Board of Directors

Diane Pannkuk New Beginnings Board President

Diane Pannkuk, M.B.A.
Board President

Diane Pannkuk is a recognized community leader in Montecito, and has had an extensive vocation in volunteerism.

She received her B.A in Communication at UCLA and an M.B.A. from George Washington University.

During her professional career, Pannuk served as a contract negotiator the United States Department of Defense and as President of the Silver Creek Corporation.

In 2010, Pannkuk was honored by the Montecito Association with the award of “Montecito Association Citizen of the Year.” She lives in Montecito with her family.


Kathryn LePage New Beginnings Vice President

Kathryn LePage, M.A.
Board of Directors Emerita

Kathryn LePage was born in Chicago, Illinois, but spent her adult life in Arizona and California.

She attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago, and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Arizona State University. She also holds a Master’s degree from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara.

LePage is a freelance artist, a psychotherapist and an interior designer.


Ann Marie Plane New Beginnings Board of Directors

Ann Marie Plane, Ph.D, Psy.D

Ann Marie Plane is a cultural historian and practicing clinical psychoanalyst in Santa Barbara. She has served on the faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara since 1994. She received a Psy.D degree at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles, during which, she completed a year-long internship at New Beginnings Counseling Center and served her first term on the board, from 2002 to 2004.

Plane brings an awareness of cross-cultural perspectives to her clinical work, and has enjoyed her long association with the New Beginnings Counseling Center in Santa Barbara, especially its outreach to low and moderate-income clients.

Jaqueline Kurta New Beginnings Board of Directors

Jacqueline Kurta, Psy.D, M.F.T

Jaqueline Kurta is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in work with adolescents, college-age young adults and families, particularly focused on challenges involving alcohol, drug and other addictive behaviors. She is the Director of the UC Santa Barbara Alcohol and Drug Program and maintains a private practice in Santa Barbara. She provides clinical supervision services for Casa Serena, a Santa Barbara residential treatment program for women, and also serves as adjunct faculty for Antioch University’s Santa Barbara campus.

Kurta has B.A in English from Tufts University in Boston; an MA in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University in Santa Barbara; and a Psy.D in Marriage and Family Therapy from Ryokan College in Los Angeles. She was awarded Outstanding Chapter Leader for the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) in 2009 while serving as Co-President of CAMFT Santa Barbara Chapter. She has also been a guest lecturer for Pacifica Graduate Institute, offering presentations on crisis management and response for the clinical and counseling programs.


Board Member Ziad Elkurjie

Ziad Elkurjie

Ziad Elkurjie has been a technology executive and entrepreneur in Santa Barbara and Silicon Valley for 20 years. He attended the University of Toronto for his training in Computer Science and Economics.

Ziad has been involved in numerous startup companies from inception through mergers and acquisition phases.  He brings a pragmatic and structured approach to business development and market opportunities.

Ziad has lived in Santa Barbara for 14 years with his wife and 3 kids.  He is a Math Enrichment coach at Mountain View Elementary School and serves on the Advanced and Gifted Learning Committee with the Goleta District Board of Education.


Board Member Irina Kerdman

Irina Kerdman, PhD
Board Member

Dr. Irina Dashevsky-Kerdman was born and raised in Odessa, Ukraine. There she studied architecture at Odessa Polytechnic University. After arriving in US she continued her studies at UCLA. She went on to have a successful architectural career in private practice in Los Angeles, California, which she closed after 17 years to become a full time mother. Consequently, she went back to school and received a doctorate in psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute.

Presently, Dr. Dashevsky- Kerdman is a licensed Clinical Psychologist, Board Certified in Neurofeedback, in private practice in Santa Barbara, California. Grounded in Attachment, Regulation, and Neuroscience, she specializes in treatment of children and adolescents.