Our Patron & Honorary Board Member:
Mr. Michael McDonald
“My sister dropped out of private school, enrolled in public school, and basically worked from then on to help support our family. I was lucky in that I was able to pull in just enough money through music to keep my mother off my back,” McDonald laughed. “Looking back, though, what a stroke of luck. It was such a gift to be able to support myself doing something I loved, and it motivated me to keep going. I see a lot of these kids, and I think they want to get out there and contribute; they just need someone to tell them how. And if they can do it artistically, it’s so much more gratifying and so much more sustainable. There’s a practicality in this! And, what’s good for these kids is good for the community, for all of us.”
Board of Directors
Cynthia Brittain – Chair
Cynthia D. Brittain’s practice focuses on domestic and international estate planning for high-net worth individuals. As part of her private client services practice, she assists multi-generational families with business succession, family governance, and tax planning.
Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Brittain was the Senior Wealth Planning Strategist and Director of Planning for Abbot Downing, Wells Fargo’s boutique family- office division. Ms. Brittain has worked in London and Hong Kong as a private client services attorney. Ms. Brittain has lectured nationwide on estate planning, international planning, and asset protection.
Dale Dewey– Treasurer
Dale Dewey is a serial entrepreneur who has founded four companies and bought and sold two others. His clients include global brand
leaders such as Chanel, Estee Lauder, Dior, L’Oreal, and Procter & Gamble but also numerous small and mid-sized start-ups and turn-arounds. After beginning his career in marketing at Colgate-Palmolive in New York, he relocated to Europe where he spent 10 years in the fragrance industry. Upon his return to the US he founded Fragrance Solutions, a market research firm serving the prestige fine fragrance market, which he successfully sold to the NPD Group. He then founded jasmin.com a venture backed e-commerce fragrance business which partnered with Ulta and P&G. Jasmin.com was successfully sold to Asford.com. Dale’s corporate experience includes serving as CEO in the US of two French luxury companies – Fauchon and Christofle and of a venture backed wireless business.
REBECCA SUMMERS - DIRECTOR
Seasoned fundraiser, Rebecca Summers began her career in development in 1993 while teaching high school in New Hampshire. What started as a means to improve education and programming within her small school of 300 students, quickly developed into a passion to improve the quality of education across the state. Soon Rebecca was fundraising for multiple school districts and educational consortiums, writing federal and foundation grants to support after school programs, innovative practices, professional development, alternative education, school reform, and more.
In 2007 she moved to Boston where she raised millions for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. She later moved to Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Boston's premier organization dedicated to transforming the lives of runaway, homeless, and high-risk youth. At Bridge, Rebecca broke fundraising records, leading a campaign to build the city’s first youth shelter and bringing in the largest gifts in agency history. Rebecca and Bridge were also awarded the prestigious Bank of America Neighborhood Builder’s Award and the Citizen’s Bank Champions in Action Award. In 2012 Rebecca returned to Santa Barbara, where she grew up, and is currently a Development Officer for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.
At present she is in the midst of a $30 million campaign to transform the 100 year old institution, repairing and refreshing facilities, improving accessibility, and creating new indoor and outdoor exhibitions. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Science from Bennington College and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Goddard College.
JENNIFER ZACHARIAS - DIRECTOR
Prior to launching JZPR (a full service public relations firm specializing in lifestyle, hospitality, entertainment and nonprofit industries), Jennifer Zacharias spent five years as Director of Public Relations for a Santa Barbara public relations and marketing firm. Before that, she spent five years at CNN’s Larry King Live show, as a key member of the show’s production team. There, she helped produce nightly shows and assisted the management of a team that evaluated, sought, and booked up-to-the-minute guests for cable television’s highest-rated news program. Before CNN, Jennifer lived in Nice, France, where she worked as a translator and press attaché for Canal+, France’s premier national cable network, reporting from the Cannes Film Festival, and working film industry. Jennifer is very involved in the local nonprofit community.
She is on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity, and the co-chair for their current capital campaign, “Building Homes, Building Hope”, to build 12 affordable homes in Santa Barbara. She is a member of the American Heart Association’s Circle of Red, and sits on their “Go Red For Women Luncheon” committee. Jennifer was also involved in the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara, having served on their Steering Committee as their Communications Chair for 3 years. Jennifer is a past president of the Junior League of Santa Barbara, where she’s been actively involved for nine years, sat on the Board of Directors for three years, and is currently an advisor to their campaign to build a new Children’s Library in Santa Barbara.
Whitney Webb - Director
Whitney Webb is the Director of Operations, as well as a head Trainer and co-director of Camp Start-Up. Before coming to IMI, Whitney was a Kiva Fellow in Kigali, Rwanda where she worked to strengthen partnerships and increase the reach of microfinance, through employee trainings and industry research. Whitney graduated from the University of Florida, and, upon graduation, accepted a position with Porter Orlin hedge fund, in NYC, where she performed investment research for the managing director. During her three years there she also volunteered at The International Center, teaching English and mentoring members who were new to the US. She left New York to travel and volunteer with various NGOs within southeast Asia and South America in the areas of education and business sustainability. Whitney is a board member and volunteer business mentor at Youth Interactive, a non-profit teen center in Santa Barbara working to promote leadership and entrepreneurial skills.
Ernest Smith - Director
Ernest Smith spent 35 years in the Financial services industry prior to retiring in 2006. He was President of Fidelity Information Services and Co-COO of Fidelity National Financial ( both Fortune 500 Companies) after retiring he was a founding partner of Real Estate Digital and Managing Partner for Smith-Cavin Partners. He has an MBA from Oxford Brooke's University ( formerly Oxford Polytechnic). He was a former Board member of the Dreams Come True Foundation in Jacksonville, Florida and former Board member of the Oakland School of Performing Arts ( a charter school founded by Jerry Brown, governor of California. He has served as a business mentor at Youth Interactive for one year and recently joined the Board.
KYLE ASHBY - DIRECTOR
Kyle Ashby focuses on strategy, branding and marketing for startups, lifestyle brands, technology companies and organizations as the director of the advisory firm Kaldera. He is also the founder of StartupSB, an organization connecting Santa Barbara entrepreneurs and startups to resources, knowledge and capital, and Travel in Central America, a company providing unique experiences in Central America. Kyle was on the founding team of BrandLive and Mobile Corporation and has worked in executive, marketing and project management roles at multinational companies and technology startups. He has also taught classes in marketing, innovation, and entrepreneurship at UC Santa Barbara and Antioch University. Kyle is an active startup advisor and on the leadership team of the Startup Champions Network. Kyle has an MBA from Babson College, degrees in Film Studies and Geography from UC Santa Barbara and is a certified Project Manager and Scrum Master.
Nathalie Gensac - Director & Founder
Media4Good (M4G) was started as a new model of charity and was nominated by Ernst & Young as social entrepreneur of the year! Social entrepreneur Natalie Gensac founded the production based organization in 2005 to use the power of media to reach out to a new generation of intelligent givers—people who need to know their contributions will truly make a sustainable difference in the global struggle against poverty and illiteracy. To that end she founded the Youth Interactive program in 2008 initially working with communities oversees until in 2012 she decided to concentrate on creating an impact at home and Youth Interactive Santa Barbara opened its doors in the fall of that year.
Her core focus is to support the two groups essential to social and economic advancement in our world today: women and children.