Recognized as a “Local Hero” by the Santa Barbara Independent and the recipient of an “Everyday Hero” National Award by Court TV, Paredes grew up in Santa Barbara and has been devoted to the community ever since. Having served in leadership positions with numerous non-profits and community groups, he received the Pacific Coast Business Times’ 40 under 40 award and a Distinguished Leaders Award from Leadership Santa Barbara County.
Graduating from the University of Southern California with a degree in Gerontology, Paredes was an Associate Physical Director for YMCA before serving as Associate Executive Director for Easy Lift Transportation for ten years. A non-profit, Easy Lift provides specialized transportation services in Santa Barbara county, furthering the independence of people who have challenges getting out into the community, including the residents of Hillside House. As a community volunteer, Paredes has served on the boards of many non-profits, including the Family Service Agency, Rehabilitation Institute, as co-president of the board of the Nonprofit Support Center, and currently as both chair of the leadership committee of Special Olympics in Santa Barbara and chair of the Leadership Council of CASA.
In 2001 Paredes became Executive Director of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Santa Barbara County, where he worked with such community groups as Santa Barbara City College Adult Education, Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce Business Leaders Council, and the County of Santa Barbara Kids Network. Currently, he has returned to Easy Lift as Executive Director.
Paredes has been married to his wife Jenifer for 20 years and has two children, Peyton and Reyna. He is an avid triathlete and has completed five Ironman Triathlons.
When asked why he joined the Board of Hillside House, he answered, “Through my experiences with Easy Lift, I have learned more about individuals living with developmental disabilities as well as the needs of the families, my decision to join the Hillside House Board is to help further their mission of serving these wonderful individuals and educate our community of the value they offer to each of us. It is important to help advocate for those that cannot easily advocate for themselves.”
Pam Flynt Tambo, Executive Director of Hillside House, said, “We are thrilled to have Ernesto Paredes join the Board. He has been so active in the Santa Barbara community, and he understands the needs of people with disabilities. His breadth of experience with non-profits and his commitment to helping others will be very valuable to us.”
About Hillside House
Hillside House is a non-profit residential facility and therapeutic learning center, caring for 59 people with developmental disabilities, with levels of disability ranging from moderate to severe. Hillside House offers around-the-clock nursing care as well as physical therapy, independent living skills, recreational and learning opportunities, individualized treatment programs and much more, so that residents can reach for their highest potential and live full lives.
The mission of Hillside House is “to provide a home that supports our residents’ efforts to maximize their physical, cognitive, social and emotional abilities so that they can attain their highest level of independence in an environment where people are treated with dignity and respect.”