Board of Directors

Executive Board

Catherine Swysen

Board President


Catherine is a lifelong feminist, committed to SBWPC vision and mission. She emigrated from Brussels, Belgium in 1986 and attended SBWPC first event in 1988. She served on the board in the 1990s then took a break to concentrate on her legal career. She is passionate about women’s rights here and abroad. She volunteers with Partners in Education and is the President of the Chad Relief Foundation, a NGO working with refugees in southern Chad. where she travels regularly. By day, she is a criminal and civil trial attorney with Sanger Swysen & Dunkle.


Kate Silsbury

Vice President, Organization

Kate has lived in Santa Barbara for 40 years having moved here to get out of the snowy winters at Lake Tahoe. After teaching high school in Nevada and then Chairing the Internship Program at UCSB, she embarked upon a career helping to empower women about their money. For 30 years Kate has enjoyed greatly the challenges of being a retirement planner with Ameriprise Financial. She finally found her political voice 15 years ago and enjoys witnessing SBWPC’s feminist impact on the politics of Santa Barbara!


Luz Reyes-Martin

Vice President, Policy

Luz grew up in the greater Los Angeles area and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Chicano/a Studies from Stanford University. She went on to obtain Master of Planning and Master of Public Administration degrees from the University of Southern California (USC). She currently works as the Director of Communications for Santa Barbara City College (SBCC). She is an active member of her community and serves as an elected Trustee on the Goleta Union School District, a position that allows her to connect with the local community and work towards helping all students reach their highest potential. She lives in Goleta with her husband, Diego and their son Sebastian.


Lisa Guravitz

Chief Financial Officer

Lisa has served on the board for 14 years in a variety of positions, including President. Lisa loves working with such a dynamic, diverse group of women. Lisa also enjoys being with her grandchildren as well as playing mah jongg.


Leslie Brtek


Leslie is very pleased to serve on the SBWPC Board after having enjoyed a 37 year teaching career in Santa Barbara secondary schools. As chair of the Legislation and Advocacy Committee she has discovered a keen interest in the workings of legislatures and other political decision makers.


Board Members

EJ Borah

EJ has been a political activist since she graduated from UCSB in 1958. She is a retired teacher of 40+ years. She has traveled to every continent on the planet and taken a dip in both the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans (and has the tattoos to prove it). EJ moved back to Santa Barbara in 2003 to help her daughter, Farfalla, raise Rosalind (13 years old now). Besides serving on the WPC Board, she is on the Democratic Women’s Board, VP of the Democratic Service Club, and an elected official of the Democratic Central Committee


Danielle De Smeth

After an early career in local politics working for then Assemblymember Hannah-Beth Jackson and Teach for America in New York, Danielle De Smeth is currently a practicing attorney on the central coast. Danielle gives back and helps strengthen our community through her volunteer service, including leadership roles as Past President of Santa Barbara Women Lawyers and its Foundation, through which she worked with and supported the Rape Crisis Center, the Foodbank and Girls, Inc.  Danielle enjoys coaching high school and college mock trial, representing District Six as a California Women Lawyers Governor, and serving as a board member for the American Red Cross and Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties. Danielle is dedicated to increasing gender and ethnic diversity in elected office, and looks forward to being a candidate. 

Elsa Granados

Elsa Granados joined the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee Board in 1998.  As a board member, she has served as a member of the executive committee in the capacity of Vice President of Policy, Vice President of Organization and Secretary.  She has also served as the Chair of the Elections and Appointments and the Outreach Committees.  She also participated on the Fund Development, Candidate Development and Membership Committees.  Ms. Granados has a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Public Administration.  For the past 19 years,  Ms. Granados has served as the Executive Director of Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center.  She has been a member of the board of directors of the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA), and of the Fund for Santa Barbara.  In addition, she served on the Santa Barbara County Affirmative Action Commission.


Hathor Hammett

Hathor is an artist and mask maker. She has been a social justice activist since the 1960s. Her awards include 1997 Gay and Lesbian Business Association Humanitarian Award, NASW 2013 Public Citizen of the Year, and 2013 Independent Local Hero award.


Beverly Herbert

Beverly is a retired Calf. Workers’ Compensation Judge, mediator and arbitrator, and an attorney for over 35 years. She graduated with a B.A. from Portland State Univ. in Portland, Ore., and a J.D. from Hastings College of the Law. She is a past president of Democratic Women of Santa Barbara County, and has worked on numerous political campaigns for both candidates and issues. She has two adult children.


Jacqueline Inda

Jacqueline Inda was born in Santa Barbara and grew up as a foster child on the east side of town. She became emancipated at the age of 17 and obtained her own foster care license for teens in this county. She obtained her degree in Drug and Alcohol Counseling, business administration, paralegal studies, and legal mediation.

She is a social justice advocate speaking on behalf of the most voiceless in the community including fighting against the gang injunction and leading the fight for voting rights with district elections in Santa Barbara.


Carol Keator

Carol Keator is the former director of the Santa Barbara Public Library System, an avid reader, and passionate champion for intellectual freedom, social justice and equality for all.


Joan Melendez

Joan Melendez is a face painter, mask maker, and dancer. She is trilingual: English, Spanish, and American Sign Language. A Santa Barbara resident for over 42 years, she volunteers for the fiesta children’s parade, and teen culinary program. AVP trained, Joan loves working with high-risk teens. She has been on the board for four years.


Max Rorty

Max is a medical social worker and disaster responder for the American Red Cross. She served for three years as commissioner for the City of Santa Barbara’s Committee for Community Development and Human Services. She is a published author and public speaker on best practices for health providers working with transgender and gender non-normative people. She is the founder of the Santa Barbara Transgender Advocacy Network at She lives in Goleta with her wife and daughter.


Beth Schneider

Beth is Professor of Sociology and Affiliated Faculty in the Department of Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is also the Director of the McNair Scholars Program that supports low-income, first-generation and/or U.S. underrepresented undergraduate students seeking admission to doctoral study. Her books include The Social Context of AIDS (with Joan Huber), Women Resisting AIDS: Feminist Strategies of Empowerment (with Nancy Stoller), and The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader (with Peter Nardi). She is also a co-editor of the journal Gender & Society with Dr. Jane Ward (UC Riverside) titled, The Reaches of Heteronormativity. Dr. Schneider served for ten years on the Editorial Board of the international journal Sexualities and four years as the Editor of Gender & Society.


Pam Tambo

Pam grew up in central Indiana with short stints in Florida and Washington, D.C. She was a single parent for 19 years with a son and daughter, living in and rehabilitating Victorian houses in Muncie, Indiana. There she was active in her neighborhood association and helped to establish a reinvestment corporation to revitalize the area.

She has degrees in home economics education, community education and curriculum. She worked in the fields of vocational rehabilitation, mental health and developmental disabilities as a counselor and administrator.

She moved to Goleta 23 years ago and is married to David Tambo. She enjoys traveling around the globe since retiring from Hillside House in 2012. At home she serves on the Hillside House board as well as SBWPC and is involved with the League of Women Voters and the Association for Women in Communications. In the evening she likes to knit and do needlework.