The Pajaro Valley Health Care District (PVHCD) on Wednesday appointed former Watsonville City Manager Marcela Tavantzis to fill the seat left vacant when John Friel resigned on March 19.

Tarmo Hannula/Pajaronian file Marcela Tavantzis

“Nobody can fill the giant shoes left by John Friel, but we are so grateful Marcela Tavantzis has stepped up to serve our community in this role,” said board chair Jose (Tony) Nuñez. “Marcela’s extensive experience serving on boards, her understanding of the regulations governing public meetings, and her deep commitment to our community made her the best fit for this seat. She has the ability to roll up her sleeves and get right to work at a time when our board is working on many initiatives to improve healthcare for our community.”

A Watsonville resident for 34 years, Tavantzis worked for the city of Watsonville for 28 years in roles including Principal Engineer, Assistant City Manager and Deputy City Manager. She also served as Administrative Services Director for County Public Works, and is now retired. 

She has served on many boards, including El Pajaro Community Development Corporation, Affordable Housing, Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District, Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, Community Health Trust of Pajaro Valley and on the United Way Assessment Committee.

The PVHCD received four applications to fill the vacant seat.  

Tavantzis will serve the remainder of the 2024 term, which will end upon the certification of the November 2024 board member election results for the 2025-2029 term.

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General assignment reporter, covering nearly every beat. I specialize in feature stories, but equally skilled in hard and spot news. Pajaronian/Good Times/Press Banner reporter honored by CSBA.


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