The Santa Barbara Foundation is pleased to announce that Al Rodriguez has joined its leadership team as the vice president of community investments. Al will be primarily responsible for the foundation’s work in communities throughout Santa Barbara County. He will oversee initiatives, grant programs, civic engagement projects, and efforts to strengthen the social (nonprofit) sector. Al will also work closely with the foundation’s donor investors, helping them to connect to the very best opportunities in the county and beyond that capture their philanthropic interests and passions.
“Everything about this is ideal – the position, the organization, and the communities that the foundation serves,” said Al.
Al comes directly from a six-year stint as a trustee of the foundation, where he was instrumental in guiding all aspects of the foundation’s mission. In making this appointment, President & CEO Ron Gallo said, “It is fortunate for the foundation and the communities of Santa Barbara County that we are able to bring a person of Al’s talents and skills to this critical staff leadership position. And that he also is someone who knows well this institution and its many partners will mean no steep learning curve or loss of momentum for the institution.”
Al, a northern California native whose father emigrated from Mexico, has had a distinguished career of leading change and increasing impact in both the public and private sectors. As program director of the Lake County Department of Health Services and then as assistant director/manager of the County of Santa Barbara Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services, Al was a consistent and effective voice of reform, efficiency, and making government a better civic partner in key social and community issues. More recently, Al has consulted to Santa Barbara County nonprofit organizations, and will be leaving the executive director position at Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley to assume his new position at the foundation. “His experience working in both the government and social sectors, and his familiarity with the northern communities of Santa Barbara County are other exciting aspects of this hire,” said Ron.
Al follows Martha Harmon, who held the top position in Community Investments for four years and who retired in August.
About the Santa Barbara Foundation:
The Santa Barbara Foundation is a community foundation established in 1928 to enrich the lives of the people of Santa Barbara County through philanthropy. As one of the largest private sources of funding for area nonprofits, agencies, and college bound students, the foundation builds and facilitates philanthropy through donor partnerships; invests in nonprofits; and identifies and strategically addresses important community needs. Guided by compassion for the most vulnerable and those most in need of help, excellence in what it supports and with whom it partners, and integrity with a focus on stewardship and transparency, the Santa Barbara Foundation is invested in a more vibrant, engaged, and meaningfully connected Santa Barbara County…for all.