Habitat For Humanity Welcomes New CEO, Jessica Wishan

Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County (HFHSSBC) is proud to announce the selection of Jessica Wishan as their new Chief Executive Officer. As affordable housing continues to be one of the Santa Barbara community’s most critical issues, Wishan brings a decade of experience in the sector to Habitat for Humanity.
Wishan has spent the past ten years tackling housing issues for low-income, vulnerable and homeless populations in communities ranging from San Diego to Santa Barbara. Her work in this field has ranged from permanent supportive housing development, developing integrated social service centers, community advocacy and fundraising campaigns, homeless shelter operations, building integrated healthcare partnerships, and more. In addition, she has worked on employment and social enterprise programs, veterans issues, as well as community preparedness initiatives and disaster relief operations. Most recently, she served as the Regional Disaster Officer and then interim Chief Executive Officer for the Central California Region of the American Red Cross.
Wishan was selected through an extensive national search, from among an impressive pool of potential candidates. “Jessica has a deep understanding of the complexities of affordable housing issues, as well as expertise in bringing resources and people together to create opportunity,” shared Paul Wilson, President of the HFHSSBC Board of Directors. “Her proven leadership ability, coupled with her passion for Habitat’s mission, will help ensure that the organization’s work to build homes, communities, and hope in Southern Santa Barbara County continues to successfully grow and thrive.”
“I am so honored to serve as Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County’s next CEO and continue the important work this organization does,” said Jessica Wishan. “I believe that “home” is the foundation from which we can invest in ourselves, in our families, and in our health. A stable and safe home environment has trickle-down effects, which have the potential to impact education, job stability, and on a wider scale – healthy neighborhoods.”
Before her tenure at the American Red Cross, Wishan worked extensively with PATH. During her time there, she served as their Director of Community Engagement for Southern California, and served as the Managing Director during the organization’s merger with Casa Esperanza Homeless Center. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
“I look forward to continuing to build homes, while also focusing on enhancing our volunteer programs, advocating for the importance of affordable housing and home ownership, deepening our community partnerships, expanding the work of our ReStore, and raising funds so we can build and repair more homes and continue to carry our mission into the future,” added Wishan. “We will also continue our recovery and neighborhood revitalization efforts in Montecito neighborhoods impacted by the January 2019 debris flow.”
In addition to her professional work in the nonprofit world, Wisham is also personally involved in the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara. She and her fiancé, Philippe, are active Santa Barbara residents. In her free time, she hikes, kayaks, practices yoga, and designs and makes jewelry.

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