Joshua Weitzman | Executive Director

Joshua brings over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector to Alpha, having served in both staff and board roles at several churches and nonprofits. He is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and ordained Foursquare pastor. He is currently an MBA candidate at Antioch University.

He and his wife Jamie were first introduced to Alpha in 2007 when their third daughter was born with Down syndrome. A few years later, with a confidence gained in part through the support Alpha provided, they adopted their son, who also has Down syndrome, from Hong Kong. 

Over the years, Joshua and his family have become advocates for the mission of Alpha; empowering individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities by supporting families, creating opportunities, and fostering belonging. He served on the Alpha board of directors from 2011-2018, the final three years as board president, on both the development and finance committees, and on staff as Associate Executive Director before moving into his current role. 


Cory Sherman | Director of Finance & Thrift Store Operations

Cory received her degree in Business Management from University of Phoenix in 2004. She joined the team at Alpha Resource Center of Santa Barbara after a 13-year career as Vice President of a Southern California based Oil, Gas and Real Estate Corporation.

During her 20+ years at Alpha, she has been instrumental in raising over $2 million through fundraising and grant awards, funded and implemented an organization wide IT infrastructure, funded the opening of three highly successful thrift stores, and developed an extensive outdoor venue to generate additional income for programs.

Her community service includes leading a local chapter of Kiwanis, serving as Secretary, Treasurer, and President; sponsored Leader for the Circle K International Club at the University of California, Santa Barbara; and she has received Kiwanian of the Year, Distinguished Service, and the Casey Award for her outstanding leadership in the club. 

Board of Directors | Officers

Carol Kallman | President

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.

She has served on many non-profit Boards and is currently the Vice President of the S.B. Yacht Club Women and serves on the Community Relations Committee for the SB Zoo.  She has served as the President of the Channel City Club, the Junior League of Santa Barbara and the SB Zoo Auxiliary. 

Carol was Junior League Sustainer of the Year and was the Honorary Chair of the Zoofari Ball. In 2016 the Association of Professional Fundraisers presented her with the Award of “Volunteer of the Year for the County of Santa Barbara”.

Carol earned her BA from Cal Poly and manages the family rental and investment properties.  She is married to Don Barthelmess, Professor Emeritus, Santa Barbara City College, and they have two grown children (Robby and DeeDee) and a daughter-in-law (Nikki).

Carol says, “I have loved serving as President of Alpha Resource Center and am so proud of everything this amazing organization has done for to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect.”

Lynn Rodriguez | Vice President

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 15 years (2001-2003 and 2007-2019) 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.  Lynn is participating in a newly formed housing task force established to work with community leaders to advocate for more housing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities. This task force includes members of the Program Services Committee and other interested parents in Santa Barbara.

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.  

Ale Ortega-Botello | Secretary

A native of Santa Barbara, raised on the coast of California Ale has been in the banking field for the past thirty-two years, and is currently employed with “Community West Bank.” In her banking role she has evolved from a sales position to mastering a management and business acumen role in the local banking community and has worked for various banking institutions in an executive capacity.  She is a graduate of Pacific Coast Banking School where she completed a 3-year master-level extension program for Senior Officers in the Banking industry with Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington. 

Ale enjoys giving back to the community she grew up in and serves on numerous boards and actively volunteers with organizations such as Alpha Resource Center, American Heart Association, United Way of Santa Barbara, Trees for Troops and NAWBO-SB.

In her spare time, Ale enjoys spending time with her family, bike riding and playing golf. 

Chris Harris | Treasurer

Chris is an audit and accounting professional with over 20 years of experience in public accounting, during which he provided a variety of assurance services including audits, reviews, agreed upon procedures, and internal control assessments. His industry experience encompasses a broad range of industries including service, entertainment, consumer product, and technology companies as well as not-for-profit organizations, higher education entities, health care organizations, and employee benefit plans.

Additionally, he designed and instructed technical professional development programs for both staff and clients on various financial reporting and internal control related topics. He is an instructor for the CalCPA’s Auditing Standards and Auditing Principles discussion group and has been a contributor to Wiley’s Financial and Accounting Guide for Not- for-Profit Organizations.

Chris has supported Alpha for many years and has served as a table captain at Alpha's annual Circle of Life Luncheon. He also is also the treasurer for the Santa Barbara Symphony and President of C.A.R.E.4Paws.  

Bernie Schaeffer | Past President

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 freelance writer. In addition, he enlisted as a volunteer for the Santa Barbara Coalition of Caregivers.  Bernie has lived in the Santa Barbara area for more than 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,  who 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.  

Board of 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 32 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 with her husband, Aaron and their two children, Harry and Billy. Margaret taught first grade at Catholic schools for over 30 years and still keeps her hand in teaching while volunteering in the community. 

Heather Bennett

Heather is a Southern California native, who moved from San Diego to Santa Barbara in 2009 to take a position with the international humanitarian nonprofit Direct Relief. She has occupied several positions at the organization during her tenure, and is currently Vice President of Partnerships and Philanthropy. In this role, she is responsible for leading the acquisition of financial resources, helping to manage strategic communications, and assisting in programmatic design to support the objectives of the organization. 

Prior to joining Direct Relief, Heather worked at the Council of Communities 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 form 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.  

Craig Buzzell

Craig retired in July 2010 as Business Manager of Marymount School, where he had been responsible for a ten-acre school facility, eight buildings, and $3.5 million annual budget.  

Prior to Marymount, Craig served as Division Manager of 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 throughout the late 1980’s until 1996, evenings and weekends, at Santa Barbara City College, Adult Education.

In addition to his professional positions, Craig has been involved with several non-profit organizations.  He served many years on the board of the Hinchee Homes Foundation, a non-profit organization providing residential and custodial care services for twelve developmentally disabled residents. He was Board President for eight years, and retired recently.  He also is a longtime member and treasurer of the Santa Barbara Employers Advisory Council, a non-profit group attached to the local EDD office.  The EAC provides educational HR-related seminars for local businesses.  He is also the treasurer for 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 Jacqueline Langley Ph.D.  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.  

Maureen Janeway

Maureen has served on the board since 2002.  She is retired after spending over 30 years in healthcare marketing and strategic planning.  Her husband, Terry, is EVP/COO at PlanMember Financial Corporation in Carpinteria.  Her son, Chris, is Financial Advisor and President of Fourth Point Wealth in Newport Beach.  

The Janeway family, together with Alpha, established Katie’s FUNd after the death of their daughter in 2002.  Katie’s FUNd is changing lives by providing social and recreational opportunities for teens and young adults.  

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.  

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. 

Marc Sucher

Marc is a highly motivated artist who has lived in Santa Barbara for over 20 years. Marc is an inspiring advocate for SlingShot Art Studio and Gallery. He has served on the Board of ARC Santa Barbara for four years. 

Marc’s work is frequently featured in the SlingShot Gallery. He has completed a number of commissions, including a recent series of historical figures for a local publishing house. He works predominantly in a graphic, illustrative style with bold line and color. His favorite subjects are bugs and mechanical devices; but he also enjoys creating fantasy and real-life landscapes. Marc is influenced by scenes and characters from sci-fi films, video games and Japanese anime. 

Marc’s participation at Slingshot enables his dream of a career as a professional artist, providing him with a sense of community and a valued vocation. He is a shining example of Alpha’s mission statement in action. 

Derek Swafford

A native of Ventura, Derek attended Ventura High School where he played football and baseball. His love of baseball got him drafted by the Pittsburg Pirates in the 3rd round out of high school. After playing 5 years of Professional Baseball, Derek was taken out at 2nd base turning a double play. He decided to go back to school after his career ending injury, and was accepted into UC Berkeley on a football scholarship where he played for 3 years. While playing football, Derek was able to apply and get into the Haas School of Business where he earned a Degree in Business Management. It was during his last semester at Haas when he took on his first banking job, 17 years ago!  Derek has held a number of positions and roles in the Banking Industry, but specializes in Consumer Lending, Business Lending, Commercial Lending & working with Non-Profit organizations.  Derek is currently a VP and Branch Manager at Montecito Bank & Trust.

Derek currently serves on the Events Committee for the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara and is a former board member for the Boys & Girls Club of Port Hueneme.  He is also a former United Way Ambassador for Ventura County.

Derek’s passion for Alpha Resource Center is centered around his niece, Eleanor, who was born with Bohring Opitz Syndrome (BOS), which is a very rare syndrome.  Eleanor was one of the first kids ever diagnosed with BOS and her parents were told she wouldn’t live past 4 years old.  She is currently 15 years old because of her strong and loving parents, plus places like Alpha Resource Center.  

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 has two sisters, Caitlin, a Special Education Teacher who 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 Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 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.  

Patty Zylstra

Patty and her husband, Doug, have lived in Santa Barbara for 30 years.  They are the parents of 4 grown children.  They met at Cal Poly, SLO where Patty received her BS in Accounting and Doug a BS in Ornamental Horticulture.  She worked for a few years in the accounting field and then became a stay at home mom.  She became active in her children’s schools through various positions held in the PTSA, MAGIC Campaign and the Royal Pride Foundation.  She has volunteered alongside her daughters in National Charities League, and has served NCL through many board positions. Patty now works part-time in her husband’s wholesale nursery business, West Covina Nurseries.

Patty was introduced to Alpha Resource Center through an invitation to the Circle of Life luncheon by Carol Kallman.  Alpha immediately became near and dear to her heart and that of her family’s. She has served as a table captain at the Circle of Life luncheon and is a member of the Development Committee.  Her daughter, Dana, worked this past year at SlingShot.