Board of Directors

2023 Board Members
Jennifer Harrison
Jennifer joined the Santa Maria Chamber team in 2006. In her current role, she provides leadership to the Visitor Bureau and Tourism Marketing District efforts. Jennifer performs a wide range of duties, promoting and supporting tourism and hospitality-related business in the Santa Maria Valley. She plays a central role in promoting Santa Maria Valley as a destination for individuals and groups to visit. Jennifer also works in partnership with a network of local businesses and organizations and serves as the primary leader of the community's efforts to build the hospitality sector of the local economy. Outside of work Jennifer enjoys traveling and hiking with her husband John and her children.
Brian Billones
Vice President
Brian Billones joined the Dunes Center Board of Directors in 2020 with a strong desire to serve the local community. A native Californian, he was born and raised in the Central Coast, where his family has called home for nearly a century. He graduated from the University of California, San Diego and has a career in the healthcare industry. He is excited to be a part of the next chapter for the Dunes Center.
Robert Cooks
Robert Cooks became involved with the Dunes Center in 2019 and shortly after he became a member of the board. He was born in San Luis Obispo and soon after that he relocated to the Santa Maria Valley. He has always been active in giving back to his community and helping those that are in need. Since he briefly lived in Guadalupe when he was younger, the community is near and dear to his heart and that is really why he’s excited to be a part of the Dunes Center and being a part of the growth and expansion! I love being on the board because we get to see directly how we’re affecting the community of Guadalupe and the students with the awesome Dunes Center programming. I also learn new things about the area that I can share with other natives who might’ve never known these facts before.
Jim Corridan
Born in California, Jim Corridan spent much of his career in the Midwest working with non-profit and government sectors. His interest in hiking and access to the natural beauty of the dunes has provided the impetus for his involvement with the Dunes Center. He began his board membership in 2022, and currently serves as Treasurer.
Gaby Mendoza
Board Member
Gaby Mendoza has been associated with the Dunes Center since 2013 beginning her efforts as a volunteer and currently holding her advocacy, now, as a board member. Being raised on the Central Coast since the age of one, Gaby has cultivated an appreciation for local conservation of the land and cultural history. She was raised to believe that giving back to your community is one of the strongest legacies one can leave behind, and admires the fact that she can sit on the board of her favorite non-profit. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California Santa Cruz, and currently works in conservation and youth development. You can find her at the local Drag Show, or playing disc golf at Waller Park.
Naomi Altergott
Board Member
Naomi Altergott is a resident of Guadalupe. She and her husband vacationed on the central coast of California for over 20 years and had always loved the area. They were able to relocate to Guadalupe in 2018. Naomi is very involved in the community. She is a Financial Professional offering free Financial Literacy Workshops. She is also a member of the Guadalupe Business Association, an Ambassador for the Santa Maria Valley Chamber, President of the Santa Maria Women’s Network, and a member of Elks Lodge 1538 in Santa Maria. Naomi is excited to serve on the Dunes Center Board and be part of the growth that is taking place at the Dunes Center and in Guadalupe. Naomi is passionate about educating the public on the many programs that the Dunes Center has to offer to students, families, and the overall community.
Ben Oakley
Board Member
Ben Oakley combines many years of environmental and technical experience with a proven track record of success in the fast-paced and challenging environment of the California energy industry, including management positions for environmental health and safety as well as government and regulatory affairs. Recent achievements including serving as campaign spokesperson for a successful countywide referendum. Ben received his Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Master’s in Natural Resources Management from Utah State. A long-time resident of the Central Coast, Ben also holds several leadership positions in the community including serving as a member of the Santa Barbara County APCD Community Advisory Council and member of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Commission.


L. Erika Weber
Executive Director
Erika is a lifelong resident of the Central Coast, a second generation Californian born in San Luis Obispo and raised in Santa Maria. After college, Erika returned to the Central Coast and began her career in sales and marketing as an Account Executive with the Santa Maria Times. For the last 22 years, Erika worked in the non-profit world. During her years at VTC Enterprises, a local non-profit serving individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities, Erika’s position allowed her to connect with the community, providing quality products and services to local businesses, while giving people with disabilities a chance for a for a productive and worthwhile life. Erika expanded her scope to meet the needs of the growing organization when she took on the management of marketing, fundraising and development for the organization. She increased market reach for the organization, raised over 1.7 million dollars in fundraising efforts and increasing their donor base significantly. Erika has been involved with her local Chambers of Commerce for many years and serves on the Board of the Santa Maria Women’s Network. Erika is excited to continue the good work of the Dunes Center and to expand it’s education, conservation and reach throughout the Central Coast.
Jenise Coates
Education and Public Programs Coordinator
Jenise has lived on the Central Coast for over 20 years. In their youth, Jenise was a member of both Santa Maria and Guadalupe’s youth communities. While attending college, they discovered their love for cultural anthropology and archaeology and worked on several projects, and presented research at anthropological conferences. Jenise’s experience in education began when they worked for the Santa Barbara Education Office. Jenise worked with students with disabilities at all grade levels while also working in information systems. After discovering a love for education, Jenise decided to pursue a master’s degree in education to continue working on their own learning. More recently, Jenise has served youth as a teacher in Los Angeles, Santa Ynez, and Santa Maria. Jenise is bringing a passion for anthropology, the community, and education to the Dunes Center in hopes of helping the education program flourish and serve more youth in the community.

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