The board of directors of Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People (PHP) has elected Karen Bowker as secretary of the corporation. She has served on the PHP Board for the past three years.

She works as vice president and branch manager for First Bank in Solvang. Previously she worked for 15 years at Santa Barbara Bank & Trust as a business banker.

For the past 10 years, Bowker has been a member of the Solvang Rotary Club and has previously served as the chair of the club’s Community Services Committee. She serves on the board of the Solvang Chamber of Commerce and prior to joining PHP as a director, she was a member of the Santa Ynez Valley Youth Coalition Governing Board.

She and her significant other, John Sanchez, live in Buellton where John is a City Council member. They have a combined five adult children and nine grandchildren.

PHP’s mission is to “improve the lives of men, women, and children by addressing emergency and basic needs, furnishing comprehensive integrated family and individual support services, and acting as a catalyst for positive community change.”

For more information, call 805-686-0295 or visit