The Lord’s extraordinary faithfulness to Westmont defines our history and shapes our sense of community. Each day we ask ourselves, “In the light of his mercies, how can we in return express our faithfulness to the Lord?” Wonderfully, Scripture points to remembering and celebrating as vital parts of a grateful response.
To mark this year’s special milestone, we’ve selected 85 representative members of our community who embody Westmont’s mission and deepen its impact in the world. For each person recognized, there are many others who warrant similar recognition. We are profoundly grateful for all those who contribute to Westmont’s capacity to prepare men and women for lives of significance.
We are indebted to the faith-filled founders who depended on God to launch and sustain Westmont. Generations of men and women have gone into the world to lead and serve in every sphere of society according to God’s calling on their lives. Today, we celebrate this history and entrust our future to our gracious God.
Gayle D. Beebe, Ph.D.
Matt Ainley ’01 majored in engineering physics. Today he is a professional civil engineer and licensed contractor working for his companies 4Creeks and 4CG Construction. “My liberal arts background and business classes helped us set up [4Creeks],” he says. Matt designed and built the Darling Hotel and Elderwood Restaurant in 2020. He is a serial entrepreneur, rancher and Jesus-loving family man who enjoys staying active. He and his wife of 21 years, Janelle, are parents to Reese (18), Linden (15) and Luke (12). He is a second-generation Westmont alum and baseball player.
Dwight Anderson ’53 has lived in Santa Barbara for more than 90 years. He’s a proud Santa Barbara Don and Westmont Warrior, excelling in athletics and music. Dwight married Doris ’53 (now deceased), his chapel seatmate, and together they raised three children to honor God by serving others. Dwight taught elementary and junior high locally, then switched to academic and career counseling at SBCC before returning to Westmont as freshman advisor. Throughout the years, he shared his love for music as a soloist and directing church choirs. This is his story, this is his song. The lifelong inspiration he derives from his years at Westmont has him praising his Savior all the day long!
Eraclio “Lucky” Arvizo ’89 is a high school principal in southwestern Arizona and serves in several community organizations. He earned a bachelor’s in economics and business and was a member of the Westmont baseball team. After being in the business world for 10 years, Lucky began his career in education. In 2007 he was named the Yuma County High School Teacher of the Year. In addition to pursuing his passion for teaching, he served as a head football coach for 18 years. In 2008, after receiving his master’s in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University, Lucky entered administration, focusing on great educational experiences for all students as they prepare for college and career. Lucky and his wife, Claudia, live in Yuma, Arizona.
Alvin O. “Bud” Austin ’64 calls Westmont the launching pad for his life in Christian higher education. “Coming from a fractured, lower-middle-class home to Westmont was life changing. Through the academic offerings, faculty and staff role modeling and fellow student engagement, my vision for the future was totally altered,” he says. At Westmont, Bud met Samantha (Sammie) Bates ’65, his life mate for 57 years—through master’s and Ph.D. programs and a long career that included deanships and vice presidencies at four universities. He spent 21 years as president of LeTourneau University and retired as president emeritus in 2007. Bud and Sammie are blessed with three children, seven grandchildren and their first great grandson.
Aaron ’04 and Courtney ’05 Whitmore Baldridge work for Hope Ignited in Guinea, West Africa, where they live with their three children. Courtney serves as a pediatrician and Aaron as a researcher. Through their work with Hope Ignited, they desire for every Guinean to know that he or she is seen by God and indispensable to the work of God’s kingdom. Aaron and Courtney are part of the founding team for Sacré Coeur Pediatric Center, set to open in early 2023 with a focus on training locals.
Kristen Augustine Baldridge ’91 recently earned a Teacher of the Year award from the Los Angeles Unified School District. As a special education resource specialist at Clover Avenue Elementary School, she seeks to empower special education students, build an inclusive community and maintain relationships with her students. “At Westmont, I learned how to make deeper connections in a community, and I built lifelong friendships. These values underscore my work in special education. Our students inspire me! I thank God for my wonderful family, who cheers me on: husband (and fellow Westmont grad), Bryan ’91, sons, Nathan and Jordan, and daughter-in-law, Hailey.”
Larry Ballenger ’59 retired as pastor of Ukiah Presbyterian Church in 2002. He served congregations in Irvine, Fresno and Arcadia, California. Before ordination, he served for 15 years in the ministry of Youth for Christ in East Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Azusa and Fresno. Larry attended Fuller Theological Seminary and also studied at Claremont School of Theology and California Baptist Theological Seminary. He received a master’s degree in music history and literature from Fresno State University and a D.Min. from San Francisco Theological Seminary. Larry and Judy Klempel Ballenger ’59 have three children and five grandchildren.
Al and Mary Barbour are the proud parents of Anna Barbour ’22. Al and Mary live in western Pennsylvania, where Mary is an active community volunteer and Al is an entrepreneur and business owner. “Congratulations to everyone at Westmont College on the joyous occasion of your 85th anniversary. We are honored to support the important mission of providing extraordinary, Christ-centered education to the next generation. While Anna was a student, we served alongside an amazing group of fellow parents on Westmont’s Parents Council [Mary served as parent representative to the Board of Trustees]. May God continue to bless the Westmont community,” they say.
Diana Beaudry knew of Westmont through church and friends as she grew up in sunny Southern California in the 1960s. Coming to live in Santa Barbara, she eventually became connected to Westmont. “I realized that Westmont College, truly a gem, would have been an excellent choice for me.” Diana cares deeply about education for young people who cannot afford college tuition and established a foundation called Brightstar to provide scholarships for such students. With a focus on small liberal arts colleges, since 2007 Brightstar has supported many students at Westmont. Diana calls the experience “a privilege and a joy for me and my family.”
Ed and Sue Birch are devoted to building a healthy community. Ed is president and CEO of the Mosher Foundation and trustee of the Mosher and Connelly Trusts. His many decades in senior executive corporate and higher education positions include service at the UC Santa Barbara, Westmont College, and Pacific Capital Bancorp. He also served as vice president of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Ed holds a Ph.D. from Michigan State University and has chaired and served on numerous national and local boards, including Westmont’s. Sue has spent her career in education, including as a teacher and head of the Laguna Blanca (lower) School. Her prior positions include those at UC Santa Barbara, IBM, and the Santa Barbara County Teacher Training Program. She earned her master’s from The Ohio State University and has also served on numerous boards.
Ed Blews III ’03, MD, AAHIVS, currently serves as the regional physician director for infection prevention and control/hospital epidemiology and the regional physician director for antibiotic stewardship for Kaiser Permanente Southern California while practicing as an infectious diseases physician. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, he developed protocols to ensure the safety both of patients and healthcare workers and continues to work with media outlets to provide COVID-19 education. Outside work, he loves spending time with Amber Hall Blews ’03, Ph.D., and their three children, Elliot, Caed and Teagan.
Lawrence Chen ’12 is senior manager, strategy and operations, at DoorDash. He is also board treasurer and secretary at Ramsey Research Foundation, a nonprofit developing a sustainable means of controlling the varroa mite, one of the world’s most economically damaging invasive species. He was formerly a consultant at Boston Consulting Group. Lawrence holds an MBA with high distinction from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. At Westmont he majored in religious studies and communication studies. Lawrence lives with his wife, Yeha, in Washington, D.C.
Heather Chmura ’16 launched her career at the age of 14—the youngest franchise owner of a Wetzel’s Pretzels (Las Vegas), managing 50+ employees. After graduating from Westmont, she moved to San Francisco without a job and got a position working with data at Originate, where she later became chief of staff for CEO Rob Meadows. When he left to help launch a new company, the AI Foundation, she joined the founding team. She began as director of product engagement and chief of staff/product manager, became senior director of business and strategy, and now serves as vice president for business operations.
Greg Christian ’82, MBA, is president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals in Hawaii, overseeing operations and working closely with the medical group to help care for more than 260,000 members, more than 4,000 employees and nearly 450 physicians in the state. Kaiser provides services through Moanalua Medical Center in Honolulu and more than 28 medical offices and clinics on Oahu, Maui, Hawaii and Kauai. In addition, Greg serves as senior vice president and chief operating officer for Kaiser Permanente’s Southern California health plan and hospitals.
Dan DeSaegher ’82 left his corporate career after 10 years in finance in the aerospace industry and 17 years at Qualcom in business development to raise funds for Point Loma Nazarene University. In 2016 Dan felt a spiritual calling to transfer his business talents into philanthropic missions, first as executive director pioneering two residential programs for women recovering from the trauma of sex trafficking and now as CDO for TERI Inc., serving more than 900 children and adults with special needs. The common thread of this 10-year journey is a passion to empower healing and finding one’s God-given value and purpose.
Greg ’66 and Barb Dixon met on the Lawrence Welk Show. Greg sang with the Westmont Quartet, which went on to sing with the show for two years, and Barbara was a dancer. After earning a master’s at USC, Greg spent the majority of his career in human resources at Lockheed and J.D. Edwards software company. Since retiring, he has served for more than 20 years in international and local missions, from Central America to the inner city of Denver. During the late 1970s and early 1980s Greg served on Westmont’s alumni board and as president of the Westmont College Alumni Association. Greg and Barbara established the John Lundberg Music Scholarship Endowment at Westmont.
Erik Ellefsen ’97 is the director of networks and improvement at Baylor University’s Center for School Leadership. He has served in education for more than two decades as a teacher, coach, dean, principal, counselor and union leader. He also serves as senior fellow for both the Center for the Advancement of Christian Education and Cardus, hosts the Digical Education podcast, and is a leading collaborator and author of the Mindshift and Future Ready projects. Erik came to Westmont from Chicago to play baseball—but received a life-altering education. He, Chris Kurz ’97 and Joe Ellet ’97 established an endowed scholarship for baseball players with financial need. Erik, who has battled multiple myeloma since 2008, lives in San Jose, California, with his wife, Kimberly.
Linda Farley ’79 is CEO of Girl Scouts Heart of Central California, which serves nearly 14,000 girls in 18 counties throughout California’s Central Valley. Under her leadership the Girl Scout program grew to include STEM education. She holds an Ed.D. in leadership from the University of St. Thomas and a master’s in curriculum and instruction from Michigan State University. Linda is an American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow; a member of Leadership California’s Executive Advisory Council; a commissioner for the Sacramento County Women’s Commission and a member of the International Women’s Forum.
Brad Franklin ’80 graduated from Western Seminary in 1983. He and his wife, Donna, then spent a year in the Philippines as church-planting assistants. After returning to the U.S., Brad served as the associate pastor of First Baptist Church of Scotts Valley, California. In 1987 he launched Lakeside Church in Folsom, where he has served for the past 35 years, engaging the community with the good news of Jesus. Brad, who earned a D.Min. in 2002, recently published his first book, Good for You: Reflections of Hope from the Book of Romans. Brad and Donna enjoy sleepovers and soccer games with their three grandchildren.
Jim and Sherree Funk are Westmont parents who are passionate about ending extreme poverty globally through the work of World Vision, and they are eager to help raise up the next generation of servant leaders through Westmont’s Querencia Scholarship. Both geologists by training, now retired, they are on a happy quest to see all our national parks. Jim serves on the Range Resources Board of Directors, and Sherree on the Asbury Theological Seminary Board of Trustees. They reside in New Orleans and have three adult children, including Anne ’13.
Ron ’79 and Kim Gagosian established the Khoren A. Gagosian Memorial Scholarship Fund to honor Ron’s father. Ron is a native San Franciscan and graduate of Lowell High School. Resident assistant of the Armington B men in 1978–79, he earned a bachelor’s in economics and business. Ron counts his best and most memorable semester as fall 1979 Europe Semester. He holds an MBA from Golden Gate University, several certificates in finance and leadership coaching and has served in senior banking and technology roles at Bank of America, Imperial Bank and Silicon Valley Bank. Ron launched The Gagosian Group, and several recent consulting and tech/media ventures.
Paul Gerlach ’80 serves faithfully as assistant pastor at Jubilee Christian Center, where for nearly 16 years he has overseen marriage and family ministry with an emphasis on pre-marriage and marriage enrichment classes and personal marriage coaching as a certified life coach. Previously he was associate pastor at KingsWay Community Church and served as pastor for a church plant, Newsong Community Church. Paul earned master’s degrees in church music and in church education from Western Seminary. As a follower of Jesus he is caring, innovative in his leadership, sacrificial and “enthusiastically” Christian, as his nominator calls him. “He excels in kindness. He is the one who visits the sick, cares for those who are hurting, and does it all with a wonderful smile and attitude.”
Roy ’81 and D’Aun ’81 Goble operate Goble Properties. Roy is also CEO of PathLight International and has served on the Westmont College Board of Trustees since 2003. Together, he and D’Aun demonstrate extraordinary commitment to Westmont and its values, modeling their Christian faith, supporting students and strengthening the college’s mission. They have worked to address needs in their community and around the world. Roy authors a weekly blog focused on Christian living, humility and God’s call to generosity; he has also written three books on these topics: Junkyard Wisdom; Salvaged; and Junkyard Wisdom Rebuilt. Roy and D’Aun are parents to Rachel ’05 and Jedd ’14.
Kyle Godfrey ’08 is a surgeon and assistant professor of ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. Early in the pandemic, he set aside his specialty to care for acutely ill COVID-19 patients. A board-certified ophthalmologist, Kyle carefully repairs delicate tissues around the eyes to restore function, heal injuries and trauma or remove tumors. He serves as associate director of the residency program at Weill Cornell and teaches medical students, residents and fellows. Author of more than 40 peer-reviewed scientific articles and book chapters, Kyle regularly lectures and presents research throughout the world. He serves as an ad hoc scientific reviewer for the top specialty journals in his field.
Brian Granger ’94 is cocreator of Project Jupyter and the Jupyter Notebook and senior principal technologist at Amazon Web Services. A physics professor at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (currently on leave), Brian has devoted his career to developing Project Jupyter—open-source software widely used to analyze data in research, education, journalism and industry. Companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM have created commercial data science platforms based on this software. Brian, his coleader, Fernando Pérez of UC Berkeley, and their international Jupyter Software Steering Council received the 2018 Software System Award from the Association of Computing Machinery, the world’s largest society of educational and academic computer scientists. He earned his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Salvador Güereña ’75 is a local community leader whose organization, United Parents/Padres Unidos, which he founded in 2008, works to close the academic-achievement gap among Latino students in local schools. Recently he retired as director of the California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives in the University Library, UC Santa Barbara. An archivist, librarian and writer, he is well-published in the field of ethnic and multicultural archives, as well as in Latino library services. A native of Santa Barbara, Salvador serves on the board of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation and has served on the boards of various local nonprofits.
Robert Gundry, a Westmont professor emeritus and scholar-in-residence, retired in 2000 from 38 years of teaching at the college. In 1999 Westmont established the Robert H. Gundry Chair in Biblical Studies. Bob has served as an ordained interim pastor and published for scholars and laypeople many articles and fourteen books. Best of all, he has introduced many to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. Born in Hollywood in 1932, Bob lived as a “missionary kid” in Nigeria until he was five. At age ten he was “saved” after listening to the “Old Fashioned Revival Hour.” In high school he was a basketball star and operated farm machinery in the fields near the Mexican border. While earning degrees from Los Angeles Baptist College and Seminary, he preached on LA’s Skid Row and married Lois (Obenchain), who became mother to Judy ’78, Connie ’80 and Mark and later secretary for Westmont’s religious studies and philosophy departments. Bob earned a Ph.D. in New Testament in Manchester, England, before beginning his fruitful career at Westmont.
Walter and Darlene Hansen celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary in December 2022. They enjoy time with their sons, Nathaniel ’94 and Jonathan ’96, daughter, Linnea, “in-loves” and seven grandsons. For eight years Walter pastored a church now called Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio. He served on the faculty of Trinity Theological College in Singapore for seven years and Fuller Theological Seminary for 20 years and has published books and articles on biblical interpretation, theology and visual arts. Walter traveled extensively in Africa and Asia, teaching in seminaries and visiting people supported by his family foundation. A Westmont trustee for 17 years, Walter focused primarily on projects with his friends in the art department inspired by Darlene, his favorite artist. She served as president of the Westmont College Art Council for three years.
Daryl Heald ’87 is the founder of Generosity Path and travels internationally to share the message of biblical generosity. Growing up in a missionary home, he remembers the family’s praying when there was no money—and God providing. Daryl began his career as a commercial real estate broker and in 1997 joined the Maclellan Foundation, helping lead its global grant-making strategy. Beginning in 2000, Daryl helped launch several organizations: Generous Giving, Giving Wisely and Generosity Path. He has worked with families on four continents regarding their philanthropy and actively invests in private equity deals with an emphasis on businesses with social impact. Daryl serves on ten boards, both for-profit and nonprofit. He and his wife, Cathy, reside in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, and two of their nine children are alums, Hallie ’14 and Anders ’22.
Rob Hill ’18 is director of minor-league pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Having just graduated from Westmont, in June 2018 Rob began working full time at Driveline, a baseball training facility, and made a name for himself in the world of biomechanics and pitch development. He became well-known among Major League Baseball (MLB) pitchers and executives for incorporating data, high-end technology and science. The Dodgers hired Rob in 2020 as their pitching coordinator, making him—at age 24—one of the youngest coaches in MLB. In his first season in professional baseball the Dodgers won the world series for the first time since 1988.
Paul Hook ’55 retired as a tenured faculty member at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in 2007, where he had worked since 1960. The Pennsylvania native joined his siblings, Margaret and Phil, at Westmont in 1951. He was blessed by “Doc” Ryrie and coaches Fisher and Siemens. In addition to earning his bachelor’s, he went on to earn a master’s, Th.M., and Ph.D. Paul has also used his God-given gifts at First Baptist Church, Dallas, where he has been a member for 67 years. He displays exceptional commitment to Westmont, including attending each of the last 16 Homecomings and working with selfless generosity to help other alums stay connected. “As for God, his way is perfect. The word of the Lord is true,” he says.
Helga Houston ’83 is the chief risk officer at Huntington Bank, a $175 billion regional bank headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. She also serves on the Westmont College Board of Trustees and on the board of the New Albany Community Foundation. Helga earned her MBA from USC in 1988. She is married to Hal Houston and is the proud mother of five children, the oldest three of whom graduated from or are attending Westmont College.
Bill and Linda Hughes take delight in providing scholarship support that assists Westmont in educating students for a “successful life of significance.” Bill graduated from USC’s Marshall School of Business and Gould School of Law and is president of Hughes Investments, a developer and owner of shopping centers. He is past president of California Business Properties Association and chairman of its PAC. Linda attended Woodbury Art School and continues her passion for design. Bill and Linda live in Newport Beach and recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. They have strong family ties to Westmont.
Michelle Hughes ’89 earned an Ed.D. from George Fox University, a master’s in educational leadership from California State University, Northridge, and an English degree and teaching credential from Westmont. She taught junior high school English and served as a high school administrator. Michelle shares her passion for the teaching profession and K-12 education and equips Westmont students to serve and put their faith into action in public and private schools. Her coedited book, Joyful Resilience as Educational Practice, was published in 2022. Michelle is married to Chris ’88, a physical education teacher and coach, and they have two grown children.
J.K. ’77 and Carolyn Hussa have been married for 38 years. J.K. grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and served in the U.S. Army for two years. After being discharged, he earned a bachelor’s in philosophy at Westmont and a master’s in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He taught junior and senior high and volunteered with Young Life. J.K. spent summers guiding student groups in the Sierras and Cascade mountains and in 1983 moved to Seattle to join Airefco, Inc. He was named president in 1993 and bought the company in 2006. Carolyn has been his partner and support. They have two children, Carri and Lance, plus Havi, their Havanese dog. Carolyn enjoys the arts, and J.K. enjoys playing the guitar, golf and reading. Together, they enjoy flyfishing and the symphony.
Troy Jacobsen ’98, Mike McKay ’98, Justin Sparks ’98 and Joe Zender ’99 have built lifelong friendships and careers together. Starting out in Santa Barbara, Justin, Mike and Joe have sold IT products and services and managed teams for nearly 20 years. Troy joined them in this industry after six years with Merrill Lynch. In 2017 the friends saw an opportunity to stay together and start their own streamlined firm in a business they know well: they founded PivIT Global, an independent distributor of IT infrastructure, maintenance and professional services based in Santa Barbara.
Pam Johnson ’81 is executive director of Emerald Cove Outdoor Science Institute. With more than 35 years of experience in environmental education, she currently works to expand partnerships among public and private schools as well as regional organizations. Previously she was an administrator for the Orange County Department of Education’s Inside the Outdoors hands-on science programs, reaching more than 150,000 students, teachers, parents and community members annually through Outdoor Science School, Field Trips, Traveling Scientist and Community Programs. She holds a master’s in administrative services from Pepperdine University, a bachelor’s in liberal studies from Westmont College and administrative and multiple subject teaching credentials.
Paul Johnston ’70 served as college ambassador for three years as a member of the Westmont Quartet. He married his classmate, Ellen Yamamoto, on graduation day, 1970! They settled in Fremont, California, and have three children and five grandchildren. Paul’s career spanned retail and hi-tech management before he launched and ran a construction company for more than three decades. Paul also consistently served his local church in youth and adult ministries and as a church elder. He credits his Westmont education for his ability to thrive in diverse environments and gratefully acknowledges God’s blessings for any successes he has had in life.
Ryan Jorden ’95 is in his fourth season as the head men’s soccer coach at UCLA, having spent 26 years in collegiate coaching at Oregon State University, Westmont, California Baptist University and University of the Pacific. Since becoming a head coach in 2008 (at CBU), his hallmark has been establishing positive team culture and winning results. Ryan’s passion for coaching and developing players at the collegiate level is inspired by many of his own experiences as a student and coach at Westmont. His eldest son, Graeme ’25, is a sophomore on the Westmont soccer team. Ryan, his wife, Liz Lawrence Jorden ’93, and their younger son, Evan, reside in Los Angeles.
Peggy Gilbert Kirschner ’64 and Len Kirschner, MD, MPH, met in Madrid in 1971 after Peggy finished her master’s degree in guidance counseling. Len was stationed in Spain as a U.S. Air Force (USAF) physician after having served as a flight surgeon and flown 35 F-4 missions in Vietnam. Now a retired USAF colonel, Len has led AARP Arizona, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System and the USAF hospital at Luke Air Force Base. Peggy has taught a range of grade levels in the U.S. and overseas and served as a guidance counselor. Through their estate plan, they will establish an endowed scholarship at Westmont.
Cherie Pae Kloss ’90 majored in biology and earned a master’s in physician assistant studies in anesthesiology at Emory University in Atlanta. For 17 years she worked as an anesthetist, the last 10 years as a contract or traveling nurse. As the gig economy exploded, she saw the potential for an app that quickly connects nurses seeking work to hospitals needing staff. Cherie started SnapNurse in 2018. She now works with 6,000 nurses nationwide. SnapNurse has grown to become a $2 billion industry headed to $2.5 billion by the end of 2022. Cherie won an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 National Award (U.S.).
Howard ’76 and Elaine Kootstra call Santa Barbara home. Howard graduated from Westmont with an economics and business degree. He started his career working for California Federal and Security Pacific before beginning his own residential lending business, Golden Empire Mortgage, in 1987. He and Elaine have been married for 40 years and have three children, including two Westmont alums, Jenna ’10 and Chelsea ’14. Howard has the privilege of currently serving on the Westmont College Board of Advisors and has been honored in the past as an Alumnus of the Year.
Woody Lippincott calls himself “a recovering trial lawyer” who loves Westmont students. Through vision casting and community building, he participates with God in helping students grow into the faithful leaders they were born to be. Woody clears his schedule for six to eight weeks every semester to walk with students as a volunteer in Westmont’s spiritual formation program, listening well and asking lots of questions. He loves watching students’ eyes light up as they see that their identity in Christ is not only the truest thing about them but is also actionable. He would love to show you how to do the same!
Eric Loper ’00 says, “The class of 2000 was forced to endure a starry-eyed entrepreneur captivated with the idea of finding the intersection of faith and business.” Eric started his career at an early-stage venture capital firm. He studied under the industry’s top talent at Microsoft and rose to become a people-centered executive with a passion for business development. Eric started two purpose-driven companies focused on making an impact in the lives of others: 3Seven Consulting and 3Seven Ventures are leveraging the power of business to fight human trafficking. Eric lives in Dallas with his beautiful wife, Marisa ’03, and three crazy kids.
Amy Low ’93 is a managing director at Emerson Collective, a social change organization working to ensure that all people have access to opportunity, health and well-being. Before joining Emerson, she served as chief advocacy and engagement officer at Landesa, a nongovernmental organization committed to reducing rural poverty. Earlier, she spent nearly a decade working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on building support for education reform and early learning and addressing family homelessness. She is now writing a book about wisdom gained from tragedy and triumph; Both Things Are True will be published by Hachette in spring 2024.
Greg Lundell ’01 is a partner with Haley Guiliano, a boutique, international intellectual property law firm. His practice focuses on resolving patent disagreements and developing corporate intellectual property strategy. He serves on the firm’s management committee. Greg and his wife, Anjanette (Werner) ’00, are working to solve problems around ministry sustainability in expensive real estate areas. Greg also serves on PathLight International’s board of directors. He is grateful for his Westmont education and lasting friendships, particularly with the Westmont rugby team and the Cold Springs Lodge community. Greg and Anjanette live in Redwood City, California, with their two teenage boys.
Mike Lynch ’09 earned a degree in biology at Westmont, where he also met his fantastic wife, Juliann ’09. Together they have three amazing children. Michael returned to Westmont in 2011 to earn a secondary teaching credential. Now in his eleventh year at Dos Pueblos High School, he teaches medical biology and chemistry. He has worked in the Academy for Success, a program seeking to reach and engage the most at-risk students on campus, during his entire career. Mike recently helped launch the Innovate program, which offers students more choice in how they learn and demonstrate their learning.
Eff and Patty Martin live in Woodside, California. Eff, a private investor and founding partner of Anthos Capital, spent 32 years in the investment banking industry, the last 22 at Goldman Sachs. Deeply engaged in spiritual formation ministries, he and Patty are elders at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and involved with various aspects of Renovaré, including the Renovaré Institute, the Martin Institute, and Wellspring. Patty is a trained counselor and spiritual director and promotes spiritual growth through meeting with individuals and groups in the Menlo Park area. She has taught numerous courses in spiritual formation based on the works of Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, and other writers. Patty serves on the Westmont College Board of Trustees. Eff and Patty have three grown children.
Todd Mattson ’89 and Amie Wallin Mattson ’90 are generous supporters of Westmont’s mission. Todd is vice president of surface at Horizon Hobby. Previously he was the CEO of Pro-Line Racing before the two companies merged. In his 30-year journey with Pro-Line, Todd has been content to lead quietly, building a premier RC Performance brand. He earned an MBA at the University of Redlands in 1997. Todd joined the Westmont College Board of Trustees in 2020 and also serves on the boards of the C. S. Lewis Foundation and Redlands Christian School. Todd and Amie have four children: Trevor, Tyler, Marissa and Thomas ’23.
Stephanie Medina ’80 is a nonprofit executive. After nearly 30 years in broadcast news and public affairs for several Los Angeles television stations—and winning awards, including four Emmys—she took a leap of faith to work for causes she believes in. She served on several nonprofit boards and as a transportation commissioner, appointed by two mayors, for the City of Los Angeles. A career of serving the public led her to a second career working with nonprofit organizations: Special Olympics World Games, Heal the Bay, and Goodwill Southern California, for which she currently serves as director of community relations and public affairs.
Ed and Mollie Miller generously gifted Westmont $8.2 million, the largest single gift the college’s history, in 2021. The gift supported the Paul Raymond Miller Scholarship Endowment, named in honor of Ed’s father and originally established 36 years ago. As an attorney specializing in probate and estate planning, Ed readily grasped the strategic value of enhancing Westmont’s endowment. Two of their daughters, Barbara ’90 and Susan ’93, attended Westmont. In the intervening years the Millers have changed many lives; their scholarship has supported hundreds of students who depend on financial aid to attend Westmont. In addition, Ed served on the Westmont College Board of Trustees for 17 years.
Jonathan Mitchell ’12 graduated cum laude with double degrees in economics and business and in political science. Continuing his education, he earned his MBA plus CFP® and ChFC® licenses. He works as a wealth advisor at Mercer Advisors, where he focuses on serving his clients with integrity. He and his wife, Elysia ’15, moved back to Santa Barbara in 2017, and most mornings you can find them walking the neighborhood with their dog and two young children. In the evenings they enjoy spending time with new friends or watching house-flipping shows on HGTV after the kids are asleep.
Shea ’07 and Michelle Evans ’07 Mosby are research scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. In 2019 Shea received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the U.S. government’s highest honor for outstanding scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers. Shea obtained a postdoctoral fellowship at Los Alamos in 2012 to study neutron capture reactions for nuclear technology applications. He became a technical staff member in 2014 and now leads projects studying the process of nuclear fission. He investigates interesting problems with real-world applications, contributing to both basic and applied scientific fields. Michelle works in global security. They both earned doctorates at Michigan State University, she in nuclear chemistry and he in experimental nuclear physics.
Cathy ’73 and the late Vince Nelson ’63 married in 1975. They had three children, two of them Westmont graduates. Vince majored in history at Westmont. Together they maintained a lifelong love and service to the college. After receiving an MBA from Columbia University in 1965, he served as a naval officer with two combat tours in the Gulf of Tonkin, worked in sales for IBM, then pursued a career in financial services and board leadership. In 1983 Vince joined the Westmont College Board of Trustees. He served as chair of the academic committee and as chair of the board from 2009–14. Vince was called home to be with the Lord Jesus September 25, 2021.
Bob and Dana Nicholson “consider it a supreme blessing to support the mission of the college and to be honored in this way.” Bob was first introduced to Westmont by his closest friend, Trustee Emeritus Tom Nelson, who was touched by its educational ministry. “My similar experience has both enhanced and enriched my life,” says Bob. “My life has been committed to loving Christ and to my loving wife, Dana. Our involvement with Westmont has strengthened those commitments and been a blessing in our lives. We have been impressed at every level of interaction—with students, faculty, administration and leadership. We marvel as we see God’s love for all his people reflected throughout each of these groups.”
Kelley Johnson Nikondeha ’91 and her husband, Claude, promote reconciliation in his home country of Burundi after a devastating civil war. More than a decade ago, they started Amahoro Africa to address African problems with African thinkers and practitioners. They also founded Communities of Hope, serving more than 3,300 marginalized tribal people with drilled wells, schools and medical facilities. Kelley and Claude adopted two children in Burundi. Adopted herself, Kelley wrote the award-winning Adopted: The Sacrament of Belonging in a Fractured World. Kelley describes rhetoric with Greg Spencer as a master class in choosing words wisely and living well. She earned an M.Div. at Fuller Theological Seminary in 1999.
Dan ’01 and Lindsey ’01 (Schuerman) Noland’s story has been a source of encouragement to thousands. Dan is the global director of real estate and facilities for Park Place Technologies, a role he also held at Curvature and Apple. Lindsey runs Chateau Noland, a family-owned and operated estate and wedding venue in Avila, California. In 2018, at the age of six, their daughter Claire was diagnosed with anaplastic lymphoma kinase positive (ALK +), systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). ALK+ ALCL is an aggressive lymphoma, and Lindsey has chronicled Claire’s ups and downs via social media with both joyous and heartbreaking posts, allowing others to walk alongside the family and witness their hope in God. Lindsey has become an advocate for pediatric cancer patients and an eloquent public speaker.
Marty Ozinga IV ’99 is the CEO of Ozinga, a fourth-generation family business best known for its red-and-white-striped concrete mixer trucks in Chicagoland and South Florida. He is partnered with his five brothers and one cousin in the family business; three of his brothers are Westmont alums. Marty earned a bachelor’s in economics and business from Westmont and a master’s in communications from Northwestern University. Marty and his wife, Amy ’98, have six children and live in Chicago. Their daughter Elyse became a freshman at Westmont in fall 2022.
Steven Pattie ‘74 graduated from Westmont with a degree in English and earned a M.Div. in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. In higher education he has served in the administration at Fuller and later as President of New College Berkeley. Steven has been engaged in advertising and fundraising on behalf of nonprofits as a Vice President at Russ Reid Company and Merchant McIntyre Associates. His life’s calling is his work as a visual artist, writer, poet, musician, film producer, and art collector/dealer. Through his own Redwood Retreat Gallery, featured is contemporary self-taught/outsider/folk/art brut, the Mid-Century/Beat period, Native American art, artifacts, and jewelry, his own work, and the gallery’s permanent collection. He shares his life and work with Diane and has two sons, Nathan and Lucas.
Brian Pauls ’94 is the CEO of Dream Industrial REIT and also serves as the president of PAULS Corp LLC. He is an accomplished real estate professional with industry experience in industrial and multifamily properties in Canada and the U.S. Brian earned a bachelor’s in economics and business and a master’s from the University of Denver. He and his wife, Diane Dixon Pauls ’94, reside in Denver and have three adult children: Kristen Pauls Gwinn ’16, Tyler, and Julia.
Mike ’97 and Brittney ’97 (Cox) Peterson serve in El Salvador with Missionsake, a ministry they founded in 2016. Mike is an entrepreneur/philanthropist with a penchant for making global headlines. His role in El Salvador’s becoming the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender became a global news story and was featured on 60 Minutes. Mike’s Christian faith and finance background have spurred him to devote his time to advocating for a more open and just global financial system. Mike is a fund advisor for El Zonte Capital, serves on several boards, and is a frequent guest speaker at Bitcoin conferences.
Jim Reid worked in the Westmont business office for more than 30 years and is a consummate example of the servant heart that Westmont seeks to develop in its students, staff and faculty. Not only did Jim work tirelessly in the back office, keeping student accounts and college finances in order, but he also personally invested in and prayed for many students while they were on campus—and for decades after they graduated. Many have been beneficiaries of Jim’s prayers, cards and notes of encouragement. Jim is most comfortable serving away from the spotlight, but it is fitting that Westmont celebrate his impact on so many lives over the course of his career.
Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree was a selflessly generous supporter of Westmont, whose beautiful art museum bears her name: the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. In addition, she donated numerous valuable paintings and art books to the college. Most recently, she made a leadership gift to the college for nursing that helped establish a scholarship fund and provide the resources to acquire Westmont Downtown at 26 W. Anapamu. Throughout her long affiliation with the college, she gave generously to the music program and student scholarships. In 2003 Westmont honored Leslie and her late husband, Paul Ridley-Tree, with the Westmont Medal for embodying principles associated with the Christian character of the college. Lady Ridley-Tree passed away October 3, 2022.
Enrique Roig ’90 is senior advisor in the Office of Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights for the U.S. Department of State. Enrique has extensive experience managing complex foreign policy and development initiatives in 23 countries, from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Caucasus region. He served as coordinator at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the Central America Regional Security Initiative to address the rise in insecurity and received four USAID awards for outstanding leadership. A political science major at Westmont, he participated in the American Studies Program in Washington, D.C., where he also met his future wife, Julia. Enrique earned a master’s in international relations from American University. Enrique and Julia live in Bethesda, Maryland, with their two teenage children.
Kenneth Sampson ’70 is a retired U.S. Army colonel. He served as chaplain for more than 20 years and is now military advisor to Guideposts. Ken says, “My heart and person are deeply indebted to Westmont,” where he studied sociology under Ron Enroth. These courses ignited in him a fire to know “you can live out your faith and do something about the cataclysmic forces in society.” Ken also attended Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois (M.Div.). He earned a masters of theology, world religions, at Princeton Theological Seminary, and a masters of strategic studies at US Army War College. He is an ordained pastor in the Reformed Church of America. Ken is married to Kate, and they have two children.
Dennis ’70 and Sue Savage have been married for 49 years. Dennis, a Santa Barbara native, attended Westmont because of former track coach Jim Klein and the inspirational runners he met at the college. He enjoyed the Bible classes and chapels, but it was through Dr. George Howe’s class on origins that “the Lord convinced me this is a created world and eventually led me to confess Jesus as Lord.” As a teacher at La Colina Junior High, Dennis met a charming art teacher, Susan. She had come to UCSB to complete her art degree and obtain a secondary teaching credential. She later earned an MFA in painting. As an art professor at Westmont, Sue loved teaching and nurturing each individual’s creative spirit. Upon her retirement, Westmont awarded her emerita status. She credits teaching at Westmont for helping her develop the spiritual content and visual language she uses in her professional painting practice.
Janelle Adderley Schroy ’03 pursues the adventure of a lifetime: traveling to 50 countries in five years with her husband, Jedd, and their four daughters. While living in Cape Town, South Africa, for 10 years, they created Paradigm Shift, a nonprofit program that churches in 12 African countries use to empower the poor through business training, microfinance, mentoring and biblical discipleship. Janelle developed the Adventure Clubs app for families. With venture funding, she expanded into different markets, designing fun, unique, educational adventures. The family has a YouTube channel and are documenting their trip to all 50 countries. The Adventure Family Journal includes more than 60 five- to 10-minute videos aimed at children ages five through 12.
Sharyna Scott ’10 is an attorney with a passion for using the law to help others. Born and raised in San Diego, she has been blessed to have a career she chose at a young age. Licensed with the State Bar of California, Sharyna received her JD from Northeastern University School of Law and her bachelor’s in philosophy. She founded the Law Office of Sharyna Scott in 2016 to make a positive impact. Sharyna’s chosen areas of estate planning and business allow her to come alongside others, guiding them through complex processes to ensure they leave a lasting legacy.
Annette (Caldwell) Simmons was born in Tyler, Texas. She earned a bachelor’s in elementary education from Southern Methodist University in 1957. After graduating, she taught at Maple Lawn Elementary School in Dallas and at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. Annette married Harold Simmons in 1980. Although Harold (who died in 2013) had made his fortune in Texas, the couple was also a presence in Montecito and closest neighbors to Westmont. Already generous college supporters, in 2007 they surprised Westmont with a $1 million gift for student scholarships and an endowed chair in art. In 2010 they generously gave $1 million to the Bright Hope for Tomorrow campaign.
David and Carolyn Spainhour married in 1953. David served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War from 1950–54 and in 1953 was transferred to shore duty at Point Mugu Naval Air Station after serving two years at sea. Following his discharge from military service, he was employed by Security Pacific National Bank in Los Angeles and began his banking career. In 1966 he and Carolyn moved to Santa Barbara; David joined Santa Barbara National Bank and was employed there until retiring from his banking career in 2004. During his career he served on numerous nonprofit boards, including Westmont’s. David and Carolyn have two children, two grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Kirk and Bonnie Steele are the proud parents of Lisa Steele Johnson ’95 and Patrick Steele ’97. They served as leaders of Westmont’s Parents Council (1994–97), and Kirk was a member of the Westmont College Board of Trustees during that time. “The caring community of Westmont was on full display when our son Patrick suffered a devastating accident while practicing for Spring Sing in his senior year. The support we received was instant and ongoing from students, faculty, parents and staff all the way up to the president. Everyone’s love and care sustained our whole family, and we are eternally grateful.”
Steve Stong ’75 has served on the Westmont College Board of Trustees since 1996. He was president of Steven Label Corporation and lives in Huntington Beach, California. After graduating from Westmont, Steve earned an MBA at Harvard. He purchased Steven Label in 1986 and ran the company as president and CEO until its sale earlier this year. A Westmont trustee for 26 years, he has served much of that time as chair of the finance committee. He was also a member of the presidential search committee that selected Gayle Beebe. Steve is married to Dr. Robyn Mitchell-Stong.
Mark Strauss ’82 is University Professor of New Testament at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Mark earned a Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen and an M.Div. and Th.M. at Talbot School of Theology. At Westmont he earned a bachelor’s in psychology. He has authored 20 books, including a textbook on the Gospels (Four Portraits, One Jesus), commentaries on Luke and Mark and various other books on hermeneutics and Bible translation. He serves as vice-chair for the NIV (New International Version) Committee on Bible Translation and as an associate editor for the NIV Study Bible. Mark is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, Institute for Biblical Research and Evangelical Theological Society. Mark and his wife, Roxanne, have three grown children: Daniel, Jamie, and Luke.
Paul Swanson ’72 shares these verses: Micah 6:8, Matthew 22:37–40, Hosea 6:6 and Zephaniah 3:17. “Lord, help me to . . . let go of things that don’t matter and finish well . . . burn out enthusiastically . . . and rust out gracefully!”
Dave Tell ’98 is professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas (KU). He is the author of Remembering Emmett Till, named a 2019 book of the year by the Economist and winner of the 2020 McLemore Prize and the 2021 Byron Caldwell Smith Book Award. Dave is a former fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities and a founding director of the Emmett Till Memory Project—a GPS-enabled smart-phone app dedicated to commemorating Till’s murder. His writing on the subject has been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Atlantic Monthly. At KU Dave is codirector of the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities and the Allan J. Cigler Faculty Fellow in the University Honors Program.
Heather (Racine) Vaikona ’02 is president and CEO of Lift To Rise, an organization working to address underlying causes of inequities in the Coachella Valley since 2014. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization pivoted to distribute emergency cash assistance to vulnerable families. Lift To Rise launched the Coachella Valley’s Housing Catalyst Fund with the goal of building 10,000 units of affordable housing. This project was just named as the beneficiary of $15 million from the California budget, and Lift To Rise received a Nonprofit of the Year award in Sacramento. While raising high-school-age children, Heather’s faith and unwavering belief in the power of love to transform and transcend challenges is inspiring.
Roberto Valladares ’08 serves as the chief medical officer and chief medical informatics officer at Mee Memorial Healthcare System in California, leveraging health information technology and making operational improvements to better clinical and financial outcomes. At Stanford University School of Medicine he earned an MD in bioengineering and biomedical engineering. At Westmont he double majored in chemistry and biology and graduated summa cum laude. The clients he has worked with to implement or optimize a Cerner/Epic electronic health care record include the Mayo Clinic, among others. At Westmont, Roberto spent spring breaks in Ensenada, Mexico, with doctors and dentists providing free care to those in need.
Erik Van Slooten ’02 is a chiropractor in Salt Lake City, Utah. He received his doctorate from LifeWest and specializes in pediatric, perinatal and family practice. He owns Holladay Chiropractic (est. 1978), where he shares his faith and joy with patients, whom he prays for regularly. Erik serves passionately on his church worship team as a vocalist, is an avid supporter of the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake and has served on five chiropractic mission trips. He shares four children with Paige (Johnson) ’02, his college sweetheart, with whom he played Westmont College tennis. “Erik exemplifies a life that fully embraces the calling God has on his life to give, to love and to serve others.”
José Velazquez has been tending Westmont’s grounds for 50 years. He is faithful, gracious and pursues excellence. José is currently responsible for the landscape around the Kerrwood President’s Patio and the president’s residence and has shared responsibility for the upper and lower entrances to campus. He also maintains several of the special gardens around campus. Over the years, José has about done it all. He pays meticulous attention to detail, works with a willing heart and kindness, and always takes time for a smile and a wave. José is a friend to all and truly a treasure.
Luis Villarreal ’73, a psychiatric social worker by training, focused his 46-year career in ministry to low-income individuals and families as an inner-city pastor. He is the founder of Save Our Youth Mentoring, a 30-year ministry serving Denver’s youth caught in gang violence. Luis is also founding director of The Master’s Apprentice Ministry, where he serves 2nd Chance Ministries, formerly incarcerated individuals, and those locked in poverty, training them to enter apprenticeships in the construction trades for economic security and upward social mobility. Luis resides in Englewood, Colorado, with his wife of 48 years, Nancy (Allen) Villarreal ’73.
Celeste (Keith) ’76 and Robert White made an extraordinary gift of $7.25 million to Westmont in 2021 in honor of Celeste’s father, Ed Keith. The gift—the second largest in the college’s history—helped Westmont strengthen its mission by purchasing a four-story building in downtown Santa Barbara. Celeste is president and chair of the Lux Forum Board of Directors. She curates the nonprofit’s speakers and events, as well as stories that provoke inner reflection and inspire gratitude, action and change. Also serving on several other boards, including Westmont’s, she is the owner and CEO of Horse Rock Olive Oil and cofounder of Stitches Medical, Inc., a privately held healthcare and adaptive clothing company. Robert is a trauma surgeon, secretary of Lux Forum, and board member of Stitches Medical and several other corporations and nonprofits. He holds a bachelor’s from Pacific Union College and attended the University of California, Davis, for postgraduate work. After attaining his MD and completing a surgery residency, he became a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons. Celeste and Robert have four adult children.
Dean Wilson ’97 is president and CEO of The Turner Foundation and founder of Good Life TV. Dean seeks to bring hope, laughter, love and life in the spirit of Jesus to those around him. Dean began his career on Wall Street before serving as founding CEO of several start-up ventures. He was the visionary and lead cofounder of Behind Every Door, seeking neighborhood transformation in difficult environments in the Dallas–Fort Worth area. He launched programs such as Real Men and Sons of a Loving Father to inspire and equip men, old and young. Dean and his wife, Susan ’97, have been married for 25 years and have five children: Hannah, Ella Claire, Grace, DJ and Luke.
Jay Wood ’76 calls Westmont “a place of intellectual and spiritual awakening,” as he studied under outstanding professors such as Bob Wennberg, Stan Obitts, and visiting professor Stuart Hackett while earning his degree in philosophy. “They prepared me to earn a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Notre Dame,” followed by a 40-year career teaching philosophy at Wheaton College, Illinois, with special interests in epistemology, philosophy of religion and virtue theory. Jay has written widely for scholarly and popular publications. His books include Epistemology: Becoming Intellectually Virtuous; God; and the co-authored Intellectual Virtues: An Essay in Regulative Epistemology.
Raul (Rudy) Ybarra was a local soccer standout who briefly attended and played at Westmont in the mid-1970s. Although he did not graduate from Westmont, having gone on to become a professional soccer player, he would return decades later and make an impact on many. When he moved back to Santa Barbara, he worked for two decades at Santa Barbara High School and as a leader and coach with the Santa Barbara Soccer Club. Rudy has invested in the lives of countless youth in the community and mentored innumerable first-generation college students, more than 10 of whom he has helped graduate from Westmont. In addition, he has served as a volunteer assistant coach at Westmont since 2016.
Mark Zoradi ’76 is a member of the board of directors of Cinemark Holdings, Inc. He served as CEO from 2015–21, guiding the company during the turbulent COVID-19 crisis. Mark spent 30 years at The Walt Disney Company, most recently as the president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Group. In addition to serving as a board member for Cinemark, National CineMedia, Steven Label and other organizations, Mark has served on the Westmont College Board of Trustees for 26 years. He holds an MBA in marketing and finance from the School of Management at UCLA (now Anderson School of Management) and a bachelor’s in economics and sociology. Mark has been married to Cathy ’76 for 45 years. They have three children and six grandchildren.
Westmont invited nominations of men and women from throughout the Westmont community, including alumni, parents, grandparents and friends, who have contributed to the vitality of the college in a wide variety of ways.
Recommendations were sought for those who embody one of the following:
1) Exemplify and faithfully live out the mission of Westmont. These are our "thoughtful scholars, grateful servants and faithful leaders" who are engaging the academy, church and world.
2) Help Westmont extend its mission around the world. These are the generous, faithful families, friends and leaders who partner with the college in a variety of ways to widen our impact in every sphere of society.
We received many nominations and had to narrow the list down to 85. Thank you for helping us find amazing members of the Westmont community serving in their businesses, churches, education, non profits, and more, and for bringing to light the behind-the-scenes friends who extend Westmont's mission and impact in the world.
Know an alum you want to nominate for Homecoming 2023? Send us an email with information to email@example.com.