County Sustainability Committee

Successful achievement of the goals outlined in the Energy and Climate Action Plan (ECAP) will require active participation by several County departments and partner agencies with expertise in and authority for projects and programs that can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and promote environmental sustainability. In late 2015, the County Executive Office formed a County Sustainability Committee to help implement and monitor progress on the ECAP. The committee is comprised of representatives from County departments and partner agencies that identify cross-departmental GHG reduction opportunities and monitor progress towards implementing the ECAP and related sustainability initiatives. The County Sustainability Committee is responsible for:

  • Establishing the objectives and direction of the Committee
  • Providing recommendations to the County Executive Office and Board of Supervisors on policies to improve community-wide sustainability
  • Regularly reporting on behalf of department or agency on progress towards sustainability goals
  • Researching and pursuing grants that pertain to sustainability goals and programs  

The Committee:

County Sustainability Committee

Matthew Pontes

Assistant County Executive Officer

Matthew is the current Chair of the County Sustainability Committee. Matthew has over 18 years of local government experience. He previously served as the Director of General Services at the County of Santa Barbara.
County Sustainability Committee

Frank Chen

Program Specialist, Sustainability Division, Community Services Department

Frank started working on the Energy and Climate Action Plan as a CivicSpark AmeriCorps Fellow and is now a full-time staff member coordinating the implementation and monitoring of the Energy and Climate Action Plan across County departments. He also works on the emPower Program, helping to improve energy efficiency in residential homes around the County.

County Sustainability Committee

Jennifer Cregar

Co-Division Chief, Sustainability Division, Community Services Department

Jennifer co-leads the Sustainability Division where she oversees the implementation of the Energy and Climate Action Plan and leads the County's pursuit of community choice energy to accelerate the transition to more sustainable energy sources. She has more than 16 years of experience championing and implementing sustainable policies and practices.
County Sustainability Committee

Ben Ellenberger

Division Manager, Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District

Ben manages the Technology and Environmental Assessment Division, which is responsible for planning and rule development, as well as coordinating with planning departments around the county. The division also conducts outreach, administers grant programs, and supports collaborative efforts to reduce emissions from unregulated sources.

County Sustainability Committee

Selena Evilsizor, AICP

Planner, Long Range Planning Division, Planning and Development Department

Selena has over 10 years of experience in land use and environmental planning in both the public and private sectors. With Santa Barbara County, she has experience in development review, climate change adaptation planning, and CEQA. She is currently working on the implementation of the County's Energy and Climate Action Plan and the Coastal Resiliency Project.

County Sustainability Committee

Brittany Heaton

Transportation Programs Manager, Transportation Division, Public Works Department 

Brittany leads the capital maintenance team that prepares the capital improvement budget and provides support to management on policy, funding, and legislative issues. She also manages multiple other projects and programs in the division, including the Energy and Climate Action Plan.
County Sustainability Committee

John Karamitsos

Senior Program Specialist, Water Resources Division, Public Works Department

John works on water conservation and efficiency issues. Before this assignment, he served two years as the manager of the Project Clean Water Program. John has worked for the County of Santa Barbara for 27 years, including 25 years of land use planning experience.
County Sustainability Committee

Alan Nakashima

Senior Program Specialist, Resource Recovery & Waste Management Division, Public Works Department

Alan has 30 plus years of experience working in the public sector. Alan administers the Green Business Program for the County of Santa Barbara by certifying businesses that implement green measures. Alan also helps administer and coordinate activities for the expansion of public trails at the Baron Ranch and works on the Food Forward Program, which helps prevent food waste by encouraging food donations.
County Sustainability Committee

Susan Klein-Rothschild

Deputy Director, Public Health Department

During her time at the County, Susan has developed programs that help people safely dispose of unwanted medication and led the development of the Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan. As part of her work on the Energy and Climate Action Plan, she advises the County Sustainability Committee on the connection between climate change and Public Health.
County Sustainability Committee

Debbie Trupe

Deputy Agricultural Commissioner, Agricultural Commissioner's Office

Debbie started her career with the Agricultural Commissioner's Office in 1990 as an Agricultural Biologist. She currently manages many programs in the department, including the Energy and Climate Action Plan.
County Sustainability Committee

Brian Yanez

Deputy Director, Parks Division, Community Services Department

Brian has more than 25 years of experience in municipal government in Public Works and Parks and Recreation. Before joining the County of Santa Barbara, he was the Public Works Director for the past six years and the Community Services Director for twelve years for the City of Santa Paula. As the Public Works Director, he over saw Water, Waste Water, Engineering, Solid Waste, Fleet Maintenance, Streets and the City's Capital Improvement Plan.