Board of Directors & Staff

Board of Directors

Dick_Flacks-6000.jpg

Dick Flacks – South County Co-Chair

Dick Flacks is a founder and has been a board member of SBCAN since the beginning. He is proud to serve as co-chair. He feels it is exciting to serve with a board whose members are each leaders in diverse communities across the county, to learn about and to help build bridges – fulfilling the goals SBCAN has had from the beginning. Flacks also feels fortunate to have on staff three people with wisdom, energy and multiple talents who serve our communities every day!

RebecaGarcia-IMG_4621b.jpg

Rebeca Garcia – North County Co-Chair 

Rebeca Garcia is proudly a Mexicana-Zapoteca artist and activist from the 5 Cities. As policy advocate with CAUSE and as an SBCAN board member, they are committed to fighting for justice and equity for the working-class and immigrant families of our community. Rebeca is excited to be completing her first year on the board in January.

Gale_McNeeley.png

Gale McNeeley – Secretary 

Gale McNeeley moved to Santa Maria to perform and teach at PCPA after 10 years of work in AIDS services in San Diego.  Since then he has worked as a writer, performer, teacher and activist.  Gale says that his years with SBCAN have taught him how to be an agent of change.  In 2017 he founded Youth ARTS Alive to provide free summer arts education for the children of Santa Maria.  He is proud to serve as SBCAN’s secretary.  

Jonathan_Abboud_headshot.jpg

Jonathan Abboud – Treasurer 

Jonathan co-founded the Isla Vista Self Governance Initiative in 2014, which was fiscally sponsored by SBCAN, and joined the board in 2016 to work on housing, transportation, and climate change issues. He went on to champion the creation of the Isla Vista Community Services District and now is its general manager. Also in 2014, Jonathan was elected to the Santa Barbara City College Board of Trustees running on building student housing and equity. He likes to cook, shop at the IV Food Cooperative, and go to the beach.

RebeccaAugust-DSC06902.jpg

Rebecca August – Board Member

Rebecca August has been an education, environmental, and social justice organizer in northern Santa Barbara County for 15 years, co-founded Safe Energy Now North County and SYV Community Action Alliance, and currently serves as the Director of Advocacy for Los Padres ForestWatch where she works on critical issues impacting local public lands. Rebecca joined the SBCAN board in 2015 because it was so effectively fighting oil expansion right in her backyard. She’s stayed because of the organization's dedication to social justice and because it is the hub for progressive issues in the county.

Carla__2012-1.JPG

Carla Frisk – Board Member

Carla Frisk has lived and worked in Santa Barbara County for more than 45 years.  She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and a certificate in Hazardous Waste Management, both from UCSB.  She has worked for the California Coastal Commission, Assemblyman/Senator Jack O'Connell, The Trust for Public Land and is currently an environmental consultant with the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County.  She has also provided her environmental expertise to a number of nonprofit organizations and received the first Environmental Advocate Award from the EDC in 2001.

Janet_BlevinsDSC06874-Edit.jpg

Janet Blevins – Board Member

A long-time community activist, Janet Blevins has served on the SBCAN Board for several years. She is a retired teacher who continues to be involved in education as a member of the Lompoc School Board. Janet opposes onshore and offshore oil projects in Santa Barbara County, and is passionate about protecting our environment and public health. She was a lead organizer of the first Women’s March in Lompoc in 2017 and has been active in the Sierra Club, the Santa Maria-Lompoc Branch of the NAACP, the Lompoc Valley Democratic Club and others for many years.

Lawanda-2.jpg

Lawanda Lyons-Pruitt – Board Member

Lawanda Lyons-Pruitt is president of the Santa Maria-Lompoc Branch of the NAACP, member of the Death Penalty Focus (DPF) Board of Directors, serving as vice-chair of outreach, and on the board of SBCAN since 2016. A former chief investigator in the Santa Barbara County Public Defender’s Office, she was the first African-American woman in California to earn the title of chief investigator, a position she held from 1995 until she retired in 2016. As chief investigator, Lawanda assisted in the defense of several death penalty cases, an experience that cemented her opposition to the death penalty and her passion for civil rights and social justice.

   
Jaime_Tinoco2.jpg

Jaime Tinoco – Board Member

Jaime Tinoco is a union business representative with IBEW Local 1245 and has been a board member for less than a year. Jaime was a lineman for the City of Lompoc for 32 years and is now retired from the trade. He supports SBCAN’s Mission Statement regarding the environment, labor, political empowerment, and diversity. He is a community activist.

Staff

KenHough-300_6006-Edit.jpg

Ken Hough – Executive Director (805) 563-0463, [email protected]

After a 30-plus year career in transportation, housing and regional planning, Ken Hough retired and joined the board of SBCAN in 2012. Not long after, the board asked him to be executive director, a position he had planned to fill for only a short time. Nine years later, he’s enjoying working for SBCAN because he believes in the mission of protecting agricultural land and the workers, keeping growth within existing cities and towns as much as possible, and protecting water resources in the Santa Maria Valley.

JeanneSparks-DSC_8983.jpg
Jeanne Sparks – Associate Director [email protected]

Jeanne Sparks has been an active member of the community since moving back to the Santa Maria Valley in 1986. She worked as a newspaper reporter and columnist at the Santa Maria Times, worked as the executive assistant to the Fifth District Supervisor for 12 years, served as an elected official on the SMV Water Conservation District and has volunteered on the boards of several nonprofits, including some that she co-founded. Jeanne is excited to be working on SMV watershed issues in a new alliance with Creek Lands Conservation and CAUSE.

nadia2.jpg
Nadia Lee Abushanab – Advocacy and Events Director [email protected]

The newest member of our staff, Nadia Lee Abushanab, joined us in December 2020. Nadia moved to Santa Barbara to complete her B.A. in Environmental Studies at UCSB and has been here ever since. As SBCAN's advocacy and events director, she represents SBCAN at public meetings relating to issues such as oil development, housing, living wages, redistricting, and more. She is especially interested in creating a Green New Deal for the central coast and supporting a just transition away from fossil fuels.