Board of Directors

Jennifer Arey is Executive Director and founder of The Petal Connection.  As a way of teaching her children to give back to their communities, and after her beloved grandmother entered hospice, Jennifer launched a Northern California “flower repurposing” organization (originally under The Bloom Project) in October 2013.  In July 2015, she and her amazing volunteers founded The Petal Connection as an independent nonprofit organization focusing resources solely in the Greater Sacramento Region.  Jennifer started her career as an elementary school teacher, and has spent thel last decade giving back to her community through her volunteer work, church leadership and fundraising for the local K-8 schools nonprofit foundation board.  Jennifer is married to Dennis and has two sons in college.

Lori Dangberg is Chair of the Board, and founding Board Member of The Petal Connection.  She is Vice President of the Alliance of Catholic Health Care, the public policy and advocacy organization of California’s Catholic health systems and hospitals.  Since 1982 Lori has worked in the public policy arena focusing on health reform, nonprofit community benefit, end-of-life and bioethics issues.  She is very active in her community having served two terms as a school board member and served on the nonprofit foundation supporting the K-8 schools.  Lori is married to John and has two sons in college.

Judi Gavia is a founding Board Member of The Petal Connection.  She is active in a variety of community organizations and currently serves on the board and as past President of a nonprofit foundation for the k-8 schools in her community.  One of her foundational beliefs is giving back to the community in which she lives. She has been a mortgage banker for the past 30 years, and was a founding partner of a mid-sized mortgage banking company with offices in 11 states.  She is currently a Senior Mortgage Specialist with Sierra Pacific Mortgage, a large local mortgage banking firm.  Judi is married to Jerry and has 3 children;  a daughter who graduated from college and two sons currently in college.

Claudia Brown is Board Member and Treasurer of The Petal Connection. Claudia retired in 2014 after 37 years in the workforce for CSAA and Hewlett Packard as an Account Manager and a Compensation Design Analyst. Finance was just one aspect of the responsibilities within those titles she held but one she enjoyed the most. She has been married for 38 years to her husband David who has been a financial planner for over 30 years. They have four grown children, a son and daughter in law and 7 fabulous grandchildren. In addition to her own children she spends most of her time with her 6 siblings and their very large extended family. She is also actively involved in Women’s Ministry at her church and as a Blood Source volunteer. Claudia has been blessed by parents that taught her to always care for others and can see that her actions are influencing her children and grandchildren the same.

Julie Jackson is Secretary and founding Board Member of The Petal Connection.  She is the Chief Operations Officer for Optima Healthcare Insurance Services, Inc., a brokerage firm that manages a successful Hawaii captive insurance company.  For the past 19 years, Julie has served on the board of California Healthcare Insurance Company, Inc., A Risk Retention group as Assistant Secretary.  Julie is involved in outreach ministries at her church and assisting with a family business.  Julie is married to Chris and has a son, who graduated from college and a daughter who is currently in college.

Gail Ransome is Board Member and Director of Community Outreach for The Petal Connection. Gail’s background includes 13 years as an escrow officer and 6 years as a real estate paralegal working with the development and improvement of senior and low-income housing. After moving to the Sacramento area, in 2014 a friend invited her to volunteer for non-profit creating beautiful bouquets for hospice patients. This was a project that really spoke to her because during a 7-week stay at Family House in San Francisco with her 6-year-old daughter fighting cancer, shopping for fresh flowers for their room was a weekly experience they shared bringing a bright spot to an otherwise hard time.  Now that she is retired, Gail has found the perfect way to give comfort to others is as a volunteer and Board Member of The Petal Connection.

Karen Edmonds is our Marketing Director and a Board Member of The Petal Connection  She comes to us with a 28-year career in Educational Publishing that began in the Bay Area and led to an 11-year stint in New York/New Jersey. Karen returned to the foothills and found the perfect way to give back to the local community when she joined The Petal Connection. Utilizing experience gained in her previous publishing roles in project management, marketing and consulting, she balances volunteer work with her home renovation business and marketing support for a local real estate company.