Human Services Commission of Santa Barbara County Welcomes New Commissioners

Sharrie Suzanne “Suzy” Cawthon, Sharon Siegel, and Jessica Tade have been appointed to the Human Services Commission of Santa Barbara County, each beginning a two-year term. Selected for their diverse interests and community involvement, the new commissioners join a group of individuals dedicated to changing the lives of Santa Barbara County residents through public service.

“Suzy, Sharon, and Jessica bring great energy to an already dynamic board,” said Commission Chair Julie Kessler Solomon. “Working together, the members of the Human Services Commission make recommendations for the allocation of funds that provide nonprofit organizations with the opportunity to make real change in our community.”  

Representing the first district, Sharrie Suzanne Cawthon is the owner of the Santa Barbara Jazzercise franchise. She has also worked as a corporate event manager for a Goleta high tech company. Suzy began her career in Dallas, working as a commercial lender specializing in radio/television/cable acquisition financing.

Suzy is a dedicated community volunteer, currently serving as a board member for the AHA Heart Walk, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and the Summerland Citizen’s Association. She has volunteered for Domestic Violence Solutions, was the chair of the Measure V Bond Oversight Committee, and served as the PTA president at both San Marcos and Santa Barbara high schools. While living in Billings, Montana, Suzy was a committed fundraiser for public school programs in addition to becoming the development director for the city’s YWCA. She later served as the school board president for District #8, and was the PTA president seven times.

Suzy was born in Dallas, Texas, but grew up in Anaheim, California. She received both her bachelor’s degree, and master’s degree in business administration from Baylor University. Suzy is the mother of three grown children, and is a Summerland resident.

Representing the second district, Sharon Siegel is the retired district director for Congresswoman Lois Capps. Prior to that, she served as the district director for the late Congressman Walter Capps. She has also worked as a talent agent and casting director in both Los Angeles and New York before her relocation to Santa Barbara in 1990.

A passionate community volunteer, Sharon has given her time to the Grace Lutheran Church food distribution program, and was approached by Lutheran Services of Southern California to serve as the area director for Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Sharon was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.

Representing the third district, Jessica Tade is the director of marketing and communications for the Santa Barbara City College Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing support for Santa Barbara City College and its students. In this role, she manages public relations and marketing aspects of the foundation’s current strategic plan. Previously, Jessica was the director of communications and marketing for the Santa Barbara Foundation, a community foundation with assets totaling more than $300 million. Jessica modernized and expanded communications, establishing a social media presence and coalescing the foundation’s brand. She has also worked as an associate editor for the McGraw-Hill Companies, developing both fine art and computer technology educational textbooks, and as an archivist for the Architecture and Design Collection at the UC Santa Barbara Art, Design & Architecture Museum. 

Jessica is always looking for ways to positively impact her community. She is a current volunteer scholarship interviewer for the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara; a past Steering Committee member for the Business Giving Roundtable; and a past Steering Committee member, Marketing Committee co-chair, and communications coach for Fast Pitch SB. She is also a past Steering Committee member for Partnership for Excellence, a yearly conference bringing together leaders from Santa Barbara County’s philanthropic sector in order to build relationships and explore ideas, strategies, and skills that enhance nonprofit organizations and their work.

Jessica is a three-time graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she received a doctor of philosophy degree in Art History specializing in Romanesque architecture and sculpture.  

The new commissioners join a dedicated group including Julie Kessler Solomon, commission chair (third district); Michele Mickiewicz, commission vice chair (second district); Oscar Sepulveda (first district); Carol Keator (first district); Lucille Ramirez (second district); Joan Marie Fairfield (third district); Ruth Jensen (fourth district); Chrissy Allen (fifth district); Deborah A. Aceves (fifth district); and Linda Lindner (fifth district).  


About the Human Services Commission of Santa Barbara County

The Human Services Commission of Santa Barbara Count was established in 1977 by the Board of Supervisors to advise the board concerning the development and implementation of effective human service policies. The commission is responsible for making recommendations to the board for specified county general funds and HUD funded grants to nonprofit agencies. In addition, in 2011 the Board of Supervisors put the commission in charge of making recommendations on the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) programs. Those funds also serve homeless and other human services needs countywide.

For more information, please contact:                       

Susan Foley
Department Business Specialist II
(805) 568-3522


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