Board of Directors

The SDLF Board is made up of nine members: three directors designated by the California Special Districts Association (CSDA), three directors designated by the Special District Risk Management Authority (SDRMA) and three public members appointed by majority vote of the designated directors. CSDA and SDRMA appoint their designated representatives to the SDLF Board every four years.

Sandy Seifert Raffelson

Sandy A. Seifert Raffelson - President

Herlong Public Utility District
SDRMA Representative

Sandy A. Seifert-Raffelson holds a bachelor degree in Business Administration with a minor in Sociology and Accounting; has 15 years experience in special district bookkeeping, accounting and auditing; and has completed her District Clerk Certificate, CSDA Governance Foundation Leadership Academy and completed the Certificate in Special Districts Governance.

Mrs. Raffelson is the General Manager for Herlong Public Utility District and has been involved with the District since the beginning of its conception as Herlong Utility Cooperative, later changing to Herlong Utility Incorporated, and finally to a Public Utility District. Mrs. Raffelson has strong business, community and family values.

Jo MacKenzie.jpg

Jo MacKenzie - Vice President

Vista Irrigation District
CSDA Representative

Jo MacKenzie serves on the boards of directors for Vista Irrigation District and the California Special Districts Association. She has served with Vista Irrigation District since 1992. In 2011, MacKenzie was recognized as Special District Official of the Year by PublicCEO.com and was CSDA’s Legislative Advocate of the Year in 2010. Her local government experience also includes serving the San Diego LAFCo as an alternate commissioner and sitting on its special district advisory committee. She has served on the Association of California Water Agencies’ Region 10 Board and is a graduate of the CSDA Special District Leadership Academy.

Elaine Magner

Elaine Magner - Treasurer

Pleasant Valley Recreation & Park District
CSDA Representative

Elaine Magner has been on the Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District (PVRPD) Board of Directors since February 2008. She has served as board president twice, served on the personnel and finance committees and is PVRPD’s representative to the Ventura County Special Districts Association (VCSDA) and CSDA. She was honored by VCSDA by being named the 2014 Director of the Year and has worked in public service for 31 years in law enforcement human resources.

Tim Unruh

Tim Unruh - Secretary

Kern Mosquito Vector Control District
SDRMA Representative

Tim Unruh sits on the Kern Mosquito and Vector Control District Board of Directors and currently sits as a Director on the California Association of Public Cemeteries and Kern County Special Districts Association.

Unruh holds a BA degree in Ag. Business with an Economic Emphasis. Additionally, He has earned his Certified Special District Manager Certification and achieved the Certificate in Special Districts Governance Award.

Geoffrey Neill

Geoffrey Neill

Public Member

Geoffrey Neill is a Legislative Analyst for Neilsen Merksamer. He previously worked as a policy analyst for the California State Association of Counties, CSDA as a public affairs specialist, and as the liaison to the Proposition 1A campaign in 2004. Additionally, he currently serves as the chair of the school site council at his daughters’ school.

Martin Rauch

Martin Rauch

Public Member

Martin Rauch, is President of Rauch Communication Consultants, in charge of all outreach and strategic planning activities. He has 20 years of experience working with dozens of public agencies. Rauch has served as a speaker and seminar leader for the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA), and the California Special Districts Association (CSDA). He is a regular faculty member of the Special District Leadership Academy, and has been invited as a speaker to many other statewide associations.

Lorenzo Rios

Lorenzo Rios, CSDM

CSDA Representative

Lorenzo Rios has been the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Clovis Veterans Memorial District (CVMD) since 2015. In his current capacity, he works closely with all Veterans Organizations, Military Units, and Community Service Organizations, to provide services to military members, veterans, and their families to improve the quality of life of all constituents through greater understanding and awareness of key issues impacting our community. In addition, he serves as the Chapter President for the Central Valley Local Chapter of the California Special District Association.

image of Thomas Wright

Thomas Wright

SDRMA Representative

Thomas Wright was elected to the SDRMA Board of Directors on January 1, 2022. Tom Wright has held a veteran’s seat on the Clovis Veterans Memorial District Board of Directors since 1975. A lifelong resident of Clovis, he spent 27 years in the newspaper business before becoming a school teacher and coach. He recently retired from teaching in Fresno. He has served as the president of several community organizations and is currently president of the Clovis High School Alumni Association. He is active in the Clovis Rodeo Association, Clovis Historical Society, and Lutheran Church. He and his wife Nancy have three adult children and four grandchildren.

Image of Melissa Asher

Melissa Asher 

Public Member

Melissa Asher is a seasoned HR professional with over 25 years of experience. She
has a strong background in training and development, recruiting and selection, and
project management. In her work she has led small and large projects to hire key
Executive level leaders, implemented multiple leadership and emerging leaders
training programs, and been involved with providing public sector HR services for
large and small agencies.
She holds a B.A. in International Relations from the University of California, Davis,
graduating Summa Cum Laude, along with certifications as a Project Management
Professional (PMP) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Melissa's
professional affiliations include the Association for Talent Development (ATD),
Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) and the Society for Human Resource
Management (SHRM).
She has been recognized as a Value-Added Employee of the Year at CPS HR
Consulting and regularly presents at notable conferences. Her comprehensive
expertise and leadership have significantly contributed to the success of the
organizations she has worked with, making her a distinguished professional in her


Neil McCormick - CEO
Neil McCormick

Megan Hemming
Program Manager

Rick Wood
Rick Wood
Finance Manager

Amber Phelen
Program Specialist