SBCC Foundation Welcomes Three New Members to its Board of Directors

Santa Barbara, CA – The SBCC Foundation recently welcomed three new members to its board of directors: director-at-large Graciela Montgomery, and ex officio members Joyce Coleman and Robert K. Miller. The SBCC Foundation board of directors provides strategic leadership to the Foundation. The board is currently composed of 13 community leaders who serve voluntarily and 6 ex officio members who serve by virtue of their leadership position at the college.  

Graciela Montgomery is a Human Resources consultant in the areas of Leadership, Culture & Transformational Management. Her client engagements and career spans multiple industries and countries, including media, non-profit, consumer goods, finance, and sustainable infrastructure. She has led numerous change management initiatives in diversity & inclusion, workplace transparency and leadership, gender balance and pay equity.

Previously, Graciela served as Chief HR Officer for NPR and Deckers Brands and held senior leadership roles with AECOM, Nortel Networks and ABC/Disney leading human resources teams, building management teams, facilitating M&A, growth strategies and organizational development.

She has been at the forefront of organizational learning and development, witnessing how educational access can change the trajectory of lives and careers. She is involved with several Santa Barbara nonprofits, lending her experience and passions of learning and social causes.

Graciela resides in her native Santa Barbara with her husband, David McKeever.

Ms. Joyce Coleman has over 28 years of experience as a community college educator and administrator —18 years in California and 10 years in Minnesota and Oregon. She describes herself as someone who has provided equity-minded leadership, vision and effective management in all of the positions she has held. Her prior experience includes Dean of Students at Bakersfield College, Dean of Community Learning Programs at Mt. Hood Community College, Vice President of Student Services at Umpqua Community College, and Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Century College.

Coleman states that her action plan has always been to lead by example with her heart, head and hands, and “to provide others with an awareness and knowledge of cultural humility with a major aspect being self-exploration.” She continued by paraphrasing Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire, “Education doesn’t change the world, people change the world and education changes people – we are all students. She is a first-generation college graduate; Coleman is a graduate of Sam Houston State University and has a master’s degree from University of Houston.

Robert K. Miller joined the SBCC District Board of Trustees in March 2018 and was appointed to the SBCC Foundation Board of Directors in December 2020.

In 2015 Robert retired from a national litigation law firm. He was one of 13 lawyers in Minneapolis and Phoenix who founded the firm in 1985. Robert transferred to the firm’s Los Angeles office in 1998. Since retirement Robert has worked as a legal mediator. He volunteers his services for the Santa Barbara Superior Court.

Robert was born in a small Iowa farm town. He received his B.S. degree from Iowa State University and J.D. degree from the University of Minnesota. Prior to law school, he served in the Peace Corps in Morocco, worked as a congressional assistant, managed a U.S. Senate Campaign in Iowa, served as the chief political aid for a U.S. Senator and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Refugee Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Robert and his wife Anne moved from Long Beach to Goleta in 2014. Their son Cole received his B.A. degree from CSULB and recently completed UCLA’s paralegal program. He now works as a paralegal at Robert’s former law firm. Anne grew up in Silver Springs, Maryland. She designs and makes jewelry, which she sells online with Etsy and at local art fairs and events.

In Goleta Robert has been actively involved in numerous community activities. He served on the Goleta Planning Commission from 2017 to 2020.

Robert was appointed to the SBCC Board of Trustees in March 2018 to fill a vacancy. In November 2018 he was elected to serve the final two years of his predecessor’s term. He was re-elected to a full four-year term in November 2020. He served as President of the Board from December 2018 to December 2020.

Robert is a former marathon runner. He now stays healthy riding his road bike and walking on the beach and local trails in western Goleta. He regularly logs over 2,000 miles a year on his bike.

About the SBCC Foundation

The SBCC Foundation has provided Santa Barbara City College with private philanthropic support since 1976, serving as the vehicle through which individuals and organizations may invest in the college and its students.

As an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization and partner to SBCC, the SBCC Foundation awards more than $5 million annually for student success programs, scholarships, book grants, emergency funds, and other critical needs of the college. For more than four decades, the resources raised and managed by the SBCC Foundation have supported SBCC students as they prepare for careers, transfer to four-year universities, and pursue lifelong learning goals.

In 2016, the Foundation launched the SBCC Promise, offering all recent, local high school graduates the opportunity to attend SBCC full-time at no cost. The SBCC Promise relies entirely on private support and covers all required fees, books, and supplies for up to two years. To date, nearly 5,000 local students have participated in the SBCC Promise. By removing financial barriers, the SBCC Promise ensures that SBCC’s life-changing educational programs are fully accessible to all local students.

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