We are an experienced team of nurses, social workers, gerontologists, and care managers. Through our extensive knowledge of the eldercare system, local resources and facilities, we deliver compassionate, efficient and cost effective services.
Each of our team members is a seasoned health care expert with wide spread experience to provide you and your family members with the skills and knowledge you need.
Sage Team Members
Care Management Team
Nina Pflumm Herndon, MAG, CMC, CLPF (Lic. #262)
Sage Eldercare Founder and Executive Director
BA Anthropology, Denison University; MA Gerontology, San Francisco State University
Nina is fortunate to have developed many wonderful relationships with older adults, starting with her own grandmothers. These experiences shaped her in many ways and inspired her decision to focus on healthcare and health related issues affecting older adults throughout her career.
While working at Age Wave IMPACT, the nation’s leading research and marketing firm focused on older adults, Nina learned about the difficulties that adult children often face in fulfilling the needs of their aging parents and keeping up with their own family and work responsibilities. She knew then that she wanted to apply her healthcare expertise to help older adults and their families directly. She decided to earn her master’s degree in gerontology and became a professional geriatric care manager. Today at Sage Eldercare Solutions, she strives to empower people to make wise eldercare decisions, relieve family caregiver worries, and help older adults live better.
Nina holds a master’s degree in gerontology from San Francisco State University and earned a certificate in Professional Fiduciary Management from California State University at Fullerton. Nina is a member of the Professional Fiduciary Association of California and the American Society on Aging. She is an active member of the Aging Life Care Association (formerly the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers) and has been honored with the association’s President’s Award, the Rose Kleiner Award for Dedication and Service, and the Outstanding Chapter Member Award for the Western Region. She has also served on the Western Regional Chapter Board.
Nina is a licensed professional fiduciary, registered administrator for residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFE) in California, and a certified care manager (CMC). She frequently speaks on care and quality of life issues and has published a chapter on Quality of Life for each of the 5 editions of the Geriatric Care Manager’s Handbook.
Ariana Alex, MAG, CMC
Director of Care Management Services
BA Psychology, University of San Francisco; MA Gerontology, San Francisco State University
Ariana grew up having strong relationships with many elders in her family and community. She has always had a passion for helping others so it is no surprise that she has chosen a career working with older adults and their families.
In her current role as the Director of Care Management Services, Ariana works closely with Nina Herndon, Sage Eldercare Founder and Executive Director, as well as with the Sage Care Management team to ensure positive outcomes for clients and their families.
Ariana began her work at Sage as the Director of Home Care. She created a strong home care program which focuses on providing quality care and meaningful engagement. She is trained as a Positive Approach to Care Trainer (CPT) and trains Sage home care providers in this specialized dementia training program based on Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care philosophy.
Previously, Ariana worked at Coventry Park Assisted Living Community in San Francisco as the Director of The Memory Enhancement Program and Associate Director of Assisted Living. She has direct experience in creating and conducting activities for older adults, especially those with memory loss. In her role at Coventry Park, she provided on-going support and guidance to family members who were experiencing the challenges associated with memory loss.
Ariana earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in gerontology from the University of San Francisco(USF). While studying at USF she participated in intergenerational research with the FROMM Institute for Lifelong Learning. She completed her master’s degree in gerontology from San Francisco State University and was awarded the Michelle Benjamin Scholarship. Ariana is a member of the Aging Life Care Association (ALCA) and a certified care manager (CMC).
Jill Melvin, MSW, LCSW, CMC
Clinical Care Manager Lead
BA Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara; MSW with Gerontology specialization, University of California Berkeley
Jill has worked with older adults and their families for the last 20 years and joining Sage is a return to her roots as a Care Manager. Jill started her career with Jewish Family and Children’s Services of San Francisco and the Bay Area, first as a Care Manager and then as the Director of the Conservatorship Program. She was court appointed for more than 250 older adults in her five years as Director. Following her time with JFCS, Jill worked as a liaison between the City and County of San Francisco’s Public Guardian’s office and the five main hospital Social Services departments, encouraging timely discharges from acute care hospitals to appropriate levels of care for patients waiting to be conserved. Just prior to joining Sage, Jill worked for a local homecare agency. Jill is enthusiastic about and most enjoys working with older adults and their families to promote healthy aging and quality of life.
Marissa Hollmann-Butz, MSW, LCSW, CMC
Care Management Services and Operations Manager
BA Psychology, Sonoma State University; MSW, San Diego State University
Marissa’s passion for serving the geriatric population began at a young age when she helped care for her grandmother who had a diagnosis of vascular dementia. This passion has been nourished through her professional Social Work training and experience, including positions at a low-income senior housing facility, a hospice and palliative care agency, and most recently, a memory care community, where she served as Director of Resident and Family Services. In this role Marissa provided ongoing family support and care coordination for residents with dementia diagnoses. Through her personal and professional experiences, she has gained expertise in aging related issues, including grief and loss, dementia care, mental health, end-of-life planning, and other issues. Marissa brings warmth, compassionate support, and dedication to her work with the goal to holistically better the quality of life for her clients and their loved ones.
Adrienne Uyenco, MA, CMC
BA Psychology, San Jose State University; MA Counseling Psychology, Santa Clara University
Adrienne has worked in the Social Services field for 21 years in various clinical and healthcare settings serving older adults, rehab patients, persons with acquired brain injury and mental health needs, hospice, and families with young children. She got her start working with older adults as a Social Services Director in various skilled nursing facilities in the South Bay and found her true calling in working with older adults. In her many years of experience, Adrienne has provided skilled and detailed assistance to clients in developing and implementing care plans; providing supportive bereavement counseling; hospital and rehab discharge planning; and facilitating training and multidisciplinary team meetings. Adrienne feels that paramount to a successful relationship between care manager and client is forming a real connection and ensuring her clients’ needs and concerns are heard. She works hard to authentically validate her clients’ feelings and experiences. Adrienne feels most passionate about working with older adults facing dementia and complex medical conditions, helping to safely support their independence while encouraging ongoing growth and engagement.
Erin Frost, MA, CMC
BA Psychology, Texas Wesleyan University; MA Gerontology, University of North Texas
Erin has worked with seniors and their families for ten years, six of these as a care manager at the Council on Aging in Santa Clara County. Erin has also worked in home safety and fall prevention to identify fall risks in the home and help seniors age safely in place; in this role, she educated various professionals on the importance of home safety and modifications. Erin’s interests in the field of aging include holistic health and the documented benefits of inter-generational contact and animal-assisted therapy. Erin attended Texas Wesleyan University and the University of North Texas, where she earned her Master’s degree in Gerontology.
Jennifer Danzer, MSW, CMC
BA Psychology, Indiana University; MSW, University of Iowa
Jennifer has worked as a social worker for almost 20 years and has received the greatest satisfaction when serving older adults and their families. She has a comprehensive professional background as a clinical social worker encompassing experiences in home healthcare, substance abuse, subacute skilled nursing care, acute hospital coordination, and hospice. Throughout her career, she has developed broad knowledge of end-of-life issues, dementia-related issues, long-term care concerns, family dynamics, and medical and mental health issues. She has provided supportive counseling, problem solving, crisis intervention, coordination of discharge plans, and grief counseling. Jennifer’s goal is to provide clients and their families with education regarding their situation, to develop strategies to best meet clients’ needs, and to determine ways to improve their quality of life.
Lisa Leisten, MS
BA Management, Simmons College; MS Clinical Psychology and Gerontology, Notre Dame de Namur University
Before pursuing a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology and Gerontology, Lisa worked for more than 20 years in the financial services industry providing consulting services to Charles Schwab, Wells Fargo, and Franklin Templeton. She has unique experience developing programs that support financial services professionals in safeguarding their elderly and most vulnerable clients from potential financial abuse. Lisa has also worked with children on the autism spectrum through the Pacifica School District and she volunteers at Peninsula Circle of Care, a no-cost service designed to help primarily older adults who need extra support and coaching after leaving the hospital. Through her wide array of professional and volunteer experiences, Lisa has developed extensive knowledge surrounding dementia-related issues, long-term care concerns, medical and mental health issues, and crisis intervention. She is especially passionate about providing supportive counseling to her clients’ families and caregivers in a safe space with no judgement. Lisa believes that such support benefits both clients and their families, allowing families to focus on what is truly important—the quality of care and quality of life of their loved ones.
Mary Collins, MSW, LCSW, CMC
BA History and Art History, Santa Clara University; MSW and Gerontology Certificate, Tulane University
For more than 25 years, Mary has worked as a clinical social worker serving older adults and their families. She has an extensive professional background as a social worker, including in a community-based geriatric medical clinic providing long-term care management to at risk seniors in the Tenderloin. Mary also worked at the Department of Aging and Adult Services in San Francisco implementing a specialized care management program for seniors through the Public Guardian office, and she also worked as an elder abuse investigator with Adult Protective Services. Through her experiences in community-based senior services, she has developed deep knowledge of elder abuse issues, crisis intervention, conservatorships, care giver training and supervision, dementia related issues, end-of-life concerns, and medical and mental health issues. Mary has focused her career on providing older adults with services, support, and interpersonal connections that will enable them to maintain their highest level of independence and quality of life.
Sasha Inobe, MAG, CMC
In her role as a gerontologist, Sasha has provided diverse and comprehensive services for older adults. Sasha has a special interest in working with people with cognitive deficits. Following this passion, she researched and developed a proposal and design for a multisensory room commonly known as Snoezelen. Her model was adapted into the service plan of the Jewish Home for the Aged of San Francisco.
Sasha also provided memory care expertise and leadership at Coventry Place, where she was the Director of Memory Care and the Transitional Memory Care Coordinator. Sasha developed specific cognitive stimulation programs for residents with varying levels of cognitive decline, in order to significantly enhance their experiences of connection and joy.
Most recently, Sasha served as the Program Manager for Home Care Assistance and oversaw the Cognitive Therapeutics Method™ to provide brain fitness and activity initiatives that supported clients’ well being.
Sasha brings compassion, positive energy and commitment to her work as an advocate for older adults and their families. She is motivated to build trust and strong interpersonal connections that enrich the clients’ and families’ care management experience.
Talya Onorato, MA
BA Psychology, San Francisco State University; MA Gerontology, San Francisco State University
Talya’s dedication to working with older adults is rooted in childhood experiences when she accompanied her mother, a Registered Nurse, to care for older friends who were terminally ill or living with dementia. She turned her innate enjoyment of being with the elderly into her profession, earning a master’s degree in Gerontology from San Francisco State University, with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and caregiver strategies. Her work over the last 18 years started in an adult day center developing lively activities, especially with music and song, to stimulate and engage participants with dementia. She then moved to an Assisted Living facility where her genuine concern for the residents’ well-being and safety helped her become a trusted and highly respected professional. Her latest position was as a Client Care Manager for a home care agency where she was responsible for conducting assessments, creating care plans, and providing oversight for her clients and their care providers. Talya brings respect for their dignity, genuine compassion and wise understanding to her work with older adults. For her, enhancing the quality of life for older adults is not just a career, it’s her passion.
Amy Mannina, OTR/L
BS Occupational Therapy, San Jose State University
Amy is an Occupational Therapist with over 20 years providing client-centered care to the elderly population in rehabilitative skilled nursing and home health settings. Amy completed her degree in Occupational Therapy at San Jose State University with a minor in Psychology. She specializes in geriatrics because of her grateful appreciation for the older adult and strong commitment to patient advocacy. In her position as a lead therapist in sub- acute rehabilitation, Amy developed inservice programs for staff and training protocols for families in fall prevention best practices, as well as systems for skillful environmental modifications. Amy has a passion to foster aging-in-place in the safest manner. Through her experiences in skilled nursing, she has developed an extensive knowledge of end-of-life issues, dementia-related issues, long-term care concerns, and medical and mental health issues. Amy strongly believes that extensive family education can bring unexpected rewards. With a compassionate and creative approach, Amy is dedicated to helping clients live their life in the most meaningful and dignified way, empowering them to build hope and resiliency throughout transitions in life.
Risa Scott, MSW
BA Sociology, Sonoma State University; Master’s in Social Work, University of Southern California
Risa has an extensive background working with the elderly population. Her passion for this population began when she started working at a local hospital; she was a Medical Social Worker and primarily worked in the ICU. Risa is proactive with helping clients plan for life transitions, she creatively thinks outside of the box to solve problems, and she provides continuous support to her clients and their families throughout challenging times. Through her experiences, Risa has developed the skills and knowledge to handle complex problems, end-of-life issues, grief and loss and medical and mental health issues. Risa shows her dedication by assisting clients and their families with their unique needs, providing empathy and active listening, problem-solving, and using a holistic client-focused approach.
Angela C. Dickson, MSW, CMC
BA Social Work, San Francisco State University; MA Social Work, California State University-Long Beach
Angela is a dynamic and proficient Social Worker, possessing more than 14 years of knowledge and real-world experience in Elder Care. Combined with a lifelong passion for helping seniors, her goal is to use her considerable talents to help meet a range of needs – from resolving short-term crises to successfully managing long-term care plans focused on wellbeing and independence. She began working with the aging population at the age of sixteen within an Independent Living environment, and observed many gaps in care, which drove her to continue her education – completing her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Angela has augmented her skillset over the years, developing a strong background in both inpatient and outpatient services while providing ongoing case management and crisis intervention to populations in need throughout the developmental spectrum. Angela is working toward advancing her skillset with her MSW degree, while also achieving her LCSW to best assist the geriatric population.
Emma Germer, MSW
BA Human Development, California State University East Bay; Masters of Social Work, California State University East Bay
Emma is a graduate of California State University East Bay’s Master of Social Work program. She has experience and skills in both forensic and legal social work, serving juveniles and adults involved in the criminal justice system. Her professional background in crisis services, where she has participated in counseling, case management, suicide assessment, and emotional-crisis intervention, skills which serve her well in assessing and serving clients in need. More recently, Emma has acquired meaningful knowledge in the areas of older adult development and aging, furthering her interest in the field. Personal experiences in caring for her elderly grandfather helped Emma gain a deeper understanding of some of the challenges that arise when advocating for an older family member. Emma looks forward to further honing her skills in working with older adults and their families.
Care Manager Associate
BA Journalism, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA Gerontology, San Francisco State University- in progress
Inspired by her dad’s friendships with the seniors in his multicultural neighborhood and moved by her mom’s generosity of time with the older clients in her therapy practice, Taara learned early on the wisdom and resilience that aging brings. In both corporate and nonprofit leadership roles, she has collaborated with families as well as community members to create innovative education, health, and life enrichment programs. She brings attention, compassion, and deep respect for each individual’s unique life story, and recently received her Consultant Certification in the Positive Approach to Care (PAC), a method that focuses on the strengths of those living with brain change while providing supportive resources for families and care providers. Taara has been privileged to serve on the Boards of First 5 San Mateo County, Children’s Council San Francisco, and Alliance for Girls. She is currently the Aging Mastery Program Lead with On Lok and is pursuing a Masters in Gerontology at San Francisco State University. As often as possible, Taara listens to live music, hikes in the redwoods, and appreciates small kindnesses.
Specialized Home Care Team
Alfredo brings to Sage over 12 years of experience working in the senior care industry in senior living communities all over the Bay Area. Alfredo has assumed many roles in a community, from working in administration, sales & marketing, activities, care, and food & beverage. For the past few years, he has been an Executive Director, overseeing the day-to-day operations of his communities. With his focus always on improving on the quality of care and quality of life of his clients, his expertise will be valuable for his role at Sage. Alfredo earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a focus on Management from San Francisco State University.
Erin Tordsen, MAG
Home Care Manager, Supervisor
BS Psychology, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; MA Gerontology, San Francisco State University
Erin joins Sage with over five years of experience in eldercare. Erin has a Master’s degree in Gerontology from San Francisco State University and Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She has interned in the past with adult day care and with the San Francisco Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. She has also volunteered with hospice as both a patient care volunteer and administrative volunteer in the office. Erin has worked for the last few years with a home care agency where she assisted with the scheduling of care providers, provided oversight and supervision to the care providers, performed client visits and maintained regular communication with client’s responsible parties. Erin’s passion for eldercare stems from helping to care for her grandmother who lived with Alzheimer’s Disease for over 10 years and watching her mother care for aging family members.
Gil comes to Sage with a background in customer service and administrative work. He has a talent for care coordination and specializes in client relations. Gil has become a valued member of Sage Home Care and has cultivated relationships with our team of Personal Care Attendants. His enthusiasm and dedication to eldercare have helped prepare him for taking on the role of Staffing Coordinator. While Gil is relatively new to the healthcare field, he has demonstrated a commitment for getting the details right—which is a perfect fit for the Sage Eldercare culture.
Jennifer joins Sage with over twenty-eight years of eldercare experience holding positions in management, activity programming, marketing and as executive director of an assisted living facility. Her work has included serving older adults residing in independent, assisted living and memory care settings. In her various roles, Jennifer’s favorite aspect has been being a resource for clients and their families during times of transition, and then developing long-term relationships. Jennifer has a BA in Sociology from Western Washington University where she focused her studies on adult development and aging.
BA in Biology
Ella joins Sage with nine plus years of healthcare experience within long-term care settings and in-home care. Her most recent experience includes work in a memory care unit with older adults residing in a long-term care facility where she provided supervision to care providers and ensured quality care for residents. Dedicated to serving the older adults of her community, Ella successfully enhances their quality of life by cultivating positive relationships with clients and their families. Ella studied at The College of St. Scholastica in Minnesota where she graduated with a degree in biology as well as a minor in psychology.
Home Care Manager
Roey joined Sage with seven years of progressive experience within long-term care settings. She has worked at several skilled nursing facilities in the Bay Area. Her most rewarding experience was as an admissions manager with Covenant Care, where she provided above-and-beyond customer service as well as taking the facility to its first time capacity of one hundred percent. Roey has successfully worked with hospital case managers, physicians, conservators and families to qualify and transition patients into the skilled nursing setting. Her passion for helping others has kept her in the healthcare field. Roey attended California State University, East Bay.
BS Kinesiology, University of North Texas
Jeff joins Sage with over seven years of healthcare experience. Jeff has worked in staffing and client services roles across a variety of settings. These settings include inpatient rehab and Acute therapy needs within the hospital. Jeff also staffed for an ABA agency which conducted in-home and clinic based therapy for children on the Autism spectrum. He is passionate about taking a client-centered approach to his work. This includes matching quality care providers to meet the clients individual needs. Jeff earned his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, with a teaching certification for PE grades K-12, and a minor in Social Sciences.
Home Care Service Coordinator
Annabelle comes to Sage with a background of over 20 + years of experience of administrative and customer service work. Her desire to help the elderly comes from her experience caring for her aging parents. She has become a valued member of the Sage Home Care team and has cultivated relationships with our team of Personal Care Attendants. While Annabelle is relatively new to the healthcare field, she has demonstrated a commitment to her job and to getting details right—which is a perfect fit for the Sage Eldercare culture.
Care Coordination & Administrative Team
Jack Herndon, MBA
BA International Relations, Brown University; MBA, Stanford University
Jack has more than 25 years of experience in marketing, management and business development roles in companies ranging from Fortune 1000 organizations to start ups (both for-profit and not-for-profit). In his current role of Managing Partner of Sage Eldercare Solutions, Jack has led the introduction and expansion of the concierge home care practice which today employs over 100 team members. Previously Jack taught care managers through the University of Florida certificate program (Ethical, Legal and Business Aspects of GCM) and is co-author of the chapter in the Geriatric Care Manager Handbook titled, “Adding GCM to a Home Care Agency.” He is a founding board member and former Treasurer of the San Francisco Village (www.SFVillage.org). He authored and published The Hospital Discharge Organizer and has led numerous workshops for families navigating the eldercare maze. Jack earned his BA from Brown University and his MBA from Stanford University.
Michelle Leung, DC
DC*, Life West College
Michelle brings over 10 years experience as an office manager for various health care offices as well as five years in clinical practice as an alternative health care professional. She has been involved in many community outreach programs and was awarded a Certificate of Recognition by the California State Assembly for her volunteer work. Michelle has been with Sage Eldercare Solutions since 2008 helping clients and their families in the administration of services and has been integral to Sage’s continued growth.
* Doctor of Chiropractic
Shelby Louis, AA
AA Arts & Humanities, Skyline College
AA Legal Studies, Skyline College
Shelby joins Sage with five years of administrative experience and three years of experience as a paralegal. She has worked at private law firms in San Francisco for the past several years and finds enjoyment in helping others navigate ever changing life circumstances. Shelby brings to Sage professional experience, a creative mindset, and aspires to fulfill the needs of the elderly population of the Bay Area and their families through her role here at Sage.
BS Graphic Communications, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Shari is a former marketing communications manager who is following her passion to work in the field of eldercare, where she wants to help make a difference to her clients and their families. Much of this is driven by her personal experience with in-home care for her own family, which has given her a first hand opportunity to understand and appreciate the positive impact that quality care can have. She is a trained raw food chef and has previously completed her 120-hour massage therapy certification training. Since 2012, Shari has been on the board of directors for the Palo Alto-based, nonprofit Racing Hearts whose mission is to advocate and fundraise to place automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in local communities. Shari is a committed professional who brings enthusiasm, creativity and warmth to this role.
Darcy has worked in the hospitality industry for over 15 years and her passion for customer service and assisting people in need has led her to a career in eldercare. She spent over 8 years working for Disney Cruise Line where she attended their elite management and hospitality programs. Darcy’s desire to help others encourages her to ensure that every guest feels they received a unique guest experience. Darcy’s experience of assisting persons with different levels of abilities and disabilities has taught her compassion and patience when assisting others. Darcy brings to Sage years of elite hospitality training and compassion for all.