Santa Barbara Channels Executive Director Keri Stokstad is leaving for a job with the Pasadena Community Access Corporation, Channels board chairwoman Candi Corbani announced this week.

Keri Stokstad

Keri Stokstad

“The big draw was to be back on a national level and part of a larger market where I could help community media efforts move forward,” Stokstad said.

Stokstad won the 2011 Buske Leadership Award and was recently re-elected to the board for the Alliance for Community Media.

“I will actually miss Santa Barbara a lot and have made a lot of really good friends here, but it’s too good of an opportunity to pass up,” she said.

Stokstad will be the group’s executive director starting in January, and until then she will help the Channels transition to its new location at 329 S. Salinas St. It should be moved in within a few weeks. The new facility is near a bus stop and freeway exit, so she hopes community members will come and use the space.

Stokstad leaves the organization in a strong financial position, Corbani said in a statement. She helped get a $50,000 construction donation and $40,000 in fundraising within the past year.

“I want to thank Keri for her unwavering dedication and outstanding leadership,” Corbani said.

The Channels will use a search committee to fill the position as soon as possible. For now, operations manager Skip Stecker will oversee daily operations, while board vice chairman Jeff Green will provide board oversight and be a liaison with staff and producers.

Stecker is a recent hire but longtime community member who used to do audio visual work at the Bacara Resort & Spa, Stokstad said.

“He’s really only been on board since September and he’s been amazing,” she said.

Santa Barbara Channels is a nonprofit that operates public access Channel 17 and educational access Channel 21 with a community-based Board of Directors.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.