Susan Haas, Executive Director & C.E.O.
Susan Haas was born in Hampton Roads, Virginia and is a Navy “Bratt”. Upon graduation from Belle Chasse High School she attended Soule’ Business College in New Orleans. She enlisted in the Navy and served honorably for four years as a Communications Technician, at duty stations around the world including Keflavik, Iceland and Rota, Spain; and in the U.S. at Pensacola, Florida and Sugar Grove, West Virginia. Susan used her G.I. Bill to attend the University of Toledo and holds an Associates of Science degree in Marketing and Sales. Moving to Carson City in 1989, Ms. Haas earned a Certified Tour Professional (CTP) accreditation from the National Tour Association and worked for Frontier Tours for 10 years as a tour designer, Assistant Manager of the Scenic department, then Manager of Special Events and International Tour departments. Ms. Haas then served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Nevada’s Lieutenant Governor Lorraine T. Hunt which included three diplomatic and trade missions to China. Susan joined RSVP as Program Director in 2007 and became Executive Director and C.E.O. in 2013.
Steven J. Johnson, Controller
Steven J. Johnson joined RSVP in December 2019 as the Controller. He holds a BBA in Accounting and a CPA license in the State of Nevada. He has a diverse background in both Public and Corporate accounting. While in public accounting, Steve rose to the position of Audit Partner in a large local CPA firm. He has been a Senior Manager of Internal Audit for a national mortgage company, Senior Corporate Accountant in large publicly traded corporations, and VP of Finance and Accounting in the manufacturing industry. His honesty, integrity and professionalism are qualities many appreciate. Steve is a skilled communicator who connects with people through the heart.
Lora Myles, Attorney
Lora E. Myles, Esq., was raised in Reno, and received graduate degrees from the University of Nevada, Reno, and Vermont Law School. She has traveled to every town in Nevada north of the nuclear zone. She is a caregiver, having cared for grandmothers, an aunt, uncles, and her father. Lora has been the attorney for the Carson and Rural Elder Law Program for over 20 years. She is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the National Guardianship Association. Lora has written or co-written several pieces of legislation which are now Nevada law, including revisions to the Public Guardian and Public Administrator statute, the Guardianship statute, the Power of Attorney statutes, and the statutes protecting cemetaries.
Melanie Barkley, Director of Development
Melanie (Kauffman) Barkley joined RSVP in 2017 as the Director of Development, where she is responsible for meeting the organization’s marketing and development goals including securing financial resources through grants and appeals to support its programs and services. She has over 20 years’ experience in the non-profit sector, and has worked with reputable agencies, including the Plumas County Department of Health Services, Tahoe Safe Alliance, Sierra Senior Services and Family TIES of Nevada. Melanie has served in executive management positions to meet community needs, ensure wise stewardship of resources, and oversee programmatic and operational systems. She helped steer the success of key community initiatives including the Nevada Statewide Maternal and Child Health Coalition, Nevada Family-to-Family Health Information Center Program and Tahoe/Truckee Senior Nutrition Program. Melanie earned a B.A. degree in Psychology from California State University Northridge, and the Grant Professional accreditation from the Grant Professionals Certification (GPC) Institute.
Sandy Severance, HCP & Veterans VIP Program Director
Sandy Severance joined RSVP as their Program Director in February 2017. At RSVP, Sandy supports the organization’s direct service and community service programs. Prior to her work with RSVP, Sandy worked as a Consultant in Nairobi, Kenya as a grant writer for renewable energy projects across the continent and served as Executive Director for two nonprofits in Pueblo, Colorado, NeighborWorks of Pueblo and the Pueblo Human Relations Commission. Sandy has also worked with the Hugh O’Brian Youth Foundation as their Development Associate and with the international development and relief agency, International Medical Corps at their corporate office in Los Angeles and served in the field for two years in Angola, Southern Africa as the Finance Controller. Sandy has been active on many Colorado Boards including the Suicide Prevention Center and the Urban Renewal Authority.
Lauren Jones, Accounting Assistant & Lifeline Manager
Lauren Jones, Accounting Assistant & Lifeline/Homemaker Manager, returned to RSVP in April 2018, after spending 3 years as RSVP’s Volunteer & Stations Manager. Lauren is a 2nd generation Navy brat born in New Orleans, LA. She was a Carson City resident from 1989 to 1998 and relocated to Washington for a brief period. Upon her return to Nevada the following year, Lauren went on to graduate from Western Nevada College, receiving an Associate of Arts degree in Anthropology, with a minor in History. Since this time Lauren has worked at the University of Nevada, Reno, and at Western Nevada College in the Fine Arts and Communications Division. Lauren also served for four years as the Regional Representative to U.S. Senator, John Ensign, where she specialized in Veterans Affairs, Department of State and BLM constituent case work. Lauren is excited to continue her passion to help others. She is married with 2 daughters, ages 7 and 10.
Carol Davis, Volunteer Assistant
Carol Davis joined RSVP in 2013 and is the accounting assistant responsible for coordinating RSVP’s Lifeline Alert System Program and the Homemaker Program. Prior to her work with RSVP, Ms. Davis retired from the State of Nevada in 2007 – bringing more than 32 years’ experience in accounting & financial reporting. She is a certified Tax Counselor in the AARP Tax Aide program, processing Federal Tax Returns for the elderly and low-income senior citizens at the Carson Senior Center, Dayton Senior Center and Friends in Helping Service Center.
Kathy Hanson, Respite Coordinator
Kathy Hanson, Respite Care Coordinator, joined RSVP in 2010 through AARP. She served initially in the transportation program, and later transitioned to become an AmeriCorps VISTA member, serving in this program for one and a half years providing sustainability for the Respite program. Ms. Hanson is currently the Respite Coordinator, and provides overall support for the Respite Care Program and collaborates with the Volunteer Field Representatives to recruit, train and place respite care volunteers with primary caregivers and their family members.
Karen Caldwell-Weil, Respite Supervisor
Karen Caldwell-Weil, Respite Supervisor, joined RSVP in August 2017. Prior to her work with RSVP, Ms. Caldwell Weil worked at WellPoint Inc./Anthem as a Business Consultant and Project Manager for 10 years. She worked on numerous key Projects including Texas Star Kids, California MMP, Small System Change Request and Core Administration Redesign to implement health plans and various systems. Karen is currently the Respite Supervisor, and assists in providing overall support for the Respite Care Program and supports collaboration with the Volunteer Field Representatives to recruit, train and place respite care volunteers with primary caregivers and their family members.
Kris Hughes, Program Coordinator & PERS, Homemaker, Data Manager
Kris Hughes, Program Coordinator & PERS, Homemaker, Data Manager, re-joined RSVP in January 2019 after serving as the Program Coordinator from 2013 – 2016. Kris is currently the Program Coordinator & PERS, Homemaker & Data Manager – responsible for recording the monthly driver activity reports, monthly client data reports, processing monthly volunteer time sheets, and provides training assistance. Kris also provides client data information entry and helps ensure the integrity of the database system through accurate and timely input and verification of reporting. Kris holds a MS degree in Agriculture Science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
Nancy Henry, Transportation Coordinator
Nancy Henry joined RSVP in 2017 working under the AARP Senior Community Service Employment Program. In this role she assisted RSVP with the scheduling of client rides, volunteer route schedules and administrative support. In November 2018, she became RSVP’s Transportation Program Manager for the Innovations Project – Effective Solutions in Rural Transportation for Elders. This important project utilized technology, service coordination, public awareness and volunteer engagement to modernize and streamline RSVP’s high-quality door-to-door transportation program. Nancy now serves as the Transportation Coordinator and conducts client intakes and assessments, provides volunteer/client recruitment & match, schedules transportation appointments, and coordinates program delivery with volunteer drivers.
Steven Nichols, Respite Program Director for Respite Innovations Project and Fair Manager
Steven Nichols is the Respite Program Director for the Innovations Project – Java Music For Rural Respite. Java Music offers peer support through hands-on learning for elders in a unique combination of researched themes, photography, music, readings, and traditional talking stick. The project is a catalyst for caregiver support, respite care, independent living services, and emergency resources. Steven also serves as the Fair Manager where he provides special event planning for RSVP’s annual Fairs and special events. Steven joined RSVP in 2018 and brings over 25 years of experience in the private sector including business, marketing, and as a DJ where he mixes recorded music for a live audience.