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Steve Jacobsen to Succeed Gail Rink at Hospice of Santa Barbara

Longtime Goleta Presbyterian Church pastor selected after a nationwide search with 120 candidates

After an extensive search, Hospice of Santa Barbara announced Monday that it has selected Stephen Jacobsen, former senior pastor at Goleta Presbyterian Church, as the nonprofit organization’s new executive director.

Steve Jacobsen
Steve Jacobsen

Jacobsen will succeed Gail Rink, a leader in compassionate care and grief issues who is retiring in the fall after eight years at the helm. Rink will remain with the organization as a consultant and assist in the transition until the end of the year.

Jacobsen was senior pastor at Goleta Pres for 16 years and served as a visiting scholar at the UCSB Department of Religious Studies. Previously, he taught history and religious studies at Heritage University in Toppenish, Wash., and was pastor at Community Presbyterian Church in Wapato, Wash.

A UCSB graduate, he received a Master of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary and earned his doctorate in educational leadership at Seattle University.

Jacobsen has served on several local boards including the Interfaith Initiative of Santa Barbara County, Isla Vista Youth Project, La Casa de Maria Retreat & Conference Center, and Hospice of Santa Barbara.

“The board (of Hospice of Santa Barbara) is excited that after completing a statewide executive search, we were able to hire, out of a pool of very qualified professionals, a local candidate who brings strong leadership qualities to the organization,” board president Roger Heroux said.

The four-month search process involved an initial pool of 120 local and national candidates, a list that was narrowed to 20 qualified applicants. Five finalists — all of whom served in senior management positions at nonprofit or public service organizations — were considered by the board selection committee.
The mission of Hospice of Santa Barbara is to provide care to anyone experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness, or grieving the death of a loved one. Founded in 1974, it is the second oldest hospice program in the United States. The organization recently moved in to a brand-new facility on the Riviera, at 2050 Alameda Padre Serra, Suite 100.

Rink, who writes a popular monthly Noozhawk column called Open Arms, has led the organization since 2001. Hospice of Santa Barbara and Noozhawk are partnering up on a memorials/obituaries feature that will make its debut later this month.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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