November 22, 2023
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Good Works: Nonprofits honored in Sacramento; new board and staff members in region


Five nonprofits in the tri-county region have been named Nonprofit of the Year for 2021 for their California legislative districts.

State Sen. John Laird, whose 17th District includes all of San Luis Obispo County, has chosen to honor El Camino Homeless Organization, a nonprofit in San Luis Obispo that helps people struggling with hunger and homelessness.

The Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project, a nonprofit that works with California’s Indigenous migrant farmworker community, was chosen by State Sen. Monique Limón, whose 19th District covers Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.

Steve Bennett, an Assembly member who represents southern Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County, honored the nonprofit Community Partners in Caring. This nonprofit based in Santa Barbara County provides elderly individuals with at-home volunteer caregivers.

Court Appointed Special Advocates, also located in Santa Barbara County, was honored by Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, who represents San Luis Obispo County and northern Santa Barbara County. CASA provides neglected or abused children with a support system as they navigate the courts, foster care and schools.

Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin, whose 44th District covers most of Ventura County, honored Safe Passages Youth Foundation, an organization based in Ventura County consisting of volunteers who mentor children while providing them with day camps, groceries and education.


The Santa Barbara Museum of Art has named a new board chair and two new trustees.

Nicholas Mutton has been named the museum’s newest board chair, after serving on the Board of Trustees since 2018. Mutton recently retired after 35 years in the hospitality industry, with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and also volunteers for a variety of other community organizations.

Betsy Newman, one of the new board members, is an independent art appraiser. Since moving to Santa Barbara in 2014, she has volunteered with a number of organizations, including UC Santa Barbara’s Art, Design and Architecture Museum Council.

The second new board member, Martha Townsend, is president of her own medical diagnostics firm, Market Ready Rx. She has been named Startup Woman of the Year by Women’s Economic Ventures and is a volunteer with Junior League of Santa Barbara, WEV, the Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation and other nonprofits.


The Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation has elected four new members to its board of directors: J. Robert “Bob” Andrews; Richard Crutchfield; Barbara Anderson; and Guy R. Walker. The board also elected a new slate of officers, including Judith Dale as president and Barbara Anderson as Vice President.

Andrews is a business and estate planning attorney with Mullen & Henzell LLP. He is a UCSB graduate and holds a law degree from the University of California’s Hastings College of Law. He has served on a variety of nonprofit boards, including those of Cottage Health System and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

Crutchfield has been practicing mediation in the Santa Ynez Valley for 15 years with his business Humanix and also serves as a consumer financial counselor. He is a U.S. Navy veteran and also worked in commercial aviation for Pan American World Airways before moving to the Santa Ynez Valley.

Anderson is a 31-year resident of the Santa Ynez Valley and a longtime volunteer for Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital. She was also a board member of the hospital foundation from 2009-2018. A retired teacher, she is the owner of Old Danish Food Farm in Solvang and received the 2007 Santa Ynez Valley Woman of the Year award.

Walker was born in Compton and attended Dunn School, a private boarding high school in Los Olivos. A UCSB graduate, he worked in accounting before moving to financial services in 1990. He founded Wealth Management Strategies Insurance & Financial Solutions in 1994 and he serves on the boards on the Allan Hancock College Foundation, CommUnify, Dunn School and Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People.

Julie Weiner


CommUnify — formerly known as the Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County —hired Julie Weiner as its chief development officer in late June.

Weiner has more than 20 years of experience in fundraising and revenue positions in the nonprofit and corporate worlds. Before joining CommUnify she was chief development officer for the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, and before that she was director of development for UC Santa Barbara’s Division of Humanities and Fine Arts.

Weiner is a Santa Barbara native and served as director of international sales at Commission Junction and Citrix Online before co-founding the cloud computing company NTRglobal. She has served as a board member for the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, and as a fundraising volunteer for Ensemble Theater Company.