Tanya Mendoza , Volunteer Director

Tanya joined LITA in March, 2017 after spending 4 months as the Interim Volunteer Director.  Tanya was born on the island of Oahu, city of Honolulu, Hawaii.  Her family lived in Southern California, Oregon, and Florida, finally settling the longest in Northern California’s Sonoma County.

Her Sonoma County years found her riding the school bus through the Korbel winery each day while living in Guerneville, swimming in the Russian River and picking blackberries when she lived in Forestville.  In Santa Rosa, she exceeded her ‘home’ sewing skills by training to become a professional tailor and managing an upscale apparel store tailor shop.  The passing of time in life encourages new challenges, so with President’s Honors, she graduated from Empire College.  She was surprised when the school president announced her as the Hospitality and Travel program’s graduate of the year.  She held back tears for her surprise, accomplishment and wishing her family had been there to be proud of her.  She enjoyed being a student in the class room, but the work world beckoned.  So she went from sitting at a sewing machine to sitting at a desk.  She spent time in the natural foods industry, working at a bank, and at the cemetery where, five years before, she said good bye to her mother.

Tanya moved to Marin County in 2004, where she discovered her next gratifying profession as an Activity Coordinator.  She went to Texas to spend time with family in 2010, but returned in 2011, continuing to attend to the engagement of older adults in several facilities activity departments and memory care units.  It was in her first activities role that she learned about LITA.  She watched wonderful friendships grow through fulfillment of LITA’s mission and was happy to assist in initiating this friendship matching process with each Volunteer Request form she had sent to LITA.  She is most grateful to have to opportunity to be part of LITA, because, ‘Love really is the Answer!’

Dena Selix, Intergenerational Coordinator/Consultant

Dena Selix began working with LITA in 2008 as a consultant after receiving a Certificate in Intergenerational Programs from Generations Together, University of Pittsburgh. Expanding on LITA’s Youth Partners program, she designed and implemented Bridging Generations to connect elementary school children and seniors in assisted living facilities.  After 15 years of teaching and tutoring middle and high school English and Study Skills, she began volunteering at The Redwoods Retirement Community, visiting seniors and leading art workshops.  Dena also assisted with art, poetry and cooking classes at the Marin Brain Injury Network.  Prior to teaching, she served as a project coordinator for the Hugh O’Brian Youth Organization which offers seminars to teens who interact with community and business leaders.  Dena’s duties involved fund raising and event planning. She holds a B.A. in English from U.C. Santa Barbara and a California Teaching Credential and M.Ed. from UCLA.

Debra Guerin, Office Administrator

Debra Guerin joined LITA March 2014 as the non-profit Database and Office Administrator.  Debra retired from Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company after 38 years as an Executive Assistant and other various positions.  Debra was a Big Sister with the organization Big Brothers Big Sisters for 8 years and was awarded The Big Sister of the Year for the State of California in 2007. In her spare time, she likes to read, bake, water ski, and ride motorcycles.