Bryan Kerner joined TBCF in March 2013, bringing with him years of leadership experience working with nonprofits in a variety of capacities, specializing in financial management, fundraising and event planning. Originally from Connecticut, where among his professional and volunteer roles, he spent ten years with the Simsbury’s American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life as finance chair and as president of the Collinsville Arts Initiative, a fundraising event for art grants and youth mentoring programs.
Throughout his personal and professional life, Bryan has embodied a strong commitment to provide energy, enthusiasm and synergistic solutions in making a difference in the lives of youth and their families. In Santa Barbara, his involvement working with the Children’s Creative Project and the I Madonnari Festival helps provide youth with arts education programs through the Santa Barbara County’s Education Office.
Kayla Howard-Anderson also joined TBCF as Program Director in March 2013 following her return from serving two years with the Peace Corps in Panama as an environmental health volunteer. Kayla lived among an indigenous tribe in the jungle, teaching health and sanitation, and helped organized the village to construct over 50 new sanitation facilities. Ms. Howard-Anderson holds a B.S. in human development and a minor in global studies from University of California at Davis. She has worked extensively with special needs children in preschools through University of California, Davis, as well as for Camp Kasem, a non-profit camp for families coping with cancer.
“I am thrilled to have such exceptional and experienced individuals join Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation and dedicate their efforts to provide critical emotional and financial support services to families that have children with cancer,” explains Executive Director Lindsey Guerrero, “The professional experiences that each of our new team members bring to the table will greatly strengthen our abilities to enhance the quality and reach of our services.”
Stephanie Forrester takes on a dual role with TBCF as Bookkeeper & Administrative Assistant, utilizing her extensive experience in financial management and office administration. In addition to her professional qualifications, Ms. Forrester has volunteered with Dream Foundation,, Direct Relief International, X-LA Aide and worked hands on with CNN in collaboration with the United Kingdom and several other countries to bring Kosovo refugees to Santa Barbara for medical treatment.
Melinda Bie, a lifetime resident of the Santa Barbara area, is the most recent addition to TBCF. Her experience with non-profits includes 14 years with the National Electrical Contractors Association and board member of the Plaza Playhouse Theater in Carpinteria, coordinator of the Pierre Claeyssens Military Ball, in addition to her involvement with the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 218, where her husband, Peter Bie, serves as President.
The mission of Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation is to provide financial and emotional support to families of children with cancer living in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties. Each year the organization serves over 650 individuals. To learn more about Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation visit www.teddybearcancerfoundation.org or call 805.962.7466.