Meet The Board
NonProfit Insurance Alliance Group
Elected August 2004
With over 40 years in insurance claims management, Chuck Hewitt is currently the Claims Technical Director at the Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group, a company that insures over 12,000 501(c)(3) nonprofits around the country (http://www.insurancefornonprofits.org/).
Chuck was born in the Bronx, New York City, where he enjoyed body surfing at the New Jersey Shore every summer. Moving to California, he graduated with a BA in Economics from San Jose State.
Chuck has a history of youth service involvement, as he previously served as a Scoutmaster for 3 years and as a church youth group leader.
Chuck’s inspiration in life comes primarily from his wife, Mary, followed by his very good friend, Andy Stein, who during his lifetime served as a mentor and counselor to Chuck. Chuck joined Big Brothers Big Sisters so that he could provide management and financial expertise to the organization, so as to insure quality adult mentoring for at-risk youth.
Rutledge & Rutledge
Senior Associate Attorney
Elected August 2012
Will Lewis was born and raised in Bonny Doon. He graduated from Santa Cruz High as Valedictorian, received his Bachelor’s degree from Pomona College, his law degree from University of San Diego School of Law and his LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law.
Will moved back to California in November of 2010 to pursue a legal practice in his hometown. He currently works at Rutledge & Rutledge where he is building a practice that is centered on tax law through the practice of business law, estate planning, and tax controversy.
When he was young, Will was a Dungeons and Dragons player and dungeon master, who also enjoyed riding a dirt bike and exploring his surroundings in Bonny Doon with his dog and a BB gun. As he grew older, he taught himself about computers and became an avid reader. Will credits his parents for their support, noting, “They have always been there for me and are two of my best friends. They have always been who I look up to as mentors.”
Will’s participation on the Board for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Santa Cruz County was motivated by a life-threatening spinal issue that he had as a child. His parents did not have a lot of money and the Shriners stepped in and paid for his neurosurgery at UCSF. Since then, says Will, “It has been a part of my mission to find a way to give back to society in general, and give back to children specifically.” He joined the Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Santa Cruz County to support the organization’s mission of providing mentorship to youth in the county. Adds Will, “It’s hard for me to find the time to spend a few hours volunteering every weekend, and I feel that I can make the best contribution to the organization by participating on the Board during the week.”
Elected September 2013
Joey Garcia is a Santa Cruz native. He graduated from Watsonville High School in 2002 where he lettered in football and went on to earn his AA in Liberal Arts from Cabrillo College in 2005. He began his banking career in Capitola back in 2004. Like lots of kids that played football, Joey wanted to play in the NFL when he grew up.
Joey’s grandfather and father were both an inspiration to him. His grandfather, who migrated from Mexico and worked in the fields, showed him what it meant to work hard and not take life for granted. His father, first generation born in Watsonville and also worked in the fields, made sure Joey did well in school and provided a better life for his family. These two men made him the person he is today.
Joey always thought Big Brothers Big Sisters was a great organization and always wanted to be a part of it. Now being on the board he can give his time helping the organization grow and help the youth in our community. This will be Joey’s first time serving on a board and he is very excited.
Santa Cruz Community Credit Union
Chief Financial Officer
Elected May 2013
Taylor Dial is the CFO of Caminar for Mental Health. Taylor moved to Santa Cruz County in 2000, and currently lives in Ben Lomond. Raised in New England, Taylor moved to California in the early 80’s and began working in the then-fledgling computer industry. After 20 years of working in software, hardware and Internet ventures, he made the jump to the non-profit world, first as an independent consultant, training in financial and governance issues, and later as CEO of the first and largest privately funded non-profit housing trust in the nation.
Winner of the 2007 Bank of America Neighborhood Excellence Award, Taylor has a long-standing commitment to helping to keep communities healthy and vibrant. He is a graduate of Community Leadership San Jose, class of 2004, past President of the San Jose Leadership Council, and currently serves as past Board Chair for Leadership Santa Cruz County. As a member of the Santa Cruz County Housing Commission, Taylor works to promote and preserve affordable housing throughout the county.
Taylor took the position as CFO of Caminar for Mental Health in 2014, which, he says, “Has helped me to realize a deeply held dream of mine to live, work and give back to a community as special as Santa Cruz.” Serving on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters is an extension of this dream.
Bay Federal Credit Union
AVP Card Services
Elected September 2010
During her 35-year career in banking, Diane Lipska has spent 26 of them with Santa Cruz County community financial institutions. For the last 9 years, she has proudly served the members of Bay Federal Credit Union (http://bayfed.com/).
Diane was born in Mobile, Alabama, and travelled throughout her childhood due to her father’s service in the U.S. Air Force. Her parents were native Santa Cruzans, and as soon as they were able, the family settled back in Santa Cruz. Diane grew up body surfing at the Cove with her father. She is a graduate of local schools, including Cabrillo College.
From the time she was 8 years old, Diane wanted to be a banker. She was a teller for many years, an experience that helped her to grow professionally. She is currently Assistant Vice President of Card Services.
Diane’s involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters is rooted in her personal experience of having caring mentors in her personal and business life. She says, “I have ‘given back’ in my business life, and now I wish to ‘give back’ to our community.” Diane’s parents, sister, son, and husband are her biggest mentors and supporters. Diane notes, “When I was a child, caring adults stepped in to show me options in life that I did not know existed. Now I wish to help the children of our community find their gifts and potential.”
Pacific Ingredients Exchange President
Elected January 2006
Richard Branson is the President of Pacific Ingredient Exchange, which he co-founded in 1985. Prior to this he was Marketing Manager for Sun Maid, Sunsweet and Diamond Walnut He has an MBA in marketing. A native of Northern California, Richard was born in Ukiah, and lived in Sacramento, Davis, and Stockton before moving to Aptos in 1996. When he was younger, Richard liked to play seasonal sports with his two brothers and neighborhood kids. Rather than marketing, Richard thought about becoming an astronaut when he was growing up.
Richard understands the importance of Big Brothers Big Sisters, thanks to his brothers, who were his mentors and the people he looked up to in his youth. Richard was motivated to become a Board Member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Santa Cruz County because of the life-changing outcomes that occur through the matching of children in need of a positive role model with caring volunteer mentors. Says Richard, “Seeing youth grow into mature members of our community is inspiring.”
Elected October 2004
Roger Swenson has worked for Graniterock for 34 years in the Santa Cruz sales division (www.graniterock.com). He was born in Fullerton, California, and moved to Santa Cruz in 1959, where he attended Aptos High School and Cabrillo College, swimming and playing water polo at both schools. Roger enjoyed the beach as a youth, where he surfed, swam, and skimboarded. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara, planning on being an elementary school teacher, until he landed his job at Graniterock and never left.
Roger’s involvement with the community is extensive. He is a member of the Santa Cruz Sunrise Rotary, Harvey West Association, and Aptos Community United Methodist Church. Roger is keenly aware of the importance of adult role models. Says Roger, “My dad was my inspiration. He was a wonderful man who taught me to work hard, have fun, be kind, and to take care of my family.”
Since joining Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Board of Directors, Roger has witnessed firsthand the impact of the program upon at-risk youth. Says Roger, “This is a great program that helps so many children. I am very proud to be associated with Big Brothers Big Sisters.”