Meet the Orcas District Committee

The Orcas District Committee meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 9:30am. If you are interested in participating in the Orcas District Committee activities at the Senior Center, please contact us at (360) 376-7929.

Lynnette Wood – Chair​, semi-retired in 2009 to live full time on Orcas Island, where she and her husband have owned property since 1986. In addition to starting her own consulting business, through which she has continued her foreign aid work on a part time basis, Lynnette has served on both County and Orcas-based boards and committees over the last ten years, and on the Orcas Senior Center District Committee for the last three years. Prior to joining the Orcas District Committee, she drew on her professional experience in survey research to lead the “Aging Well on Orcas Island” survey in 2017. Among her contributions to the Center since that time was launching the “Meeting of the Minds” lecture series (now in its third year) and the Buddy Check-in program; updating and upgrading the Center’s internal operations; and writing proposals for grants and other funding. She is committed to continuing to serve and contribute in ways that improve the quality of life both for today’s seniors and for tomorrow’s seniors on Orcas Island. 

Elsie Pamuk – Vice-Chair. After moving to Orcas in September of 2000, she continued working as a health data analyst with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, as well as with other international organizations. As work wound down, she increased her volunteer activities in the community, and when the pandemic struck in March of 2020, she knew where her efforts would be of greatest use. She hopes that by working as an active member of the Orcas District Committee, she can help Orcas continue to be a place where people of all ages can not only live, but thrive. 

Greg Raffelson – Treasurer is pleased to be part of the unique community on Orcas. An SF Bay Area native, Greg graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Economics. Greg became very aware of the needs of the seniors as he helped his aging parents through their journey. He would like to use his skills to strengthen the good work of the OSC and help his fellow seniors lead self-sufficient lives with a sense of dignity and grace. Hobbies include cooking, hiking, and raising two rescue pooches.

Diane Craig – Secretary​. As a “maturing woman (AKA aging old broad. Whatever),” she appreciates being a part of one of the island’s most important offerings for people of, “ahem, our age.” Her background, professional and personal, is eclectic. Professionally, she has held management positions in publishing and nonprofits. A lifelong student, she completed her undergraduate degree at 60, her graduate degree at 65.

Margo Rubel, has lived on Orcas for about 28 years. She has worked on the Orcas District Committee for a number of years. She would like to continue to assist in making our Senior Center an active and thriving place, meeting the needs – intellectual, social, physical – of our aging population, so that as we become elders in our community, there is a place to help us navigate the changes in us. She would like to help in making the Senior Center the place “to go to.”

Maggie Kaplan​, is of Scottish English heritage, the youngest of three and grew up in the San Francisco and Central Valley areas of California. She is an avid and happy volunteer at our Senior Center; facilitating a crafts day one Saturday every month, driving the party bus to bargain land, and serving as the chairwoman for Senior Services Council of San Juan County. She brings color to our community with her helpful and thoughtful contributions.

Jerry Todd​, is our vehicle care extraordinaire! He ensures our vehicles are safe and well-maintained at all times, sometimes appearing at the drop of a hat when a last minute need arises. He pays a key role on the Orcas District Committee supporting the transportation offerings are available for our islands elders. Jerry has served on the Orcas District Committee since 2014 and has been nominated to serve another term.

Allan Rosato​. At age 25, Allan sailed from Bellingham to Orcas for a week-long vacation in the San Juans. Now, 25 years later, that vacation continues and he still finds himself fortunate enough to call this beautiful place his home. For the majority of his years on Orcas, he has worked as a property manager/caretaker for a handful of island families.  A couple years ago, he joined the Senior Center’s Hearts and Hands program. It has given him great satisfaction to be part of an organization that cares so profoundly for the people they serve.

Darcey Miller​. Originally from Pennsylvania, Darcey Miller earned her degree in Environmental Science in Virginia, then moved to West Seattle in 1999. Since then, she has loved exploring Washington and developing her career as a wetland consultant. A few years ago, she met long-time resident of Orcas Island, Allan Rosato, and they were recently married on an island beach in Thailand! Darcey has enjoyed getting involved in the island community; in addition to serving on the Orcas District Committee, she participates in the senior center’s Buddy Check-In Program and volunteers at the Orcas Island Food Bank. 

Jennifer Tourje Hairston moved to Orcas Island from north Texas this year and wants to give back to this wonderful community. Her professional experience is in criminal justice, currently as a chief deputy at the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. She also was a federal prosecutor in Dallas and prior to that was an assistant district attorney in Fort Worth. In Texas, she volunteered as a judge for Teen Court and as a Big Sister through Big Brothers/Big Sisters. For the past six years, she served on the board of a women’s service organization benefiting charities that help seniors in east Dallas. She is a telephone buddy with the Hearts and Hands program and looks forward to assisting with the ever-changing needs of our seniors on Orcas!

Debra O’Conner is an experienced clinician of 45 years, living on Orcas Island with a passion for enhancing patient and family confidence in their health care experience by offering excellence in education and advocacy. She moved here two years ago after her first trip to the island 25 years ago as a “traveling” midwife. She knew at that time she would somehow make this her final home, a unique community in which to support community services and provide hospice care –the gift of a daily reminder to live fully with passion and purpose.

She has always been moved by the radical, exposing the root of any issue, and advocating for social change, often characterized by departure from the “traditional.” Remaining authentic, she looks for a way to be more effective as a sustainable change agent, inviting others to join her on her journey.

Tom Eversole is a self-prescribed hillbilly from Appalachia. His patchwork career includes: large animal veterinarian, psychotherapist, trainer, and public health worker. Before moving west, he directed the AIDS training program for the American Psychological Association in Washington, DC. In Oregon, he was a health administrator for Benton County, where they established a publicly-funded, federally-qualified health center. Later, he worked at Oregon State University, teaching and developing Oregon’s first College of Public Health (est. 2011). At the state level, he administered the Center for Public Health Practice, directing Immunizations, Communicable Disease, Vital Records, HIV/STD/TB, Emergency Preparedness programs, as well as the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory. He served as president of the Oregon Public Health Association, chair of the state Public Health Advisory Board and a site visitor for accreditation of schools of public health. He currently serves on the Board of the Cayou Valley Homeowners Association.

“I tried to retire, but unfortunately, I like to work and am grateful I can!”