The Goleta Valley Historical Society board of directors has announced the hiring of James Kyriaco Jr. as the organization’s first-ever executive director.

James Kyriaco Jr.

James Kyriaco Jr.

“We are confident that James’ successful track record of management experience combined with his many years of community involvement will help move our organization forward as we look to the future,” board President Robin Hill Cederlof said.

“The opportunity to preserve and protect Rancho La Patera, home to the historic Stow House, while working to expand and enhance educational partnerships throughout the South Coast, is an exciting challenge,” Kyriaco said. “I am looking forward to working with our volunteers and staff to take this organization to the next level.”

Kyriaco is a native of Santa Barbara who has managed political campaigns for Goleta City Councilmembers Margaret Connell and Ed Easton, 2nd District Supervisor Janet Wolf, Santa Barbara City Councilman Roger Horton and Goleta Water District Trustee Bill Rosen, among others.

Kyriaco is a recent graduate of Antioch University in Santa Barbara and is pursuing a master’s degree in public administration from California State University, Northridge.

Kyriaco’s experience with local nonprofit organizations includes serving as both president and vice president of the board of directors for the Santa Barbara Family Care Center, and as a board member for the Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County and the Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons.

In addition, Kyriaco recently completed six years of service on the Community Development and Human Services Commission of the city of Santa Barbara.

— Dacia Harwood is the marketing and events coordinator for Rancho La Patera & Stow House.