SANTA BARBARA — Local nonprofit Mental Wellness Center has announced that Julie Kessler Solomon has been named new chair of the board, while also announcing the addition of two other board members.
Ms. Kessler Solomon, a former marketing executive, is a realtor with Compass in Santa Barbara. Through her work with the National Alliance for Mental Health Santa Barbara chapter, she developed a passion about improving the conditions for mental health in the community. During her time with NAMI, she taught in its Family to Family program for seven years, according to a news release.
Ms. Kessler Solomon is on the NAMI steering and public policy committees. She has also held board leadership positions with Phoenix of Santa Barbara, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Women’s Economic Ventures. She also has served as a planning commissioner for the city of Goleta and as a member of the Santa Barbara Human Services Commission. She is also a current member of the Santa Barbara Women’s Fund, according to a news release.
“This is a pivotal moment for mental health; never before has there been such strong recognition of the value good mental health plays in the vitality of our community,” Ms. Kessler Solomon said in a news release. “The Mental Wellness Center provides a completely unique array of resources; outreach, education, advocacy, housing — and on a daily basis — meals for those who would otherwise go without.
“We have an outstanding staff and board and look forward to increasing and extending our services to younger people as one of our principal goals for 2021.”
In addition, Eric Jackson and LaRisa Chambers will be joining the center’s board of directors.
Mr. Jackson is a UCSB graduate and holds an MBA from the University of La Verne with an emphasis in information technology. He works in the software industry and teaches technology courses at the Santa Barbara City College School of Extended Learning.
Ms. Chambers moved to Santa Barbara last year and serves as the senior gift officer for Cottage Health. She graduated from the University of Kansas and worked for the American Cancer Society and KU Endowment. While living in Lawrence, Kansas, she served on many nonprofit and community boards, including the Endowment Board of the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center.
The Mental Wellness Center is a nonprofit organization that works to raise awareness around mental health by providing supportive programming, education, and housing in Santa Barbara.
To learn more about the Mental Wellness Center, visit mentalwellnesscenter.org. For questions or to donate to the Mental Wellness Center, please contact Amanda Conroy, Development & Marketing Director, at email@example.com.
— Mitchell White