Kelly Magne Jensen has been elected president of the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Zoo. Other officers for 2012 are Harry Gelles and Yul Vanek as co-vice presidents, Clas Lensander as treasurer and Robin Kopeikin as secretary. Three new members have been elected to the board: John Dixon, J. Terry Schwartz and Barbara Smith.
Jensen founded Jensen Audio Visual in 1997. The firm specializes in the design, sales and installations of commercial audio visual and surveillance systems, and provides AV rentals for hotels, weddings and corporate events.
Her relationship with the zoo began in 1997, when she became the chair of Dignatarios, a Fiesta celebration that is a major fundraiser for the zoo. She has worked on every Dignatarios since, and in 2007 was named La Presidenta of Old Spanish Days Fiesta.
New Board Members, Elected to Six-Year Terms
Dixon has been co-owner of Tri-County Produce with his father, Jim, since 1985. The Milpas Street store has received the “Best of” award from the Santa Barbara Independent for years, and was honored with the Spirit of Service award from the City of Santa Barbara for its “Where’s Your Bag” campaign.
He was a founding director (1999) and past president of the Santa Barbara Police Activities League and is a current board member. He has served on the board of the Casa Esperanza Homeless Center since 1999, and is a member of the Milpas Action Task Force and on the board of the Milpas Community Association. He received the Citizen of the Year award in 2004 and the Independent’s Local Heroes award in 2010, in addition to many other community awards and recognitions.
Dixon became involved in the zoo by attending Zoofari Ball.
Schwartz is head of the Litigation Department at Price, Postel & Parma LLP, the oldest law firm in Santa Barbara (founded in 1852). He specializes in complex business litigation, as well as construction, employment and environmental disputes.
Schwartz previously served on the zoo’s Board of Directors from 2004 to 2010 and was its president from 2007 to 2009.
Schwartz has served on many other nonprofit boards, including the Santa Barbara Historical Society, Laguna Blanca School and as president of the board of the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara. He has also served on the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Amethyst Ball Men’s Committee for many years, including co-chairing it.
Smith has worked professionally as a teacher, editorial assistant, newspaper columnist and fundraiser.
Since moving to Santa Barbara in 1998, she has been active with the Music Academy of the West, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art Women’s Board and the CAMA Women’s Board. She has worked with the zoo’s Discovery Pavilion committee since 2009.
Other current zoo board members include Fred Benko, Sharon Bradford, Thomas Caleel, Leigh Cashman, Mindy Denson, Ginni Dreier, Sharon Jones, Carol Kallman, Glenn Miller, M.D., David Prichard, Amy Pryor, John Russell and M. Barry Semler.
— Julia McHugh is the director of public relations for the Santa Barbara Zoo.