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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

San Luis Obispo

1411 Marsh Street #109
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

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

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

Santa Maria

222 West Carmen Lane #106
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.)

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. For me, the best part of working at ILRC is I have always been passionate about advocating for underrepresented communities and I get to do that each day here! During quarantine I started baking, started my first garden and spent a lot of time camping and hiking. My goal for 2021 is all about growth-mentally, physically, and organizationally!

Jaydon Gaines Program Services Manager

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Jaydon Gaines


Based in the Ventura Office serving all counties.

I started working at ILRC in July 2020. Our work at ILRC is important to me because it gives me a way to help those around me who need a hand up. A fun fact about me is that I am I huge football fan.

Emily Bridges Focused Population Case Manager

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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.

Miguel Mendoza COVID-19 Outreach Coordinator

Photo of Miguel Mendoza.

Miguel Mendoza


Based in Ventura County serving Ventura County.

I enjoy my time here at ILRC because it gives me the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, no matter how big or small it is. Seeing and hearing what our friends and consumers have a need for within the disability community from advocacy for the right to live in an accessible home to simply needing an at-home booster shot is something I have taken for granted and it has impacted my life for good. I am more than happy to assist our consumers to reach their desired goals here at ILRC. A fun fact about myself is that I cannot start my day without a good cup of tea and I am left-handed. Greetings to all my lefties out there!

Rosa Lopez Information & Referral Specialist - Bilingual

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.

Kelly Kivlahan Transition Advocate

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Kelly Kivlahan


Based in the Ventura Office serving Ventura County.

"I started working at ILRC in November of 2020. The work ILRC does is important to me because it is so special to be a part of a team that truly cares about others and helps make it possible for individuals to be properly represented and live independent fulfilling lives is the type of work that makes the world a better place. One new hobby I picked up during quarantine is using my Indo board!! I keep it right inside my bedroom door so I have to walk by it frequently and I try to hop on it a few times a day to test out my balance and it's a really nice little mental break! My goal for 2021 is to try something new each month and hopefully travel once it's safe to do so!"

Rosie Florido Bookkeeper

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Rosie Florido

  • Bookkeeper

Brandon Smith Emergency Preparedness Services Manager

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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!

Carol Baizer Community Living Advocate/Benefits

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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.

Petra Lowen Community Living Advocate

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Petra Lowen


Based in the Santa Barbara office serving South Santa Barbara County.

I started at the ILRC in 1983 (the first time, until 1991), then the second time in 2000. The work at the ILRC is extremely important to me because navigating housing issues is difficult and many consumers need our assistance and expertise, some more than others. Advocacy is also an important part of our work. I estimate that in the years that I have worked at the ILRC I have assisted at least 2,500 consumers, maybe more. I have touched many lives. I did not start any new hobbies in 2020 but I have read much more than before and went for more walks. My goals for 2021 are: first of all not to get infected by COVID-19 and to get vaccinated as soon as I am eligible. As restrictions are loosened (or lifted): see consumers in the office again because person-to-person interaction is very important. Then connect with landlords and rental management companies. If the City Housing Authority opens the tenant-based section 8 waiting list (as they indicated) sign up all current and past consumers on that waiting list.

Nicole Janikowski Independent Living Advocate

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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 Assistive Technology Coordinator

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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.

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.

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.

Sarah Kreitzer-Lillard Blind/Low Vision Coordinator

Photo of Sarah Kreitzer-Lillard.

Sarah Kreitzer-Lillard


Based in the Santa Maria office serving all counties.

I began working at ILRC in November 2021. As an Information and Referral Specialist I am often the first point of contact for those seeking services or information; I feel privileged to have the opportunity to set the tone for one's forthcoming experience with ILRC and it's mission to serve individuals with disabilities of all levels. It is a joy to represent the ILRC and be a part of its remarkable staff. During my time at home during the COVID-19 lockdown I happily developed a robust passion for houseplants and in that process have acquired quite the collection. Watering and caring for my plants is a great way for me to practice self-care. My goal for this year is to make more of an effort to participate in local events and festivities with my family and reignite that sense of community belonging we have missed over these past two years.

Jacob Lesner-Buxton Systems Change Advocate

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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!

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.

Paige Masson Community Living Advocate/Benefits

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Paige Masson


Based in the San Luis Obispo office serving San Luis Obispo & Northern Santa Barbara 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!

Vanessa Kaelyn Acain Youth Advocate

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Vanessa Kaelyn Acain


Based in the Ventura office serving Ventura County.

I became a part of the ILRC family in November of 2021. I love being a part of an organization that shares my passion for social justice and plays a hands-on role in creating a more inclusive and diverse community! During the pandemic, I learned how to crochet, rediscovered my passion for reading, and spent quality time with my family. This year I would love to bake and travel (especially to visit friends in New York and Europe!)

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?