• Champions for a Stronger Santa Maria Valley: Chamber Welcomes New Board Members for 2021-2022 Fiscal Year

    Part of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber’s mission is to be a champion for our local business community, and the organization is able to do so largely because of the strong leadership team it has built with its staff and board.
    ”We rely on our Board to help provide 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,”  explained Glenn Morris, President/CEO for the Santa Maria Valley Chamber. “We’re excited to add some new voices to that conversation and are thankful for the willingness of these community leaders to serve our organization.”

    The Chamber is excited to welcome the following new members to the Board of Directors for a three year term:
    Paul Cook, CEO, Coast Hills Credit Union
    Paul Cook has served as CoastHills Credit Union's President/CEO since 2018. Previously, Cook has served as CoastHills' executive vice president and chief experience officer.

    Mr. Cook came to CoastHills as the SVP & Chief Information Officer in June of 2015. Since February of 2018, he has served as the EVP & Chief Experience Officer for the Credit Union and has played an integral role in shaping the Credit Union's strategic direction.

    In addition to CoastHills, Mr. Cook has more than 20 years of experience in the financial industry, including serving as SVP/Chief Information Officer at Heritage Oaks Bank; Chief Technology Officer at Los Alamos National Bank in Los Alamos, N.M.; and Vice President of IT at Pioneer Federal Credit Union in Idaho.

    Cook attended San Mateo (Calif.) High School, graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Political Science from Utah State University and obtained an Executive MBA from Brigham Young University.
    Donna Denham, General Manager, SM Country Club
    Born and raised in Massachusetts, Donna Denham has resided on the beautiful Central Coast for over 25 years. She shares 7 adult children and 19 amazing grandchildren with her husband of 30 years. Together they enjoy camping, fishing, biking and are passionate about supporting the Santa Maria Valley, it’s organizations and people.

    Donna’s steadfast career at the Santa Maria Country Club began in 1989. In 2005 Donna took on the responsibility of Office Manager in addition to running the Food and Beverage department. She held both positions until she moved to Pennsylvania in 2010.  After a few years, Donna returned to the Central Coast and happily rejoined the Santa Maria Country Club family. With the retirement of the general manager in March 2019 she filled in as Director of Operations, and just 9 months later, was officially titled General Manager. She is the first female to hold this position in the Club’s 100 years of operation.

    In addition to her work at the Country Club, Donna is currently serving on the Santa Maria Women’s Network Board of Directors as Treasurer. She is also part of the Food Bank Empty Bowls and Emergency Response Team. Donna is passionate about promoting women of business, supporting small and local businesses, and strives to help everyone around her reach their full potential.
    Luke Ontiveros, Superintendent, Santa Maria-Bonita School District
    Luke Ontiveros began his position as SMBSD Superintendent on July 1, 2016. He leads the district which has more than 17,000 preschool through 8th-grade students, 1,900 employees and a budget of approximately $240 million.

    A lifelong educator, Mr. Ontiveros began his career teaching junior high language arts and history in the Snowline district, a K-12 district of 12 schools and 8,500 students in Phelan, CA. He held a number of leadership positions at Snowline and Ontario-Monclair district before eventually coming to Santa Maria to serve his current role as Superintendent of the Santa Maria Bonita School District.

    Mr. Ontiveros was born and raised in Santa Maria. He attended Santa Maria-Bonita schools, St. Mary of the Assumption School and St. Joseph High School before earning a bachelor’s degree in history at Santa Clara University in 1984. He received his teaching credential from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, administrative credential from Azusa Pacific University, and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from National University in San Diego.

    Luke and his beautiful wife Carole have three grown children who are spread across the country in Vermont, Oregon, and New Mexico.
    Additionally, The Chamber is excited to welcome the following new members to the Board of Directors for a one year term:
    Domenick Barry, CEO, Quintron Systems
    Dominick Barry brings over 40 years of diverse industry experience focused on Department of Defense (DoD) and NASA Range and Space Launch Operations Experience. As President, Dominick focuses his efforts on transforming Quintron to meet the challenges of the 21th Century, evolving the current State-of-the-Art solutions to meet the needs of increasingly diverse markets and customers.

    Prior to joining Quintron in 2016, Dominick was the Principal Partner for Pro-Merit, Inc., providing Executive Level support to Presidents/CEOs and Senior Executives in the Defense, Information Technologies, and Space Industries.

    Dominick holds a Master’s of Science in Organizational Management and Behavior from Chapman University and a Bachelor of Arts from San Francisco State University in Business and Organizational Behavior.
    Chris Hastert, General Manager, SM Public Airport District
    Chris is a California native (born in Granada Hills), raised in Simi Valley. He has been married twenty-two years to Katherine, born in Milton, FL, and raised in Ventura. They have two sons Riley (17) and Colin (14).

    Hastert served the US Army from 1991–1996 in operations at several Army airfields in several states and overseas with international flights.  In addition to airport experience, he also possesses a private pilot’s license.

    Chris has been actively responsible for developing and managing civilian airport properties for more than twenty-five (25) years. Prior to his move to Santa Maria, he served as Ventura County Airports Deputy Director.

    In his current position as General Manager of the Santa Maria Public Airport, Chris oversees the daily operations, budget, and capital improvements of the more than 2,500 acre facility.  The District leases more than 200 small hangars, 85 unit mobile home park, and several agriculture and commercial leases.  Near-term projects include the Airport Business Park, taxiway improvements, and continued marketing to attract additional airline service.

    Chris is also an active member in many professional aviation organizations and a proud member and past president of the Santa Maria Breakfast Rotary Club.
    Max Tucker, General Manager, BW Big America Hotel
    Max Tucker has been involved with the chamber since taking on the management of the Best Western Plus Big America in 1990.  His involvement includes serving on the Tourism Marketing District Board and a Chamber Board Member serving as Board Chairman in 2002-2003.  Max doesn’t want to let the tourist have all the fun.  He makes the most to his daily bike commutes frequently taking the long way to work.

    “I am proud to step in and represent the hospitality industry,” Tucker said when asked about serving on the Chamber Board. “The Chamber supports all types of businesses but those businesses that rely on tourism have a special relationship because of the Visitor Bureau and the oversight of the TID (tourism business improvement district). I look forward to sharing with the board a view from the front lines of the hospitality industry’s efforts to attract and welcome visitors to our community.”
    The Chamber is also welcoming back the following returning Board members for a second three year term:
    Ron Cossa, Sr. VP, Risk Advisor, Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services
    Danny Deveraux, Vice President and General Manager, CalPortland Construction
    Laurie Tamura, President and Principal Planner, Urban Planning Concepts, Inc.
    Tim Williams, Founder/CEO, Digital West

    The new Chamber Board of Directors begins their term at the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, 2021. A full list of Chamber Board members can be found on p.7.

    “I think the Santa Maria Valley is comprised of an extremely hard-working population committed to a strong sense of community,” explained new Board member Luke Onviteros. “It is my hope in serving on the board that I can better position the education sector to sustainably impact the positive growth of our community across all sectors into the future.”

    Chamber Board member Dominick Barry also hopes he can help positively impact the local community through his leadership position with the Chamber.

    “ It is important for us to share our experiences, influence our surroundings and provide value to current and future businesses and residents of Santa Maria and by extension Santa Barbara County,” Barry explained. “I look forward to focusing my energy locally with the hope of having a positive impact within my community.”