The Kiwanis Mission
Kiwanis empowers communities to improve the world by making lasting differences in the lives of children.
Westchester Kiwanis Purpose
Westchester Kiwanis Bakersfield, a member of Kiwanis International, seeks to improve the lives of children and veterans in need in our community through volunteerism and financial support of projects.
Board of Directors
Mike Van Houten has lived in Bakersfield for nearly ten years, a transplant from Merced, California. He joined Alia Corporation in 1979, having served as a Senior Restaurant Area Supervisor for the last 20 years. Alia Corporation is the Parent company of 37 McDonald’s Restaurants in Central California from Merced to Bakersfield. Mike holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.
Mike became a Westchester Kiwanis Club member in 2017. In October of 2017, Mike became the Vice President of the Club. In October of 2018, Mike became the President-Elect. Mike is currently the President for Westchester Kiwanis for the 2019-2020 term.
Robin Woodward is a Bakersfield native with a passion for serving others. She joined the Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Foundation team in 2016 as the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Program Director. Robin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.
Robin became a Westchester Kiwanis Club member in 2017 to further her efforts in helping the children of Kern County. In October of 2018, Robin became the Westchester Kiwanis Club Vice President and moved to President Elect in October of 2019. She is slated for the role of President in October of 2020.
Ron has been a resident of the Bakersfield area for forty years, and a member of Westchester Kiwanis for twenty years. He earned his BS degree in Social Studies and an MS Degree in Secondary Education from Indiana University.
Ron retired from the Kern high school district where he worked with at-risk students. For twenty-five years he has coached youth, club, and high school sports.
John hails from the Bay Area (Vallejo, CA) as does his wife of 42 years, Linda (South San Francisco). They have three children, Brent, Corinne, and Coby, one grandchild, Jacob and Indy, a delightful German Shephard. He and his wife have called Bakersfield home since 1983. John was employed by Bechtel for many years. Upon leaving Bechtel, he became the Director of Finance and Contracts for Calstart. In 2009, John retired from Calstart, and for the next six years, providing professional consulting services related to acquisition and support of government contracts.
John joined the Kiwanis in 2012 to assist in their Community Service programs. He has served on the Board for four years, was President for 2015 and 2016 and is currently the Treasurer. He is currently the Chair for both the Christmas Shopping Spree and the Dream Center.
Eddie was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and immigrated to the US in 1984. Eddie has been married to Letty for 30 years, and they have 5 children. He holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix, graduating in 2004. Eddie worked for Goodwill Industries from 1992 to 2010. He is currently employed in the recycling industry, helping to address the problems associated with waste.
Eddie joined the Kiwanis in 2009 while still employed with Goodwill. He currently works for Metropolitan Recycling, LLC, who actively supports Eddie’s work with Westchester Kiwanis. He currently serves as the Coordinator for the 3-2-1 branch of the Westchester Kiwanis organization. The Kiwanis have given Eddie a way to further contribute to his adopted city of Bakersfield through his active volunteer endeavors for the children of the community.
Upon retirement after 50 years in the workforce, John Sullivan began to think about what else he could do with his life. He reflected on his work career and his good fortune in having an abundance of people who were willing and able to assist him in his career.
John felt a desire to give this same assistance to others. This led to John’s decision to join the Westchester Kiwanis where he could give back to the children of the community. John’s second chapter with the Westchester Kiwanis includes holding the office of President twice as well as the position of Lt. Governor. This is how John makes a difference.
Jim was born in Los Angeles. During his elementary school years, his family relocated to Bakersfield. From Bakersfield, Jim moved to Fair Oaks, CA where he graduated high school in 1963. Jim returned to Bakersfield and attended and graduated from Bakersfield College. He furthered his education by graduating with a BS in Business Management from San Jose State in 1968. Upon graduation, Jim took a position in the title insurance industry, starting as an Escrow Office and moving up the ranks to become a Senior Title Manager, with Chicago Title, first in Los Angeles then ending his career in Bakersfield, in 2010.
Jim and his wife Marilyn have been married for 43 years, with two children, Lori, and Glenn (now deceased). He enjoys the gym, golf, and gambling.
In 1973, Jim joined the Kern Kiwanis. After three years, he transferred to Westchester Kiwanis where he remains to this day. What began as business networking soon blossomed into enjoyment helping the kids in the community.
Paul Weller began life as a native Californian. His family relocated to the state of Washington, where Paul attended Renton High School. Upon graduation, Paul attended Green River College in Washington and later, Mt. San Antonio College in Southern California. In 1965, Paul was drafted into the Army and served a tour in Vietnam and Laos. While in the Army, Paul was qualified as both Airborne and Special Forces. Upon completion of his stint with the Army, Paul settled in California, married, and started his family. During this time, he was employed by the Dictaphone Corporation as a service technician.
By 1980, Paul was in the position to purchase his own dealership in Bakersfield, Word Processing Service Co. At about the same time, Paul joined Westchester Kiwanis, becoming its President in 1987, and he began publishing the weekly newsletter which he continues to this day. Paul retired and closed his business in 2007.
Brett Kettler was born and raised in Riverside, CA. He moved to Bakersfield in 2001 and graduated from Liberty High School in 2012. He studied his freshman year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, before returning to Bakersfield to play Division 1 golf for California State University of Bakersfield. He graduated Cum Laude from CSUB in 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and a concentration in Finance.
He is currently a residential home loan officer for loanDepot here in Bakersfield.
Phil Niederauer became a member of Westchester Kiwanis in 1976 after being a guest speaker at the club. He is a native of Bakersfield and served in the Navy prior to earning his BA degree from Fresno State College and a MA degree from Cal Lutheran University. He has held teaching, counseling and administrative positions in the Bakersfield City Schools, The Regional Occupational Center and the Kern High School District and has been retired since 1998.
During his 43 years in Kiwanis, he has represented the California-Nevada-Hawaii District on Kiwanis International Foundation committees and has served six years on the District Foundation Board. He is a Distinguished Past President and a Distinguished Past Lt. Governor and enjoys helping people in our area and working with his Kiwanis friends. He and his wife, Ruth, like to travel and have visited over sixty countries on all seven continents.
Kerry Adams has been a member of Westchester Kiwanis since July, 2014. He is the chairman of the Homeless Veterans Stand Down and Wreaths Across America projects. He is also a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and inducted to the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Westchester Kiwanis Club has a 501(c)3 Foundation (Tax ID# 77-0256161) established to fund projects that benefit children and veterans in Kern County.
Ready to help children and veterans in our community? Check out a Westchester Kiwanis Club meeting and see how rewarding giving back can be.