The Junior League of Santa Barbara (JLSB) has named Valerie Amparan as its president for 2020-21, and thanks outgoing president, Lindsay Cortina, for her outstanding leadership over the past year. JLSB also honors Lynn Brown, as its 2019-20 Sustainer of the Year and Kelly Johnson as the 2019-20 President’s Award recipient.
Cortina has been a member of the JLSB since 2012. Before serving as JLSB president, she held several leadership positions including technology chair, communications chair, and council director. While in those roles she contributed to the very foundation of the JLSB, helping it to operate more efficiently and professionally.
League members have described Cortina as an innovator and forward thinker who helped lay the foundation for new processes in JLSB. Rather than reinvent the wheel, she made roles more streamlined, organized and updated.
During her presidency, Cortina led members through unprecedented times. Responding to the coronavirus pandemic which halted social gatherings, she guided the organization through the hard and correct decision to postpone the league’s Spring Fundraiser.
Faced with new challenges, Cortina communicated how best to continue with JLSB’s mission and vision by following the stay-at-home mandates and conducting meetings and events virtually. League members applauded her leadership, communication, mindfulness and resilience.
Outside JLSB, Cortina is the director of organizational initiatives at Sansum Clinic, where she oversees the implementation of strategic projects and programs aimed at furthering the clinic’s mission, vision, values, and strategic plan.
Cortina passes the presidential gavel to Amparan, also a member since 2012, who has held a variety of positions in JLSB including signature project chair, community council director, ComProg cchair, senior SPAC, junior SPAC, Spring Fundraiser co-chair, and new member project chair.
Amparan brings the passion of giving back to her community in all of the roles in the JLSB and plans to continue to focus on advocacy, community relations, partnerships, and fundraising during her presidency. Professionally, Amparan works at AppFolio in sales.
Each year the league awards the Sustainer of the Year award to a sustainer who goes above and beyond in the community. Brown, the 2019-20 Sustainer of the Year recipient, has a storied history with JLSB, as well as deep volunteer roots in the Santa Barbara community.
Brown is retired from a 30-plus-year career in Fortune 200 companies, specializing in corporate communications, including community relations, philanthropy, social media, internal communications, media relations, speechwriting, entertainment marketing, advertising, and reputation management.
She held leadership positions at Texas Instruments, Raytheon, Greyhound, and Waste Management. During that time she received the PR Week Multicultural Marketing Campaign of the Year award and the Gold SABRE for the 40th Anniversary Freedom Rides Celebration.
Brown is now an artist who works from a studio at her home. Her current board affiliations include Pacific Pride Foundation, trustee Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Junior League of Santa Barbara Sustainer Council, SBMA Women’s Board.
JLSB congratulates Johnson for being recognized with the President’s Award for the 2019-20 league year. The award is given to a JLSB member who has excelled in their position and improved the league in lasting and permanent ways. As nominating director, Johnson was responsible for filling all leadership roles for 2020-21.
She was also tasked with overseeing a governance split, which was a complete reorganization of JLSB leadership positions. This required her to take JLSB through an overhaul of its board and management team. Johnson handled this challenging rollout with competence, grace and enthusiasm. She is the ultimate professional.
In October, JLSB hosted its annual rummage sale, raising some $48,000 and serving more than 500 community shoppers. The league’s 400-plus members committed 15,000 hours of volunteering with the local community in addition to attending JLSB-hosted training events. Members attended two national Association of Junior Leagues International conferences and a Southwest Exchange conference.
JLSB partnered with a record 19 community partners this past year. The league’s Community Assistance Funds are distributed annually to local organizations to improve the lives of at-risk children, youth, and families in Santa Barbara. This year’s Community Assistance Funds total $12,000; recipients include:
Children and Family Resource Services, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Santa Barbara County, Family Care Network, Inc, People’s Self Help Housing Corporation, Royal Family Kids of Santa Barabara, Santa Barbara Public Library Fund, Storyteller Children’s Center, and Santa Barbara Police Department.
JLSB looks forward to a productive and powerful new year. Amparan and the league’s recruitment committee are hosting several socially distanced informational sessions over the summer. For more information and opportunities to join the League, visit JLSantaBarbara.org or contact Join@JLSantaBarbara.org.