Michael Byrd, Board President
Michael Byrd, a licensed real estate broker and owner of SLO HomeStore, serves California’s Central Coast as an exclusive buyer’s representative. A resident of Arroyo Grande, he serves on the San Luis Obispo County Latino Outreach Council, and has served on both the Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach chambers of commerce boards. He is a past president of the Grover Beach Chamber of Commerce, the Pismo Coast Association of Realtors, the Scenic Coast Association of Realtors and the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents.
Rick Gulino, Board Vice President
Rick Gulino, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker who manages the Supportive Housing Program for People’s Self-Help Housing(PSHH), which provides case management and social services for PSHH’s 3,500 residents. Rick brings more than 15 years of mental health expertise, especially as it relates to homelessness, to the Coalition. Rick is a native of Massachusetts who now lives in Oceano with his wife Sara (also a LCSW) and their young children. Rick holds a bachelor of science degree in social psychology from the University of Massachusetts.
Larry Vernon, Board Secretary
Larry Vernon is a retired Santa Maria Police Department sergeant who has lived with his family in Grover Beach for more than 35 years. His three children and three granddaughters were all born in San Luis Obispo. He has a bachelor of science degree in organizational leadership, and has been a board member of Good Samaritan Shelter in Santa Maria since 1989. He also served on the board of Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley from 2006 to 2010. Active as a reserve police officer, he is committed to seeing the needs of his neighbors and helping them succeed as productive community members.
Dena Bellman, Board Treasurer
Dena Bellman comes to the Coalition with extensive civic involvement, especially in the South County area. Working as a Parks and Recreation Specialist with the Ocean Dunes District of California State Parks, Dena brings a knowledge of government and community to the Coalition. She formerly worked with the California Department of Corrections, Parole & Community Services Division. She is active in many community building efforts, currently serving as Vice President of United Way of San Luis Obispo County. She is Past President of Court Appointed Special Advocates and is a volunteer with ICARE international, having recently returned from a humanitarian mission to Honduras.
Linda M Austin
Linda Austin brings a strong knowledge of the region, and desire to help with homeless issues in South County to the 5CHC Board. Linda is a 4th generation lifelong resident of Oceano. She is a licensed Realtor and continues her work in the family business, Guiton Realty, which has been in continuous operation in Oceano since 1921. Linda believes strongly in community service. She currently serves as Vice President of the Oceano Community Services District, Secretary of the Oceano Advisory Council, the Chair of the Oceano/Nipomo Tourism Board, President of the Oceano Depot Association, Inc. and Past President and member of the Oceano Kiwanis.
Kristen Barneich currently serves on the Arroyo Grande City Council, following seven years on the Arroyo Grande Planning Commission and two years on the City’s Architectural Review Committee. She is currently serving as Vice Chair of the County’s Homeless Services Oversight Council. Kristen is a passionate and long-time volunteer in the community and loves to keep busy while serving others. She is President of the non-profit group, Tree Guild of Arroyo Grande, which she co-founded in 2005. They have planted 350 trees in Arroyo Grande. She serves and volunteers on the Zone 3 Water Advisory Board, 5CHC Warming Center, Arroyo Grande in Bloom, AGHS Boosters, AGHS Girl’s water polo and AGHS Cheer Team. Kristen has lived in Arroyo Grande for 35 years and is raising her two teen daughters with her husband who is a Fire Battalion Chief for the City of Santa Maria.
Amy Barry is a native of the Central Coast, recently returning here after nearly 20 years in Southern California where she worked with special education students. Amy is currently training for her Life/Health insurance broker’s license. She has a passion for helping those less fortunate and an empathy and understanding for those in times of hardship. In addition to her service with 5CHC, Amy also volunteers serving the homeless with her church.
Peggy Coon holds a bachelor of arts degree in sociology. As a former sales and marketing executive, she brings a 33-year professional background in health care and employee benefits to the Coalition. She participates in a variety of community enhancement projects, and has represented California State Parks Oceano District for the past 10 years as a docent chairperson, currently leading community outreach and education programs. Peggy and her husband David have lived in Arroyo Grande for 10 years.
Pat Cusack is new to our board in January 2018. More about Pat to come.
Ken Dalebout has served as Chief Administrative Officer for Arroyo Grande Community Hospital and the Dignity Health Central Coast Service Area Vice President since 2011. In these positions, Ken has has responsibility for all services at Arroyo Grande Community Hospital. Ken has more than 20 years of experience in the health care industry. His background encompasses operations, business development and governance relations in both not-for-profit and for profit health care organizations.
Ken is the past Chair of the Arroyo Grande Grover Beach Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Ken is married to his wife, Angela, and has four children; two are Arroyo Grande High School graduates with two more on track.
Pastor David Hutsko
David Hutsko currently serves as Lead Pastor at New Life Community Church in Pismo Beach, CA. Originally from the Midwest, he now resides in Arroyo Grande with his wife, Dana, and their four children. David is passionate about serving his community in ways that not only help those who are under-resourced but seeks to maintain and restore dignity in their lives. Throughout his ministry David has worked with people of various religious and non-religious backgrounds in order to find ways to love our neighbors in greater ways.
Jeff Lee, a civil engineer with the County of San Luis Obispo by day, currently serves on the Grover Beach City Council. He has represented the City of Grover Beach on the County-wide Homeless Services Oversight Council. A long-time community volunteer, Jeff is a past president of the San Luis Obispo Kiwanis. He has been recognized with the Claire Gates Lifetime Award by the SLO Little Theatre, having also served as president of its board of directors.
Chief John Peters
Chief John Peters veteran law enforcement officer with more than 20 years experience, serving the community of Grover Beach for the past decade. Chief Peters oversees the police department with a staff of 28 full-time employees, 10 volunteers and a $3.6 million dollar budget. Chief Peters has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, is a graduate of the California POST Command College and is a certified Emergency Management Specialist in California. Chief Peters is the past Chair of the California Peace Officers’ Association Region VII covering San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties and a past Board Member of the International Footprint Association Chapter #73 in Grover Beach. Chief Peters currently sits on the Measure U2012 Citizens Oversight Committee in Santa Maria and is a member of the Grover Beach Rotary.
Resident of Arroyo Grande. Works at Lucia Mar Unified School District as the current Director of Student Services. Previously worked as a teacher, district homeless and foster care liaison, and after school district program coordinator. Former Teacher of the Year. Graduate of San Diego State University and Cal Poly Masters in Education Administration.
Rich Van Houten
Richard Van Houten, a resident of Nipomo, brings to the 5CHC Board of Directors an understanding of the needs of those who are homeless and marginalized. A retired information technology director, he has served for more than 20 years as a shelter and food service volunteer at Prado Day Center and the Maxine Lewis Shelter in SLO, and on various committees with SLO United Methodist Church. He was a BSA scoutmaster from 1992 to 2000.