Our Team

Our Team

Our Team


Our Team
Jim Wolfe
Board President

Dear Friends,

I joined the Board of Hillside House in 2003, not yet knowing what an exceptional place Hillside House is.  By visiting the residents, hearing the inspiring stories from parents, residents and staff over the years, and seeing the level of care and compassion that is fostered, one can truly appreciate the importance of what goes on here. After six years of service on the Board of Directors, I was honored to be elected President.  The Board is committed to doing its best in enabling this remarkable organization carry out its mission of creating an optimum life for each of its residents, a mission we have pursued for over 70 years.

Program Director, Melissa Bennett with resident, Emily
Program Director, Melissa Bennett with resident, Emily

A compassionate and just society takes care of those who cannot care for themselves.  At Hillside House, we do more than care for the physical needs of the residents –we foster their individual abilities, dreams and passions, so that they can achieve their highest potential.

The Board of Directors has the responsibility of looking after the longevity of Hillside House. Every dollar we raise for Hillside House means a higher quality of care for the residents, more life-enriching experiences, and more possibilities. The gap between what we receive in public funding and what we actually spend on the well-being of our residents is nearly $1500 a day.  So we work hard to form and strengthen partnerships throughout our community  to close that gap and allow Hillside House to flourish.

I encourage you to visit Hillside House.  I believe you will be touched by the quality of care and the enthusiasm for life of our residents, as I have been.


Jim Wolfe, President


  • Jim Wolfe, Retired Businessman (President), 2003
  • Norris Goss, Community Volunteer (Vice President), 2001
  • Donald Becker, Pharmacist (Secretary), 1969
  • Peter Troesch, Engineer (Treasurer), 1998
  • Cynthy Ardell, Community Volunteer, 2012
  • Susan Chapman, Community Volunteer,  2007
  • Brad Frohling, Real Estate Executive, 2007
  • Lynn K. Jones, DSW, Educator, Consultant, 2007
  • Richard Monk, Attorney, 1981
  • Pam Flynt Tambo, Emeritus Executive Director, 2014
  • Erik Wipf, D.D.S. Dentist ,  2008
  • Jon Valois, Partner, Insurance Services, 2013
  • Thomas McCool, EdD, 2015
  • Lisa Wilcox, Physical Therapist, 2015
  • Silvio DiLoreto (Emeritus), Retired Businessman , 2007



Craig Olson came to Hillside House in 2005 and served as Director of Administrative Services for seven years. In that role, he played a key part in Hillside House’s Leadership Team and oversaw our financial operations. He helped Hillside House recover from a challenging economic environment and establish a more secure base for financial health and future planning.

Before coming to Hillside House, Craig worked for 21 years at Devereux Foundation, a leading provider of services for people with disabilities. His broad-based experience has included leadership positions in operations management, program development and restructuring, financial management, marketing, fundraising, facilities operations, and long-range planning.

“Hillside House is at a pivotal point in its history with the opportunity to reach new heights. My goal is to preserve the loving community we have created at Hillside House while creating an even more invigorating and inviting environment for our residents. I aim to work together with staff, families and residents to bring in new practices and understandings that enable our residents to better communicate their needs and pursue their interests, while fostering an even higher level of health and well-being.

I invite you to join me in this exciting work of creating rewarding lives for the exceptional people who live at Hillside House.” – Craig Olson, Executive Director

Group photo with Theresa and Gail
Group photo with Theresa and Gail

Gail Metzger, Director of Operations, and Theresa Bennett, Director of Nursing, with residents Nancy, Shane and Ingalise (left, right).


Our everyday operations and activities are led by Gail Metzger as the Director of Operations. She has worked at Hillside House for over 25 years, becoming an essential part of Hillside House’s daily functions and accomplishments. Gail holds a dear relationship with each of Hillside House’s residents, assuring they receive the highest in quality of life services. She supervises all staff and job duties within our nursing, programs, and facilities departments, constituting the majority of our 95 employees and their responsibilities. Hillside House would not be the home that it is without her. Please contact Gail with any questions regarding daily operations and client services by calling (805)687-0788 ext.117 or email [email protected].


Michael Padden-Rubin; Michael Padden-Rubin recently joined our team, bringing with him 30-years of experience in fundraising and development. To contact Michael, email him at [email protected]



Born in beautiful Minnesota, she moved to Carpinteria in her teens and has made this community her home. She possesses an Associates of Arts in Liberal Arts, Biomedical Sciences and Nursing and also received her R.N. from Santa Barbara City College. She has a background in accounting and business management which helps her not only manager her wonderful nursing staff, but puts her at an advantage of making sure the nursing department is financially sound. Her goals are to foster a joyful and healthy environment for the residents and staff. Currently, Kristen has been with Hillside House for 1 year acting as a R.N. She has enjoyed getting to know the residents as well as working closely with the families to provide the best possible care. We are pleased that Kristen has joined our leadership team as acting Director of Nursing.

If you are interested in working in our Nursing Department or would like more information about our daily 24-hour nursing care, please call (805)687-0788 ext.120 or email [email protected]


Ricardo Martinez has been with Hillside House for over 13 years. He currently supervises over 30 employees who are a combination of C.N.A.’s as well as N.A.’s.  Alongside supervising this large department, he provides monthly training to fulfill the CEU needs of the state licensing for certification. Ricardo is able to supervise this department efficiently being a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) with much experience in several positions.  Over the past 23 years, Ricardo has been acting as a LVN at prestigious organizations here in Santa Barbara, allowing him to become the supervisor he is today.  Our direct care staff have a longevity of service due to their connection to the clients and the family-like atmosphere here at Hillside House. You can reach Ricardo by email or phone at [email protected] or (805)687-0788 x122



Melissa Bennett joined the Hillside House team over 2 years ago.  Her passion and enthusiasm for this population came to the fore front  as she quickly rose through the ranks to become the Program Director.  She received her B.A. in Psychology at the University of California in Santa Barbara.  Melissa’s  passion for adults living with disabilities is evident while watching her interact with the residents of Hillside House, as she manages a team of over 20 individuals to provide the therapy and educational programs we offer.  She began an animal therapy program which quickly transformed  many lives here at Hillside House.  If you are interested in working or volunteering in programs, please call Melissa at (805) 687-0788 ext. 118 or email her at [email protected].

The Programs Department team consists of physical-activities aids, aquatic therapy staff, skills development staff, behavioral aids and two full time case managers, giving our residents the opportunity to attain the highest level of independence and integration into the community.


Jose has worked at Hillside House for over three years, taking great care of our 24-acre property and residential building. He oversees the overall maintenance of our facility including laundry, yard space, and appliances. Jose has past experience working directly with the residents as a Qualified Intellectual Delayed Professional (QIDP), and still holds a dear relationship with each of them as our lead “go-to” man! With him and his wonderful crew, Hillside House remains a clean and safe environment for all. You may contact Jose by sending an email to [email protected].


For 35 years, Martin Jimenez has facilitated the dietary plans for our residents at Hillside House, which are unique to each individual’s health restrictions and preferences. Martin and his kitchen staff play an essential role in maintaining the overall health and wellness of our residents, doing their best in providing fresh and nutritious foods while complying to each resident’s personal preferences. Contact Martin though email or phone: [email protected] or (805)687-0788 x124.



Michael has been Hillside House’s CFO for the last several years, leading our finance team in managing everything from operating revenue and expenses, to financial investments, to payroll and more. Michael is an expert in handling nonprofit finances, serving multiple local organizations including the Natural History Museum of Santa Barbara and CALM (Child Abuse Listening Mediation). We are happy to have him serve as our finance director to steward our finances and ensure our residents have a home with quality of life services in the long-term. You may contact Michael by sending an email to [email protected].

Our Finance Department is composed of a skilled team of professionals who attend to our annual expenses and revenue with efficiency and care. Hillside House is proud to have such a wonderful group of people serving its mission by securing the longevity and quality of its services. You can reach our finance office by calling (805)687-0788 x112.

Daisy and Lindsey
Daisy and Lindsey
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