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(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – Kelsey Gerckens Buttitta has been selected as the new Communications Manager/Public Information Officer for Santa Barbara County and will start her duties with the County on November 1, 2022.
In her new role, Buttitta is charged with addressing countywide communication needs, building a proactive system of communications, engaging community stakeholders, overseeing the implementation of communications strategies, and ensuring that County communications fosters the delivery exceptional County services. She will also engage the community on emergency communications to ensure that all are well informed of incidents and build a greater awareness of county services, programs and facilities to best serve residents and visitors to Santa Barbara County.
“As the Communications Manager/Public Information Officer for the County of Santa Barbara, I look forward to being the connector between the County’s Executive Office, government officials, community leaders and business, as well as residents,” said Buttitta. “As a member of the Santa Barbara community since 2011 and media reporter for KEYT-News, I have witnessed our County retain and uplift its historical roots while celebrating and uplifting the diversity of our region, from North to South County. Professionally, I truly care about our community and look forward to keeping our residents informed and engaged. I am also personally invested in our community and feel blessed to be able to represent the place where I’m raising my family.”
Buttitta has worked at KEYT-News Channel 3 in Santa Barbara since 2011, where she is a reporter and most recently the Chief Meteorologist for the ABC, CBS and Fox affiliates. She produces and reports live five days a week, creates and disseminates content for digital media and manages and trains her team internally. Buttitta is also leading the nationwide effort as the only meteorologist on a corporate team to modernize and distribute a new graphics package for KEYT’s sister stations nationwide.
Buttitta earned two Emmy awards for team reporting and coverage of the Thomas Fire and best newscast, covering the Refugio oil spill. She also earned the prestigious Golden Mike award for the best weather segment for four consecutive years (2017-2020).
Buttitta’s extensive experience reporting in Santa Barbara County, coupled with her deep knowledge of the local community and her relationships across the County, will help take Santa Barbara County communications to new levels.
“We are very excited to welcome Kelsey to the Santa Barbara County team and look forward to working with her to advance communications for our residents, the media, community and business organizations,” said Terri Maus Nisich, Assistant CEO for the County of Santa Barbara. “Kelsey has a passion for serving the community, and that, combined with her work ethic, positive attitude and excellent public speaking skills, make her a great fit for the position.”
Buttitta is a lifelong resident of the Central Coast and currently lives in Santa Barbara with her husband and two children. She graduated from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in broadcast journalism.