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Welcome, Dr. Gwen! White Pony Express’ Newest Board Member…

Updated: Sep 20, 2020

Quite a few years back, an inner-city doctor drove his family out to the country-side every Sunday. He’d take care of the farmers’ ills and aches and accidents and deliver their babies, while his kids played with the farmers’ kids in the fields and creeksides.

Dr. Gwen was one of “Doc’s kids,” playing in the fields. At the end of the day, no money had been exchanged, but her father’s car was loaded with freshly plucked chickens and fruits and vegetables. “Oh, those luscious, juicy homegrown tomatoes and peaches!” Dr. Gwen remembers, "These Sunday outings offered me the gift of sharing the bounty of our harvest to and from the farms and at the dinner table. For me, it was and is all of us taking care of all of us."

Gwendolyn Hamilton, MD has carried this experience with her throughout her life. It has magnified her joy as a volunteer with White Pony Express since it first started back in 2013. As a pediatrician dedicated to the health and nourishment of the children of Contra Costa County, Dr. Gwen brings 35 years of clinical promotion of health and nutrition. She also brings administrative experiences of collaboration with the community, in both hospitals and clinics, as Department Chair, Director of the Newborn Nursery, Director of the ADHD & Autism Center, and as Medical Director for California Children’s Services. She has extensive experience as member and chair on several local and national non-profit Boards of Directors.

Dr. Gwen was invited to join the Board of Directors of WPE this summer. Her response:

“The mission of WPE and the goals expressed by our new Executive Director, Eve Birge, are close to my heart. Eve said ‘…dedication is WPE’s greatest asset. We listen carefully to our communities to learn about changing needs and then we mobilize hearts and hands to address them. At WPE we don’t see red tape – we see a need and we respond with love by giving what is needed.’ That’s what my Dad did, quite a few years back. And I see that the return from ‘all of us taking care of all of us’ is joy. I’m excited to be a member of the Board of WPE.”

This year, WPE welcomed three remarkable new Board Members in addition to Dr. Gwen, each strategically invited for their diverse experience and dedication to the community:

Ron Brown

Ron retired several years ago following a 40+ year career of leading three high-impact non-profit organizations: Contra Costa Jewish Community Center, Diabetic Youth Foundation, and Save Mount Diablo (SMD). Ron has received numerous awards and commendations, including being named the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year in acknowledgment of his work at SMD. Ron, his wife, and two daughters have lived in Contra Costa County since 1976.

Robert W. Carpenter, Interim President and Chairman of the Board

Bob retired as President and CEO of Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation after 25 years with this nation-wide non-profit social science research foundation based in Washington, D.C. Since retiring, Bob served for over 10 years as Director of the New Sanctuary project of Sufism Reoriented in Walnut Creek and President of its Building Fund. He has been a food rescue volunteer for White Pony Express since 2014 and serves as a member of WPE's Governance Task Force.

Brant Watson

Brant is a commercial insurance broker with Heffernan Group, based in Walnut Creek. In addition to providing strategic insurance placement services to non-profit and privately held organizations, he is a board member of the California Assisted Living Association. He is also a former board member of Satellite Affordable Housing Associates based in Berkeley, which operates eight affordable housing communities in Contra Costa County. Brant is an active and longtime WPE volunteer.


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