Founded by Brandon Stuart, Erik Lima and Vince Villanueva, The Sitting Tree's goal is straight forward: lend a helping hand to disadvantaged families in need. Whatever the ailment may be, we acknowledge that when an economic, medical, or other form of hardship affects a specific individual, their family members suffer along their side. Our organization identifies ways to help these families as a whole, and allows, even if only temporarily, a feeling of positive empowerment for those under strain. Our projects include giving out groceries for meals during holiday seasons, providing assistance with transportation costs to hospital visits, and donating school supplies to underprivileged families with children in elementary school, among multiple other outreach projects.
"The Sitting Tree" is an actual place where one of our founders would go to focus and think proactively. A fallen tree offered the perfect seat for reflection and creative contemplation. We believe that everyone has a version of a Sitting Tree in their own lives, whether it is a place, an activity or a person -- a refuge where problems diminish and solutions emerge. This idea is embodied through The Sitting Tree as we lend a helping hand in scenarios where one is greatly needed.
Whether through one of our annual programs, or a case-by-case basis, our endless allegiance to this effort, combined with a vision of bringing a creative touch to charitable work, are the roots of this organization.
Click on The Sitting Tree founders below to find out more information about them.
- Hometown: Kingsburg, CA
- Favorite Quote: "Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out" - John Wooden
- Personal Interests: Traveling, finding locations where movies and TV shows were shot, watching reality television.
- Your most inspirational figure: I have two. One would be my parents for teaching me to always finish what I start, never let anyone stop me from doing what I want to do and showing me how to treat others with respect, love and kindness. The other person would be Larry Johnson (former Kingsburg High School Music Teacher) who always taught me that if you are passionate about something, then there is no way that fire will go out. If it does, then it wasn't really a passion to begin with.
- Professional Background: Vince is the Music Licensing and Clearance Associate of Bunim/Murray Productions, overseeing the proper use of music for shows such as "The Real World", "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" and "The Bad Girls Club". Before assuming his current position in August 2009, Vince was the Music Clearance Coordinator at DreamWorks Studios in their Film Music Department where he worked on all of their live-action and animated features in addition to working on trailers and DVDs. Prior to that, he handled Music Licensing for Fox's "American Idol". Vince has performed and toured as a woodwind player with the Santa Monica Civic Light Opera for The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Guys & Dolls and Bye Bye Birdie. The first one in his family to go to college, Vince graduated cum laude from UCLA in 1998 where he earned a bachelor's degree in music/education.
- Hometown: Newhall, CA
- Favorite Quote: "The critic killed the artist before he was born" - Jay Buchanan
- Fun Facts: Brandon is the oldest of five boys in a family of 8. He has self published a book and toured internationally with a rock band as a guitarist.
- Professional Background: After graduating from UC San Diego with a degree in Economics, Brandon spent a few years working in marketing at DreamWorks Animation, and was credited for his efforts on such films as Shrek the Third and Bee Movie. After his time at DreamWorks, Brandon moved into the TV world as a Marketing Manager at E! Entertainment. At E! Brandon focused on brainstorming creative packages for advertisers and then seeing them come to life. Most recently, Brandon has transitioned to serve as the creative lead for a social media agency called Fanscape.
- Hometown: San Diego, CA
- Professional Background: Erik is a financial analyst at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, working on productivity analysis, client analysis, and budgeting, among other tasks.
- Fun Facts: Erik is a die hard sports fan and regularly finds himself let down by his hometown Padres and Chargers. He also enjoys playing board games and spending time with his family. Erik received his Masters in Business Administration from Pepperdine University in 2008, and before that earned a Bachelors degree in Mathematics from UCLA in 2000. Erik married his wonderful wife Sarah in 2005. They have two daughters, Violet and Daphne.