United Way of Santa Barbara County Derby Luncheon

By Bonnie Carroll

On Wednesday, May 18th Women United and guests of United Way of Santa Barbara County filled the Plaza del Sol of Hilton Beachfront Resort to don their beautiful derby hats, raise auction funds, and enjoy the inspiring keynote speaker Beate Chelette of Growth Architects. 

Shari Liu Fellows, Chair of women United Leadership Team, opened and closed the program by sharing “Since the relaunch of Women United in December of last year, these amazing women have put their talents and skills to work in sharing the important story of United Way. The coming months will bring even more opportunities for this group to expand their reach and impact, and I look forward to being a part of those next steps in our Journey. I believe in the power of women. I believe in the work of United Way, and I believe in the ability of philanthropic partnerships to create a true, and meaningful impact. Together, we will be an important part of building brighter futures for students and families here in Sant Barbara County,” “Our job is to be the person of the moment, that person who believes these kids have a fighting chance,” said Fellows.

Supporting students in the community has always been an essential pillar in United Ways efforts to build a more resilient community. United Way steps in to fill the achievement gap that many low0resource students and families experience in reaching their educational goals and milestones through the creation of safe and supportive learning spaces for student throughout the year through programming like Fun in the Sun, the United Learning Centers, School-Based Programs, and Early Learning Success Institutes. The programs incorporate individualized academic support, access to community services, and a dedicated network of community partners and educators to support families and students in building a stronger foundation for a brighter future. 

Keynote Speaker Beate Chelette is the Growth Architect and founder of the Women’s Code, a strategic business and balanced leadership development company. After business challenges as a single mother, she developed a highly successful global photography business which she eventually sold to Bill Gates in a multimillion-dollar deal.  She is “One of the 100 Top Global Thought Leaders in 2021” by PeopleHum, and “One of 50 Must Follow Women Entrepreneurs by HuffPost. Her book ”Happy Woman Happy World _ How to Go From Overwhelmed to Awesome” is a #1 International award-winning Amazon bestseller is  recommended by corporate trainer and author Brian Tracy who calls it “a handbook for every woman who wants health, success and a fulfilling career.”

 Keynote Speaker, Beate Chelette Growth architect

Beate shared powerful moments of loss and solution from her own life including advise from her own father who told her to never forget the importance of every person in your work world and let them know it. She shared the special moments kids of United Way experience learning to ride a bike, or how to read and the special significance of fine programs delivered by the organization.

The silent auction, which was filled with amazing gifts donated by a bevy of generous area business owners including Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, who was represented at the event by Polo Player Seamus Tuohy, who graciously posed for photos with guests. 

The 2022 Leadership Team includes Elisa Bartron Hills, Melinda Cabrera, Suzanne Danielson, Victoria Dominguez, Kristen d’Offay, Katie Hamdy, Jenna jobst, Andria Kahmann, Shari Liu Fellows (Chair), Erin Moy, Erin Murphey-Doherty, Holly Onak, Vanessa Ringel, Tanya Thicke, and Carly Walters.

This was a truly charming gathering of philanthropic women who genuinely care about kids in need. To learn more about events & volunteer opportunities, please visit: unitedwaysb.org/women-united or contact vdominguez@unitedwaysb.org.

Bonnie Carroll

Written by Bonnie Carroll

Writer, publisher, editor over 30 years, Bonnie Carroll is the present Publisher, Editor-in-Chief of Bonnie Carroll's Life Bites News founded 2005. She is also a contributor to a bevy of magazine and newspapers California and international since 1983.

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