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Board of Directors

Ed Durkee, President and CEO

Ed Durkee is a lifelong advocate for social justice and economic inclusion. With extensive experience in workforce and community development, he views his work as a way to create economic opportunity for people who wouldn’t otherwise have it. Ed’s diverse background includes administering the Workforce Investment Act for the State of Indiana, creating affordable housing as the president of a community development corporation in Indianapolis, and creating Prosperity Centers in both Oregon and California. He has worked with four Goodwill affiliates over the last 15 years including Indianapolis, IN; Eugene, OR; and Sacramento, CA where he created innovative platforms that help families achieve financial stability. He is now the President and CEO of Goodwill Central Coast.

Eric Buckner

Eric Buckner is Director of Sales at West Marine with a successful retail sales and merchandising background.

Mark Hannah, Secretary

Mark Hannah is an attorney with Witzig, Hannah, Sanders & Reagan. He is a member of the Santa Cruz County Bar Association and is a Certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation with the California State Bar.

Walt Henning

Walt Henning has taught Operations Management at Cal State University Monterey Bay since retiring from McCormick & Co. in 2007. Walt’s business career was spent in the food processing industry, primarily with McCormick but also with Tones Spices in Des Moines, IA and ConAgra. He managed several large food processing plants throughout his career and served as Vice President – Operations for both Tones Spices and Gilroy Foods. He managed McCormick’s large west coast plant in Salinas from 1999 until his retirement in 2007.

An active supporter of United Way for many years, he served as Chairman of the Tone Spices United Way campaign in Des Moines in 1993. He also actively supports the Easter Seals, the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Cruz, and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, among other charitable organizations.

Walt and his wife, Terry, have lived in Santa Cruz for 17 years and have three grown daughters and four grandchildren. Walt enjoys traveling, hiking, woodworking, golfing, and caring for his bonsai plants.

Robert Jenkins

A retired business executive and military officer, Bob Jenkins began his career in marketing and corporate development with McKinsey in the United States and Europe. He later worked with H.J. Heinz and Continental Grain and was a founding general partner for a firm specializing in corporate crises and turn-around management.

Bob was a member and director of the Association for Corporate Growth in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. He also acted as volunteer executive with the International Executive Service Corps where he led projects in the Philippines, Thailand, Romania, and Morocco and was on the advisory teams for Pakistan, Turkey, and Egypt. He was Director and President of the Atherton Civic Interest League, Founding Member and Chair of the Atherton Audit Committee, and Founding Chair of the Atherton Disaster Preparedness. Most recently, he was a member of the Carmel-by-the-Sea Economic Advisory Committee of the Chamber of Commerce and served as the Foreperson Pro Tem on the Civil Grand Jury for Monterey County.

Charles Leigh-Wood, Facilities Committee Chair

Charles Leigh-Wood is a retired business owner with a background in agriculture, transportation, and asset management. He attended high school in England and University in Australia. Charles is an active member of the Santa Cruz Sunrise Rotary and enjoys racquetball and gardening.

Otis Lloyd

Otis Lloyd is an owner and partner in Central Coast Protection Services (CCP). In 2005, he founded the security system that serves the greater East Bay communities. CCP, which currently employs over 100 people, is in the process of expanding services to the Monterey and Santa Cruz area. In 1974, after serving almost eight years in United States Army, Otis took up residency in Salinas. He joined the police force that same year and spent the next 18 years protecting and serving the Salinas community.

Otis loves to fish and enjoys the outdoors. His faith is central to his life — he is an active volunteer at his church and participates in their many inspiring outreach programs.

Kristi Melani- Vice Chair

Kristi Melani is Director of Digital Marketing at Plantronics, one of the largest employers in Santa Cruz County. Her global knowledge of marketing and worldwide business travel provides the Board with an excellent perspective in digital marketing.

Joe Pulford -Chair

Joe Pulford is Divisional Vice President of Finance at West Marine. He started at West Marine as a Financial Analyst in 2003, moving to Director of Financial Planning and Analysis prior to his position of Divisional Vice President. He received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Santa Clara University and his masters in financial mathematics at Stanford University.

Bruce Ray

A resident of San Luis Obispo and works as CFO for Cannon. Bruce formerly worked as the publisher for the San Luis Obispo Tribune from 2008 to 2015. Other experience includes a leadership positions at Trimble Navigation Ltd., finance positions with Excite@home, the Seeds of Change division of Mars Inc., Intel Corp. and Nissan Motor Corp.

Bruce holds several leadership positions in San Luis Obispo. He is chairman of the Economic Vitality Corp., immediate past chairman of the Central Coast Economic Forecast and serves on the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce board of directors and the Cal Poly Arts Advisory Board.

He has a B.A. from Austin Peay State University (Finance & Economics), a M.B.A. from Washington University.

Tish Sanchez

Tish Sanchez has worked as an IT Director for 20 years. She’s managed a variety of services within IT and has been instrumental in building out a global infrastructure for voice, video, and data networks. Also very handy outside the tech world, Tish likes to take on home improvement projects to test her DIY skills. She grew up in the Bay Area and has lived in Santa Cruz for over 30 years.

Erica Stewart

A resident of San Luis Obispo and works as the Practice Development Manager for First Choice Physician Partners. Her prior work experience included serving as Chief Operating Officer for the United Way of San Luis Obispo and four years with Pacific Eye as the Human Resources and Marketing Manager.

Erica has served on the Board of Directors for the Cal Poly Alumni Association, as the Central Coast Regional Director, the Leadership SLO marketing committee and the Human Resources Association board of directors as the Vice President of Communications. She also served as an ambassador for the SLO Chamber of Commerce and was a Leadership SLO Class XV graduate and Class XIX Chairperson.

As an alumnus of Cal Poly, Erica has called the Central Coast home for more than 20 years. In 2004, Stewart earned her Master’s in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco while running her own wholesale bakery. When not spending time with her family, she enjoys spending time cooking. Once a month, she coordinates dinners for the homeless community with her church, SLO Nazarene.

Tom Strait, Treasurer & Chair of Finance Committee

Tom Strait is Executive Vice President and Region Manager of Pacific Western Bank’s Central Coast Region. Tom oversees the bank’s commercial lending, business development, and relationship management activities in north Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County. His banking experience spans three decades and includes positions as Chief Operating Officer, Chief Credit Officer, Director of Marketing and Strategic Planning, and Managing Director of Alternative Delivery Channels.