Local nonprofit Foothill Unity Center has named two people to its board of directors.
As of Dec. 1, Keisha Carter-Bowen and Dr. Ryan Smith began serving on the board.
Bowen was born and raised in the Duarte-Monrovia area, and owns Simply Divine Salon Barbershop and Apprenticeship Training Center. Having worked in the beauty industry for over 25 years, Bowen opened her own salon in 1993, shortly after completing beauty school training. She works with the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology to assist apprentice students to get licensed, as well as to provide advanced education in micro-blading, skin care and haircutting. She has a desire to not only educate but to also mentor, coach and guide others to be successful in the beauty industry.
Smith is the current Superintendent of Schools for the Monrovia Unified School district.
Smith earned his doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California. He also holds a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction as well as Educational Leadership from Chapman University and a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from California State University, San Marcos.
Smith joined Monrovia Unified after five years in the Paramount Unified School District, where he served as Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Educational Services and led the entire Educational Services division. During his time at Paramount, Smith oversaw a variety of key initiatives, including the development and implementation of the district’s first strategic plan, the expansion of instructional technology to include a 1-1 Chromebook program for all district students, and the creation of the district’s first new high school, Odyssey STEM Academy.
Foothill Unity Center was founded in 1980 as an emergency food pantry, operating out of a church closet in Monrovia, to assist the low-income, disadvantaged and underserved. In the 1990’s, having outgrown the church closet and relocated multiple times, the organization landed at our previous site in Monrovia, slowly expanding our service area to nearby cities. In 2004, we opened our second site in Pasadena. In 2018, Foothill Unity Center moved into a significantly larger facility at 790 W. Chestnut in Monrovia, with the launch of its capital campaign two years earlier.
Foothill Unity Center serves Pasadena, Altadena, Arcadia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bradbury, Duarte, Irwindale, Monrovia, Sierra Madre, South Pasadena and Temple City. In 2020, the organization served 15,650 unduplicated individuals with 288,023 services with our core programs (Food, Housing and Homeless, Health, Job Development and Crisis Case Management).