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Eastern Oregon Center for Independent Living
Empowering individuals with disabilities and seniors to improve the quality of their lives

 Board of Directors

'Leaders aren't born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that's the price we'll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.' Vince Lombardi

Current Board Members

Photo of Andrea Williams

Drea Williams was elected president of the board of directors in September 2011. Born in Kodiak, Alaska, Drea is the daughter of a commercial fisherman. During the 1989 Valdez oil spill, she was on the F/V Seabrook during the cleanup. Her mum worked for Marriott providing assistance to the cleanup efforts.

In 1999 Drea moved to eastern Oregon, and in 2001 she joined the Oregon Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC). For the next four years she worked with the independent living community. She is most interested in advocating for equal rights for those with disabilities.

For the past 28 years Drea has lived with her disability. After moving to Ontario, she adjusted slowly to the high desert heat. Most days she can be found sitting by the large lounge window of her flat listening to music on her iPod, sipping on a tall glass of raspberry lemonade and reading a novel.

An avid bird lover, over the years she has had 35. Parrotlets, lovebirds, canaries and Quaker parrots are Drea’s favorite species. Currently she keeps a green Quaker parrot — named Sprocket after the alternative rock group Toad the Wet Sprocket — as well as a linnie (lineolated parakeet) parrot named Avalon and a flock of English budgies.

Contact Drea at

Photo of Carolyn Haney

Carolyn Haney was elected vice president of the board of directors in September 2011. She served as president from 1999 to 2011 and has been a board member of EOCIL since its inception in 1999. She worked at Ore-Ida Frozen foods from 1963 until 1988, when she retired. Since her retirement, Carolyn has been very involved with organizing Special Olympics activities for individuals with cognitive disabilities who live in Idaho and Oregon. She is an active member of the Eastern Star and has been an active leader of disability-related advocacy efforts.

Contact Carolyn at

Photo of Michael Braden

Michael Braden was elected treasurer in September 2011. He joined the EOCIL board of directors in March 2011. He was born and raised in Weiser, Idaho, and moved to Ontario in 2005. Michael graduated from Boise State University (BSU) in 2002 with a bachelorís degree in accountancy; he returned to BSU in 2008 to finish his masterís of accountancy degree. Michael has been a licensed CPA since 2005.

Michael and his beautiful bride, Jennifer, were married in 2002 and are expecting their fourth child in 2011.

Michael became aware of EOCIL through his accounting work and continued to see Kirt Toombs at multiple civic events. Kirt was instrumental in inviting participation, and Michael was eager to join the EOCIL team and provide assistance in this invaluable community cause.

Contact Michael at

Photo of Larry Hiigel

Larry Hiigel worked for EOCIL as an independent living specialist in 2010 and joined the board in 2011. In addition to his IL work experience, Larry brings to the board bilingual skills and 12 years of business management.

Contact Larry at

Photo of Matt Knight

Matt Knight is an 18-year-old recent Ontario High School graduate. He worked hard to earn his regular high school diploma. Matt participated in Culinary Arts, worked in the BISTRO Program and is currently working at Subway two hours a week. He plans a career in culinary arts.

Matt currently resides with his parents, Mark and Mandy Alvarado; his sister Kelly, who will be a senior at Ontario High School this fall; and his sister Abby, who will be a 4th Grader at Alameda.

Mattís hobbies include spending time with his dog, Noel; swimming; and playing X-Box and Wii. He also enjoys movies, especially the Transformers and Twilight series. He joined the EOCIL board in 2011 and is proud to be advancing the independent living philosophy.

Contact Matt at

Photo of Alfredo Osuna

Alfredo Osuna joined the board of directors for EOCIL in 2010. A resident of Malheur County since 1967, he graduated from Vale Union High School and has extensive background in the field of homecare for people with disabilities and seniors. After obtaining his cosmetology license, Alfredo became a small business owner when he opened his own beauty salon catering to people with disabilities and seniors.

Contact Alfredo at

Photo of Caroll Parsons

Caroll Parsons joined the board of directors in 2002. She is retired from Treasure Valley Community College, where she worked for 20 years. At the college Caroll served as disability services coordinator for five years.

She belongs to several service organizations such as the Payette Syringa Lions Club, the VFW Auxiliary, Payette County Garden Club and the Payette County Historical Society.

Contact Caroll at

Past Board

We appreciate the time and talent given by our past board members.

Photo of Colleen Toombs

Colleen Toombs (not related to EOCIL’s chief executive officer) joined the board of directors for EOCIL in March 2001 and served as treasurer from 2001 to 2011. She has resided in Ontario in 1972. Shortly after moving to Ontario, Colleen obtained employment with Malheur Federal Credit Union, where she worked until retiring in 1999. She and her husband, Leo (now deceased), founded Toombs Janitorial Supplies in Ontario. They have four children. Colleen became active in the disability community after the birth of two grandchildren who live with albinism.

She has been involved with disability-related advocacy for many years and volunteers with Special Olympics and Help Them to Hope. Colleen also serves on the supervisory committee for Malheur Federal Credit Union.

Contact Colleen at

Photo of Lori Lien

Lori Lien joined EOCIL’s board of directors in 2002. She is a long-time resident of Baker City, Oregon, and a graduate of Willamette University. She developed a passion for disability awareness and accessibility after sustaining a T3-T4 spinal cord injury in 1994, and has been a member of Baker County Disability Service Advisory Council (DSAC) since 1996 and chair of the council since 2000.

Photo of Jody Martin

Jody Martin joined the board of directors in 2010.  She retired from EOCIL as an independent living specialist in 2005 to provide in-home care services for a family member who was living with Alzheimer’s. 

Jody was born in Texas and spent most of her life in Colorado.  She moved to Nyssa, Oregon, in 1959.  In 1960, she married her husband, Gayle, and moved to Adrian, Oregon, where they raised their large family. 

Jody is an artist and has taught art at Treasure Valley Community College. She has also owned and run a grocery store; picked cotton; done restaurant work; provided in-home care services; and worked as an IL specialist at EOCIL.

Photo of Lance Pounds

Lance Pounds joined the EOCIL board in 2002 as a youth representative. He grew up on an 80-acre farm in between Vale and Ontario, Oregon, where he learned to load bales on the truck and drive the truck by the fifth grade. "This is surprising for any farm kid, let alone one with a disability," he says. Lance lives with mild to moderate mixed cerebral palsy, which causes loss of coordination in his hands and his legs. "I have always felt that labor on the farm was surprisingly intriguing just because of the unique different ways that I had to adapt to accommodate my disability. For instance, when I could not drive a manual transmission, my brothers put the truck in low gear and I drove while my three other brothers took up bails from the field."

As an EOCIL board member Lance advocated for the organization to improve itself, enhance services to young people with disabilities and has assisted with the development of EOCIL's five-year technology plan. "As a board member, I have improved my leadership abilities.  This experience has given me the skills to be a self advocate in all areas of my life."

Currently, Lance is a senior at Northwest Nazarene University focusing on cultural studies and economics. In his free time, he enjoys coffee with friends and tap dancing.

Photo of Dixie Barker

Dixie Barker joined the board of directors in 2000. She is employed by Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Services (OVRS) and has worked for OVRS for more than years assisting individuals with disabilities with obtaining employment.

Dixie is the president and steward for SEIU Sub-Local 214, Malheur, Harney and Grant Counties. She also serves as co-chair for the labor/management committee and on the Ontario DHS safety committee.

Contact Dixie at

Photo of Wayne Fujinaga

Wayne Fujinaga was born in Ontario, Oregon. His parents were incarcerated in Malheur County as war prisoners during World War II because they were of Japanese descent.

After their release, they stayed in the area, where his father worked for Ontario Produce. Wayne graduated from Ontario High School and in 1978 traveled to Portland, where he lived in a group home and worked at a printing shop. He returned to Ontario in 1986 after being contacted by former classmates about a class reunion. Wayne became a board member of EOCIL in June 2002.

Contact Wayne at

Board Application

EOCIL invites individuals committed to disability advocacy and rights to consider joining our board or to become a volunteer at EOCIL.

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