Wellness Place 2020 Board of Directors
It takes strong leadership to produce exceptional results, and each of our Board members brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our organization. We rely on the Board to make important decisions that will help us to maintain our vital mission. Each of our volunteer members are committed to leading the organization with a high standard of integrity, accountability, along with a personal connection to their own cancer experiences, and a passion to help others.
LINETTE GAHRINGER - PRESIDENT
Master Trainer SAIL Instructor and Matter of Balance/Volunteer
Linette joined the Wellness Place board in 2017 and brought a vast amount of experience to our organization, including several years as Executive Director of the North Central Emergency Care Council. She continues to attend nonprofit educational workshops and seminars to increase her understanding and appreciation for our small local non-profits and the dedication of those who give so much of their time, talent and treasure to serve others!
Linette has experienced cancer journeys with close family members. She lost both her grandmother and grandfather to cancer. Her mother is a breast cancer survivor and her beloved nephew beat brain cancer as a young teenager.
“I've had the honor of walking with people I love and admire in their battles against cancer; witnessing their courage, strength and faith in God has imprinted on my heart a desire to be of service to others facing a cancer diagnosis. No one fights alone!”
STEPHEN LEWIS - TREASURER
Retired Director of Geophysics at BP
At the invitation of Wellness Place founder Dr. Carl Kjobech, Stephen joined as a board member in the fall of 2019. He currently serves as Treasurer of the organization.
Stephen himself is a prostate cancer survivor. His mother survived a battle with breast cancer. However, he lost his father from complications related to Lung Cancer. He has also lost close friends to cancer. Stephen states “I felt very lucky to have the means and support to help me through my ordeal, but many are not so fortunate. It feels so good to be part of an organization that provides help to people when they need it most.”
Stephen and his wife Susan retired in Wenatchee in the summer of 2015. They looked everywhere from Denver to Bellingham, and found Wenatchee to be a great decision for their retirement home. They enjoy their life here and are glad to be involved in the community.
KENDRA WILSON, DPT, OCS - SECRETARY
Physical Therapist, Associates in Physical Therapy
Kendra grew up in upper Wenatchee Valley near Peshastin, before moving to the west side to attend the University of Washington for a B.S. in Psychology. She went on to attend the University of Puget Sound and obtained her Doctor of Physical Therapy. After completing her residency program to become an orthopedic certified specialist, she moved back to her roots to the upper Wenatchee Valley with her growing family.
Kendra was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, and unfortunately her sister received the same news less than two months later. While undergoing treatments and later survivorship, she found a young adult cancer survivor support group in Seattle to be a valuable resource for information and camaraderie that only this group could provide. After moving back to the Wenatchee Valley, she wanted to give back to her community by helping to advocate for this often under-served young adult population and found Wellness Place in 2017 to be an inspiring place to volunteer as a board member, and now she is the board Secretary.
While living on the west side of the mountains, Kendra really enjoyed playing recreational soccer, running, road cycling, and dabbled in triathlons. Now that she has moved to the Wenatchee valley, her priorities have shifted to her growing family.
Anne first became involved with Wellness Place in 2005 as a cancer survivor. She joined the board in 2017 and currently represents the Chelan area as a board member.
Anne was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. Her sister-in-law was diagnosed 4 months later, and they walked their journeys together. While Anne is now a survivor, unfortunately her sister-in-law lost her battle in 2016. Anne continues to stay involved in the cancer community as a faithful supporter of Wellness Place and by facilitating a Breast Cancer Support Group in Chelan, WA.
“My husband and I met at Mt. Rainier National Park as rangers,” she says. “But he was born and raised in Chelan. So when he retired (in 2000), we moved to Chelan with our 2 sons.” Anne states she loves being involved in such a vital and important asset in our community!
DR CHANDRA VILLANO
Dr. Villano has worked in conjunction with Wellness Place over the last 15 years from loose involvement with another local non-profit. She is a co-founder of EASE Foundation, and sat on their Board of Directors for 15 years. She joined the Wellness Place board in May 2019.
She is a local Naturopathic Physician whose life has been significantly affected by cancer. She is passionate about preventive education and easing the burden of those affected by cancer. She feels honored to serve as a board member for Wellness Place and inspired by the important assistance WP provides across NCW communities.
Dr. Villano has suffered the loss of family members and loved ones to cancer. She also has several family members who are survivors. Her passion is helping others with cancer and bringing her experience to the cancer community we serve.After graduating medical school over 16 years ago, she moved to the Wenatchee Valley and married her husband, whose grand-parents and parents created Ohme Gardens, a beloved local historical treasure.
DR LEXIE GRAHAM, MD
Internal Medicine Physician, Confluence Health
Dr Graham has a love for NCW, as she was born and raised in Moses Lake. After finishing eleven years of school and training she returned to Wenatchee three years ago, and joined as a Wellness Place board member November 2019. She has been impacted personally and professionally by cancer, having lost three grandparents to cancer, as well as many friends you have had their own cancer battles.
As a Primary Care Physician at Confluence Health, Dr Graham has cared for many of her patients and families through their journey with cancer. "I am constantly inspired by their strength, grace and hope and I am grateful to be able to be a part of an organization like Wellness Place that provides such important support and resources during this difficult time in people's lives."
Contact Center Specialist at Confluence Health
Sharon began her tenure as Wellness Place board member in May 2020. She works as a Contact Care Specialist at Confluence Health. She has experience in fundraising, as she has participated in cancer fundraisers for the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation and CHOC walk at Disneyland (which funds research & awareness to help cure Pediatric Cancer).
Sharon has a very personal connection to her previous fundraisers and the pediatric cancer community. Her grandson, Carter, was diagnosed with Leukemia as a 4-year-old, and tragically passed from treatment complications at the age of 6. She also lost her sister-in-law to colon cancer.
“As Carter’s grandma and his daddy’s mother, I was initiated into the all consuming Cancer Community. His parents became fierce advocates for him and other families. I am grateful and honored to become a WP Board Member and excited to serve on a local level, while honoring my sweet grandson.”
Student Services Coordinator at Confluence Health
Casey began her tenure as Wellness Place board member in May 2020. Her position as Student Services Coordinator for Confluence Health, as well as serving on the Advisory Committees for Nursing, Medical Assisting and Pharmacy Tech Programs at Wenatchee Valley College and other area colleges, brings a unique healthcare perspective to the board.
Casey has many family members who’ve been affected by cancer. Both of her Grandparents, her father and Aunt are all cancer survivors. Her sister also had a breast cancer scare.
Casey grew up in Wenatchee. Her father was a Cardiologist for Wenatchee Valley Clinic from 1980-retirement in January of 2016. She left to pursue a career in Exercise Science, attending PLU (Bachelor’s) and University of Montana (Masters) and worked in both Montana and Brewster, WA, before settling back in Wenatchee to work for Confluence Health and raise a family with her husband Jesson. Together they share daughter Elsa (5) and Monte (3).
Co-owner of Icicle Brewing Company and München Haus
Pam recently joined the Wellness Place board in July 2020 and although new to the position, she comes with a vast amount of experience in non-profits. She has served on non-profit boards and committees since 2003 including her recent President role at the Washington Brewers Guild, and currently serves on the board at Community Foundation of NCW, Leavenworth Rotary, Cascade High School CTE Advisory Board, Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce and more.
She and her husband Oliver and their three kids (Gabrielle, Josh & Elise) moved to Leavenworth nearly 20 years ago and opened München Haus Bavarian Grill and later Icicle Brewing Company, two favorite Leavenworth establishments.
"In 2014 I was Diagnosed with Breast Cancer and Wellness Place was such an amazing resource when I was undergoing chemo and radiation and beyond into survivorship, so I look forward to being able to give back to this amazing organization."