Viva Village

Our Roots:  The Village Movement

In 1999 twelve older residents of Boston’s Beacon Hill Neighborhood gathered to determine how they could remain in their homes as long as possible. They envisioned and created a new model of the traditional village, with neighbors caring for one another and collaborating to solve problems and access the resources they needed to continue living where they were. Their grassroots organization, Beacon Hill Village, began offering services in 2002. The Beacon Hill model has since spread across the country to include nearly 200 Villages, each crafted to reflect its particular population and circumstances.

Viva Village has used the Beacon Hill model and adapted it to best fit the Beaverton area.

Our Mission

To build and sustain an intergenerational organization that provides older Beaverton-area residents with trained volunteers and affordable paid services to help them age in place and thrive as members of a safe, caring community.

Our Vision

A community in which older adults remain safely and confidently in their own homes as they age.

Our Governance

The decision-making and coordinating body for Viva Village is its Governing Council, whose members are elected by the Village. When significant decisions are made by the Governing Council, they are shared with the Viva Village community for commentary and feedback. The Governing Council then pulls together the skills and expertise of volunteers who make
up the various Action Teams to accomplish the hard work of creating and maintaining the Village. A Governing Council representative serves on each Action Team, providing ongoing direction and two-way communication and support.

Viva Village is a member of the Portland area Villages NW Hub and Spoke Nonprofit Network. Villages NW provides administrative, development, human resource, and financial services to local Villages, as well as nonprofit status. Member Villages collaborate to address issues of common concerns. For more information on Villages NW, see


Volunteers are the heart of the Viva Village community. Over 70 inter-generational volunteers have given their time, experience and expertise in many areas to develop Viva Village. With the launch, there continues to be a broad range of opportunities for both member- and community volunteers.  Only with these volunteers will the Village be successful!  More information is available on the Volunteering page.

Our Leadership

Our  all-volunteer leadership is composed of a Governing Council and Action Team leaders.”

Viva Village Governing Council
 Left to right:  Kathy Brown, Kathe Fradkin, Terri Mishler, Bonnie Barksdale, Rae Coleman, Larry Brown
Larry Brown, Governing Council Co-chair, Finance Team Chair:  Following a private medical practice in Oregon, Larry served overseas as a Foreign Service medical officer for 28 years.  He brings management experience as the Medical Director for the Department of State and other roles with the US government.
Kathe Fradkin, Governing Council Co-chair, Villages NW Rep.: Kathe taught in public schools in California and Oregon and then was an Adjunct Business Instructor at Portland State University.  She worked at Intel for 20 years in communications, training, and project management. Over the last 8 years Kathe has served on the Board of Directors, developed policies and procedures and organized fundraisers for the nonprofit Multicultural Integrated Kidney Education program (MIKE).
Bonnie Barksdale, Governing Council, Assoc. Web-Master:  Bonnie was a biology teacher, librarian and technology mentor. In 2000 Bonnie was named Orange County (California) Educator of the Year.  Recently, in Beaverton, she was librarian and webmaster at West TV Elem.
Kathy Brown, Governing Council, Contact Database: Kathy led parent/child communication workshops in Islamabad, Jakarta, London Vienna, and Singapore. She was head of the School Board at the Int’l School of Islamabad, and Community Liaison Officer in Jakarta. She rewrote the Embassy Welcome Manuals in both London and Vienna.
Rae Coleman, Governing Council, Resource Development:  Prior to her retirement 10 years ago, Rae’s professional experience included administration and psychotherapy at the Mental Health Center in Boulder County, as well as years as an administrative assistant. Her volunteer experience includes community organization and development while raising her family in Hoboken, NJ. After 45 years away, Rae returned to Beaverton in 2004 where her family has lived since 1940 on property that the Recreation District has now developed as Barsotti Park.
Terri Mishler, Governing Council:  Terri is a licensed psychologist with a private practice in Beaverton for over 25 years. In her professional role she has taught graduate school courses as well as provided professional training and seminar presentations. Terri has also enjoyed various community volunteer and leadership roles.
Other Key Leaders. . . .

Gerry Barksdale, Web-Master:  Gerry worked in the aerospace industry for Ford, Lockheed, Hughes and Raytheon in a variety of management positions including Chief Scientist and Principal Web and Network Engineer.  He was a volunteer to help install the first fiberoptic network in Ecuador to help doctors at a jungle hospital.

Suzanne Boyd, Social Media Manager:  Suzanne is the mother of three small children and has worked as a customer service manager, sales person, and process analyst at IBM before staying home with her children since 2008.
Dick Eyde, Villages NW Board:  Dick is a retired naval officer and college administrator. In retirement, he has volunteered with local schools and community organizations including leadership positions in Beaverton Literacy Council, Somali Bantu Citizens Group of Oregon and Tualatin Riverkeepers. He currently serves on the City of Beaverton’s Social Service Funding Committee.
Patricia Langford, Treasurer: After working as a case worker in welfare and disability programs, Patricia transitioned to outpatient care management.  She was responsible for developing and managing budgets for multiple clinics in addition to day-to-day operations and personnel administration. In 2001 she received a Manager of the Year award from Kaiser Permanente.
Nancy Miller, CommunicationsNancy served as an administrator for Environmental Studies (BGSU, Ohio), Student Services (U of O, Oregon), and the Oregon Institute for Disability and Development (OHSU).  She served on Boards of Directors for the Nat. Assoc. for Environmental Ed. and The Land Institute and has worked on hunger issues in the Portland area.
Ross Miller, Newsletter Editor:  Ross Miller retired as senior pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Portland in 2001. Previously he served campus ministry and parish positions in Idaho, California, Ohio, and Oregon. In each of these ministry venues he was active in ecumenical and interfaith efforts. For many years he was a member of the Interfaith Network for Earth Concerns Steering Committee. Ross was named Ecumenist of the Year by Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon in 1997, and received a Circle of Life Award from the Holocaust Resource Center in 2012.
Nilze Sumner, Outreach and volunteer recruitment:  Nilze is originally from Brazil where she was manager of a travel agency and then Director of the Institute of English Language, a private school of 500 students.  She enjoys problem solving and fostering teamwork and enthusiastic leadership. Nilze has lived in Beaverton since 2004.
Susan Stutz, Graphic Designer:  in process