Board of Directors


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Terri Allison, President
Early Childhood and Non-profit Consultant
Terri Allison was the founder of Storyteller Children’s Center 27 years ago, and became the executive director in 2005. Through her work she acquired funding to support childcare services for homeless children while their parents looked for jobs. She received her teaching credentials from UCSB, and acquired a Post Graduate Certificate in Infant-Parent Mental Health from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Since retiring in 2015, Allison has been working as an early childhood education consultant.

Dawn Ziemer, Vice President 
Designer, Kruger Bensen Ziemer Architects, Inc.
Dawn Ziemer is a principal interior designer for Kruger Bensen Ziemer Architects, Inc. She has worked on a number of historically significant buildings in Santa Barbara, and has a strong background in the design of institutional facilities. After attending the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, Ziemer returned back to her roots and settled in Santa Barbara to an illustrious career as a designer.

 

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Anaïs Pellegrini, Secretary 
Director of Development, Community Environmental Council
Anaïs Pellegrini has been a fundraising professional since 2005, beginning her development career at the Katonah Museum of Art in New York. Born in Malta, Pellegrini was raised all over the world in China, Hong Kong, and Australia. In Santa Barbara, she has served as the Associate Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League and Associate Director of Development for the Granada Theatre. She is currently the Director of Development for the Community Environmental Council.

 

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Chris Janeway, Treasurer
Financial Advisor, PlanMember Financial Group
Chris Janeway is a Financial Advisor with PlanMember Financial Group. Janeway provides long-term wealth building strategies for individuals and works closely with school districts, non-profit organizations and businesses to provide financial education and retirement planning services for their employees. Janeway grew up in Santa Barbara before attending UC Berkeley, and spends much of his time in the community on programs that benefit local youth.

 

 

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Victoria Juarez
Executive Director, Girls Incorporated of Carpinteria
Victoria Juarez is the Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, a non-profit organization that seeks to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. She is the first in her family to attend and graduate from college, and previously served as Associate Director of Storyteller Children’s Center in Santa Barbara. She received a B.A. in History from California State University- Long Beach, and served in the U.S. Peace Corps for two years in Russia, where she decided to dedicate her career to nonprofit work.

 

 

 

 

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Daniel Meisel
Owner, Kapok Pictures
Daniel Meisel is the founder of Kapok Pictures, a motion picture development and production company. Formerly an attorney with San Francisco’s Cooper, White, and Cooper, Meisel received a J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of the Law before relocating to Santa Barbara. Meisel has written, produced, or provided legal services for multiple award-winning short films with domestic and international festival screenings and airing on IFC and Showtime Networks.

 

 

 

ogilvieJohn Ogilvie
Financial Consultant, Strategic Planning
After receiving his M.A. in International Economics and Finance from American University in 1968, John Ogilvie has enjoyed an illustrious career in strategic planning, finance, and management. He has assisted a variety of nonprofit organizations and public service projects, including a five-year term as President of Art Without Limits in Santa Barbara. He currently owns a small publishing and photography company, Dare Wright Media, LLC.

 

Britt Ortiz

Britt Ortiz
Director, Early Academic Outreach Program, UCSB
Britt Ortiz is the Director of Early Academic Outreach Program in the Division of Student Affairs at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he graduated with degrees in Sociology and Psychology. Previously, he served as the Associate Director of Student Outreach and Recruitment Services at CSU Northridge, and prior to that, he was the Director of the First Generation Student Success Program at the University of La Verne. Ortiz spends his free time traveling, gardening, and swimming.

 

 

Frank Stevens
Teacher, Santa Barbara School Districts, Retired
Frank Stevens served from 35 years as a high school teacher and counselor at San Marcos High School, retiring in 1995. He graduated from UCSB in 1959 and was a seasonal employee for the UCSB Admissions Office. He has been a board member of the UCSB Recreation Center Governance Board since 1989 and is a member of the UCSB Chancellor’s Council. Stevens received the “We Honor Ours” award from the California Teacher’s Association and the “Pioneer Legacy Award” from UCSB Recreation Center.

 

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Felicita Torres
Attorney, Griffith & Thornburgh
Felicita Torres is an attorney at Griffith and Thornburgh, practicing primarily in the areas of bankruptcy and education law. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Torres practiced in the Arizona Attorney General’s Office after receiving her degrees from Stanford University and Harvard School of Law. She moved to Santa Barbara in 2002, where she focused on child abuse and dependency issues. She enjoys spending time with her three children, and can often be found at the soccer fields and at the library.

 

meghan_woodsomeMeghan Woodsome
Attorney, civil litigation and dispute resolution
Meghan Woodsome is an attorney whose practice consists predominately of civil litigation and dispute resolution. She obtained both her J.D. and B.A. from Georgetown University, and is passionate about issues relating to race, poverty, and criminal justice reform. Prior to opening her own practice in Santa Barbara, Woodsome spent years as an associate in O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s Financial Services Department and served as an attorney in the Santa Barbara County Office of the Public Defender. She has lived in Santa Barbara since relocating from San Francisco in 2013.

 

District Representatives

Cary Matsuoka 2016

Cary Matsuoka, District Representative 
Superintendent, Santa Barbara Unified School District
Cary Matsuoka has been Superintendent of the Santa Barbara Unified School District since 2016. Matsuoka received his teaching credentials from UC Davis, before earning his Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from San Jose State University. He spent seventeen years as a teacher and nineteen years in administrative roles. He taught chemistry, physics, and AP computer science at Saratoga High School, and served as a high school assistant principal, district coordinator, and high school principal.

 

 JacquelineReidJacqueline Reid,  Ph.D., District Representative 
Co-Director, Teachers for the Study of Educational Institutions, Board of Education, SBUSD
Dr. Jacqueline Reid received a Ph.D. degree in Education (Teaching and Learning Emphasis) from the Gervitz Graduate School of Education, UC Santa Barbara. She currently teaches in the Masters program on Social Justice and Educational Leadership at Antioch University Santa Barbara. She taught elementary grade levels for 10 years before developing her own educational consultancy, where she provides training and workshops that support the social and emotional needs of students. She is currently the Co-Director of the nonprofit Teachers for the Study of Educational Institutions (TSEI).

 

Amy_Alzina 2016Amy Alzina, Ed.D., District Representative 
Principal, Adams Elementary School
Amy Alzina began her career at the Santa Barbara Community Academy in 1999 teaching physical education, kindergarten, first, and fifth grade. She received a Masters in Education Leadership and Administration from Azusa Pacific University in 2002, and became the principal of Adams Elementary School, a position she has held for the past seven years. In February 2016, Alzina finished her doctorate degree in Education Leadership from Concordia University.

 

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Veronica Rogers, District Representative
Career Technical Education Pathways
Veronica Rogers began her educational career more than 30 years ago, teaching English at Summerland Continuation School and elementary and middle school levels at Vista de Las Cruces. She has worked as an administrator at San Marcos High School, Dos Pueblos High School, and La Colina Junior High School. She earned a B.A. in Philosophy and a M.A. in Education, Leadership, and Organizations from UCSB. She has been committed to building Goleta Valley’s outstanding academic program and positive school climate.

 

Staff

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Margie Yahyavi
Executive Director 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Melissa Davenport
Development Officer 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Katie Szopa
Programs Associate 

 

 

 

 

 

Past Presidents

Dr. Jacqueline Reid

Marty Blum
Phil Bugay
Ada Conner
Michael Cooney
Tony Fischer
Mary Gosselin
Shirley Ann Hurley
Mark Ingalls
Elinor Langer
Joni Meisel
Edwin Moore
Al Pizano
Craig Price
Rob Ramirez
Jaqueline Reid
John Robinson
Lynn Rodriguez
Frank Stevens
Claire VanBlaricum
Lotte Weinstein

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