Andrea (Andy) Carnaghe

andrea (andy) carnaghe

Board of Directors, 2014, 2016-2018, 2020-2022
Board Chair, 2016-2018
Board Co-treasurer, 2021-2022

Andy’s professional career spans more than 30 years in accounting, bookkeeping and staffing services. She was raised in Goleta and moved to San Francisco for college, later earning her CPA license while working for Price Waterhouse in the city. She founded a staffing firm in San Francisco, sold it in 1999, she semi-retired, traveled the world, lived in Mexico, and eventually moved back to her hometown. She has taught accounting at SBCC and now works with several companies in Santa Barbara helping them with their accounting and financial needs.

The Mental Wellness Center was starting a career placement service to help clients find appropriate jobs, connecting with companies who were hiring those with a diagnosis of mental illness. Andy applied for the position to start the endeavor, but she was unfortunately too expensive.

“I was sorry that it didn’t work out as I really enjoyed meeting Annmarie and Patricia and was impressed with their organization,” recalled Andy. “And I said let’s stay in touch and let me know if I can be of service in the future.”

That future came several years later when board member Kelly Rau invited Andy to the Mental Wellness Center’s first luncheon, hosted at El Paseo restaurant. Andy attended and remembered being so impressed with the event and their mission; she was later invited to join the board.

Her background and passion were an obvious fit for the Mental Wellness Center. Andy first joined the board in 2014 and served as treasurer. Her accounting expertise came in handy, as Andy streamlined financial reporting and made the numbers more understandable when presenting the financials to the board.

“I think that was one of my greatest contributions – to organize and present the financials in a way that made them easier for the board to comprehend,” said Andy. She excelled at spreadsheets, as well as simplifying and summarizing complex subjects.

As treasurer, Andy was involved in all aspects of the organization, and she enjoyed being an active participant and part of a team. “I always felt very much a part of the Mental Wellness Center because I attend two board meetings each month and gain more time with Annmarie, Patricia and other staff and board members, which makes me feel like I belonged,” she said.

As a board member of the Santa Barbara Women’s Fund, Andy also has exposure to the hundreds of nonprofits that exist in Santa Barbara County, and vie for funding.

“The Women’s Fund has awarded grants to the Mental Wellness Center in the past and they put each nonprofit through a rigorous process,” said Andy. “The Mental Wellness Center is extremely competent, with outstanding leadership; they always come out very favorable in the process.”

“We are also so grateful for the work they do in our community,” said Andy. “I have personally experienced depression in my life and had a childhood friend who suffered from schizophrenia. The work of the Mental Wellness Center is critical to our community.

Andy said the work has been personally rewarding for her. “I have met so many amazing people who work for the Mental Wellness Center or who serve on the board,” she said. “I am on four different boards and this one is my favorite because of the invaluable services the organization provides to local residents, and how well respected the Center is in our community. Much of that credit goes to Annmarie’s and Patricia’s leadership.”