by KELLEY GUSICH | photo by Samantha Gleaton Photography

Opportunity & Service

faces_brownell3Back in 1997, the Brownell family moved to Carlsbad. They were looking for a place to raise their children where they could walk to school, play sports, and also go to the beach, and Carlsbad offered all these options. The Brownell children, Jessica and Connor, are now grown, but Stephanie and Steve are still enjoying the sense of community and small town feel, whether walking the trails at Batiquitos Lagoon, paddle boarding on Agua Hedionda, or dining in downtown Carlsbad. “It has been a fantastic place to live, work, and play,” Stephanie said. She uses her SDSU undergraduate and graduate degrees in her job as the CFO of Hunter Industries, where she is also a member of two charitable giving committees. The company supports the community in various ways, including supporting organizations focused on serving underprivileged local children, such as Walden Family Services.

The Walden Wine D’Vine was a regular event for the Brownells, where Stephanie became aware of the impact that Walden Family Services is having on at-risk and special needs youth. Recently, Stephanie became a board member for Walden, a volunteer position that encompasses embracing their vision, mission, and values, and championing them throughout the community. “As a new board member,” she shared, “I’ll be involved in strategic planning, voting on policies and program issues, and reviewing and approving financial budgets.”

Name: Stephanie Brownell
Community: Carlsbad
Family: Married with two grown children
Hobbies: Skiing, sailing, hiking
Favorite Places in Carlsbad: Batiquitos Lagoon, Agua Hedionda

Established in 1976, the Walden Family Services has a mission: ‘Supporting the lives of children and families through lasting relationships.’ They fulfill this mission through treatment foster care-specializing in caring for children with developmental disabilities and special health care needs, sibling groups of 3 or more, and youth who identify as LGBTQ. They also have a transitional housing and foster care program which allows youth to remain until age 21, and supervised visitation to help parents strengthen their relationship with their children and develop the skills to resume parenting. “Walden was such a natural fit to bring to our charitable giving committee,” Stephanie confided. “We are proud to be associated with such a great organization.”


Stephanie has listened to many of the young adults speak of their experiences with Walden, and there seems to be a common theme: “A theme of opportunity to have a loving family, a theme of being able to realize their greatest potential toward becoming a self-sufficient and productive member of their community,” she explained. “Every child and young adult deserves to have a future.”