Five new members have joined the Santa Barbara Zoo Board of Directors. They are Eileen Dill, Ginni Dreier, Brian Kerstiens, Jesse Perez and Derek Shue.
The board supports the zoo’s mission and dedication to the preservation, conservation, and enhancement of the natural world and its living treasures through education, research and recreation.
Kerstiens is a private wealth analyst with City National Bank’s Private Banking team in Montecito. He is responsible for providing investment portfolio analytics and financial planning to high-net-worth individuals, families and professionals. He has 12 years of professional experience in the financial services industry.
Kerstiens earned his bachelor of science in business administration and MBA in financial planning from California Lutheran University.
He volunteers at numerous local nonprofit events each year and is a member of United Way of Santa Barbara County’s Young Leaders Society. Kerstiens will chair the Santa Barbara Zoo’s community relations committee this year.
Shue is executive vice president and Partner at Giffin & Crane General Contractors. The son and grandson of builders, he has worked at all levels of construction, and proved to be a leader in the construction industry.
In his leadership role with Giffin & Crane, Shue lends his problem-solving skills and creativity to lead teams building custom homes the Santa Barbara community. Creating and fostering an environment of teamwork and working with others for a common goal motivates him in his professional and volunteer efforts.
A native of the Monterey Peninsula, Shue has lived in Santa Barbara for 13 years. He is a member of the facilities committee at the Santa Barbara Bowl and will serve as chair of the zoo’s building and grounds committee this year.
Dill is the owner of Eileen Dill Design, a design business she has owned for two decades; she currently focuses on private clients.
The zoo and the animals have been a big part of Dill’s family’s life for years. They have been premier foster feeders since 2013, most recently sponsoring Bangori (Western lowland gorilla). Dill and her family moved from San Luis Obispo to Montecito five years ago and have enjoyed making the Santa Barbara community their home.
Dill volunteers and supports The Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, most recently chairing their event. She is also a member of Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club.
Dreier first became involved with the Santa Barbara Zoo in 2001, when she sponsored the zoo’s male African lion, named Chadwick in honor of her husband Chad. Since then, the Dreier family has supported every major capital campaign and Zoofari Ball, along with sponsoring and naming many of the zoo’s most iconic animals.
The Dreiers were recognized as Zoofari Ball XXII: Flights of Fancy honorary chairs in 2006. Ginni Dreier previously served on the zoo’s Board of Directors from 2003-08 and 2010-15.
A Santa Barbara resident since 2000, Dreier is a philanthropist, volunteering her time and contributing to numerous organizations including the Santa Barbara Police Activities League, Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation, and Girls Inc. She is an advocate for children, education and the arts.
Perez grew up in the Bay Area before he and his family moved to Santa Barbara in 1999. He graduated from San Marcos High School, then attended UCSB. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business economics from UCSB and a masters in taxation degree from Golden Gate University.
Perez currently is a tax manager with Damitz, Brooks, Nightingale, Turner & Morrisset. He has been with the firm for 10 years. He is a Certified Public Accountant and member of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Perez has served on the zoo finance committee since 2016.
In addition the new memebers, the 2020 Santa Barbara Zoo Board of Directors includes George Leis, chair; Amy Pryor, vice chair; Joanne Funari, treasurer; Robyn Parker, secretary; Erika D. Beck; Vincent Caballero; Dr. Elizabeth Challen; Daniel Cohen; Yvette Birch Giller; David Graff; Michael Hurst; Stuart Jenkins; Kelly Jensen; Dr. Brian Kopeikin; Elizabeth MacPhee; Clark Stirling; and Crystal Wyatt.
To learn more about how to support the Santa Barbara Zoo visit https://www.sbzoo.org/support/ or contact Elaine Mah Best, vice president of advancement and marketing, EMahBest@sbzoo.org or call 805-679-8450.