GET TO KNOW OUR BOARD
Gary Richter, Chairman of the Board
Gary is a co-founder of Laurel’s Luau. He was Laurel’s husband and devoted partner. They raised Stephanie, Pete, and Sam in a household filled with love and laughter. Gary and Laurel accepted every phase of her illness with courage, grace, and determination. They never lost hope that a cure was just around the corner. Gary’s sense of community, passion for service and commitment to patient advocacy, all carried out in Laurel’s memory, are many of the reasons the Luau has grown exponentially over the years and will forever be “Laurel’s Legacy”.
Sharon Blacketter, Board Director
Sharon is the sister of Gary, Sister-in-law of Laurel. She has always been a person that people can lean on. Sharon and Laurel were true friends and they shared many moments of hope and humor as Laurel battled cancer. It has been a blessing that Sharon became a part of the Luau team. Throughout the years her thoughtful planning, when it came to how we would serve people and who could help where, has been crucial to the success of the Luau. She continues to be an invaluable member of what has now become “Laurel’s Legacy”.
Pete Richter, Chief Executive Officer
Pete is Laurel and Gary's oldest son, and one of four founders of Laurel's Legacy. Much like his mom, Pete has always had the ability to, as the phrase goes, "light up a room." That energy, a drive to always do things better, and an inclination to see the potential in those around him, has played an influential part in the beginnings of the Legacy. As a teenager, he watched his mom end her fight, his dad recover and take on a responsibility any parent hopes to never face, and his family move forward with a whole new perspective of what life meant to them. His experience has led him to develop a belief in all things possible. The board is fortunate and grateful for the spirit he brings forth and the resolute manner in which he approaches any undertaking.
Kyle Pike, President
Kyle Pike is the oldest son of Todd Pike, who started Laurel’s Luau with Laurel’s husband Gary in celebration of a lost friend’s life he wanted to be sure to commemorate in the right way. Cancer ended Todd’s life as well in early 2014, and the following Luaus have missed the force and true inspiration he brought each year. Kyle has graciously brought the same passion to help that his dad had for many years and, in that spirit, co-founded the Legacy with the three Richter siblings. He has a quiet sensitivity and an impressive devotion to continue a selfless effort he and his family have given their lives to unfailingly. Kyle resides in San Diego and somehow always has made it home for the Luau, year after year. The board values the commitment he proves to have for not only this event but also for the Legacy. It is clear he is everything Todd would have ever hoped him to be.
Sam Richter, Chief Financial Officer
Sam is the youngest son of Gary & Laurel Richter and a co-founder of Laurel’s Legacy. Sam has a work ethic not easily matched, and inspires continual improvement day after day. Sam pushes each member to not just fulfill his or her role, but to surpass any and all that may be expected. His vision is clear and like his mom, he has no difficulty expressing it. As a CPA, Sam was diligent in establishing the Legacy’s operation as an IRS recognized non-profit organization. He has taken what was a difficult loss at a young age, and through his experience, developed a determination to better the lives of others who are experiencing something similar. The board is increasingly impressed by his ability to balance the financial organization of this foundation with his new role as a father with his wife Chelsea, and thanks him for his proven strength in leadership day after day.
Kevin Hawk, Chief Operations Officer
Kevin is a long-time family-friend of the Richters', and has attended the Luaus since he was a Little League teammate of Sam's. He has established himself as not only a well-respected and hard-working force in the community, but an openhanded patron of the Legacy. He will play a key role in ensuring the development of the Legacy from an operational and event-driven standpoint and has a seemingly unsurmountable ambition for the organization's growth. He continues to broaden recognition of the Legacy's cause across the valley and the board considers Kevin to be imperative in the potential success of the foundation.
Roman Ybarlucea, Chief Accounting Officer
Roman became a member of the Legacy's board largely out of the kindness of his heart. After hearing about the foundation of Laurel's Legacy, Roman approached Sam and offered to help- expecting no recognition in return. Roman holds extensive accounting knowledge as a CPA ,and was critical in helping the Legacy establish its 501(c)3 accreditation. The board, with no question, knew he would be a valuable and respected addition, and is forever grateful for not only his expertise, but more importantly his selfless approach to every challenge he is presented with.
Breanna Knight, Secretary
Breanna met the Richters in 2010 through her husband, Tyler. Since 2012, she has helped at Laurel's Luau and has developed a strong sense of devotion for the nonprofit sector. With her pre-existing passion for the cause, Breanna was eager to join Laurel's Legacy as a board member in 2017. She is forever grateful for the opportunity to support the foundation's vision. With her "can-do" attitude and strong work ethic, Breanna is motivated to helping Laurel's Legacy strive for success.
Kyle Bellnap, Director of Public Relations and Community Affairs