The Alpha Resource Center Board of Directors meets six times a year. Meetings are open to members and the public. For specific dates and time, please contact the administrative offices at 805 683-2145.

 

PRESIDENT

Joshua Weitzman – Joshua and his wife, Jamie, first came into relationship with Alpha when their third daughter, Hannah, who has Down syndrome, was born in 2007. Since then they have been strong advocates for Hannah and supporters of Alpha. Jamie and Joshua helped with planning of Alpha events over the years and have supported other young families who have children with developmental disabilities through the Down Syndrome Association of Santa Barbara. Joshua has been a presenter and table host at the Circle of Life Luncheon among other roles at Alpha, such as serving on the Development Committee and serving as Vice President and board member. In 2011, they adopted their son Jedidiah, who also has Down syndrome, from Hong Kong. Their whole family, including Hannah and Jed and their two older sisters, Sarah and Julia, have participated in many Alpha activities such as helping to plant fruit trees in Alpha’s orchard and playing the bouncer at the yearly BBQ. The Weitzman family has lived in Carpinteria since 2005.

VICE PRESIDENT

Lynn Rodriguez – Lynn and her family have been active with Alpha since her daughter Blair was born with Down syndrome in 1994. Lynn has served on the Alpha Board for approximately 11 years (2001-2003 and 2007-2015) and is currently the chair of the Program Services Committee. Lynn is co-author of a booklet published by Alpha about Down syndrome titled “Looking Ahead” developed for new families.

An independent consultant with Rodriguez Consulting Inc., she specializes in water resource management. She is also a trained facilitator and has provided training and facilitation services to local agencies and organizations including Alpha. She has served the community in a variety of capacities, including a four-year term as an elected member of the Santa Barbara School District Board of Trustees, and as a member of the board of the Santa Barbara Education Foundation. She has been a Santa Barbara resident since graduating from UCSB in 1979. She lives with her husband, Steve, and their daughter, Blair. Their oldest daughter lives and works in the Bay Area.

SECRETARY

Bruce MacKenzie – A native of Massachusetts, Bruce attended Boston University, Chapman College and American International College where he earned his BA degree. He attended the graduate school of journalism at UC Berkeley and graduated from law school at UC Davis with a JD in 1972, passing the California Bar that same year. He and his wife, Louise, have four children: Walter, Elizabeth, David and Emily. Elizabeth was born with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and the experts believe she has cognitive impairments. Bruce serves as board member and treasurer for Tri‐Counties Community Housing Corporation, a non‐profit which promotes affordable housing in the Central Coast, and is a member of the board of Hinchee Foundation, a non‐profit which owns and manages three intermediate care facilities for people with developmental disabilities, serving six participants in each home, and is a member of the board at Casa Serena, a licensed recovery home for women addicted to alcohol and other drugs, and also a member of the board of D‐PAV, an impecunious political action committee founded by Art Bolton, author of the Lanterman Act, and dedicated to the sole purpose of protecting the Lanterman Act’s concept of the Individual Placement Plan and the Entitlement found to reside within the language of the Act by the California Supreme Court. In the mid eighties he first served as a member of Alpha’s Board of Directors. He left to join the Tri‐Counties Regional Center Board in the early nineties, and he is a past president of that Board. After leaving that board, he re‐joined the Alpha Board and has served as President, Vice President, and Treasurer and is now Secretary. Bruce is active in statewide client rights advocacy and represents Alpha on the board of Arc/CA, our state organization, where he serves as Treasurer.

TREASURER

Craig Buzzell – Retired from his position as Business Manager of Marymount School after fourteen years in July 2010. He was responsible for a ten-acre school facility, eight buildings, and 3.5 million annual budget.

Prior to Marymount, Craig served as Division Manager at Santa Barbara Transportation for three years, overseeing the Clean Air CNG commuter busing project and contracting with local agencies to provide busing for developmentally disabled clients. From 1973 to 1987, he was employed at Work Inc. where he worked with many Alpha clients, and became the Executive Director in 1982. In addition, he taught Macintosh computer classes, evenings and weekends, at SB City College, Adult Education.

In addition to his professional positions, Craig has been involved with several non-profit organizations. He is currently serving his seventeenth year on the board of the Hinchee Homes Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides residential and custodial care services for twelve developmentally disabled residents, and has been Board President for five years. He also is a long time member and treasurer of The SB Employers Advisory Counsel, a non-profit group attached to the local EDD office. The EAC provides educational seminars for local business. He is also the treasurer of the Central Coast Vintage Machinery Association, a
non-profit group that restores and displays antique machinery, engines, and tractors, from the early 1900’s.

Craig resides in Goleta with his wife Jackie Langley. He moved to the area from Portland Oregon in 1972, after serving in the US Navy, Viet Nam era, and completing his BA from Portland State University. He obtained his MBA in 1988.

PAST PRESIDENT

Bernie Schaeffer – Bernie retired in 2002 following a 27 year career at Tri-Counties Regional Center, where he worked in numerous capacities including Director of Training and Information. Previously, Bernie was employed at a child guidance clinic and as school social worker, both in the Hartford, Connecticut area. Educated at Syracuse University, he later received graduate degrees in Social Work and Public Health from the University of Connecticut and the University of California, Berkeley.

Following his retirement, Bernie continued working for a period of time as a free-lance writer. In addition, he enlisted as a volunteer for the Santa Barbara Coalition of Caregivers. Bernie has lived in the Santa Barbara area for close to 40 years and knew, when he bought a home in 1976, that he and his wife Ruthie were here to stay.

Bernie and Ruthie have two grown children, Amy and Jon. Both are married and live in Hawthorne and Huntington Beach. Bernie and Ruthie’s first grandchild, Sophia, was born on September 29, 2007. A second grandchild, Elliot, was born on July 25, 2012.

Bernie has completed two years as board president and found it to be a rewarding and interesting experience. He believes strongly in always keeping a close eye on Alpha’s mission and vision, board dedication to a thoughtful and deliberate planning process, and a willingness to make the bold and creative decisions necessary to improve the lives of the people Alpha serves.

DIRECTORS

Doug Allard – Doug is a meteorologist and the former Director of the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District. Doug and his wife, Margaret, have lived in Goleta for 28 years and are the parents of two grown children. Ryan has developmental disabilities and lives in his own 2-bedroom apartment in Santa Barbara with full-time support and attends Alpha. His older sister, Katie, lives in Santa Barbara and is a special education teacher. Margaret has taught first grade at Catholic schools in the area for over 25 years.

Heather Bennett – Heather is a Southern California native, who moved from San Diego to Santa Barbara in 2009 to take the position of Director of Foundation and Corporate Development at Direct Relief. In that role, she is responsible for helping to manage strategic communications, assisting in programmatic design, and leading the acquisition of resources to support the objectives of the organization. Prior to joining Direct Relief, Heather worked at the Council of Community Clinics in San Diego, CA where she raised funds to help increase access to affordable and quality healthcare for low-income and uninsured people. Heather has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and History from the University of California, Los Angeles, and has contributed numerous volunteer hours to nonprofit organizations including the American Diabetes Association, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, San Diego Council on Literacy, San Diego Refugee Forum, and the San Diego Food Bank.

Mario Cervantes – Mario moved to Santa Barbara in 1988 from Mexico and worked as a school bus driver. He has three grown children, four grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. He has been a Tri-Counties Regional Center vendor since 1992. From 1993 to 1997 he was the Children Program Coordinator for United Cerebral Palsy, (11 groups in Santa Barbara area and Carpinteria). From 1992 to 1998 he was on the Independent Living Resource Center Board of Directors. He owns and operates Ride N’ Care, a transportation service specializing in transporting people with disabilities, since 1994. He is also a member of Outlook, a program run by the Rehabilitation Institute and is a 4th degree in the Knights of Columbus, Council 5300 in Goleta. Mario also works as an instructional assistant at Goleta Valley Junior High School. He has served as Secretary of the Alpha Board for the four years.

Maureen Janeway – Maureen has served on the Board of Directors since 2002. She and her family moved to Santa Barbara in 1998. Prior to moving, she was the Vice President of a Chicago-based healthcare advertising agency for 17 years. After telecommuting since their move, she has recently retired as their Director of Marketing. Her husband, Terry, is EVP/COO with a retirement and investment management company in Carpinteria. He has also served in the past as master of ceremonies for the Circle of Life luncheon. Their son, Chris, married to Katy, is a financial advisor in Santa Barbara. After the tragic death of their daughter, Katie, Maureen and her family established Katie’s FUNd. Katie’s FUNd is sponsored by Alpha Resource Center and provides social and recreational opportunities for teens and young adults in South Santa Barbara County. Maureen has served as President of the Board for three years and provides leadership in marketing and fund development. Maureen is also on the board of CAPS of Santa Barbara, Inc., an organization that provides future planning services for families of individuals with developmental disabilities.

Carol Kallman– Carol carries on a long family tradition of volunteer leadership and support of Alpha. Her parents Ruth and Bob Kallman (and even her grandfather) were active in the 1950s and 1960s and were instrumental in the acquisition of the site and building of Alpha Center on Cathedral Oaks Road. Inspired by her brother, Cliffy, Carol spent much of her childhood involved in Alpha activities.

Carol has a long standing history of community involvement and is currently active with the Channel City Club as the Chairman of the Board, Junior League Sustainers, Los Fiesteros Dance Club, National Charity League, SB Zoo Community Relations Committee and is the honorary chair of the Zoofari Ball.

Carol graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree, Business Administration at Cal Poly. She owns and manages rental property, has worked as Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Industrial Association and Futures Foundation, and Legislative Consultant for the Building Industry Association.

Carol, “I have always had a great deal of respect for the organization and am looking forward to serving on the Board.”

Marie Meng – Marie has served as a volunteer at Alpha for many years. She also has volunteered for the past 10 years at the Goleta Chamber of Commerce as an Ambassador/Committee Chair for the Lemon Festival. Marie and her family are actively involved in Special Olympics, she serves on the Board of Directors of her Condo Association and assists at Goleta Valley Community Center. Marie moved to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles in 1972. She has two grown daughters and one granddaughter, who is the light of her life. Marie previous worked as a payroll administrator for a local bank. Marie’s eldest daughter has developmental and physical disabilities.

Kathleen Mills — Kathy has been involved with Alpha since she attended her first Circle of Life Luncheon in 2004. Born and raised in Redondo Beach, she went to school at El Camino Junior College and Lake Tahoe Community College majoring in Administration of Justice. Kathy continued to work at the community college until leaving on an extended trip to Mexico in 1983. Returning to the States in 1991, she settled in Santa Barbara where she worked as a caretaker at several estates in Montecito. During this time she also developed her own small business which included personal assisting, catering and event organization. Kathy amassed a broad client base that provided welcome variety and numerous opportunities. A wonderful connection that she made in 2001 led to her current full time job as a Personal/Professional Assistant. She is married to Tim Milham, a General Contractor. Together they love to travel, follow sports, garden, play with their cats, and spend time with family and friends.

Ale Ortega-Botello– A native of Santa Barbara, raised on the coast of California Ale has been in the banking field for the past twenty eight years, and is currently employed with “The Bank of Santa Barbara.” A banker by default, she evolved from a sales position to mastering a management and Business acumen role in the local banking community having worked for various banking institution in an executive capacity. Being raised in Santa Barbara giving back to the community is extremely important; therefore, she actively participates in Santa Barbara and Goleta, serving on numerous Boards and actively volunteering with organizations such as American Heart Association, United Way of SB, Dos Pueblos Little League, Alpha Resource Center, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and supporting many non-profit events in the city of Santa Barbara and Goleta. Ale recently completed a three year masters-level extension program for senior officers in the banking industry with Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington.

Marc Sucher – Marc has lived in Santa Barbara for over 20 years. Although far away from his family who live up North, Marc considers Santa Barbara to be his home. He lives in his own place in Goleta with two fun-loving housemates and two adorable dogs, Domino and Forest.
Marc has a very creative nature and has spent much of his adult life developing his creative side whether it be in his cooking, music making , singing or being playful with voices and characters. His utmost passion is expressed daily in his visual art. Marc is an accomplished artist and illustrator. He has enjoyed ceramics, bead work, and photography. His eye for color and subject is unique and his work always catches your attention. Marc is currently a working artist at SlingShot in Santa Barbara.

Mari Tyrrell-Simpson – Mari and her husband, Tye are parents of three children. They met as students at UCSB and have been Santa Barbara residents for over 35 years. Their son, Kyle attends the Alpha Day program and is a veteran participant in EXPO and has been a speaker at Alpha’s Circle of Life Luncheon representing the Teen Programs. Kyle’s sisters, Caitlin, a Special Education Teacher, was inspired to go into special education by her brother and Mackenzie, a student at San Diego State University, who also hopes to go into education. Mari has been employed at UCSB for over 30 years and is the University’s Risk Manager.

Bob Walsmith, Jr – Bob has been an active volunteer and supporter of Alpha since 2014 and previously volunteered two years with Special Olympics in Santa Maria. He is a realtor with Keller Williams Santa Barbara and played a significant role in the success of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors’ Golf Tournament fundraiser for Katie’s FUNd. As well he invited Alpha participants to Keller Williams “Red” (Renew, Energize, Donate) day. Bob and his wife Julie are familiar faces at all of Alpha events including open houses, SlingShot openings, Katie’s FUNd summer theater performance and the grand opening of Imagine Park. He currently serves on the Development Committee and brings his talent and experience in marketing, fund raising, strategic planning, networking and business management.

Tyler Willson – Tyler Willson is a native Carpinterian and is the director of Kaplan International at Santa Barbara City College. He lives in Carpinteria with his wife Mia and children Ty and Mylie. Tyler has served on the Development Committee for the past year and was appointed to the board in March. He and Mia grow pinot noir grapes for the Willson Family Vineyard and produce uniquely label bottles incorporating SlingShot art. The Willsons donate their wine and can be tasted at SlingShot receptions.