Susan M. Graham (Board Chair) Susan has practiced law for more than 35 years, specializing in helping people who are in or anticipating retirement to create estate plans. She earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Idaho, and holds an MBA from Boston University and a BS from Cornell University. She is a Certified Elder Law Attorney and accredited with the Veterans Administration.
She has served on numerous Idaho nonprofit boards including Idaho Legal Aid, YWCA, Idaho Women Lawyers, Idaho Women’s Network and Idaho Trial Lawyers Association.
Her mother grew up in Paris, Idaho, and her father’s parents homesteaded near Hill City, Idaho. The family farm is a step back in time, with no running water or electricity.
“I have spent the majority of my professional life working to help people maintain their independence and protect themselves as they age. As a young person, I observed the disastrous consequences that result from failing to plan past retirement. One example: My grandmother’s caregiver freely stole her money and property while isolating her in her own home, where she lived in squalor and filth. My hope for Boise at Home is to create a support system so members are comfortable reaching out for help when they need it without feeling their requests are an imposition, and they can maintain the ability to be independent and stay safely in their homes as long as possible.”
RogerSimon (Vice Chair) A Chicago native, Roger graduated from Augsburg College in 1973. As a community organizer and activist in Minnesota and northern California, he focused on people with physical and developmental disabilities, establishing programs and support services that allowed people to lead their lives with the greatest degree of independence and community engagement.
During his nearly 15 years at The Idaho Foodbank, it grew from a relatively small and unknown nonprofit into a vibrant leader among its peers statewide. Roger retired to care for his ailing mother; after about 14 months, she passed. Within a few weeks, a friend asked Roger to help do similar work in Arkansas, so he spent two years in Little Rock at the Arkansas Foodbank before returning to his family and retirement in Boise.
Roger received the Idaho Human Rights Award and was selected as Idaho’s national representative for the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation “Above and Beyond” Citizen Honor, which recognizes civilian Americans who make an extraordinary difference in the lives of others. He also was recognized for establishing a partnership with the Idaho National Guard to assist its members and their families upon deployment to Iraq.
“Living with dignity, safety, community integration and independence can be the true culmination of a meaningful life. I believe this for myself and am driven to help make this true for others by being a Boise at Home board member.”
Diane Ronayne (Board Secretary) Diane writes, edits and makes photographs vocationally and avocationally. A graduate of Stanford University, she has enjoyed a varied career, including 15 years editing Idaho Wildlife Magazine, 13 years as an Idaho Statesman columnist and stints as a magistrate court clerk, fine artist, graphic designer and obituary consultant.
She has served on the Boise Planning & Zoning Commission and the Boise City Arts Commission, and has had a hand in founding and leading the Idaho Photographic Workshop, Boise Neighborhood Alliance, Log Cabin Literary Center (now The Cabin), Fund for Idaho, City Club of Boise, Idaho Nonprofit Center, Julia Davis Park Second Century Coalition and Idaho Writers Guild.
As she approached 70, Diane became aware of issues pertaining to aging in a culture that denies it will happen. After learning of the village concept, she was delighted to join others to make it happen in Boise. “This nonprofit has the potential to save us money, keep us engaged with the community we love, and maintain our health and security. As a first-year Baby Boomer, I intend to be involved in fruitful activities like this as long as I can!”
Diane and her husband, Gary Richardson, share their Foothills home with three cats and a variety of housemates.
Josh Hoisington (Board Treasurer) Josh, with Idaho Trust, began his career in wealth management in 2005 after graduating from the University of New Mexico in Finance & Accounting. He offers holistic planning for retirees and institutional investors, guiding them to their financial goals.
“I am very humbled to accept this position,” Hoisington said. “I appreciate the opportunity to be part of an organization that strives to provide innovative services so that a vital part of our community can live independently.”
Josh, his wife Nicole, and their two children love Idaho’s outdoors. Josh and his 7-year-old daughter, Brayleigh, shoveled snow for Boise at Home members in January 2017.
Kathleen Barrett (Board Member) Kathy worked for the design and development unit of the Boise Department of Parks & Recreation, and in her retirement years favors start-up projects, nonprofits and capital campaigns. She is currently an independent consultant to Preservation Idaho and Planmakers.
She is a founding board member of several Boise groups including Friends of the Philharmonic, the Log Cabin Literary Center, Arts for Kids and the Julia Davis Park Second Century Coalition, and served as secretary to the Greenbelt and Pathways Committee.
A fourth-generation Idahoan, she lives in Boise’s East End in a unique neighborhood that has demonstrated the principles of neighbor-to-neighbor village living since its inception. “I’m drawn to support Boise at Home because of its ability to replicate those same old-fashioned gifts of connectivity, compassion and communication with real services.”
Renee McConnell (Board Member) Renee, a registered investment adviser and certified retirement planning counselor, owns a small boutique practice serving a handful of people for whome she feels she can add value.
“Managing money is about managing life; I just helped two clients migrate into retirement communities, and another is in a precarious position with no support so I’m looking for someone to help her.”
She wants to serve on our board because she sees a huge need in the community.
“Especially in the North and East ends, the focus is on youth, but we’ll all be older someday and we need to be more inclusive. Seniors need to have contact with other people. I want to educate people about what’s ahead of them. We don’t change inside when our shell changes; we can still contribute to other people.”
The mother of four girls, Renee is aware of opportunities to partner with schools and can help engage youngsters in Grandparents Day. She understands how corporations work and how they partner with nonprofits and wants to help build bridges to business communities.
Renee brings to the Board an inter-generational perspective. She understands seniors’ need and desires to age in place and contact someone other than a family member for help: “They feel independent, and it makes a huge difference for them.”
KEN MILLER (Board Member)
Ken has 25 years in the newspaper business as a reporter in Oklahoma, Washington, DC, Reno, Maui, and at the Idaho Statesman. He has done advocacy work for nonprofits vocationally and avocationally, and has grant-writing experience. Most recently, he worked 9 years for the Snake River Alliance as Idaho’s first clean energy advocate. Following retirement last fall, he is writing a new blog about energy issues, volunteering with his church (Hillview Methodist) and serving on two Idaho Power resource planning committees.
A cancer survivor, Ken also volunteers with Idaho2Fly, a nonprofit that brings men with serious diseases together to learn to fly-fish and converse about their challenges, and he is writing a book about cancer. He understands the challenges of caregiving and how important it is to remain in one’s home. Ken went through multiple surgeries over many months while being able to work from home and function because his wife was his caregiver and had a medical background; without her, he would have been in a very different setting.
Boise at Home offers Ken an opportunity to do advocacy work different from his environmental work. He served on the Boise at Home Marketing Committee in 2016 and helped write our Marketing Plan; he now chairs that committee. His previous board experience includes serving as board chair of the Northwest Energy Coalition, 2010-12.
Ken was attracted to Boise at Home because it is at a formative place in its development, defining it almost day by day. “That’s exciting. I have read your financials and met with the group; you people are really committed to making it work. Your business plan has defined your mission and what you hope to accomplish. Strategically, you are well positioned.”