Compassionate. Collaborative. Reliable. Respectful. Principled. Meet some of the people who make the Council on Aging of Central Oregon a place for connection and community. Here’s who they are and why they value the work they do.



What I do: I lead a committed team of staff members and volunteers, who work tirelessly, and with great heart, to improve the lives of our older adult neighbors in Central Oregon.

Why I do it: I’ve always gravitated toward older persons, to their experiences, perspective, and hard-earned wisdom. Over the decades, my life has been enriched by elders… parents, teachers, friends, mentors, and clients. This role provides an opportunity to give back, while continuing to be enriched by the lives of those we serve every day.


Director of

What I do: I help individuals, corporations and foundations understand the services we provide and the urgent and growing need for resources to address the issues of our aging population. I build community by connecting those with abundance and those in need.

Why I do it: I believe our culture does not integrate and honor our elders in a way that guarantees basic needs such as food, shelter, safety, and security. I see people facing isolation and loneliness and fear that their stories will go unheard and their lives unnoticed. 


Director, Client Services

What I do: I oversee the client services team, and manage many of the direct services that are offered through the Council on Aging.

Why I do it: I have always had a passion for working with older adults, advocating for and respecting individual stories and situations. I love being part of something that is making a difference in someone else’s world.



What I do: I listen to the needs of older adults and their families so we can develop innovative tools, services and communications that enhance a person’s ability to maintain a life of independence and choice as they age.

Why I do it: I believe that every person should have the opportunity to live a long and healthy life. How wonderful it is to help create the environments and opportunities that enable people to be and do what they value throughout their lives.

Michelle De La Pena

Financial Operations

What I do: I manage all financial dealings for the Council on Aging. Payroll, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Annual Financial Audits, and Employee Benefits.

Why I do it: I love working with numbers and helping our organization do as much as possible with our federal, state and donated funds. It keeps me busy for sure!


Nutrition Services and Facilities

What I do: I oversee our Meals on Wheels and congregate meals programs at our contracted sites. I also maintain our two agency buildings.

Why I do it: The chance to help an older adult through even a few of their challenges as they age is very rewarding. The friendships and partnerships gained over my time here have been amazing.

Bernadette - nutrition


Nutrition Operations

What I do: I manage nutrition operations staff members and volunteers, who work hard with amazing grit and tenacity to improve the lives of our older adult neighbors in Central Oregon.

Why I do it: We have a growing population of underserved seniors in Central Oregon who need nutrition guidance and education along with more food in order for them to age with dignity and grace. I am committed to reducing food insecurity and nutrition risk in as many seniors as we can reach through our food programs in Central Oregon.

Marianne McClure


What I do:  I manage the fantastic volunteers who give of their time to support much needed services for seniors in our community. Without volunteers, we couldn’t begin to meet the needs of our senior neighbors.

Why I do it: I do it because I’ve realized our aging population, especially those living alone, deserves a support system that helps them manage the challenges of daily life, from meals to social activities. They appreciate us, we are enriched by them, and the community benefits. .