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Santa Barbara, CA, July 11, 2023 – Kathryn Westland brings extensive experience, focused passion and innovative vision to her work in the senior care space.  

Kathryn previously served as the Friendship Center’s Program manager and is excited to join the organization in the capacity of Executive Director. 

While at Friendship Center, Kathryn oversaw a high-energy, dynamic program to accommodate the unique interests, abilities and life stories of the attending members. Kathryn led the organization’s transition to a virtual programming model in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and collaborated with several organizations, locally and beyond, to continue engaging isolated seniors along the Central Coast. 

She looks forward to supporting the organization’s capacity to grow in a multitude of ways and is eager to work closely with the dedicated staff that make Friendship Center so special.

“I am grateful to have been able to work closely with and be mentored by Heidi Holly (previous Executive Director) for many years, which increases my confidence for this collaborative transition.” 

Having spent 13 years living with a loved one who had dementia, Kathryn has been dedicated to discovering ways to support the aging community from a very young age. Raised in Pasadena, her educational and research pursuits have taken her far and wide, including obtaining her undergraduate degree from University of St Andrews, Scotland and her master’s degree in public health from the University of Sydney, Australia. Throughout the course of her academic and professional career, she has been particularly fascinated with models of care that empower older adults to comfortably ‘age-in-place’. This fascination is what led her to Friendship Center in 2017, when she became the organization’s dedicated Program Manager until transitioning to Alzheimer’s Association in 2021. While at the Alzheimer’s Association, Kathryn served as the Central Coast’s Director of Programs and was responsible for the design and coordination of the organization’s care and support programs reaching over 3,000 families annually.  

“Kathryn is the ideal match to lead the next chapter of the Friendship Center’s growth and impact in our community,” said Cynder Sinclair, Board Chair of Friendship Center. “Her passion for and creative approach to senior care along with her outstanding background and skill set is sure to forge an exciting path for the future of Friendship Center.” 

Kathryn lives in Santa Barbara with her husband, David, and their pug, Ana.  


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