Board of Directors

Lydia Chaney


Local business owner. Full time resident since 2013. Love of family, friends, my country and community. Proud to call Tehachapi my home.

South Street Digital, Owner (661) 823-4908 Email Director


Claudia Henson

President Elect

Claudia White has been in the printing and publishing industry since 1992, when she founded Hilltop Publishers. Her vision – becoming Tehachapi’s main source for local events and happenings – became a reality in 2001, when Claudia – along with her daughter, Alysia Bailey – established Hilltop Publishers’ Home of The Loop Newspaper (previously Hilltop Shopper from 2001 through 2006).

The Loop has grown quite a bit since its inception and now boasts a distribution to over 200 locations throughout East Kern County. “People stop me on the street all the time just to tell me how much they love The Loop and how it’s their favorite hometown newspaper,” said Claudia, “We didn't realize what was required to pull this paper together every other week when we started, but our team is ambitious and dedicated. 

Business Owner - Loop Newspaper 661-822-8188 Email Director


Bruce Hamlin


Bruce Hamlin has been a GTEDC Board Member since 1999.  He was born in Long Beach, CA and raised in Porterville, CA.  He attended Porterville Jr. College, San Diego State and Fresno State Univ., where he earned his B.S. degree in Business Administration.

He began his banking career in 1977.  During the development of his career, he has spent time in many different communities throughout the southern San Joaquin Valley and Mojave Desert areas.  In 1998, he became the branch manager at Sanwa Bank in Tehachapi, CA.  In 2000, he acquired the opportunity to become the Area Manager for Bank of the Sierra, which had two branches in Tehachapi and one branch in California City.  He now holds the position of Market President for that same region.

Market President, Bank of the Sierra (661) 822-6801 Email Director


Laura Lynne Wyatt


Mary Beth Garrison


Mary Beth Garrison has been a GTEDC Board Member for nearly a decade. Mary Beth brings continued commitment and perspective to the group. Her professional roles with KBAK-TV 29, the County of Kern, the Stallion Springs Community Services District and the nonprofit organization: Community Clean Sweep has given her the opportunity to serve residents within the greater Tehachapi community, and throughout Kern County. 

 As a founding member, in 1991, of the nonprofit organization Community Clean Sweep, she currently serves as that agency’s Executive Director. Mary Beth is proud to have been a catalyst for the GTEDC – helping it morph from a “Breakfast Club” into a vital, contributing body with the purpose of developing greater Tehachapi into a place people want to live, work and play.

Community Clean Sweep (661) 703-2624 Email Director


Jay Thompson


Jay is an experienced business advisor with over 30 years experience in small business and real estate.  Jay focuses on empowering his clients to achieve their dreams personally and professionally. 

CA Small Business Development Center (661) 510-7440 Email Director


Jeff Lingerfelt


Jenni Richard


Jim Arnold


Owner, Triassic Vineyard Email Director


Kaleb Judy


Kaleb L. Judy was raised in Tehachapi and graduated from Tehachapi High School.  He attended California State University Bakersfield and Pepperdine University School of Law.  He also holds a certificate in dispute resolution from Pepperdine’s Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution.

Kaleb has practiced law in Kern County since 2009.  With the firm of Belden Blaine Raytis, LLP, he helps businesses navigate California’s ever-changing regulatory landscape, focusing on employment compliance, energy, and contractual disputes.

Kaleb serves as a director on the Tehachapi Parks Foundation board and as a director on the Kern County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section board.  He provides free legal representation to the Kern County Wounded Heroes Fund.  He previously served as a volunteer coach with the Kern County Superintendent of Schools’ Mock Trial Program and on the board of the CSUB Young Alumni Program. 

He lives in Tehachapi with his wife and four children.  

Belden Blaine Raytis, LLP, Attorney Email Director


Michelle Vance


Michelle Vance is the Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Tehachapi. Mrs. Vance joined the City of Tehachapi in April 2013. In her capacity as Economic Development Coordinator, she is responsible for implementing principles and practices of economic development, business recruitment, and retention and expansion policies. 

Mrs. Vance serves as the primary liaison to community groups and organizations with which the City shares partnerships with.

City of Tehachapi, Economic Development Coordinator (661) 822-2200 ext 121 Email Director


Paulette Rush


Paulette Rush was born in San Diego and raised in the Antelope Valley. She attended Antelope Valley High School. Paulette earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Management and lives in Tehachapi with her husband Bobby a Lieutenant on the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Paulette and Bobby have four children Ryan 25, Chris 23, Erik 21 and Ashley 18. They have a grandson from their son Ryan and his wife Kayla.  

Most recently Paulette is the Community Relations Specialist for BHE Renewables, LLC. Before coming to BHE Renewables, Paulette was with the Kern Economic Development Corporation working as a Business Development Associate. While at the KEDC activities included recruitment, retention and expansion efforts for businesses in Kern County, the Kern Energy watch program and conducting regional economic research. Paulette has a strong background in community and public relations. She currently serves on the Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council, the Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Parks District, Tehachapi Parks Foundation and the Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance board of directors.

Community Relations Specialist - BHE Renewables 661-221-2676 Email Director


Ron Depew


Currently Sales Manager for Dignified Home Loans with office located in Tehachapi. Began my career in banking and finance in 1972 and entered the mortgage industry in 1982. Became a resident and home owner in Tehachapi in 1989 and opened a mortgage loan office in Tehachapi in 1996.

Past board member and Chairman of Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce, past member Golden Hills Community Service District board of directors and current Affiliate member of the Tehachapi Area Association of Realtors.

Organized and co-chaired the first and second annual American Cancer Society 2004/2005 Relay for Life raising a two year total of $283,840.

I have been a long time board member of the Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council and would like to remain on the board.

Dignified Home Loans, Sales Manager (661) 333-0650 Email Director


Sally Lawrence


Sally is the Principal Broker of Advantage Real Home Services, part of The Advantage Real Estate Group. 

First and foremost, Sally has been an entrepreneur for all of her life.  Previous businesses have centered in various aspects of engineering, including Systems Integration in Passenger Railcars, Bio-med, Maintainability, Reliability and Hazards studies and management, project management and Warranty Administration in industrial fleets. These experiences have helped develop expertise in managing complexity.  

Sally is a Community Volunteer in several different areas.  She spent a number of years working with the Stallion Springs CERT to develop a cohesive team environment and provided initial and ongoing training.  She was instrumental in forming the group into a 501c(3) organization and served on the Board of Directors.

Other activities include volunteering at the Tehachapi Visitors' Center and serving on the Board of Directors for Wits' End in support of PCT Hikers.

Recognizing the importance of working together with other businesses and community leaders to enhance economic development led to the desire to serve on the GTEDC Board of Directors.

Principal Broker at Advantage Real Estate 661-375-7325 Email Director


Susan Wiggins