Uplift Coalition appoints Vision Committee

The Uplift Central Coast Coalition has officially appointed the Uplift Vision Committee. The role of the Uplift Vision Committee is to advise the Uplift Coalition and the Steering Committees on stakeholder integration, projects, and programs to ensure alignment to CERF objectives through a lens of racial equity and social justice and overall accountability and integrity. The responsibilities of the Uplift Vision Committee include recommending Steering Committee makeup, project review and recommendations to Steering Committees, quality control for alignment to vision and guiding principles/north star planning objectives. The below individuals embody deep expertise in the guiding principles of equity, sustainability, and economic opportunity and include representation from each of the six counties.


Ana Rosa Rizo-Centino

Manager of the Central Coast Climate Justice Network

Ana Rosa works closely with social justice organizations and environmental organizations that collaborate to advance climate action through an equity and racial justice lens.
Serving: San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, Ventura County


Andrea Carlos Willy

Impact and Resource Development Officer for Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD)

Andrea is a Latina advocate leader, and her life has been dedicated to facilitating positive changes in health and education domains that support fragile populations and future generations.
Serving: Santa Cruz County, Monterey County


Cesar Lara

Director of the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council

Cesar brings a history leading and serving Labor Unions and community based organizations.
Serving: Santa Cruz County, Monterey County, San Benito County


Christine Robertson

Executive Director of the San Luis Coastal Education Foundation

Christine’s work centers on building a durable, inclusive, and economically mobile homegrown talent pipeline that can break the intergenerational poverty cycle.
Serving: San Luis Obispo County


Dirrick Williams

Executive Director, Black Leaders and Allies Collaborative (BLAAC)

Dirrick is a life coach, trainer, author, and inspirational speaker as well as founder of the Black Leaders And Allies Collaborative.
Serving: Monterey County


Garrett Wong

Climate Program Manager, County of Santa Barbara

Garrett brings experience in long-range planning, inclusive community engagement, and sustainability.
Serving: San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, Ventura County


Kathy Odell

CEO, Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV)

Kathy is passionate about creating sustainable, resilient, diverse communities where all residents have opportunities.
Serving: Santa Barbara County, Ventura County


Lawrence (Larry) Samuels

Special Assistant to the Chancellor of UC Santa Cruz

Larry is a long-time resident of the Central Coast who understands and is committed to equitable economic development.
Serving: Santa Cruz County, Monterey County


Rosa Vivian Fernandez

President and Chief Executive Officer of San Benito Health Foundation (SBHF)

Rosa understands equity issues, specifically in rural areas, and will be a vocal advocate for the immigrant and underserved communities in the region.
Serving: San Benito County


Sam Cohen

Government Affairs and Legal Officer at Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians

Sam is a seasoned legal and regulatory affairs executive with a solid history of leading successful advocacy and Government initiatives.
Serving: Santa Barbara County


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