Board Members

Evelynn Smith, Founder

The founding angel of Project-Angels Bearing Gifts, Evelynn Smith, is the parent of a developmentally disabled adult. She is employed as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) in Santa Barbara, California. Evelynn has helped many parents of children with disabilities and many adults with the grieving process and accepting the diagnosis. Evelynn is a past board member of New Directions, which sponsors travel experiences for individuals who are developmentally challenged.  She is also an honorary member of the California Advisory Board of Devereux in Santa Barbara, an agency that operates residential facilities across the country for children and adults who are developmentally challenged.  She is a past board member of Cornerstone House, an agency which sponsors homes and summer camps for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Evelyn Smith Angels Bearing ifts
Evelyn Smith Angels Bearing ifts

Evelynn Smith, Founder

The founding angel of Project-Angels Bearing Gifts, Evelynn Smith, is the parent of a developmentally disabled adult. She is employed as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) in Santa Barbara, California. Evelynn has helped many parents of children with disabilities and many adults with the grieving process and accepting the diagnosis. Evelynn is a past board member of New Directions, which sponsors travel experiences for individuals who are developmentally challenged.  She is also an honorary member of the California Advisory Board of Devereux in Santa Barbara, an agency that operates residential facilities across the country for children and adults who are developmentally challenged.  She is a past board member of Cornerstone House, an agency which sponsors homes and summer camps for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Board Members

Mary Gibson, chair

Mary Gibson Has a Bachelor’s degree in Speech & Hearing, her Teaching Credential and Special Education Credential from UCSB. After graduation, she
stayed in Santa Barbara and taught in a Special Education classroom for the Santa Barbara County
Education Office for 35 years. Since retiring in June of 2021, she spends here time supporting Angels Bearing
Gifts as the current chair, playing Pickleball and
Mahjong, and hopes to travel more in the coming years. Mary is married and has one son who is working toward a teaching credential.

Pamela Gilbert, immediate past co-chair

A native of New York, Pamela Gilbert came to Santa Barbara in her youth and attended local schools including UCSB. She values active participation in organizations that serve our incredible community. An ABG board member since 2011, she believes that the model of ABG — seeing a need, banding together as volunteers and carrying out a vision — is a mighty and effective way to make a difference in people’s lives.

Pamela Gilbert
Pamela Gilbert

Pamela Gilbert, immediate past co-chair

A native of New York, Pamela Gilbert came to Santa Barbara in her youth and attended local schools including UCSB. She values active participation in organizations that serve our incredible community. An ABG board member since 2011, she believes that the model of ABG — seeing a need, banding together as volunteers and carrying out a vision — is a mighty and effective way to make a difference in people’s lives.

Julie Sorenson

Julie Sorenson has lived in Santa Barbara since 1994. Julie was raised up the coast in San Luis Obispo where she graduated from Cal Poly with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development/Family Studies and a minor in Psychology. Her work experience includes medical case management at Devereux (ten years), Marketing/Sales for sbparent.com/Parentclick.com (seven years). She is currently the VP of Customer service for Sprigeo, an on line school safety reporting software used in schools across the country. In addition, she is the Katherine Harvey Fellows Alumni Coordinator/Social Media Coordinator for Leading From Within. She is married with two daughters.

Linda Cowen

Linda Cowen has a Bachelor of Social Science degree from University of Cape Town, South Africa and a M.A. Special Education degree from the University of Northern Colorado. She has retired from teaching special education students at Santa Barbara Charter School. She now resides in Redondo Beach where she and her husband help take care of their 3 grandchildren.  Her other daughter lives in Ventura with a caregiver.

Linda Cowen
Linda Cowen

Linda Cowen

Linda Cowen has a Bachelor of Social Science degree from University of Cape Town, South Africa and a M.A. Special Education degree from the University of Northern Colorado. She has retired from teaching special education students at Santa Barbara Charter School. She now resides in Redondo Beach where she and her husband help take care of their 3 grandchildren.  Her other daughter lives in Ventura with a caregiver.

Joe Boris

 Joe Boris has lived in Santa Barbara since 2004, relocating from Charlotte, North Carolina. He has a B.A. from the University of Maryland with a duel major in Political Science and Sociology and a M.A. in Guidance and Counseling from Eastern Michigan University. He served on the Fraser, Michigan, City Council for 14 years, eight of those years as Mayor. Joe retired from the 16th Judicial Circuit Court of Michigan where he was the Program Director for the Prevention Section of the Juvenile Division. Joe and his wife, Pat, retired to Santa Barbara to be near their son,  daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren.

Grace Wilson

Grace Willson is a graduate of UCSB with a special education credential from Cal State Los Angeles. For 31 years she worked as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired for Los Angeles County Schools and Santa Barbara Schools serving students ages birth to 22.
In the past ten years she worked as a consultant to the Mariposa Project, an early intervention program. She is the mother of one son and Grammy Grace to host of little ones..

Grace Wilson

Grace Willson is a graduate of UCSB with a special education credential from Cal State Los Angeles. For 31 years she worked as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired for Los Angeles County Schools and Santa Barbara Schools serving students ages birth to 22.
In the past ten years she worked as a consultant to the Mariposa Project, an early intervention program. She is the mother of one son and Grammy Grace to host of little ones.

Jennifer Sills

Jennifer Sills

Jennifer Sills moved back to Santa Barbara 15 years ago. She graduated with a B.A. from UCSB and has had many interesting fields of employment since then, the last 16 years with UCP/WORK,INC. as Director of Independent and Supported Living. Jennifer also works part-time with the Santa Barbara City Adapted Programs. Jennifer joined the Angels Bearing Gifts Board in 2010. She enjoys hiking in the beautiful Santa Barbara Hills and spending time with family and friends.

Kristi Morris

Kristi Morris, originally from Oregon, settled in Santa Barbara where she attended local schools.  She holds a BS in Mathematics from UCSB, graduating with both an Elementary and Secondary Teaching Credential.  She taught in both private and public schools in Santa Barbara for over 40 years.  While teaching math at the junior high level, she also completed her Pupil Personnel services Credential and an MA in School Counseling from Azuza Pacific College.  Kristi spent her last 12 years in education as a junior high counselor, retiring in 2017 from La Colina Junior High School.  She is married with four children and five grandchildren.  She enjoys traveling with her husband and going for long walks with her dog.

Kristi Morris

Kristi Morris, originally from Oregon, settled in Santa Barbara where she attended local schools.  She holds a BS in Mathematics from UCSB, graduating with both an Elementary and Secondary Teaching Credential.  She taught in both private and public schools in Santa Barbara for over 40 years.  While teaching math at the junior high level, she also completed her Pupil Personnel services Credential and an MA in School Counseling from Azuza Pacific College.  Kristi spent her last 12 years in education as a junior high counselor, retiring in 2017 from La Colina Junior High School.  She is married with four children and five grandchildren.  She enjoys traveling with her husband and going for long walks with her dog.

Becky Casselman


Becky Casselman was born in San Francisco and has lived in Santa Barbara since graduating from UCSB.
She worked in the medical field for  over 30 years and then worked as a Special Education aide for Santa Barbara County Schools for 10 years.
She enjoys reading, walking around beautiful Santa Barbara and spending time with her friends and family. 

Christin Hunt

Christin Hunt graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UCSB and a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Brighton, England.  She has been in pediatrics since 2007 and currently works as a school-based OT for the Santa Barbara Unified School District.  Christin’s two young children and husband are the great joys in her life, but she also enjoys hiking, reading, traveling, and frequent dance parties in the kitchen with her kids.  Christin believes that working with children and being of service to others is most fulfilling and she’s grateful to Angels Bearing Gifts for giving her the opportunity.  

Christin Hunt

Christin Hunt graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UCSB and a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Brighton, England.  She has been in pediatrics since 2007 and currently works as a school-based OT for the Santa Barbara Unified School District.  Christin’s two young children and husband are the great joys in her life, but she also enjoys hiking, reading, traveling, and frequent dance parties in the kitchen with her kids.  Christin believes that working with children and being of service to others is most fulfilling and she’s grateful to Angels Bearing Gifts for giving her the opportunity.  

Debra Marasco-McNulty

Debra started with ABG after a presentation by Evelyn at Parents Helping Parents in SLO in 2003. This struck her heart as a parent of a son with cerebral palsy, who would be able to fill in for her if she was not able to? Agencies would do day-to-day care, but how about those other times like birthdays and Christmas? Parents Helping Parents give a place for parents of people with disabilities to gain information and support – “but when the parents are no longer there we should pay homage to them and step up for their loved ones and pay it forward. “

Other interests are ‘networking’, animal rescue, Optimists Club, and caregiving. ABG has also given an opportunity to grandkids (now adults) and empowered youth groups to step out to volunteer and become aware of people with challenges and how to fill their needs.