Board of Trustees
For additional information please call 1-805-922-6966 ext. 3245
Hilda Zacarías was elected for a four-year term in November 2012 to represent Area 1, which includes Northern Santa Maria. She is a local certified public accountant and organizational management consultant. She was recognized as one of 75 Distinguished Alumni during the 75th anniversary of Allan Hancock College and received the Distinguished Service Award from Cal Poly State University. In 1993, she was the youngest person appointed and then elected to the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District Board of Trustees, serving five years. Ms. Zacarías was elected in 2006 to the Santa Maria City Council and in 2010 was the Democratic nominee for the State Assembly. Ms. Zacarías completed her general education at Allan Hancock College, graduated with an accounting degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and received a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2006, which she attended as a Presidential Scholar Fellow.
Dan Hilker, representative for the southeast area of Santa Maria, was elected to a four-year term in November 2016. Hilker attended and taught at Allan Hancock College’s Law Enforcement Training Academy. He retired as a police officer for University of California, Santa Barbara. After leaving law enforcement, he traveled the world as a service engineer with Formost-Fuji; an international packaging machine manufacturer. In 1994, he opened and operated Santa Maria Brewing Company—one of California’s first microbreweries. In 2010, he returned to Allan Hancock College as an equipment specialist for the Law Enforcement Training Academy. He retired in 2016 to dedicate more time to his brewery expansion. Hilker is the first former full-time Hancock employee to hold a trustee position. He attended St. Joseph High School and has lived in Santa Maria since 1967. Hilker is a member of Kiwanis Club of Santa Maria. He spends his spare time fishing, restoring vintage motorcycles, and raising Siberian Huskies.
Greg Pensa was elected in November 2010. He represents Area 5, which includes the Santa Ynez Valley and northern Lompoc Valley. Mr. Pensa retired after working in Petroleum Marketing for 37 years. He is a 30+ year Rotarian, including past president and is a recipient of the Rotary Paul Harris Fellow. He is also the past president of The Valley Foundation, is current President of the Solvang Friendship House and is a founding member and former treasurer of the Indigenous Development Coordinators, a philanthropic group working with the needy in the Philippines. Mr. Pensa has been the radio voice of Santa Ynez Valley High School Football since 1983. His past service includes serving on the Allan Hancock College Foundation from 2001 to 2010, a trustee for the Solvang School District from 1988-1998, past president of the Buellton Business Association, and the Valley Haven Senior Day Care. He was selected as Santa Ynez Valley Man of the Year in 2013 by The Valley Foundation. Mr. Pensa earned an associate degree in business management from Allan Hancock College and a bachelor's degree in Telecommunications & film from San Diego State University.
Heidi Mendiola began her term as student trustee after serving as the executive director for the college's Associated Student Body Government. She is a sociology major and plans to transfer to a 4-year university to study criminology in 2020. As student trustee, she plans to improve the college experience for students by encouraging and increasing student involvement including efforts to ensure every voice is heard. She hopes to make positive changes on both the Santa Maria and Lompoc campuses. Heidi plans to utilize the skills that she has learned through previous leadership experiences to better represent the students' needs and expectations on our campus.