Speaker Date Topic
Jessica Mathews, Exec Director Jun 16, 2021 6:45 AM
League of Dreams
League of Dreams

Jessica Mathews is the Executive Director of the League of Dreams, an adaptive sports league for children with disabilities ages 5 to 22, and has filled this position since June of 2012. Under Jessica's leadership, the League has grown to serve over 700 athletes with disabilities in Kern County and provide 7 sports programs and growing. 

Jessica was born and raised in Bakersfield and now resides in Eastern Idaho with her family, but is still working hard for the Bakersfield community, and serving the League of Dreams and their families. Jessica also serves as the education chair and steering council secretary for Kern Alliance of Nonprofits, and is a member and past president of the Junior League of Bakersfield. In her spare time, Jessica is a student at National University working to finish her bachelor's degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management. Additionally, Jessica is working to take the CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) exam. She, her husband and 10 year old daughter love the outdoors, sporting events, and all things Disney.

Dave's Last Meeting Jun 23, 2021 6:45 AM
Awards! Recognitions! Mayhem!
Awards! Recognitions! Mayhem!
Dark in honor of Pres. Dave's Demotion Jun 30, 2021
Sleep in!
Sleep in!
Dolores Huerta Jul 21, 2021 6:45 AM

https://doloreshuerta.org/dolores-huerta/ 

 

Dolores Clara Fernandez was born on April 10, 1930 in Dawson, a small mining town in the mountains of northern New Mexico. Her father Juan Fernández, a farm worker and miner by trade, was a union activist who ran for political office and won a seat in the New Mexico legislature in 1938. Dolores spent most of her childhood and early adult life in Stockton, California where she and her two brothers moved with their mother, following her parents’ divorce.

 

According to Dolores, her mother’s independence and entrepreneurial spirit was one of the primary reasons she became a feminist. Dolores’ mother Alicia was known for her kindness and compassion towards others. She offered rooms at affordable rates in her 70 room hotel, which she acquired after years of hard work. Alicia welcomed low-wage workers in the hotel, and often, waived the fee for them altogether. She was an active participant in community affairs, involved in numerous civic organizations and the church. Alicia encouraged the cultural diversity that was a natural part of Dolores’ upbringing in Stockton. The agricultural community where they lived was made up of Mexican, Filipino, African-American, Japanese and Chinese working families.

 

Alicia’s community activism influenced Dolores’ involvement as a student at Stockton High School. She was active in numerous school clubs, was a majorette, and a dedicated member of the Girl Scouts until the age of 18. Upon graduating, Dolores continued her education at the University of Pacific’s Delta College in Stockton earning a provisional teaching credential. During this time, she married Ralph Head and had two daughters, Celeste and Lori. While teaching, she could no longer bear to see her students come to school with empty stomachs and bare feet, and thus began her lifelong journey of working to correct economic injustice.

Joe Berninger Jul 28, 2021 6:45 AM

Joseph Berninger, member of Ohio Pathways Rotary Club, is the Executive Director for the Guatemala Literacy Project and its Cincinnati-based fundraising partner, Cooperative for Education. Celebrating 23 years of service, the GLP is dedicated to “Breaking the cycle of poverty in Guatemala through education.”

 

Captain Brian Schiff Aug 11, 2021 6:45 AM
Flying on 9-11
Flying on 9-11

Capt. Brian Schiff is a captain for a major US airline and is type-rated on the Airbus A320, Boeing 727, 757, 767, DC-9 (MD-80), CL-65, LR-JET, and G-V. Schiff’s roots are deeply planted in general aviation where he has flown a wide variety of aircraft. 

     He holds several flight instructor ratings and is recognized for his enthusiasm and ability to teach in way that simplifies complex procedures and concepts. He has been actively instructing since earning his flight and ground instructor certificates in 1985. Schiff also has been an FAA-designated examiner. 

     He attended San Jose State University, and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and his Masters of Science Degree in Aviation Safety from the University of Central Missouri. He regularly conducts seminars about aviation safety and techniques to student and professional pilots alike.

Stacy Kuwahara Sep 01, 2021 6:45 AM
Behavior Health Director, Kern County Mental Health Plan
Behavior Health Director, Kern County Mental Health Plan

Stacy Kuwahara is the Behavior Health Director for Kern County.  She oversees the Kern County Mental Health Plan, responsible for providing a full array of mental health and substance use services.  She is a licensed Marriage Family Counselor. 

Ms. Kuwahara has worked for Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services since 2008.  She started her career with the department as a volunteer, working as a clinician with foster care youth.  She has worked in many teams within the department and across many divisions including Children’s Services, Crisis Services, Managed Care and Quality Improvement.  Prior to becoming the director, she served as the Deputy Director over Finance, Medical Services, Contracts, Information Technology Services and Quality Improvement.  She has worked closely in the department’s disaster operations team, overseeing logistics and operations in the department’s response to local and statewide disaster events.

Prior to working at KernBHRS, Ms. Kuwahara worked in residential treatment in San Diego and for the National Health System in West Yorkshire, England.

Ms. Kuwahara is certified as a Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt.  She is also a trained EMDR practitioner.  She holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Brynn Carrigan Sep 15, 2021 6:45 AM
Director of Kern County Public Health
Director of Kern County Public Health

Brynn Carrigan has been the Director of Kern County Public Health since March of this year after serving as Assistant Director since 2012. Among her diverse responsibilities in managing departmental programs and services, she has served as Incident Commander for Public Health’s Department Operations Center during the COVID-19 pandemic. Brynn has been instrumental in the development of innovative community based programs such as Waste Hunger Not Food, Certified Healthy and Know Your Numbers. She has almost 14 years of experience working for the County of Kern. She graduated from South High School and California State University Bakersfield with a degree in Business Administration. Born and raised in Kern County, Brynn has a heart for serving her community and strives to improve the health of Kern County residents. Brynn is married and has two children.

Stephen Pelz Sep 22, 2021 6:45 AM
Housing Authority of Kern
Housing Authority of Kern

Stephen has served as Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the County of Kern since 2005, and during this time, the Housing Authority has developed over 1,500 units of affordable housing, enhanced resident services, significantly expanded permanent housing and services for the homeless, and developed new partnerships with community organizations. 

Since 2016, Stephen has also served as the Executive Director of Golden Empire Affordable Housing, Inc. and has led a period of significant growth for the organization.  Stephen also serves on the Board of several local organizations, including the Kern County Hospital Authority, Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative, Kern County Network for Children, and Dust Bowl Historical Foundation.

 

After graduating from California State University, Bakersfield, Stephen began his public service career as a Social Worker for the Kern County Department of Human Services. While working for DHS, he served as a Social Service Supervisor and also as co-Manager of the initial One Stop Center in Kern County.

Stephen then accepted the position of Deputy County Administrative Officer with the Kern County Administrative Office, working as a Budget Analyst. He later returned to DHS as Program Director and served as interim Administrative Services Officer.

A Leadership Bakersfield and KCNC Leadership Development Program graduate, Stephen currently serves as Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the County of Kern. He has served as President of the Bakersfield Chapter of the American Society of Public Administration, Board Member and Treasurer of the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center and currently serves on the board of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Kern and Tulare counties.

Sean McNally Oct 27, 2021 6:45 AM
The Happenings at Houchin Community Blood Bank
The Happenings at Houchin Community Blood Bank

Sean McNally is the President and CEO of Houchin Community Blood Bank in Bakersfield, CA.  Prior to Houchin he was the President and CEO of KBA Engineering in Bakersfield, California (2012-2020). 

Prior to KBA, he was the Vice President for Corporate and Government Affairs and Vice President of Human Resources at Grimmway Farms in Bakersfield, California (1997-2012). Prior to that he was a partner with at Hanna, Brophy, MacLean, McAleer and Jensen, specializing in employment and worker’s compensation law.

  He graduated from the University of San Francisco with Bachelor’s Degrees in English and Theology. In 1979 and 1980 he did graduate theology studies in Systematic Theology at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.  He is a graduate of the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. He has been certified by the State Bar of California as a Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law.

He was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to the Commission on Health, Safety and Workers’ Compensation (CHSWC) and he was the Chair in 2009, 2011 and 2013.  He was reappointed by Governor Brown and was the 2015, 2017 and 2019 Chair. He was also appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to the State Board of Food and Agriculture.  He serves as a trustee for the California Self Insurer’s Security Fund and he is the Co-Chair of the California Chamber of Commerce Amicus Committee.

His community activities include having served on the Board of Directors of the Golden Empire Gleaners, the Mercy Hospital Foundation, the Kern County Fair Foundation and Stockdale Country Club.