About San Diego Oasis
Oasis is a unique educational program for adults 50+ who want to continue to learn and be productive throughout life. Membership is free and open to anyone 50 or older. Join Oasis and enjoy stimulating classes and opportunities to serve your community.
The mission of San Diego Oasis is to ensure that adults age 50+ have opportunities to pursue vibrant, healthy, productive and meaningful lives. We seek to positively impact their lives through partnerships to share knowledge, offer evidence- and research-based programs, conduct evaluations and adapt to meet the needs of diverse audiences. Our approach includes the following key areas:
- Lifelong Learning
- Health and Wellness
- Community Involvement through intergenerational programs
Our team is thrilled to present to you our Autumn with Oasis 2019. Take a look at our 2020 Spring Catalog. In the pages you will find exciting opportunities to participate in classes, lectures, discussion groups, performances, trips, off-site adventures, and mentoring children in our community through our intergenerational tutoring program.
President and CEO
VP External Relations
Program Manager, North County
Director of Lifelong Learning, La Mesa
Office & Volunteer Manager
Executive Assistant | Marketing Coordinator
Click a name to email us.
Meet our Board Members
Deni Saxod Carpenter
Deni Saxod Carpenter, Board Chair
Deni Saxod Carpenter, Board Chair, was raised and educated in both Tijuana and San Diego, and is still involved in both cultures. Upon graduating from SDSU, Deni began a teaching career in San Diego. After a few years away in Washington DC, Deni re-settled in San Diego and co-founded Saxod Enterprises, a firm specializing in language instruction, translation services, interpreting services and business and cultural introductions in the Mexican marketplace. She established strong community ties, including board service on The Old Globe, Copley YMCA, Children’s Home Society, San Diego Repertory Theatre, and Balboa Park Trust Committee at The San Diego Foundation. Deni is married to Ken Carpenter, a San Diego retired biomedical entrepreneur. Deni is a proud mother of a daughter who is an interior designer in Mexico City and a son who is a VP of Finance at Renovate America. She enjoys spending time with her two grandchildren, and traveling with her husband.
Krishna Arora, Governance Chair
Krishna Arora, Governance Chair, is a retired engineer, holding degrees in electrical and systems engineering as well as computer science. He was fortunate to join Irwin Jacobs’s Qualcomm team early on where he retired as a Director of Engineering in 2002. Post retirement, Krishna and wife, Bonnie, have been traveling the world and making a difference in local and international communities through philanthropy. Locally, Krishna teaches a weekly class at the Braille Institute in San Diego and is a very active member of the La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club. A lifelong learner, Krishna spent two years researching and publishing a genealogy book of 700+ pages on his ancestry in India dating back to 1703. Bonnie and Krishna have honored their spiritual and cultural roots by completing a Hindu pilgrimage, which took them to the four corners of India, and a Catholic pilgrimage, which took them on a 1000 mile walk along the Camino de Santiago in France and Spain.
Judy Lewis, Secretary
Judy Lewis, Secretary, is a native San Diegan, and an avid Oasis participant. She earned her B.A. at Stanford, her M.A. and PhD. at Columbia, all in Psychology, and spent a post-doctoral research year at The Rockefeller University focusing on the psychobiology of behavior. Upon her return to San Diego, Judy became a professor in the psychology department at San Diego State, where she was engaged in teaching, research, and student mentoring for 36 years. In addition, she was founder of the Psychology Department’s Weight Control Clinic, and served as its director for 20 years. Judy retired from San Diego State in 2008, and that same year discovered Oasis. She has virtually lived here ever since, holding the record for the most Oasis classes ever attended (almost 500 as of 2014). Judy’s community involvement includes service for San Diego Junior Theatre, the Cystic Fibrosis Guild, Playwrights Project, The Children’s Museum, and the San Diego Young Opera Buffs, among others. Judy’s husband, Marshall Lewis, is an attorney in private practice in San Diego. They have 2 children and 3 grandchildren.
Michael D. Bardin
Michael D. Bardin
Michael D. Bardin | Until his retirement, Michael was the chief public policy officer for Scripps Health and as such oversaw Scripps’ role in the development of health care policy on federal, state and local levels. In his 30 years with Scripps, Bardin previously headed Scripps’ public relations and marketing communications. A Past President of the La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club, Bardin co-founded the Rotary District 5340 Pathways to Peace initiative in 2004 and he continues to chair the District Pathways to Peace Steering Committee. He was named Rotary District 5340 Rotarian of the Year in 2014. Bardin has a background of more than 40 years in the public relations and public affairs business. This includes a dozen years with Phillips-Ramsey, then San Diego’s largest advertising and public relations agency, several years as a public affairs officer in the Navy and a couple of years with television station KPIX in San Francisco. Born in Berkeley, California, Bardin is a graduate of Stanford University with a BA in communication and journalism. He did postgraduate studies in radio-TV-film at San Francisco State University.
Jan Bernardy was born and raised in mid-western Canada. She graduated from Regina General Hospital as a Registered Nurse and immediately made her way to Phoenix, Arizona. Shortly thereafter, she moved to San Diego where she worked for nine years at Hillside Hospital.
Jan left hospital nursing in 1974 and went into Management at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, GA. In 1979, she moved to Thousand Oaks, CA and began her career in Renal Care. She worked at Los Robles Regional Medical Center as a dialysis nurse until the dialysis unit was sold to Fresenius Medical Care. They then built a free standing unit on the hospital campus where she was Clinic Manager over this unit and later a second unit in Camarillo, CA.
In 1990, Jan was transferred to The Regional Office of Fresenius Medical Care located in Phoenix, AZ, where she worked as a Clinical and Regulatory Manager until 2000. She oversaw all Fresenius clinics in the Western Region making sure they were following company policies and procedures and the Federal Regulations governing dialysis clinics.
In the summer of 2000, she joined five corporate managers from Fresenius who had broken away from the company a year prior to start a new company called American Renal Associates (ARA). ARA did joint ventures with physicians to build and manage dialysis clinics across the nation. Jan was the first Clinical and Regulatory person hired with the company, located in Beverly, MA. She wrote 17 manuals and they opened their first clinic in December of 2000. As the workload of a new company increased, she moved to Manchester by the Sea, MA. In 2003, she was promoted to Vice President of Clinical and Regulatory Services. In April 2016, ARA went public. She retired from the company in April of 2017; at the time they had 240+ clinics across the USA.
Jan joined LA Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary in July, 2017. Besides her love for Rotary, Jan enjoys gardening, and is a member of the San Diego Horticultural Society, crocheting, traveling, reading and spending time with her grandson.
Jan is married, and after the birth of their grandson, they decided to move back to San Diego and now live in the UTC area.
David Chong, has worn a few different hats in his career, though the one that seems to fit the best is geriatric care. For the last few years, he has successfully led teams to make the final time of life good for elderly San Diegans in their own homes. Previously, David owned and operated The Park at Mount Helix and founded an Internet-based senior housing referral service, AssistMatch. Early in his career, he practiced corporate law in Taipei at Jones Day and later served as a Business Advisor at the microfinance nonprofit, ACCION San Diego. As a foundation to his career, David’s most useful degrees are his B.S. in Business Administration from Biola University and his J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law at U.C. Berkeley. The not-quite-as-practical program was the M.A. in Practical Theology from University of San Diego. At various times he has held licenses in California as an attorney with the State Bar, as a broker with the Department of Real Estate, and as a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly Administrator with the Department of Social Services. He is a Care Manager, Certified through the National Academy of Certified Care Managers and a Certified Geriatric Care Manager with the Aging Life Care Association. David has served as a board member and member in both nonprofit and for-profit entities including Chair Elect of the San Diego Regional Home Care Council, San Diego Cooperative Charter School, La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary, ProVisors, and the Estate Planning Council of San Diego. Some particularly favorite activities have included backpacking, hiking & RV’ing. When not enjoying time with his Coast Care Partners partners, he can typically be found seizing the day with his wife, Sarah, and his four children.
Julie Derry | Julie is an expert at creating and leading vision, execution and measurement of customer focused strategies that align with company goals. Exceptional record of utilizing analytics and customer feedback to drive strategic marketing decisions that lead to increased sales and profitability. Experienced at bridging Marketing and Technology disciplines to drive business results, productivity and employee morale. Inspirational and motivational leader with ability to sell the strategy broadly across the organization. In 2015, left the corporate world and pursued a passion for making a difference for seniors and their families.
Jonathan E. Doering
Jonathan E. Doering
Jonathan E. Doering
In 2020, Jonathan is celebrating 30 years with Thrivent Financial. During that period, he’s become recognized as a national speaker on retirement and estate strategies. He’s also continued his education, completing the Wharton School’s Finance & Wealth Management program. Although Jonathan’s Thrivent work has taken him throughout the United States, his home is in San Diego.
Jonathan serves on boards for two local organizations: Hope Leadership Academy and San Diego Oasis, which provide food, education programs and healthy activities for inner-city families and local retirees. Jonathan is married with three children. Family activities – including trips to the mountains – fill most of his spare time, but during most weeks he manages to also squeeze in a little basketball and golf.
Jonathan is licensed to do business in AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NM, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TX, UT, VA, WA, and WI. CA Life/Health Insurance License ID 0787550, CA Securities Insurance ID 121608, CA Variable Annuity Insurance ID 0787550, CA Variable Universal Life Insurance ID 0787550.
Kathy Gamez | With over 25 years of both wealth and investment management experience, Kathy has become a trusted financial advisor in Southern California. Most recently, Gamez serves as a Private Wealth Advisor for Umpqua Wealth Management in San Diego. Kathy has held several key private banking positions including 12+ years as a Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch. Her background provides a multi-faceted approach in protecting and growing her client’s asset to set their future up for financial success. Kathy currently holds FINRA Series 7, 63 & 65 investment licenses along with Life & Disability and Property & Casualty insurance licenses from the state of California. She has also obtained her CWS® designation (Certified Wealth Strategist) and is a nationally licensed mortgage loan officer with the NMLS. Throughout her career she has been active in the community including holding several board positions which included Junior Achievement, The North Coast Repertory Theatre and Rotary. She’s been married to her husband for 33 years and they have two children and a beautiful new granddaughter. She loves to golf, ski and relax with a good glass of wine.
Sandra Nimitz Lawhon
Sandra Nimitz Lawhon
Sandra Nimitz Lawhon exemplifies the perfect lifelong learner. While her life journey has been full of twists, turns and challenges, Sandra always found comfort in learning something new and conquering a new intellectual challenge. Born in Philadelphia, only daughter of a naval officer and an accomplished pianist and singer, Sandra always excelled in school. After losing her father to cancer and witnessing her talented mother become a controller in a major company in the 1950s, one of very few women in an executive position, Sandra graduated high school at 16 and studied English Tudor History, education and architectural design. She continued her studies eventually getting a PhD and teaching both elementary school and history at the college level. While encouraged and mentored, Sandra has always been a proud earner of her way through life. Sandra purchased her first 4-unit property in San Diego with her mother and has not stopped since. Never afraid of the next challenge, she has obtained contracting, lending and banking licenses. She is excited to join the San Diego Oasis board because she believes she can truly make a difference. Sandra feels that seniors are the most underserved population group and can become the most expensive segment of society, if not treated well and fully engaged. A generous current and legacy donor, Sandra is hoping to find time to carve out more time for fun – brush up on French, learn piano, and enjoy more theatre and travel. Her community service includes YMCA, YWCA, San Diego Opera, and Serving Seniors.
Barbara Noerenberg is the former Vice President of Corporate R&D at Qualcomm Inc., a wireless telecommunications company that invented the smartphone. As an executive in engineering and management, she led diverse teams of professionals in areas of engineering research, product development and partner management. Earlier in her career, Barbara held management positions atJostens Learning Corporation where she developed educational multimedia systems. Prior to Jostens, she was involved with mergers and acquisitions at Computer Associates.
As part of her Portfolio Career, Barbara is a certified Executive Coach who works with individuals to help them achieving their professional and personal goals. With 25+ years of experience in business, she brings perspective and best practices to her clients. She is also a Management Consultant who supports early stage companies in areas including Change Management, Strategic Planning, Leadership Development, R&D Engineering, Operations and Project Management.
As a strong advocate of women in STEM, Barbara is funding and guiding academic initiatives that promote her Foundation’s mission.
Barbara believes that paying-it-forward is a key component of her Portfolio Career. She has 10+ years of experience as a member of the Board of Directors of numerous organizations and has served in various roles including Chairman of the Board, Finance Committee Chair, Fundraising Chair and on theGovernance, Nominating and Executive committees. She currently serves on the YWCA, LEAD SanDiego, Corporate Directors’ Forum and Veterans Medical Research Foundation Boards. She also serves on the Advisory Board of AerNos, Inc. and SDSU’s ZIP Launchpad Entrepreneurship Initiative. She is an active member of Rotary Club 33, the 4th largest Rotary club in the world.
Noerenberg is the recipient of several awards including the YWCA’s TWIN (Tribute to Women andIndustry) Award, the North County Chamber of Commerce Woman in Business Award, Athena SanDiego’s Pinnacle Award in Technology and San Diego Business Journal’s Top 500 Influential BusinessLeaders. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University.
Barbara is the proud mother of two grown married children and grandmother to her first new grandson who all live in San Diego. In her free time, Barbara enjoys traveling, reading, gardening and ballroom dancing.
William H. Wise
William H Wise
William H. Wise was a Circuit Court Judge of Cook County in Illinois. He is currently an adjunct professor at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law. He enjoys golf and the theatre. Judge Wise brings years of experience as a prosecutor, defense attorney, adjunct professor and Judge. He recently completed his judicial third term, presiding over felony, misdemeanor and Domestic Violence cases in the Fourth Municipal District of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Judge Wise received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois and Bachelor of Law and Juris Doctor degree from the John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from John Marshall with Honors and received The American Jurisprudence Excellency in Evidence Award. Upon graduation from law school Judge Wise served many years as an Assistant State’s Attorney of Cook County. After handling thousands of misdemeanor cases he was elevated to the felony trial division. He prosecuted hundreds of major felony and high profile cases. During his tenure in the State’s Attorney’s office he authored A Treatise on How to Prosecute D.U.I Cases Successfully. This manual was distributed by the National District Attorney’s Association and he was called upon to teach seminars throughout the United States on this subject. After his years of public service Judge Wise entered the private sector, specializing in trial work pertaining to Criminal Defense, Constitution, Civil Rights, Juvenile and Personal Injury matters. Judge Wise enjoys teaching law. He has been an instructor and adjunct professor at the Loyola University School of Law, John Marshall Law School, DePaul University and Triton College. He has taught Appellate Advocacy, Trial Practice, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, Juvenile and Social Justice. Additionally, Judge Wise has volunteered his time to preside over mock trial competitions, sponsored by The Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, American Association for Justice Student Trial Advocacy Competition, and the American Bar Association National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition, co-sponsored by the John Marshall Law School.
Paul Weiss, PhD
William York | As the Executive Vice President of 2-1-1 San Diego, William operates one the most successful 2-1-1 providers in the nation. With his diverse expertise and knowledge in business management, care coordination service, and funding models, coupled with his spirit of collaboration and partnership, William has successfully secured 94% the organization’s $13 million budget in fee-for-service contracts and business partnerships. Committed to improving access to services for active duty military, veterans, and their families, William is a strong local and national advocate for this community. In 2011, he worked with the County of San Diego, Mental Health Systems, Veterans Village, and the San Diego Veterans Coalition to launch Courage to Call, the first program sustainably funded by the County of San Diego through Mental Health Service Act funding. Most recently William led the region’s collaborative development of SD United, the region’s first military and veteran care coordination technology platform powered by 2-1-1’s Community Information Exchange that today is viewed as a national model for collaboration. William is the Co-chair of the Governing Council for the Military Transition Support Project that oversees Zero8Hundred, a transition program for our military and Veteran community. He also served as one of the principle founders of the San Diego Veterans Coaliton and served as the Chair of the Board for two terms, building a 150-member group to enhance the support of Veteran community, and remains a dedicated member of the board.
Our Advisory Board
Sister Mary Jo Anderson
Jordan Z. Marks, Esq.
Charles Van Vechten