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  • Chamber Welcomes 2020 - 2021 Board of Directors

    The Chamber, Visitors Bureau and Economic Development Commission are led by a unified Board of Directors, made up of senior executives from member companies and partner organizations. The Board provides strategic and policy guidance to ensure the Chamber’s program of work serves the best interest of our members and the Santa Maria Valley community.

    The Chamber is pleased to announce these recently approved members of our 2020-2021 Board of Directors, who have been endorsed by current Chamber leadership and approved by Chamber membership. A full list of the 2020-2021 Board of Directors, including returning members and the Executive Committee, can be found HERE.

    Sandra Dickerson
    ESQ. CEO/HR Director, Your People Professionals

    Sandra began her human resources career with Your People Professionals in 1987, working initially for the founder of the company and as CEO since purchasing YPP in 1997. As of April 1, 2014, she is also CEO of HR Your Way, based in Pleasanton, California.

    As CEO, Sandra has specialized in managing the company’s services, ensuring compliance with applicable regulations and adherence to best practices, and in general business management, including all corporate and legal affairs. Her staff is responsible for strategic human resource management and consulting for a wide variety of clients and industries throughout California. Services include: full HR outsourcing; total compensation system evaluation and design; talent acquisition system design and implementation; manager/executive coaching; performance management; policy development; risk management; and wage & hour compliance. In addition, she provides general business consulting to the company’s clients. 

    Sandra is a member of the California Lawyer and American Bar Associations.

    Karen Fothergill
    Principal, Andre Morris & Buttery

    Karen Gjerdrum Fothergill is a principal at the law firm of Andre, Morris & Buttery and practices law in its Business and Real Estate Transactions Practice group. Karen was born and raised in Santa Maria, California. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Vassar College and her Juris Doctorate from Wake Forest University School of Law. In September 2005, Karen returned home to Santa Maria to start her legal career. Andre, Morris & Buttery named her a principal of the firm in January 2014. Karen has served on the boards of the Santa Maria Valley Youth and Family Center and North County Rape Crisis & Child Protection Center and is a member of the Women’s Fund. Karen and her husband Ryan are happy to be back in her hometown raising their two children.

    Edgar Gascon
    Hacienda Realty (2nd term Chamber Board Member)

    Edgar Gascon, a born & raised Santa Maria native, recently returned to his hometown after 8 years of being in school & working in corporate America. Coming home with a Master’s Degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology, Edgar began a full time career in Real Estate at Hacienda Realty. 

    Since coming back to home, Edgar has quickly gotten involved in the community; leading the development of Santa Maria Connect! – a networking group for young professionals & Toastmaster’s Valle de Santa Maria – the Central Coast’s first Spanish Toastmaster’s group. In addition, he serves on various boards such as the Santa Maria Association of Realtors, Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce and Northern Santa Barbara County United Way. 

    Edgar is strongly supported by his lovely wife – Yessenia & their 18 month old son Giancarlo. Between his community involvement & spending time with his wife, Edgar enjoys golfing, reading, and traveling.

    Butch Lopez
    Treasurer / Project Manager, V Lopez & Sons (2nd term Chamber Board Member)

    Born and raised in the beautiful Santa Maria Valley, Butch enjoys the people, places and events the community has to offer.  Butch loves working the family construction business with his Father and Brother.  He is blessed with a family of 5,  and they  love movies, camping, traveling, sports and anything fun! 

    Butch feels blessed to grow up in the Santa Maria Valley and connecting with all the locals in the community. He enjoys being on the Chamber Board and getting involved with our Community. Butch believes the Chamber has a great presence here in Santa Maria and with our neighbors, and feels the Chamber champions businesses in the Santa Maria Valley as we should all do.

    David Merlo
    Certified Public Accountant, Director/Principal, Glenn Burdette

    David has been a Tax Principal with Glenn Burdette since 2008. Since joining the Glenn Burdette team in 2003 he has specialized in advising and servicing corporate, partnership and limited liability entities and planning with the related business owners. David is known for providing technically sound advice in the areas of taxation and business consulting. He has extensive experience with industries including professional service companies, agriculture, and construction. David has also advised on several business mergers and acquisitions. 

    Prior to joining the Glenn Burdette team graduated from the University of San Diego and practiced accounting with the national firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP. David is a native Santa Marian where his family has resided for over the last 50 years. While growing up in Santa Maria David learned a lot about the business community and the dedication and hard work it takes to be successful while working in the family business.

    David is most proud of his family. He and his wife Katie, who is also a native Santa Marian, can be found enjoying several sporting events, whether participating or watching, with their 3 children. David also enjoys giving back to the community and has been an active member of the Pacific Central Coast Health Centers Board, Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum and Central Coast Cal CPA society.

    Tere Paredes
    Owner & Treasurer of MT Puzzle Piece, Inc. DBA: Maya Restaurant in Santa Maria, CA

    My Name is Teresa Paredes (formally Cadena) but most know me or call me Tere (TED-eh) for short. I was born in Santa Barbara and raised here in the beautiful Santa Maria Valley when my parents opened up the Maya at the Santa Maria airport back in the early 80’s. I am the 3rd generation carrying on my family’s legacy of running and owning the Maya Restaurant that has been around for 54 years and I hope to continue by having my children be the 4th  generation of owners one day. I had always dreamt of being in my position ever since I was just a little girl.  I knew nothing would stop me, even if it meant more work had to be done to be proven worthy. I guess you can say ambition and competitiveness runs deeply in my veins.

    Being a member of this community has brought so much light to my life. To see the outpouring of love and following especially during these trying times of COVID-19 has my heart so overwhelmed and just confirms that being there for them before all this doesn’t go unnoticed. I must say my Christian Faith has a lot to do with it as well.

    Shannon Seifert
    CEO, Santa Maria Valley YMCA

    One of Shannon’s earliest memories, and one that ties into her career and community philosophy to this day, is a neighbor-shared harvest season. Her farming roots (pun intended) inadvertently set the foundation for an excellent training ground for her long term career as a Y CEO. As a 5th generation Californian, 1 of 6 children, and current ranch owner, Shannon knows that community collaboration is the key to a healthy city and economy.

    Shannon earned her BA in Business Admin and Sociology. She is a member of the Y CA State Alliance, Santa Maria Breakfast Rotary, California Strawberry Commission, Women’s Fund and AFP (American Fundraising Professionals). Shannon previously served on the Small to mid-size National Y cabinet from 2010-2013 and the Y National Board and the Y National Membership Standards Committee from 2014-2017. She also participated in the 2 year National pilot Leadership institute for 17 established CEO’s from 2017-2019.

    Shannon and her husband and partner of 39 years, Tim, have two adult daughters, Katie and Rae. She and her husband are both recent past presidents of their Breakfast Rotary group and have both decided that middle-age is an excellent place to be.

    The Chamber is excited to welcome all of these business leaders to our 2020-2021 Chamber Board of Directors. We would also like to acknowledge out outgoing board members and thank them for their time and dedication to serving out organization:
    Ray Arensdorf, Arensdorf Chiropractic
    Hugh Rafferty,  Santa Maria Public Airport
    Rick Rust, Aera Energy
    Tim Woodbury, Woody's Butcher Block

    A full list of the 2020-20201 Chamber Board of Directors and Executive Committee can be found on page 6. The Chamber is grateful for the service of our local community leaders on the Chamber Board. 

    To learn more about your how you can get involved with the Chamber, including volunteer opportunities and committees, visit santamaria.com.