Our community is seeing a renewed energy, growth and spirit, even with all we have endured in 2020. Even more impressive is that all the ground work for the Lake Almanor Community Consortium, the Town Plaza, the Mountain Volunteer Project, and now the development of a new community foundation have been orchestrated by volunteers with no funding. We are a community that does not give up and are more excited than ever to embrace the potential, the opportunities and the change that awaits us.

Meet Our Directors

Judy Chynoweth, Chair

Judy has lived in Chester part or full time since 1997 and during this time has served on several area non-profit boards including the ABC Center, Plumas Rural Services and Plumas Arts. She survived a long career working with state and local governments and foundations to improve outcomes for children and families by strengthening policy and practice. Most of her work involved bringing together different departments, organizations, foundations and communities to think, plan and operate collaboratively. She has skills in facilitation, board training, strategic planning and results accountability. Today, Judy focuses on a balanced life, giving back to her family and community, gardening, reading and just loving living in Chester.

Susan Bryner, Vice Chair

Susan's family has lived in the Lake Almanor area since the later 1970's. She moved to the family home full time in 2003 when she opened a bookstore in Chester and became active in the Lake Almanor Area Chamber of Commerce.  Susan has a masters in psychology which she says has contributed immensely to her success in business and community work. She is the co-owner of  Coldwell Banker Kehr/O'Brien Real Estate with her husband Tim O'Brien and is the current President of the Lake Almanor Area Chamber of Commerce. She is a founding director of the  Feather River Tourism Association and currently serves as Vice Chair. Susan focuses her days on her businesses, community work and her 9 grandchildren, feeling truly blessed to be able to "give back" during this time in her life.

Katherine Sansone, Secretary

Katherine is a new local moving to Lake Almanor full-time in July, 2019 though has been coming to the lake since she was a child. As the founder and principal of SANSONE+ PR & MARKETING since 1986, Katherine remains busy with clients though divides her time participating and contributing to her new community, which she adopted from the day she unpacked. As Director of the Foundation, Katherine oversees the marketing and PR. She is on the development committee for the Town Plaza with her role as community fundraiser as well as marketing. Living in the LACC community, is an active Fire Siren, member of the remodel committee for the clubhouse and recently has taken the position of editor of the monthly LACC newsletter. Her greatest joy is being able to call “the lake” her home and becoming a member of this community giving back with the skills she has honed as a business owner for over 30 years.

Julie Childers, Treasurer

Julie and her husband, Lyle, moved to Lake Almanor in 2001 from the San Francisco Bay Area.  She worked as the Financial/Administrative Officer of a regional child development agency in Quincy.  Julie retired as the controller of Collins Pine with over 30 years of accounting experience.  Previously she served on the board of directors of the ABC Center in Chester as well as Plumas Rural Services and the Lassen Association at Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Shawn McKenzie, Director

Shawn is the CEO of Seneca Health District in Chester. He has over 40 years of experience in healthcare as a clinical caregiver, consultant and administrator. His career began in the US Air Force as a Radiologic Technologist before transitioning into the private sector. From 2004 through 2017, he served as Founder, President & CEO of Ascendian Healthcare Consulting.
Shawn is a proud graduate of the Chester High School class of 1979. He and wife Michelle have recently moved back to the area full time after spending their summers here with their children. In his free time, Shawn enjoys fishing, golfing and is also an accomplished pilot. When asked, he shared that Lake Almanor has always felt like home and he is ready and eager to serve the local community and recognizes the need for outstanding health care within the basin.

Carla Parsons, Director

Carla has  been in the Financial Services industry for 41 years. She has been a Financial Advisor for 24 years, and currently works with Clients at her Edward Jones office on Main Street in Chester. She and her Husband Terry have lived in Chester since 1988 running Terry's General Construction business and raising their 3 Daughters. Carla and Terry are very active in the Community work of the Lake Almanor Elks Lodge.

Joyce Ruschhaup, Director

Joyce and husband, Bryce have 3 grown children, 2 of which live in the Lake Almanor basin with both granddaughters.  She loves her work as a real estate broker with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Lake Almanor encouraging visitors to make Lake Almanor their part-time or full-time home.  Joyce and Bryce "found" Lake Almanor in 1999 and have been a full-time residence since 2006. She has served as a director for the California Association of Realtors on the State Board for over 10 years and the Plumas Association of Realtors where she served as President  in 2006 and 2010. Previously she served as a director on the American Cancer Society State Board, the American Lung Association and Central Valley Community Hospitals Foundation. She is currently the Co-Chair of Elks Christmas Angels. 

Moorea Hoffman Stout, Executive Director

Moorea first visited Plumas County in 2013 and immediately fell in love with the area. Living in San Clemente and owning a high-end kitchen design company, she began wrapping up her business in order to make the move to Indian Valley, which happened in 2015. Not long after making her home with her husband in Crescent Mills, she began volunteering for the Sierra Institute and joined the staff as Director of Development in 2018.  She was thrilled to have the opportunity to leave the high-pressure design world and use her talents to improve her community. “Being a volunteer for the Sierra Institute, it seemed to be something I could do well with my background as a business owner,” she adds. Stout remained at Sierra Institute for three years, more than doubling the amount raised each year. She remains a committed volunteer for the organization.

 “Being on the ground-floor of a foundation has its challenges but also allows creative opportunities. My goal is to make a difference in the community sooner rather than later and even become a model for other rural areas throughout the country who have visions of growth and improving the quality of life of their communities,”