Nadra Ehrman brings her enthusiasm and experience with nonprofits to her new role as a member of the Santa Barbara County Board of Education.
The board appointed Ms. Ehram on Sept. 1 to fill the seat left vacant by the mid-term resignation of Peter MacDougall.
Ms. Ehrman will represent Trustee Area 2, which covers most of Goleta and a portion of western Santa Barbara.
She will hold office during the rest of Mr. MacDougall’s term and has the option of running for the seat in the November 2024 election.
Ms. Ehrman told the News-Press that she feels honored to be on the board and looks forward to working with everyone. “I look forward to putting all of my experience personally and professionally to contribute to the board as a whole.”
“Before moving to Santa Barbara, I worked in San Diego in the nonprofit sector, specifically with housing and transitional age youth support,” Ms. Ehrman said. “As a case manager, I was on the front lines with the youth and saw real-life situations, how policies affected their day-to-day life, the many obstacles they dealt with but also successes they achieved and the gifts they processed,” she said.
“Currently, I’m the sustainability director for the Towbes Group,” Ms. Ehrman said. “I started as an assistant manager at a residential community 13 years ago and was able to grow as a professional in a workplace that supported my development.
“I’m also an alum of the Katherine Harvey Fellow program, which was a life-changing leadership program that taught me key skills about community involvement and being what they called a ‘citizen actor,’ which is all about being a purposeful steward for the community,” Ms. Ehrman said. “The program inspired me to go back to school, where I attended USC Marshall school of business and earned my masters of science in social entrepreneurship.”
Her passions include helping the environment.
“I’ve been a member of the Santa Barbara Green Business program steering committee and currently serve on board of the Community Environmental Council as their governance chair and am a member of the State Street Advisory Committee,” Ms. Ehram said.
“All these experiences have taught me invaluable lessons about determination, hard work, compassion, working cohesively within a group, and personal integrity. The goal is to use these experiences to shape my contributions to the board.”
The News-Press asked Ms. Ehram about her other goals.
“It’s important to remember the responsibilities of the board as a whole,” she said. “I do feel like I am getting acclimated to my new role. I want to ensure that we have the right resources and support. I want to make sure transitional youth feel seen and supported. I would love to bring an environmental and art lens to the work we do as well.”
The News-Press asked Ms. Ehram about her position on electronic participation in board meetings. This comes following the board’s vote to implement video recordings starting in October, but with no option for digital participation.
“I have no reservations on voting in favor of video recordings. I am a big advocate for transparency so I do support it,” Ms. Ehram said. “I do believe a lot of boards and commissions are finding their way through this post-COVID landscape. I am a big advocate of transparency and public participation. I believe it is an evolving process, and we are evolving with it.”
“I like to have my work speak for me more than anything else. I am an advocate of a collaborative spirit and the work that I do. I like when we can have a cohesive and productive flow to our work.
“I am very passionate about problem-solving and making the world better.”