About Us

George Johnston Chairman

George has been on the Board since 2008. His family (Ruiz), goes back to the 1700s in Santa Barbara County. Remembering his childhood, he recalls seeing the buffalo, monkeys, and peacocks in the park. He, is a retired Human Resources Administrator, soccer referee, and private pilot. George and Barbara enjoy taking walks in the Park, and live only a short distance away.


Right after WWII her family went to Cairo, Egypt where she attended elementary school, then high school in Sao Paulo, Brazil followed by college at Kansas State College.The outdoors has always been her favorite place. Such events as taking her Girl Scout troops for a cookout to large family gatherings and church barbecues the favorite location is always Waller Park.

Living a couple blocks from the park has always been her families go to place for 50 years. This all encouraged her to want to be on the Waller Park Board of Directors to keep and improve this wonderful outdoor space for generations to come.

Denise Valente Secretary

Denise Valente has been a member of the Friends Of Waller Park board since 2011. She was born and raised in Michigan and enjoyed being surrounded by lakes and lush green trees.

After 34 years as a Financial Advisor Denise retired and is enjoying a slower paced lifestyle.  Walks in the park are on her agenda every Monday and Friday morning. She remains involved in the community and is currently an executive board member of the Marian Medical Foundation Board.

She wants Waller Park to continue to be a special place where everyone in our community can gather to enjoy family and friends and experience a bit of tranquility.

Coelho-Hudson Director

Celeste’s info

Mary Lou Los Director

Born and raised in Monterey, Mary Lou became a teacher and taught for three years until marrying a naval officer and traveling and moveing often. 
She continues to work in the travel business as a cruise/tour specialist and continues to travel and enjoy the world with loved ones.

Juliann Hemphill Coordinator

Having lived in Santa Maria for over 20 years near Waller Park, Juliann and her family have enjoyed the park for a long time. She looks forward to helping the Friends of Waller Park fulfill the mission to preserve and enhance the precious heritage of Waller Park.

Penny Duran Treasurer

As a local business owner and on the board for Friends of Waller Park for approximately 2 years. Resided in Santa Maria since 1993 and developed an instant love for the Santa Maria Valley. Waller Park is a place for my family to relax and enjoy the walking paths, duck pond, disc golf, stop for a hot dog and shave ice.  California Hotdog has a friendly hometown feel to the Santa Maria locals and visitors.

Justin Lieberman Director

Having been born and raised on the Central Coast, Justin profoundly values the role Waller Park plays in the Santa Maria Valley Community. Having attended schools in Orcutt, his earliest memories of the park are those of a young, enthusiastic 4th grader. Justin served his community as a former EMT and Firefight. He continues his service as a Director of Friends of Waller Park, Waller Park Disc Golf Tournament Director, and local small business owner.

Dominic May Park Liaison

After working many years overseeing Nojoqui Falls Park and Jalama Beach Park, Dominic has moved north and works with Waller Park and other area parks as Ranger. He loves working with people and will do a great job as park liaison to Friends of Waller Park.