Sunday, November 29 , 2015, 10:28 am | Fair 63º

Robert Nourse Elected Chair of Cottage Health System Board; Lori Gaskin Joins as Director

By Maria Zate for Cottage Health System |

Robert E.M. Nourse was recently elected to chair the volunteer Board of Directors of the nonprofit Cottage Health System.

Robert E.M. Nourse
Robert E.M. Nourse

He succeeds Gretchen Milligan, who had served in that position for the past three years and will remain a member of the board.

Nourse’s affiliation with Cottage Health System began in 2005 as a member of the cabinet raising funds for the new Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. He was elected to serve on the board in 2010.

Currently, he is chairman of Arena Growth Ventures, a private investment company based in Santa Barbara.

Nourse founded The Bombay Company of Canada and over 17 years expanded the business from one store to a publicly-traded NYSE corporation with 450 stores and 6,000 employees throughout North America.

He earned an electrical engineering degree from Queen’s University, an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business and a doctorate from Harvard Business School.

Nourse and his wife, Alexandra, have lived in Santa Barbara since 1997. They have four grown children and six grandchildren.

Lori Gaskin, Ph.D., and president of Santa Barbara City College, is the newest member of the Cottage Health System Board. She previously served as president of West Valley College in Saratoga.

Lori Gaskin
Lori Gaskin

Dr. Gaskin began her career in the California Community College System 31 years ago as a part-time faculty member at Barstow College. As a tenured faculty member at Barstow College, Dr. Gaskin taught in the fields of geography and geology, and served in numerous faculty leadership roles.

Dr. Gaskin holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in geography from UCLA and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University of Nevada-Reno.

In addition to Nourse as chair, other Cottage Health System board officers for 2013 are Steven Ainsley, vice chair; Robert Nakasone, vice chair; Marshal “Chip” Turner, vice chair; and Alex Koper II, M.D., secretary. Additional board members along with Dr. Gaskin are Margaret Baker; Edward Bentley, M.D.; John Clark; Gregory Faulkner; Judith Hopkinson; Fred Lukas; Gretchen Milligan; Elliot Prager, M.D.; John Romo and Thomas Watson.

— Maria Zate represents Cottage Health System.

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