Exciting FUND Staff Developments

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As I now reach my two-year anniversary with the Fund for Santa Barbara, I would like to thank you for your strong continued support of this incredible social justice organization. While it has been clear to the FUND board of directors and staff that we needed to use the transition of leadership in executive director to take a fresh look at the organization and its future, the 2016 Elections made it even clearer that the FUND needs to not only step up our work with our many social justice partners in the region, state and nation, but that we need to strengthen our own internal capacity, not only for the immediate work of the resistance, but for the long-term persistent work of social change. I look forward in the months ahead to share more with you how we, as the FUND, have worked to meet the challenges of our current national political crisis here in Santa Barbara County. 

As part of the FUND’s commitment to progressive social change for the long haul, please allow me to share some very exciting new changes in our FUND staff.

We are happy to announce that on August 1st, longtime Santa Maria Latinx community activist Patricia Solorio will join the FUND staff team as our new North County Program Manager.  A native of Santa Maria and mother of two, Patricia has served as senior program and management staff with the Central Coast Future Leaders over the last 12 years, including her role as Executive Director since 2016.  As a bilingual and bi-cultural community leader, Patricia has a profound understanding of the communities of North County, through her work with CCFL, as well as her leadership role in many local community actions and initiatives, including her service on the FUND’s Grants Making Committee and annual North County Tardeada event. Among her numerous recognitions, in 2016 Patricia received the Working Families Award from the Santa Barbara County Action Network for her many efforts to improve the lives of working families in the region.  Welcome Patricia!

We are also very pleased to announce the promotion of Elena Richardson to the position of Associate Director, which took affect in March. While Elena will continue to direct

the FUND’s grant making, her new role includes supervision of the North County Program Manager and a soon to be hired Grants Associate, as well as directing human resource management for the FUND. Joining the FUND in 2012 as Foundation Administrator, Elena held the positions of Grants Program Manager for four years, until she was promoted to the position of Director of Grantmaking in 2016.   Elena not only brings her years of FUND experience to her new Associate Director role, but her strong leadership and organizational skills, and most importantly, a tremendous passion for the FUND’s social justice mission. Elena also has over fifteen years in experience in political organizing, government service, public health research, and nonprofit activism.  An active leader in the Santa Barbara community, Elena also serves on the boards of Planned Parenthood Action Fund and SoCal Grantmakers Policy Committee and Senior Peer to Peer Network.

Additionally, the FUND is also very happy to announce the hiring this spring of Carlie Domingues to the position of North County Program Associate.  Carlie’s duties include coordinating the North County activities of the FUND’s Youth

Making Change program, as well as administrative support to the Fund’s North County office. Carlie was born and raised in Northern Santa Barbara County and earned her two degrees in Literature and History from UC Santa Cruz. These and other experiences served to ground her with a strong academic, community and familial respect and sustained engagement in Native American and Indigenous sovereignty struggles locally and internationally. An organizer and former bilingual teacher, Carlie brings to her role: grassroots organizing skills, community learning and the study and practice of indigenous knowledge, as well as, tremendous passion for social justice. 

Please join me in recognizing these amazing FUND staff members! And of course, all these important staff developments and growing capacity would not be possible without your continued support. Click HERE to read more about our entire staff here at the FUND.

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