Gina Fischer, Third District County Supervisor Joan Hartmann’s district representative and scheduler, has been promoted to serve as chief of staff.
Fischer has experience in political organizing and nonprofit leadership. Before working for Hartmann, she served as the director of public policy and community engagement at Planned Parenthood California Central Coast and its Action Fund.
She held a previous position as the community programs manager for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. Under her leadership, the Foodbank earned national recognition from Feeding America for creating the most innovative programs aimed at ending the childhood hunger crisis in America.
She has successfully organized and managed political campaigns for progressive women running for office on the Central Coast.
Fischer is an alum of Emerge California, which trains Democratic women to run effective campaigns for political office. She has served on a number of community boards and commissions including: chair of the Santa Barbara County Commission for Women; and vice chair, Santa Barbara County Historic Landmarks Advisory Commission.
She currently serves on the public Peabody Charter School Board of Directors.
Fischer holds a degree in political science and geography from UCSB. She lives in Santa Barbara. In addition to her new work, Fischer will continue responding to the needs of Third District constituents in Goleta.
Hartmann’s longtime chief of staff Jefferson Litten recently left the post to serve as the city of Santa Barbara’s energy and climate manager, furthering the regional work of transitioning to a sustainable and resilient renewable energy future.
Replacing Fischer as Hartmann’s district representative and scheduler is entrepreneur Alex Favacho. Most recently, Favacho founded Live Catch Studios in Ventura County, a state-of-the-art studio for music and film production.
He recently served in IATSE Local 442 as a union audio engineer and was the tour and stage manager for the Los Angeles-based rock band Ozomatli.
Favacho has previous electoral campaign experience on the Central Coast, including organizing on the 2016 Hartmann for Supervisor campaign.
He is currently enrolled in the Katherine Harvey Fellows Program, which is part of the Leading from Within community of leadership development programs.
Favacho holds a BA in political science and public service from UCSB.
He starts his new job May 1, and will handle all scheduling for Hartmann, as well as projects pertaining to alternative transportation, trails, energy and sustainability.
Continuing with Hartmann are Alma Hernandez, Lompoc District representative and communications manager; and Meighan Dietenhofer, Santa Ynez Valley District representative .
Hernandez has some 20 years of experience working in rural, largely immigrant, communities developing leadership through cooperative efforts and placing community members at the forefront of decision-making processes.
Before working for Hartmann, she served as director of Guadalupe’s Little House by the Park, focusing on the promotion of open, communal, multicultural, and artistic spaces.
Also an alum of Emerge California, Hernandez was born in Arizona to a first-generation immigrant family from Mexico and holds a bachelor of science degree from Cal Poly and a master’s in public administration from Cal State Northridge.
Dietenhofer has worked for some 20 years in private environmental consulting, for UCSB at Sedgwick Reserve in the Santa Ynez Valley, and for Santa Barbara County at both the Flood Control District and the Water Agency.
She holds a bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Puget Sound and a master of water resources management from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UCSB.
Dietenhofer lives in the Santa Ynez Valley, where she was born and raised as a third-generation Valley resident.
Dietenhofer serves on the Elverhøj Museum of History & Art Board of Directors as well as the Coastal Ranches Conservancy. She previously served as a commissioner representing the Third District on the county’s Riding and Hiking Trails advisory committee, and on the county’s Park Commission.