All Spokes Salutes! guests had the opportunity to bring a special guest to honor for their dedication to the nonprofit sector. Here’s the heartfelt thanks they each gave to their guests.
ALPHA honors Liz Clarke. Liz has not only served as Executive Director for years for ALPHA, but has since remained as a volunteer leader and integral part of the ALPHA culture and team. Liz’s energy and dedication to ALPHA is unsurpassed, as she gives hours of time on a weekly and monthly basis doing everything from coordinating the “Barn Ladies” every Thursday as they sort clothing and put together clothing orders, to promoting ALPHA in the community, to working alongside staff to make annual fundraising events a big success for ALPHA year after year. We are lucky to have you, Liz, and are so happy to be able to honor you today! Thank you!
The Avila Beach Civic Association honors Vicki Book who has served as its President or Vice President over the past few years. She is a very hard worker and extremely generous with her time and money. At each fundraising event that we present to the community, Vicki gives of herself and her family to help make them successful. She cooks, makes silent auction baskets, sell tickets, and works at any job necessary, including set-up, kitchen prep, busing tables, and cleaning. We are very fortunate to have Vicki as part of our organization. Thank you, Vicki!
Linda Selig Blonsley, Blonsley Law, honors Jacqueline Frederick for her service to the Community including being named the 2014 Women Lawyer’s Association of San Luis Obispo’s Outstanding Woman Lawyer. She sits on numerous boards—California Women Lawyer’s, SLO County Bar Charities, Arroyo Grande Hospital and the Women’s Shelter – and chairs the Latino Outreach Counsel. Thank you, Jacqueline!
Lisa Bruce honors Delfina Medina-Maloney. Deflina is a friend and coworker that is very supportive of RISE events. She has attended many of our events and helped spread the word about events to others. Her enthusiasm is such a great support to me and to RISE! Thank you, Delfina!
CASA of San Luis Obispo County honors Teresa Tardiff. Teresa has been with CASA for the past 12 years, starting as Program Director, then serving as Executive Director for the past 8 years. As Executive Director, she uses her skills in leadership and organization and her knowledge of the law to run an effective and strong CASA program in San Luis Obispo County. Now in its 21st year serving abused and neglected children in the County, Teresa has been an integral part of CASA’s success. Additionally, she has a passion for children and a strong dedication to help every child in need. On many occasions, Teresa has gone the distance to help a child or family in need. She represents a dedicated role model to the CASA staff and volunteers. She promotes CASA in our community with her enthusiasm for the program and her ability to convey to others the urgent need to help these very vulnerable children. When you meet Teresa and discuss CASA’s mission with her, you can’t help but note her compassion and want to help! Thank you, Teresa!
Caliber Accounting Group honors Sarah Bettencourt, Senior Accountant. Sarah is a CPA that works with many of our non-profit clients, providing audit, tax return, and consulting services to these great organizations. Our firm provides many of these services at a discounted rate to give back to the community and the wonderful missions of these organizations. She previously worked at the Cal Poly Foundation, and has an in-depth understanding of the donor relations side of non-profit organizations. Our community is lucky to have her working with various non-profits, providing her expertise in accounting knowledge for non-profits. Thank you, Sarah!
Central Coast Grown honors Tessa Salzman, Programs Assistant, for her many contributions to the organization’s success. Thank you, Tessa!
Central Coast Salmon Enhancement honors Douglas Daniels. Doug contributes to our organization through his passion and committed to the mission of CCSE. He initially began as a Board member, stepped up when needed to become the interim Executive Director, and now takes over as an extremely knowledgeable Board President. He is dedicated to environmental education for young students and is ready to help lead the organization into new opportunities. Thank you, Doug!
Central Coast Seniors Center honors Jim Guthrie. Jim is a very involved citizen of South County, being City Councilman in Arroyo Grande among many other things. He has contributed many hours of hard work and creativity to our Center for the last three years and is currently serving as its Treasurer. Thank you, Jim!
Controller on Call honors Rev. Dr. Caroline Hall of St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church for her tireless leadership in advocating for social justice through two nonprofit organizations: People of Faith for Justice and a new grassroots organization she is currently forming. Thank you, Caro!
Controller on Call honors Suzan Vaughn, publisher, writer and videographer for her passion for promoting animal rights within our community. Thank you, Suzan!
Jami Fawcett honors Jessica Micklus and brings her to Spokes Salutes because she deserves to have a relaxing evening and to be thanked for all she does for our nonprofit community. I am constantly amazed at how much time, interest, and effort Jessica puts toward supporting local nonprofits. She is selfless, regularly volunteering her time at events, promoting the goodwill of others, and supporting groups in unique ways. Thank you, Jessica!
The Friends of the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden honors Gaby Levine as a long time supporter, charter member and volunteer. She heads the Membership Committee and works in the propagation house on Tuesdays. Thank you, Gaby!
The Friends of the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden honors Ping Tsao, M.D. who has been a tireless and generous supporter and volunteer for many years. He served as Board Chair until recently and has guided the Garden through challenging times. Under this leadership, the Garden is stronger and celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year. Thank you, Ping!
The Foundation for the Performing Arts Center honors enthusiastic and dedicated board member Colleen Clarke. Colleen exemplifies what makes San Luis Obispo such a one-of-a-kind wonderful community–she gives back in so many ways. For the Foundation, she has started a new giving program for Realtors to express their passion for the arts and is a tireless advocate for the community’s involvement in the Performing Arts Center. As a realtor, Colleen is often the first person newcomers to the community meet. She is truly an ambassador for our community with her clients, sharing with them all that our home has to offer, including the PAC. Before joining the Foundation’s work, she volunteered for the Children’s Museum and Mission College Prep. Plus, Colleen has a great attitude and a positive outlook. Thank you, Colleen!
Friends of Hearst Castle honors Tracy McConnell, Projects Coordinator. Tracy has been associated with Friends of Hearst Castle for many years and contributes a great deal to our organization. She works tirelessly on a huge slate of special events and fundraisers which take place at the Hearst Castle Monument. She has boundless enthusiasm and creativity in making the most of our limited resources to generate new friends and supporters for our cause. Thank you, Tracy!
Heritage Oaks Bank honors Ziyad “Zi” Naccasha. Community involvement is extremely important to Zi. Though very busy with his San Luis Obispo County law firm, he is generous with his time personally and professionally by being actively involved on the boards of a number of local nonprofits and organizations supporting the arts, children and important local business interests. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Economic Vitality Commission as Board Counsel and is currently Vice President of the Board of the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center as well as their past president and a member of their Executive and Business Partner Committees. He is on the Boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County and Mission College Preparatory High School in San Luis Obispo and is a member of the San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation Development Committee. He also devotes time to his alma mater, Cal Poly, by serving as a mentor and monthly volunteer at their Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Incubator and Hot House. Ziyad is a member of the State Bar of California, Chicago Bar Association and the San Luis Obispo County Bar Association.
Hope’s Village of SLO honors Christine Smith. Chris joined the board of directors with excitement and dedication — she’s the kind of person who walks the walk, not just talks the talk! We are planning a sustainable community village for local unhoused adults in SLO County and we currently do outreach on the streets to those unhoused folks who are ineligible for homeless services. Chris always has at least one or two people who have no homes that she welcomes into her home until they get on their feet. Even single moms with babies. She just amazes me. And inspires us. We’re lucky to have her! Thank you, Chris!
Deb Humphreys honors Eric Boyd, returning Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and who is now serving fellow veterans who have an interest in agriculture. Upon his return from service, Eric found that his family farm, Pepper Creek located in Arroyo Grande, offered him opportunities to heal, learn, and reflect on next steps. Eric learned about hydroponic farming, got funding to build a greenhouse and followed his goal to complete his Soil Science degree at Cal Poly. Eric and his brother Morgan, a recently returning veteran who shares the vision, eventually plan to transform a section of the farm into a rehab and training resource for those veterans interested in learning an agricultural trade. They have a formal vision, goals, and are working out opportunities to collaborate with other organizations to bring the vision to reality. In the meantime, a group of veterans from the SLO Vet Center have access to the farm to grow, learn, and strengthen their bond. Thank you, Eric, for your service and for supporting your fellow vets!
The Jewish Community Center Federation of San Luis Obispo honors Baruch Schwadron of Camp Shoreshim, as he brings with him a wealth of skills and innovation to our community. Thank you, Baruch!
Longcrier & Associates, CPAs honors Gayle Herbert, Office Manager for her volunteer service to the San Luis Obispo Literacy Council. Thank you, Gayle!
Rob Naglehonors Karen Colombo, President, Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County. Karen is one of the most-giving people you’ll ever meet who is driven by her passion for helping others. She is a tremendous asset to each organization for which she volunteers and for our community as a whole. Thank you, Karen!
The Natural History Museum of Santa Maria honors board member Sherri Banta. Sherri enjoys working with children and seniors, and her board position is an opportunity to do both. She has many connections in the 5 Cities area, San Luis Obispo County as well as Santa Maria after having worked there for 6+ years. She is passionate in giving back, and spends her time with hard working individuals, all the while having FUN and measuring results. Sherri will add value to our team because she is not afraid to speak her mind. She has a lot of talent and her skills will be in use for various field trips and mixers. She is our Social Event Board Member and is in charge of planning events and parties. Thank you, Sherri!
Opera San Luis Obispo is excited to honor Duejean and Bob Garrett. Both have been instrumental to the success of the organization. Duejean served for MANY YEARS as Board President; they consistently host artists from out of town who perform in our operas; and they have consistently contributed at a significant level in order for us to provide high-quality experiences for residents and visitors of the Central Coast. Thank you, Duejean and Bob!
Pacific Wildlife Care honors board member Marcelle Bakula. She is always willing to help out, generally if something is about to fall on the floor (because nobody noticed) she will catch it! Thank you, Marcelle!
Pacific Wildlife Care honors Kathleen Dillon. Kathleen has dedicated much of her personal time, energy, expertise, and financial resources to the advancement of Pacific Wildlife Care. She has been instrumental in helping the board focus on its vision for the organization and move toward its strategic goals. As a volunteer Facilities Manager, she has helped design, build, repair, and upgrade the aquatic bird pools, flight and holding cages. She also volunteers on a regular basis to help with animal care at the Center and rescue/ transport of wildlife in distress. Perhaps most important, many volunteers are inspired by Kathleen’s unflagging positive outlook, good nature and open heart! Thank you, Kathleen!
Pacific Wildlife Care honors Melinda Alvarado. Melinda is the PWC’s longest-standing volunteer having supported the organization since its inception in 1986. Over the years, she has received more and more animal rehabilitation training and is now a senior rehabilitation specialist and oversees the PWC’s baby bird room. Melinda always exudes a positive team spirit that inspires everyone around her. Thank you, Melinda!
Pacific Wildlife Care honors Neonee Senoro. As a military Veteran, Neonee has committed himself to helping other Vets make a successful transition from their military life or career into their next career. He passionately brings the military’s CAN DO attitude into his work finding the best jobs and employers for “his” Vets. Thank you, Neonee!
The SLO County Child Abuse Prevention Council honors Kim Miramon. Kim recently joined the SLOCAP team to serve as the new Fiscal Manager. Kim was the Division Manager at SLO County Behavioral Health Services, a division within the Health Agency, responsible for the financial, accounting, administrative, and personnel activities. Kim retired from the SLO County Health Agency in 2012 and is looking forward to providing her expertise to the non-profit sector and helping SLO-CAP expand prevention education programs. Thank you, Kim!
SLO Op Climbing Gym honors Steph Fellows, Operations Director of Journeyman International and yoga manager at SLO Op Gym. Steph is doing amazing work with Cal Poly students and people around the world, while heading up a much-needed program for me at SLO Op Climbing. I would love to reward and recognize her in a private setting for the quality of her work, her accountability, and her ability to be a community leader for our gym. Thank you, Steph!
The Wellness Kitchen honors Millie Drum. Nancy Walker explains, “When I chose to convert The Wellness Kitchen LLC to a 501(c)3 in 2011, it felt like I was handing my “precious baby” over to a whole new group of people that I needed to trust. Millie Drum was the 2nd person I entrusted with my “baby”, as she accepted the role of Secretary of our new nonprofit. When our first appointed President was taken away from us because she lost her battle with cancer, Millie graciously accepted the Presidency role. Millie gives of herself tirelessly, conducting our board meetings with professionally, producing all of our marketing and advertising including all print material and press releases and providing input on grant writing. She and her husband Darryl attend all of our events, move furniture, assist with cooking and have kindly organized a Staff and Volunteer Appreciation BBQ for us all to get together and enjoy “someone else” cooking! She is like a “mom” to me…and treats “our baby” with all the compassion I had hoped for.” Thank you, Millie!
Wells Fargo Foundation honors Bruce Mumper. Bruce and his wife Lorna give much of their time, talent and treasures to the community of Cambria. Bruce became a Board Member of Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve (FFRP) this year. FFRP was responsible for mobilizing the community in the late 90’s to support and protect Fiscalini Ranch from being developed. Thanks to their efforts, one of the most diverse biological ecosystems on the coast remains preserved. Prior to joining the FFRP board, Bruce volunteered countless hours for years on the ranch to remove invasive plants, maintain trails and plant native species to help replenish and reestablish the native habitat. The Ranch is a jewel in the small community of Cambria. If not for community volunteers like Bruce who make protecting this precious space a priority, residents and visitors would not have the opportunity to experience a significant natural asset of the community. Thank you, Bruce!
Womenade honors Chrissy Ybarra. Chrissy has been so generous to dive in and help us out with SLO Womenade! She and her daughter, Abby, have volunteered to be our shopper of the month and Chrissy has always stepped up to help when needed! She loves helping people and she gives with a cheerful and loving heart. Thank you, Chrissy!