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Women United Launch to Bring Strong Philanthropic Support and Advocacy to United Way Education Programs

February 26 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Group is part of a powerful, global network of women leaders

Pictured: Members of the Santa Barbara Women United Leadership Team: from left, Amber Ortiz, Val Montgomery, Susan Hanna, Maryan Schall, Julie Karbula, Tamara Skov, and Susan Hersberger (Chair). Not pictured: Andria Kahmann.

United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) is proud to introduce the new local group of Women United, a global network of women leaders dedicated to creating a world of opportunity for everyone through United Way partnerships and programs. The group will hold its launch event on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Hotel Californian. Keynote speakers are Tina McEnroe (founder of the McEnroe Reading & Language Arts Clinic in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UCSB) and Marni McGee (nationally-acclaimed children’s author).

Locally, Women United will increase philanthropic support and spearhead advocacy efforts for targeted UWSBC K-12 educational initiatives, such as the Kindergarten Success Institute and United for Literacy. Women United ensures that more underserved children and families succeed during crucial early elementary school years and beyond.

“Women are an incredible force, raising more money for charitable organizations across the globe than ever before,” said Susan Hersberger, local Women United volunteer chair who recently retired from Aera Energy. “The results demonstrate that United Way’s school readiness and literacy programs make important differences each day, and we’re honored to bring together a network of enthusiastic and dedicated philanthropic women in our community to support those programs.”

The Santa Barbara County founding group consists of local women who are community leaders committed to improving opportunities for local children and families. Internationally, Women United has more than 70,000 members who work together to address the most critical needs of more than 165 communities across six countries, raising more than $1.5 billion over 13 years.

“I am excited to be a founding member of Women United. Together, we will make a positive difference for many of Santa Barbara’s youngest learners,” said Amber Ortiz, Vice President/Private Banker, City National Bank and founding member of Women United. “At City National, we believe that a good education and the ability to learn throughout one’s lifetime are vital to achieve success.”

For this launch event, special thanks is given to lead sponsors: Aera Energy, City National Bank and Maryan Schall. Other sponsors include American Riviera Bank and Bryant & Sons.

The mission of Women United is to mobilize a powerful leadership network of women to strengthen the Santa Barbara community through a focused investment of talent, compassion and philanthropy. Women United works to improve the community through participating in enriching volunteer, networking and educational activities. Through these programs Women United hopes to build better futures for all.

Tickets to the launch event are $75 per person. To buy tickets or for more information, please visit:

About United Way of Santa Barbara County
United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) has the unique and positive vision that “in our community, everyone has a hopeful future.” Since 1923, UWSBC has served Santa Barbara County community through funding, volunteer development, and by utilizing its own unique initiatives that involve dozens of local non-profit and public sector agencies. UWSBC’s local community driven Power of Partnership™ priorities help children, families & seniors with a focus on Education, Income and Health.


February 26
11:30 am - 1:00 pm


Hotel Californian
36 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103 United States
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United Way of Santa Barbara County

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