Our Team

SAGE advances its mission through teamwork


We are led by our board of directors, supported by staff, and benefit from the engagement of over 100 volunteers and many partners each year. We are also fortunate to work with emerging leaders through our Young Leaders Advisory Board. We value and appreciate opportunities to engage people of all ages and from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Click on these links to learn about our values and non-discrimination policy.

Contact us to learn more about how to get involved.

Staff Members

Steve Higgs

Steve Higgs

Executive Director

Steve Higgs leads SAGE’s efforts to inspire older adults to give forward for younger and future generations. He is responsible for implementing SAGE’s programs, and managing its communications and operations.

Melanie Mejia

Melanie Mejia

Vision 2030 Team Coordinator

Melanie Mejia is the coordinator of SAGE’s Vision 2030 team, which offers education to middle and high school students about the City of Portland and Multnomah 2030 climate goal.

Britt Christiaansen

Britt Christiaansen

Manager of SAGE Mentors at Parkrose Middle School

Britt Christiansen leads SAGE’s Mentors Program at Parkrose Middle School. Her role is to liaison between mentors and students who are gaining support for English language learning and more.

Pat De Vol Nadon

Pat De Vol Nadon

Central Oregon Coordinator

Pat De Vol Nadon coordinates SAGE’s initiatives in Deschutes County, Central Oregon. She manages SAGE events and provides one-to-one advice for people seeking a meaningful pathway to service and advocacy with our partners in the region.

Board Of Directors

Joe Dabek

Board Member

Dr. Joe Dabek has been involved in community and organization development for the past 40 years and most recently, until his retirement in 2018, as a nonprofit board governance consultant/coach with NeighborWorks® America, a national, nonprofit providing technical and financial assistance to nonprofit affordable housing organizations. His areas of specialty are board governance, organization and leadership development, and strategic planning.

Ward Greene

Board Member, Chair

Ward Greene is Senior Counsel at the law firm of Farleigh Wada Witt in Portland, Oregon. He has practiced law for over forty years, served as President of the Multnomah Bar Association and Vice President of the Oregon State Bar. In addition to serving on SAGE’s Board, Ward served on the Board of Ascent Funding. Ward has a B.S. in business from Florida State University and a J.D. from Duke University.

William Howe

Board Member

Bill Howe has practiced law for over 40 years, which includes over 25 years devoted exclusively to family law with Gevurtz Menashe, P.C in Portland, Oregon. In addition to many years of active practice, Bill has devoted significant time and energy to family court reform. He has been appointed by several Chief Justices to serve as the Vice-chair of Oregon’s Statewide Family Law Advisory Committee from 1998 through 2020.

Board Members

Ben Manny

Board Member

Ben Manny retired after 30 years with Intel and last served as their Director of Wireless Technology research lab in Oregon. After retirement, he helped organize the Intel Retiree Organization and served as was one of their charter board members where he established and still chairs the Intel Retiree Volunteer and Donation Committee.

Neal Naigus

Board Member, Secretary

Neal Naigus retired after 42 years at Portland Community College. He served as Assistant to the President for the last 6 PCC Presidents and represented the College throughout the community.

Rick Nitti

Board Member

Rick Nitti served as Executive Director of Neighborhood House for 18 years. He is a highly regarded leader in the Oregon nonprofit community, having served as President of the Board of the Nonprofit Association of Oregon, and on the Board of the Southwest Community Health Center.

Board Members

Sheila Panyam

Board Member

Sheila Panyam is a recent graduate of the University of Washington. A life-long resident of Portland, she was an alumna of Lincoln High School’s We the People Team and a coach for the program. She was a former vice president of Mission:

Marcus Wood

Board Member

Marcus Wood is a retired attorney. He spent his legal career at Stoel Rives LLP, where he served on the firm’s Executive Committee and led its 11-office energy and renewable energy practice groups. He has served as Chair of the Board of the former Indochinese Cultural and Service Center and Chair of the Board of the Oregon Ballet Theatre, and also was a long-time member of the Outside In Board.

Young Adult Leadership Advisory Board

Sid Agrawal

Thea Donovan

Surya Panyam

Cameron Wick

Chair