Center for Family Strengthening is dedicated to strengthening families through education and advocacy. The center partners with family support organizations in San Luis Obispo County to provide resources to families in need, protect children from abuse and neglect, and ensure that strong families are a community priority.

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2017 – 18 Board of Directors

Bob Watt

Bob Watt, President

Principal, Cambria Elementary School, Coast Unified School District.
First 5 Commissioner, SLO County.

 

 

 

Patti Hempenius, Vice President

Patti HempeniusPatti brings more than 50 years of experience in both social services and business.  She has served on multiple Boards of Directors in both the nursing industry as well as the lodging industry and has a wealth of experience inlocal, national and international business.  Patti is currently serving as a Board Member of Central Coast Funds for Children. As a registered nurse she holds the California state designation “Public Health Nurse” and is currently retired from nursing. Patti has been a very successful business owner of nine lodging properties on the Central coast. She graduated from Cal State Dominguez Hills with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She is married to Jerry Hempenius, is the mother of a son and daughter and is a grandmother to four delightful grandchildren.

 

Mary Bianchi, Treasurer

Mary BianchiMary Bianchi is County Director for the University of California Cooperative Extension in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties.  She is a member of and recent Chair of the Model of Care Partners Oversight Committee (MoCPOC) working in support of Martha’s Place Children’s Assessment Center in San Luis Obispo since 2006, and a founding member of Friends of Martha’s Place.

 

 

Cherie Fields, Secretary

Supervisor, Nurse Family Partnership of San Luis Obispo County

 

 

Ann Barnes

Ann Barnes, Board Member

Anne Barnes has been a Probation Officer for the County of San Luis Obispo for over twenty years.  As a Probation Officer, She has previously served on the Services Affirming Family Empowerment (SAFE) team in the North County as well as served on the Paso Robles and Templeton School Attendance Review Boards.  She was on the committee to develop the protocol for competency in Juvenile Court as well as the committee for 

Commercially Sexually Exploited Children.  She has worked with numerous evidence-based programs through the Probation Department to help guide at-risk-youth.  She has a long history of collaboration with numerous San Luis Obispo County agencies and non-profit organizations and is committed to serving the needs of families.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and has a son and two daughters.

 

Beverly Thompson, Board Member

Former board member of the S.A.V.E. (Sexual Assault Victims Education) nonprofit organization. In June 2015,   S.A.V.E merged with Center for Family Strengthening. Through this merger, Beverly facilitated support for the expansion of the Kidz Toolbox for Personal Safety program for preschool age children. 

 

Sharon Baldridge, Board Member

Sharon is one of the silent heroes on the Central Coast who has been “helping others in need” by working on behalf of the disadvantaged, victims of domestic violence, recovering alcohol and drug users and protecting our precious kids from sexual abuse for over 40 years.

A native of San Luis Obispo Sharon graduated from SLO High School in 1955 and went on to major in the arts at Woodbury College in Los Angeles. After a divorce Sharon found herself a single mom of two young girls. She returned home to the Central Coast to raise her daughters. 

Sharon is a former board member of the S.A.V.E. (Sexual Assault Victims Education) nonprofit organization. In June 2015, S.A.V.E merged with Center for Family Strengthening. Through this merger, Sharon facilitated support for the expansion of the Kidz Toolbox for Personal Safety program for preschool age children. Sharon is also an active member of Central Coast Funds for Children

 

Meghan Burger, Youth Services Supervisor, City of San Luis Obispo Parks and Recreation

Since High School Megan has been working in support of youth. She began her professional life teaching for 8 years, and for the past decade has worked in the City of San Luis Obispo Parks and Recreation. In her role as Youth Services Supervisor, she oversees programs that serve over a thousand children per year.

Meghan served on the Child Care Planning Council for SLO County for over 5 years and is currently the Past President on the California Parks and Recreation Society’s District 8 Board of Directors. She believes that likeminded and community-focused individuals can inspire greatness, support positive opportunities for communities served, and provide launching ground for program development in support of youth and families.

Meghan is a mom of two young boys, an aunt to many, and passionate about the sanctity of childhood.

 

 

 

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