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Our Mission​

To create a safe, supportive, and empowering home for the LGBTQIA+ community in the Santa Ynez Valley through the education and celebration of LGBTQIA+ culture.

Our Vision

We envision a world free of bias and prejudice- one heart, one community at a time.

Who We Are

Our organization is the first registered 501(c)3 nonprofit in the Santa Ynez Valley dedicated to supporting and celebrating the local LGBTQIA+ community.


To achieve our mission, we create the annual SYV Pride Parade & Festival; collaborate with local partners; organize, sponsor, and support other community events; and bring together the financial resources of individuals, families, and businesses. We also offer scholarships to local Santa Ynez Valley High School seniors who have shown leadership in supporting the LGTBQIA+ community and are proud to participate in the annual scholarship award night. In addition, we support other LGBTQIA+ non-profits that align with our mission.

SYV Pride is powered solely by volunteers and has no paid staff. All donations go directly to our events and initiatives as described above.

How is SYV Pride different from other local LGBTQIA+ organizations?

Other local organizations aim to develop as service providers – i.e. offering programming and services. SYV Pride is focused on community-based events, such as the landmark annual Pride Parade and Festival, as well as numerous events throughout Pride Month. In addition, we partner with local community organizations, businesses, and groups to bring visibility, support, and advocacy for the LGBTQIA+ community in the Santa Ynez Valley. 

Lauren Lastra, MPA

Lauren is the Director of Student Services
and Accreditation Deputy at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She is committed to a just and mission-centered approach to organizational life. She has served or is currently serving as a member on several Institutional committees, including Pacifica’s Diversity Task Force focused on Student Matters and the President’s Task Force on Campus Climate and Employee Morale. Lauren was nominated and appointed as the inaugural Staff Representative on Pacifica’s Board of Trustees (2020-2022). Prior to coming to Pacifica, she lived in the Valparaiso region of Chile where sheworked as an Educator for the United Nations Development Program.

Lauren is a founding Board member and actively serves as the current Board President of Santa Ynez Valley Pride in Solvang, CA. She previously served on the Board of Directors for People Helping People as well (2022-2023).

She lives in the Santa Ynez Valley with her wife and their two sons. She studied multicultural literature (B.A.) at University of California, Berkeley and public policy and administration (M.P.A) at California Lutheran University.

What does pride mean to you? 'Pride is a joyful expression of community and centers authenticity, truth-telling, and love. For me it is simple, it is holding hands with my wife while walking down the street with our two boys in tow.'



SYV Pride Board President

Alyce Barrick, M.A.

Alyce was born and raised in Los Angeles, she spent her professional years in different management, behavioral health, and event planning positions all while raising her kids in the diverse city of L.A. before relocating to the Central Coast with her husband Skyler where they are the owners & founders of Queen Cup Coffee in Santa Ynez.

Previously, Alyce attended Concordia University Irvine where she studied Behavioral Science (B.A.) & Psychology, achieved a Master’s Degree in Human Behavior (Capella University) with honors of the President's Award, which ultimately sharpened her understanding and appreciation of evolving life experiences and the need for gender equality and resources for LGBTQ+ youth. This motivation translated into the inspiration she brought to her new local
community, creating a safe space at Queen Cup Coffee and collectively became one of the founding board members of SYV Pride.


Alyce also is ordained to perform same-sex marriage unions! She lives with her husband, teenage daughter Addisynn & their little white dog Salty in Santa Ynez where you can find her tending to her collection of house plants, actively socializing with their incredible friends, and enjoying the amazing food & wine of the Santa Ynez Valley.

What does pride mean to you? 'As a parent to our daughter who identifies as part of the LGBTQ+ community, Pride for me is standing firm as an unwavering ally. The best ally to any community is one that knows that you will never feel the pain that your friends or family have felt, but you will always love them unconditionally and affirm them in a way that shows your unity & support.'



SYV Pride Board Vice President

Laura Newman

Laura is a practicing, licensed psychotherapist and a founding and active board member of Brave Trails. Her lifelong passion for social justice advocacy has involved her in Santa Ynez Valley Pride, The Relational Center, mentoring at-risk youths, the AIDS Hospice Care Center and numerous volunteering experiences.

As owner of Lefty’s Coffee Co., a certified B Corp coffee shop in the heart of Los Olivos, Laura promotes equality, sustainability, environmentalism and goodwill for the planet. In addition, she runs an organic stone fruit and wine grape farm, Honeybear Orchard.

Laura sits at the helm of Newman Properties, LP, a real estate holding and development company, and has been a licensed general contractor for over two decades working on commercial restaurants, high-end retail stores, and numerous residential projects.  Laura spearheaded the purchase, development and pending construction of the first in the country LGBTQIA+ camp - Brave Trails Forever Home, owned, operated and serving the LGBTQIA+ community.

What does pride mean to you? 'Pride is standing with and for the LGBTQ+ community and allies in demanding equality and justice.'



SYV Pride Board Secretary

Ken Sorenson, CPA

Ken is a Founding Member and is the owner of Sorenson & Associates, a CPA firm specializing in advanced tax strategies and bookkeeping services for the past 35 years.

He was named Santa Barbara County Volunteer of the Year for the Youth in 2012 from his work with Viking Charities, Stuart C. Gildred YMCA and People Helping People, where he held the Chairperson position at each non-profit. Ken helped develop and run the domesic abuse program at People Helping People, the Children’s Christmas Party for special needs students at Viking Charities and the LiveStrong Program for cancer survivors at the YMCA. He also coached offensive line for 17 years for the Santa Ynez High School football team.

Ken lives in Buellton with his wife Ronna and has two adult children Colby 31 and Shane 26.

What Does Pride mean to you? 'Pride to me is being the MOST active ally that I can be. Be loud and proud to support my family and friends that are members of the LGBTQ+ community at all times and to never waver in my own life to push equality among all without exception with my actions and not just my words.'



SYV Pride Board Treasurer

Adriana Reyes

Adriana is a Case Manager for Good Samaritan, Santa Barbara County.  A founding SYV Pride board member, she is a first generation Mexican American, mother of two boys and SYVHS alum.


Prior to the Good Samaritan, she was the Inclusion Program Coordinator for People Helping People, were she was awarded the 2023 Jan Harp Domene Diversity and Inclusion National Award.


She is someone deeply entrenched in the community who has helped organize events such as SYV Pride, Juneteenth and Hispanic Heritage Month. She currently is a founding board member and Vice-President with a newly formed Centro Corazon Comunitario, which is a grassroot organization aiming to provide essential services to Hispanic Immigrants in the Santa Ynez Valley.  Adriana is also the JV Girls Soccer coach for Santa Ynez High School.   


She returned to school after 30 years to complete her A.A. in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Allan Hancock College and continues to be a full-time student.

What does pride mean to you?  'Pride means letting love guide you through a sometimes unfriendly world. For me, it’s the tireless work of advocating for equality within my community. El amor es el fruto de la vida, y es necesario dejar amar quien quieras amar sin miedo.'



Dani Tupper

Dani was born and raised in Santa Barbara County and split her time with
parents between Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley.


She had a successful run as a competitive boxer and collegiate softball player, while studying Political Science and Black Studies at SBCC. She moved to Ventura and then Long Beach.  During this time she worked in the service industry, immersing herself in the LBGTQ+ community by bartending, managing, and DJing in queer venues.


After retiring from boxing, she moved back to the Santa Ynez Valley. She became a
Certified Life Coach and started developing an anti-bullying speaker program for schools. In 2019 she put herself through a private barber college and in 2022 she opened Barbed Wire Barber Salon. Barbed Wire has become the LGBTQ+ safe space salon in the valley for our community.


She lives in Solvang with her partner, Jessi and their two sons Tate (10) and Brax (2). She has a passion for justice and equality, but most importantly volunteering and giving back to those in need.

What does Pride mean to you? 'Pride means celebrating love and being seen, heard, and understood without fear of retaliation. I
take being a parent and raising two young men, very seriously. It is imperative to teach them about kindness and compassion while doing my part in our community to create a safe space for generations to come. I love being part of a board centered around celebrating love.'



Kylie Tigard

Kylie's family has lived in the Santa Ynez Valley since in 1955.  She attended Santa Ynez Elementary, graduated SYVUHS in 1985, studied Early Childhood Education at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; Cal State Northridge with a Minor in Art.    

Kylie worked 9 years as a Fashion Liaison for Ralph Lauren until retiring from the industry.  She became a Business Owner/Operator in 1998 and remains self-employed today.  Over the past 20
years, Kylie and her partner became Real Estate Investors/House Flippers in California, Colorado and Oregon. Additionally, she served 5 years as the Director/Rider and Special Events Coordinator
for a nonprofit Cycling Team.
Kylie lives in Solvang with her partner Lisa of 21 years & their two corgis Mac & Molly.  She loves cycling, paddling & camping all while nourishing her creative endeavors.
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Kylie joined the SYV Pride Board in December
2023.  Through advocacy, education, and empathetic conversations, Kylie strives to foster a more inclusive and better understanding within our community by creating a safe space for all.

What does pride mean to you?  'There comes a defining moment in your life when you choose to stand in your power.…you don’t
run, you don’t falter, you take a breath, you state your truth….and then you say “YES I AM”.'



Gracie Barbara 

Gracie is currently the head coach of Santa Barbara Community Rowing on Lake Cachuma.


She is originally from Alexandria, Virginia where she was introduced to the sport at 12 years old. After rowing for her high school team, she rowed for  Indiana University and received a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology.


After graduating, she went back to Alexandria to coach for her high school program and saw how powerful sport can be in guiding youth to be kind, inclusive and supportive humans. She then received her Masters degree in Sport Administration at the University of Louisville and continued coaching at the Division I level.  

After coaching at UCLA, she decided to move to the Santa Ynez Valley to build a youth rowing club with the intention to provide an
inclusive space for people to learn how to row.  She lives in Solvang with her two roommates and her dog Ziggy and loves to be outside as much as possible. She also stays active through cycling, yoga, and Crossfit. 

What does Pride mean to you? 'Pride means community! A safe space to be your authentic self and to encourage others to be their authentic selves. To celebrate diversity in all forms and to not only support others in the community, but to actively denounce oppression and hate.



The Team

with the local Sheriff who is supportive and attentive to our needs, concerns, and requests.


our internal safety protocols for the annual Pride Parade and Festival which will be shared with all volunteers and parade participants.


the climate in the Valley, including in online spaces such as local chat rooms. We will report any harassment of the LGBTQIA+ community to local law enforcement. 


the emotional and psychological safety of our community. There are some great mental health resources available through the Trevor Project.


with other local non-profits, businesses, and organizations in creating safe spaces and sharing safety best practices.


all members of the Valley to practice their allyship: if you see something, say something.


Our Commitment

Santa Ynez Valley Pride is committed to the safety & well-being of LGBTQIA+ members in our community. Here are some ways we follow through on that commitment: 

Santa Ynez Valley Pride

P.O. Box 983

Buellton, CA 93427

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© 2023 Santa Ynez Valley Pride

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