Board of Directors
Cornel N. Morton - President
Cornel N. Morton, Ph.D. is Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo Vice President for Student Affairs, Emeritus. He has served as a consultant to public and private organizations in areas including diversity awareness, student success, inclusivity, strategic planning, team building and conflict mediation.
His community service includes membership on the French Hospital Community Board, Board Member of the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Committee and Life Long Learners of the Central Coast Advisory Board. Cornel and his wife Regena live in San Luis Obispo County.
Jean DeCosta - Secretary
Jean DeCosta, Ph.D., retired from Cal Poly, Dean of Students, Emeritus. Jean’s background is as an educator, administrator, organizational consultant and trainer. Jean has provided consulting to public and private organizations in the areas of conflict resolution, communication, strategic problem solving, and team development. Jean has worked in private practice as a clinical therapist and trained as a conflict mediator. Jean holds a doctorate in Organizational Systems, an M.S. in Education, and was a licensed clinical Marriage, Family Therapist.
Jean holds a passion for social justice. Having been raised in poverty, and the second oldest of a racially blended family, Jean understands some of the challenges individuals and families face regarding discrimination, poverty and hardship.
Jean and her wife Kate live in SLO county.
Jane Rowland - Treasurer
Jane Rowland is a Registered Nurse with 41 years of professional experience in health care. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from University of California, San Francisco, and a Masters in Nursing from UCLA. She has worked in various settings including direct patient care, education, and administration. In all her endeavors she strove to incorporate effective means of interacting with patients, family, and staff by recognizing each person’s individual needs, and being respectful of the diversity of needs presented by different populations.
Jane’s volunteer activities include work with Life Long Learners of the Central Coast and the American Heart Association. She is a past president of the American Heart Association San Luis Obispo division, and represented that organization on the California Affiliate board of the AHA.
Jane has lived in San Luis Obispo county since 1982. Now retired, her interests include travel, fitness, reading, learning new things, and staying involved in the community. She lives in Nipomo with her husband and rescue dog.
Michael Boyer - Founding Director and Membership Chair
Michael has been a business and community leader in San Luis Obispo County for over 20 years with continued business involvement in Epic Entertainment, Doc Burnstein's, Digital West and Pismo Beach Homes.
Michael is committed to the community through his board involvement as the Chair of Stand Strong, a Director at Arroyo Grande Community Hospital Foundation, a Director at Big Brothers Big Sisters, a Director at The Rotary Club of Pismo Beach, a Director at San Luis Obispo YMCA, a Director at Diversity Coalition & a Director at St. Patrick School Board.
As a self-described “jack of all trades,” Michael loves getting his hands dirty in many different things, from home remodelling projects to jogging/walking a “half” with his wife, to Saturday morning business discussions with friends, to adventurous hikes in Alaska’s Talkeetna Mountains. Michael lives in Arroyo Grande, CA with his wife, Ashlea, and his son, Jack.
Kathleen Minck - Education Chair and Director
Kathleen taught at the Lucia Mar school district for 32 years. Promoting tolerance for diversity and teaching about our different cultural experiences were always passions of hers. She sat on her district’s Wellness Committee and was her school’s Bully Prevention Coordinator. CTA (Cal. Teachers Association) awarded her their Peace and Justice Human Rights award for the work she did at her school and throughout her district, partnering with the Canadian organization, Free the Children, and Heifer International, among others. She continued her passion in her travels as well, helping to build a school in Kenya, and studying health and education concerns with Witness for Peace and SOA Watch in Venezuela and Cuba. As an advocate for unions, she was her school’s LMUTA union rep and sat on their board, and was the Human Rights contact person for CTA’s local service center. She was also elected to CTA’s State Council, sitting on the Civil Rights in Education committee, and to the NEA National Assembly. She truly believes that public education, both here and around the world, is the key to a peaceful future for our children and grandchildren.
Kathleen retired from teaching in 2015 and currently volunteers for Wilshire Hospice, Teddy Bear Foundation at Cottage Hospital, and Human Rights Watch. She has 3 grown children and 3 beautiful granddaughters, and resides in Arroyo Grande.
Kendra Paulding - Marketing Chair and Director
Kendra Paulding, one of our newest board members, brings a passion for doing good along with a strong set of talents to the board. Kendra, a Cal Poly SLO graduate, has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Finance. Formerly a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley, Kendra now manages the office at Paulding Law with her husband, Jimmy Paulding. Kendra’s passion for helping people and making our community a stronger, more resilient, and inclusive community fuels her desire to assist the Diversity Coalition in carrying out its mission. Her hard work to make change is evident in the many volunteer hours she has dedicated to local political campaigns and non-profit organizations. Kendra’s organizational management skills, strong business acumen, and seemingly boundless energy make her strong asset to the team.
Joe Whitaker - Director
Joe Whitaker, a retired businessman, is a former senior marketing executive at Mattel Toys, Columbia Pictures and Lorimar Productions. During his career, he also acted as an independent marketing consultant to small and mid-size children’s product and entertainment firms.
Joe is also a long-time member of SLO SCORE, the local chapter of the national SCORE small business counseling service.
He and his wife Myraline Morris Whitaker, Owner/Principal of Central Coast of California Hospitality, LLC, have resided in Cypress Ridge since 2006.
Rudy Xavier - Emeritus
Rudy Xavier brings to DCSLOC a unique combination of Teaching, Business Analytics, and Marketing experience from 30 years at high-tech software companies including Digital Equipment Corporation, Honeywell Information Systems, and Xerox. Rudy holds a BA in Premed, MS in Psychology, and a 2nd MS in Computer Science. He was a speaker for 10 years in the management of Memory Loss as a Bay Area Facilitator for the Alzheimer’s Association and offers courses in coping with dementia twice a year in SLO.
Leveraging his in-depth experience in business intelligence and leading edge Computational Linguistics software, Rudy served as Vice President/GM at Xerox PARC in Palo Alto, CA.
Rudy’s commitment to Diversity started early at the International School of Bangkok, where his Senior class alone represented -literally-21 nationalities. He has fought against racial discrimination, and bullying from an early age and championed the fight for gender equality and against cultural bias. Deeply involved in local community activity in SLO County, he is on the Patient Advisory Council for Dignity Health, the Area Agency on Aging, a board member of Lifelong Learners of the Central Coast; and on April 15, 2018 was elected to the California Senior Legislature as San Luis Obispo County Senior Senator.