addition to SAGE, Crystal also serves on the Portland Human Resource Management Association (PHRMA) board, as the Co-Director of the Race, Equity, and Inclusion subcommittee as well as the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) Taskforce that builds tools and resources for the Together Forward at Work campaign.

Ward Greene

Board Member, Chair

Ward Greene is Senior Counsel at the law firm of Farleigh Wada Witt in Portland, Oregon. He has practiced law for over forty years, served as President of the Multnomah Bar Association and Vice President of the Oregon State Bar. In addition to serving on SAGE’s Board, Ward served on the Board of Ascent Funding. Ward has a B.S. in business from Florida State University and a J.D. from Duke University.

Board Members

William Howe

Board Member

Bill Howe has practiced law for over 40 years, which includes over 25 years devoted exclusively to family law with Gevurtz Menashe, P.C in Portland, Oregon. In addition to many years of active practice, Bill has devoted significant time and energy to family court reform. He has been appointed by several Chief Justices to serve as the Vice-chair of Oregon’s Statewide Family Law Advisory Committee from 1998 through 2020.

Ben Manny

Board Member

Ben Manny retired after 30 years with Intel and last served as their Director of Wireless Technology research lab in Oregon. After retirement, he helped organize the Intel Retiree Organization and served as was one of their charter board members where he established and still chairs the Intel Retiree Volunteer and Donation Committee.

Neal Naigus

Board Member, Secretary

Neal Naigus retired after 42 years at Portland Community College. He served as Assistant to the President for the last 6 PCC Presidents and represented the College throughout the community.

Rick Nitti

Board Member

Rick Nitti served as Executive Director of Neighborhood House for 18 years. He is a highly regarded leader in the Oregon nonprofit community, having served as President of the Board of the Nonprofit Association of Oregon, and on the Board of the Southwest Community Health Center.

Sheila Panyam

Board Member

Sheila Panyam is a recent graduate of the University of Washington. A life-long resident of Portland, she was an alumna of Lincoln High School’s We the People Team and a coach for the program. She was a former vice president of Mission: Citizen.

Stephanie Smith

Board Member

Stephanie serves as a Senior Business Systems Analyst at Multnomah County working with the Health Department where she introduces emerging and innovative technologies. She is currently on the Equity Committee and the Career Pathways Committee at Multnomah County. Prior to her work with the County, Stephanie also served in project management and business analyst roles with Kaiser Permanente, Daimler Trucks, and Bonneville Power Administration.

Marcus Wood

Board Member

Marcus Wood is a retired attorney. He spent his legal career at Stoel Rives LLP, where he served on the firm’s Executive Committee and led its 11-office energy and renewable energy practice groups. He has served as Chair of the Board of the former Indochinese Cultural and Service Center and Chair of the Board of the Oregon Ballet Theatre, and also was a long-time member of the Outside In Board.

Leaders Action Board

Kenzie Williams, Chair