Our Team


Elfin Services is a locally owned and operated company helping elders and other individuals in need in Southwest Washington since 2001.  We have an experienced and dedicated staff of Professionals to support our Caregivers and our Clients!

Joey Yourchek, Agency Administrator

Joey joined the Elfin team in August 2016. He attended Portland State University in his first year of college, then completed his Associates of Arts degree with the University of Phoenix in July 2012. Next, he attended the University of Washington Certification in Guardianship and completed the course in July 2013.  He was approved by the Certified Professional Guardians Board and Washington Superior Court as a Certified Professional Guardian in October 2013, followed by Certification as a National Guardian, by the Center for Guardianship Certification in January 2014. 

His background was in Guardianship and Trust Administration, as he worked as a Fiduciary for almost 12 years.  Joey specialized in dealing with complex financial situations, administering estate plans, and utilization of resources to benefit client’s needs.  After 12 years of managing Guardianship’s and a variety of Trusts; including Living Trusts, Testamentary Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, and both 1st and 3rd Party Pooled Special Needs Trusts, he decided his passion is working directly with individuals and creating care plans that ensure the best quality of life. To expand his knowledge regarding care, Joey went to school at the Clark County CNA Training School and became a Certified Nursing Assistant in the State of Washington in 2018. He has since returned to the training center and been certified in Dementia and Mental Health.

Joey is an active volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association - OR/SW WA Chapter, leading the organization Sundown Squad, which hosts an annual fundraiser at Esther Short Park, while also serving as the Committee Chair for The Longest Day Campaign and Board Member of the Leadership Board. He also serves as the Fundraising Chair for Southwest Washington Elder Abuse Prevention Coalition, a non-profit organization that raises awareness of Elder Abuse and educates the community on the types and signs of the abuse, while also teaching others how to approach the conversation if they suspect someone is being abused, and how to access the resources to end the abuse, while also preventing it from happening in the future. He sits on the Advisory Council for HOPE A Dementia Support Group, a non-profit organization providing education and support to those affected by dementia, while also volunteering as a Chamber Ambassador (“Red Coat”) for the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce.

He has a passion for what he does and actively pursues opportunities to expand not only his own known knowledge, but also assist with and encourage others toward this same goal.  Joey loves being outdoors, especially when hanging out with friends and family in his pool and hot tub in his backyard.  He lives in SE Portland with his partner of 17 years and his beloved pets, Toby, Miss and Lyon.

Care Management Team

Alyson Meyer, LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker)
Alyson joined the Elfin Services team in July of 2008 directly after completing her Masters in Social Work and a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology from Portland State University. She was recently working toward her credential as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in both Washington and Oregon and has recently obtained her certification.

Alyson has always enjoyed interacting with older adults through her relationships with her grandparents near and far, service projects, and internships. Alyson is particularly interested in the social aspects of aging, dementia, end of life care, and elder abuse prevention.  

Alyson lives in Vancouver with her husband Jared, daughter Lucy who was born in 2015, her latest addition Lila who was born in 2017, and their three dogs Billie Holiday, Chester Bigglesworth, and Betty Boop. During her free time, she enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, reading, drinking coffee, being outdoors, and planning weekend getaways. 

Emily Maciel, MA (Masters Degree in Art)
Emily began working at Elfin Services Inc. in November of 2010. She had previously worked as a child and family therapist, specializing in crisis intervention, and realized that she truly missed working with older adults. She believes her interest developed during childhood from the positive relationships/interactions she had with her grandparents and elderly people in her neighborhood and also through volunteer work she completed as a high school student. As an undergraduate student, she majored in art with an emphasis in painting, and earned her bachelor's degree from Southern Oregon University. 

After graduating she researched careers that would allow her the opportunity to combine her love of art with helping others and decided to enter the Masters of Art Therapy & Counseling Program at Marylhurst University. Emily is particularly interested in a holistic approach to aging- incorporating and encouraging enjoyable activities/interests with prescribed medical treatments to ensure older adults are living happy lives.

Emily currently lives in Vancouver with her husband, daughter and beautiful new baby boy. She enjoys gardening, creating art, being outside, spending time with family and friends.

Donna Weyand, MSW (Masters Degree in Social Work)
Donna graduated from Western Michigan University in 1972 and worked as an Occupational Therapist.  In 1984 she received her Master of Social Work degree from University of Michigan and worked for the next 24 years as a Medical and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor.  

Donna started working as a Care Manager for Elfin Services in 2015, working with our disabled seniors in hopes of making their lives as comfortable, hopeful, happy, and safe as possible.   She is very proud to work with such a dedicated group of people who advocate for the elderly, and do their utmost to give the best care to all those they have the honor of serving.

Donna has lived in Vancouver since 2004.  She moved here from Michigan with her husband to be closer to her 2 sons and their families.  Donna has 3 grandchildren and 2 Papillon dogs who also think they are her children.  During her free time she loves to spend time with her family, friends, and on the tennis and pickle-ball courts.

Yvonne Polkow, CPG
Yvonne’s passion is to provide compassionate and capable advocacy for the elderly, with particular concern for end of life issues. Yvonne's personal integrity and fidelity is built on a deeply felt spiritual foundation.

Yvonne has an extensive background in business management, finance, administration, insurance, and medical advocacy. In addition to owning and operating three businesses, she has worked in the medical profession in many different capacities. Yvonne is a Certified Professional Guardian, and is a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children (CASA).

Administrative Team

Debra Docksteader, Caregiver Supervisor
Debbie was born in Coos Bay, Oregon, and moved to Portland in 1980.  She went to college for two years studying Accounting and working as a Caregiver in an Adult Family Home.  In 1985, she moved to Longview, WA, and for the next 20 years managed several local restaurants and realized her passion was in Caregiving.  In 2006, she went to work for PSA (Pediatric Services of America) until late 2013.  Debbie started working for Elfin Services in 2014 as a Caregiver for the first year and later became Caregiver Specialist for the Longview and Kelso areas.  

Now the Caregiver Supervisor, Debbie meets all of Elfin's clients regularly and becomes familiar with their specific needs, as well as establishes a relationship with the team of caregivers, offering support and assistance in any capacity she can.  By knowing the clients' needs and the caregivers abilities, Debbie can assist the entire team by placing the right caregiver with the right client to ensure the best possible care is provided.

Jessica Barela – Recruitment and Scheduling Director
Jessica has an extensive background in the in- home care field, both as a professional caregiver, staffing coordinator, and recruitment and development manager. Jessica’s compassion for senior’s stemmed from her Grandmother owning and operating an Adult Family home and her Step Dad owning and operating a convalescent Center. With this in her background Jessica has been able to hone her skills and search for well qualified and trained Caregivers in the Clark County area to add to the already wonderful team here at Elfin. Jessica is a very compassionate and caring individual who is extremely conscientious and detail oriented. Her strong understanding of state law, along with her ability to be organized, proactive, positive, and professional makes her a great fit for Elfin Services. Jessica is one of eight children and has four of her own ages 21, 15, 13, and 8.

Cherilyn Klotzer – Caregiver Specialist
Cherilyn has over 16+ years of experience as a Certified Nursing Assistant, working with elderly and disabled adults. She has experience as a supported living coordinator. She has shown true compassion in dealing with clients with many challenges, which has honed her skills. She recently became certified in the Humanitude approach, a European approach to dementia care ensuring clients are not just cared for as a task but as a real person. Cherilyn enjoys helping the caregivers expand their expertise organizing quarterly training’s and ensuring our team continues to develop and grow their skills. Cherilyn is also a First Aid/CPR Instructor, providing certification to all our Caregivers to ensure your loved ones have properly trained Caregivers in case of an emergency.

Cherilyn has been married since 2003. She and her husband adopted a beautiful girl in 2014. She has 2 feisty miniature American Eskimo dogs. Cherilyn likes to spend time with her family going hiking, or going to the beach. She also likes to stay home to read or work on crafts in her spare time. She is also involved with her church on a regular basis. 

Mark Mahan – Director of Compliance
Mark works part time at Elfin Services coordinating operational processes and making sure the company complies with the many state regulations that are required of home care agencies. He became acquainted with the company when the Elfin staff took wonderful care of his parents. Mark lives in Vancouver, does business consulting for other companies and is an owner of as small winery downtown.

Gwen Babi – Compliance Officer/Care Manager Assistant

Gwen joined Elfin in 2018 after a long career in the financial and banking software industry. She was looking for something new and was introduced to the team of Elfin by her friend Donna. Her first impression at her first visit to the office was the overwhelming feeling of love and care. Gwen aided in the care of her father and mother as they struggled through losing battles with cancer and also that of an elderly friend during her end of life journey. She understands the need that the Elfin community serves and feels like she has found a new home. 

Gwen lives near her two daughters and three grandsons. She loves spending time with them and is very involved in all their activities. Gwen was a Girl Scout as a child and was a Girl Scout leader for both of her daughters through their entire school years as both completed Senior Scouts. She was a new leader trainer, served as troop organizer, was treasurer of day camp for ten years and served as the director of day camp for two years. She has been a positive addition to the Elfin Team. 

Renee Taggart – Administrative Assistant
Renee first joined the Elfin team in 2012 as Yvonne’s part-time assistant.  Volunteerism being an essential part of her life, it was only fitting that she met Yvonne at a community center where she was volunteering. She was drawn to Elfin Services because of the compassionate leadership and co-workers. Born and raised in Vancouver her family has always been a high priority in her life where the virtues of sharing and caring were always central.  She currently resides in Ridgefield with her two cats, Otis and Kitty Jo, but spends as much leisure time as possible on the Washington coast, camping at her river property, and traveling.  

Karen Walker- Office Manager
Karen first discovered Elfin Services in 2005 when she met Yvonne at an assisted living community at the exact time she was beginning her search for Caregiving services for her father. She did not need to look any further.  Three years later she joined the Elfin team as an employee.  Up until November of 2013, she had a unique perspective of the company, being both an employee and the daughter of a client.  In her free time, she enjoys playing her guitar and spending quality time with her husband and two children.

Care Partners

Katelyn loves helping people and her goal someday is to become a nurse.

Candice worked for a medical company for 20 years and in 2012 was laid off because of a shortage in business. Shortly after, her mother became ill and required care. Candy knew at that point she could do this kind of work until she retires as she enjoys helping others.

Cheryl decided to become a caregiver in 2004, as she always knew she wanted to help people; especially the elderly. She loves to make people smile and laugh, and knows if she can just make one person happy she knows her job has been done. Her passion her entire life has been and always will be to take care of others and make sure they are as happy as possible. She loves what she does and would not want to be any other place than where she is today.

Candida became a Caregiver because she gets satisfaction from making people smile, and providing elders with the care and respect they deserve, while reassuring them everything is alright.

Jennifer became a caregiver because she enjoys helping people. Sometimes doing the smallest things for another person can bring so much joy and satisfaction.

Norm became a caregiver for a few different reasons on different levels. He helped take care of his grandmother when he was in his early 20’s. Norm realized he enjoyed doing this type of work; although it didn't really feel like work and still doesn't (most of the time!). He has done a lot of different types of jobs, but being a caregiver is the most fulfilling of them all! “I wake up with a smile on my face and fall asleep the same way, but the best part of all is helping to put a smile on someone else's face!"

Amber has been a caregiver for 15 years!! She had originally planned to go to school for nursing, but couldn't get the proper financial aid. She decided to start with Caregiving, because it was technically in the same field and ended up falling in love with being a caregiver. Amber feels like this opportunity allows people to be the most help to an individual who needs it. Nurses are in and out, and never really get to know their clients. Caregivers are there every day, learning the ins and outs of each client on a personal level. It makes her feel good to think she might be making a real difference in someone's life.