Our Team

Noah’s Anchorage operates programs that provide a continuum of care to underserved at-risk youth, young adults and families experiencing homelessness, neglect, and abuse in the greater Santa Barbara area. Youth, young adults, and families in high-risk environments that participate in our services experience greater safety and well-being while they work toward the future. Our staff work alongside those in need to provide case management, education, life skills coaching, counseling and much more all free of charge. Donations, grants, and legacy gifts maintain our services and ensure that Noah’s Anchorage YMCA Programs are delivered. Services at Noah’s Anchorage is truly a partnership with many community organizations that believe in helping youth in times of crisis.


✉ Valerie Kissell
Executive Director
☏ (805) 569-1103 ext 1432

Working with our most precious population, youth and young adults has always been a passion for Valerie Kissell.  Valerie has served as the Executive Director for Youth and Family Services YMCA since 2016 overseeing the core social service programs for the branch.  Valerie has over 25 years of executive leadership in the private and public sectors.  Her non-profit experience was as the CEO of an urban Municipal Authority in which she worked with 21 regional municipalities with a $12 million dollar operating budget. In this capacity she was responsible for securing grants on a local, state and federal level, building solid partnerships and alliances. Kissell was the sole proprietor of a local consulting company, Sustainable Solutions, serving the non-profit sectors specializing in services to vulnerable populations such as veterans, youth, disabled individuals and the elderly.  Valerie is active in the community and volunteers for a number of organizations. She serves on the board of the Santa Barbara County Continuum of Care representing unaccompanied youth, is a member of the Junior League of Santa Barbara Council of Community Advisors and is a religious education instructor at Old Mission Santa Ynez.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Ohio University.


Youth and Family Board of Managers

Yonnie Harris - Chair
Carolyn Williams
Dan Watkins
Joseph Sullivan
Rob Saperstein
Marsha Roberson
Tom Richards
Daniel Ramirez
John Nelson
Dave Morley
Tammy Kronen
Yolanda Garcia
Wendy Atterbury