Amy Travis appointed as the new executive director for First 5 Kern

  • Incoming leader spent 10 years with CASA of Kern County – three as executive director

  • Officially assumes the new position on July 18

  • Roland Maier retiring after 8 years as executive director for First 5 Kern

First 5 Kern has announced today Amy Travis will assume leadership of the organization as the new executive director. Her tenure will begin formally on July 18, as she takes over for Roland Maier, who is retiring at the end of July.

Travis will transition from her current role as the executive director of CASA of Kern County. She began her career with CASA in May 2012, and has been instrumental in the organization’s restructuring and development, securing new funding streams, and increasing the number of children served yearly.

Under her leadership, CASA of Kern County became a vital partner in advocacy at the state level, was nominated as Non-Profit of the Year by the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, and launched its CASA Clubhouse Visiting Center. Amy has extensive knowledge of non-profit operations as well as experience as a local business owner. In 2019, she was honored and selected by Bakersfield Magazine as a “20 Under 40 to Watch.”

She graduated from Fresno Pacific University, receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership, studied at Loyola University Chicago, and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Strategic and Organizational Leadership at Fresno Pacific University. She serves on the Kern County Network for Children Board of Directors, addressing the most critical issues facing children in Kern County. Travis lives in Bakersfield with her husband and children. When not working, she enjoys volunteering with her church, reading a good book, and spending time with her family.

“I’m overjoyed and humbled by this opportunity to serve as First 5 Kern’s next Executive Director,” said Travis. “I look forward to furthering the incredible reputation this organization has built as a strong advocate for children and families. I have a passion and desire to serve vulnerable children who will one day be the future of our community.”

“On behalf of my fellow Commissioners, we could not be more thrilled in the selection of Amy for this critical position in our community,” said First 5 Kern Commission Chair John Nilon. “Amy embodies all the qualities that we wanted, including executive leadership, community presence, and experience in the delivery of services to our most vulnerable children. The expectations for First 5 Kern are at their highest, and we have every belief that Amy will exceed those expectations.”

“We would also like to thank Roland for his service and wish him the best in retirement,” added Nilon. “As a long-time commissioner and executive director, Roland has dedicated a large portion of his professional and personal life in the furtherance of First 5 Kern. Our children are much better off thanks to his leadership.”

Roland Maier announced his pending retirement in April, which kicked off a search for new leadership. He was appointed executive director in 2014, and also served as a commissioner from 2002 to 2013, including a three-year stint as commission chair.