One moment please…

Our Staff

Meet the ILRC Family. Our services are spread across four offices located in Santa Barbara County, San Luis Obispo County, and Ventura County. The information for all four offices are below.

ILRC Offices

Santa Barbara

423 W. Victoria Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

(805) 963-0595 Voice/Text (TTY)
(805) 963-1350 Fax
(805) 284-9051 Video Phone

San Luis Obispo

51 Zaca Lane #140
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

(805) 462-1162 Voice/Text (TTY)
(805) 752-1261 Fax
(805) 464-3203 Video Phone

Santa Maria

218 W Carmen Lane #109
Santa Maria, CA 93458

(805) 925-0015 Voice/Text (TTY)
(805) 332-3213 Fax
(805) 354-5948 Video Phone

Ventura

702 County Square Drive #105
Ventura, CA 93003

(805) 650-5993 Voice/Text (TTY)
(805) 650-9278 Fax
(805) 256-1036 Video Phone

Meet Our Staff

(Click each staff member's photo to read their bio.)

Rosa Lopez Community Information Coordinator

Photo of Rosa Lopez.

Rosa Lopez


Based in the Santa Barbara office serving Santa Barbara County.

I began working for ILRC back in 2005. The work ILRC does is important to me because ILRC helps everyone when they feel no one is there for them and it feels rewarding. During quarantine, I tried cooking different meals and read more. My goal for 2021 is to get healthier physically, and mentally.

Brittany Pudnos Independent Living Advocate-Deaf

Photo of Brittany Pudnos.

Brittany Pudnos


Based in the Ventura office serving all counties.

I started at ILRC in June 2022. I feel fortunate to be working in a place where I can use my passion for ASL and Deaf culture toward a career I never imagined I could have. The mission of ILRC is so important to me because it allows me to fully embrace who I am as an adult with ADHD. My whole life I have been learning how to advocate and make accommodations for myself. I want to help others see that just because you take different steps to achieve your goals doesn't make you or your goals any less valuable. In my spare time, I love to hang out with my two dogs Daisy and Doug. This year I am looking forward to going to concerts again.

Brandon Smith Emergency Preparedness Services Manager

Photo of Brandon Smith.

Brandon Smith


Based in Santa Maria serving all counties.

My name is Brandon Smith and I am the new Emergency Preparedness Services Manager for ILRC. It is my goal that any and all consumers whom I come into contact with will walk away with a plan of action for any emergency or disaster. This passion has been driven by three years of working in the disabilities and human services field, as well as a bachelor’s of science in Homeland Security/Emergency Management from National University. I love this work because I can continue to serve the population that has grown so close to my heart and apply my training and skillset for their benefit! Bonus: I love being outdoors! I go fishing and camping a couple times each year. I also very much enjoy reading and taking in books. I am currently reading two books on theology and going through the Chronicles of Narnia with my daughters!

Kelly Kivlahan Assistive Technology Coordinator

Photo of Kelly Kivlahan.

Kelly Kivlahan


Based in the Ventura Office serving Ventura County.

Hiya y'all! My name is Kelly Kivlahan and I had the amazing opportunity to start working at ILRC in November of 2020 as a Transition Advocate. Throughout my time in that role, we were able to grow the program immensely and successfully transition over 30 consumers from institutional settings back into their communities. The services that ILRC provides is important to me because being a part of a team that genuinely cares about others helps make it possible for individuals to be properly represented and live independent fulfilling lives. I've seen how the work of ILRC has impacted individuals and it really is the type of work that makes the world a better place. In my spare time I love to play outside, take my foster dog (Guava) on long beach walks, and travel the world. In 2022 I was lucky enough to visit 13 countries (mostly Europe) and I feel incredibly honored to return to the ILRC family as the Assistive Technology Coordinator. My goal for 2023 is to really build our Assistive Technology program to its utmost potential in all three counties and try something new each month (location, food, activity etc.).

Stephanie Jacobs Transition Advocate

Photo of Stephanie Jacobs.

Stephanie Jacobs


Based in the Ventura office serving Ventura County.

I started working at the ILRC in March 2023. I am a mental health advocate as well as an LGBTQ advocate in the local Ventura community. I am excited to help service the local community as a transition advocate with ILRC! In my free time, I perform spoken word poetry, stand-up comedy, and co-host and co-produce a monthly show called, "The Waiting Room," with my gf and fellow comedian, Sammie James.

Paola Reyes Community Living Advocate

Photo of Paola Reyes.

Paola Reyes


Based in San Luis Obispo office serving San Luis Obispo County

I started working for ILRC in December 2021. What I love about the organization is that it provides a variety of free resources for people with any disability. Allowing them to live a more independent life. My overall goal for this year is to focus on myself and my overall health.

Nicole Fernandez-Pinedo Blind/Low Vision Coordinator

Photo of Nicole Fernandez-Pinedo.

Nicole Fernandez-Pinedo


Based in the Santa Barbara office serving all counties.

I was drawn to work for ILRC because I believe connecting people to appropriate resources, advocating, and promoting independent living is extremely important. The support the ILRC provides for its consumers is the type of support that I have always believed is vital for individuals with disabilities. I feel very fortunate to be a part of a team that is very passionate about the work they do for this community. Working for ILRC has impacted my life by allowing me to know that the work we do here will make a difference and a positive impact for those that we help. In my free time I enjoy reading books, spending time with my loved ones and exploring places of nature.

Taylor Testorff Community Living Advocate

Photo of Taylor Testorff.

Taylor Testorff


Based in the Ventura office serving Ventura County.

I started working at ILRC in November 2022 and I am very excited about being a part of an organization that is so passionate about helping others in our community. Advocating is one of the key foundations for ILRC and is a strong passion for me, which helped propel me enter this line of work. I am excited to learn and grow within ILRC and to advocate for others. In my free time, I enjoy swimming, hiking, going to the beach, traveling and relaxing with my two cats. I am also working on my degree in Forensic Psychology.

Emily Bridges Public Health Advocate

Photo of Emily Bridges.

Emily Bridges


Based in the Ventura Office serving Ventura County.

I enjoy working at ILRC because of the opportunities to engage with compassionate coworkers to help our communities. Working at ILRC has impacted my life by helping me build valuable relationships and become more understanding of others. A fun fact is that I have met seven actors at pop-culture conventions (like Comic-Con)over the past several years.

Jennifer Martinez Information & Referral Specialist - Bilingual

Photo of Jennifer Martinez.

Jennifer Martinez


Based in the Ventura office serving Ventura County.

I have been with ILRC, Inc. for over a decade. I enjoy working at ILRC, Inc. because the leadership and staff all share the common goal of helping people as best as possible. It really does take a village and I am happy to be a part of it. Thanks to working at ILRC, Inc., I have gained knowledge about available resources which is helpful to share with our consumers and has made a positive impact on individuals in my personal life as well. One fun fact about me is that I like to ride my bicycle through puddles and run in the rain, whenever I can.

Alexa Martin Program Director

Photo of Alexa Martin.

Alexa Martin


Based in the Ventura office serving all counties.

I started working for ILRC in 2017. I have always been passionate about advocating for underrepresented communities, and through my work at ILRC, I get to do that daily. In my spare time, I enjoy being outdoors hiking, camping, climbing, gardening, reading, and spending time with my partner and cat.

Gibar Colin Community Living Advocate/Benefits

Photo of Gibar Colin.

Gibar Colin


Based in San Luis Obispo office serving San Luis Obispo.

I began working for ILRC at the beginning of 2023. I am grateful to work for an organization that serves and provides free resources to our disability community. I have seen the positive impact that ILRC has on our disability community in empowering them to live independently. A fun fact about me is that I enjoy cooking.

Michelle Ward Transition Advocate

Photo of Michelle Ward.

Michelle Ward


Based in Santa Barbara office serving Santa Barbara County

My name is Michelle Ward and I’m the Transition Advocate in Santa Barbara. With a background in homelessness, housing solutions, and crisis intervention/diversion, I was drawn to ILRC because of the level of commitment to consumers and employees alike. Having advocated for myself and my daughter around our own disabilities, I feel that this is important work. I love helping and empowering people with disabilities to advocate for themselves. A fun fact about me is that I am a lover of the band Pearl Jam and have seen them live 33 times.

Jacob Lesner-Buxton System Change Coordinator

Photo of Jacob Lesner-Buxton.

Jacob Lesner-Buxton


Based in the Santa Barbara office serving all counties.

I started working at ILRC in 2013. Working here has given me the confidence and sense of empowerment to make change and hopefully encourage others to do so. During quarantine, I learned how to engage with yoga classes over zoom. My goal for 2021 is to work up the courage to ride Splash Mountain and Space Mountain at Disneyland. I am not a big fan of thrill rides, but I have been watching some YouTube clips on the rides and think they might be fun to try!

Howard Rudnick Program Services Manager

Photo of Howard Rudnick.

Howard Rudnick


Based in the Santa Barbara Office serving all counties.

I started working at ILRC in December of 2022. I am thankful to be a part of an organization that is so passionate about serving the disability community. I have been fortunate enough to have worked in this field since 2004 and look forward to contributing to this wonderful team of compassionate people. I moved to Santa Barbara from Colorado in 2018. I love walking on the beach while looking for treasures in the sand and creatures in the water.

Barbara Rangel Administrative Manager

Photo of Barbara Rangel.

Barbara Rangel


Based in the Santa Barbara office.

I began working at ILRC in October 2022 and it has already been amazing. ILRC's dedication to achieving equality for all is what makes working here so great. I cannot wait to see how we continue to grow our resources and out reach. A fun fact about me is that I am a retired basketball player.

Jennifer Griffin Executive Director

Photo of Jennifer Griffin.

Jennifer Griffin


Based in the Santa Barbara office.

I started working at ILRC in 2000. ILRC's work is important to me because I love that we empower and support people with disabilities to live the life they choose to live. I also adore my co-workers. All good people with big hearts. During quarantine, I became a semi-professional home organizer. I binge-watched Marie Condo and Home Edit until I could no longer contain the inner OCD organizer inside me. Since discarding all items that no longer spark joy for me, color-coded my closets, and sorted through over 100,000 photographs I have helped several other friends (not at their request) declutter their homes. My goal for 2021 is to continue to grow professionally and personally. Make more time for myself and my family and hopefully go on a trip somewhere this year?

Carol Baizer Community Living Advocate/Benefits

Photo of Carol Baizer.

Carol Baizer


Based in the Santa Barbara office serving all counties.

Carol started working at ILRC in 1997. Her favorite color is blue. For her, the best part of working at ILRC is being a part of an organization that provides a different window to the world. Her favorite independent living advocate is Marta Russell.

Rosie Florido Bookkeeper

Photo of Rosie Florido.

Rosie Florido

  • Bookkeeper

Jerry Mihaic Information & Referral Specialist - Bilingual

Photo of Jerry Mihaic.

Jerry Mihaic


Based in San Luis Obispo office serving San Luis Obispo County.

I first began working at ILRC in 2009, then I came back for more in 2017. The work ILRC does is important to me because I believe in social justice and taking care of vulnerable populations and marginalized groups-- ILRC provides that opportunity. I feel a very close connection with the community in San Luis Obispo and am involved with various groups such as The Latino Outreach Council, Adult Services Policy Council, and GALA Pride and Diversity Center. I also try to encourage and coach people, especially the elderly, to embrace and use technology and the Internet to their full benefit.

Nicole Janikowski Independent Living Advocate

Photo of Nicole Janikowski.

Nicole Janikowski


Based in the Santa Maria office serving North Santa Barbara County.

Nicole started working at ILRC in 2015. Her favorite color is burgundy. For her, the best part of working at ILRC is that she discovered her passion to help her community. When she was in need of services and peer support she was unable to find someone in her area that would work with her to get back on her feet. Her love is working with consumers hoping to build satisfaction and become self-sufficient. Her favorite independent living advocate is Natasha Jade Devon.

Kayla Young Disability Sexual Assault Coordinator

Photo of Kayla Young.

Kayla Young


Based in Santa Barbara serving all counties.

I began my exciting journey with ILRC in October of 2021. I am thrilled to join the ILRC team because of the wide variety of services, education, and advocacy offered for independent living resources in the community. Specifically, I am looking forward to providing specific resources to disabled consumers who are seeking support with sexual violence or trauma. During the pandemic, I grew my plant collection which helped with essential daily self care. A goal I have set for this next year is to try surfing for the first time.

Paige Masson Transition Advocate

Photo of Paige Masson.

Paige Masson


Based in the San Luis Obispo office serving San Luis Obispo County.

Starting at ILRC in 2021, my position within the organization is a blessing. I enjoy the sense of community and compassion between our staff and the consumers. Having to navigate this year and the isolation, I've quickly learned that companionship is one step closer to happiness. My goal for 2021 is to establish more connections with other humans (and dogs), all while learning to appreciate my ever-growing independence. After many limitations over the last year, I look forward to following my arrow of happiness in all aspects of my life, especially here at ILRC!