Who We Are

ChaptersContra Costa County (CA) NOW was founded in 1971 by four local women, Grace Blood, Susan (Seaborne) Bonner, Sally (Phettaplace) Johnson and Catherine Walters.  Our primary issues include reproductive rights, marriage equality, ending violence against women and promoting equal opportunity for girls and women. We meet 6 to 8 times per year. Some of our meetings are held at the Walnut Creek library on North Broadway.  Usually we have a garden party sometime in May, June, or July and a holiday party in December. We are very proud of our 49-year activist history in our community. Come and join us and be involved!

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Meet our 2021 Contra Costa NOW Board:

PRESIDENT — JEANETTE COLE

Originally from Iowa, Jeanette has also lived in Michigan, but spent most of her life in CA.  She trained as a RN and held various jobs in the health care field, but eventually moved into public school education as an administrator.  Her first political experience was volunteering for a third-party presidential candidate, then on a state assembly campaign.  Joining NOW in 1983, Jeanette worked on the Women’s History Task Force, eventually becoming Chapter Secretary, PAC representative, State Board representative, Vice President, and then President.  She has also volunteered with Battered Women’s Alternative, helping women file restraining orders.  Other key feminist issues for Jeanette are reproductive rights, women’s healthcare, and passage of the ERA.

Jeanette is a widow with 3 adult children, including fraternal twins, and lives in Pinole.

VICE PRESIDENT — ERIKA MASLAN

Erika was born in Vienna, Austria, where she earned a masters´ degree in musicology.  After relocating to Berkeley, she received a clinical license in Marriage and Family Therapy, and was a Ph.D candidate. For the past 30 years, she has had a private therapy practice in Lafayette and Walnut Creek, and for over 20 years has worked in psycho-oncology and clinical group facilitation in the cancer support community, as well as a supervisor at the CC Crisis Center.  A long-time member of NOW, Erika has been involved in many women´s rights actions, serving as Treasurer, VP and President of CC NOW.  She resides in Alhambra Valley, and, in addition to her daughter, has 2 grandchildren.

TREASURER — KATHY DEFABIO

Kathy was born and raised in Richmond, CA.  She relocated to Tucson, AZ, to work at IBM, where she received her BS degree in Chemistry from the University of Arizona.  She currently works as a Fuels Additive Technologist at a large energy company.  Kathy credits her mother, who encouraged her to get a good education and pursue her chosen vocation even though it was in a male-dominated industry, for her strong feminist convictions.  Joining NOW in 1993, Kathy has served in several board positions.  She currently lives with her husband in El Sobrante.

SECRETARY — VICKI ENTEEN

Vicki spent most of her life in New York, where she worked in the fields of marketing, communications, and design, primarily in the fashion & interior design industries.  She holds an MBA in Marketing, as well as a BFA in fashion design.  In 2006, she and her husband moved to Paris, France, for 7 years, where she began a new career as a professor of marketing in French business schools.  Once retired, they traveled continuously throughout Europe for 4 years, moving to Walnut Creek to be close to their 2 adult daughters.  Vicki first joined NOW in 1970, working on Image of Women in the Media, organizing consciousness-raising groups, doing clinic defense, and handling chapter publicity.  She currently volunteers to help immigrants with their job-search skills, and has trained people in public speaking and media appearances.

VP MEMBERSHIP — NANCY BOCANEGRA

Nancy was born and raised in Los Angeles and has also lived in Sacramento and Orange County.  She spent her entire career at Caltrans, CA´s department of transportation, serving as a specialist in right-of-way (real estate) issues.   She originally joined NOW in 1988.  Serving as VP Membership, she has helped grow the chapter to over 100 members, recruiting at high school and college campuses, marches, fairs, and fundraisers, and encouraging members to become politically active.  She is also involved in several other local organizations.  Nancy and her husband live in Walnut Creek and have 3 adult children and grandchildren, some of whom are also NOW members.

VP ACTION— KAREN SEVERUD

Karen was born in Chico, and has lived her entire life in CA, graduating from California State University with a BA in Psychology.  She spent her career as a teacher, primarily in special education, as well as 1st through 4th grade in elementary schools.  Since retiring, she continues to substitute teach and volunteers as a tutor.   Karen first joined NOW in 1977 and has held several chapter offices.  As VP Action and chapter liaison, she is particularly interested in networking with other progressive organizations and doing outreach to young feminists.   A member of ACLU, she is committed to issues of voter rights, registering voters and working at the polls.  She is also active in Moms Demand Action and the Be Smart program, which educates adults about gun safety.  Karen currently lives in San Ramon with her partner, and has two adult daughters.

VP SPECIAL PROJECTS — KAREN BROCKWELL

Originally from England, Karen received her BSC in Chemical Engineering.  Relocating to Denver, CO, and later to the Bay Area, she has had a 30+ year career as an engineer designing and building manufacturing facilities.  As a solitary woman in a heavily male field, Karen has become a mentor to young women in science and engineering.  She currently volunteers as a workshop presenter and coach to women preparing for their job search, and is also a Medicare counselor through  the Health Insurance Counseling Advocacy Program.  Karen is a longtime member of CC NOW.  She and her husband have 2 adult daughters.

 

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 4794
Walnut Creek, CA  94596

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