I am starting my third year of service on the CBB Board of Trustees. I joined originally as an at-large Trustee, later becoming Vice President for Programming. I now proudly serve as Vice President for Development. In addition to the CBB Board, I also currently serve on the ADL and Girl’s Inc. Boards in Santa Barbara.
I am an attorney and practiced law for many years with various large banks and financial institutions, specializing in corporate finance and mergers/acquisitions.
I have been happily married to my husband Steve for 33 years. We have three daughters (Emily, Margot and Hilary) and two sons-in-law (Eric, married to Emily; and Rob, married to Margot).
I currently serve as Director of Montecito Bank & Trust, where I was elected to the Board in April of 2010 and serve as the Chair of the Governance Committee. I also consult for real estate companies in Southern California.
I recently retired from The Towbes Group, Inc., where I served for 20 years, most of which as President. After joining The Towbes Group in January 1999 as Vice President of Commercial Property Management, I was promoted to Chief Operating Officer and then appointed President in June 2001. The Towbes Group is a diversified building and development firm which develops, constructs and manages properties in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties. While at The Towbes Group, I oversaw all of TGI’s operating divisions including development, construction, commercial and residential property management, and maintenance services. Prior to The Towbes Group I worked for Maguire Partners in Los Angeles.
I also serves on the Boards of the UCSB Economic Forecast Project, The Towbes Foundation, Storyteller, and is a Trustee of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara.
My wife Amy and I live in Santa Barbara and have two children, Charlie (24), and Maisie (22).
Robin and I have been married for 35 years, we moved to Santa Barbara from San Francisco in 2012. Happily we joined CBB that same year. Born and raised in San Francisco, I attended public school and graduated from SF State College with a BA degree in Economics and Business. Robin and I married in 1983. We are parents of three sons Jordan, Brad, and Josh.
Professionally I am a businessman, I am the President and CEO of “SF Party”, a retail and wholesale party supply and concessions company that I started in San Francisco over 35 years ago. I recently finished my four-year term as a Board Trustee with the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. My goal has been and continues to be giving back to the community and trying to make a difference. Robin and I are passionate about modern contemporary art, which we have been collecting for 36 years.
The reason I serve on the CBB Board is the tremendous sense of welcome, acceptance, and community that I feel every time I walk through the synagogue doors. I hope to be of value and to make a difference.
Our family became involved at CBB in 2006 when we enrolled our toddler in BHY. The teachers and community embraced our young and growing family by showing us that they truly cared about every detail in our lives, modeling textbook communication and limit-setting for preschoolers, and helping to introduce and instill Jewish customs and values into our home. It was this interest and commitment to our family that made us feel so connected to this congregation.
I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish at UCSB in 1998, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in 2000, and a Master of Science in Nursing Education from Western Governors University in 2017. I have worked as a Labor and Delivery Nurse at Cottage Hospital for the past eighteen years and feel lucky to have such a fulfilling career.
A perfect day in my life begins with a run or group fitness class, a cup of coffee that is preferably brewed by another, and then I am ready to embrace whatever the day brings in my life that is complete with my husband, John, and three beautiful daughters, Sarah, Sophie, and Sadie.
I have been a member of CBB for more than 38 years. My husband Walt and I were married by Rabbi Kendall in 1980, our children attended Beit Ha Yeladim and Religious School, had their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and attended Confirmation all at CBB. I have been on the Board for nine years serving as Social Action Trustee for three years, Membership VP for five years, and this is my second year as Program Trustee.
I am an attorney practicing with my own law firm, Wilson & Pettine, LLP, in downtown Santa Barbara. I have spent my entire 36 year career in Santa Barbara focusing on family law (dissolutions of marriage, pre- and post-marital agreements, mediation and custody, and support matters), guardianships/conservatorships, and estate plan matters.
I was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and moved to California when I was 9 years old. My parents and entire extended family were holocaust survivors and my first language was Yiddish. I grew up as an orthodox “valley girl” and was very active in the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization. I attended UCSB and Southwestern University Law School. Walt and I met while we were both attending UCSB and we married after I attended law school and Walt started a local business in Santa Barbara, The Alternative Copy Shop. We have two wonderful children, Sophie, 25 years old and Henry, 23 years old, along with a very funny and lovable chocolate Labrador Retriever named Leo (and often referred to as a “chocolate babka”).
I joined CBB 28 years ago when I first moved to town. My daughter went to religious school, was involved in youth group and the madrchiam programs, and I went through the adult B’nai Mitzvot program at CBB.
I am a CPA with Nasif, Hick, Harris & Company, LLP, working primarily in the area of Trusts and Estates. I was raised in Ohio and lived in the DC area for 10 years before moving to Santa Barbara 28 years ago. I worked in manufacturing and technology planning for 25 years prior to becoming a CPA.
I’m married and have a daughter, 3 step daughters, and 3 granddaughters.
Our family was considering a move to Santa Barbara from the New York City area in 2007. After attending services in the outdoor chapel and meeting Rabbi Steve and Cantor Mark, we were hooked and moved out west two months later.
I worked on Wall Street in New York City on a Bond Trading floor, after earning an MBA from the Stern School of Business and an MS from Columbia University School of Engineering. I attended Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts for undergraduate studies.
After retiring from the finance industry, I raised two children with my husband Jon. Our daughter Tally just completed her second year at USC, and our son Jimmy will begin the University of Oregon this fall. They both attended religious school at CBB and went all the way through until Confirmation. I enjoy playing tennis, and was very involved in the public schools while my children attended them in Santa Barbara. I look forward to serving on the CBB Board.
I came to UCSB from the San Fernando Valley and fell in love with Santa Barbara. I was fortunate enough to meet my awesome husband Dan here and raise our two children in Santa Barbara.
I have been in Medical Sales for over 20 years. I’ve worked for Abbott and more recently entered into the space of genetic testing. I was previously working in prenatal testing and now work for a start-up company selling pediatric genetic testing.
Before my husband Dan and I were married we attended a “Basic Judaism” class. Now 25 years later my children have graduated through all stages of CBB life from early beginnings at BHY, Religious School, Confirmation and as Madricha. I love anything community! I enjoyed being involved and feel very grateful to all that CBB has given to me and my family. I look forward to another term in my board position and contributing in a meaningful way.
My wife Phyllis and I have been members of CBB since we moved to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles in 1982. Our son David celebrated his Bar Mitzvah at CBB in 1992; our daughter Kate celebrated her Bat Mitzvah at CBB in 1995. Kate is a member of the CBB Adult Choir, and for a number of years Phyllis worked with Aaron Ettenberg on the scripts for the annual CBB Purimspiel.
I am a partner at the law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, a national boutique law firm with 240 lawyers that specializes in natural resources, intellectual property, and government relations. My work concentrates on representing property owners, builders and developers in securing land use approvals from local and state government, including the California Coastal Commission. My professional career began in 1973, after my admission to the California Bar. For eight years between 1982 and 1990, I served as Santa Barbara City Attorney.
I was born in New York City (Queens) and grew up on Long Island. After attending public high school, I graduated from Harvard College in 1969 and Harvard Law School in 1973. I met my wife in Los Angeles in 1975, we married in 1977 and moved to Santa Barbara with our two young children in 1982. Phyllis was born in Memphis and grew up in Atlanta. She attended University of N. Carolina at Chapel Hill (Go Tarheels!) and has worked for many years as the Librarian at the Goleta Center for Girls Inc. We have a wonderful daughter-in-law (Kristina) and two grandchildren, Molly (2010) and Bennett (2013).
Jonathan Gartner, and his wife, Patricia Marks Gartner (“Pam”) joined CBB in 2017. After attending Torah study for a number of months, Elizabeth approached us and said, “has anyone asked you to join the synagogue?” Truth to be told, we were already sold on CBB when, after moving to Santa Barbara following a fairly peripatetic life, we first went to Shabbat services at the outdoor sanctuary. Suddenly, all of the evening prayers seemed to make sense, the connection to nature made sense, CBB made sense.
Jonathan’s business career was primarily in finance. He worked in politics (Congressman AF Hawkins), banking (JP Morgan, Drexel Burnham, ABN Amro), private equity (Navis Capital), Energy (Ping), and Ed Tech (LEAP). He is currently the CEO of Sustainable Change Alliance, a Santa Barbara-based impact-oriented education and investment group focused on fostering businesses and entrepreneurs who are seeking to build profitable firms which are also trying to create positive social and environmental outcomes.
Jonathan and Pam have raised two children, Eleanor and Simon, in three continents. We lived in the US, Europe, and Asia over the past two decades before returning to the US and literally stumbled upon Santa Barbara. We are very happy we did.
My wife Lisa and I have been members of CBB for about 20 years, but I also grew up in town, became a Bar Mitzvah here, and you can see a picture of me on the wall in a nice sky blue robe with my confirmation class. I have been Caring Community Committee Chair since 2002 and currently serve on the Board of Trustees as Parliamentarian. I also serve on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara as Vice President and Chair of the Jewish Family Service Committee. Since finishing a Ph.D. in Physics at UCSB in early 2006, I have been working as a Systems Engineer at Raytheon Vision Systems in Goleta.
Early Childhood Education Trustee
I first became acquainted with CBB when my husband James and I were married by Cantor Mark Childs in 2013. From there we were welcomed with open arms to the CBB community and then by the BHY community. I am very fond of BHY and everything the school has to offer. I spent two years as the Parent Association Chair so I know firsthand that BHY is a very special place.
I am the lucky mother of 3 boys. Crosby will be seven years old in August and is a BHY alum, Rockwell just turned five is also a BHY alum, and Bixby just turned two and is at BHY now. I am currently a stay at home mother and I love being home with my boys. I feel so fortunate to be able to stay at home with my boys and experience the daily adventures in their young lives.
Prior to being home with my children, I was and still am an educator. I have taught at a number of elementary schools throughout Santa Barbara and Carpinteria, in grades 2nd through 6th. I earned my BA in Psychology from UCSB in 2003. I have my Masters in Education and an elementary teaching credential from UCSB’s Teacher Education Program. I also earned my administrative teaching credential through Santa Barbara County Education Office’s PASC Program. I have always loved working in education and couldn’t think of a more rewarding career.
I grew up in Santa Monica and came to sunny Santa Barbara in 1999 to attend UCSB. I love everything about Santa Barbara and couldn’t imagine a more wonderful place to raise my family. I enjoy walking along our beautiful beaches, reading, working out, and spending quality time with my family.
I officially became a member of CBB in September of 2007, though I began attending events in 2005. I joined the Board in 2009.
In my career, I’ve been a professional in retail marketing and branding, radio broadcasting, education recruitment, project management, technical support and documentation, organization workflow, and client communications.
I feel fortunate to have been born in Goleta, raised in Carpinteria, and now to live in Santa Barbara. I’m a 2004 graduate of UCSB, where I focused on Dramatic Art and Linguistics. Holly Chadwin and I were married in May of 2007, and welcomed our daughter, Shira Pearl, in December of 2012.
Jewish Learning Programs Trustee
My family joined CBB in 2016, when we returned to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles. My husband Louie and I are the proud parents of three kids, Henry, Shoshana, and Bo. Henry is a BHY graduate and current Netovit student. Shoshana at BHY.
Louie and I first fell in love with Santa Barbara (and each other, coincidentally) when we moved here in 2000 to attend college at UCSB. We met during the first week of freshman year and got married 10 years later. After graduating college, I moved back to the LA area to attend law school at Pepperdine University. Louie stayed in Santa Barbara for two years, working for a small start-up company. In 2006 I convinced Louie to join me in LA with the promise that we would return to Santa Barbara one day. That opportunity came in 2016, when I got offered a job working as an attorney for Santa Barbara County. Louie owns an office products business and was able to relocate the business to Goleta.
My professional career as an attorney began in 2008, when I was admitted to the California State Bar. I spent over 10 years representing local government agencies. I was first employed at a private litigation firm as outside counsel representing the County of Los Angeles, before moving to “in-house” counsel positions at Los Angeles and then Santa Barbara County. My law practice has focused on litigation, civil rights, employment, and land use law.
Our family is thrilled to be living in Santa Barbara and we are so grateful to be a part of the CBB/BHY/JLP community and for the wonderful friendships we have made as a result. I am so honored to serve on the CBB board as Jewish Learning Programs Trustee!
Franny Taran Freund
Social Action Trustee
I joined the CBB community as a teenager when my family moved to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles. For the next two decades I occasionally attended services with my parents at “their temple”.
Now as a mother of two young children, I’ve reconnected with CBB and am happy to call it “my temple”. I joined the Social Action Committee, co-chaired Mitzvah Day, and worked with the Netivot program as a curriculum writer and mentor.
In the fall of 2018 I had the privilege of participating at the Union for Reform Judaism’s Biennial Conference. I was inspired by the organization’s emphasis on Social Justice and Audacious Hospitality. I am honored to work with our SB Jewish community on these issues.
Fundraising Events VP
We joined the CBB family in 1994 after we moved to S.B. Our 3 children attended preschool at BHY, attended many years of religious school up to Academy and Confirmation, belonged to a havurah, had 3 b’nai mitzvahs and produced 2 madrahim. We have felt very fortunate to be part of the warm, growing CBB community.
Since empty nesting a few short months ago, I’ve been working part-time as a social media consultant and intern wrangler for Peaceworks Travel, which is a local socially-conscious educational travel program for educators and students. Before that I was a trustee of an estate for 14 years and raised my 3 kids and did a lot of volunteer work at BHY and at all the rest of my children’s schools.
I was raised in Encino in the San Fernando Valley and graduated from UCLA as a Linguistics and Italian major and then worked in the music industry for 5 years. I then attended and graduated from Southwestern University School of Law in LA and passed the California bar. My husband (the local mohel and an OB/GYN) and I are the proud parents of Hannah (presently working in the music industry in LA), Mark (graduating next month from U of Chicago, then off to NY to work) and Max (a sophomore at SDSU). I look forward to joining the CBB board.
My family joined CBB when we moved to Santa Barbara in 2002 from Dallas, Texas. My husband, Arnie Brier, is from Santa Barbara and celebrated his bar mitzvah and his confirmation at CBB.
We immediately felt at home at CBB and I joined the board in 2005. I served for 9 years as At-Large Trustee, Religious School Trustee and Education VP. I am so happy to continue service the board in my second year as an At-Large Trustee.
I am the President of Strategic Development Associates. Our clients include start-ups, mid-sized companies, and large national companies with a focus on technology, and our areas of specialization include consumer insights, market validation, and industry and competitive analysis. I founded SDA in 1997, following roles within the wireless telecom industry with AT&T Wireless Service and Verizon Wireless. Prior to that, I was an Associate in the Mergers & Acquisitions and Merchant Banking Departments with Merrill Lynch Capital Markets and a Business Analyst with McKinsey & Company.
Since 2008, I have also served on the faculty of University of California, Santa Barbara teaching courses in the College of Engineering’s Technology Management Program. I received a BSE in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Go Blue!) and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. I’m also currently serving as the Chair of the University of Michigan Industrial and Operations Engineering Advisory Board.
Arnie and I have been married for 28 years and have two amazing children, Zoe (age 26) and Ethan (age 22).
My connection to CBB began with how welcomed we felt as a family when my wife Jamie and I moved to Santa Barbara in 2011. Both of our boys spent a year at BHY, are currently enrolled in Netivot, and my wife has been in various leadership groups, has run the Purim carnival, and served on CBB’s nominating committee. It has been a pleasure for both of us to be a part of this community.
As the global head of talent at Sonos, Josh oversees the company’s recruiting efforts around the world. This includes managing recruiters and hiring cycles across the United States, multiple locations across Europe, China, and Australia. The Talent team covers university recruiting (including an internship program), executive recruiting, technical recruiting, and all other hiring. At various points during his tenure at Sonos, Josh has also overseen related functions within HR including on-boarding, training and talent development, and community outreach.
Prior to Sonos, Josh was the VP of People at MarkLogic, an enterprise software company in the Bay Area founded and incubated by Sequoia Capital, where he worked for eight years. There he oversaw all facets of HR for this high growth company. Earlier, he was also the head of recruiting at Harmonic Communications, another Sequoia Capital investment. Josh began his HR career as an Associate in the information technology practice of the global executive search firm of Heidrick & Struggles.
After college (Lafayette College in Easton, PA) and before a career in human resources, Josh was a research intern at the Institute for Social and Economic Policy at the John F. Kennedy school of Government at Harvard University.
I have been an active member of Congregation B’nai B’rith since 1975, joining when my family and I moved here from the Boston area. I have been a frequent member of the Board of Trustees since the early 1980’s serving as President from 1985 until 1987. Last year I began my third stint as Financial Vice President having served previously in this position in the 1990’s and again from 2013 until 2015.
I am an engineer and entrepreneur with a Ph.D. in Applied Mechanics currently working as an independent consultant. I am a member and Past President of the Board of Santa Barbara Hillel. My wife, Toby (Z”L) and I were married for almost 51 years and were blessed with three wonderful children and four grandchildren. I married Martie Levy in September 2015.
Nancy worked in banking for 13 years with UBS in New York before moving to Santa Barbara with her husband, Mike, in 2001. They have 4 children, who have grown up in the temple, ages 15, 14, 12 and 8.
Nancy has spent the past 15 years in the non-profit world. She has been on the executive board of MOXI for over 10 years and chaired the capital campaign for the building. She is also on the Board of Crane School and chairs the Development committee.
Nancy has chaired the Foodbank Gala for several years alongside Diane Zipperstein. Nancy comes back into service at CBB after serving as the head of the Beit Ha Yeladim Parent Association and the Preschool Trustee on the Board of Congregation B’nai B’rith.
I have spent the better part of the past 10 years applying my creative and pragmatic points of view to my work for others in Santa Barbara. I joined GrantSage one year ago and have been grant writing on behalf of local nonprofits providing support services to the area’s most under-served. Previously, I sang with and wrote original music for the Jewish soul gospel group, SoulAviv. Before moving to Santa Barbara, I worked in international public relations both in Washington, DC and New York City, where I also met my husband Michael. Members since 2002, we have raised our two daughters, from BHY preschool through their teen years, with the help of this synagogue.
Women of B’nai B’rith (WoBB) Trustee
I have the distinction of probably being the oldest and longest standing CBB member on the WOBB (Sisterhood) Board. My parents moved to Santa Barbara when I was three years old (that was a lot of years ago) and immediately joined the synagogue. I remember attending Sunday School in the little synagogue on Garden Street as well as being confirmed at the Santa Barbara Street Synagogue.
When it was time for me to find a Jewish husband I took myself to Los Angeles where I met a wonderful man, Ken Gaynes, and we were married in six months. We lived in Marina Del Rey for six years where our children were born. At that point we decided that we had enough of the traffic and congestion and it was time to pick up roots and get out of there.
Santa Barbara was the perfect place to settle down for life. Since my son David was just five years old when we arrived, joining the synagogue was one of the first things we did so he could attend religious school. When my daughter Melanie was of age, she also attended religious school, and both children continued their education through Bar and Bat Mitzvah and on through Confirmation. My husband and I have both been very active in this congregation for all of our years here as the success of the congregation was very important to us. My husband was on the temple board serving for several years in different capacities as well as being in a group which spearheaded our Sunday Morning Live and Best Darn Breakfast program which is still going strong.
I’ve been a very active member of WOBB and worked in the gift shop as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, my husband passed away six years ago, but I carry on the tradition of helping wherever I can be of service.
Fortunately, both of my children settled in Santa Barbara where they are raising my four grandchildren. I enjoy the hands-on experience of being in my grandchildren’s lives as they are being raised. So far, my two oldest grandchildren have taken an active role in the synagogue life here in Santa Barbara which gives me great pleasure and satisfaction.
My family have been members of CBB since before I was born, and I personally became active at temple in fourth grade when I began preparing for my Bat Mitzvah. As I was here every Wednesday and Sunday I always wondered what would be ahead for me at CBB once I had become a Bat Mitzvah. This was answered I attended my first SBORTY middle school event and instantly fell in love with the teen community. After that, I always made sure to attend the SBORTY middle school events, and I also attended multiple NFTY 678 events.
In eighth grade I decided I wanted to make CBB a larger part of my life, so I became the madricha in the kindergarten class, assisting Linda; and I also joined the SBORTY leadership board. This is undoubtedly one of the best decisions I have ever made. Freshman year I served as Ninth Grade Representative, learning so many amazing communication and networking skills. Sophomore year I served as our Programing Vice President where I learned how to write programs for events, and how to make SBORTY events well planned and inclusive.
I am so beyond excited to serve as the 2019-2020 SBORTY President this year. SBORTY has so much room to grow, not only in numbers, but also with new events and fresh marketing ideas. We have a full calendar lined up for next year, and I am very eager to see where the year takes us!
Maia Lowenschuss Palmer
Shomrei HaBrit (Guardian of the Covenant)
I am connected to CBB by music, prayer, friends, community, and volunteering. I also have a multi-generational family history with the Synagogue.
I call myself a professional volunteer, having spent more than two decades in service to the community in which I live. Educated in Economics, Business, Math, and Music, I have been fortunate to manage a hotel, design and install hardware dependent telephone systems, manage real estate investments, and teach college prep AP, while also being a professional musician, actor/singer, and energy worker. I have been blessed to lead congregations, trade organizations, parks, Y’s, and to serve the city of Santa Barbara as a charter member of the Creeks Advisory Committee and as a Park and Recreation Commissioner.
I am a 2nd generation Santa Barbarian, born as one of the last baby boomers. I played soccer and rode horses when I was younger, and went to college to get my Master’s. I am ecstatically married to Mandy, who loves me more than perhaps I deserve. We look forward to maybe getting another dog someday.
Our connection to CBB began with our children who attended Beit HaYeladim preschool soon after our family relocated to Santa Barbara from the East Coast in 2001. I immediately got involved with the preschool, co-chairing the auction and serving on the Board as preschool trustee. My involvement grew to leading interfaith outreach and serving on the nominating and gala committees. CBB provided our family with a wonderful community and dear friends.
I’ve worked over the past two decades as a public relations consultant and freelance writer in both the private and non-profit sectors. I honed these skills while working for the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC and the Hearst Corporation, Forbes, Inc. and Young & Rubicam Advertising in New York City. I serve on the Boards of MOXI, the Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation and the Foundation for Santa Barbara High School. I am a past Board trustee of Crane Country Day School and the San Marcos AAPLE Academy. I’m also active with the National Charity League, a mother-daughter philanthropic organization.
Born and raised in Baltimore, I graduated cum laude from Syracuse University and completed post-graduate coursework at Johns Hopkins University. I love living in Santa Barbara with my husband, Dante, our daughters Arin and Lily and our golden retriever, Cesare.
Honorary Board Member
My wife, Ina, and I have been members of CBB since our move to Santa Barbara in the summer of 1982. Both our children, Michael and Sharna, received their Hebrew names in our sanctuary, made life-long friends at Beit HaYeldim, had their Bar and Bat Mitzah at CBB, completed our religious and Hebrew school programs and were married by our clergy! So, we’ve had a long and close connection with this fabulous congregation. Ina has served, and continues to serve, as a mentor and educational advisor for teachers in our religious school, and I finally left the board a few years ago after having completed 26 years (yikes!) as a member of our Board of Trustees. During those two-plus decades of Board service I held almost every position including a rewarding two-year stint as President. I was sincerely humbled to have been recognized with the Viola Girsh Award for commitment and service to the congregation and for having been named a life-time “honorary” member of the Board.
I continue to remain involved in leadership through membership on a variety of ad hoc committees although my time is somewhat limited by my current responsibilities as President of the Santa Barbara Hillel community board of trustees.
In my spare time I serve as Distinguished Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at UCSB where I conduct research and teaching in the exciting field of neuroscience.
Honorary Board Members z”l
Marlyn Bernard Bernstein z”l
Ruelene Hochman z”l