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Board of Directors

& Founding Members

​        Our Board of Directors and Founding Members are comprised of a group of inspiring and dedicated individuals who share a common create a Children's Storybook Garden & Museum for all children and adults of Kings County.  We have members with experience in law, banking, engineering, education, agriculture, landscape construction, horticulture, business, art, and more!  We work very hard and are proud of all that we have accomplished so far.  We are anxious to complete this Garden & Museum, and with your continued support we will make it happen! 

Kaitlin Sheets

      Kaitlin has been involved in the Storybook Garden for several years.

In 2021, Kaitlin became the Director of Friends of the Garden and that means she chaired the Storybook Victorian Tea!

      Kaitlin brings many talents to the Garden. She is an organizer, loves planning events, and is smart with money!  She also loves gardening and is creating her own mini-farm.

      She was born and raised in Hanford. Kaitlin and her husband Scott have two daughters, Amelia & Samantha, and another baby on the way! 

Favorite Quote:


"Let all that you do be done with love."

      -1 Corinthians 16:14

Judy Wait


        Judy is a retired educator having taught for 23 years, first as an elementary teacher and later as a Library Media Teacher.  She holds a BA in Education and an MA in Library Media Services.  She is a wife of fifty-eight years, a mother of seven children, and a grandmother to fourteen grandchildren.

        She has been an active community volunteer, 4-H Community Club Leader, member of P.E.O., 19th Century Round Table, and a member of the Hanford Garden Club where she was teaching gardening at local school gardens, then deciding that all children in the Valley deserve a beautiful, educational and magical Garden!  She loves Hanford because of its historical character and believes strongly in historical preservation.  
Her favorite quote is:

        “In a hundred years it will not matter what you owned or how you looked. But the world may be better because you were important in the life of a child.”

​        ​        ​        - Anonymous

Lisa Conway
Board Member

      I am a lover of all things home and family, gardening, decorating and entertaining and all kids activities. 

      After graduating from Oregon State University I  became a flight attendant for Delta Airlines and met my future husband, Rick, who had just begun his law career. We have lived in Hanford and been married 38 years where we have raised 5 children and now just became proud grandparents for the first time. 

      Through the years I have been actively involved and held many offices in community clubs, volunteered at our kids many school and sporting activities, including being Room Mother over 24 times!
      I am happy to serve the community that our family has enjoyed for so long!

Founding Members

Dave Jones   

Dean Osterling

Mark York

Barbara Osterling

Laura Camara

Barbara Black Tolle

Peggy Horner

Linda Nielsen

Janet Stivers

Kate Catalina

Larry Wait

Jeannie Williams

Barbara Horton

Past Board of Directors

Ginnie Herleman

Jeannie Williams

Anthony Mendes

Lindsey Calvillo

Linda Nielsen

Eldon Bueno

Jana Dudley

Jeannie Williams

Barbara Black Tolle

Kate Catalina

Janet Stivers 

Carmen Bettencourt
Founding Member

​      Carmen Bettencourt is a mother, community leader, school volunteer, caterer, designer, executive secretary, farmer, and bookkeeper.  She is a graduate of Fresno State University with a degree in public administration and recreation.


​ Carmen is a very active member of her community.  She is the director of the Farm History Museum.

Her favorite quote is: 

​        "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

​        ​        ​        - Margaret Mead


Chris Raven

Board Member

      Chris was born in Hanford and raised in Laton on a dairy farm & walnut ranch. After graduating from Laton High School, she studied at California State University, Fresno and earned her K-12 teaching credential. She then taught at Laton Unified for 36 years.

      Chris has two daughters, eight grand-children, and four great-grandchildren. For 44 years, she has been a member of Theta Tau Theta Sorority, an organization that sponsors local children and families to Summer Camp at Bearskin Meadows Diabetes Youth Families in Sequoia National Forrest.

      ​Chris is passionate about the Children's Storybook Garden & Museum. She loves volunteering, learning new things, and interacting with the guests at the Garden. Chris teaches our "Little Sprouts" program.


     Susie Chavez

    Board Member



Susie recently retired from her position as the Recreation Supervisor for the City of Hanford.  The Children's Storybook Garden feels fortunate to have Susie on our Board with all the enthusiasm and leadership skills she comes with!  She has an AA degree from C.O.S.  Susie grew up on a 40 acre ranch in Laton and understands the value of hard work and sacrifice.  

During her 21 years at the City she had many responsibilities including: running the swimming pool, developing a weekly special needs program, planning senior activities, running summer camps, planning children's activities and overseeing the Hanford Teen Center.

  Today she sees the Children's Storybook Garden as her next chapter.  She wants to continue enhancing the lives of local children and their families and being a positive role model to her 7 beautiful granddaughters.


Susie's favorite quote:  "If you build it they will come." 

Susan Lafferty
Board Member


Susan has been a nutrition educator for the University of California Cooperative Extension for over 11 years.  She especially enjoys working with youth teaching them about healthy choices and physical activity.  She attended COS majoring in business administration.  She is a mother and grandmother and has been active in youth organizations including 4-H, FFA and Kings County Junior Fair Board.  Susan  has lived in Hanford with her husband, David, for over 45 years. She enjoys reading, camping and being outdoors.

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