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.
Kristen Barneich, Board Vice President
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.
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.
Ken Dalebout, Board Treasurer
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.
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.
Anna Corbett currently serves as the Director of Property Management for Peoples’ Self-Help Housing (PSHH) supervising the property management, maintenance, compliance and accounting operations for the organization. Anna’s experience in the low income and multi-family housing industry spans nearly two decades. Prior to joining PSHH, Anna was with Mercy Housing Northwest as an Area Director of Operations and the City of Seattle Housing Authority as a Senior Property Manager, where she provided leadership in policy development and management oversight in all facets of property management operations for a portfolio consisting of over 2,000 units. Anna is knowledgeable of HUD, RD, and Tax Credit programs. She also has experience with Family, Senior, Disabled, Homeless, mixed use properties, and extensive rehab. A transplant from the Seattle area, Anna has been a resident of Grover Beach for the past two years. She volunteers her time with ECO SLO and other environmental groups.
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.
Judith Higgins was born and grew up in Colorado. After completing an Associate’s Degree in Art she joined United Airlines as a flight attendant and moved out to Los Angeles. She married her husband during this period (45 years ago) and had two children. The family moved to Georgia where she became an entrepreneur (owning an import leather business and a botanicals business), went back to college studying Art & Sociology, and volunteered 8 years for CASA as a special advocate for children. She worked in business for over 15 years, first recruiting management level employees for manufacturing and distribution and then owning her own business (GMD Group USA) introducing beauty products Made in America to distributors in Asia. This business lead her to become a speaker in the beauty industry and travel around the globe to speak at beauty conferences. Hobbies are: biking, hiking, dancing, and writing short stories. She retired in 2015 and began a search for her next journey. After moving to the central coast 13 years ago and observing the growth of the homeless population, she decided to join a team of professionals in the field and help them in Marketing and Sales.
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 as Mayor of Grover Beach. 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.
Richard Malvarose is a Central Coast native who took a 25-year leave of absence while serving in the US Army. He retired with his wife Diane and six children in Nipomo in 2012 and hasn’t taken a day off since. They are the co-owners of a real estate and property management company and he is extremely involved in his community. A past president of the Nipomo Chamber of Commerce; Board member and chair of the Land Use Committee of the South County Advisory Council; president of the Olde Towne Nipomo Association; Service Officer for the South County Veterans of Foreign Wars; vice president of South County Visitor Services; and past Veteran of the Year for the 35th District. He is committed to assisting anyone and everyone in his community that has a need no matter the circumstances.
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.
Amy Taylor 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.
Richard 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.