Photo by Jeffrey Sipress

Santa Barbara Beautiful is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit managed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors. Our Board brings vital expertise and leadership with a special dedication to the beauty of our city and the health of our entire community.

  • Kerry Methner, President

    President 2023-2024

    Kerry Methner, Current President and Past President 2009 & 2010, serves as Editor & Publisher, VOICE Magazine / CASA Magazine

    A community editor and publisher for the last 16 years, Kerry is committed to inclusivity, individual sovereignty, and diversity.

    She is a lifelong student and holds a BA in Philosophy/Religion, a Masters of Divinity, and a PhD in Depth Psychology.

    She loves the arts and creating sculpture from stone.

  • Lucrezia R. DeLeon, Treasurer

    Lucrezia R. DeLeon is proud to serve on the board of directors for Santa Barbara Beautiful. She has demonstrated her passion for the community with wide ranging engagement from Advocacy for our unhoused population on SB Act’s Housing and Shelter Group; to the Women’s Political Committee; Democratic Women of Santa Barbara; SB Leadership under former Mayor Hal Conklin, and now Santa Barbara Beautiful.

    Lucrezia is a Housing Advocate, an Entrepreneur, and Architectural Designer with a focus on finding solutions to the housing crisis in a sustainable manner that integrates dignity and wellness of the built environment.

    She earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Sustainable Built Environment from the University of Arizona. (Bear down!)

    Lucrezia is also the mother of three beautiful and gifted boys who works to keep Santa Barbara Beautiful for generations to come.

    Lucrezia lives by the motto, “Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.”

  • Jacqueline Dyson, Secretary

    Past President 2018

    Jacqueline Dyson was born and raised in Santa Barbara, with a Bachelor of Arts in English from UC Santa Barbara.

    Jacqueline has a background in social work; photography; business management; marketing and public relations.

    She is a second-generation board member for Santa Barbara Beautiful, and enjoys volunteering with SBB to give back to her local community.

    She is interested in archaeology; art; film; history; music; photography; science and travel.

  • Roman Baratiak

    Roman Baratiak is Associate Director Emeritus from the UCSB Arts & Lectures Program where for forty years he curated and managed A&L’s extensive and eclectic public lectures program and cinema series. He currently serves on the Executive Team and Steering Committee of Human Rights Watch Santa Barbara, is Programs Chair with the Santa Barbara Audubon Society and is a Santa Barbara County Arts Commissioner. He enjoys cycling, reading and appreciating & protecting the beauty of Santa Barbara.

  • David Gress

    Past President 1994, 1995 and 1996

    David is a consulting arborist, certified arborist, and horticulturist.

    He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Horticulture from Colorado State University.

    He served as City Arborist of the City of Santa Barbara for 8 years.

    He was a co-founder of San Marcos growers, a wholesale nursery, which he managed for 12 years.

    David currently works as a consulting arborist for residential, commercial, and institutional clients.

    He has served on the Santa Barbara Beautiful board of directors since 1975.
    He writes and photographs the article series called Tree of the Month.

  • Penny Haberman

    Santa Barbara Beautiful Past President for 2019 and 2020, Penny is an experienced executive in marketing and sales management with strong ties to the art community.

    She has earned a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from Boston University.

    Her work experience encompasses teaching, counseling, retail management at Saks Fifth Avenue and Sr Management level positions in the executive search industry.

    On the Board of Governors for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Penny is on the Auction and Steering Committees for their annual fundraiser for the Diabetes & Wellness & Research Center. She serves on the LACMA Modern and Contemporary Art Council and their Costume Council and also serves on the SBMA Museum Collectors Council.

    Currently, Penny divides her time between Santa Monica and Santa Barbara.

  • Francine Kirsch


    Francine Kirsch was born in France and began her life as an artist when she came to the US  many years ago. Starting out at Santa Barbara City College as an art student, clay became her favorite medium. She deepened her ceramic studies while living five years in Japan. The use of stone in Japanese landscapes inspired Francine to include stone in her work. Upon returning to Santa Barbara, she taught ceramics at The Anacapa School, while continuing to work on clay sculptures and stone carvings in her studio. Francine has been involved as an attendee, teacher, board and committee member as well as show coordinator with the California Sculptors Symposium which takes place every year in Cambria, CA. since it started in 2002 to 2018.

    The recurrent themes of Francine Kirsch’s sculptures are inspired by the harmonious lines found in nature. Within each sculpture, whether in stone, bronze or clay, she returns to the timeless curve of the spiral found everywhere around us – from the tiny shell on a beach to a vast nebula in outer space. Exploring simple forms and sensual curves in her female torsos, Kirsch’s sculptures resonate into our very core. She has participated in diverse regional and international group shows in the US, New Zealand and Korea and has showed her work in numerous galleries. She has also had exhibitions in Japan and her work is in private collections all over the world.  Francine became a yoga teacher and has been working on a series of yoga-inspired bronze sculptures.

    She has been involved with Santa Barbara Studio Artists since 2008 and has been showing her work in various galleries in Santa Barbara, Cambria and Oakland. 

  • Kate Kurlas

    Prior to launching The Kurlas Group, Kate Kurlas spent over 12 years in executive management, leading the marketing, sales and operation teams for several non profits, including The Granada Theatre and Santa Barbara Symphony.

    An award-winning director, Kate specializes in all aspects of marketing, sales, and business development. Recognized by Pacific Coast Business Times “40 Under 40 Top Business Professionals”, Kate enjoys working with clients to establish solid brand positioning and long-reaching revenue-generating marketing plans.

    Recently Kate expanded her portfolio to include talent management in the entertainment industry and technology sectors.

    Past President of Santa Barbara Beautiful, Kate continues to dedicate her free time to giving back to the Santa Barbara community through volunteer work and raising her 7-year-old daughter.

  • Patrick McGinnis

    Patrick McGinnis transitioned into art as a continuation of his technical career.  Aesthetics have always played heavily in his work, whether creating an aerospace component or an analytical instrument.

    He is a member of: 10 West Gallery, Board Member; Abstract Art Collective; Board Member, Past President; Central Coast Artist Collective – Photography and Sculpture; and LA Art Assoc.

    He has exhibited work at: 10 West Gallery, AFSB – Solo Show, Atkinson Gallery, Elverhoj Museum of Art & History, Faulkner Gallery, Gallery 113 – Santa Barbara, Gallery 825 – Los Angeles, Gallery Los Olivos, Karpeles Manuscript Museum, San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, and Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art.

    Patrick’s art is in private collections in: Durham, NC;  Phoenix, AZ; San Raphael, CA; and Santa Barbara, CA.

    Technical Career: Various positions in several firms from Technician to Product Marketing Manager to Business Owner.

  • JoAnn Mermis

    JoAnn moved from the Midwest to Santa Barbara 45 years ago. She has been practicing real estate in Santa Barbara for over 37 years and is currently with Berkshire Hathaway. She has a passion for keeping and making Santa Barbara Beautiful, as she considers all of Santa Barbara her workplace and playground.

    JoAnn has served her community in a variety of ways some of which include President of the PTA of Montecito Union School, a docent at Lotusland, Rotary member, and various boards in the community. She is Past President of Santa Barbara Beautiful (2017).

    She is a graduate of Kansas University with Bachelor of Science of Education a graduate of Santa Monica University with a Master of Psychology and is a certified Yoga instructor. JoAnn has been volunteering in high security prisons for 18 years teaching emotional intelligence to prisoners.

    Her work experience includes, teacher, airline sales at Delta Airlines, manager & vice president of Fred Sands Realty, The Santa Barbara Association of Realtors awarded her the Good Neighbor award for her community service.

    JoAnn has 2 daughters and 6 grandchildren.  Her hobbies are travel, swimming, and Yoga.

  • Melinda Mettler

    Melinda Mettler is a still life oil painter based in Santa Barbara.

    She began her career as an art director at the legendary advertising agency Young & Rubicam in New York. While there, she received a Cannes Lion and Clio Awards, and had three ad campaigns entered into the permanent collection at Paley Center for Media (formerly Museum of Television and Radio) in New York and Los Angeles.

    For 8 years, she was Director of the School of Advertising at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco and in 1993 was honored as an Outstanding Alumni.

    She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, majoring in Advertising/Graphic Design.

  • Caroline Rutledge

    Caroline has been a resident of Santa Barbara since 1985. Retired now from her interior and garden design business, she also pursued a career in development, PR and marketing for artsrelated nonprofits in Dallas and Santa Barbara. She was a dancer for most of her life and taught ballroom dancing for 25 years.

    Her education (which she hopes to continue forever) includes Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia, Southern Methodist University, Santa Barbara City College and Art and Dance courses at several other Dallas colleges.

    She served on executive committees of several arts organizations in both Dallas and Santa Barbara and has served as Music Academy of the West Vice Chair of the Women’s Auxiliary since 2019, She is a former docent at Lotusland, and continues to volunteer in the gardens and serve on special events.

    Caroline’s main interests, other than the amazing treasure trove of cultural activities in Santa Barbara, are the preservation of historic homes, gardens, and cultural landscapes. She also enjoys nature photography, travel, tennis and music.

    Growing up in the South in and around historic homes, gardens, and landscapes hundreds of years old, she now works in her 1914 home & garden in the Mission district and enjoys being actively involved in organizations and activities that benefit and enhance our beautiful and unique community such as Santa Barbara Beautiful.

  • Jeffrey Sipress

    Jeffrey has served on the board of directors since 2016, and previously served as a SBB volunteer. Jeffrey is also part of our Information Technology team for our internet systems, email, public relations and website.

    He is also the official In-House SBB photographer chronicling the organization’s many activities and public events.

    Living in a 135-year old home in a historic district, Jeffrey has a keen sense of the value of preservation of historic architecture, landscapes and cultural icons.

    You might see Jeffrey around town installing all of the Commemorative Tree Plaques.

  • Leslee Sipress

    Leslee is a Calligrapher, Graphic Designer, and also a working musician (Flute, Guitar and Vocals) and songwriter.

    Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she grew up in the San Fernando Valley and has lived in Santa Barbara since 1971.

    She is the Program Administrator for the Santa Barbara Beautiful Commemorative Tree Program; volunteer bookkeeper for the Santa Barbara Blues Society; member (and former Chair) of Santa Barbara Bungalow Haven Neighborhood Association; member of ASCAP, Society for Calligraphy (L.A. Chapter,) and Santa Barbara Event Professionals.

    Her many honors include: her work on the Bicentennial Gazette by the Mayor of Santa Barbara; twice honored by the United States Postal Service; Washington Calligrapher’s Guild “Graceful Envelope” Contest award; and voted “Best Calligrapher 2016” by her peers at “Borrowed and Blue.”

    She has been married 35 years and enjoys long runs, flower arranging and time with her friends.

  • Nathan Slack

    Nathan was born and raised in a small rural town in Ohio, where he spent his youth helping his grandfather on a small cattle farm. He attended The Ohio State University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Urban Forestry.

    Nathan is now the City Arborist for the City of Santa Barbara. Before his appointment with the City of Santa Barbara, he worked for the City of Ventura for several years as their Arborist.

    Nathan is a Board Certified Master Arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture, as well as a Qualified Tree Risk Assessor.

    His deep passion for trees and the benefits they provide to the community falls directly in line with the mission of Santa Barbara Beautiful. He is thrilled for the opportunity to have a seat as a board member and to play a part in the rich history of tree planting that Santa Barbara Beautiful has provided to the community.

  • Mark Whitehurst

    Past President 2001, 2002 and 2003

    Publisher & Editor, VOICE Magazine / CASA Magazine

    A community publisher for the past 31 years and a lifelong social justice advocate, Mark is committed to the value of education and academia.

    He holds a B.A. in Education, MA and PhD in Mythology, and a certification in mediation. He is also a lover of music, art, and the world as family.

Santa Barbara Sunset 2015 - Santa Barbara Beautiful