Article Sheri MobleyCommunity Action Commission

Community Action Commission Pays Tribute to Champions of Youth, Families, Seniors
Fran Forman, Kevin Walthers, CenCal Health Recognized

Community Action Commission (CAC) recently honored those who’ve helped improve the lives of children, youth, families and seniors in Santa Barbara County. The 13th annual Champions event, held at Hotel Corque in Solvang, recognized:

Fran Forman – As the recently retired executive director of Community Action Commission, Forman has worked on behalf of children, teens, families and seniors to promote their education, job skills, physical/emotional well-being, and economic security in an effort to stabilize their lives.

Kevin Walthers – As superintendent/president of Allan Hancock College, Walthers has been recognized for building relationships with the community, creating innovative fundraising programs and leading accreditation reporting. Under his leadership, the college launched The Hancock Promise which allows students, who graduate from high schools in the Santa Maria, Lompoc, Santa Ynez and Cuyama valleys, to receive their first year of tuition and fees for free.

CenCal Health – From a small local health plan to the largest health insurer in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, the mission of CenCal Health is to “improve the health and well-being of the people of the Central Coast.” An organization that provides for those who would not otherwise have health care coverage, CenCal Health runs towards the needs of the community, not away from them.

Thanks to a matching gift from CenCal Health, this year’s event raised over $100,000 to support the Healthy Senior Lunch program of Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County.

Top event sponsors were CenCal Health, Rabobank, Arthur Gallagher, BB&H Benefit Designs, Chumash Foundation and Deckers.

“Tonight, we are all partners in the quest to ensure our seniors remain healthy and independent — that makes each one of you a champion as well,” conveyed Patricia Keelean, executive director of CAC to an audience of some 200 guests.

In addition to the guests of honor, other notable attendees at the commemorative dinner and presentation included:

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown, CenCal Health CEO Robert Freeman, Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte, Guy R. Walker, Vice President, Board of Directors of Allan Hancock College, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Steve Lavagnino, and Goleta City Councilmember Michael T. Bennett.

About Community Action Commission

Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County offers opportunities for families and individuals to achieve stability through 22 health and human service programs, including Head Start, Healthy Senior Lunch, Weatherization Assistance, Family & Youth Services, and 2-1-1 Santa Barbara.

CAC serves more than 10,000 people throughout the county each year. It employs some 400 health, education and social service workers. CAC is a private nonprofit agency that leverages support for Santa Barbara County residents through private funding and government contracts and grants. More information is at