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Jill Rode Named Chief Development Officer for American Red Cross-Central Coast Region

Santa Barbara resident has 22 years of experience working with nonprofits, including the Santa Barbara Symphony, DRI and the Santa Barbara Zoo

Jill Rode
Jill Rode

The American Red Cross-Central Coast Region announced Thursday the appointment of Jill Rode as its chief development officer to lead the organization’s fundraising and emergency preparedness awareness efforts across the Central Coast region, including Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties.

Rode brings 22 years of professional experience to the American Red Cross, working with many nonprofit organizations on the Central Coast, including the Girl Scouts, the American Heart Association, the Santa Barbara Symphony, the Santa Barbara Zoo and most recently Direct Relief International.

She is a certified fundraising executive, having earned her certification in 2000.

“Having Jill’s talent on our team will be a tremendous asset for the American Red Cross and our partners in preparedness, including government, corporate and civic leaders,” said Jim McGee, CEO of the Central Coast Region. “She knows our communities very well and will be an essential leader as the Red Cross continues its leadership in disaster preparedness, response and recovery on the Central Coast.”

“I am looking forward to working with Jim McGee and the leadership team he has assembled for the American Red Cross in this region,” Rode said. “Our mission is clear and our need is very evident, given the number and frequency of disasters in recent months. I’m looking forward to getting corporations Red Cross Ready, to meeting with donors who want to help prepare our communities for disaster preparedness and recovery, and to working with the tremendous number of volunteers up and down our Central Coast region who bring the services of the Red Cross to our residents.”

Rode was recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals with the Fundraiser of the Year Award in 2004, and has served as president of the Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties chapter of AFP. In her career, she has helped nonprofit organizations raise millions of dollars to further their causes.

In addition to her professional work, she has been involved extensively with the Junior League of Santa Barbara, including serving as the organization’s president. She is a volunteer at her daughters’ school, and a co-leader of a Girl Scout troop.

Rode is married with two children and resides in Santa Barbara. A native of Orange County, she came to the area to attend UCSB and stayed after becoming involved with philanthropy through her sorority, Alpha Phi.

— Kristiana Kocis is the communications manager for the American Red Cross-Central Coast Region.

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