Joshua brings over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector to Alpha, having served in both staff and board roles at several nonprofits and churches. He has an MBA from Antioch University and is also a Gallup Certified CliftonStrengths Coach.
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 becoming Executive Director in September of 2019.
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.
Jeff began his career in nonprofit development in 1995 and has worked for several organizations including Special Olympics Illinois and Special Olympics Northern California and Nevada. Henson has been a leader throughout his career, leading the Illinois Torch Run program to be in the top 5 fundraising programs in the world for 15 years in a row. He was also selected seven times as a support team member for the International Law Enforcement World Games Torch Run for Special Olympics. He was honored with his induction into the Richard LaMunyon International Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Hall of Fame in 2004.
Prior to joining Alpha Resource Center, Henson led the Arthritis Foundation Orange County/Inland Empire to the Top Walk to Cure Arthritis in country from 2018 – 2020. He directed the Top Jingle Bell Run in the country in 2018 and 2019, and the highest year over year growth in 2018.
Henson’s passion for helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities began at an early age when he volunteered for Special Olympics with his mom and brother. Helping children and adults with disabilities is a family passion; his daughter is a Special Education teacher in Illinois. When not at work, he enjoys bass fishing, golf, BBQing, cards, and traveling.
Chris is an audit partner with Damitz, Brooks, Nightingale, Turner & Morrisset with over 20 years of experience providing audit and advisory services. Chris moved to Santa Barbara in 2012 after spending the first 13 years of his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Los Angeles. He has experience with a broad range of industries with a focus on non-profit organizations and employee benefit plans.
Chris’ passion is non-profit organizations, serving as President for C.A.R.E.4Paws, Treasurer for the Santa Barbara Symphony, Vice President of the Santa Barbara Athletic Association and on the Claremont McKenna Athletic Advisory Board. In addition, he’s an active volunteer with Santa Barbara County Animal Services and the United Way of Santa Barbara County. He served as table captain for Alpha's annual Circle of Life Luncheon for several years before joining the board in 2018.
Felisa is a full-time sole parent caregiver and advocate for her adult daughter, Lily, who has developmental disabilities. Lily needs full support for all of her daily living. Felisa and Lily moved to Santa Barbara in November 2012 to be closer to family after they lost Lily’s father to Melanoma.
Felisa first connected with Alpha on a trip to Sacramento where she and Lily attended to present parent public testimony with the Tri-Counties Regional Center. After that trip Felisa met other parents and became interested in all that Alpha had to offer in terms of parent training and advocacy. Felisa has participated in many parent/advocate trainings including Family Voices of California Project Leadership Graduate Program, Alpha Certified Parent Mentor and Standards of Quality for Strengthening & Support Certification Training. Felisa and Lily have traveled to Sacramento many times for the Family Voices Health Summit where they take on new advocate training and share their story with legislators at the State Capitol.
Felisa serves as a parent voice on the CenCal Whole Child Model Family Advisory group. She is also a Co-facilitator for Alpha’s newly formed “Families and Caregivers of Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Support Group.” And, Lily attends Katie’s Fund events regularly; she loves being able to see all of her friends there!
In addition to serving on Alpha’s Board of Directors, and Chair for their Governance Committee, Felisa is also Secretary for The Arc of California, Board of Directors.
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.
Paul is a semi-retired engineer and entrepreneur. He enjoys helping non-profit organizations.
In 1983 he graduated with honors with a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Paul then moved to Goleta to start work at Delco Systems Operations. In 1990 he completed his Master of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from UCSB. In 1996, Paul left his position at Delco as a design engineer in advanced research and development to start his first company, Multiplex Engineering Inc. Other business efforts have come and gone, but Multiplex Engineering has always been successful and is still ongoing.
Paul is the father of Kevin who is diagnosed with moderate to severe autism. Through his involvement in raising and caring for Kevin, Paul has had the opportunity to know the amazing staff and great programs at Alpha.
Paul is an Airport Commissioner, and a member of the camp committee for Rancho Alegre Outdoor School. He also helps with Adaptive Athletics baseball, and the Hidden Wings School hiking group. He is a former leader of Boy Scout Troop 4 in Goleta where he has earned the unusual honor of receiving 11 Eagle Scout mentor pins. His hobbies include flying his airplane, gardening, cooking, beer making, and trapeze.
Paul is married to Terri Bowen who is the mother of Kevin, and Paul’s Cal Poly sweetheart. They reside in Goleta.
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.
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, 18 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 16 years old because of her strong and loving parents, plus places like Alpha Resource Center.
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.
Nancy was born and raised in Oxnard, California. She enjoyed growing up close to the ocean with her family and friends. She graduated from Ventura Jr. College and began working immediately. She met her husband, Javier, and married in 1983. They began working together developing many family run businesses and now work in real estate development. They have five grown children, three daughters and two sons. After years of searching for the right place to raise their family, in 1998 they built their home in Santa Barbara. All but one still live in Santa Barbara.
They were introduced to Alpha many years ago as their daughter, Raquel, has special needs and they felt Alpha would be a tremendous blessing to their family for many years. That has definitely been the case. Through the years, she has worked with various philanthropies and organizations and is proud to be associated with Assistance League of SB; Young Life; Calvary Chapel SB and Alpha Resource Center for over 20 years.
She enjoys long beach walks; hiking mountain trails; swimming; gardening and spending time with her family. She is honored to have the ability to serve for it is a huge responsibility and will do so as God allows.
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 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, here in Santa Barbara. He is a member of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors Board of Directors and served as their Board President in 2022.
Bob 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.
Dezi has lived in Santa Barbara since 2013 after relocating from New Mexico with her husband. Prior to moving to Santa Barbara, Dezi served as a child life volunteer at the University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital where she enjoyed working with children with a variety of needs.
Dezi received her Education Specialist Credential and M.Ed. from UCSB in 2015. Dezi has worked as an elementary school special education teacher since August 2015, following in the footsteps of her mother who worked as a special education teacher in New Mexico for 30 years! Dezi is excited about the opportunity to support the Alpha community!
Evelynn had the opportunity to observe the staff at Alpha Resource Center and how they related to the participants when she led a support group for participants at Alpha who had unresolved grief issues due to the death or abandonment of loved ones. She was so impressed that she enrolled Michelle at Alpha. Evelynn says, “It is hard to imagine the Michelle who started at Alpha is the same Michelle of the present. She was shy and it was difficult to carry on a conversation with her. Today, Michelle is very outgoing and friendly (perhaps too much!) SlingShot, Alpha’s art studio, has become a very important part of her life where she has been recognized for her artistic ability, and she is impressed that she can make money from her art sales. Her confidence, through SlingShot and Alpha, has enabled Michelle to mature in ways that I never thought possible.”
Evelynn has served on the Women’s Advisory Board of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Lobero Theater Associates, Assistance League Santa Barbara, the board of CALM, and the Advisory Board of Devereux, California. Evelynn has served as a board member on the Wyoming Governor’s Council of the Developmentally Disabled.
She received her BA in Education from the University of Denver, and a master’s degree from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Counseling Therapy. Over 20 years ago, Evelynn started Angels Bearing Gifts, a non-profit now numbering 200 beneficiaries, which remembers those individuals with IDD who have no one to remember them on their important days. She is an ongoing advocate for individuals with special needs.
Camille Rutherford, MS, grew up in the Santa Ynez Valley where she enjoyed all the beauty the valley had to offer and the vast array of opportunities a young equestrian enthusiast could enjoy. After a few years away in Colorado to obtain her bachelor’s degree, Camille returned to the Santa Barbara area and has lived in Santa Barbara off and on for the past twelve years. She later obtained her Master of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership from the same university, CU Boulder.
Camille is currently an Operations Manager and business consultant for Nygren Consulting, LLC. The organization consultants with boards of directors on their governance, strategy, and leadership in all sectors—many in the nonprofit arena. Camille also has a background in luxury hospitality and real estate management, marketing, and operations. After twelve years in those industries, she segued her knowledge and experience of operations and management into the field of social impact investing and consulting. Working in that field piqued her interest and passion for helping others and she still volunteers her time to assist emerging businesses and organizations across the globe. She is currently on the Global Planning Committee for a volunteer-based COVID-19 relief and health crisis program.
Having a sister with a developmental disability, she has always volunteered her time whenever she can to organizations and programs that help the IDD community. Once she learned more about Alpha Resource Center, she knew it was the perfect organization for her to become actively involved with. As a new Board member and Chair of the Development Committee, Camille is honored and excited to help spread awareness and engagement with all Alpha Resource Center has to offer to the Santa Barbara community and beyond
René Eyerly was appointed the Assistant City Administrator June 14, 2022. Ms. Eyerly has an extensive portfolio of accomplishments in city government as well as the private sector. She previously served as interim Assistant City Administrator since September 25, 2021.
Ms. Eyerly’s background includes six years with the City in a number of leadership roles, providing operational and financial oversight to the Airport, Waterfront, Information Technology, Human Resources, and Sustainability and Resources departments and the City’s Public Information Officer and communications team. Prior to joining the City Administrator’s Office, she was the acting Director for the Sustainability and Resilience Department, overseeing Santa Barbara Clean Energy, climate action, the Solid Waste Utility, and Clean SB neighborhood improvement programs. During her tenure with the city, she created the Homeless Encampment Response Team and spearheaded the pilot program for safe shelter for individuals living in fire-prone encampments.
Prior to her time in Santa Barbara, Ms. Eyerly was the manager of the Sustainability and Regulatory Compliance Division for the City of San Jose, where she was instrumental in leading that city’s groundbreaking sustainable Green Vision and $1 billion wastewater master plan implementation. Ms. Eyerly has a master’s degree from Yale University in Environmental Policy and Management and did her undergraduate work at the University of South Carolina.
I am the mother of Theo, a 20-year-old young man with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS), a rare, catastrophic form of epilepsy that has left him intellectually and developmentally disabled.
As Director of Family Support, I am responsible for engaging with families that are new to our organization and offering support, resources, and connections with others in their area. We are the only organization in the world dedicated to LGS and our private online support group has close to 7,000 members. I also run a monthly support group through Zoom for the LGS caregiver community.
In addition to supporting families, I’m also responsible for building relationships with industry partners, writing grants, and requesting sponsorship for our programs and events that have brought in over $500,000 in 2023 thus far.
I also oversee the LGS Foundation’s Advocacy Program and recently attended Rare Disease Week on Capitol Hill to advocate on policy issues relevant to the rare disease community. I’m also preparing to launch an educational series on the fundamentals of advocacy on our newly acquired learning management system.
In 2008, I was accepted into the Partners in Policymaking program through the Arc of CA which ignited a passion in me for people with disabilities and sent me on a new career path. This led to my employment with the Alpha Resource Center in the Children and Family Services department. My role at Alpha varied from IEP advocacy to running a support group, educating families, and advocating at all levels of government.
After 9 years working with local Santa Barbara families, I moved on to my current role with the LGS Foundation (LGSF) where I’ve been since 2018.
Prior to my employment with the LGS Foundation, I served on the LGSF Board of Directors for 3 years.
I have a BFA from the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. I’m originally from Toronto and lived there until 1999 when my family and I moved to Santa Monica, CA. In Toronto, I had a career as an actress, singer and voice-over artist. I’ve appeared in television, commercials, and onstage, most notably in the 1989 Broadway production of Shenandoah. I’ve performed with Alpha participants at past Circle of Life fundraisers because who wouldn’t want to sing with Dennis & Lavena?
I'm currently the North America Ecommerce Director for the UGG and Koolaburra by UGG brands. In this role I'm responsible for the P&L, strategy and operations of the U.S. and Canada UGG.com sites and the U.S. Koolaburra.com site. I'm also the executive sponsor and co-founder of the Deckability employee resource group, which strives to increase disability inclusion at Deckers Brands.
I started my career in finance at Houlihan Lokey with a focus on mergers and acquisitions. I next transitioned to the retail industry joining Coach in NYC in 2009, and then Deckers Brands in Santa Barbara in 2014. I've had the opportunity to hold a variety of roles at Coach and Deckers Brands, gaining experience across all key channels and regions. I'm well-versed in ecommerce, wholesale, retail, and distributor business models, and have led projects spanning 20+ countries across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC.
In my current role, I'm responsible for the strategy, P&L, and operations of the UGG.com and Koolaburra.com North America businesses. The role requires significant stakeholder management and cross-functional collaboration. I manage relationships and coordination across a variety of teams, such as site operations, digital technology, merchandising, marketing, call center, distribution center, retail and wholesale partners, finance, and more. I'm invested in developing my team and empowering them to become the next wave of leaders.
I'm also the executive sponsor and co-founder of the employee resource group ("ERG") Deckability, which focuses on increasing disability inclusion at Deckers Brands. We've spearheaded corporate training, retail store manager training (with the help of Alpha!), safe spaces for both guided and open discussions, facility accessibility reviews, community service events and donations, and changes to our recruiting and hiring policies. Before I launched the ERG, I was also able to create an adaptive UGG product capsule in partnership with the Zappos Adaptive team.
I have a BS Commerce from the University of Virginia. I started my career in NYC and joined the Santa Barbara community in 2014. I'm knowledgeable about autism and the related services available for elementary-aged children in Santa Barbara.