Board of Directors
Wendy Kilbourne Read – CEO
Eric A. Burrows, Board Chair
Eric earned a B.A. in History from Stanford University, an MA in Public Policy Analysis from Claremont Graduate University, and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He entered the teaching profession after having served as a Deputy District Attorney in Alameda County. Eric now teaches history at San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara, where he has coached the San Marcos Mock Trial Team for 15 years, The team has won 10 Santa Barbara County Championships, and secured the California State Championship in 2004 and 2006. He was awarded Santa Barbara County Teacher of the Year in 2004-2005, and was the California State Teacher of the Year in 2005. He lives in the Santa Ynez Valley with his wife Linda, a child advocate and music and arts education leader, and his sons Kevin, Scott, and Liam.
Sarah de Tagyos, Secretary
Sarah has a B.A. in journalism from the University of Iowa. During her 30-year career at AT&T, she served as President of the AT&T Foundation – the company’s New York-based philanthropic arm responsible for distributing $40 million annually in company grants and equipment – and as Chief Operating Officer for AT&T’s 300-person global Public Relations division. She served on national nonprofit boards including the Advertising Council and the Council on Foundations. Since moving to Santa Barbara in 2000, Sarah has been an active leader in the Women’s Fund (co-chairing research and communications teams), a member of the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Human Services Distribution Committee and on the board of the Assistance League of Santa Barbara. She also oversaw the Assistance League’s 14 philanthropic programs, created a new dental education program for children and families, and expanded the organization’s Fostering Friends program that supports foster youth and families throughout the county. Sarah and her husband Peter enjoy three grown sons and two grandchildren.
Prior to earning a B.S. in Geology from the Ohio State University and a M.A. in Geology from UCSB, James attended high school at Olney Friends Boarding School in Barnesville, Ohio, where he developed a firm belief in the benefits of residential education. James is currently a geologist at Tetra Tech, an engineering and environmental consulting firm in Santa Barbara, where he serves as a principal member of Tetra Tech’s School Services Program, providing consulting services to school districts and charter schools throughout California. James was a Katherine Harvey Fellow at the Santa Barbara Foundation from 2003 to 2005 and served on the Foundation’s Community Enhancement and Environment Distribution Committee from 2006 through 2009. He has been involved with the Children’s Project since 2006, including serving on the Campus Development Committee since 2010 and joining the Board of Directors in 2011. James lives in Santa Barbara with his wife Sandy and their two rescue dogs.
Judy has a B.A. in British Literature from the University of Maryland and an M.A. in British Literature from California Polytechnic University. In 1975, she began a 30-year career at Allan Hancock College, first as the founder of the Writing Center and then as an instructor of English. She chaired the Language Arts Department and co-authored a basic skills textbook, Thinking Out Loud on Paper: Process and Product. In 1986 Judy served as the first associate dean, Lompoc Valley Programs. Later she was an academic dean, responsible for Language Arts, Fine Arts, Health and Physical Education, and Athletics. In this position, she introduced faculty to learning communities, computer-assisted instruction, the national writing project, professional development, and one-on-one classroom instruction. Judy facilitated the college’s strategic planning process and mentored more than 30 graduates of the college’s leadership program. As a dean she served in a leadership role on statewide organizations such as the Community College League of California (executive board), Commission on Athletics (executive committee) and the Association of Instructional Administrators (president). Judy retired from the college in 2004. Judy was a founding member and chair of Santa Maria’s All America City Committee, a trustee of the Santa Barbara Foundation (SBF), and a member of Santa Barbara County’s Community-focused Court Planning Team. Recently, she served on the boards of the Allan Hancock College Foundation and of People for Leisure and Youth, the nonprofit component of Santa Maria Recreation and Parks. She is a founding member and past co-chair of the Women’s Fund of Northern Santa Barbara County. Presently, she serves on the North County Advisory Board of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and on the SBF’s Philanthropic Services and Communications Committee. Judy and husband Charlie have two grown children and three grandchildren.
Nancy received her B.A. in Political Science from U.C. Santa Barbara. Her education included a semester in Washington, D.C. working for Congressman Bob Lagomarsino. She earned her J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law. Nancy’s first career was in non-profit fundraising. As a fundraising consultant, her clients included the Dunes Center, Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, Surgical Eye Expeditions, GenSpan Foundation, and Today’s Youth Matter. For two years, Nancy was the Major Gifts Director of Habitat for Humanity International. During her tenure, she secured multi-year commitments from major donors in California, Hawaii, Arizona and Nevada. After her children were born, Nancy started a property management company, which manages commercial and residential properties in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara. As a volunteer, Nancy has been a crucial player in starting two non-profit organizations: GenSpan Foundation in Santa Maria, and Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County. She has also served on the boards of the Junior League of Santa Barbara and Little Angels Preschool, was a Founding Member and Research Committee Chair of The Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara, and participated in Leadership Santa Barbara. She is currently a Parent Ambassador for Marymount of Santa Barbara. Through her volunteer work, Nancy has gained experience in event planning, grant writing, non-profit finance, volunteer management and major gift procurement. Nancy and her husband Michael have two young sons.
Carola is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and current board member of the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation, the Santa Barbara County Advisory Committee on Drug and Alcohol Abuse and Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV), as well as a past board member of the Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, the Santa Barbara Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Santa Barbara Symphony League. Carola Nicholson is a Certified Public Accountant and small business entrepreneur who lives and works in Santa Barbara, California. She has practiced accounting for 17 years, first working for a decade as senior manager and new business development director in San Francisco at Ernst & Young, one of the largest accounting firms in the nation. Since 2000, Ms. Nicholson has built a private practice in Santa Barbara – Nicholson & Schwartz. She specializes in tax preparation and consulting for individuals, non-profits and corporations, with an emphasis on small business financial management. Nicholson & Schwartz added a second office in 2005, located in Santa Maria.
Thomas R. Parker Tom holds a B.A. in Administration of Justice from San Jose State University, and an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Public Safety Management Education from the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis. Tom has worked in the criminal justice system for over 45 years, including nearly 25 years in the FBI, retiring as Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Regional FBI Office. Following retirement, Tom spent three years heading a U.S.–funded training program for police executives, prosecutors, and judges in Russia. He has been involved with Human Rights Watch for over 16 years and served on the executive committees of both the Southern California and Santa Barbara chapters. He serves on the board of Death Penalty Focus, an advocacy and education organization seeking to abolish capital punishment. Tom feels strongly that one of the ways to deter our youth from lives of crime is to promote community-based alternative programs with healthy adult role models helping youth become educated, productive citizens. He spent nearly 40 years in leadership positions with the Boy Scouts of America, and is, himself, an Eagle Scout. Tom is currently a consultant and expert witness in the criminal justice and civil litigation fields with past projects in over 30 countries. Tom and his “better half”, Karen Broumand – a fifth grade school teacher, live in Santa Barbara. Between them, they have six grown children and six grandchildren.
Michelle has a B.A. and a J.D. from George Washington University. She is a partner in Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s Santa Barbara office with a practice focused on mergers and acquisitions, taxes and general corporate and business matters. Michelle primarily represents private companies in all stages of the business cycle, and actively counsels public charities and private foundations, in addition to serving as general counsel to various nonprofit organizations. Michelle currently serves as a Trustee and officer of the Santa Barbara Foundation, Board Chair of the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, and Board Chair of Pacific Broadcasting Company (KDB FM 93.7). She has two children and is married to Matt, a retired NOAA pilot.
Wendy Kilbourne Read, President
Twenty years ago, Wendy Read was the lead actress on an NBC television series when she chose to volunteer her time with a 6-year-old foster child. Over the next 12 years she was to witness his 27 placements before emancipation from the dependency court system, an experience that ultimately prompted her to pursue a career as an advocate for foster youth. She earned her B.A. in Early Childhood Development at Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, completed her J.D. at the Santa Barbara College of Law, and is now a licensed attorney living in Santa Barbara. After clerking for Santa Barbara’s Presiding Juvenile Judge, Wendy founded the Children’s Project in 2003, and has since become a leading and passionate advocate for residential education for foster children. She has been a member of several boards: The Sycamores (a Residential Treatment Center for Foster Youth in Altadena, CA), 1992-1999; the Page Youth Center, Santa Barbara, 2001-2003; and Cate School, 2007-2008. In addition, she has served as a Special Advocate for Foster Youth, 1986-present; she completed an Internship with the Presiding Juvenile Judge of SB County 2000-2001; was selected by the Santa Barbara Foundation to become a Katherine Harvey Fellow in 2003; and was named 2007 Woman of the Year by the Junior League of Santa Barbara. In her efforts to research solutions to the increasing demands on the foster care system, Wendy has traveled to campuses across the country that house and educate under-served children, including those in San Diego, Palo Alto, Philadelphia, Hershey, and Washington, D.C; and in 2007 she was invited to attend a tour of residential education campuses in Israel. In 2007 she presented on, “Innovative Ideas in Residential Education” at the National CORE (Coalition of Residential Education) Conference, and has become a leading resource on innovative educational programs for foster youth. Wendy lives with her husband James, and their two children, in Santa Barbara.
Meredith received her teaching credential at UCSB. She taught kindergarten, first and second grade at Vieja Valley Elementary School. Meredith’s first experience on a board of directors was in 1985 when she became a part of the Children’s Creative Project. The year she was the fundraising chair they put on the first I Madonnari Street Painting Festival. Meredith then served as president of their board for two years. As a parent Meredith became involved in the PTA’s at her children’s schools. She served as president of the San Marcos High School PTA for two years. Along with her daughter Kelly, Meredith joined the National Charity League where she was an active member for six years. Meredith joined the CALM Auxiliary in 1994. She was drawn to the organization because as an elementary school teacher she witnessed children who suffered from abuse in their homes. She served as Auxiliary president from 2001-2003. She joined the CALM Board of Trustees in 2002. She served as vice president for two years and president for two years. Meredith has co-chaired the last three CALM Design Showcase. Meredith was a member of the Assistance League of Santa Barbara where she co-chaired the Fostering Friends program. This program works with families in crisis, foster children and emancipating foster youth. She was also chair of Operation Prom Dress, which she founded in 2006. This program loans prom dresses to high school age girls in Santa Barbara County. Meredith is a founding member of the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara where she has served on the research committee and has been a co-chair of the oversight committee. She has been on the advisory board of Casa Pacifica for the past three years. Meredith was named Junior League’s 2009 Woman of the Year for her service to the community. She has recently become a member of the CASA Leadership Council. Meredith works part time as a baker for her husband John’s restaurants..