Meet the Staff
Bakersfield, CA 93301
President and CEO
Kristen Barnes is President and CEO of Kern Community Foundation, and President of Kern Real Estate Foundation. Ms. Barnes has 30 years of leadership experience in a unique combination of public and private accounting, education and philanthropy.
Ms. Barnes holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, a master's degree in education from Point Loma Nazarene University, and a clear California teaching credential. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in educational leadership at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Ms. Barnes has spent a large portion of her adult life involved in Kern County philanthropy, serving as president of the Lori Brock Children's Museum, treasurer of the Junior League of Bakersfield, board member for the Girl Scouts, Joshua Tree Council and steering committee member for the Bakersfield Women's Business Conference and American Cancer Society's Oktoberfest. Most recently, she serves as a founding member of the Women's and Girls' Fund of Kern County Vision Committee and advisor to students in the Jim Burke Education Foundation Dreambuilder program. Ms. Barnes also serves on the Board of Trustees for California Health Science University.
While originally from Southern California, Ms. Barnes has proudly called Kern County her home for the past 30 years. She has two adult children, Taylor and Morgan.
Director of Business Development
Alejandra Contreras is the Director of Business Development for Kern Community Foundation. Alejandra plays a key role in assisting in the Foundation's growth by managing new business development opportunities, and overseeing all sponsorship activities related to key products and events.
Mrs. Contreras has ten years of experience in the financial services industry structuring, underwriting and managing commercial loan transactions. Prior to joining Kern Community Foundation in 2013, Mrs. Contreras worked for GE Capital, most notably as Vice President of International Risk Underwriting.
Born and raised in Bolivia, Mrs. Contreras moved to the United States to pursue her university studies. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Louisiana State University in 1996, followed by a Master in Business Administration degree also from Louisiana State University in 1998. Mrs. Contreras has been active in various domestic and international charitable organizations.
Mrs. Contreras is married to Carlos Contreras, a graduate of the United States Military Academy. They are the proud parents of two boys.
Manager of Nonprofit Outreach
Megan Boynton is Manager of Nonprofit Outreach at Kern Community Foundation, assisting in the Foundation's efforts to support the overall capacity and sustainability of Kern County nonprofit organizations.
She is a 14 year veteran of the insurance industry, handling and supervising property, liability and catastrophe claims over the course of her career.
A California native she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Santa Clara University, where her second major was Spanish. She also has an Associate in Claims certification from the Insurance Institute of America and a Masters of Public Administration from Seton Hall University.
Megan moved to Bakersfield in 2006 and has volunteered locally in a grants writing capacity. She is the married mother of one 5 year old busy-body and two exasperated cats.
Manager of Finance and Administration
Danette Rinehart is Manager of Finance and Administration of Kern Community Foundation. She joined the Foundation in August 2007.
Previously, she was a small business owner of Network and Database Solutions and was a production database consultant for Midway Sunset Cogeneration, a subsidiary of Southern California Edison.
Danette is a graduate of California State University, Bakersfield with a degree in Business Administration. She is a certified Microsoft Systems Engineer and Database Administrator.
Rachel Cunningham joined Kern Community Foundation as Foundation Assistant in 2012. Rachel plays a key role in Kern Community Foundation's growth by assisting with administrative and donor services responsibilities, including gift processing and charitable Giving Cards.
A Bakersfield native, Rachel returned to her hometown after graduating from the University of California, Davis with her Bachelor's in International Relations and Italian with a minor in Religious Studies.