The Country Friends History

Formed in 1954 to fulfill a need of “Helping San Diegans since 1954 :: One Hand At a Time” The Country Friends® actively seeks out members and sponsors, owns and operates a Consignment Shop, and hosts events to raise funds for local human care agencies. With unparalleled standing throughout Southern California, we value each and every supporter of The Country Friends®. We offer membership to those who want to take part in our community of giving and attend our events.

Your support whether it takes the form of a donation, event ticket, consignment and/or purchase from the shop helps The Country Friends® to ensure the continuation and growth of this generous giving program.

President- Suzanne Newman

Suzanne Newman has been closely involved with The Country Friends for twenty years as an officer, board member, and co-chair of the Art of Fashion, the nonprofit’s signature fundraiser. She continues the legacy begun by her late mother, Jean, who served as past president, board member and longtime manager of The Country Friends Consignment Shop on El Tordo in Rancho Santa Fe.

“It is an honor to follow in my mother’s footsteps in service to The Country Friends,” says Newman. “I look forward to continuing to work with a wonderful board of directors and membership who are all so committed to helping San Diegans in need.”

Newman has spent more than four decades in the travel industry, currently serving as director of supplier relations-airlines with Irvine-based LUXE Travel Management and prior to that, as LUXE’s director of account development. Previously, she held positions at AcuFlight, Inc., Carlson Wagonlit Travel and American Airlines. Her awards include “The Order of the Golden Rose” from Carlson for helping to integrate companies involved in the largest travel management company acquisition to date. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Pomona College in Claremont, California. Newman has served on several advisory and philanthropic boards.

Executive Board of Directors

President Suzanne M. Newman
First Vice President Deborah Cross
Second Vice President – Human Care Funding Marci Cavanaugh
Third Vice President – Director of Business Operations Yvette Letourneau
Treasurer – Chief Financial Officer Janean Stripe
Recording Secretary Trish Bugg

Board of Directors

Events Manager Christine Byrne
Honoring & Remembrance Jean Waters
Hospitality Co-Director Erika Fetter
Hospitality Co-Director Becky Le Bret
HCF Co-Director Jolene Davidison
HCF Co-Director Robyn Hudgens
Newsletter Director Sage Billick
Publicity Co-Chair Mia Park
Publicity Co-Chair Andrea Naverson
Consignment Store Staff Representative Sharon Mauro
Special Events Director Maggie Bobileff
Events Volunteer Director Laura White
Area Director Coordinator Sharon Ferges

Area Directors

San Diego – East County Elaine Becerra
Rancho Santa Fe Terri Chivetta
Rancho Santa Fe Kim Quinn
North County East – Poway Chris Epstein
San Diego Central Coast Rebecca Franks
San Diego Central Coast Tamara Lafarga-Joseph
North County Inland Valerie Parker
North County Coast JoLynn Shapiro