Girls Incorporated of Carpinteria is governed by a volunteer board of directors comprised of respected community and business leaders from Carpinteria and throughout Santa Barbara County.
- Theresa Huerta, President
- Lori Pearce, Vice-President
- John Franklin, Treasurer
- Jacquelyn Pawela-Crew, Secretary
- John Cerda, Special Committee Chair
- Terri Allison
- Kevin Baird
- Katie Convoy
- Orlando Hernandez
- Dawn Howard
- Chris Jacobs
- Sharon Organista
- Eric Neuron
- Gail Persoon
- Diana Rigby
Theresa Huerta, President
Theresa Huerta is a seasoned, influential communications strategist with more than 20 years of experience spanning all communication disciplines and various industries including consumer and lifestyle brands, and aerospace defense. Theresa is currently employed by The Raytheon Company, one of the nation’s largest defense contractors, where she interfaces with company leadership to ensure strong employee understanding and engagement of business strategy. She also partners with internal Raytheon stakeholders to build and protect the company’s brand reputation through strategic communication plans and counsel.
Prior to joining Raytheon, Huerta held management positions at The Coca-Cola Company, Sebastian International, a division of Proctor & Gamble, The West Hollywood Convention and Visitors Bureau, and CarryOn PR, a boutique public relations agency specializing in health and consumer clients. Theresa earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Pepperdine University. She is also a graduate of Raytheon’s Diverse Leadership Development Program through UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and completed Boston College Carroll School of Management’s Corporate Community Involvement Program. Theresa lives and works in Santa Barbara, is married, has two young children and is passionate about cultural proficiency and empowering young women. In addition to her involvement with Girls Inc., Theresa serves on her children’s school Parent Teacher Association Board, Raytheon’s Women’s Network and First 5’s Communications Committee.
Lori Pearce, Vice President
Lori Pearce is director of information technology and business operations at NuSil Technology, a global specialty silicone manufacturer. Since joining NuSil, Pearce has cultivated a small information technology and support department and successfully developed it into a multi-national, mature operation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Indiana University East and an associate degree in computer science from Santa Barbara City College. She is an active volunteer in the community with local schools and organizations including Carpinteria Valley Girls Softball and the Girl Scouts, and served on the Carpinteria Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors.
Lori joined the Girls Inc. of Carpinteria board in January 2018 after serving on its finance committee for several years. Lori also sits on Girls Inc.’s IT committee.
“I know how hard it is for girls, especially when you hit that evil junior high time when it’s important to be strong, to be independent and really think about their education. The young ladies who come out of these programs blow your mind away.”
John Franklin, Treasurer
John Franklin served as the manager of the Carpinteria branch of Montecito Bank & Trust for more than 20 years. Previously, he held positions as senior vice president, branch administrator, and senior commercial loan officer.
Franklin served on the board of the Carpinteria Unified School District for more than two decades, including four years as president. He is a former board member of the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Chamber’s Junior Carpinterian of the Year scholarship committee. Franklin is on the board of the Summerland Sanitary District and a member of the finance committee for the Santa Barbara/Ventura County YMCA. He also serves on the finance and facilities committees at Girls Inc. of Carpinteria. Franklin grew up in Carpinteria and currently lives in Summerland. He has three children and four granddaughters.
Terri Allison, Trustee
Terri Allison is an early childhood education consultant for Transition House, the Santa Barbara Unified School District, and the Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara. Terri was a founder of Storyteller Children’s Center nearly 30 years ago and served as executive director from 2005 to 2015. She helped write the original grant asking for funds to provide care for homeless children while their parents looked for work — a grant that eventually led to the establishment of Storyteller Children’s Center.
Terri holds a multi-subject teaching credential, and received a post-graduate certificate in Infant-Parent Mental Health from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Terri is also the co-author of Moon Mother, Moon Daughter: Myths and Rituals that Celebrate a Girl’s Coming of Age.
“Girls Inc. provides quality programs the support the development of each girl’s unique sense of self — empowering them to discover their own voice and personal power.”
Kevin Baird, Trustee
Kevin Baird CFP®, AIF®, AACEP brings more than 27 years of experience in the financial services industry to Girls Inc.’s board. As president and founder of Baird Wealth Strategy Group, Baird is devoted to helping pre and post retirees better manage their wealth, reduce future taxation and control the risk of their investments. He is a Certified Financial Planner™, Certified Estate Planner, and Accredited Investment Fiduciary® and holds the Series 7, 24 and 63 securities registrations in addition to life/health/disability insurance licenses.
Baird earned his B.A. from UCSB and is an active member of the community. He has served as a volunteer or board member for local organizations including UCPA, Mentor Match, Carpinteria Education Foundation, Klein Bottle Youth Programs, Rotary International, Boy Scouts of America and the Boys and Girls Club of Carpinteria.
Orlando Hernandez, Trustee
Orlando has worked as a tax auditor for the Internal Revenue Service since 1984, and is a certified instructor for the IRS. He obtained a bachelor of science in political science and sociology at Westmont College. Orlando lives in Carpinteria with his wife, Nancy Tillie, and is an avid golfer.
Orlando joined the board of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria in January 2018 and serves on its finance committee. He has volunteered with Girls Inc.’s Mariachi Encuentro committee for six years. For the past 26 years, Orlando has volunteered with VITA in Santa Barbara and Ventura. He is a former board president of the Carpinteria Boys & Girls Club, and a former board member of the United Boys and Girls Clubs. He is also a Diamond Star recipient with California 4H.
“Our girls are going to be the leaders of households in the future – and my goal as a board member is to ensure girls understand the long-term economic and social benefits of making healthy diet choices.”
Sharon Organista is a travel consultant with Montecito Village Travel and a longtime supporter of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria. She owned and operated Carpinteria Florist before entering the travel business in 1991.
An active member in the community, Organista first became involved with Girls Inc. Carpinteria as a volunteer more than 25 years ago. From coaching softball to chairing fundraising events and organizing auctions, her enthusiasm for Girls Inc.’s mission is evident in her devotion to the organization. She is also a member of the Carpinteria Women’s Club and previously served on the board of the Boys Club of Carpinteria. Organista was born and raised in Canada and studied interior design at Santa Barbara City College. She is married with two children and six grandchildren. She enjoys walking, hiking, traveling, cooking, and fishing.
Jacquelyn Pawela-Crew, Secretary
As a healthcare strategist, Jacquelyn Pawela-Crew has more than 20 years of experience directing innovative programs, strategies, and initiatives across diverse organizations that align with corporate objectives, business requirements and healthcare and technology regulations. She is currently a Senior Manager for Top Tier Consulting and previously served as a Primary Care Innovations Specialist for CareOregon. Prior to that position, she spent 21 years at Intel Corporation, where she held several Engineering Manager positions and led the Intel Healthcare Marketplace Collaborative.
Pawela-Crew holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Yale University. She previously served as a board member for Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest, the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Centers and the Portland Business Alliance. She served as a volunteer for the Portland Business Alliance Leadership Program and for the National Charity League, Portland Chapter.
Katie Convoy, Trustee
Katie Convoy, a native Angeleno, made the move up the coast to Ventura in 2018 to assume the role of Director of Annual Giving at Cate School in Carpinteria. She has spent the last seven years working in educational advancement, first at The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks where she assisted with three major capital campaigns and led numerous annual giving cycles and now at Cate.
With an expertise in fundraising, stewardship and strategic planning, she is excited to join the Girls Inc. of Carpinteria Board of Trustees and looks forward to seeing this organization grow as we celebrate our 50th year. Katie has a dual bachelors degree in Women’s Studies and Communication from Loyola Marymount University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Communication at Johns Hopkins University. She has a deep passion for empowerment of young women and has moderated clubs, retreats, and classes for young women from middle school to college aged. “Girls Inc. of Carpinteria is an organization that supports and invests in long term paths for girls. I could not be more proud to be a part of this community. What an incredible organization to support!” Outside of the fundraising world, Katie, an avid sports fan, moonlights as a NCAA statistician for UCSB men’s and women’s basketball.
Eric Neuron, Trustee
Eric Neuron is the President and General Manager of Lost Arrow Project, a subsidiary of Patagonia Works that “creates special-purpose clothing and gear for the men and women of the US Armed Forces, through innovation in design, materials, technology and production techniques that realign sourcing standards with the most sustainable business practices possible.” He has been with Patagonia for over ten years and has been involved in developing several of the company’s new business ventures and special market strategies in his tenure.
He is a graduate of the University of Santa Barbara, with degrees in Environmental Law and Philosophy. He grew up a few miles away in Ojai and moved to Carpinteria from Santa Barbara with his family in 2004.
Eric joined the Girls Inc. of Carpinteria board in July 2019 after serving on its facilities committee for two years. He also serves as the Vice President of The Howard School where his son and daughter currently attend.