Board of Directors
Dick Flacks – South County Co-President
Dick Flacks is a founder and has been a board member of SBCAN since the beginning. He is proud to serve as Co-President. He feels it is exciting to serve with a board whose members are each leaders in diverse communities across the county, to learn about and to help build bridges – fulfilling the goals SBCAN has had from the beginning. Flacks also feels fortunate to have on staff three people with wisdom, energy and multiple talents who serve our communities every day!
Rebecca August – North County Co-President
Rebecca August has been an education, environmental, and social justice organizer in northern Santa Barbara County for 15 years, co-founded Safe Energy Now North County and SYV Community Action Alliance, and currently consults with Los Padres ForestWatch on critical issues impacting local public lands. Rebecca joined the SBCAN board in 2015 because it was so effectively fighting oil expansion right in her backyard. She’s stayed because of the organization's dedication to social justice and because it is the hub for progressive issues in the county.
Gale McNeeley – Secretary
Gale McNeeley moved to Santa Maria to perform and teach at PCPA after 10 years of work in AIDS services in San Diego. Since then he has worked as a writer, performer, teacher and activist. Gale says that his years with SBCAN have taught him how to be an agent of change. In 2017 he founded Youth ARTS Alive to provide free summer arts education for the children of Santa Maria. He is proud to serve as SBCAN’s secretary.
Jonathan Abboud – Treasurer
Jonathan co-founded the Isla Vista Self Governance Initiative in 2014, which was fiscally sponsored by SBCAN, and joined the board in 2016 to work on housing, transportation, and climate change issues. He went on to champion the creation of the Isla Vista Community Services District and now is its general manager. Also in 2014, Jonathan was elected to the Santa Barbara City College Board of Trustees running on building student housing and equity. He likes to cook, shop at the IV Food Cooperative, and go to the beach.
Alhan Diaz-Correa - Board Member
Alhan Diaz-Correa, Climate Justice Associate for the Community Environmental Council, joined CEC in 2020 and since then has built trust as a Community Ambassador. He leads CEC’s outreach and community organization in the North County region of Santa Barbara. He hopes to reduce human and ecological risk through strategic planning and conduct academic research in service of vulnerable communities in the future. As a result, he strives to build understanding and provide equitable solutions through research to solve real-world problems. Alhan earned his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Montana in Missoula in 2019. He values solidarity and is actively working in the areas of racial, economic, and environmental justice.
Carla Frisk – Board Member
Carla Frisk has lived and worked in Santa Barbara County for more than 45 years. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and a certificate in Hazardous Waste Management, both from UCSB. She has worked for the California Coastal Commission, Assemblyman/Senator Jack O'Connell, The Trust for Public Land and is currently an environmental consultant with the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County. She has also provided her environmental expertise to a number of nonprofit organizations and received the first Environmental Advocate Award from the EDC in 2001.
Janet Blevins – Board Member
A long-time community activist, Janet Blevins has served on the SBCAN Board for several years. She is a retired teacher who continues to be involved in education as a member of the Lompoc School Board. Janet opposes onshore and offshore oil projects in Santa Barbara County, and is passionate about protecting our environment and public health. She was a lead organizer of the first Women’s March in Lompoc in 2017 and has been active in the Sierra Club, the Santa Maria-Lompoc Branch of the NAACP, the Lompoc Valley Democratic Club and others for many years.
Lawanda Lyons-Pruitt – Board Member
Lawanda Lyons-Pruitt is president of the Santa Maria-Lompoc Branch of the NAACP, member of the Death Penalty Focus (DPF) Board of Directors, serving as vice-chair of outreach, and on the board of SBCAN since 2016. A former chief investigator in the Santa Barbara County Public Defender’s Office, she was the first African-American woman in California to earn the title of chief investigator, a position she held from 1995 until she retired in 2016. As chief investigator, Lawanda assisted in the defense of several death penalty cases, an experience that cemented her opposition to the death penalty and her passion for civil rights and social justice.
Jaime Tinoco – Board Member
Jaime Tinoco is a union business representative with IBEW Local 1245 and has been a board member for more than a year. Jaime was a lineman for the City of Lompoc for 32 years and is now retired from the trade. He supports SBCAN’s Mission Statement regarding the environment, labor, political empowerment, and diversity. He is a community activist.
Stanley Tzankov - Board Member
Stanley Tzankov, currently working as the Donor Relations Manager at CAUSE (Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy), serves as a development, communications, and operations nonprofit professional rooted in movement building and the progressive social change ecosystem. He's had the chance to learn from and uplift various local political campaigns, coalitions, and initiatives, worked for then-State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, and most recently cofounded the Santa Barbara Tenants Union, where he's spent much of his recent time and energy fighting for housing justice.
Ken Hough – Co-Executive Director (805) 563-0463, [email protected]
After a 30-plus year career in transportation, housing and regional planning, Ken Hough retired and joined the board of SBCAN in 2012. Not long after, the board asked him to be executive director, a position he had planned to fill for only a short time. Nine years later, he’s enjoying working for SBCAN because he believes in the mission of protecting agricultural land and the workers, keeping growth within existing cities and towns as much as possible, and protecting water resources in the Santa Maria Valley.
Jeanne Sparks – Co-Executive Director [email protected]
Jeanne Sparks has been an active member of the community since moving back to the Santa Maria Valley in 1986. She worked as a newspaper reporter and columnist at the Santa Maria Times, worked as the Fifth District Executive Assistant for 12 years, served as an elected official on the SMV Water Conservation District and has volunteered on the boards of several nonprofits, including some that she co-founded. Jeanne is excited to be working on SMV watershed issues in a new alliance with Creek Lands Conservation, CAUSE and other organizations, agencies and individuals.
Nancy Avoce - Assistant Director [email protected]
Nancy Avoce graduated from UCSB where she studied Sociology and Political Science and discovered that her passions lied in food, environmental, and agricultural justice. After interning at the Fund for Santa Barbara, working alongside the Gray Panthers Santa Barbara Network, and working as a Food Security Representative at UCSB, she decided to pursue a career sharing resources, promoting justice, and working towards a happy and healthy community. Working alongside her peers, she envisions positive change throughout Santa Barbara County.