July 4, 2024
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Good Works: Amgen contributes to homelessness relief; Bayer Fund gives for Ventura County blood drives


The United Way of Ventura County has received a $100,000 grant from The Amgen Foundation for the second time since 2019, to support the United Way’s United to End Homelessness Initiative.

The United to End Homelessness Initiative is a landlord engagement program in Ventura County. The program’s goal is to prevent homelessness by increasing the housing stock and making the most of existing housing vouchers and subsidies provided by local jurisdictions and community partners.

The program has housed more than 100 formerly homeless people in Ventura County. In a July 28 news release, United Way of Ventura County President and CEO Eric Harrison said the nonprofit will use Amgen’s new grant to continue expanding the program.


The Bayer Fund granted the American Red Cross of the Pacific Coast $10,000 to be used toward blood drives in Ventura County.

Donated blood has been in short supply since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The Red Cross provides 40% of the nation’s blood supply, but it is currently experiencing a blood shortage. Grants from nonprofits like the Bayer Fund will help support the Red Cross in providing blood for those in need, the Red Cross said in a news release.

The funding will also help with a new screening the Red Cross has added that screens blood, platelets and plasma donated by self-identified African Americans for the sickle cell trait. This will help the Red Cross provide compatible blood types for those with sickle cell disease, which disproportionately affects African Americans.


The League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara has three new board members and has also unveiled a new website at lwvsantabarbra.org.

The new board members are Dianne Meester Black, Emily Engel and Linda Honikman.

Meester Black retired in 2019 from the county of Santa Barbara’s Planning and Development department, where she worked in every division and rose to the level of department director. She has lived in the Santa Barbara area since 1978 and holds a bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara and a master’s in city and regional planning from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Engel is an independent art historian, a lecturer at UCSB and a community advocate who focuses on women and the environment. She has published several articles and books on visual culture in Latin America and is the founding associate editor of Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture, an academic journal published by the University of California.

Honikman has worked in human relations, urban planning and software development. She has lived in Santa Babrara since 1990 and is an active member of the League’s committees on social policy and diversity, equity and inclusion.


Family Service Agency of Santa Barbara County welcomed Patricia Herrea to its board of directors on Aug. 2.
Herrera has worked in the health industry for more than 25 years. Currently, she is the manager of community health for Dignity Health Northern Central Coast Hospitals and is a master trainer for Stanford’s Healthier Living program.

FSA is a nonprofit whose goal is to help provide basic needs for Santa Barbara County’s most vulnerable residents.


Child Abuse Listening Meditation has hired Glynn Caberte as its new director of finance.

Caberte has more than 20 years of accounting experience and holds a bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a master’s in leadership management from the University of La Verne. Before joining CALM she was an accounting supervisor at Sansum Clinic and a finance manager at Clinicas del Camino Real.

CALM is a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit that provides programs and services directed at preventing and treating child abuse.


Rachel Wan, an executive director at Amgen, has joined the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley as its newest board member.

Wan has more than 30 years of experience as a pharmaceutical expert and executive, including the last five and a half years at Amgen. Her responsibilities at Amgen include pricing and contracting, financial reporting and the integration of the Otezla acquisition.


Jennifer Weisman is joining the Santa Barbara Maritime Museums’ board of directors after several years of working in youth education for the museum.

Weisman is a Santa Barbara native and a certified public accountant who works for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. She also serves as an academic tutor and youth mentor for Schools on Wheels, a nonprofit whose mission is to educate homeless children.