Changing the way children grow up in Santa Cruz County

Meet the Board

Meet The Board


Max Seetho

President

Vice President/ District Manager
Wells Fargo Bank
Elected March 2015

Max Seetho is the Vice President/ District Manager at Wells Fargo Bank for Santa Cruz County and the Los Gatos and Morgan Hill areas. He has been employed with Wells Fargo for over 11 years.

Max is a graduate of San Jose State, earning a B.S. in Business Management with a minor in Economics. Currently, he is attending the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business.

Max enjoys traveling and golf. He has a personal passion for supporting education and services to children.


Lindsey Rice

Vice-President

Community Volunteer
Elected October 2016

Lindsey Rice photo

Lindsey Rice is currently a stay-at-home parent to her two young children. Prior to having children, Lindsey held the position of Employer Relations Specialist at the UCSC Career Center. Before joining UCSC, Lindsey worked as an Event Manager at UCLA and as Director of Training for the Silver Cloud Inns and Hotels chain in Seattle, WA.

Lindsey received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Spanish at the University of Washington. It was in Seattle where Lindsey first volunteered with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Because of her passion for education and youth, Lindsey served as a Big Sister for two years before moving to California. Volunteering as a mentor has motivated Lindsey to serve the BBBS organization at the Board level.

Lindsey is married to Karl Rice, President of the Santa Cruz Seaside Company. In her free time, Lindsey enjoys playing tennis, skiing and traveling.


David Abercia

Treasurer

Chief of Staff
University of California, Santa Cruz
Elected June 2015

David Abercia is a Texas native that moved to Santa Cruz in January 2015. He is currently the Chief of Staff for Undergraduate Education at UC Santa Cruz. Prior to that, David served in various capacities at Texas Tech University (TTU), including a Chief of Staff role for the Senior Vice President for Institutional Diversity, Equity & Community Engagement and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education & Student Affairs, and a Deputy Chief of Staff role in the Office of the President.

He was also an active member of the community in Lubbock, where he served in various capacities with the Lubbock Area United Way (Annual Campaign Vice Chair, Division Chair, and Loaned Executive), Board President of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lubbock-Plainview and was a member of the Keep Lubbock Beautiful Advisory Committee. David also spearheaded the Greater West Texas State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC), an annual employee charitable giving campaign raising over $1 million for non-profits across the region.

David attended Texas Tech University (TTU) where he completed his bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and Political Science, masters in education, and Ph.D. in Higher Education.

He joined the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters because of his passion for volunteering and desire to give back to the Santa Cruz community. He is a firm believer in the power of mentoring children and the positive outcomes that it achieves.


Keri Petersen

Secretary

Claims Adjuster
Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group
Elected May 2015

“photo of Keri Petersen"

Keri Peterson has been a claims examiner with Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group for 10 years and was previously with CSAA for 10 years. Keri grew up in Santa Cruz and enjoys our beautiful surroundings and community. She also worked as a volunteer with CASA and the Santa Cruz AIDS project.

Keri received her B.S. in Health Education from San Francisco State University and has taught yoga in Santa Cruz for over 14 years. She likes to spend her free time hiking with her three dogs, all rescued from the SPCA.

Keri is very grateful for her friends and family. She joined the Board because she wanted to serve the youth in our community. She believes,”that an investment in our children is more important than ever. Our society if full of distractions and stress, and we have to work to support our youth in growing up to be healthy, happy adults capable of making their dreams come true.”


Diane Lipska

Member

AVP Product Leader
Bay Federal Credit Union
Elected September 2010

photo of Diane Lipska

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.

Diane was born in Mobile, Alabama, and traveled 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.”


Rick Harker

Member

V.P., Relationship Manager
Bank of the West
Elected October 2016

Photo of Rick Harker

Rick Harker is a Vice President and Relationship Manager for Bank of the West.


Kristin Ditlevsen

Member

SVP Lending Group Manager
Lighthouse Bank
Elected March 2016

Photo of Kristin Ditlevsen

Kristin has lived in Santa Cruz County for 42 years and has spent 16 of her 26 year banking career in the Santa Cruz Market.   She attended Soquel High School, Cabrillo College and graduated from San Jose State University with a BS in Finance and minor in Economics.   Kristin lives in Scotts Valley with her two daughters.Kristin’s first work experiences were as a business analyst for Dunn and Bradstreet and an accounting manager for a small publicly traded technology firm in San Jose.  She started her career in banking with Pacific Western Bank in 1988 as a loan review officer.   After Comerica Bank acquired Pacific Western Bank in 1994 she was promoted to Vice President/Team Leader of SBA Lending.  In 1997 she moved to San Jose National Bank.  In 2003 Kristin returned to Comerica Bank.  April 2012 found her moving to Focus Business Bank as Sr. Vice President and Relationship manager but then she was recruited to join Lighthouse Bank in April of 2013. Kristin has been a member of the Board of Directors of United Way of Santa Cruz for 8 years and graduated from the Leadership Santa Cruz Program in 2012 (Class 27).  She is also active with Rotary.

Kristin joined the Board in March of 2016 to help our youth start out on the right track and lead fulfilling, productive lives.


Deb Cullen

Member

Elected August 2017

Deb Cullen photo

Deb Cullen has spent her career in the high tech industry at such companies as Apple, Art.com, Williams-Sonoma Inc, Electronic Arts, Move.com, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Her background has been project and product management, creating software products and building great teams.

Deb graduated from the University of Denver. She relocated from St. Louis to the Bay Area in 2000. Her greatest joy comes from spending time with her husband and son.

Additionally, in her free time, Deb likes to paddle board, work out, enjoys the arts and fashion, playing with her animals and cooking.

Deb joined the Board in 2017 to be a more active member in our community and to have a positive impact on children in Santa Cruz County.


Emeritus Board Members

Chuck Hewitt

Member Emeritus

Retired
Elected August 2004

photo of Chuck Hewitt

Chuck and his wife have retired to Hilton Head, SC, and he continues to work part-time as an independent insurance claims consultant and expert witness.

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.


Richard Branson

Member Emeritus

Retired
Elected January 2006

Rich Branson photo

Richard Branson was the President of Pacific Ingredient Exchange, which he co-founded in 1985. He retired in 2016. 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.”