The City of Goleta would like thank its CERT Business Ambassador Team for a job well done! This volunteer group, made up of graduates from the City’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, was an enormous part of Goleta’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They worked in three teams and met businesses at their storefronts to provide guidance and education to the ever-changing health guidelines and provided ideas and solutions to challenges that arose at store locations.
Over the last year, the CERT Business Ambassadors put in more than 300 hours of work for the community and contacted more than 125 businesses in Goleta. The program was led by the City’s Emergency Services Coordinator, Michael Baris, and Emergency Services Aide, Natalia Rios, who also serve as the program managers of the general CERT program. “My jaw dropped when I saw the final numbers our volunteers put in,” commented Michael Baris. “I can’t imagine a more amazing group. These volunteers care so much about their community – it’s incredible.”
Our wonderful CERT Ambassadors have shared their experiences with us:
To be out there during the pandemic and lockdown was pretty scary. We are glad to be able to help in a very different kind of emergency and are thankful we are safe now.
Being an Ambassador for the City of Goleta during the pandemic was a great experience that helped local businesses and created an atmosphere of partnership.
This project gave me the opportunity and pleasure to serve my community in the face of a difficult, unknown, and changing situation during the pandemic. Now, it is a joy to see that we are on the right track and improving more and more.
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as a volunteer City of Goleta Ambassador to help businesses navigate the responses to the pandemic. I had great experiences working with the leaders and other volunteers.
I am grateful for the opportunity to help the Goleta community through the CERT Program under the leadership of Michael and Natalia. The local businesses were appreciative of the regular flow of information we gave them during the entire duration of the Ambassador program, and I am very glad the City is on the road to recovery so fast.
Volunteering as a CERT Business Ambassador was very fulfilling and an honor. We were in the same storm and separated from each other, but everyone was taking care of each other to be afloat. I love Goleta and our community. / Ser voluntario como “CERT Business Ambassador” fue muy gratificante y un honor, solo por el hecho de que todos estamos en la misma tormenta separados unos de otros, pero todos cuidando de todos y seguir a flote. Amo a Goleta y nuestra comunidad.
It was an honor to serve on the City of Goleta’s CERT Ambassador team. We were out in the business community at least once a week visiting with local businesses for many months during the pandemic and our educational efforts were welcomed. After several visits in our green volunteer shirts, businesses recognized us as a partner and understood the requirements of the always changing color tier system. It was great to be of service to our community.
I enjoyed being a CERT Ambassador. It was great to be there for the businesses of Goleta.
Thank you, CERT Ambassadors, for all your hard work and dedication to the community.
CERT courses to become a volunteer are generally held twice a year. If you are interested in becoming a CERT volunteer and would like to be contacted when a course becomes available, sign up here.