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SBYBP is a non-profit organization founded to provide exciting networking opportunities, community service, and educational workshops to the young black professionals in our community. SBYBP currently represents more than 100 young professionals living and working in the Santa Barbara area.


Our goal is to create and foster positive relationships which empower young Black professionals in the Santa Barbara area by creating and participating in opportunities for professional development, social enrichment, and community service.

Executive Board & Committee Chairs

Warren Ritter, President

Warren Ritter is originally from Orangeburg, South Carolina and came to California to work as a manger for a national bank in Santa Barbara. Warren is passionate about education and is supremely focused on the betterment of the community. In his current profession as a financial advisor, Warren helps individuals with overall problem solving, financial literacy, and estate planning. In addition to serving on other non-profit boards and advisory groups, Warren is an avid reader who enjoys both playing basketball and practicing on the piano in his free time.


Adeola Odunsi, Vice President

Adeola Odunsi is originally from Lagos, Nigeria. She attended Jackson State University, where she studied Computer Engineering and moved to obtain a Master’s Degree at UCSB. She is a proud member of AKA Sorority Incorporated. As an HBCU graduate, she was a beneficiary of many support systems that catered to the enrichment and growth of young black students; consequently, the absence of this at UCSB was especially apparent to her.  Adeola is hoping to help young black professionals not only transit through Santa Barbara but to prosper and possibly make Santa Barbara their home. Adeola is a Business Analyst at QAD Inc, a provider of cloud based enterprise resource software and services for global manufacturers.

Jewellisa Bolden, Secretary

Jewels Bolden, our Santa Barbara native studied psychology at Howard University. Post university she worked as a corporate training assistant and corporate buyer for a large staffing company. Between building a career and her passion for continual learning she has developed an eclectic set of skills and knowledge. She has found her career home in the Purchasing Department at UCSB's Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, while serving as the Santa Barbara Young Black Professionals webmaster. She enjoys event planning and is always ready to throw a party. She is also a country music buff and enjoys getting out to line, two step, and swing dance.  

Maija Fletcher, Treasurer

Coming Soon!

Nikia Acy, Marketing Director

Nikia Acy, multitalented New York native  relocated to Santa Barbara in August 2014. Previously a professional dancer, Nikia has trained with Alvin Ailey, performed with the Oscar nominated group IMPACT Repertory Theater, and performed in several charity events. Currently pursuing a Bachelor's in Organizational Communication while working in the Hospitality industry, Nikia is the driving force behind the social media and marketing of SBYBP. She is also active in the community by assisting the connection and collaboration of community based organizations and volunteering. Nikia's current focus is creating professional development opportunities for college students preparing to conclude their undergraduate career. She enjoys avid traveling, fitness, and photography in her spare time.

Ogechi Nwaokelemeh, Board Member

Ogechi Nwaokelemeh, Ph.D is a Kinesiologist who has a passion for promoting health in under-served communities.  She earned a BS in Kinesiology from the University of Texas at Austin, a MS in Exercise Physiology from Howard University and a PhD in Kinesiology (Physical Activity and Health) from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She recently contributed to a chapter in the textbook titled, ‘Physical Activity in Diverse Populations’ that went to press this year. Dr. Nwaokelemeh’s research interests include obesity prevention and physical activity promotion in children and adult populations alike. She is currently a professor at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. 

La'Conya Cobb, Secretary and Community Service Director

La'Conya Cobb is a trailblazing young professional who transplanted to Santa Barbara from Georgia in August 2014. La'Conya is a Rehabilitation Counselor and has a passion for individuals with disabilities and veterans. She takes an active interest in the welfare of her community, and dedicated to raising awareness of mental illnesses in the Black community.  She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In La’Conya’s spare time she enjoys reading.

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