Board of Trustees
It is the goal of Homes On Wheels Alliance, Inc. to have eleven (11) members of its Board of Trustees seated by August 31, 2019. Currently, the Board consists of the following members:
Robert D. Wells, President
In 1995 I went through a divorce that caused me to hit a very low point in my life. My finances forced me to live in a van as I continued to work to support my Ex-wife and kids. But it resulted in a very odd thing, after I got over the initial shock of hitting such a low point; I soon started to like living in the van. Much more than that, I soon began to love living in a van. I loved the freedom and financial independence it gave me. For the first time in my life, I was happy and at peace.
In 2005 I started a website named cheaprvliving.com to tell as many others as I possibly could that they, too, could find happiness living in a van.
In 2008 with the financial collapse, I was inundated with people who had lost their jobs and now were losing their homes and they desperately needed an alternative and cheap way to live outside of a house. I am so grateful that I was there at the right time and right place to be able to help so many people not just have a roof over their heads, but have a quality of life that was better than any that they had ever had before.
In 2015 I started to make videos on YouTube to tell as many people as I could that there was hope for them, that there was a light at the end of what was becoming a very dark and long tunnel of a life of just barely surviving from paycheck to paycheck with no hope for a better future.
Many people responded to my message and my YouTube channel has grown and reached many people.
Sadly though, while the rich have gotten far richer in the last 10 years, most middle-class Americans are worse off. Today, 1/3 of Americans don’t have a penny of savings, and I fear the next recession will make 2008 look like good times.
I want to be there for those folks when it happens, but I want to be able to do more than I was able to do in 2008. To that end I began working with my friend, Suanne Carlson, to create this Non-Profit: Homes On Wheels Alliance. Our goal is to create an infrastructure of support to be ready to help as a tremendous number of Americans are forced to choose between living in their vehicle or living on the street.
With your help, we believe we can do that while offering them a high quality of life and dignity. Won’t you join our Alliance of commitment to doing good and offering hope and help to those in need of it?
Suanne Carlson, Executive Director
Suanne earned her Master’s Degree in Education, Adult Ed Administration.
She worked for the Washington State Community and Technical Colleges for 24 years, serving her last 9 years as the Director of Online and Distance Learning at the statewide policy level.
For the ten years of retirement before co-founding and accepting the Executive Director position for Homes On Wheels Alliance, Inc., she immersed herself in the nomad lifestyle, thriving as a minimalist, exploring back roads, and being in nature. During those 10 years, Suanne served the nomad community as an online administrator, forum moderator, leading women’s gatherings, writing how-to articles, and chronicling her travels.
As Executive Director for Homes On Wheels Alliance, Inc., Suanne will manage the day-to-day operations of the organization and steer it to success and long-term sustainability.
Phyllis Bickford, Administrative Assistant
Phyllis has her B.A. in Biology with a minor in Marketing and is a fulltime van dweller living in a cargo van she built out herself. She brings a broad base of work experience to the Homes On Wheels Alliance team.
Throughout her career, she worked as an administrative and executive assistant in family-owned businesses, start-ups, publicly-owned companies both foreign and domestic, as well as in academic institutions. In these various types of organizations, she has worked in sales support, logistics, corporate legal departments, community outreach, and product purchasing and account management. She taught Microsoft Office to adults at a Wisconsin technical college and also worked with high schools to coordinate and align curriculum with college courses to create articulation agreements benefiting high school students.
Phyllis acquired grant writing, implementation and tracking experience while in the United States Peace Corp, at the technical college and as a team member at a Land Grant Native American college. Her dedication to the Homes On Wheels Alliance mission comes from seeing the power of community in making positive changes in our world.