Community Emergency Response Volunteers of the Monterey Peninsula (CERV) was formed in 2011 to promote and sustain preparedness, readiness and response to emergencies and critical events by:
- Supporting local CERT programs in maintaining a full readiness status, their personnel, needed equipment, and supplies to function when activated
- Working to build public awareness of the importance of planning/preparing for emergencies
- Promoting individual and community capacity to respond to local disasters and emergencies
- Utilizing volunteers to keep the focus of funding on projects versus paid staff and infrastructure
CERV Board of Directors
President - K. Lee Whitney
K. Lee Whitney was raised in a military family living in European and Central American countries and on Stateside Army posts. Currently serving as President of CERV, her Home Owners Association, as a Monterey CERT Zone Captain and Advisory Board Member. Lee also volunteers with the Carmel Police Department. Educated in Boston and New York with degrees in fashion and business management. Employed by Macy's in New York and Wells Fargo Bank in Carmel (Ret.). Lee's awards include Lion of the Year, Melvin Jones Humanitarian Service and Woman of the Year of Monterey Peninsula. She has also received honors from the Monterey County Supervisors, the California State Senate and the City of Carmel. Lee previously served on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross, Carmel Lions Club and the Forest Theater Guild.
Secretary/Treasurer - Sarah Blackstone
Sarah W. Blackstone, Ph.D., CCC-SLP; Speech-language Pathologist; President (Ret). - Augmentative Communication, Inc., Monterey CERT Zone Captain, Monterey County Office of Emergency Services Access and Functional Needs Working Group; United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Co-chair, Disaster Relief Committee/Past President; The Bridge School, Board of Directors/Principle Investigator, Improving the outcomes of children with cortical visual Impairment (CVI) who rely on (AAC) augmentative and alternative communication. Central Coast American Red Cross, Disaster Services Hero, 2017.
Vice President - Charles Chambers
Charles Chambers, Charles retired after fourteen years as the Program Director for Kinship Center - Family Ties Program for Monterey County, he previously helped start a similar program for Santa Clara County. Family Ties Program provides comprehensive supportive services to grandparents and other kin caregivers, who are raising relative children.
Prior to that Charles served in the United States Air Force as a Military Policeman, was the Member Services Supervisor at the Health Plan of San Mateo for eight years, was a Radio Broadcaster, an office equipment sales representative, a Personnel Services Specialist, a Homeless Shelter Manager, the Social Services Coordinator for the Salinas Salvation Army, a Correctional Officer, a Compton Police Officer and a Military Policeman with service in Vietnam. Charles currently serves on various community committees and boards including CERV.
Charles is happily married to his beautiful wife Vera. He has three children, 11 grandchildren, 8 great-grand children and having parented five foster children. Charles believes that today, more than any other time in the history of our country, it requires our willingness to help others in our community. Each one help one daily.
Chief Marketing Officer - Sean Brownlee
Sean Brownlee, MBA, CEO - Ravenox, Mastery Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations; Washington Retail Association Board of Directors (Vice Chair); National Retail Federation America's Champion Award Finalist 2018; Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey 2019 Alumni Volunteer Service Award Winner; Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal Recipient; Amazon Small Business of the Year Award Finalist 2019; Monterey CERT Logistics Manager, Monterey CERT Zone Captain, CERT Steering Committee, PADI Rescue Diver; FAA Pilot, Civil Air Patrol; Monterey
CERV Advisory Council
Harvey Pressman, President, Central Coast Children’s Foundation, Educator, CERT Volunteer, Monterey. Harvey Pressman was managing editor at Augmentative Communication, Inc ., and is president of the Central Coast Children’s Foundation . He served as technology editor at Exceptional Parent Magazine, was a founding board member of the Alliance for Technology Access (ATA), and has directed demonstration programs in educational technology, employment of welfare recipients and people with disabilities, urban education, and youth employment . He is the author or coauthor of some 15 books and scores of journal articles in these areas, as well as a former college professor and Peace Corps official.
Michael P. Brassfield
Michael P. Brassfield, A retired Chief Deputy, Monterey County Sheriff's Office (36 years), and emergency planner. AS and BA+ degrees. Attended the FBI National Academy ('95). US Marine Corps ('66-'70). Former college instructor. Over the years and currently, has served on various local and state level boards or committees in a variety of specialized and service orientated subjects. Member of NERT/CERT since 1995. Currently serves as a Steering Committee member for Monterey CERT. An advisory board member of CERV. A proponent and instructor of citizen level life and emergency preparedness; "During an emergency or crisis is not the time to plan for what you need to do. Have and work your plans!."
Michael Castaneda, At the age of 21, I broke my back in a snow skiing accident that left me with a spinal cord injury. Since then, I have used wheelchair for mobility. Using a wheelchair and living with a disability has been a challenge, but I have kept my chin up.
I work in Monterey as Civil Servant for the U.S. Army at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and volunteer as an Advisory Council member of the CERV group.
As an advocate for wheelchair access, I served on the executive board of the Central Coast Center for Independent Living and the City of Monterey Disabled Access Appeals Board. Both agencies are committed to promoting independence among people with disabilities by supporting their equal and full participation in our community.
Some of my past achievements include helping to ensure ADA compliant parking, redesigned travel paths for pedestrians, and improved transportation rights for people with disabilities throughout the Central Coast.
I have a BS in Health Education from California State University Fresno, an MPH from San Diego State University, and a Doctorate in Education (EdD) from Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology. My dissertation focused on enhancing emergency preparedness for people with disabilities.
Kim Stemler, Executive Director, Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association
Kim Stemler has a passion for all things related to Monterey Wine Country - the wines (of course), vineyards, and people. In her role as the Executive Director of the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association for the last 7-years, she has been a promoter, connector, and barrier buster. Before this role, Kim was a management consultant focused on organizational development, strategic planning, policy, marketing, and communications. Kim earned her Master's Degree in Administrative Science from The Johns Hopkins University. In addition to serving on this Advisory Board, Kim is on the Board of Directors of the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) and the Emile Norman Arts Foundation. She is a long-time member and former Board Member of the Rotary Club of Monterey and was named Monterey County Women of the Year several years ago.
Gene Rizzo is the director of engineering for Coastal Manufacturing, Inc., where they support the fresh cut industry designing and developing custom food processing equipment. He is also the zone captain of the New Monterey CERT team. Gene received a BS degree in Agricultural Engineering Technology with minors in Irrigation and Ag Business from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo and an MBA from Golden Gate University. He brings extensive knowledge and skills in maintaining essential equipment for the Monterey/PG/Carmel CERT programs. He also supports CERV in sourcing and refurbishing emergency support equipment for citizens in Monterey County impacted by wildfires and other natural disasters.
Genevieve Brownlee hails from Monterey, California and is a long time local resident who understands issues facing the Monterey community. Genevieve holds a B.A. from the University of California San Diego with a major in Political Science. She is the COO of Ravenox, a textile manufacturing direct-to-consumer retail business that is involved in political advocacy across the nation. She brings a wealth of knowledge relating to organizational growth and integrating technology at every level for achieving maximum potential.