We extend a big thank you to our five retiring Board Members - Ralph Rosedale, Gary Rodriguez, Bob Friesen, Ray Chavez, and Yolanda Gonzales - for the time and dedication spent during their tenure on our Board of Directors. With a combined 117 years of service, they offered a rich perspective on serving families in the San Joaquin Valley.
Ralph Rosedale - 12 Years
Ralph holds a special place in the organization's history as an incorporator and founding Board Member. When Ralph reconnected with Self-Help Enterprises about ten years ago, it was for a specific reason - he was helping a disadvantaged community in East Texas start a self-help housing program. Above all, Ralph wanted to be useful, and he truly was, finding properties, introducing the organization to key contacts for such things as water well sites or water deliveries during the drought.
Gary Rodriguez - 23 Years
Gary came to Self-Help Enterprises' Board after our Community Development staff encountered him doing community work in South Shafter. Gary saw his service as advocating for interests of Kern County and took a special interest in affordable rental housing. As Board Chair, Gary represented Self-Help Enterprises at numerous gatherings, and he was a regular at National Council of La Raza (now Unidos US) gatherings. As an educator by profession, Gary has always been a preacher about how good housing affects children and their opportunities to learn and succeed, bringing that sensibility to his leadership on the Board.
Pictured left to right: Self-Help Enterprises' Retiring Board Members
Gary Rodriguez, Ralph Rosedale, Bob Friesen, and Ray Chavez.
Bob Friesen - 28 Years
As a career housing professional, Bob came to the Board ready to engage in every discussion about the direction of the organization. As
the resident housing expert on the Board, other members regularly depended upon his expertise for their decision making on a variety of housing and organizational governance issues. As a proponent of Self-Help Enterprises expanding its role in rental housing in the 1990s, Bob is credited with supporting building a neighborhood at rental properties that was similar to that of our self-help housing program.
Bob also served as Board Chair and represented Self-Help Enterprises in many venues.
Ray Chavez - 36 Years
Ray is among our longest serving Board Members and the resident historian of the organization. Ray has been a champion of the Doris "Do" Dooley Scholarship Fund, led the Nominating Committee for years, and been a central member of the San Joaquin Valley Housing Collaborative. He served as Board Chair and on every subcommittee of the Board, and when Ray signs up, he always takes the role seriously and puts in the time. Ray's legacy will be with us forever.
Yolanda Gonzales - 20+ Years
During Yolanda's time on the Board, she served for many years as an important voice on the nomination and scholarship committees. In the 1960s Yolanda's parents built their own home through our Self-Help Housing Program. Yolanda remembers watching her parents work hard to build their home, a home that served as a foundation to a better future for her and her family. Yolanda translated this personal experience into effective advocacy for families we serve as a Board Member of Self-Help Enterprises.
Pictured left to right: T
om Collishaw, Self-Help Enterprises' CEO and President; Yolanda
Gonzales, Retiring Board Member; Susan Zachary-Kreps, Board Chair.