Santa Maria Community Services Welcomes Carissa Rosa Blea to Board of Directors and Celebrates Milestones and New Appointments

Santa Maria Community Services proudly announces the appointment of Carissa Rosa Blea to our Board of Directors. Carissa brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to community service, making her a valuable addition to the Santa Maria team.

carissa blea

With over 20 years of experience in banking, Carissa currently serves as Vice President, Small Business Sales Manager at U.S. Bank, where she has demonstrated exceptional leadership and a passion for supporting the growth and development of small businesses. Her greatest passions lie in helping small businesses achieve their goals and developing the leadership skills of others. Carissa’s role at U.S. Bank has equipped her with a unique perspective on economic development and financial stability, which will greatly benefit Santa Maria’s mission.

In addition to her professional achievements, Carissa is also an active member of the Miami Valley Non-Profit Collaborative’s board, where she contributes her expertise to strengthen nonprofit organizations in the region. Her involvement in this collaborative highlights her dedication to fostering strong community networks and supporting vital social initiatives.

Carissa said, “I am thrilled to be joining the board at Santa Maria Community Services! The mission and goals at Santa Maria align with my own personal priorities and I am excited to spend my time supporting this organization. Having lived in the Price Hill community for over a decade, I am looking forward to assisting Santa Maria Community Services in supporting this neighborhood and community.”

Carissa is currently furthering her education in Organizational Leadership at Xavier University, and lives in the Ross/Hamilton area, with her spouse, Ryan, and two sons, Steven (21), and Trevor (10). In her free time, you can find her cheering on her youngest son at a sporting event.

“We are thrilled to welcome Carissa Blea to our Board of Directors,” said H.A. Musser, Jr., President and CEO of Santa Maria Community Services. “Her extensive experience in banking and her active involvement in community initiatives make her an invaluable asset to our organization. We are confident that her insights and leadership will greatly contribute to our ongoing efforts to empower families in Price Hill.”

In addition to Carissa’s appointment, Santa Maria would like to announce our Board Officers for 2024. Jorge Seda, GE Aviation, Retired, will be assuming the role of Board Chair while Guillermo Villa, Johnson & Johnson, will assume the role of Immediate Past Chair. Santa Maria’s Board recently appointed Kaitlyn Carrender, Cincinnati Children’s, to the role of Secretary following the departure of Stephen Acosta, Fifth Third Bank, who recently returned to his home state of Florida. David Sparks, Mariner Wealth Advisors, will be assuming the role of Vice Chair, and Robert Fohl, Metcut Research, Inc., will continue in his role as Treasurer in 2024. Santa Maria thanks Steven for his service and wishes him well in his new endeavors.

Finally, Santa Maria would like to mark a milestone for long-time board member, S. Sandy Howe. S. Sandy is celebrating her 25th anniversary as a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati. Her inspiring journey may be found in the article “Walking God’s Path” By S. Patricia Wittberg. S. Sandy reflects on a life dedicated to service and compassion. From her early days in education to her pivotal role in supporting asylum seekers and refugees, her story is a testament to faith and perseverance. S. Sandy’s involvement in numerous initiatives, including the Newcomers Transition Program and the Refugee Resettlement Program, highlights her commitment to making a meaningful difference in the lives of immigrant families. As a proud board member of Santa Maria Community Services, S. Sandy’s work resonates with our mission and values. Dive into the full article to explore her remarkable contributions and the joy she finds in her multifaceted role as a Sister of Charity:


December 14, 2023



Christy Cauley                                                            

Santa Maria Community Services, Inc.

(513) 557-7297